Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Sooner or later, beginning our reference to the calendar year with "two thousand and..." is going to get cumbersome. A century ago, this would have been "Nineteen-Oh-Seven," and the shorthand of "'07" would be called simply "Ought-Seven."

Am I the only one who thinks of these things?

I got a portable DVD player for Christmas. It's about the size of a portable CD player, which will come in handy while waiting forever on the subway. This is likely once I start school next week. Last quarter I studied what was called "Digital Photographic Production," which is basically a Photoshop class. I had fun. I got an "A." Having used the program with minimal training for over a decade worked to my advantage. Starting next week I will study "Introduction to Scripting Languages," which is mostly one language, namely JavaScript. Unfortunately, the professor is of the "adjunct" variety. That means he works during the day, and teaches at night. Say goodbye to two of my weeknights for the next two and a half months.

In thinking of the entire year, there are some resolutions to consider.

One of them concerns this weblog. There won't be as many strictly religious topics as in the past. Usually it's well over half. Truth is, most of the market for that is saturated by people with nothing else to talk about. Even people as brilliant as I am get edged out of the market, and who am I to argue? Fortunately, I've discovered what works, at least for me. Once a week, there will be a short essay on a current topic in matters of faith. And most important, once a month, there will be a good long rant.

As to other resolutions...

I used to play the guitar more than I do now. 2002 was a good year for hangin' with my boys from down south, and getting together some pretty good chops, till those uppity old hags among the local promoters got in the way. It hasn't been quite the same since. Seems a gaggle of uppity middle-aged, middle class, queen-size white gals are more of an authority on the "authentic Louisiana experience" than... well, guys from Louisiana. Beats the hell outa me! We'll have to do an end-run down Looziana way this year, I do reckon. I also intend to find one or two others for a possible collaboration. It's a tall order, since I haven't had much luck in the past with bands. Meanwhile, I got my son a bass guitar for Christmas. (UPDATE: Actually, he was out of town on Christmas, so I gave it to him on New Year's Day, celebrated in the Eastern Churches as the Feast of St Basil the Great, and a date when Greeks are known to give gifts. It seemed like a good idea at the time.) Every now and then, he'd express some curiosity about it. Now he's got himself a resolution too, I made sure of that.

I haven't done any serious code in two years. In the meantime, the standard has gone from HTML 4.01 to XHTML. They've even stopped teaching tables at the first-year level, opting for fully loaded cascading style sheets (CSS) at the get-go. Obviously some remedial work is in order.

Then there's getting this house in order, which means unpacking boxes from my library, and getting rid of stuff I've accumulated for one fool reason or another -- the natural consequence, not only of being a packrat by nature, but of having an abundance of personal interests. Being a renaissance man is not nearly as easy as I make it look. It's amazing what can fit into a house of less than a thousand square feet. Equally amazing what you can get along without.

My work with Scouting has to be worked around school, but if I got better organized, it might count for something. I'll concentrate on what can be done well. I want to earn the "Arrowhead Award" this year, which is a training recognition. I've also got some serious reading to do in the area of native American ceremonials. If I'm going to advise a ceremonial team, it's the least I can do.

I will seek out an opportunity to be thoroughly trained in the assistance of the classical Roman liturgy, with the hope of one day being a bona fide master of ceremonies. Depending on events in the larger scene, someone with suitable credentials may be making a trip to this area. Meanwhile, a custom tailored cassock [with its own cinture] might be in order this year. (Oh, and a rabat, since a decent collar makes for a neater appearance. They let laymen wear those, don't they?) People tell me I look good in black. Sometimes when I'm on duty, I get called "Father" a lot. Don't ask me why. Just in case, though, I'll hold off on the biretta. I may begin to confuse even myself.

In September of '01, I weighed 220 pounds, the most ever. Just two years later, I was down to 185. One and a half years after the low point, I was back up to my peak weight. This year, I need to lose one pound a week till there's nothing left but the real me. Now, how to do that without resorting to periodic anxiety attacks in the middle of the night -- that, quoteth the Bard, "is the rub."

By this time, I've seen virtually every "Law and Order" episode as a syndicated rerun. It's time to cut back. (I really miss "Lennie.") More music, less video. My attention span will be forever grateful.

I promised somebody I'd learn Filipino, aka Tagalog.

Finally, there is also one other resolution, to be kept strictly "in pectore."

I think that just about covers it.



Anonymous said...

Good luck in the new year, Mr. Commissioner.

Young fogey emeritus said...

Regarding code, I hear you.

I think a cassock and a soutane are the same thing; you probably mean a surplice or in this case really a cotta. (Surplices are long things with poufy sleeves seen in Anglican churches.) If you mean a rabat with a white clerical collar I don't think laymen can wear them (seminarians can with a black line down the middle of the front of the collar) but without I don't see why not.

Tagalog is interesting to me as I know Spanish: a totally unrelated language but with thousands of loan words (counting, telling time, days of the week and months of the year are more or less in Spanish for example), sometimes hard to detect because of phonetic spelling.

Happy new year.