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May 31, 2001 on 9:18 pm | In Main | No Comments

First, the weather trivia. We set a new record today; the high of 109 beat the previous record of 108. We had 19 days in the month of May where the temperature was over 100, tying the previous record of 19 days set in 1984. Of course, we had to cool off in the pool this evening. It was so hot that Cortney even went all the way into the water. Sean is really getting comfortable in the water. He doesn’t mind being underwater at all. Our only concern is that he keeps drinking the pool water; otherwise, we would let him go under the water all he wants.

I’ve been spending what little free time I’ve had playing the computer game People’s General. I started this game after the U.S spy plane made the emergency landing after the collision with the Chinese fighter jet. In the game at least, the Chinese (played by me) went on to conquer all of Asia. I had enough fun with this game that I will probably replay it as the U.S general.

Work on my javascript report is winding down. In fact, I got into a little bit of trouble at work for ignoring other job tasks, but nothing I can’t recover from. I don’t have much more to do on the report other than polishing the look anyway. I’m reading up on cascading style sheets, and when I learn more, I will probably incorporate some styles into the report.

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May 30, 2001 on 7:42 pm | In Main | No Comments

The temperature was back into triple digits today. The whole family went out to the pool after dinner. Sean was having a great time. I couldn’t hold him still because he was so intent on diving forward into the water. We let him go under the water a few times and he loved it. We would have let him stay in the water longer, but we were afraid he was getting to cold.

Cortney taught Sean to walk holding only one hand today. It won’t be long before Sean is walking on his own.

The javascript report utility I have been working on has all of the essential features completed. I wasted a little bit of time trying to find out why my sorted data was not being displayed only to find the sorted data was being appended to the current data. This problem was fixed by calling the document.open() function on the frame where the data is displayed to clear and start a new display. My next step is to have other people test the user interface.

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May 29, 2001 on 7:50 pm | In Main | No Comments

I learned some more interesting things about javascript today. If you assign a function defined in the main window to an event handler for a link in a frame, it won’t work properly unless the function call is scoped, such as top.function(). Also, to use nested strings in a document.write call, use the escape sequence, such as \’ or \”. With these breakthroughs, all of the links are now functional in my javascript report utility. The only remaining task is to write the sort and filter routines.

Today was the first eight our day I’ve worked in a while, due to the lack of paid overtime. I ended up coming home a little late because I was stuck in a meeting, but I was still home before 4:00pm. I was able to play with Sean for a couple of hours, and still have time to do a little yardwork and take a swim in the pool.

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May 28, 2001 on 7:47 pm | In Main | No Comments

Worked on a number of small projects around the house today. I took advantage of the cooler weather to clean the air conditioning filters. The barbecue grill is now working, even though I didn’t do anything. Last time I tried to use it, the grill would not heat up, like the gas line or nozzles were partially clogged. When I tried it today, it worked just fine. Had I known that, we would have had a barbecue dinner today. I also cleaned the nozzles for the mist line on the back porch. The mister works great in the hot weather with just one problem. The nozzles have a very small opening to increase the pressure to break the water up into fine droplets. The opening is small enough that the nozzles clog up from the calcium in the water — and we have plenty of calcium. I have a calcium filter on the water line, but it doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference. But, after a soak in some vinegar for a few hours, the mist line works great.

I also went through the piles of paper in my office that seem to build up after just a few weeks. One source of the build up is the new privacy notices that are arriving from all my bank accounts and insurance policies. What I find rude is that if you want to prevent the companies from making money off of selling your information, you have to stamp and address your own envelope to send in the opt-out notice. I bet if the law required the financial companies to get your response to allow them to sell the information in the first place, they would include a postage paid pre-addressed envelope. I ended up getting rid of all of the papers and notices except for two small piles. One is the stack of privacy forms, and the other is the medical bills and insurance information for Sean’s ear tube surgery. I have to figure out if the bill is the correct amount per the insurance company. I’m putting off these two tasks for another day.

Sean and I went for a short swim this evening. It may sound unusual, but with the air temperature around 95 and the water temperature around 85, it was too cold! Part of the reason is the air is so dry, that when you get out of the water, the water evaporates on your skin, cooling you off very quickly. The other reason, of course, is that we were used to air temperatures 10 degrees warmer. After about 10 minutes in the water, Sean’s lower lip was quivering, so I took him inside so that Cortney could give him a warm bath.

The journal archive pages have now been fixed up. All of the links are now working, so it is much easier to get back and forth from the journal, the archives, and my home page. If you haven’t read all of my day entries, now is the time to check it out!

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May 27, 2001 on 8:43 pm | In Main | No Comments

I was stiff and sore when I woke up this morning! That’s what I get for giving up running for over 5 months. Fortunately, we spent most of the day in the car going on a road trip. We went to Globe, Arizona and then out to the Salt River Canyon. The road to Globe travels through Devil’s Canyon, which has a many interesting rock formations. In Globe we stopped to see the Besh-Ba-Gowah (Apache for metal camp) ruins, inhabited in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Salt River Canyon was like a mini-Grand Canyon, with a 2000 foot deep valley. Here is a picture of us on the old bridge:

Sean was a little fussy on the drive back, but other than that, we all had a good time.

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May 26, 2001 on 10:08 pm | In Main | No Comments

Another cooler day today. The high was only 107. This is still 10 degrees above normal, and it definitely felt hot. I used the pool three times today. Once after my early morning run, again after doing the yard work later in the morning, and finally with Cortney and Sean after dinner. I didn’t get much else done today. I spent most of the afternoon playing with and watching Sean so Cortney would get a little bit of a break.

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May 25, 2001 on 10:17 pm | In Main | No Comments

A cooler day today, the high was only 108. But, that was still enough to break the previous record of 107. Didn’t get a chance to use the pool today. After dinner, I went out to buy a new pair of running shoes. I haven’t been running since the weather turned cold in December, and part of the reason is that my previous shoes were too worn. Running shoes are only good for 500 miles. While that may seem a lot, I typically run 3 miles or so, which is less than 170 runs. I probably put half again more miles on my old shoes than I should have. It will be interesting to say if I make it out to run tomorrow morning. If I don’t get out by 6:00am, it will be too hot to run comfortably.

Making slow progress at work on my javascript utility. I coded my first form and my first link event handler. I had problems using the onclick method in the html code written by document.write. The event handler worked fine when I assigned the function using the document object model. I guess I still have more to learn.

Ahhh, the start of a 3-day weekend. I hope to make some improvements to the website this weekend. Sunday, we plan to drive to Globe and the salt river canyon. Should be fun. Other activities will be to get some yard work done and clean up some of the piles of paper in my office. That’s all for tonight.

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May 24, 2001 on 8:39 pm | In Main | No Comments

Another hot day. We only tied the record temperature of 109 degrees. Another pleasant swim in the pool. Sean took another fall face first into the water, but it didn’t bother him very much this time.

Today makes one week I’ve been making entries into this day journal. I think it’s fun, and after I have been at it a while, it should be interesting to go back in time to revisit my past experiences. I’m also hoping working on a day journal will improve my writing skills. I understand many professional authors maintain a daily journal.

I no longer think javascript is such a wonderful language. I left a closing parenthesis off a “for” statement in one of my function definitions at the start of my script file, and the browser reported an error with the last statement in the file. I’m going to have to be more careful if I’m ever to finish this project at work. Speaking of work, no word yet on a possible trip to Italy. I was asked to go next week, but I wasn’t too thrilled to give up my Memorial day holiday. The best bet now looks like I might go in the second or third week of June.

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May 23, 2001 on 8:35 pm | In Main | No Comments

Really hot day today. It got up to 109 degrees, a record for this day. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening in the pool, with one exception. Sean slipped off of the top step and went face first into the water. He was upset for a few minutes, but quickly got back to splashing and having fun again.

Wednesday night is bill night. This a task I don’t particularly enjoy, but if I don’t keep the finances up to date at least once a week, I really get behind. One bill I didn’t have to pay this month is the car payment. The minivan is now payed off, and at least for now, we are saving the money we would have previously used for the car payment. I set up an automatic deduction from my checking account for a monthly purchase of one of the TIAA-CREF mutual funds. I highly recommend these funds. They have low minimum purchases and the lowest total fees in the mutual fund business.

I didn’t make much progess today at work on my javascript reporting utility. I tried to set up the page in frames, and when I did this, my output disappeared. For some reason, the function call to display the page would not work on the src tag for the frame. It did work when I called the function from the onload property in the frameset tag, but at this point, I had already wasted a couple of hours. Now that I’m over that stumbling block, I should make some more rapid progress. I just have to write the main sorting routines, and most of the task should be finished.

By the way, try not to get too worked up over the spelling and gramatical errors in this journal. I’m not using a spell checker. I suppose I could compose the entries in MS Word, then paste to the web form entry, but I prefer the more expedient method of typing directly into the web form. The less time I spend putting the text into the web entry, the more I’m able to write.

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May 22, 2001 on 7:53 pm | In Main | No Comments

Big day for Sean today — he is now 15 months old! He is finally starting to eat right. Tonight for dinner, he ate fish sticks for the first time. We had tried many times before, but he would put a bite in the front of his mouth, make a face, then dump the piece on the floor. When we told him no, not to do that, he would hide the pieces in his high-chair. Also for three days in a row, he has been eating mixed vegetables. Finally, he is eating foods other than bread, crackers, and cheese.

Big news at work. First, everyone is excited about my javascript reporting utility, and they want me to keep working on it. Second, the company announced a new overtime policy where the first six hours aren’t paid for. Since I had been working 7-12 hours a week overtime, I would under the new policy only be paid for as little as one hour. I really don’t think it is worth the extra effort. I’m looking forward to spending more time with Cortney and Sean. They probably won’t know what to do with me around the house so much.

It was a hot one today. A high of 105 degrees. I really worked up a sweat trimming the front hedges after dinner. It was wonderful cooling off in the pool afterwards. We didn’t have time to bring Sean into the pool, so we are making that the number one priority for tomorrow evening. The forecast tomorrow is 110! Isn’t Phoenix wonderful?

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May 21, 2001 on 7:38 pm | In Main | No Comments

Spent the day at work on a javascript routine, written by a matlab script. I hope to take some of what I learned about javascript to incorporate some new functions in my web page. At the very least, I learned a little bit about how to debug a javascript function. I found the easiest method is to use the document.write to display variables during the function loops to track the program operation.

Concluded the day by spending a quiet evening at home with the family.

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May 20, 2001 on 6:36 pm | In Main | No Comments

Slow day today. We started out the day with a nice hike in the local park with some friends of ours. Sean gets to ride in a back-pack carrier, so he just loves the hike. After the hike, Cortney, Sean and I took a refreshing dip in our pool. The water was cool, but the warm air made for a pleasant experience.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing. I did find time to publish the first draft of my web site. Please check it out by following the link to my home page.

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May 19, 2001 on 8:10 pm | In Main | No Comments

Busy day today. I started out by taking the family out to breakfast. I had promised to take Cortney out to Denny’s for mother’s day, but I was still recovering from a stomach virus. On the way home, we stoped to buy some annual flowers to plant out by the pool. I was disappointed that the home depot did not have any marigolds, by we picked up some portulaca.

It actually rained last night (for those who don’t know, we live in the desert), so it was nice and cool and the ground was damp, to make it easy to work the soil. It didn’t take long to plant about 30 individual plants.

In between making some repairs around the house, I managed to work a little on my web page. Try not to laugh at the current status. I consider this to be a work in progress, and it should continue to get better over time. I’m finding it a little frustrating to work with html. Most of the stuff works, but occasionally, the web page does not turn out like I would expect, and it takes quite a bit of time to figure out why.

We went out to dinner. Cortney really has things going for her today — dining out twice in one day. I prefer eating at home to make sure I get nutritious (and reasonably low fat and calorie) meals, so we infrequently dine out. We met our friends, John and Stephanie. We had a good time, but it was distracting to me to have to feed and watch Sean while trying to eat and strike up a conversation.

More work on the web page, spending time with Cortney, and off to bed.

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May 18, 2001 on 8:16 am | In Main | No Comments

I have an offer to go to Italy for one week to support flight test. It would be nice to to have the opportunity to travel to europe, but I would have to give up my memorial day holiday and spend time away from the family.

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May 17, 2001 on 1:42 pm | In Main | No Comments

Creating my first entry. At this point, I’m trying to understand the tools.

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