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Friday, March 30, 2001
Shoulda cleaned my bike after the rainy ride yesterday. It's creakin' and squeakin' now. It usually takes a week or so for the lube to do it's thing.

Need to redo my homepage. Now that I am switching between browsers in order to use NS 4.76 for email, IE 5, Mozilla, NS 6, I need a better way of accessing my bookmarks. Think I'll just use my homepage for my frequent bookmarks, organized in a better way, and maybe write a script to capture a file of bookmarks that I can access from anywhere.

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Thursday, March 29, 2001
This is one of those days when you find out if your rain gear really works (it doesn't). Rode the mountain bike to check out a proposed trail and to pick up some of that great Great Harvest bread.

Good column in the Washington Post by Marc Fisher on Pedestrian safety, or lack thereof. He mentions the community television show, Perils for Pedestrians.

Better send this before the Blogger upgrade...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2001
It felt good to do some real work for a change, installing a lamp post in the front yard. Nearly electrocuted myself by not turning off the power before handling the wire from the house... one of those experiences in which you realize the fine line between being here and not being here. Tired and sore.

Booked a flight to Denver for next month, and the cost of the round tickets on the web site was $50. less than that quoted for the exact same flights via telephone reservations. Government employees get a great deal; they pay twice as much. Found a good fare on QIXO for nearly $100. less, but couldn't do it since I needed to be on a specific flight on the return leg.

Need to carve out some time to meditate. inhale, exhale

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Monday, March 26, 2001
I've given up on NS 6.0 and returning to NS 4.76. If it wasn't for email, I'd completely switch to IE 5.0. I've just gotten too frustrated with system lock ups and inability to do basic functions that work under 4.76. I've had a pretty reliable NT system that rarely locks up but NS has managed to do it many times in the past week. Some of the things I don't like about NS 6.0:

  • Can't figure out how to delete an existing list or delete an entry from a list
    or how to type the beginning of a name in the Address book and find the name that starts with those letters.

  • When going Back to a long page, NS6 insists on going to the top each time, not to the place where I left off.

  • When a form is filled out on a web page, the text is wrapped to the width of the form when posted, instead of to the width of the page to which it's posted.

  • Help is virtually useless without a search facility.

  • When Editing bookmarks, dragging a group of selected bookmarks to a folder only moves ONE of the group.

  • After dragging a bookmark to an open folder, the bookmark list doesn't update properly.

  • When I enter a mail message search term and hit ruturn, nothing happens. Must manually click the Search button.

  • Click Save to file by mistake, cancel, click Open with application, click OK, and it saves the file anyway.

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Sunday, March 25, 2001
Erik Zabel won Milan-San Remo yesterday and George Hincapie finished 9th after just missing a huge pileup at the finish, according to this article in VeloNews. I still can't figure out why American newspapers spend so much ink on so few sports and can't find the space to report on some of the greatest sporting events in the world, the Spring Classics in Europe.

At least OLN has some excellent television cycling coverage this year, including the Tour de France live, probably for the first time ever in the U.S.

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Erik Zabel won Milan-San Remo yesterday and George Hincapie finished 9th after just missing a huge pileup at the finish, according to this article in VeloNews. I still can't figure out why American newspapers spend so much ink on so few sports and can't find the space to report on some of the greatest sporting events in the world, the Spring Classics in Europe.

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Friday, March 23, 2001
Cars I've owned, a who's who of cheap, relatively reliable cars (except for the classic Plymouth):
'59 Plymouth with push button transmission and tail fins
'71 Volkswagen Beetle
'75 Mazda GLC
'84 Ford Escort
'91 Honda Accord

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Wednesday, March 21, 2001
Now Netscape 6 won't even start...Time to reboot. And I don't think it's a problem with NT 4.0, which has been relatively stable for a long time.

Took advantage of a cold rainy day for a museum outing. Saw the Thiebaud prints at the Corcoran, and the Wiliam Kentridge and Tim Hawkinson shows at the Hirshhorn. It was fascinating to see how Kentridge used thousands of charcoal drawings to create complex animated films.

Then spent the last couple of hours trying to figure out why I make so little and will have to pay so much in taxes. At least I sold some of the Sun and Cisco stocks before the bubble burst.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2001
Reading an interview with Jeffrey Zeldman at ibizInterviews.com. Does he know how badly Netscape 6 functions under NT 4.0? Even with good CSS-1 support, the negatives are outweighing the positives in my mind. There just seem to be too many quirkly little problems.

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I'm not overly impressed with Netscape 6, as it has crashed 3 times in the past hour.

Waking up earlier every day as daylight savings time approaches. It truly felt like Spring this morning after waking well rested with a clear head.

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Monday, March 19, 2001
I never realized the Sims had such a following, and could be seen as a model for building a business.

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Well, the Netscape 6 upgrade was pretty painless, especially compared to the old days when upgrades would trash the mail account and otherwise make life miserable. And it's not as slow as I imagined. I used a version at work on a really slow early Pentium box and it was much slower than version 4.7. It's nice to be able to properly view style sheet encoded sites as well. Guess there's no turning back.

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Well, the Netscape 6 upgrade was pretty painless, especially compared to the old days when upgrades would trash the mail account and otherwise make life miserable. And it's not as slow as I imagined. I used a version at work on a really slow early Pentium box and it was much slower than version 4.7.

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Sunday, March 18, 2001
Funny parody of the current fashion in web design, six easy steps to a cool site. Especially like the text font parody, being over 35 and needing to use glasses on way too many cool sites these days.

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Saw a reference to this site on little green weblog. Wow, how did that happen? It's one of the more elegant blogs I've seen. I didn't think anyone knew of this site, much less read it. Having kept a journal for so long I'm used to talking to myself. Thanks to little green I found this tidbit about why cats purr.

Rode to Ashburn and back, about 25+ miles, fighting the wind the entire way out, then surprised that we didn't have as strong a tailwind as expected on the way home. There were the expected crowds, but the biggest hassle once again was the cars in crosswalks, nearly getting hit by a truck that refused to stop when I was standing in the middle of one. Think it's time pedestrians and cyclists got made as hell and didn't take it any more. The trouble is, most police don't see it as a big problem, and are often offenders themselves. Thought about keeping a special web page with lists of offending vehicles' tag numbers, both those that don't stop at crosswalks, and red light runners. Not that it would do any good, but it would at least be a record for my own use.

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Had a good time dancing last night. 10 years ago I wouldn't have believed I'd be country western dancing on a regular basis. It's a little like an athletic event, everyone trying to strut their best stuff, and getting a bit of a workout in the process. 10 years ago it was popular; it dropped off about 4 or 5 years ago, and is now gaining some momentum. It was funny to see Madonna doing a line dance in her "Music" video. Guess it shows that anything can be cool with the right attitude.

Time for another bike ride, fighting the Springtime crowds on the trail. Luckily the hot weather is usually too much for most of them and we have the trails to ourselves again in the heat of the summer. These are the best riding times, cool, clear, sunny Spring days.

I guess I should be preparing to code Javascript for Netscape 6. I really do hate to upgrade to a slower browser, but see the writing on the wall.

Looking forward to watching the tv program about the trek across Africa by Michael Fay that took over a year.

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Friday, March 16, 2001
Wasting time reading about 3-column layout with CSS and avoiding any real work. It's done by the RudeParrot. Find I read mostly web logs these days as a main source of what's going on in the world, including the little green footballs site.

It also takes us twice as long to figure out where we're going on vacation as it does to actually take the vacation.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2001
Finished one of the best books I've read in a while, "This House of Sky", by Ivan Doig, about growing up in Montana in the 50's and 60's, and his relationship with his father and grandmother. My admiration for Doig's writing increases with each book of his I read, including the trilogy set in Montana that started with "Dancing at the Rascal Fair", "English Creek", and "Ride with Me Mariah Montana".

Finally made plans for the summer. We'll be doing two extended bike trips. One in Virginia for a week and another for a week and a half in New Mexico and Colorado. Thought about riding in some of the major parks like Glacier or Yellowstone, but in the summer they have become like urban tourist attractions, with high concentrations of people at the major sites. The only way to see those places in the peak season is to hike into the hinterlands where there are many fewer tourists.

Discovered a good travel reservation site, Qixo.com, that searches many sites for the best deals. It located a return flight to Denver for about $30 less than Travelocity.

The job market for out of work programmers isn't too good these days and this article in Salon.com talks about some of the trails and tribulations of out of work geeks.

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Monday, March 12, 2001
Put in a hard 3 hours of work today. I don't think I could go back to working 8 straight hours in an office again. 3 hours seemed like 8. Updated the Supervisor's Current Events page.

To encourage more people to start using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), some sites are providing sample code for various layouts. One of the problems with CSS is that many people who use it reference a file on disk, which hides the source from those who want to "borrow" it. The Web wouldn't be what it is today if it hadn't evolved through the use of shared code, and I'd hate to see that aspect be diminished.

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Sunday, March 11, 2001
I've been riding the recumbent that we bought a while back but never ride much. The handling takes some getting used to, and it uses different muscles than an upright bike. It is fun to ride, and it's another bike that gets a "cool bike" every now and then from the local youth.

Been hanging out at a Reston Bulletin board and getting worked up over some of the vile comments that get thrown around on these anonymous forums. I think it's one of the disadvantages of communicating from afar, we often say things that we wouldn't in a face to face encounter.

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Thursday, March 08, 2001
Interview with web designer Jeffrey Zeldman, mostly on the use of standards in web design.

Another weblog that's worth checking out. Seems to be updated on an almost hourly basis.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2001
Techniques I should use more often when writing web documents.

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Stopped by my former workplace this morning and ended up talking for over 2 hours. It's good to catch up on people's lives and the latest gossip about the USGS and to see what is happening with the National Atlas. The budget prospects for the USGS don't look good according to this article in the Boston Globe.

Trying to spend some time today reflecting and relaxing after (what I call) a hectic couple of weeks. Despite not working full time, days seem to pass in a blur and I need to recharge my physical and mental batteries occasionally.

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Monday, March 05, 2001
A letter to the editor of the Post on the difficulty of walking in this area. We fight a constant battle here in the Metro DC area to try to improve conditions for walking and cycling, but very little money is spent on facilities compared to the building of roads.

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Sunday, March 04, 2001
Sunday night: The big storm of 2001 is a bust, at least for now. We were supposed to get up to 2 feet of snow, but so far it's only rain. We mostly hunkered down today anyway even though we didn't have an excuse to sit around and do nothing. Saturday was nice enough for a 30-mile bike ride.

Job prospects have definitely improved, with more hours at my part-time job and a definite GIS consulting job, albeit for only a few hours, but it could grow.

DHTML examples, assuming your browser can handle them.

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Thursday, March 01, 2001
Article on blogs with a good collection of miscellaneous blogs to sample.

Job prospects are looking good. It would have been nice to have found something in the Fall so I could hunker down and work through the Winter, but it didn't work out (or I didn't work at finding work). With luck this latest gig will only last several weeks at most. As usually happens, I've now got too many small jobs going so that it will get a little harder to juggle everything.

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