Hopefully this will not top post.

Yes, sorry my example was so hackish I was churning a bunch of code 
trying to zero in on the issue. I'll switch over to iterating through 
with a single fetch per pass and shed the ivars.

For what it is worth I did just figure out that when I test if 
xmldoc.elements[@scan_type] is nil first this code works albeit 
inefficiently as noted. I was foolishly thinking that nil.nil would eval 
as false for the if.

Thank you again for your advice.

Cheers,

Nick
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