Stewart Dean's Home Page
voice: (845) 336-4815, email: sdean"at"sdean.net,
My physical location: 300 Ulster Landing Road, Kingston, NY 12401,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
They say work defines a man; I'm 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. Ave atque vale, employment. It was good, the people and the work...the management, not so much.
Hello, this is me....on the left, 1981 for my
pistol permit; in the middle a few years after that, honking across
Pamlico Sound; on the right, perhaps in 2010. Where did all the years
go...and all the hair? These days it's photography and music....
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 50megapixels. 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
$25. Ouch! So I've gotten into digital photography lately and am pretty happy with
the capabilities of the Canon 5DS R digital SLR. Lovely, capable
camera with pretty passable resolution, great for pictures of people.
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.
English Country Dance and its Music
I play an English concertina for English Country Dance in Tiddly-Pom, for....
- Hudson Valley English Dance, (click on SCHEDULE in the left sidebar, then look for..) first Saturdays every month, year-round, 7:30PM -
10:30PM at the Reformed Church of Port Ewen (near Kingston), NY, where I play in Tiddley Pom. Dance Info: 845-679-8587.
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
my talent, but I do go for a craic of my own, my participation
music, dance & song. Sitting and merely listening to music like
potted plant next to a speaker is not my idea of fun. Going to Folk
where there's jamming, dancing, open bands, pub and a cappella sings
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
The best: playing for dance with others, for
others: a concert of grace, flow & harmony.
Would you believe that I had the good fortune to drive and work on
Bugattis as a teenager? Read on.
My current driver is a 2003 diesel VW Jetta, bought in 2005 with
11,000 miles. It now has 250,000 on the odometer and my average
fuel mileage is around 48 MPG. Of course, it's a dirty
pre-scandal diesel, but golly what a solid dependable machine that's a
pleasure to drive....diesels are an answer now
that we don't have to wait for...in Europe, 50% of the new cars are
Before Der Diesel, 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.
And I once had a '99 Austin Mini (so
much fun to
drive on twisty back roads)...you didn't drive it, you strapped it on and flew it.
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
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 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........
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....
How the mind slays the soul, slays life.
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© COPYRIGHT 2002, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017 Stewart Dean. All of my web pages,
photographs and images included, are copyrighted material!
may NOT copy or use the text, photographs or images without my express