My ultimate goal is to create a series of screen scrapers that are able
to access airline websites (including entering username and password,
dealing with redirects, etc.), find my mileage and recent flights,
parse the data, put it in some variables, and save it to MySQL (with
rails).

I was trying to start with baby steps to understand the methods these
libraries support.  Specifically, I was trying to fetch my own web
page, and then use a regex to match to my wife's name, "Julie Pullen",
since I have link text on www.dankohn.com saying "My wife, Julie
Pullen".  I was then going to gradually increase the complexity of the
scraping.

Thanks in advance for any example scripts or documentation that you can
provide showing web scraping in ruby.

And Lyndon, I'm a huge fan of Tidy for cleaning up my own web pages,
but I'm not sure it's helpful here, as was aiming to use regexes to
parse the HTML rather than the DOM.