Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Thursday, 2021.08.05
All I ask of life is a constant and exaggerated sense of my own importance.

2008.06.03

Rules Strictly Enforced…

…except when they’re not.

2008.06.02

Man Bag…

…New York City style.

2008.05.01

Spring, Rocky Mountain Style – II

Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day, so nice I sat outside in the yard and watched the stars come out while sipping a homebrew beer (excellent batch, by the way.) Here’s what it looks like from my office window at the moment:

When this storm is done, I likely will need a shovel to clear all this Global Warming from the driveway.

2008.04.25

When A Rose Attacks

If you ever want to know what happens to a ball like this…

…after a puppy who could barely hold this ball in her mouth when she was two months old…

…grows up and finds that long lost ball under the couch, the answer is this:

Except the pieces will be scattered hither and yon.

2008.04.23

Mixed Metaphor Award

Time to present another Mixed Metaphor Award. This go around the award goes to Barack Obama staffer Mika Brzezinski:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well, but you can’t argue that the Clinton campaign didn’t do some serious damage in light of the Wright stuff and the bitter comments–

SCARBOROUGH: That wasn’t the Clinton campaign.

BRZEZINSKI: They pounced on it like lemmings.

SCARBOROUGH: That wasn’t the Clinton campaign–

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, please.

SCARBOROUGH: And I don’t know if lemmings actually pounce. I think lemmings go over cliffs.

(H/T Eric Scheie)

2008.03.17

Life B.T. (Before Television)

When the younger generation asks us elders, “What did you do before there was television to keep entertained?”, it’s a difficult question to answer. Not hard difficult, but embarrassingly difficult:

We had the The Swing Wing:

“It’s a what?” It’s a Swing Wing! Because “Self-induced Whiplasher” just wouldn’t sell as well, you know.

But that’s not all! We also had Clackers! What fun! What hilarity when those things busted into pieces and flew in all directions. More thrilling than lawn darts! And they say only video games cause brain damage.

[Edit History]

2008.03.17

James Lileks elaborates.

2008.02.05

Email Noir

Every couple of months I get around to clearing out my inbox and so came across this…er…generous death threat I received…let’s see…7 WEEKS AGO! Geesh. Where are my priorities? Wasn’t very prompt in my (still pending) reply.

From: “Alex Brown” <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>
Subject: PAY ASSASIN OR LOOSE YOUR LIFE
Date: Sat, December 15, 2007 5:01 pm
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Priority: Normal

I want you to read this message very carefully and diligently.

I’m a professional; hence you have no need of knowing who I am, where I am from, until I arrange for a one on one meeting. I have been mandated to terminate your life for some reasons listed to me by the contractor – someone I believe you know very well and very close to you. Consequently, I have been following you closely for a month now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation leveled against you.

In your best interest, do not contact the Police or try to send a copy of this to any security agents, because if you do, I will certainly know through the impeccable assistance of one of the secret agents who is a friend, and you will leave me with no option than to be forced to do what I have being duly paid to do, beside this is the first time I’m turning out to be a betrayer against the ethics of my profession.

Now listen, I will arrange for us to see one on one but before that I need the amount of $14,000.00, you have nothing to be afraid of. I will be coming to see you in your home or you determine where you wish we meet, do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, I seem to hold the four aces now. You will need to transfer $7, 000.00 to the account I will provide for you, before we will set our first meeting, after you have make the first advance payment to the account, I will provide you with the tape that contains his request for me to assassinate you, which will be enough proof for you to take up a legal action against him (if you wish to do so) and will tell you what to do and protect you, then the balance will be paid later.

You don’t need my phone contact for now till I am assured you are ready to comply, and being silence on this matter is very dangerous. The choice remains yours, and you have the next 72hrs to make that choice, otherwise you will live your limited life watching your back. A word is enough for the wise!

Signed,
Alex.
i’m is proud to present Cause Effect, a series about real people making a difference. Learn more

Fortunately for me, the priority is only “Normal.” Yet, Alex’s message has all the earmarks of the dreaded Northern Yukon Maphia. Uh-oh.

Hmmmmmmm, the message originates from Nigeria. Dang! I can’t count the number of “very well known and close” friends I have that are in and out of Nigeria. I’m in trouble. And oops, I’ve posted Alex’s message on the World Wiiiiiiiiiiide Web for his handlers to see and now they’re after his betraying ass.

Well, Alex may be holding all the aces, but that just tells me he’s 48 cards short of a full deck. Spellchecker, Alex. Use it. But whatever.

OK, Alex. Lets meet here. We’re expecting your visit.

Do people actually fall for this crap?

Here’s the header:

Return-Path: <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>
X-Original-To: #######################
Delivered-To: #######################
Received: by ################## (Postfix, from userid ####)
id DF26A77488B; Sat, 15 Dec 2007 17:01:30 -0700 (MST)
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.3 (2007-08-08) on ##################
X-Spam-Level: *
X-Spam-Status: No, score=1.9 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_40,HTML_MESSAGE,
SUBJ_ALL_CAPS autolearn=no version=3.2.3
Received: from ################## (localhost.localdomain [127.0.0.1])
by ################## (Postfix) with ESMTP id 2A3057748A6
for <#######################>; Sat, 15 Dec 2007 17:01:28 -0700 (MST)
Envelope-to: #######################
Delivery-date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 19:00:56 -0500
Received: from #################
by ################## with POP3 (fetchmail-6.3.6)
for <#######################> (single-drop); Sat, 15 Dec 2007 17:01:28 -0700 (MST)
Received: from blu139-omc2-s21.blu139.hotmail.com ([65.55.175.191])
by server21.snhdns.com with esmtp (Exim 4.68)
(envelope-from <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>)
id 1J3gwC-00054G-GU
for #######################; Sat, 15 Dec 2007 19:00:56 -0500
Received: from BLU124-W45 ([65.55.162.186]) by blu139-omc2-s21.blu139.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);
Sat, 15 Dec 2007 16:01:09 -0800
Message-ID: <BLU124-W459789C97059BCE2029E59DD610@phx.gbl>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary=”_81da18aa-2829-41b2-b7e0-3c784b12b99c_”
X-Originating-IP: [82.128.18.8]
Reply-To: <alexabrown2000@yahoo.com>
From: Alex Brown <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>
Subject: PAY ASSASIN OR LOOSE YOUR LIFE
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 14:01:09 -1000
Importance: Normal
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 16 Dec 2007 00:01:09.0184 (UTC) FILETIME=[C3176400:01C83F76]
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

And the trace:

WHOIS – 65.55.175.191

Location: United States [City: ]

OrgName: Microsoft Corp
OrgID: MSFT
Address: One Microsoft Way
City: Redmond
StateProv: WA
PostalCode: 98052
Country: US

NetRange: 65.52.0.0 – 65.55.255.255
CIDR: 65.52.0.0/14
NetName: MICROSOFT-1BLK
NetHandle: NET-65-52-0-0-1
Parent: NET-65-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: NS1.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS5.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS2.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS3.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS4.MSFT.NET
Comment:
RegDate: 2001-02-14
Updated: 2004-12-09

RTechHandle: ZM23-ARIN
RTechName: Microsoft Corporation
RTechPhone: +1-425-882-8080
RTechEmail: ***@microsoft.com

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE231-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgAbuseEmail: *****@msn.com

OrgAbuseHandle: HOTMA-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Hotmail Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgAbuseEmail: *****@hotmail.com

OrgAbuseHandle: MSNAB-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: MSN ABUSE
OrgAbusePhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgAbuseEmail: *****@msn.com

OrgNOCHandle: ZM23-ARIN
OrgNOCName: Microsoft Corporation
OrgNOCPhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgNOCEmail: ***@microsoft.com

OrgTechHandle: MSFTP-ARIN
OrgTechName: MSFT-POC
OrgTechPhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgTechEmail: ******@microsoft.com

WHOIS – 82.128.18.8

Location: Nigeria (high) [City: ]

% Information related to ‘82.128.0.0 – 82.128.127.255’

inetnum: 82.128.0.0 – 82.128.127.255
org: ORG-AFNC1-RIPE
netname: AFRINIC-NET-TRANSFERRED-20050223
descr: This network has been transferred to AFRINIC
remarks: These IP addresses are assigned in the AFRINIC region.
remarks: Authoritative registration information for this network
remarks: is available for query and modification in
remarks: the AFRINIC whois database: whois.afrinic.net or
remarks: web site: https://www.afrinic.net
remarks: The routing registry information (route(6) objects)
remarks: may be published in any Routing Registry, including
remarks: RIPE Whois Database
country: EU # country is really somewhere in African Region
admin-c: AFRI-RIPE
tech-c: AFRI-RIPE
status: ALLOCATED PA
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
mnt-routes: RIPE-NCC-RPSL-MNT
changed: **********@ripe.net 20050223
source: RIPE

organisation: ORG-AFNC1-RIPE
org-name: African Internet Numbers Registry
org-type: RIR
address: see https://www.afrinic.net
e-mail: *********@ripe.net
admin-c: AFRI-RIPE
tech-c: AFRI-RIPE
remarks: For more information on AFRINIC assigned blocks, use
remarks: AFRINIC’s whois database, whois.afrinic.net.
mnt-ref: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
changed: *********@ripe.net 20050223
source: RIPE

role: The African Internet Numbers Registry
org: ORG-AFNC1-RIPE
address: AFRINIC, see https://www.afrinic.net
admin-c: AFRI-RIPE
tech-c: AFRI-RIPE
nic-hdl: AFRI-RIPE
e-mail: *********@ripe.net
remarks: For more information on AFRINIC assigned blocks, connect
remarks: to AFRINIC’s whois database, whois.afrinic.net.
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
changed: **********@ripe.net 20050223
source: RIPE

% Information related to ‘82.128.18.0/23AS36954’

route: 82.128.18.0/23
descr: MLTL IP ADDRESS BLOCK
origin: AS36954
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-RPSL-MNT
mnt-by: MLTL-INT-MNT
changed: ****@multi-links.com 20070617
source: RIPE

2007.12.01

Beep Beep Day

Catch the fever!

Just be sure and do it on the right side of the road.

2007.11.15

From The Two-Plus-Two-Equals-One Department

The unanswered question is, which had the greater suction, the vacuum cleaner or the black hole at the center of this guy’s head?

A man using a vacuum cleaner to suck gasoline out of a vehicle was burned and his house damaged when the fuel exploded, the Albuquerque Fire Department said.

2007.09.25

Marcel Marceau

I had to dig to find this, but it was worth it. It’s the autographed program from when I saw Marcel Marceau perform here in Denver in 1980 (click for larger image):

Marcel Marceau 1

I studied French for 5 years and used it only twice in my life for actual conversation. Once while traveling through Canada and once after waiting near two hours at the back entrance of the theater for Marcel Marceau. I told him, in French, that I thought his performance was fantastic and asked for his autograph (Yes, I have spoken with the mime!), which he gave. Still a memorable performance and an inspiration after more than 27 years.

I was saddened to hear of his passing.

2007.05.28

From The Good-Doggie-Gooooooood-Doggie Department

I don’t get it. This is America. We can put a man on the moon, evaporate milk and, most miraculously of all, find a way to entertain ourselves with the likes of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. So why is it we can’t figure out a way to get coyotes to attend some anger management classes? There ought to be a LAW that makes them behave, damn it! Please, think of the pets! If is saves at least one Bichon Frise it will have been worth it.

Coyote Warning

Came across this sign while on a bike ride this afternoon. Huge sections of field and brush were marked off, crime scene tape style, with these big scary red signs planted at regular intervals. Any PETA persons available to get in there and teach these pesky coyotes how to play nice in the neighborhood? I’m sure all you’ll need to do is sit down with them and show them you care. Perhaps some hugs and kisses will help, too.

2007.04.08

Althouse’s Law

[The blue ribbon panel of scientists at the prestigious Java Zen Institute for the Proliferation of Inconsequential Science and Humanities debated long and hard on whether the effects described herein should more appropriately be labeled “Althouse’s Catch,” but in the end settled on “Althouse’s Law.” The simple reason being that law professors ought to have laws named for them. That and a threatened law suit from the Amalgamated Union of Catchers, Baggers, Trappers and Boxers. Since it couldn’t be substantiated that Althouse has caught so much as a single cold in her life, the panel elected to avoid a reckless and litigious war of definitions. Besides, catches should be named after judges. – GPE]

Althouse’s Law: A law of discussions whereby the central point of an argument is increasingly marginalized by exaggerating, accentuating or obsessing on either the example elements of the argument or trivial, yet entertaining, side bars. The most common end result when Althouse’s Law has taken effect in a discussion is that the examples initially used to illustrate the original point or the trivial side bars become themselves the central theme of the argument. The effect of Althouse’s Law is accelerated if the examples or trivial side bars include so called “hot button” references such as breasts, divas or tears.

Similar to Godwin’s Law, when a discussion is trapped by the effects of Althouse’s Law, all meaningful discourse related to the original argument is no longer possible. Left unchecked or unrecognized by those caught in the flow away from the original argument, the extreme and ultimate end of Althouse’s Law results in the unfortunate casting of the unwitting into Althouse’s Vortex1.

Althouse’s Law was named for University of Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse, who’s personal blog was instrumental in elucidating much of the underlying effects described by Althouse’s Law.

_______________________________

1 Althouse’s Vortex is a theoretical blogosphere construct. There is much anecdotal evidence that Althouse’s Vortex exists, however no one has ever returned from having been caught in such a structure so very little is know about its nature. What is know is that those who claim to “get” Althouse generally end up in the Althouse Vortex. There seems to be a force at work in regards to the Althouse Vortex that is similar to determining whether or not one is a “hacker.” You’re not a hacker until someone else, preferably a recognized hacker, calls you a hacker. Likewise, you don’t “get” Althouse unless someone else, preferably someone on the “gets it” list, says you “get” Althouse. This quandary was at the heart of the debate on whether to call the effect defined in this post Althouse’s Law or Althouse’s Catch.

Evidence of having fallen into Althouse’s Vortex usually comes in the form of repeated ad hominem attacks against a particular author even though the attacker may, in fact, agree with the author.

[For the record, I don’t get Althouse. At all. – GPE]

2007.04.07

Dog Sense

If you’re a puppy and your owner has just given you a bath prior to a trip to the vet, what do you do just before leaving? Why, you sneak outside and dig in the muddy flower beds, of course.

Rose

2007.04.04

Evil Twin

😈

I have one. Do you?

I’ll just let mine introduce himself…

Wow. He has birth certificates and everything. What he doesn’t have is a sense of responsibility for paying his own damn bills.

More to the story of my Evil Twin can be found here. I have more than 20 years of history in dealing with this idiot from time to time, frequently in response to risks against my credit rating. I suppose at some point all this background, plus much more, will be posted on the blog. But for now, all I wanted to do was experiment with how to embed audio files into my blog.

2007.03.20

Unbearable Cuteness

God’s Holy Trousers! Not again!

Allahpundit at Hot Air reports: Lethally adorable baby polar bear marked for death

By, um, animal rights activists. The zookeepers are domesticating him, which means he might have trouble interacting with other polar bears later, which naturally means it’s better that he die.

I’m not unsympathetic to their position. Cuteness at moderate levels is productive and useful, but cuteness this highly enriched could cause mass shock, seizures, and uncontrollable cooing. If it were ever to fall into the wrong hands…

Let’s just pray that day never comes.

I lived through the massive cuteness release here in Denver when the twin polar bear cubs, Klondike and Snow, were unleashed upon the world. It’s been 12 years and the effects can still be seen and felt – people smiling with fond memories, brisk souvenir sales of bear cub stuffed toys, bumper stickers.

I toughed it out, like any resident to their hometown would. You hunker down and endure. But like so many others, I felt compelled, obligated even, to visit ground 0 X 2. So I did and was overwhelmed. I’m not ashamed to admit I smiled at their playfulness, their delightful curiosity, their innocence.

Alas, the animal rights activists have a solution different from that found for Klondike and Snow.

🙁

[Edit History]

2007.03.23

But wait! Knut lives! Reckless, it is, for those zookeepers to be handling such a critter without cute tongs and anti-cuddle suits. Mark my words, they’ll regret it.

2007.03.27

Run for the shelters, folks! Run! (H/T Allahpundit)


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