Hoist by my own tools
I was always bothered by the behavior of velocity that on certain errors, it would throw a stack but no message. I finally got fed up and decided to track it down. It turned out to be not a bug with Velocity or Kayak, but rather a bug in the "logfilt" tool that I wrote to trim down log output. The regex to strip away the preamble stuff in  was too hungry, and was eating the entire message when the velocity message had a ] on it. Bah! There is probably some trite lesson here, but I am too sleep deprived to articulate it.