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Friday, August 31, 2001
Spending a lot of time with an XML tutorial through Mindleaders.com. Don't have a specific need for it now, but anticipate using it on an upcoming job, and it seems to be The Next Big Thing. The tutorial seems very basic, but the concepts are slowly sinking in.

Also downloaded the latest Perl version from Active State, that includes the XML Parser module. I realize how little Perl I really know; enough to do some date manipulation but in a very inefficient manner. My programs usually work and they are small enough so optimization isn't an issue.

Also learning to play a djembe drum, using a camp video by Brad Dutz.

When not doing the above, spending too much time watching The U.S. Open.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2001
The Advanced CSS Layouts: Step by Step article at WebReference.com about converting their layout to CSS, looks like it contains some very useful information.

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Drove the century route that we rode on Sunday, and it took forever. Doesn't seem possible that we rode that far; and returned before 3:00 p.m. at that. Wanted to return to a couple of scenes that I noticed on the ride, to either sketch or paint. Brought all my supplies, but when I had completed my first sketch on watercolor paper, I reached for my brushes and I'd forgotten them. Which was probably OK, since I needed the sketching practice anyway. Found 3 interesting sites where I could park and sit for long enough to complete a sketch.

Also found a couple of alternate ways to ride to the C&O canal from home, as we plan a trek there in the near future.

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Monday, August 27, 2001
One of my favorite, quick, functional web sites continues to be The Days, a winner of the 5K html contest a while back.

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The search engine seems to work OK. Now if I could only remember what I was originally trying to find...

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Just tried to add a search feature to exhalations, mostly because I remembered posting an entry but couldn't remember when. We'll see how well it works. Using a free service provided by Atomz. Used a new Yahoo mail account during registration. It will be interesting to see how much spam is generated by joining.

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Sunday, August 26, 2001
Read about Lance's last European race for the year in the Championship of Zurich. As reported by the Daily Peleton.

Not quite as dramatic, but a hard ride nonetheless, was the Reston Century that we completed today. It was one of the longest since I started riding them back in 1980, at 105 miles, plus the 6 miles there and back. It was a great excuse to eat nonstop yesterday and today. Total running time was about 7 1/2 hours, but we did 100 miles in under 7 hours, which is better than usual.

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Thursday, August 23, 2001
Good article in Web Marketing Today comparing various point sizes of sans serif and serif fonts for onscreen readability. The author's conclusion - use 12 pt. Arial for body text, and Verdana for 10 pt. and 9 pt. fonts.

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McPhee's book of New Yorker articles is entertaining as always. The title story, Irons in the Fire, is about the adventures of a Nevada Brand Inspector. You too can be one; just check out this Brand Inspector job announcement. It helps to be good with a sidearm.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Found a couple of great deals the other day on books by two of my favorite authors. They were both new hardbacks in the cut-out bin; Irons in the Fire by John McPhee and Mountain Time by Ivan Doig. If I have the patience, I much prefer to wait for a hardback to appear as a remainder. It's usually about half the price of a new paperback, and much more appealing to read.

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Friday, August 17, 2001
Finished The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. Fascinating read. Then decided to rent the video. What a disappointment. It's probably the worst cast movie of any I've seen. The cinematography made wathcing it worthwhile, but the characters were just not believable.

Reading The New New Thing by Michael Lewis, about Jim Clark, founder of SGI, Netscape, and Healtheon. One of the better books about the Boom and how it developed.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Checked out the Francis Criss show at the Corcoran Gallery yesterday. A once popular modern artists, he is mostly ignored now. There were a few excellent pieces on display. I'll have to return on Mondays more often as the admission fee is waived on Mon. and Thurs. eve. Rediscovered the Grand Salon at the Renwick Gallery, one of the best places in DC to hang out for an hour or so, amidst some classic American paintings, including two of Moran's Yellowstone paintings that normally reside in the National Museum of American Art that is undergoing a multi-year makeover.

Then spent some time at the Spirit of an Age show at the National Gallery, a collection of mid to late 1800 German paintings. The show included several works by the wonderful realist Adolf von Menzel. The Gallery had a show devoted to his work a few years back, one of the best exhibitis I've seen in a long time.

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Sunday, August 12, 2001
It's been 2 days of rain and almost no cycling, and I'm already starting to climb the walls. Guess I would have to adapt if I lived somewhere like Seattle.

Bookmarked what looks like a good article on using XML for web content management, via the usual sources...

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Thursday, August 09, 2001
Nice collection of common web design patterns.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2001
Finding your way, more than just signs.

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Code Red Alert, keep all children and old folk inside; cyclists, ride slow and don't breathe. Unfortunately this was grocery day, so it was tough riding home with the heavy load, trying not to breathe too deep.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2001
Reading The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles about 3 Americans on a self-imposed trip from hell through North Africa. Glad I'm a slow reader so I can savor it, although it does have an Aug. 17 due date. Since I also have a very bad memory, I don't remember anything about the movie, and plan to check out the video once I'm finished with the book.

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Monday, August 06, 2001
After reading this article on air pollution and exercise I think I'll start being a little more careful about when and how hard I ride. It's the Code Orange and Red days that are killers. After riding over 40 miles in 90 degree heat with a blanket of haze in the air, we felt pretty lousy. Then I started reading up on the effects of ozone and other pollutants on the lungs. My nagging cough and shortness of breath aren't such a mystery any more. I've known about the ill effects, but somehow thought they would never occur to me. I'm going to keep riding, but will moderate the amount during the really grungy days. Either that or move to a cleaner area.

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Thursday, August 02, 2001
Rode 50 miles running errands yesterday; a meeting with a graphics designer, checking on trail problems, including one near a drop location used by Hanssen the spy. It's probably one of the stops on the Cold War Museum Spy Tour this weekend.

Also stopped by the local Great Harvest Bread Co. It is a remote store, and the bakery delivery hadn't arrived yet. There must have been a headwind. Since the W&OD trail is next to the bakery and the remote store, they've rigged a conestoga wagon to the back of a recumbent and do twice a day deliveries. I might apply to be the backup rider.

Finally, our Transportation Department, VDOT, is sponsoring a bike network study. Maybe there is hope after all.

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