Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

		Hannah Arendt

2006.12.23

Traveling Monkeys

The TSA has rules for handling monkeys. (H/T Bruce Schneier) Hay, I’m a monkey! Or a primate, anyway. Pay attention TSO-types:

  • TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process.

But I want to know, when is the humiliation going to stop?

  • The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.

Yet another reason to dislike air travel.

2006.12.22

Blog Haiku #9

The News
That is not News
Is the News

2006.12.21

End Of The Storm, End Of The Day

The storm appears to have passed. There are patches of blue sky…

Blue Sky

…the sun shines on the frozen wind chimes, lighting a promise they will sing again…

Chimes IV

…and still, is Buddha…

Winter Buddha IV

Such is Colorado.

Emergency Almost-Preparedness

Folks in the neighborhood are starting to dig out. My neighbor’s dog, Cher, is loving the weather as well as free reign over the streets.

Cher

And then there is the ever steady Jasmine, inspecting my work on the driveway.

Jasmine

Thought I was prepared for the storm, with a good stock of the essentials (beer and chocolate) until my neighbor returned from a mini odyssey to three separate grocery stores to find his version of essentials (chips, chips and…oh, yeah, chips). He happened to mention about half the gasoline stations were out of gas and closing up. Then it dawns on me (Wow! Two sunrises in one day!) that there is only about a 1/4 tank in the truck. The tankers aren’t likely to be making it through this snow for a few days and then it’s Christmas. So, I saddled up my trusty steed (Chained up, actually. All four wheels, no less.) and off I went to fill ‘er up. I found a station close by with gas and on the way there and back passed about a half dozen cars – sedans, mind you – stuck in the snow with people trying to push their way out. Fools. FOOLS! This is Colorado, not Florida. When it snows, you need something like this:

Pickup

“Protector”, my war pony.

Snowed In

And loving it. The wind chime chimes no more…

Chimes III

    Somewhere within these drifts rests the silent wind chime…

    Roof Drifts

    The view from the front door…

    Front Door View

    That drift hanging over the eve has crashed down several times during the night with a deep thud. Such noises, like Summer thunder, get Jasmine’s attention and she barks to alert the house. This also means that the snow just outside the garage has been well packed by both the wind and the falling drift from the roof. The final link in all this is that I have to chisel my way out when clearing the driveway. Sure enough. The ruler is showing 37.5 inches of hard packed snow.

    Shoveling

    And still, is Buddha…

    Winter Buddha III

2006.12.20

The Day Fades On A Fierce Storm

The snow continues to blanket my humble home…

Chimes II

…while the wind improvises a symphony with the wind chimes (click image to see video)…

Winter Wind Chimes

…and still, is Buddha…

Winter Buddha II

Inside is warm…

Dinner on the Hearth

Yes, that’s my fine dinnerware you see there (Thanksgiving leftovers, yum!) The beer, an excellent home brew we called “Ode to Oscar Stout” in honor of Little Big Man himself, has been featured on this blog before.

The Developing Storm

A view of the wind chimes outside the second floor window. The ridge of snow is a drift being created on the lower level roof by the wind. Normally, there would be a clear view down to the driveway below.

Chimes

This intrepid sparrow has been camped at the bird feeder for the better part of an hour. He is on the down wind side of the feeder and thus protected from the driving snow. Plus, he has easy access to the seed with no apparent competition. In spite of the weather, this little fellow projects a rather cozy image.

Sparrow

Winter Meditation

Denver and the front range are currently getting hammered by the worst storm of the season, so far anyway. Some are saying it will be worse than the blizzard of ’03. For Buddha, this is just another moment.
Winter Buddha

Blog Haiku #8

Piercing, sharp snow
Rides a biting wind.
Reflected in a cloudy post.

2006.12.18

A Case Study In Professional Sloppy Thinking

Reporter Jennifer Mooney Piedra of the Miami Herald either lacks the skills for critical thinking, is pushing a personal agenda, or both. Ms. Piedra’s “reporting” provides us with a classic example of category error thinking.

60 Second Course In Logic: A category error in thinking is what is at the root of solving the wrong problem, fixing what isn’t broken. A common example is the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The Japanese sailed their navy across the Pacific Ocean and attacked the US naval base at Pearl Harbor with aircraft launched from ships. Had FDR made a category error in responding to this attack, he might have outlawed all aircraft or ships since such things were used in the attack. But he didn’t make this mistake in thinking. He correctly determined that the Japanese government had used aircraft and ships to attack and so FDR declared war on Japan.

Back to Ms. Piedra’s “reporting”…

Kim Raffo was the picture-perfect mother and housewife.

She helped her two kids with science fair projects, decorated cupcakes for bake sales and volunteered for the PTA.

During the holidays, she opened her four-bedroom home in eastern Pembroke Pines to family and friends. She ”went all out” for the gatherings, serving elaborate homemade meals that would have made Martha Stewart proud, her family said.

For her daughter’s fifth birthday, she transformed her back yard into a petting zoo.

”She was Super Mom,” said her mother, Joan Daniels, of Miramar. “People looked at her in awe.”

But soon after she turned 30, the world of the well-liked, stay-at-home mom began to dissolve. Perhaps it was the continuous round of school trips, the endless birthday parties, the numerous visits to the park.

Tragically, Ms. Raffo had been murdered. From the rest of the article we learn more of the behaviors which shifted Ms. Raffo away from being a good mother: Partying, experimenting with drugs and she took off with a new boyfriend – “a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history that includes multiple arrests for felony cocaine possession, disorderly conduct and charges of soliciting a prostitute.”

As her relationship with Bilecki became more serious, so too did her addiction to club drugs, such as cocaine, Ecstasy and Xanax, her husband said.

There were nights when Raffo came home drunk or high. Other nights, she didn’t come home at all.

Hellloooooo? Do you suppose the deadbeat boyfriend was a factor? Ms. Piedra chooses to finger motherhood and parenting as the culprits, probably because such things don’t fight back – they’re the easy mark. She is implying that motherhood and parenting need to be fixed in spite of the fact that millions of parents are doing a good job each day. She has worked to massage this one tragic example to what purpose? We can only hope this is just a case of bad writing.

So how about that Mr. Bilecki? What is he in all this? A victim of that universally cruel and heartless machinery we call “parenting”, perhaps? What a sloppy, pedantic piece of reporting. Why is Ms. Piedra attempting to add to the story rather than report the story. Here’s a suggestion, Ms. Piedra, put the novel back in the desk drawer when it’s time to do your job.

(H/T: Florida Cracker)

2006.12.17

It’s All About You, But You Knew That, Didn’t You?

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year: You

So, since “You” are the Person of the Year that makes “Everyone” the Person of the Year which makes “No One” Person of the Year. So just chill and get back to work. You’re not so special after all. Now, “Me”, on the other hand…

UPDATE!

Once again, the crack Java Zen Table, Desk and Counter Intelligence Teams have intercepted crucial documents. This time, it’s the early candidates for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.” Here’s the finalist…

POTY Final

… and here are the candidate personal pronouns:

POTY Draft 2 POTY Draft 1
POTY Draft 3 POTY Draft 4

[Edit History]

2006.12.17

Tim Blair has sussed a slight conceptual problem with Time magazine’s selection for Person of the Year.

2006.12.16

Clouds Over Cathy’s World

One of my favorite bloggers and columnists, Cathy Seipp, is fighting cancer and has been for awhile. Another miracle she is. Looks like things are a bit more difficult just now, though. Sending your blessings and prayers to Cathy and her daughter, Maia, would be a good thing.

2006.12.07

What’s The Matter With Security?

The TSA has already banned one state of matter in the interests of better airline security. What a pain it has been to dehydrate your person so as to secure a seat in an uncomfortable lawn chair inside an aluminum tube squirting old dinosaurs out the back. Alas, I can hear the TSA bureaucrat scribes busily scribbling the next policy change to ban gases:

An American Airlines flight has made an emergency landing after a passenger with severe gas problems struck matches to mask the odour of flatulence.

Dehydrated passengers will henceforth no longer be permitted to breathe for the duration of the flight as all bodily orifices must be surgically sealed before boarding. I predict, soon, carbon atoms will be banned from passenger airline flights. Now those would be safe flights indeed.

2006.12.05

A Little Racist Kit – Home Delivered For Your Convenience

This little kit actually arrived on my driveway sometime around June 2005. I had tossed it back in a corner where it stayed until I came across it a few weeks back while cleaning out that particular part of the house.

Package

Back in June, 2005, just weeks after my wife’s death, I didn’t pay much attention to it, being rather distracted as I was. At first, I picked it up and tossed it into the trash, thinking it was just a piece of marketing junk for lawn service or some such. That is until my neighbor across the street, a High School history teacher, asked what I thought of it. Turns out, everyone in the development had one of these little bombs delivered to their driveway. I pulled it out of the trash and read the enclosed flyer:

Flyer

Whoa, Nelly! The “Earth’s most endangered species: The White Race!” More genetic confusion. A race is not a species. This past week I did a little research into who the hell the “National Alliance” was and what their agenda might be. Well I’ll be… A tidy little racist organization they are. How thoughtful of them to include rocks for throwing in their little home delivered racist kit. “The National Alliance – Toward a New Consciousness; A New Order; A New People” From their web site:


General Principles

  • A Natural Order
  • The Law of Inequality
  • A Hierarchy of Responsibilities
  • Summary statement of belief

National Alliance Goals

  • White Living Space
  • An Aryan Society
  • A Responsible Government
  • A New Educational System
  • An Economic Policy Based on Racial Principles

The logic behind this organization’s goals is convoluted and tortured. There are some amazing leaps of faith dressed as some sort of science, but their mission is clear. It smacks of the same air of entitlement which I as readily reject when pushed by other races claiming victim status and seeking reparations.

Their effort backfired, at least among those on my street. There are several teachers within a few houses and these little bags-O-bile found their way into classrooms as examples of racist thinking.

2006.12.01

Blog Haiku #7

.-.. .- –.. -.– -.. .- … ….
… – .- -.-. -.-. .- – — -.. — –
– …. . .–. . .-. .. — -.. . -. -.. …


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