Hello, I'm Stewart Dean
and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
They say work
defines a man...
I'm retired now,
last worked gainfully in computers, but my loves have always been
photography and music...and, of course, that supreme blessing for a
man, the women
of my life
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 &
Ave atque vale, employment.
It was good, the people and the work...the management, not so much.
Hello, this is me....on the far left, as chubby
baby on my mother's lap, on the far right, on the beach at San Diego
looking back over all the years.
Double click on it to see the images bigger
Where did all the years
go...and all the hair? Unseen here are women of my "adult" life who
taught me so much, with so much patience. More on them here
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 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. You've seen it danced in the Jane Austen movies.
I play an English concertina for English Country Dance in Tiddly-Pom, for
Valley English Dance, (search for English Country
Dance). Before Covid, we met every first Saturdays every
month, year-round, 7:30PM -
10:30PM at the Reformed Church of Port Ewen (near Kingston), NY. Let us
hope we may dance again soon!
845-679-8587. The best: playing for dance with others
others: a concert of grace, flow & harmony....in the dance and the
My instrument: The English Concertina
Long ago, I played French Horn in high
school. When I took up music again 20 years thereafter, I ended
up with the English Concertina playing for the ECD dance above.
These instruments are the little heagonal squeezeboxes invented in the
mid 1800s by an English Physicist, one Charles Wheatstone, back when
the free reed was brought back from South East Asia (it was unknown in
the West). The accordion and harmonica also use them. The best
English concertinas were pretty much made 100 years ago....and when
refurbished, are wonderful and compact instruments with a powerful rich
voice, still much used in folk music and its dance. Here's what they sound like...
I have a few of them in excellent condition for sale....
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 286,000 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. But it also can be found, joyfully,
in the kitchen, making delicious food.
Anyway, this page is a holding pen for some
of my ideas, family recipes (honoring those who have gone before),
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.
My other websites
© COPYRIGHT 2002, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021 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