Friday, April 29, 2005
Friday, April 22, 2005
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
The first thing to note is that you have to be a member of the SAP Developer's Network (SDN) to get access to the downloads required to do portal development. SAP uses Eclipse but with special class files and plug-ins. The plug-ins allow the creation of par files (portal archives) which can be loaded into EP. So the first steps are to download and install Eclipse and then download and install the Eclipse plug-ins. This version of the plug-ins requires Eclipse 2.1. We are using JDK 1.3 for development.
Next step... develop a simple iView (portlet) using the SAP provided class files.
Friday, April 15, 2005
First, Aunt Tina sent a present to everyone in our house from Amazon. Michel got the book, Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants. Beth got the ultra-cool book, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants which she has almost finished! Mikey got the new Spongebob Squarepants Movie which the whole family has been enjoying. And I got the best of them all, Baudolino by Umberto Eco. The best part was the comment Tina put on the note that came with the order... Tom - This has your name all over it. Actually, it just yelled at me and said: "Give this to Tom." Being told that a book by Umberto Eco calls out your name is quite a compliment. Tina must think I'm a smart cookie. As soon as I get my new reading glasses I will start reading it.
Second, I received an email from Tina in which she said she saw an article that made her think of me... "Doctors Remove Leech From Woman's Nose". I will leave as an excercise to the reader to determine what this means Tina thinks of me! ;-)
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
As Mikey got older, we realized that Mikey was not like typical children with Down syndrome. He could sit and spin a plate endlessly even though he had very poor fine motor control and couldn't even hold a crayon. In fact, Mikey would spin anything and stare at it. We sort of knew that Mikey was autistic although we avoided saying it. When we took him to Johns Hopkins for an evaluation, Doctor Capone told us that Mikey was probably autistic but he wasn't telling us anything that we didn't already know in our hearts.
Once I realized that Down syndrome wasn't going to be Mikey's big disability, I started participating in my own site less and less. At the same time, I had no desire to start an autism web site. Down syndrome is something understandable. We know what causes it, we know what kind of behaviors to expect, we know what the future holds to some extent. But autism is a blank slate. I don't understand autism. I don't understand what is going on inside of Mikey's brain. For example, Mikey will ask me for a sock. Unless I give him a very specific type of sock he will reject it. When I give him the right sock he will sit and shake the sock while staring at it. Why? I don't know. He doesn't smile or laugh while shaking the sock so I guess it doesn't make him happy but it must provide some kind of stimulus that he likes. Sometimes when I am sitting with him on the couch, he will try to remove all the creases from my pants, an impossible task as moving one crease creates another. But he can do this for long periods of time. In other ways he is very typcial; he likes to dance and to watch videos and go for drives in the car.
Mikey is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. He is cute and wonderful and funny and full of love. I don't understand him but I love him more than mere words can say.
Friday, April 08, 2005
So why am I not surprised? Because as a parent of a child with Down syndrome I have been told that the state shouldn't pay for services for Mikey because we chose to have Mikey. Down syndrome is "preventable" so why should the state pay for my "bad choice". This is what choice is in America today... choose to dispose of those who are an inconvenience or pay the consequences. And if you dare to disagree, you are just pushing your religious views on everyone else.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Mark Steyn in the Daily Telegraph brings this point home. "The root of the Pope's thinking - that there are eternal truths no one can change even if one wanted to - is completely incomprehensible to the progressivist mindset." The Church believes that there are universal truths that can't be abandonded because they are uncomfortable or have fallen out of fashion and the dignity of the human person is one of those universal truths. The Church will greatly miss Pope John Paul. We can only hope his successor will carry on with the vigor that John Paul brought to the fight for the sanctity of life.