Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2007 > Spring Vacation 2007 Edition

Spring Vacation 2007 Edition

I have taken my first week-long vacation on the first week of May. Although I do not go to faraway places I did get a lot of work done.


I started the update work on the CC Page with new images for the Mayflower Madam gallery. I also did some new images from Dragonslayer and The Kid Brother, although I may have to do the latter again because some of the images came out blurry.

I also visit the main Marion branch of the Bank and met with Jason Ford, one of the loan counselors. I went there for pre-approval of any mortgage I may have to take out when I purchase a house. I ended up signing a bunch of papers that basically declare my intent to buy a house, affirm that my financial info is accurate, and allow Ball State to let the bank know that my financial info is accurate.

I also tried to buy replacements to my SAS loafers, which are now falling to pieces. But the store that had SAS shoes on sale did not have black loafers (or Side Gores, as SAS calls them). I will try again in Lafayette, as SAS has a store along State Road 26 near Sam's Club.

This evening I made sure that I had enough money in my savings account to cover the incidental costs of securing the mortgage.


The weather is proving to be agreeable if rather warm. And I get to view the town in its workweek face, seeing people I do not normally see because they are out when I am at work in Muncie. I saw the library's new hire for the first time (she was in the high school class one year before me); the woman I replaced as library board secretary doing her student/mother thing; and the assistant for the town newsweekly in an office that is now full of Blenko glassware.

I visited my doctor this morning. My official weight has changed little since my last visit, but my blood pressure is up a bit. At least I am otherwise healthy, but I will need to get blood work next month.


I took a day trip to Purdue University.

First I stopped at the SAS store in Lafayette to get some new shoes. I learned that the store took over the customer list from the SAS outlet store in Daleville, and had wanted to buy the store before it was forced to close down when the outlet mall was converted to a business park. I also found that shoes at the outlet were a lot cheaper than in the store; but then it was a long time since I shopped at the outlet.

I also shopped at the nearby Sam's Club, mostly for a pack of batteries Madre asked for.

At Purdue itself I got a day pass for the yellow (faculty/staff/visitor) parking spots, but not before almost getting into a verbal sword fight with the clerk over what constitutes a Grant Street Garage: To me it's the one on Grant and Wood, where I always parked — I did not realize there was one near the Union on Grant. Actually what annoyed me more was her asking where I was going: Come on, I'm a tourist — I am not going anywhere specific. Well, in the end I parked in the Visitors Center garage.

I visited the Purdue Mall with its lounging students and those strange metal sculptures called keys that represent Greek-letter professional societies. One of them is missing, apparently stolen. I stopped over by the Fountain and took some pictures.

I also visited and photographed the Purdue Tower. Out of envy of Indiana University and its bell tower, Purdue erected a tower of its own. In turn Ball State built its Shafer Tower. (Or maybe it was the tower at Taylor University.) See how it works? Anyway, the tower has a pond next to it, but it looked stagnant and in need of cleaning out.

And now we come to the high point of my tour, which was a visit to the new Lawson Computer Science building. The old CS building was a converted gymnasium that had become too small for the department. The new building is a institutional-style stone/glass/steel building as ugly as it gets, but very spacious. It has a sculpture that looks like a giant spring washer; a two-story commons area and a snack bar on either side of the sculpture, and several large labs and server rooms. And it has a open-air balcony on the third floor with a view of the university.

Later I took a walk around the south campus; visited the Agricultural Mall and saw the Big Armlike Thing (it's called Transformation, but one wonders from looking at it whether the sculptor saw too much giant-robot animé). Then I visited the front of Lynn Hall, the veterinary school, where stands a series of bronze statues. The first is supposed to represent a cave drawing; the last appears to be Lassie and Timmie. Among the middle statues are animals displaying their insides: A horse (skeletal), a pig (circulatory) and a cat (central and sympathetic nerves).

I visited Von's but only bought one book this time. I guess I spent enough money already.

Finally, I have noticed something I have noticed in previous visits, but it has become more pronounced this visit. The air on campus and the surrounding town smells like something has been fried too long.


This is the Third of May. I went to the Olive Garden to have my dinner in Caitlin Clarke's honor: Chicken Scampi, Zuppa Toscana (potato and sausage soup), breadsticks and mineral water, and tiramisu.

Then I went to the Bracken Library, where I helped the Per/Res folks help a student trying to print a brochure in InDesign to the color printer. InDesign, Windows print drivers and Canon color printers do not work and play well, I'm afraid. I came, in truth, to type the outline of this entry and to pick up my pay stub.

It is the middle of planting time, folks, which means when you drive down a county road and a big plowing tractor that takes up the road is coming from the opposite direction, you pull over or (as I did) back into a driveway to let it pass. Those guys are feeding your fat belly, and it's tough to make a living in farming, so give them a break.


I returned the loan counselor's call from yesterday (when I was gone). I have been approved for the mortgage. It is not as much as the asking price for the white house on 416 Buckeye Street, whose price is higher than I thought; but I have given up on that house. I will try for the yellow house on 401 Fourth Street across from the Buckeye Street house. Its lot is smaller; its roof is questionable; the chimney needs work at the top; and it has rampikes in the yard. But the house seems solid; the yard looks okay; and I think I can get the local power company to destroy the rampikes as a power cable passes through their branches.

This afternoon I met with the realtor who is selling the house. I personally toured the house itself. First off, though let me give you the description provided by the realtor.

Age58 years
Foundation Crawl (no basement), 1,114 ft2 (103.5 m2).
Roomsfoyer, living room, kitchen, utility room, bathroom, downstairs bedroom, upstairs bedroom
HVACelectric forced-air furnace; no air conditioning
Lot Size 66' × 132' (20 × 40 meters, or eight ares)
DescriptionAdorable 2 bedroom home in Fairmount. Brand new EFA furnace from Kennedys,. Corner lot, eat-in kitchen, spacious rooms. Newly remodeled, newer windows, siding, water heater. Updated wiring, large updated bathroom. 10'×12' shed, wood deck. 80gal electric water heater. 16.99amtn.AWHR

The house is a bungalow that is like Tina's house, only newer-looking and more compressed.

I have already mentioned the roof and the chimney; a house inspector will have to be brought in to take a look at them. And no, there is no fireplace; the chimney is merely decorative. The antenna and satellite dish on top of it will have to go; it is stupid place to put them, anyway, as a good lightning strike can set the house on fire. I am naturally assuming that they are not grounded.

Come to think of it, this is the street where Kathy Dilley lived when I was in junior high. I did not get along with her, but back then I was a nasty geeky sort who got along with few people. That is too bad for me, for Kathy was a pretty girl.


This is the day of the mass rummage sale in town, and it seems that everybody has come. The streets were busy, and I had difficulty crossing the street. It was very busy despite the drizzly day.


I have returned to the prospective house with Madre, and I took another look with Madre as a second opinion. I did confirm that:

I decided to take the house. I signed the appropriate documents with the realtor (copies of which I will get later).

Is this that easy? No.

I worked for the Bank for over eight years; and while I worked in the IT department I have some idea of how mortgages come about. And then there is that picture in the meeting room of the Marion branch. It shows all the people involved in the closing of a house sale as a rowing crew with the Banker as the coxswain going "Ready, set, SELL". Each of the crew moves their oar in a different direction; some get whacked on the head; others are almost knocked off the boat. When the chaos subsides, the Bank goes "Okay, again!".

I am hoping for better luck than that. But I have been waiting for this moment, when the weather is warm and the spring semester is over and I have enough vacation days to ensure that there will be no disruption at work. And I am lucky to get this house, for it is newer and in better shape than either of my sister's.

Copyright © 2007 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 6 May 2007. Edited on 31 December 2007.