Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Wednesday, 2021.12.01
I was at this restaurant. The sign said "Breakfast Anytime." So I ordered French
Toast in the Rennaissance.

		Steven Wright

2007.02.09

Dangerous Cuteness IV

The pups at 7 weeks. It’s down to a pick between one of these two:

Duo - 7 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness III
Dangerous Cuteness II
Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.02.02

The Hands of God…

…and the power of a sacrificial embrace borne from love. Nothing short of stunning.

The closer a counterfeit comes to the genuine article, the more obvious the deceit. As the murderer dressed in women’s clothes walked purposefully toward his target, there was a village man ahead. But under the guise of a simple villager was a true Martyr, and he, too, had his target in sight. The Martyr had seen through the disguise, but he had no gun. No bomb. No rocket. No stone. No time.

The Martyr walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug, on the spot where we were now standing.

The blast ripped the Martyr to pieces which fell along with pieces of the enemy. Ball-bearings shot through the alley and wounded two children, but the people in the mosque were saved. The man lay in pieces on the ground, his own children having seen how his last embrace saved the people of the village.

I am continually impressed by Michael Yon’s work. He is what the MSM can only dream of becoming. And I continue to support his work. Will you?

(H/T HotAir.com)

Previously:

Michael Yon Still Fighting HFM, et al.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

A similar story. (H/T Bruce Schneier)

2007.02.01

It’s My Blog And I’ll Cry When I Want To

Althouse is having problems with the new Blogger. The “new and improved”, post-upgrade software seems to be as palatable as New Coke. She describes the issues from the blogger’s perspective and I can attest her site is taking a while to load. Haven’t tried to post any comments yet. I noticed similar problems with Gateway Pundit’s site a month or so ago when he was upgrading to the new Blogger. Gateway Pundit’s site always took longer to load, but for several weeks it took a really long time. Seems to be back to normal slow speed now so perhaps the Althouse issues, at least for the visitors, will resolve over time.

I had looked at Blogger several years ago and didn’t much care for the interface and functional layout from a blogger’s perspective. The steps for posting comments still strikes me as rather tedious. I have some doubts about how Blogger tracks web traffic, too. Over the past several months I’ve been working to sort out the JZ:TOL traffic patterns and the trends have been rather interesting. SPAM has been the biggest issue. As I identify IP addresses associated with SPAM, I ban them and they drop out of my traffic statistics. Bots are another big issue. In most cases, I want the bots because I want my blog to show up in search engines and such. But I don’t include bot traffic in my stats. Does Blogger count SPAM hits, even ones that are successfully filtered? Does Blogger count bot scans as if they were visitors? Same questions could be asked of the various third party site meter services.

Eventually, I settled on WordPress and have used it ever since. But there was a deeper criteria for me when looking for a content management system. I had to have complete control over the system. I wanted unfettered access to the web logs, the database, the code and the system. This means it had to be hosted on a machine I owned. This greatly expanded the options for software, backup and recovery strategies, and upgrades.

Granted, the capability to manage such a system is extra work and not something that is desirable for the vast majority of bloggers. It’s a question of trade-offs and accumulated experience. System administration tasks are for me what handling a saw is for a woodworker – not much effort because of the many years practice in handling the tools. Upgrades to JZ:TOL always occur on a non-public mirror site so I can see the effect and assess the impact of any upgrades or code changes. The upside is near transparent upgrades to the public blog. And in the unlikely event of a water landing after an upgrade to the public blog, I have a rollback strategy in place that can restore the previous site in a matter of minutes. Apparently, Blogger doesn’t have such capabilities. Having such a system in place also makes the blog more secure as patches and upgrades can be tested and pushed within hours of the announced patch or upgrade.

Like I said, it’s a question of trade-offs and accumulated experience. When I have a legal problem, even a relatively small one, I hire an attorney. With Althouse, probably not the case.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

Didn’t mean to imply JZ:TOL is hosted on WordPress. Rather, I use the WordPress software application on my own javazen.com server. Ambiguity fixed.

2007.01.31

Dangerous Cuteness III

The pups at 6 weeks.

Trio - 6 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness II
Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.01.30

Return Of The Anti-SPAM Code

The dreaded comments CAPTCHA has returned to JZ:TOL. I dislike these, but the volume of comment SPAM has increased dramatically since this blog has been linked by several higher traffic blogs. There are also several common Google searches that seem to land here. I’ve been selectively banning IP addresses (virtually everything from China) for several months, which has helped, but it wasn’t enough. Hence the reintroduction of the anti-spam code requirement to post a comment. Hopefully, the balance between convenience for the commentators and sanity for the webmaster will be tolerable.

2007.01.25

Sponges Who Use Sponges

Bold prediction: There will soon be warning labels on sponges. Why? Just examine the evidence:

[A] study that found microwave ovens can be used to sterilize kitchen sponges sent people hurrying to test the idea this week — with sometimes disastrous results.

But several experimenters evidently left out the crucial step of wetting the sponge.

“Just wanted you to know that your article on microwaving sponges and scrubbers aroused my interest. However, when I put my sponge/scrubber into the microwave, it caught fire, smoked up the house, ruined my microwave, and pissed me off,” one correspondent wrote.

Maybe there should be a law that says you have to be smarter than a sponge to use a sponge.

(H/T Slashdot)

2007.01.24

Dangerous Cuteness II

The pups at 5 weeks.

Trio - 5 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.01.21

Operating Room Tantrum

Ouch. But you’ll be delighted to know the surgeon “has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.” Suspended, not revoked.

The medical costs will be paid by the hospital’s insurer, but doctors’ unions have criticised [sic] the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.

They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.

A “dangerous precedent?” Dangerous? The Romanian doctors’ union needs a better understanding of what “dangerous” means. An unstable surgeon with a knife standing over an unconscious patient is dangerous.

Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: ‘Ciomu’s case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.’

Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they’re doing.

Obviously, if you are a Romanian doctor, that is. Consequences for destructive behavior commensurate with the damage done are a good thing. It’s the difference between dangerous and deterrence.

[The surgeon] told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.

No kidding. I wonder if the physically damaged patient, in lieu of the monetary damages awarded by the court, would be allowed a moment alone with the good doctor for a “temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems” of his own. It is stunning to see other Romanian doctors circle the wagons around Naum “The Hacker” Ciomu, referring to his mutilating conniption as “a mistake.”

I have to say, though, the caption to the picture in the article is, shall we say, rather ill conceived.

[Edit History]

2007.01.21

Added thoughts related to the position taken by the Romanian doctors’ union.

2007.01.20

Blog Haiku #14

This here is
Your here.
And still not the same.

2007.01.19

Blog Haiku #13

This unseen cloud
That blocks your view
Does not exist.

2007.01.18

Dangerous Cuteness

The pups at 4 weeks.

Trio - 4 weeks

I’ll have a pick of one from two of these three (it’s set math, but I have faith you can figure it out.) Clearly, it won’t be easy.

Previously:

A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.01.13

Rocky Mountain High

Spent most of the day in Breckenridge (Colorado) visiting my brother and nephew who are visiting from New York for a ski trip in the glorious Rocky Mountains. This is the view from I-70 about the Genesee exit.

Rocky Mountains

Simply breathtaking.

2007.01.10

A Dog Needs A Dog

Somewhere buried in this new techo-widget I got several weeks back, beneath the MP3 player, the still camera, the video camera, the web browser, games and the manual only knows what else, there is a phone. Once I figured out how that worked the rest became so much cruft to be ignored. A few days back, an almost need arose for a camera in an unanticipated situation. So it was time to learn how the camera feature worked. Pretty simple and the quality was better than I expected. Here’s the old lady:

Jasmine 1Jasmine 2

Since Mac Duff’s departure, Jasmine has been slowly sinking. She’s a fabulous companion for me, but alas I’m wholly unqualified to be a good dog. On walks where we encountered other dogs, Jaz would light up. Clearly, she needs a companion dog. It doesn’t help that most of the sidewalks around here are pretty much buried under ice and snow. That makes it difficult to walk a small dog, especially and old, slightly arthritic one. Hence the search began more than a month ago for a buddy to Jasmine. Happy to say, it looks like I have one lined up.

The criteria were fairly straightforward. No large dogs and no nano dogs. Most of my experience is with terriers so to minimize the learning curve as well as insure the greatest compatibility with Jasmine, my skills and the house/yard configuration, the choice came down to either a Silky terrier, a Cairn terrier or a West Highland terrier.

I looked at all the rescue organizations for each of the breeds, but the wait was too long or the expense was too great once travel/transport was factored in. Some of the dogs also had behavior problems which would not have worked with the combination of Jasmine’s age and me not being able to be at the house 24/7. A puppy would be easier to work with in this regard, but they rarely show up on the rescue dog circuit – at least not for the breeds I was looking for.

So the next option was to look for a breeder. I looked at quite a few. Some had rather…um….extensive requirements and made adopting a child look like shopping at Wal-Babies. Agree to unannounced visits for the life of the animal? I don’t think so. First right of refusal for the life of the animal if I have to give it up? Nope, not after I paid for air transport. I want breeders to work to place their animals in good homes and I expect some level of checking. But once I’ve been cleared, the deal is done and I start carrying the bills, the breeder should be out of the picture except for any guarantees they may have offered.

I have found a dog breeder with whom I am comfortable doing business. I won’t mention the breeder until the puppy is home and settled, but so far so good. For a Silky or a Cairn, there would have been the added expense of air travel. But a Westie breeder with several recent litters was found within a few days drive. Close enough I can bring Jasmine along for the road trip. Around mid February, I’ll have my pick from two of the following three female puppies (shown at 3 weeks):

Trio - 3 weeks

Hmmmmmm. What to name the puppy…

2007.01.09

Blog Haiku #12

Without a pen
the keyboard
scribbles upon the blogosphere.

2007.01.03

The Helping Hand

Normally, when eating an orange, I like to carefully peel the skin away and enjoy each perfectly portioned slice. Such was the goal when I sat down this evening to cruise a few favorite blogs and catch up on what’s been happening. What I happened to be reading as I started peeling the orange caused one of those nanosecond wince-flinches that resulted in the orange being torn near in half.

Orange

It brought forward some painful memories. I was reading one of Cathy Seipp’s posts in which she mentions a few of the ways people have endeavored to “help” her, but which have caused her to bite her tongue.

Since several years before Janet’s death, I’ve been taking notes on how a person might be helpful to someone fighting a life threating disease or injury. This will eventually be part of the book I’m writing to compliment Janet’s book. I do believe everyone means well, but for a variety of reasons, how they express their desire to help often ends up being…well, not very helpful. I made note of some to the goofy things people did in the name of “helping” as well as those things which others did that were exquisitely, even elegantly helpful. Inspired by Cathy’s post, I’d like to share a few of those notes here.

What you offer to do should save the person you are helping their most precious commodity: time. Time to spend how they see fit – alone, with family, friends – not necessarily you. If you are genuinely helpful, it will be appreciated if not always acknowledged, particularly if the one you are helping is in pain.

Think before you do. Is your help really helping? It may make you feel good to spontaneously empty the dishwasher. But when the person you were trying to help has to spend the equivalent amount of time looking for the potato peeler you stashed in a seemly logical place on the other side of the kitchen from where it normally lives, you have not helped. Worse, you have cost them valuable time and left them aggravated.

This leads to the notion of helping in a consistent manner. If the person takes the time to show you where things belong when unloading the dishwasher, then be the dishwasher helper person. Own that chore and do it consistently. The more you can be transparent in your help, the more helpful you actually are. Trust me, this will be noticed and greatly appreciated.

Do some of the unpleasant chores, like empty the trash or clean a bathroom. When ever Janet was feeling particularly bad, there was no want for people willing to rub her feet, massage her hands, read her stories and such – all things I wanted to do because they were enjoyable, things we did normally together and, most importantly, time spent with Janet. Not once did anyone ever pick up a clue and offer to pick up the dog shit in the backyard. No special skills needed for that one. There were a couple of offers to weed Janet’s rose garden. One actually followed through, the other bailed when Janet died before the promised weeding date. Er, that was helpful.

Cooking is a risky way to help someone who is ill. If you are unfamiliar with the ill person’s dietary needs, it’s almost guaranteed to be a miss. (H/T to friends Angie and Bruce who pulled this one off with perfection. But then again, they are each skilled in the ways of paying attention to the details.) If you must, bring canned or otherwise non-perishable food (i.e. it can be kept in a box in the basement for 5 years.) And make sure what you bring is high quality. It may be fancy for your tastes, but show you care enough to see they are eating good when they feel like eating. That 5 pound can of Ol’ Slim’s Genuine Campfire Stew from Costco says “doorstop” and not “I care.” Go ahead and visit that high floutin’ organic food store and buy some quality soups.

Offer to help only in ways you can complete. Leaving a chore half done is most often worse than having never started it. This also implies offering to help only with things for which you are qualified. If you think the Internet is made of tubes, keep your hands off anything electronic. If your experience with cooking doesn’t go much beyond vending machines and a can opener, stay out of the kitchen. And even if you are qualified to practice medicine, perform an aura balancing, read tea leaves, preach the gospel or exercise The Devil, keep your yap shut unless the person you wish to help specifically asks for your help in this regard. It’s near certain you will upset them on some level, even though they may be polite to your face.

If they do ask for help, be attentive to when they have had enough of what you are offering. Tune your senses to recognize when they are tired or increasingly uncomfortable. Then look for other ways to help that get you out of the way. Running errands is a good way to help. You are saving the person time and energy while staying out of their way.

That’s about it for now. Rule of Thumb: If how you are contemplating helping has you feeling a nagging sense of uncomfortable doubt, it’s best to reconsider and cast around for another, simpler way to help. “Thinking of you” cards with a personal note are a good thing.

So this post is for you, Cathy Siepp. Thinking of you and hope this helps.


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