TGIF -- 01/28/00
  • What I'm still reading:... Noir and 8.4... didn't do any reading last night....
  • COLD! Still cold... single digit temps this morning... Supposedly it is going to warm up over the weekend, even get above freezing.... Wow... maybe I could even wash the accumulated salt and grime off my car!
  • What I'm wearing: walking shoes (i.e., sneakers), jeans, faded blue button-down denim shirt with company logo on it (that is, the logo for what my tiny corner of this great big company was called three years ago... many changes since then... I'd like to have a fraction of the money wasted by corporate changes of mind....) and, of course, my employee ID badge, which is an absolute requirement since I need to scan it through badge readers to open doors
Another day without a workout? I am so bad... I am terrible... and it is all this journal's fault... here I am at lunch time, writing this when I should be down at the Y working up a good sweat and working off some of this winter weight..

Yesterday I tried to excuse myself by saying I maybe I would do Tae Bo with Nancy when I got home, but that didn't work out... and I can't do that today because she is sick... she was complaining about a sore throat last night and went to bed early... well, actually, what she did was correct papers and stuff like that, but she did it while buddled up in bed and she did stop earlier than she usually would. This morning she woke up a bit past four a.m. because her throat hurt (I know because she turned on the tv and that woke me up, but once I realized that it wasn't morning, I went back to sleep)... and about 5:40 she phoned in to arrange for a substitute and then called another teacher to let her know where she had a prepared lesson plan stashed in her classroom for the sub. I got up and fixed her a cup of tea (and fed the cat and made coffee) and then took a short nap before waking up Jennifer and Sean.

I took a while getting ready and going off to work, would have loved to work from home today, have so much java studying to do, but I am teaching a course next week so I had to come in and get things set. This includes setting out the various books and manuals needed for the class, setting out a supply of pens and notepads and highlighters and post-it notes, making sure that my graphics files are loaded in the instructor workstation pc, that all of the pc's have connectivity to the host (this course is for a middleware product that runs in CICS on a mainframe), make sure the projector is functioning (an Epson PowerLite 7000 to project computer graphics, etc. onto a screen), make sure I have a supply of whiteboard markers (I had complained that this particular classroom did not have enough whiteboard space in it and so this week they installed a ten foot long white board... now I have white boards on three walls). Two other instructors had put up some art work on the remaining empty wall (okay, so they're posters for the Nagano '98 Winter Olympics, but it's better than a bare wall). And I mounted a clock on the back wall on the back wall so I can keep track of our time with out obviously looking at my wristwatch... that took a bit of doing... the first nail I attempted to drive into the wall bent double because there was a stud in the wall... not a wood two by four, but a metal stud... the interior walls in this building are all steel studs.)

I was very tired and ready to go to bed by eleven last night (and who knows, maybe even read a few pages in one of those two novels I've been reading) but I had to talk with Sean about school. He wants to drop Spanish.... He agrees that he should have stayed with French (his 8th grade language) because he doesn't like Spanish... of course the reason he is doing poorly in it is because he goofed off all semester and didn't keep up with the work... He wants to drop it, Nancy thinks he should drop it, and apparently his teacher also thinks he should drop it. I think that if he got to work on it he could catch up on the work he has missed, but that would take effort and I am realistic enough to know that it won't happen. I've told him to check to see if he could pick up a one semester class to fill the hole in his schedule. He had wanted to take Tech Theatre (which is one semester) but in Jr. High when making out his schedule they told him freshman could not take it.... which is puzzling because his sister took it as a freshman... and he would love to take that course. He worked stage crew for a production of Oliver in 8th grade and this fall he assisted with setting up the sound for a student production at the high school. So, his trask today is to find out if there are any one semester classes that would fit his schedule (and that would make sense for him to take.)

He started asking me about writing HTML... he took a keyboarding course fall semester and is starting a technical drawing (using AutoCAD) this semester (that reminded me of when I was around his age and took a Mechanical Drawing class... which meant drawing blueprints, etc. with pencil and paper on a drafting table... no graphical software then... no PCs... took that as a summer school class in 1958... computers were monster machines, most of which belonged to the government... most data processing was done with unit record equipment, patch panels, punch cards, card sorters, etc... the kind of stuff Hollerwth had designed and built decades earlier.) Ah, but I digress... He wanted to learn how to do HTML (but he didn't want to ask his sister to help him) which led me into an impromtu lesson on HTML tags, how to set up an HTML file, how tag pairs work, how to do bold and emphasis and put in links and graphics... by which time it was past midnight, so I promised him that this weekend he could grab a geocities site and I would show him how to set up his own webpage. Part of what I need to do over the next month or two is to learn some advanced HTML myself and he asked me to pass along to him whatever I learn.

I think I am going to be involved with WebSphere, so I've got to ramp up my java skills and Visual Age for java and TCP/IP and HTML and UML and so forth....

So it was one a.m. by the time I got to bed (with my alarm set for 5:30) and I guess my brain was still in high gear from my talk with Sean because I could not fall asleep... I did not want to wake Nancy up by turning on a light to read... but it took me quite a while to at last drift off....

Computer History:
  • 1952 IBM 701 - vacuum tube technology mainframe - could execute 17,000 instuctions per second
  • 1956 IBM RAMAC 305 - direct access disk storage - five megabytes of online storage (using both sides of 50 two-foot diameter disks)
  • 1959 - IBM 7090 - one of the first fully transistorized mainframes, capable of executing 229,000 instructions per second
All of the preceeding was typed while standing up at instructor workstation in a classroom and posted to my website, but lost my connectivity to the web while trying to update my index.html page and could not get connected the rest of the afternoon. Had to stop after work and have a beer with friends after work... It's now nearing 7pm... Sean is at wrestling, Jennifer is out with friends, Nancy is still in bed with a bad sore throat and a head cold, waiting for me to bring her some tomato soup. Another quiet Friday night in semi-rural semi-suburbia.

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