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exhalations
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
  
Planted the first vegetables seeds in the garden yesterday. It's probably too cold but I couldn't resist. It's been ages since I've tended a vegetable garden. I've rented a small, 10x20 plot at a community garden a few miles away. It will be a challenge to haul the garden tools with the bike trailer, BOB. Planted carrots, parsley, and basil.


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Saturday, March 27, 2004
  
One of the good things about working in a funky bike shop is meeting interesting people. It's great to be able to talk about bike trips and cycling in general with enthusiastic cyclists. Some even buy merchandise.

One can predict how well the shop will do on any given day; sunny days equal lots of customers, cloudy, rainy days equal few customers. Pretty simple. Of course tomorrow will be a sunny, mild day and the shop will be empty...


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Wednesday, March 24, 2004
  
Saw the excellent Jim Dine Drawings show at the National Gallery today. I hadn't paid much attention to him in the past, probably because I didn't think much of his Pop art. Seeing the drawings show was a revelation. I loved the drawings. Most were of simple, everyday objects, and there were many nude studies.

The cyclists in me appreciated this quote displayed in bold type on one wall:
Drawing is not an exercise.
Exercise is sitting on a stationary bicycle and going nowhere.
Drawing is being on a bicycle and taking a journey.
For me to succeed in drawing, I must go fast and arrive somewhere.
The quest is to keep the thing alive...
--Jim Dine, 2003
Today after a lunch of gnocchi at il Cigno, a good, local Italilan restaurant where our office wished an outgoing staff member well, I decided to ride downtown to catch the Dine show. After a stop at home, I was finally able to get started at around 1:45 p.m. The wonderful thing about living here is the I was able to ride downtown, catch the show and look around the gift shop, and be back home by 6:00 p.m. The round trip is about 40 miles, and I probably didn't take much longer to get home than many of the commuters stuck in the traffic next to the trail.


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Monday, March 22, 2004
  
Firefox Since Microsoft has basically abandoned the development of Internet Explorer, and since IE is not standards compliant, I figured it was about time to try another browser. Then I read about Firefox on Jon Udell's Infoworld column. Firefox is based on Mozilla, the open source and enhanced version of the Netscape browser. I'm using it now for this entry, and it seems to be fast and to work fairly well. However, like any beta software, there are some very small, extremely irritating bugs, such as the way the cursor partly covers each letter as this is typed. A small problem, but may be reason enough to seek out another alternative.

Plus, Google's toolbar isn't supported yet, and I use it on a regular basis. There is an open source alternative, but when I read the documentation that stated "please check you prefs settings, especially you country preferences!", it didn't instill a lot of confidence, so I'll pass on that for now.


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The Long Now Starting with Doc Serls Weblog I discovered this interview with Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, the WELL, and other innovative ventures. The interview is a discussion of The Long Now Foundation which is creating the 10,000 year clock. Sounds a bit whacky, but I'm anxious to read about it and get into the concept of "slower, better" thinking. This lead to viewing Stewart's page at the well.com. Haven't had much time to do this kind of free-form browsing in a while.


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Sunday, March 21, 2004
  
Having fun reading about the development of the Apple Macintosh computer on Folklore.org. The site, mostly authored by Andy Hertzfeld, the primary developer of the Mac operating system, was mentioned in an article at Salon.com about the 25th anniversary of the book Programmers at Work (requires registration, although a one day pass is available).


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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
  
Programmers at Work Dan Bricklin discusses the reunion of programmers profiled in the book Programmers at Work published in 1986. I have a copy that I've kept all these years. It provides a good insight into the art and craft of programming and a look at the lives of some of the best programmers.


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Markdown_1.0b3 Playing with Markdown, a text to HTML utility. It sure beats manually placing all of those <p> tags throughout a text document. It would take some work to properly markup a page, but having a program automatically tag paragraphs, lists, and headers saves a lot of work. Or could potentially save work, since I haven't really used the program on a real file yet.


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Tuesday, March 16, 2004
  
It's been interesting watching Tim Bray's job search via his weblog. He is one of the original developers of XML and seems to be well-respected in the technology community. In January he announced that he was searching for a job on his blog, and yesterday announced he was hired as a VIP VP at Sun Microsystems.


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Sunday, March 14, 2004
  



Cool weather ride - Been a little under the weather with a cold, probably picked up on a recent trip to Jacksonville. Managed to get outside for a ride on the Barcroft Columbia tandem. It felt great to be out on the nearly deserted trail on a cool, overcast day. Afterwards I collapsed on the couch, drained from the effects of the cold.

Spent a few days working at a local boat show. The folding bikes we sell at the shop appeal to a small segment of the boat crowd. The Dahon folders are ideal for the short jaunt into town from the dock. We also had a few recumbents on display, and many people expressed an interest in them and planned to stop by the shop.

If only there were more bicycle commercials on tv instead of the hundreds of automobile commercials with which we are bombarded daily. Most people simply don't consider cycling as having anything to do with their way of life, and yet when they are exposed to bikes, many are enthused about the possibilities.




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Friday, March 12, 2004
  
The New York Times contains a review of the Whitney Biennial show. Michael Kimmelman discusses the show, which he thinks is one of the best in the past few years.
Somebody will declare this show a welcome sign of the return to painting and drawing, a much-hyped trend lately as if painting and drawing were not always around and it weren't the attention of the art world that had wavered.

The review also contains an audio slide show with some examples from the exhibit. I've never been to a Biennial show. Maybe I'll catch the train up to New York for a day trip, although having just checked the round trip fare, $275 is a bit steep.


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Thursday, March 11, 2004
  
New Job The first day at work at Bikes@Vienna was a trial by fire. The shop was crowded nearly all day and I was scrambling to try to learn how to ring up a sale (two bikes), check in and price new inventory, figure out the prices of merchandise, much of which is not marked, and on and on. Then I took off for Florida and promptly forgot most of what I learned.


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Back from another trip to Florida. It's a time for the family to pull together and help out the aging parents. Jacksonville has been cold this winter, but there wasn't much time spent outdoors anyway.


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Thursday, March 04, 2004
  
Thanks to Tim Bray for pointing out this Rolling Stone interview with Neil Young who talks about his music and how he is presenting it using various media. The center of the project is the Greendale website.
I don't have mainstream radio to count on anymore - they won't play my stuff. The Internet is the new radio.


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Today was the last watercolor portrait and figure class. The first two 1 minute gesture drawings turned out to be the best work of the day, which made for a long class. I'll miss the class. Jackie Saunders is a good instructor and excellent artist and a great person.

Class will be replaced by a less creative but equally challenging activity, working at Bikes@Vienna, a small, locally owned bike shop in the Town of Vienna. I"m looking forward to the experience.



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Tuesday, March 02, 2004
  
The book Drawing the Landscape by Chip Sullivan, looks like an excellent guide to landscape drawing.


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