Usually you are right on the money with excellent replies and advice. In this case you've missed by a country mile, especially in light of ikegami's excellent reply an hour earlier.
Like stevieb, my experience writing embedded C++ firmware informs my familiarity with bit manipulation so I construct appropriate bit manipulation expressions almost without thought. The thought of using a sub to do what amounts to a handful of processor instructions even on RISC machines makes me shudder. I apologize for my reaction, but given the reply is from such an esteemed (at least by me) monk I felt the need to ensure the OP and other seekers of enlightenment shift their gaze to ikegami's reply.
Optimising for fewest key strokes only makes sense transmitting to Pluto or beyond
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