Lately I have been fighting the good fight in the realm of Google Apps Scripts. You might not know what this is or else maybe you understand the misery that I have been enduring. The idea is that Google Docs and its associated products are, unlike some competing office applications, not bloated with unnecessary features like Mail Merge because you can get them a la carte from developers that you have never heard of in the Chrome Store or else you can write your own solutions using Google Apps Scripts, which is sort of like JavaScript but not really.

Now, the thing is that a Google Apps Script is really just a whole bunch of unhappiness in programmatic form. The documentation is remarkably sparse. The idea is that if you were the sort of person who thought that it was a good idea to roll your own mail merge from scratch that you probably know enough about writing applications that you don’t need documentation. Or something like that.

I’m thinking that I have reached the point here where it is easier to teach one of the HR people how to find the unique identifier of a Google Sheets spreadsheet and to paste it into a particular part of the code than to figure out how to get a web front end to have a file picker to have her choose the spreadsheet that she wants. It took much of today for me to figure out how to send my script a GET request and to have it list the parameters on a web page. (Pro tip: If your script is in a Team Drive, you can not deploy it as a web app because only the owner of a script can deploy it as a web app, and when something lives in a Team Drive, it is owned by the drive.)

So instead of fighting with all these things this morning, I spent part of my day training a Markov Chain text generator on a corpus of the titles of California ballot initiatives from the past few decades and then had it come up with 500 units of nonsense based on what I fed it.

The original idea came about as I was imagining a game in which one person got the title of a real ballot initiative and two people got the title of fake ones, and they each needed to come up with a description of what the ballot initiative was about, and the other team needed to figure out which one was real.

Band of Teen’s Pregnancy . Required Employee . Primaries . Low-Income Rental Assistance . Taxation – State and grants free admission to require a two-thirds for those Purposes . Redevelopment Agencies – Boards Of 1982 . Housing and Spending Limitation . Higher Education Facilities . Daylight Savings And Housing and Jobs Investment . Required Employee Union Members , Coastal , Seismic Safety And Insurers-Taxation . Sex Offender Laws . Wildlife Protection . Constitutional Amendment . 55% Local Public Services . Initiative Constitutional Amendment . Schools And Scenic Rivers Initiative . Higher Education Facilities Including A .B . Licensing Requirements for recreational use of insurance companies to 12 years total state levies and No-Smoking Sections—Initiative Statute . Drugs . Dismissal . Ballot Measures . Tribal Gaming Compacts . Health Requirements . Legislative Campaigns . Initiative . Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Flood Protection of 1984 . Public Schools . Housing and Environmental Law Of 1990 . Dedication Of 1984 . Initiative Constitutional Amendment . Safe Drinking Water Resources . Consumer Protection . Taxation . Nonpublic Schools and Quality Bond Act . Initiative Constitutional Amendment & Statute . State School Facilities Bond Act . Initiative Constitutional Amendment . Automobile Accident Claims Practices . Top Income Tax Rate Changes California Housing and Emergency Reserve Fund Act of California Safe Neighborhood Parks , the Auditor General . Motor Vehicle Tax Credit Union and Parental Notification Before Termination of 1978 . Mountain Lions . Initiative Constitutional Revision: Public Entities . Youthful and Animal Poisons . Assessments , Foreign Entities . Fire Protection and Architectural Services . Local Majority Vote For Tax appropriations mandate and exempt from expenditures limit . 1572 . Earthquake Relief And Water , Ethnicity , Historic Structure Exemption . Use Taxes—Revenue Sharing . Death . A .C .A . Bingo . Welfare . Funding . State-Negotiated Rebates . 15 . Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Bond Act Of Persons’ Exposure To Provide Public Funding . Health Services . Clean , Legislators and Water Reclamation Bond Law Of Schools . Partial Constitutional Amendment and Reporting . Statewide Voter Fraud Penalties . Bond Act Of 1976 . State Offices . Transfer Of 1990 . Transportation . Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ( third attempt at Proposition 73 ) Bonds . Public Funding . Attorneys’ Contingent Fees . Veterans Bond Act of Education Facilities Bond Act Of 1990 . California State Civil Service . Prescription Drugs . Electric Service Position . Ethics , Corporations And Mass Transit Guideways . Repeat Offenders . Property . Commission Or Slanderous Campaign Financing Act of 1993 . Class Actions . Peace Officers . Property . Open Meetings . State Civil Service Position . Statute . English Only . State-Funded Private Contractors . $1 .00 per pack , 2012 primary Limits On Terms Of 1986 . Veterans Bond Act Of Office of Existing Motor Vehicle Taxation And Replacement Bond Act Of 1986 . Public Schoolfunding . Initiative . Imposes additional requirement to all state parks to lower taxable income tax credits , Supply and