Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Thursday, 2017.06.29
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

		Confucius

2001.08.10

From The Moving-From-Cubes-To-Boxes Department

Apparently, former dot-com workers are crowding homeless shelters. Gee, lessons learned: Profitability is a good thing, on-line shopping carts don’t have cranky wheels and venture capital isn’t as real as spare change for a cup of coffee.

RANT MODE = ON

Due to a year long struggle with Java Zen’s (now) former ISP, I have switched to Qwest (Queer Way Everyone Seems to Talk). I heard it would be bad. I knew it would be bad. It is bad. Two weeks later, Qwest (Quickly Whack Every Single Trouble-ticket) still doesn’t have it right. Add to this their shoddy handling of the Code Red worms which keep shutting down Java Zen’s Cisco router (Cisco gets a ding for this, too. In fact, ding Microsoft while your at it since the worms only affect their products. There’s a reason I run Apache on Linux. “Hey Qwest! Pitch the Windows and get a real operating system.”) Short story: Java Zen doesn’t have a static IP address and until it does, you would have to get really, really lucky in guessing the DHCP assigned IP. How much free time to YOU have?

RANT MODE = OFF

Have a nice day.

2001.08.03

From The God-Is-My-Gardener Department

[Ed. Once again, Auntie Bev strikes gold. Her sources are either better than mine or retirement has afforded her detail time at the search engine. Thanks Auntie. I don’t know from where this originates. I have, however, altered the dialog to fit more closely with the exchange according to my sources. “My sources” being the voices I hear in my head as I slave at the goofy behaviors described below. Some of you may know of my personal Quest to reduce my lawn maintenance time to zero. I’ve been making strides (see the Java Zen Garden), but have a long way to go. Xeriscape is a beautiful thing.]

God’s View on Lawns

GOD: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature, what in the world is going on down there in the U. S.? What in the world happened to the dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green.

ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD: Grass? But it is so boring, it’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing it and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn. They miss the animals, though, because they replace them with plastic replications of flamingos, turtles, frogs and such.

GOD: The spring rains and the warm weather probably makes the grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites very happy.

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it has grown a little, they cut it-sometimes two times a week.

GOD: They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. FRANCIS: No sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD: Now let me get this straight: They fertilize it to make it grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

GOD: What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves become compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life.

ST. FRANCIS: You’d better sit down, Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD: No way!! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS: After throwing the leaves away they go out and buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

GOD: And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS: They cut down the trees and grind them up to make mulch.

GOD: Enough!! I can’t take anymore. I think it’s high time I alter the course of a stray meteor or two just to open the eyes of these Suburbanites to what is really important and valuable.

2001.07.20

From The Objects-Are-Closer-Than-They-Appear Department

You might be aware that our Sun will be a red giant in about 15 billion years, and its size will increase dramatically beyond the Mercury orbit and we will enter the “crispy critters” phase of our evolution. But do you know that the Andromeda Galaxy will collide with our Milky Way in about 3 billion years? Then another time after 1 billion years to merge themselves. What a mess! I thought there would be some laws against this happening or at the lease some sort of EPA ruling but no such luck. There are some pretty nice simulations in MPEG, and a lot of pictures with some explanation on the web sites listed below.

So the message for today: Party like it’s 2,999,999,999! WooHoo!

http://www.npaci.edu/online/v4.9/galaxies2.html
http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~dubinski/tflops/

2001.07.13

From The Quit-Hollerin-And-Bend-Over-Fur-Yur-Brandin Department

[Ed. Many of you know I co-authored a book called the “Motivation Profile” as a response to the inadequacies of the Meyers-Briggs [personality] type indicator (MBTI). If you’ve ever been “Meyers-Briggs-ed” and bludgeoned by some nincompoop facilitator on a power trip with the results, you’ll appreciate this. For reference, the MBTI results indicate the respondent’s likely preferences on four personality traits or “dimensions”: Extraversion (E) OR Introversion (I), Sensing (S) OR Intuition (N), Thinking (T) OR Feeling (F), Judging (J) OR Perceiving (P)]

ENFJ: “Busybody”

Life’s backseat drivers. They seem to know just what’s wrong with everybody else’s life and have a plan to fix it.

INFJ: “Messiah”

Characterized by the burning desire to change the world, which desperately needs everyone to be NF.

ENFP: “Muckraker”

Creator of hype, distortion, and the perversion of media of information to be wallows of mindless emotionalism.

INFP: “Fanatic”

Always searching for an Answer with a capital A. Unlike the INFJ, they are usually openminded enough to realize the current one isn’t good enough after a few years.

ENTJ: “Tyrant”

Knows better than everyone how things should be done and works tirelessly to obtain the power to make it happen that way.

INTJ: “Crackpot”

All facts which don’t fit their theories are just wrong. The more all-encompassing and less applicable to reality the theories, the better.

ENTP: “Frankenstein”

The salvation of the world is to be found in this new nanotronic frannistan, of which he just happens to have an almost-working model…

INTP: “Nerd”

What? you mean people actually talk to each other using mouths and ears instead of keyboards????

ESTJ: “Stuffed Shirt”

No imagination, no flexibility, no common sense, no capacity for tolerance of others with different priorities.

ISTJ: “Bean Counter”

Like the ESTJ but with less vision.

ESFJ: “Gossip”

Like the Busybody, but characterized by the urge to backstab instead of trying to help.

ISFJ: “Sidekick”

Doesn’t need much meaning in life, just a person (or baby or pet or car) to spend all their time ministering to.

ESTP: “Beer Drinker”

Loud, crude, plays team sports, kisses and tells. These are the people beer commercials are made for.

ESFP: “Clown”

Always the class troublemaker, they have no respect for anybody or anything. Good at snide wisecracks.

ISTP: “Assasin”

Hates people, and is good at killing them. Young ISTP’s are good at killing pictures of people in video games.

ISFP: “Snob”

Revels in the elaborate sensations of wine and paintings and music that are completely indistinguishable to ordinary people. Likes flowers.

2001.06.01

From the claim-your-disclaimer department

Hey there! I’m test driving a new e-mail disclaimer. I’m planning to extend it to about 45K bytes with the eventual goal of altering the tilt and rotation of the Earth due to excessive weight caused by bloated e-mail messages stored on servers around the globe. Check it out and let me know if it strikes fear into the very core of your soul or if it still needs a little work…

IMPORTANT: This e-mail is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is not authorized (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas.

Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or no grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this e-mail and it was constructed using 100% recycled electrons. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards. However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have received this e-mail in error, then please refrain from receiving this e-mail again in the future. I mean, REALLY!

And of coure, Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur. (Whatever is said in Latin seems profound)

[Ed. Not sure where this originated from. It arrived as the latest of a zillion forwards across email.]

2001.05.25

From the whats-in-your-garage department

Let’s visit the Web today! Your SUV (SHUV, as I call them, for Silly Huge Unnecessary Vehicle and pronounced like “shove”) is NOTHING unless you have these.

So go out and upgrade that puny SHUV-ster of yours to something MANLY, MACHO, and MASSIVE. Better yet, turn the beast in for a REAL road machine.

After all, 0-200 mph in 15.0 seconds can’t be wrong.

2001.05.18

From the feels-like-my-head-wants-to-bust-open department

[Ed. Think You Know Everything? Well, your task this next week is to verify each and every one of the following statements. Ready. Set. GO! NO WAIT! Special thanks to my Aunt Bev for finding these. Ok. GO!]

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

The average person’s left hand does 56% of the typing.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is screeched.”

On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.

All of the clocks in the movie “Pulp Fiction” are stuck on 4:20.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”.

All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance.

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.

There are only four words in the English language which end in “dous”: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

Los Angeles’ full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula”

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10

Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer.

The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.

In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister.

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.

“Stewardesses” is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

…now you know everything …You could be a TEENAGER

2001.05.11

Deadline? We don’t need no stinkin’ deadlines!

A collections of stories, etc., is on todays’ menu. Nothing like a cancelled project to free up a bit of time. All that deadline pressure up in smoke. Or was it just replace with frustration? Or is that post project depression? Or… Whatever. I wonder if anyone will hear me pop the cork on this bottle of wine here in my cube?


Server 54, Where Are You?

This item is from the 04/09/01 edition of TechWeb News :

The University of North Carolina has finally found a network server that, although missing for four years, hasn’t missed a packet in all that time. Try as they might, university administrators couldn’t find the server. Working with Novell Inc., IT workers tracked it down by meticulously following cable until they literally ran into a wall. The server had been mistakenly sealed behind drywall by maintenance workers.

[Ed. I’m curious what the operating system was running on that box. Two bits says it wasn’t Windows. Microsoft’s license would have brought the thing down long before the 4 year mark.]


The Senility Prayer

God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway
The good fortune to run into the ones that I do,
And – the eyesight to tell the difference.


What aging has taught me:

1) I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

2) My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.

3) I finally got my head together; now my body is falling apart.

4) Funny, I don’t remember being absent minded…

5) All reports are in; life is now officially unfair.

6) If all is not lost, where is it?

7) It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

8) I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few…

9) It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

10) Only time the world beats a path to your door is when you’re in the bathroom.

11) If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

12) When I’m finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?

13) It’s not hard to meet expenses…they’re everywhere.

14) The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

15) These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I’m here after.

2001.05.04

Do you know where your pets are?

[Ed. Apologies for the absence – extreme deadlines and such. A quick hit for today. This caught my funny bone given that I’ve been learning a programming language named after the punch line in today’s snippet.]

A little girl goes into a pet shop and asks for a “wabbit”. The shop keeper looks down at her, smiles and says “Would you like a lovely fluffy little white wabbit, or a cutesy wootesly little brown wabbit?”

“Actually”, says the little girl, “I don’t think my python would notice”

2001.04.13

Worlds Thinnest Books

Here is a list of the Worlds Thinnest Books:

20) BEAUTY SECRETS by Janet Reno

19) HOME BUILT AIRPLANES by John Denver

18) HOW TO GET TO THE SUPER BOWL by Dan Marino

17) THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL by Hillary Clinton

16) MY LIFE’S MEMORIES by Ronald Reagan

15) THINGS I CAN’T AFFORD by Bill Gates

14) THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY by Dennis Rodman

13) THE WILD YEARS – by Al Gore

12) AMELIA EARHART’S GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN

11) AMERICA’S MOST POPULAR LAWYERS

10) DETROIT – A TRAVEL GUIDE

9) COLLECTION OF MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES by DR JACK KEVORKIAN

8) EVERYTHING MEN KNOW ABOUT WOMEN

7) EVERYTHING WOMEN KNOW ABOUT MEN

6) ALL THE MEN I’VE LOVED BEFORE – by Ellen deGeneres

5) MIKE TYSON’S GUIDE TO DATING ETIQUETTE

4) SPOTTED OWL RECIPES by the EPA

3) THE AMISH PHONE DIRECTORY

2) MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS – by O J Simpson

And the World’s Number One Thinnest book

1) MY BOOK OF MORALS by Bill Clinton /co-author Rev Jesse Jackson

2000.04.11

An open letter to KUSA TV in Denver and the Board of Directors for the Komen Foundation.

This letter was originally written last fall. My wife’s health over the holidays prevented me from tracking down all the contacts to whom I wished to send this letter. Her health is much improved at the moment. She is off oxygen although her energy level is considerably diminished. I apologize for the delay and hope that my comments may still be of value.

November 22, 1999

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am writing this letter in the hope of initiating a positive change in the way breast cancer survivors are treated during Denver’s Race for the Cure event. I have shared this letter with organizations and people not directly involved with the Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure in the hope that my experiences will assist them in avoiding some of the unfortunate trends I’ve observed with the Race for the Cure event in Denver. (more…)


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