Stewart Dean's Home Page


Stewart Dean
voice: (845) 336-4815, email: sdean"at"sdean.net, webpage: www.sdean.net
My physical location: 300 Ulster Landing Road, Kingston, NY 12401, Etats Unis

They say work defines a man; I'm sort of retired now, but worked last in computers

Once upon a time, I worked for IBM and was there at the beginnings of IBM Unix, AIX and of its powerhouse SP (Scaleable Parallel) adaption that is behind the machines that first beat the chess grandmasters and are some of the fastest super-computers in the world.  Since then I've worked in AIX System Administration, for a credit reporting reporting company and next as a contractor back at IBM.  Most recently, I was for 13 years the Senior Aix System Adminstrator of Bard College where I managed 24/7 highly available Email, DNS, NFS & DHCP services.  My LinkedIn profile (with recommendation for my work at Bard) is here, my resume is here


Stewart Booming & Zooming 

Hello, this is me 25+ years back, honking across Pamlico Sound (the bay to the west of Cape Hatteras) on a windsurfer...I'm getting along at around 25 mph. These days, tho, I'm most interested in.....

Photography and the various graphic arts

I've done my photographic work with an 8x10" (that's the size of the film!) view camera ala Ansel Adams or Eliot Porter as above. It's a beautiful medium but expensive, time consuming and alas, too damn heavy (the whole rig is around 70 pounds).  For those of you who think that traditional photo-chemical imaging processes are passe, I'd point out that that camera shoots the equivalent of a 720 megapixel digital image...while the best digital cameras shoot an at 6 to 25 megapixels. So it'll be a while yet before digital electronic imaging can deliver the kind of resolution and depth of tonality that traditional photgraphic processes can. Oh, I'll be happy enough when it comes to pass, because the film and developing costs for one 8"x10" exposure is $15. Ouch!  So I've gotten into digital photography lately and am pretty happy with the capabilities of the Canon 5D MKII digital SLR.  Lovely, capable camera with pretty passable resolution, great for pictures of people

I have another website devoted to my photography, Imago Vitae, The Image of Life.


 
English Country Dance and its Music

English Country Dance is most like contra or perhaps square dance, but it has a balletic choreography and elegance to it that others don't....and absolutely gorgeous music, most of it from the late 1600's to middle 1800's. It often sounds like a cross between classical and folk, if you can imagine such a thing.
I play an English concertina for English Country Dance in two bands, Serendipity and Tiddly-Pom, respectively, for these two dances:

  My music and something about the dance is here



The Craic

The Irish, bless their sometimes joyous souls, have this word in Gaelic meaning good times, music, dance, song...roistering, outrageous good times.  Mind you, I don't do Irish music much...it isn't my talent, but I do go for a craic of my own, my participation in music, dance & song. Sitting and merely listening to music like some potted plant next to a speaker is not my idea of fun. Going to Folk Festivals where there's jamming, dancing, open bands, pub and a cappella sings is.
In the picture above, I'm playing in the evening processional to the dance floor at Northern Week at Ashokan.  If you've ever hear Ashokan Farewell, that powerfully nostalgic waltz, you may be interested to know that, though it was used as the theme music for Ken Burns' Civil War PBS documentary, it was NOT written for that documentary....rather years before, as a lament for the end of this camp, which is a sort of magical Brigadoon of music and dance in the high summer.   You can see 
this free-wheeling feast of music, dance, song and imagination in image and video.  In the picture aboive, I am in hot company...Dave Kaynor, the contra dance  fiddle wizard is on the left, and Bill Matthiesen, of the Waltz Books, on the right playing banjo.
More on craic and summer music and dance camps.
The best: playing for dance with others, for others: a concert of grace, flow & harmony.

My life in cars 

Would you believe that I had the good fortune to drive and work on Bugattis as a teenager?  Read on.
My current transport is a diesel VW Jetta (my three year average is 51MPG....diesels are an answer now that we don't have to wait for...in Europe, 50% of the new cars are diesels).  Before that, I had a wonderful mildy modified VW GTI VR6 (an amazingly powerful, smooth, true GT tourer, the equal of the Maserati 3500 GT my father had).  Alas, it was ambushed by a deer on the Taconic Parkway one rainy midnight.  I also have a '73 Austin Mini (so much fun to drive on twisty back roads), currently for sale.


My Problems with the Town of Ulster Firing Range

We moved in 1992 to a lovely location a little back from and above the west bank of the Hudson River.  It's an amazing location: you could be miles away secluded in the depth of the lovely New York Catskill countryside...it feels just like that, but it's 5 minutes from all the malls.  There's a quiet whirring from the traffic on the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge, and it would be pretty much silent except that the Town of Ulster has a Firing Range 2000' as the bird flies, down the road.  Twenty years ago, the Range was used sparingly, presumably for Town officers only; its use has steadily grown with no limit in sight  The Town Police seek to extend its use, improve its facility and get other law enforcement to buy into these efforts. They indirectly resist any control of it.  Complaints of the noise have been met with surly indifference and no lasting effect. The Range is in use 2 to 6 days out of the week, for as much as 8-10 hours a day, is often in use multiple times during the day...and into the night...and the firing is not just plinking but often continuous, mounting at times to a crashing roar of rapid semi-automatic fire.  Baghdad-on-the-Hudson sounds like this

My Family


My Poems


Suggestions

Alas, my father was a surgeon, and they are nothing if not optimizing proceduralists.  So I grew up being urged to a) figure things out and to b) figure out "the best way to do things".    This is a common failing among engineers and programmers as well, for all that its perusuit is something of a delusion in the greater sphere of existence and happiness.
Anyway, this page is a holding pen for some of my ideas, solutions and better ways........

Politics

Years ago, I left the South to escape its politics and 'religion'...now they'ves metatisized to the nation at large, and an old-time Deep-South political machine using fraud, fear and lies to subvert America's democracy.  This page is about what I do in my small way to counter it., though it may be old and out of date...things change rapidly!   It's a nasty business, much uglier than it need be....the right has decided to demonize and defame the left.  What ever happened to statesmanship, to commonweal, to consensus, to government that was the product of the best both sides had to offer (along with the usual venality and ugly horse-trading)?  But the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent.  Here's to a return to civility and happier times....

The Delusion of Righteousness

How the mind slays the soul, slays life.

My other websites


COPYRIGHT 2002, 2012, 2014 Stewart Dean. All of my web pages, photographs and images  included, are copyrighted material!
You may NOT copy or use the text, photographs or images without my express permission.