Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2003 > Mid-January Edition

Mid-January 2003 Edition

17 January 2003

The cold is now truly arctic. My sister's pipes have frozen, and mine are in danger since they are on the insulationless outer walls.

My birthday was yesterday. I turned forty-three. I am not thrilled. Birthdays are great if you are young, for that means parties and presents and all that fun stuff. That all changes once you're past forty, folks.

It's like an old Doonesbury cartoon, where in the first three panels a character is happily stunned when he walks into a surprise party for his tenth, twentieth and thirtieth birthdays. The last panel is a surprise party for his fortieth birthday, to which the character reacts angrily, saying "Get out!".

Anyway, from the folks I got money and two bowls of Madre's potato soup (my favorite food). No, they're not being cheap: the real birthday dinner is on Sunday. A couple of other people at work wished me a happy birthday—including Mary Jo, who is our go-between with our data farm company. She gave me a card before she left for a well-deserved weekend vacation.

In the meantime I am on call this weekend, which means I must work Saturday morning. I need to start on a workstation list as part of a plan of routine maintenance. This means a lot of copying numbers off of computers throughout the main office—for a start.

18 January 2003

OK, so the guys in my department remembered my birthday…belatedly. I was working on my workstation list when I heard a voice saying "we're sorrryyyyy". When I turned around, I found my boss and John with a box. Inside the box was an ice-cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. I was sort of surprised that (1) they would remember; and (2) they would get me something. The cake was chocolate with a layer of chocolate mint. Bongustege!

I spent this morning at work, mainly gathering serial numbers off workstations in the main office to aid in setting up a maintenance schedule for workstations at work.

I spent the afternoon shopping first at SAS (the outlet for a Texas shoe company) for new soles and laces; Sam's Club for bulk groceries; and Border's to buy a gift card for my niece. It was snowing heavily when I left for home, but it died down by the time I reached Elwood.

19 January 2003

I walked to the folks' and at noon was the birthday dinner: chicken breasts marinated in jerk sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans and croissants. The birthday cake was German chocolate with coconut icing.

20 January 2003

Today is King Day. I treated it like another Saturday. I ate a double cheeseburger with pepper cheese from the Giant grill for lunch, and popcorn with butter and chives for dinner.

The only major work I did was to buy a plastic tub, put it in the furnace intake just beyond the filter, and fill it with distilled water. Why? To fill the air in the house with some moisture, because the air is so dry it cracks my skin.

21 January 2003

It's back to work. I had a new workstation about ready to install for one of my co-workers when I just learned that co-worker quit this past Friday to raise her newborn. Thank you for letting us know, dear. :p Best of wishes, anyway.

Extended markup (XML) is used to make other markup languages. There is one (MathML) for mathematical formulae. There is one (CML) to describe chemical molecules. There is one (SVG) for two-dimensional graphs, charts and other such images. There is even a remake of HTML (XHTML) into a subset of XML.

It is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) that has interested me today. I have learned enough about SVG to create a simple graphic. Circles is visible if you have MSIE 6.x with the Adobe SVG Reader plug-in. It is not available for Mozilla, Netscape or Opera. Nor for Mozilla/Netscape will it be available for some time, even though it is a W3C standard, because of licensing issues in rendering graphics.

The oddest thing about the graphic is that, even though the fill color is the same, the outer circle is a lighter gray than the inner circles.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 21 January 2003.