Archive for January, 2009

Choc Chip Baked Pats

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

How to make them, told in words of one beat by Al of the kin of Bate

Here is a treat that may hit the spot at this time of the year. But with all the sweet and fat, this is a some time treat. 


Richard Dawkins Blames Religion for 9/11

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

My first reaction to Richard Dawkins’ article is that it is moderately subtle Muslim-baiting.

My second reaction is that he does have something of a point, but he is painting it with a too broad brush. All of the prophets have taught that how we live our lives in this world is immensely important; we shouldn’t be concerned only with an afterlife. Just what does Dawkins mean by “religion,” anyway? And “religions of the Abrahamic kind,” to use his overly clever phrase?


Damn COBOL Programmers!

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Damn Cobol programmers! (kinda OT)

Rant rant rant rant rant! I just wasted all afternoon trying to make what I thought was a simple 2-line change to a program, because the stupid programmer used a stupid misfeature of the stupid Cobol language.

Who the hell was writing new apps in Cobol as late as 1999 anyway? The stupid contractors hired by my stupid company, that’s who. And they must have been supervised by a stupid project manager (probably one of my ex-bosses) who failed to ride herd on them and enforce sensible coding standards.

I shouldn’t even have to touch this program anyway. All support for the old apps is supposed to be frozen so that we have time to design, build, and test the new apps. But no! Our CEO came down with a sudden allergy to one of our business partners, so now this database has to be ripped apart with such unseemly haste that reminds me of the college freshman who’s worried about missing the last day of the going-out-of-business sale at the whorehouse.

Not only did my change have no effect whatsoever, but I couldn’t even figure out how the original version of the program could have possibly worked. After wrestling all afternoon with this grotesquely structured monstrosity, I finally learn that in Cobol you can write a statement like:


and it not only moves the data into WS-WORK-RECORD but also into some totally different area named under the file description. And the cross reference doesn’t show that this other area is ever modified.

So I finally get to go home two hours late, with a headache.

I hate Cobol!

Okay, I’m done ranting. You can have your web site back now.

Literary Divination 2

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

[This was another entry in the Literary Divination parlor game at Making Light. You are meant to study the clues and figure out which book or character the reading is for.]


Literary Divination–Luke Skywalker

Sunday, January 25th, 2009
[The good folks at Making Light were playing a parlor game called Literary Divination. “My challenge to you, dear friends: deal out a Tarot reading, using books (or films, or any other work) as cards. You can use the Celtic Cross, or any other format, doing a full layout or part of one. Your querent may be real or imaginary, your books from any genre or style. You can examine any aspect of your querent. There are no rules, except one. Don’t be boring.” This was my contribution.]
I’ll do Luke Skywalker too.

  1.  This covers him, defining the problem space: The Wizard Of Oz. Eldritch forces contend for control of the world.
  2. This crosses him, showing the nature of his challenge: The Wizard Of Oz. The querent is plucked from his home and voluntold to play a pivotal role in beating back the advances of evil.
  3. This crowns him, representing the best possible outcome: The Wizard Of Oz. The survivors get to go home.
  4. This is beneath him, the foundation of the matter: The Wizard Of Oz. An orphan reaches moral maturity by learning to assess the virtues and vices of those around him, and then himself.
  5. This is behind him, where he has been: The Wizard Of Oz. An isolated rural upbringing with Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.
  6. This is before him, where he is going: The Wizard Of Oz. He seeks the aid of a reputed good power (the rebel alliance), which can’t actually do much for him except encourage him to rely on the virtue that is already within him.
  7. The Significator, defining the Querent: The Wizard Of Oz. If you can’t see Luke = Dorothy, you need to retune your gaydar.
  8. His environment: The Wizard Of Oz. On the road with the Scarecrow (Chewbacca), the Cowardly Lion (Han Solo), the Tin Man (the chilly Princess Leia), and Toto (R2D2 and C3PO). Somehow, Toto, I’ve a feeling that traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops in Kansas.
  9. His fears: The Wizard Of Oz. This film was very early in Judy Garland’s career and she never made a more popular one. Will it be the same for Mark Hamill?
  10. Culmination, how it all comes out: The Wizard Of Oz. A good witch holds secrets about his destiny, which could have been revealed much earlier but then the movie would have only been twenty minutes long.  


Yes, I’d been thinking about that comparison before. And by the way, the line-up of characters between the two works was meant to match their personalities rather than their appearances. If you went by looks, the obvious match-up is Princess Leia = Dorothy, R2D2 = Tin Man, Chewbacca = Cowardly Lion, and Luke = Scarecrow. But I dare you to call Chewbacca cowardly to his face!

Dear Senator Winters

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Dear Senator Winters,

I am writing to ask you to report the anti-bullying bill, HB 270, out of committee and recommend its passage without any amendments.


TV Rant

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Re: Where was the gay mafia when I needed a hit?

Jack Kenny, the creator of a recent short-lived television series called The Book of Daniel, wondered why his fellow gays and lesbians didn’t fight back when the American Family Association attacked him. They said that an openly gay man had no business writing a show that mentions Jesus and Christianity. He would have appreciated more articles in the gay press and unspecified forms of uproar and protest. He asks why gay and lesbian people don’t stand up for themselves more often.

Well, in this case I’m sure there are all the usual reasons – people didn’t hear about the controversy in time, they thought it was remote from their concerns, they thought someone else would respond. Isn’t that what the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is for?

In my case, I have a particular reason I didn’t bother to defend Mr. Kenny and his show. It’s merely a television program, and I don’t care.