The RightScale SQS gem returned an exception from SQS multiple times, including retries. Not an unusual event. This could have been caused by the SQS service being unavailable. However, the team noticed that despite the failure the message was actually successfully added to the queue and processed as normal.
ActiveSupport logger appears to open the default ruby logger and remove everything except the basic log message passed through. This is done for all subsequent uses of the logger. Perhaps this is done so that the log message could be passed to a syslog service which will add timestamps.