Trousered Ape
An exercise in presumption.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

You are an SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.

Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.

You are not to be messed with. You may explode.

(Quiz here. Via Flos Carmeli.)
More programming haiku:

My body is trapped
Within this gray cubicle;
My soul surfs the Net.

Suddenly, there comes
A chill, stern voice demanding,
“Where is your time card?”

Yes, your current job
Is highest priority,
But this one’s higher.

Life goes on...

We spent a very good Father's Day with my parents. I was the only offspring who could make it (no moral reflections here - the family is scattered all over the place; we have other times for get-togethers), so it was fairly peaceful. I took the girls to Fishing Creek, where they amused themselves mightily by wading about in the shallows and collecting or throwing rocks. I'm the one who gets to take them, because the Human Bride tends to flutterbudgetry and would be overwhelmed by visions of various fatal accidents; she, instead, gets to stay behind and chat with her mother-in-law (one of the greater blessings in our marriage is that both of us get along fine with our in-laws). Later in the day we watched the final round of the U.S. Open, as Retief Goosen displayed nerves of cold steel by sinking long putt after long putt to save par or retrieve bogey and Phil Mickelson pulled even and then briefly ahead, only to self-destruct on the 17th green.

Work is continuing to go surprisingly smoothly. Things are very busy, as I'm working on a modification to an old version of our Business License system for a city in California, an extensive modification to an old version of our Real Estate Tax system and a completely new tax bill for a city in Vermont, a modified tax bill for a school district here in Pennsylvania, as well as troubleshooting problems here and there. The work may be frazzling at times, but at least it's not the same old thing over and over.

We hope that we're now through with home improvements for a long time. In the past year we've had to get: a new shower; a new super-extra-firm double bed mattress; three separate repairs to the bathroom plumbing; the futon; the furnace; the chimney liner; and now, the kitchen sink (perhaps a good omen!). Fortunately, the Human Bride has moved up from REF assistant for our parish to REF coordinator (K-5), with a substantial raise that will help a great deal.

Those Darn Cats, once again, have us asking "Why?" (as in, why do we have cats). They having decided that 3 AM is a really, really good time to go outdoors, I some time ago constructed a cat passageway for them, and we were able to get some uninterrupted sleep. Then they realized that they could bring in mice. Then they realized that they could bring in mice and shred them. Then they realized that they could bring in mice and shred them on a dark carpet in a dimly lit room. Although I must say that the Storm Queen showed remarkable fortitude after realizing that she had half a mouse stuck to the bottom of her bare foot, we decided that waking up at 3 AM was, perhaps, preferable, and the passageway is now among the Things that Were and Are Not.

God bless anyone who's reading this.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Where to begin?

I survived five days and four nights of solitude while the rest of the family was up in Massachusetts. I got very little done around the house (though I didn't let the dishes pile up), but slept a lot. I rented the MST3K The Brain that Wouldn't Die and Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility and watched the former twice and the latter three times (once with Thompson's commentary); I think she did an excellent job with it.

As can be seen from the sidebar, the household has acquired a new member. The Equestrienne has broadened her horizons to become a lagophile, and, following intensive research into the care and feeding of rabbits, is now the owner of a dark grey (the technical term, she tells me, is "blue") Holland Lop. After a rocky couple of days - being sensitive and conscientious, the Equestrienne felt overwhelmed by the responsibility - she has settled down and spends a great deal of time with her pet.

The small brown ant invasion is done for the year. The large black ants are sending in scouts, but have not yet staged a major operation.

The new furnace was installed on Thursday and the chimney liner on Friday. The furnace is also the water heater for the house, and the new one seems to generate a higher pressure than the old, so now, if the hot water is turned on, we cannot entirely shut the hot tap in the kitchen sink. The sink being extremely old, and the plumbing encrusted with mineral deposits, we have elected to get a new one; the plumber is expected on Monday.

Having completed two weeks on the job without my erstwhile team leader, I have been pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it has gone.

I have rescued our mailbox from being engulfed in a thicket of a kind of stinging nettle, some of which were of prodigious size.

On Father's Day (or is it Fathers' Day, or just plain Fathers Day?) we will be visiting my parents, who live in the small town of Benton, PA, some 15 miles or so north of Bloomsburg. My father will be 81 in September and is still, thanks be to God, of sound mind and body. He is an architect and civil engineer, and still working.

Something I didn't know about the Human Bride: she really doesn't like gore. We started to watch Gladiator together one night, and she didn't even make it through the initial battle in Germany. I, possessing less sensibility, watched the whole thing. An interesting movie; I shall have to watch it again, and may post one or two observations.

The Equestrienne has started writing comic strips; the latest is The Adventures of Catwoman and Her Sidekick, Tabby Tim. The Storm Queen, in emulation, has also written one: The Attack of the Killer Vegetables.
Monday, June 14, 2004
I have not given up blogging. Press of work and lowness of spirits (the latter an occasional and passing condition) have for a time combined to create a case of blogger's block. I will be back.

(Interesting note: Blogger's spell checker does not recognize the word "blogging". It wants to replace it with "flogging". There's a moral in there, somewhere, but I can't figure it out.)
Saturday, June 05, 2004
A great man has died. Ronald Reagan, rest in peace.
Fr. Jim Tucker at Dappled Things has posted some encouraging reflections on what it means to love one's neighbor; encouraging because, as he says, love is not a feeling, which we cannot choose, but an act of will, which, with God's grace, we can.
Friday, June 04, 2004
Programming haiku:

A syntax error
Has stopped your compilation.
Who taught you to code?

You must agree to
Our new network policy.
You don’t? Wrong answer.

I could do my work,
But something gets in the way:
All my other work.

Recently, Steven Riddle at Flos Carmeli posted a couple of passages from Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange that land a solid left and right to the button of those who, as I do, tend toward complacency.

Especially the one about Purgatory. I fell in love with the idea of Purgatory many years ago, when, shortly after resuming the effort to live a Christian life, I discovered Dante's Commedia (Penguin edition, Dorothy L. Sayers's translation). His depiction of Purgatory is so beautiful, the more so when contrasted with the Hell he has just left, and the idea of purgation itself is so desirable, that I could not do otherwise than look forward to Purgatory. To be put right - a portmanteau phrase, connoting such images as tumors excised, scar tissue removed, crooked limbs straightened, rooms vacuumed and dusted, walls spackled and painted, a house rewired and replumbed, a yard landscaped and planted, with the weeds and poison ivy removed - who, imagining it, could not want it?

And yet, I have been beginning to think that I could be looking forward to Purgatory too much, that I might have something of a "fly now, pay later" attitude, taking my time about getting put straight because someday - I say to myself - I'll be able to concentrate on it with no distractions. But, as Fr. G-L puts it, "If we go to purgatory after death, it will be our own fault, it will be because we have neglected graces that were granted us or offered us during life. Purgatory after death, frequent though it may be, is not according to the order arranged by God for the full development of the supernatural life..." (And Sayers, in the Introduction to Purgatory, speaks of how the soul there "is obliged, with prolonged labor and pains, and without the assistance of the body, to accomplish...the...process of satisfaction and purification...which should have been carried out on earth." - p. 60.) It seems, then, that I would be better off working harder in this life, in order to save an incommensurate amount of time and trouble in the next.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Please pray for the souls in Purgatory

May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

New address bobtheape88...at...gmail...dot...com

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