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Collected editorials

This little piggie went to market

Good deeds

Our Lady of the Large Black Dog is a Highmore business woman. As such she is obliged to perform good deeds in the form of purchasing raffle tickets in support of various community projects. Business persons, unlike crotchety retirees who tend their own gardens, are expected to support the community. Would that the community were as conscientious in supporting them.

One day a young lad came to her office vending tickets for the raffling off of a pig, one chance for a dollar or six chances for five dollars. She offered to buy a chance. The young man was stricken, obviously having hoped for a larger sale, but did his best to put a good face on things. Our Lady perceived his distress, took pity on him, and chose to make a five dollar purchase instead.

This particular project was the funding of a “after the prom” party. Proms are a peculiarly American custom. Young persons in their junior and senior years of high school organize and attend a formal dance. Young men who clearly are more comfortable in jeans do their best to do the pretty whilst wearing a tuxedo. In turn young women, many of whom have an abundance of skin, wear gowns that expose as much of that of that abundance as they comfortable with (or dare get away with.)

The prom is not, of course, the real event, that being the activities that take place after the prom. The young quite rightly understand the real event to be an extended session of sex, drugs, and rock and roll that lasts well into the wee hours of the morning, or, with luck, the not so wee hours of the morning. The parents of the young are well aware of what their offspring would like to be up to, the more so since they did much the same when they were young. Unlike their scatter headed offspring they have a greater sense of the disasters that often accompany such celebrations.

Thus there has arisen the institution of the “after the prom” party. My understanding of the details of this institution are quite limited, but I gather that the young are driven about in chauffeured vehicles to locations where they can sedately party with less adult presence. I may be cynical but I suspect that they find ways to manage having the real event anyway.

Be all of that as it may, Our Lady had done her good deed by contributing to the cause. The distressing thing about doing good deeds is that they are sometimes rewarded. It doesn’t happen often in this best of all possible worlds but it does happen. So it was that she was notified that she had won a pig – a live pig. Converting the animal into ham, bacon, sausages, ribs, and pork chops was left to her.

She managed to find someone to transport her pig to a chap who will do the requisite conversion. I am told that we can look forward to meals of the non-kosher variety in the near future. (Pork is not kosher except for sweet and sour pork.) It is just as well. She has no place for a pig in her back yard and I have no desire to tend to the wants of a pig. Walking a large black dog is quite enough, thank you.

Our Lady of the Large Black Dog informs me that I have some small errors in my description of the “after the prom” party. I am sure that she is right. Consider the corrections made.

Read about it here

This humble website draws a surprising amount of attention. Approximately 2500 visitors a day drop in to inspect the various wonders to be found herein. Why would this be, you ask? That is, you should ask why and would ask why if you had the slightest bit of polite charity. Part of the reason, the largest part I suppose, is the combination of a large variety of material herein (such a good word, herein) and insufficient acuity of the part of the search engines. For example, April saw several hundred hits on a page entitled Installing a new pope. Unfortunately for those seeking ecclesiastical information that page merely contains an amusing anecdote.

I fully anticipate that the ides of May will bring with them a vast horde of Star Wars fans pressing at the virtual gates. This is fair enough, I guess – I am in the way of being a bit of a Star Wars fan myself. The reason for this is that I have a page entitled The insidious Darth Sidious by Ross TenEyck that speculates on Darth Sidious’s master plan. It was written in 2001 and its focus is on the events of Episode I; however it is a good foretaste of events to come. If you do a google search on “Darth Sidious” it is about the 15th entry; if you skip the action figure collection pages it is about 3rd or 4th. I just hope the star wars rush doesn’t rival the X-men rush.

I have, by the way, purchased the novelization, “Revenge of the Sith”. It seems odd to read the novelization before the movie – it removes the surprises. Then again, it lets one savor the movie more. I am a great one for savoring movies, something that leads to much head shaking on the part my nearest and dearest.

Lucas has told us that the series is about the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker. I suppose it is if one takes the movies in their nominal chronological order. I prefer, however, to take them in their order of release, i.e., the series is about the fall and restoration of Darth Vader. That is, in the beginning Darth Vader is ascendent; in the middle he is brought down and then is reincarnated as the young Anakin Skywalker. In the end he is restored as Darth Vader and evil is triumphant.

The San Language Project

I have more or less completed the specification for the San programming language. This project has taken much longer than I had ever thought it would, in large part because I have so many other things on my plate, but also because it is intrinsically complicated. It is, in my completely unbiassed opinion, quite lovely. I expect that I will do an implementation in the coming year. I suppose that I will do it in C, though I am toying with the idea of doing it in Python or Ruby or even in the latest version of Fortran. Then again, I should do it in Scheme or Dylan. I would prefer to do it in San, but I don’t have a San interpreter at hand. Maybe I will bootstrap the whole operation.

You know it, I’m a poet

People have been nagging me to publish a book of my poetry. This does not strike me as a very commercial proposition. Then again, so much of what I do these days isn’t very commercial. It does appear, though, that I shall. Perhaps I shall go back and give all of my poems titles – currently they are nameless waifs. It seems to me that Fred Figworth would be a good name for a poem.

This page was last updated May 1, 2005.
It was reformatted and moved October 16, 2006

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Collected editorials