Thursday, October 31, 2002

An interesting article from Atlantic Monthly on Superiority Complex. Though the author doesn't say so, in part it makes a good case for Catholicism in general, and the parish system particularly. Certainly a religion that can be described as "here comes everybody" (James Joyce) could be an antidote to the sort of elitism and isolation that Brooks describes in his article.
Here's a nice post from Disputations on a parish of children in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Check it out.
You have to check out this Doonesbury strip. There are several about blogging, click "Next Strip" to see them.
From the That Was Quick department -- Kelley's 'girls club' canceled. I guess the bloom is definitely off of David E. Kelley's rose these days.
Encouraging news -- Toyota plans all gas-electric vehicles by 2012. If this works out, it could mean much lower prices for these vehicles due to mass production and a great boon for cleaner air for all of us.
Happy Halloween! Or I should say happy All Hallow's Eve. Our office had a potluck and costume contest. I didn't participate, partly because I had no time to find anything and partly because I need to get out of work by 5:10 or so in order to make 5:30 Mass for All Saints Day (anticipated). Ordinarily I would go tomorrow but I'm having dinner with my sister, Dad and stepmom so 7 p.m. is out, 6:30 a.m. is definitely out (!) and 8 a.m. would mean I'd have to get up early and I'm sleep deprived lately as it is anyway.

I got my first paycheck today! Not a full one, since I wasn't here the whole time. Still, I'm jazzed -- I zipped over to the bank to deposit it ASAP (direct deposit not in place yet). It's a good feeling to have some money in my checking account again. YAY! Just in time for my car payment, insurance, etc. :-).

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

A very disturbing BBC story from Scotland of a doctor who was in a coma and her family was advised to take her off life support. Her family transferred her to a different hospital where she was given treatment and recovered. She's now filing suit against the hospital that misdiagnosed her. A chilling quote from an interview with Dr. Fiona Smith:

Dr KEITH ANDREWS (Director Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disibility): Our own research at this hospital has shown that quite a number of people who were sent to us as being in a "vegetative state" actually weren't, it was round about forty per cent had been mis-diagnosed. Some of the patients who we found had been mis-diagnosed had been mis-diagnosed for well over a year, including one man up to seven years.

If you have very severe brain damage and you have deformities, your face is flat, you can't speak, then it's very much more difficult to be able to express your views that you are actually aware. In that case if somebody is not in a "vegetative state" it takes considerable skill in getting them into the optimal condition to be able to communicate.
In Memoriam. Today would have been my mother's 72nd birthday. I met my sister out at the cemetery as we usually do for this day. We talked for a while, mostly about Monday's tragedy, but also about my mom and the rest of our family. I like to think she would be glad we are close and stay together.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
From Slashdot -- Mandrake Announces Turn-Key Clustering Distribution. It's not clear to me yet how this compares with the Scyld Beowulf project. As a person who has been working on his own Beowulf cluster in my "copious" spare time, I'm mightily interested. My cluster is going to be used for distributed simulations, assuming I ever get the darn thing going.
This is ... interesting. The gunman from Monday's incident apparently sent a 22-page letter to the Arizona Daily Star. After reading it I was struck by how self-indulgent and self-pitying he was. He never took responsibility for the bad things that happened in his life, it was always someone else's fault. This is the logical end conclusion of our "politics of victimization" society, where accidents never happen and it's always someone else's fault.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I was catching up on Jerry Pournelle's column in Byte and came across a discussion of M-Systems-DiskOnKey. This looks like a really cool, reliable way to transport those personal files you have from work to home, or machine to machine if they are not networked. It's a FLASH disk up to 512 MB that is USB compatible and hangs on your keychain. Way cool.
The crazies at Catholic Light claim that Linux development is like the Catholic Church.
It's nice to see I'm provoking thought... The Lady of Shalott replies to some comments I made.
More coverage of yesterday's shootings in the UA student newspaper -- Arizona Daily Wildcat - Student kills 3 profs, self .
Since Blogger is too stupid to understand that not everyone obsesrves Daylight Saving Time, I have to manually switch back and forth from GMT - 8 to GMT - 7 to get the times right. That's because Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time, and Blogger doesn't understand what GMT means. Grrr.
Prayer Request: I'd be remiss if I didn't remember to ask for prayers for my friend, Fr. X. He is considering leaving his diocese and going to a different one because he feels he and his bishop are on two different wavelengths and he doesn't get the support he needs to function. He told me he'd be praying about his decision this week, and I promised I'd pray for him and I hope you will too. Fr. X is a holy man, a good, compassionate and passionate priest who is utterly orthodox and devoted to his flock. In short he is exactly what his diocese needs (and every diocese needs). Pray that God will guide him to make the right decision, whatever it may be. Thanks.
I just got off the phone with my e-buddy Brenda ElfGirl. We had a really great, loooooong conversation. It's always a great experience to have one of those conversations that goes all over the map from politics to religion and all those other things that people are often too shy/embarrassed/closed to talk about. We had never spoken before... as Brenda said, "You're my first!" Of course, I explained that every guy wants to hear that :-). The InterNet has both positive and negative aspects but I think meeting new people that you have shared experiences with is definitely one of the best things to come out of this technology that was originally designed to allow the military to communicate in the event of war.

I've had some time to digest my thoughts about today. Besides my sister, I have a friend who is a student in College of Nursing, and I had an email that she was okay. Thanks be to God! I mourn the loss of life today, and all those whose lives are forever touched by this tragedy. A few years ago UA made a big deal about prohibiting firearms on campus and posting signs proclaiming the campus a weapons-free zone. Well, obviously the gunman today didn't give a flying rat's ass about that. I don't know what can be done to make the campus safer. President Likins seemed to say in a statement to the press on TV that there wouldn't be any changes made to security at UA but that seems like an unwise thing to say. It seems to me at the least that plans need to be made for lockdowns or other security measures -- primary and secondary schools do this, why not the university?

My sister left me a message saying she'd gotten home okay. The SWAT team escorted them out of Life Sciences North around 11 or so, but her truck was parked near the gunman's jeep so she couldn't leave until 4 or so. She sounded okay but a little shaken on the phone.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Shooting at UA School of Nursing

Details are sketchy but it appears two professors at UA School of Nursing were shot by a gunman who may have then killed himself. My sister Kathy works at AHSC in a different building and she is okay. She says the whole area is either evacuated or secured and police are searching for the gunman. The whole area is blocked to traffic, which is going to be interesting if this lasts much longer since it's in the middle of town.

Update: Here's a CNN story. I became aware of this when I was heading to work at 8:45 a.m. (apparently, about 5 minutes after the shootings) when I saw 6 police cars screaming down Speedway one after another (and another 3 about 5 minutes later). Also, here's a UA official statement.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Oh, and on a totally random note, my other accomplishments for the weekend were to get a new nameserver up and running (BIND 9.2.1 on NetBSD 1.6) and also to get SAMBA running on my NFS server so I can share the disk there with both Windows and Unix clients. Note to self: It's not particularly documented but if you build SAMBA with LDAP turned on you can't get password encryption to work, and password encryption is pretty much required if you are using Windows 2000/XP clients. Once I straightened that out it worked like a charm. My SAMBA server is running FreeBSD 4.7. It comes with SWAT, which is a utility that allows you to control the SAMBA server from a browser. Way cool! Sometimes it takes very little to make me happy :-).
Tonight was our Collegium Musicum concert. It was our first concert of the year and so a time to show what we can do. I think we did pretty well, actually. We performed in Holsclaw Hall, which is a fairly small venue, and it was mostly full, which was gratifying. Lane Justus and his wife were there, which was really nice both because half of CM are alums of the Chorale, and of course just to see him. For a man who just had knee surgery 12 days ago he's walking amazingly well.

The concert itself went pretty well, a few minor glitches but over all quite good. My friend Amber Lee had a big solo (well, with choral accompaniment) and she did well as usual. The small-group madrigals we did went reasonably well, although I didn't think I sounded as good in the second one of the two my group did as the first, and I'm not sure why. I was singing tenor in both of them and they are about the same range, so I'm not sure what was going on. Oh well.

Our next concert is December 15th at 4 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church at Tucson Blvd. and Ft. Lowell Rd.
Check out this article from the Detroit News -- Catholic social teaching divides Michigan women. It's mostly about the Jennifer Granholm issue (Granholm is a "personally opposed" Catholic politician) but also more broadly about the complicated interplay between Catholic teaching, politics, and conscience.

I really enjoyed this quote from Adam Cardinal Maida:

Catholic public officials have a special moral obligation to understand and accept
wholeheartedly the Church’s teaching on the dignity of innocent human life; they may
never advocate for, or actively support, legislation which would allow direct attacks on
innocent human life. When it is impossible to overturn or prevent passage of a law which
allows or promotes abortion, an elected official should always seek to limit the harm
done by such laws. Nor can Catholic political leaders justify inaction with regard to the
dignity of human life simply on the grounds that abortion is the law of the land, because
ultimately, there is a higher law, the law of God.

The whole document is here, in PDF format.
I went to the Arizona -- Washington State football game tonight. We lost, 21 - 13. Still, it was a pretty creditable effort -- WSU was, I believe, ranked 9th in the nation going into this game and yet it was a pretty even game right up until about 7 1/2 minutes into the 4th quarter. Arizona's defense did some amazing things, including a blocked punt and several tough stands on 3rd and not much. Arizona's offense, though, couldn't put it together consistently -- a number of costly fumbles and 2 (I believe interceptions). Arizona couldn't get a running game established at all (we finished with -20something rushing yards for the night), and couldn't reliably give the quarterback time to throw. It was a rough game to watch, but still a good example of what I love about UA football. Of course, I'd have liked it better if they'd found a way to win...

Saturday, October 26, 2002

I'm seriously considering getting a cell phone. All of my friends (almost) have one, and all my family does with the possible exception of my nephew (he's 15). I'm leaning toward Sprint PCS since they have some really cool options for free mobile-to-mobile minutes. Since two of the people I would call most are on it already it's kind of tempting. Of course I would have to give up my Luddite status, but it might be worth it. Comments?

Friday, October 25, 2002

I'm now listening to the CD of the Tucson Rolling Requiem. It's really much better than I realized. If you'd like to take part in it in a vicarious way, you can pick up a CD for $15 ($5 is a donation). Who knows, maybe you can hear me in there! Okay, with a choir of 380, probably not.
Here's an interesting take on the evolution of human interface technologies (click on "Anthropomorphizing the Light Switch"). While one may find fault with his conclusions, you have to admire anyone who can use turns of phrase like

Anthropomorphized advertising iconography provides an interesting insight into the longevity of the human interface paradigm. Inspired by Walt Disney and Hanna Barbara, Madison Avenue favorites like Captain Morgan and Mr. Clean -- innocuously roguish seamen tasked with helping us navigate the uncertain waters of mixology and linoleum, respectively -- employ a wink or a flourish to humanize ostensibly complex or unpleasant situations, burlesque devices which Clippy and its various alternate identities (including Albert Einstein, who seems to be a recurrent subject of commercial caricature) were clearly designed to emulate.
Apparently Blogger got hacked. Check out the Slashdot discussion. Obviously it's up now.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

It was bound to happen -- now people are writing papers on postmodern programming. Check it out.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Thanks to The Lady of Shalott for this great Peggy Noonan column on the Rosary.
I'm listening to Michael Kamen's score for Mr. Holland's Opus. It is, of course, one of my favorite movies, and one that every musician (at least) should see. Kamen's score is very moving, in particular "Vietnam", "Rowena", and of course Mr. Holland's 'opus', "The American Symphony." This movie is about more than just one man's struggles and triumphs, it's also, in a very real sense, about the power of music to enrich the human spirit. The score is terrific. Check it out.
Wow, I'm wiped out. My first day of work went well, I'm just not used to having a job :-). I guess I will need to get used to it in a hurry though. I finally got to sleep around 3 or so, and was up at 8:15 and got to work by 9. My first day went pretty well, I learned some new stuff and got all my paperwork filled out etc. I also got taken to lunch by my boss and his boss, along with another person who started today as well. The only complaint I have is that I have no privacy at all at work. I was really spoiled at NewMonics, I had a huuuuuuuuuge office and a very casual and relaxed atmosphere. TCI is not as casual and not as relaxed, and that's kind of sad. However the people are pretty nice and kind of fun to be around. Realistically it's a good job and I can't expect to be spoiled like I was, so I'm trying to adjust. I'm sure I'll be fine.

I was at work until about 5:45, then dashed home and then off to Collegium Musicum rehearsal. It was a loooooooong rehearsal, until 9:45 or so. I was already wiped when I got there and it took a lot out of me, but at least my voice held up even though we practiced the madrigals at the end (I'm singing tenor on those and it's very tiring for me). I'm off to bed soon...
Phooey! I can't sleep! I guess it's nerves. Anyway, next topic: Amber Lee mentioned that someone told her, "You are selfish. And wonderful." She doesn't see how someone can really be both selfish and wonderful. What do you think?
I really am back, I've just been insanely busy plus of course I chose this as a "good time" to reorganize my computer room, which meant my internet access was down for most of the day.

I got back from my mini-vacation Friday evening, and went to see La Traviata at Arizona Opera. It was pretty good. Arizona Opera really does a good job, especially considering their resources etc. After the opera I hung out with Amber Lee at our favorite hangout and people-watched, it was a lot of fun.

Saturday I was off to Phoenix for my friend Kris's wedding. Kris is one of the finest men I know, and his wife seems well-suited for him. What a blessing they are to each other! There were a number of friends of Kris's from Tucson there (we all know each other) and I took my friend Tiffany, who had met Kris a couple of times (she also knows the rest of the Tucson contingent). We all had a great time at the reception, we were somewhat raucous (but always in good taste :-)). I also bumped into Irene, who is a friend of my friend Zoe -- as a matter of fact I had sat next to Irene at Zoe and Alex's wedding last year, so seeing her at another wedding was somewhat bizarre but nice. She's very cute and smart and everything I look for in a woman, so of course she is dating someone. Ah well. I got home from Phoenix around 10:30.

Sunday I interviewed the director of our schola at SSPP, as part of my Living Stones ministry class. It was all about music ministry and how he views his ministry and his faith. We did the interview over brunch and we had a great talk about all kinds of stuff as well. Then I came home and began cleaning/reorganizing my computer room to make it a little nicer layout, which took most of the day. I went to Holy Family Church for their 5 p.m. Latin Mass. Unlike the Latin Chant Mass we do at SSPP once a month, this is the 1962 Mass, not the current one, and they have it every Sunday at 5. I know a couple of people that go to that Mass so it was nice to see some friendly faces.

My more traditional friends will undoubtedly be mortified to hear me say that I really much prefer the current Mass in Latin to the 1962 Mass, or at least, the 1962 Mass as I've seen it done. In every case it seems very rushed to me, so much so that even if you spoke Latin fluently you couldn't understand what was going on without the missal. That and the 3-ring circus aspect, where the celebrant is doing one thing, the choir is singing something else, and the people are sitting or praying or whatever -- it just seems too much for me. Maybe if I got to go to a High Mass I'd feel differently, but I'd like it if the celebrant would STOP and wait for the choir, and they for him. Sheesh. So there I go, I've lost any credibility with the Tridentine crowd. I do think that the Tridentine Mass should be made regularly and freely available for anyone that wants it, though -- why shouldn't we? We can have Mass in Spanish and Vietnamese and Korean and Polish in this diocese, so why not the Tridentine Mass if there are enough folks that want it?

I must get to sleep, I have to be at my new job in 8 hours and 15 minutes or so. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Just a quick post before I go -- the Pope has released his new apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I'll be out of town from Wednesday to Friday, so no blogging for me. Catch up with you on Friday!
CNN reports Latin is making a comeback.

Monday, October 14, 2002

The Internet Society has been selected to operate the .ORG registry. Hopefully this will mean lower prices and better service when VeriSign's contract expires 12/31/02. As the owner of a .org domain (, y'know) I'm interested in this.
For Arizona residents, the Secretary of State has an online 2002 Arizona Ballot Proposition Guide. Check it out.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Here's a cool blog I came across -- Trust the Truth.
I've been doing some reading and I came across this post from Tim Drake, signing off his blog for the last time. He asks,

Admittedly, I've also grown tired of the entire blogging trend. Perhaps it's just me, but isn't it a prideful thing? We're saying to the world - "Hey, HEY - look at me! Look at what I have to say. It's so much more important than what X or Y has to say." How does blogging contribute to the world if eventually everyone in the world has their own blog and is talking only to themselves? Isn't this the eventual outcome of blogging?

I think my own position is closer to Gregg the Obscure's. I do this blog mostly for myself, and a bit for my friends. It's my way of expressing myself and writing about things I'm interested in. I'm not that interested in who is reading (except to wonder, as I did here, "who are these people, anyway?!"). Maybe I'm blind but I don't think it's conceited.
Our Schola sang for 11 a.m. Mass today. It went okay, but we had a few rough spots. The woman who was our accompanist for the last couple of years bowed out in August (needed more time with her kids) so in her place we got two new pianists sharing our accompanying. We had one of them last month (we sing once a month) and the other one today. They are sisters who emigrated from Russia with their family a year or so ago; their mother is a concert pianist and they are both very talented. Elizabetta (sp?) played for us last month, and today we had Yelena. Wow! She played something before Mass, and also during our second collection -- she is very talented. It was quite a treat. Our program for today:

Prelude: Gloria Patri (Pius X Hymnal)
Gathering: For the Beauty of the Earth (OCP Music Issue #582)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Gloria: (Chant Mass)
Psalm: Chant
Gospel Acclamation: Chant Alleluia
Preparation of the Gifts: Laudate Dominum (Pius X #31)
O Sacrum Cor Jesu (Pius X #13)
Holy, Holy: Sanctus (Chant Mass)
Memorial Acclamation: (Chant Mass)
Great Amen: (Chant Mass)
Our Father: Traditional Chant (English)
Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (Chant Mass)
Communion: Soul Of Christ Be My Sanctification (Pius X #57)
Soul Of My Savior (OCP Today's Missal #25)
Second Collection: Instrumental
Recessional: I Know That My Redeemer Lives (OCP Music Issue #544)

Saturday, October 12, 2002

I went to a party this evening. I rarely go to parties, but this was a gathering of what are affectionately called the "Tech-Heads", that is, grad students at the University of Arizona who are interested in science and technology studies (STS). Since my minor for my MSEE was in Culture, Science, Technology and Society (UA's name for STS) I've gone to a number of these gatherings. This one, like all of them, was a great deal of fun -- it's great to get really intelligent people together and watch what happens. The discussions are invariably interesting and informative. The party was supposed to go from 5 to 8 p.m. but went 'til almost 10:30. It was a blast.
A sign of the times. I went to confession this afternoon, and I noticed our parish has installed windows on the side doors to the confessionals (each confessional has a front door where the penitent enters/exits, and a side door that looks into the priest's side -- you either go anonymously behind a screen, or walk around and sit with the priest face-to-face). This is not a bad solution -- the penitent is only visible if he goes face-to-face, if he is behind the screen he's not visible through the window. I guess this kind of thing is necessary now (or, really, this kind of thing was probably always necessary but we didn't want to think so).

Friday, October 11, 2002

Mark Shea brought this to my attention -- it's pretty horrific. As Mark said, Planned Parenthood is doing what some bishops have been (rightly) excoriated for doing.
From Slashdot, a very amusing (for us software geeks, anyway) Parable of the Languages.
You have to check out this picture on Mark Shea's blog. It is TOO funny!

Job Search Over

I've accepted an offer from TCI Solutions here in Tucson. I'm going to be a Senior QA Engineer I. I start my new job 10/21!
From CNN -- Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize. I'm really pleased about this. While many people consider his presidency a failure, his stature as a statesman and a man of peace are, in my opinion, unequaled by any president in this century. He is a man of high character who has devoted his life to seeking peace in the world, and actively working for it. I'm glad he has finally been recognized in this way.
Okay, like everyone else at St. Blog's, I'm very amused by Kairos' 21 stages of Catholic blogging. Except I've never even gotten 36 hits. Oh, and I do think he should have referenced Victor Lams's big hit, My Weblog. Still, check it out for yourself and let me know if I fit the description or not.

(And yes, I DO want a date with Emily Stimpson! :-))

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Chris McKendry has some thoughts on why Anna Kournikova is not just another pretty face.
Space Station Alpha is growing! Spacewalkers attached a new $390 million girder. It's amazing how jaded we've all gotten about the space station. It's truly an amazing thing, for the first time in man's history we are building a permanent outpost in space. When I was a boy I wanted to be an astronaut (didn't everyone?).
FreeBSD 4.7 is out!. I've been waiting to do a couple of installs, so I'm really happy. Check out the release announcement.
From today's Arizona Daily Star, "Brain drain" cost the University of Arizona a Nobel Wednesday. Another sad example of how the decline in state funding is costing The University of Arizona(tm) its ability to remain a Research I institution. See also the UA's take on it.
Cool news! My advisor just copied me on a note that he's submitting my/our work to BioSystems. It would be really cool to be published again!
For those of you worried about the demise of humanity against the computer, I give you -- Vladimir Kramnik beats Deep Fritz. This is the followup match to 1997's match of Kasparov vs. Deep Blue (Deep Blue won). Also check out my review of Dreyfus' book, What Computers Still Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Sad news... please lift up in prayer Brian, Sally and their family over at Kairos. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Here's one that is sure to provoke controversy -- CNS is reporting the Vatican may ban homosexuals from ordination.
Sometimes we like to think there's no one out there who is truly anti-Catholic. Well, here's an example. A quote:

The Roman Catholic Church is one of the forces for evil in the world, mainly because of the powerful influence it has over the minds of children.
I have a HUGE backlog of stuff I've been meaning to blog about. In the meantime, since a lot of St. Blog's have been submitting their Star Trek Selector results, here are mine (top 10 matches):

  1. The EMH (Doctor from Voyager)
  2. Scotty
  3. Dr. McCoy
  4. Spock
  5. Sulu
  6. Chekov
  7. Seven of Nine (!)
  8. Geordi LaForge
  9. Sisko
  10. Neelix

Monday, October 07, 2002

I watched my tape of the President's speech tonight. I thought it was a good speech. Some people like to paint the President as if he were some kind of mad dog, hell-bent on starting a war just for the fun of it. I think tonight's speech shows that the President thinks that the threat we face is real, and urgent, and he's determined to prevent harm to our country, and to our citizens, by facing the threat and removing it. I also think it's pretty clear that the President thinks that if war is to be avoided, it's only by Saddam Hussein being convinced that we are serious in our intent. The previous administration could never make such a credible threat.

President Bush made a comparison to President Kennedy in the cold war. I'm sure some will take issue with that but the more I think about it, the better a comparison it seems to me. Kennedy faced the USSR head-on in the Cuban missile crisis and the threat (the missiles) were removed.

I admit that the thought of going to war is disturbing. Americans will die. The economy will probably be hurt since oil prices will undoubtedly go up. I think, though, that if we want real peace (as opposed to merely the absence of active war) we have to be willing to pay the price. Pray for our country, our world, our armed forces, and our leaders (especially our President).
Just for fun... check out the Swedish Chef/Jive/Valspeak translator. Oh yes, it does Pig Latin too! For example, here's today's Gospel reading in Swedish Chef (Lk 10:25-37):

Zeere-a ves a schuler ooff zee lev vhu stuud up tu test Jesoos und seeed, "Teecher, vhet moost I du tu inhereet iternel leeffe-a?" Jesoos seeed tu heem, "Vhet is vreettee in zee lev? Hoo du yuoo reed it?" He-a seeed in reply, "Yuoo shell lufe-a zee Lurd, yuoor Gud, veet ell yuoor heert, veet ell yuoor beeeng, veet ell yuoor strengt, und veet ell yuoor meend, und yuoor neeeghbur es yuoorselff." He-a repleeed tu heem, "Yuoo hefe-a unsvered currectly; du thees und yuoo veell leefe-a."

Boot becoose-a he-a veeshed tu joosteeffy heemselff, he-a seeed tu Jesoos, "Und vhu is my neeeghbur?" Jesoos repleeed, "A mun fell feectim tu rubbers es he-a vent doon frum Jerooselem tu Jereechu. Zeey streepped und beet heem und vent ooffff leefeeng heem helff-deed. A preeest heppened tu be-a gueeng doon thet rued, boot vhee he-a sev heem, he-a pessed by oon zee ooppuseete-a seede-a. Leekooise-a a Lefeete-a ceme-a tu zee plece-a, und vhee he-a sev heem, he-a pessed by oon zee ooppuseete-a seede-a. Boot a Semereetun trefeler vhu ceme-a upun heem ves mufed veet cumpesseeun et zee seeght. He-a epprueched zee feectim, puoored ooeel und veene-a oofer hees vuoonds und bundeged zeem. Zeen he-a leeffted heem up oon hees oovn uneemel, tuuk heem tu un inn, und cered fur heem. Zee next dey he-a tuuk oooot tvu seelfer cueens und gefe-a zeem tu zee innkeeper veet zee instroocshun, ‘Teke-a cere-a ooff heem. Iff yuoo spend mure-a thun vhet I hefe-a geefee yuoo, I shell repey yuoo oon my vey beck.' Vheech ooff zeese-a three-a, in yuoor oopeeniun, ves neeeghbur tu zee rubbers' feectim?" He-a unsvered, "Zee oone-a vhu treeted heem veet mercy." Jesoos seeed tu heem, "Gu und du leekooise-a."

If you had trouble with that, I'll mention it's the parable of the Good Samaritan. :-)

(Note: when I went to Mass today we didn't get this Gospel, instead we had the story of the Visitation, which seems more in keeping with the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. I took the above from the USCCB website and ran it through the site. I don't know why the readings are different.)


At 1:45 p.m. I got a call from TCI Solutions with an offer for a senior QA position! Starting salary is about 8% below what I was making at NewMonics. Still no word from Raytheon.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

So... gentle readers, it's your turn. My stats indicate I get, on average, 18 - 20 hits per day. Who are you? Leave a note! Inquiring minds want to know...

Friday, October 04, 2002

I should probably post my job status since my readers (both of you!) will want to know. The scoop is that I had a phone call from TCI Solutions today, they asked me (again) if I would be willing to accept a senior position (as opposed to management), and I said yes. They said they had a meeting all afternoon and would have to call me back Monday, and apologized for the delay. Sheesh! Also, I was supposed to hear from Raytheon this week and I did not, I'm rather surprised and disturbed. I sent the guy there an email this evening asking what the scoop is, hopefully I'll hear back Monday from him. So no news is -- not good news, but not (necessarily, at least) bad either. Just no news.
I know some people will find it odd, but I'm going to a high school football game tonight. Yep, I'm going to watch my alma mater Amphitheater High School play the Sunnyside Blue Devils. It should be a tough game. Check out the Arizona Daily Star's coverage, especially the picture of Coach Friedli. Coach was there when I was there, and as a matter of fact they won their last state championship (also the last time any Southern Arizona school won the state 5A football championship) in 1979, my junior year. I had Coach for PE one semester, the only words I can recall from him are "take a lap, Zaft!". Unfortunately this is Amphi's last year in the 5A; dwindling enrollment (the school is down to about 1700 students, vs. over 2100 when I was there) means they'll be playing in the 4A starting next year. The school really hasn't been the same since the Catalina Foothills kids pulled out after CF built their own high school. It's still a good school, though, and I'm very proud to be an alum.

Postgame Update: It was a pretty good game. The first half was pretty tough, and it ended 17-14 Sunnyside. In the second half, Sunnyside really exploited Amphi's weak pass defense and ran it up to a final score of 38-14. Amphi's defense was strong, with a blocked punt and a number of interceptions, but the offense couldn't run and couldn't pass. Sunnyside was the state champion last year and from the looks of it they have a good chance this year too. Here's the Star's coverage.

It was a beautiful evening. Fall has finally come to Tucson. I know some people who aren't from here have a hard time figuring out when fall comes to southern Arizona, but there's a bit of nip in the air (low last night was 48!) and the daytime high was only 85. It was a beautiful night for football.

It was Homecoming at Amphi. I've often wondered about some of our more quaint American traditions, of which Homecoming would definitely be one. How does this stuff get started? What does it really MEAN? Who knows? When I was at Amphi there was a tradition call TWIRP week. TWIRP stood for "The Woman Is Required to Pay" -- it was a Sadie Hawkins, turnabout kind of thing, culminating in the TWIRP week dance where the women asked the men (well, girls and boys). As I look back on it now there's more than a little bit of nostalgia, and it all seems very quaint and sweet. It would be nice if they still have that tradition, but in the 21st century it seems unlikely. Things like TWIRP week are mostly gone, victims of political correctness or perhaps just the passage of time. It's too bad. It wasn't THAT long ago; it's amazing how much our society has changed just in the last 25 years. As I watched the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen it was nice to see that they all looked like pretty nice kids, dressed nice and looking happy and excited. If that's our future, it could be a lot worse.
Early reviews of the upcoming Veggie Tales movie by Rod Dreher and Mark Shea. All in all it sounds terrific. I've loved Veggie Tales ever since my friend Maria introduced me to them a number of years ago. While the "cult of Veggie Tales" seems to be largely located in evangelical circles, they should appeal to Christians of just about every description. Best of all they are well-written, engaging, and screamingly funny. Check it out.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

The New York Times on the canonization of Josemaria Escriva -- New Saint Reflects Lay Group's New Influence. As articles go I guess it's not too bad; of course there's the usual characterization of the Work as "conservative" -- I would argue a much more accurate word is "orthodox."
Here's a cool website -- Drew's Tutorial - How To Record LPs On Your Computer - Easy LP Recording. This is something I've been meaning to do for some time, I have some stuff that is just not available on CD and probably never will be. Amber Lee, this one's for you :-).
The Diocese of Tucson has just announced the composition of the new Sexual Misconduct Review Board.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

I finally got OS/2 Warp 3.0 installed on one of my old 486en. Whee! Now to dig out the fixpacks...
Update: I had my followup interview at TCI Solutions today. I met with some other QA folks I'd not met before, then had lunch with the CTO and one of their software architects (at Macaroni Grill), then met with the other team lead I'd not met yet. All in all it went well. The CTO finally filled me in on what they are considering me for, and it is either a senior QA position or QA lead for a new QA team they are forming. He then brought up that they are looking for a Director of QA. I asked him what they were looking for for that position and he said a few things, whereon I pitched myself for that fairly strongly (at least, so I thought). He kind of brushed it off saying that the other candidates they have have much more experience at that level than I do. I'm supposed to hear back from them by Friday. I'm also waiting to hear back from Raytheon and that should be by Friday also. So I'm waiting.
One of the things I love about living close to the university is the obscure humor. For example, on a car parked near my house there was a bumper sticker with a red background and the words, "if this bumper sticker is blue you're driving too fast." :-)

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Time has an article on Opus Dei and the next conclave, whenever that should be (hopefully not for a long time!). Of course they get a lot of stuff wrong -- for example, they call Opus Dei a "traditionalist organization" (as if any organization that says the Mass in the vernacular could really be called that!).
Short stuff: Redhat 8.0 is out; I'm downloading the ISOs now. Also, FreeBSD 4.7 should be out Real Soon Now.

I'm listening to "Sweeney Todd", the Sondheim musical. I've not listened to this for quite some time. I'd forgotten how artful and dark it is, and how operatic it really is. I wish UA would do it but the production is a pretty heavy one technically to mount and it would be quite a challenge (and very expensive) so they probably won't.

At Collegium Musicum rehearsal last night we worked on our regular stuff for the concert, but after the regular rehearsal those of us who volunteered worked on some madrigals we'll also present. It's been a long time since I sang madrigals, I'd forgotten how much fun they are. The group I was put in has 8 singers, which is 3 sopranos, 3 altos, 1 tenor (me) and 1 bass. I'm a baritone, really, but most of this stuff is in my range reasonably well. It was a lot of fun to have a part to myself. I think I did pretty well. I'm really looking forward to next week.
Good news and bad news...

Good news: I went shopping at Costco today and decided to pick up a pair of jeans, since lately every pair of pants I have are practically falling off me. I bought a 36 waist, and they fit perfectly! I am so psyched, I have been wearing a 38 waist for many, many years. I was a 32 in college.

Bad news: I had an email from my friend Alex (I blogged about him here). He told me that he and his wife Zoe are separating. I'm speechless. I love them both very dearly. They've been a couple for about 5 years, but only married a year. *sigh*