mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 2018 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006
On, an RFP is a Request For Prayer.

I got word this morning that a friend of some dear friends — someone I have hung out with several times, have always gotten along with, and have happy memories of — was in a terrible car accident this past Sunday as he traveled from the Bay Area to a new job and a new life in San Diego. He is hospitalized in an intensive care unit in Bakersfield with two broken legs, and unspecified internal and head injuries that my friends are hoping to learn more about soon. For now, if your spiritual tradition allows, please send thoughts, prayers, and hopeful vibes of lovingkindness out into the universe for the sake of Randy, who needs them right now.
posted to /life at 10:12am :: 0 responses
Saturday, 09 December 2006
… (among other things) hearing the ‘68 Beetle that you bought with your entire life’s savings when you were not quite sixteen (which you hold onto through the years even as everyone you know insists that you sell it) fire up for the first time in some eighteen months and ROAR in its humble, unique way.

(We all have a roar. It doesn’t matter if others don’t recognize it as such. It is a roar nevertheless. Own your roar.)
posted to /life at 2:09pm :: 0 responses
Thursday, 07 December 2006
Talk about different approaches. Here on the West Coast, we recently had smellerific cookie advertisements removed from San Francisco bus shelters after complaints from folks in the “environmental illness community.” (How ‘bout we just call ‘em scentsitives?)

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, they’re spraying chemicals into the air to make city streets smell more like Christmas. Yeeesh.
posted to /news at 4:07pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 06 December 2006
This is just a snippet of today’s wonderful Jon Carroll column:
… I was thinking about the masks we all wear when we go to work. The masks correspond to the roles we are asked to play, and also to the ambitions we may have for eventual advancement. For some people, their mask is heavy because there is a chasm between what they do and who they are. They are not actually smiling and subservient, and they do not believe that the customer is always right, and they do not believe that the person above them is by definition more competent than they are, but they pretend. They play the role. If they want a check at the end of the week, they have to play the role.

If you’ve been playing the role for a long time, you are a “professional.” “She’s a real pro,” people will say, meaning: She acts the way I expect her to act, and she knows how to do her job. Being a “real pro” means squelching the urge to scream. Real pros have a lot of revenge fantasies… .
posted to /misc at 10:06am :: 0 responses
Thursday, 30 November 2006
But: At last, I have found my scarf. :)
posted to /life at 10:30pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 29 November 2006
The Great Pine, by CezanneI’ve written before about Pine, the e-mail client I’ve been using for more than a decade. My love for Pine is hard to describe. I cannot think of another software application (of any type) that so perfectly lets me do exactly what I want to do, quickly and efficiently, no more, no less, never crashing, never surprising me in any way even as it has slowly evolved and sprouted new features. Pine is very easy to learn and use for geeks and non-geeks alike. No, it does not look modern. It does not need to. E-mail is a text medium.* A text-based app can handle things just fine. Pine does better than that. Pine kicks ass.

And now even moreso. Earlier tonight, the Free Software ecosystem grew a bit richer with the first public release of Alpine, the successor to Pine. Alpine looks and works just like Pine always has, and runs on Windows, Linux, and the Mac OS just like Pine did, but they’ve cleaned things up under the hood and rebirthed the whole thing under the Apache license, which is good news for everyone. Pine’s source has long been available, but Pine was never Open Source (or Free Software) because though you were allowed to meddle with Pine’s source code on your own, you were not allowed to share any modified or improved form of Pine. That restriction is gone with Alpine, so if the University of Washington chooses not to accept code contributions from the hacking public, legitimate, supercharged versions of Alpine could still emerge.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Alpine. All I know is, I like the idea that if I just learn enough C, I can make the slight changes I’ve been itching to make all these years and bequeath Mahna Mahpine to the world. I like that this part of my essential software stack is Free at last.

Here I present what may be the Web’s first screenshot of Alpine.

* Or is it a textual medium? Is there a copyeditor out there to make the call?
posted to /tech at 11:29pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 28 November 2006
… but I have somehow hidden my scarf from myself during the warm months. I cannot find it anywhere. :(
posted to /life at 11:28pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 27 November 2006
  • ITEM: “10 tangible things each of YOU can do to make traffic better” — preach it, brother!
  • ITEM: Most “how to be productive” tips are shite; these are not (a similar approach works for me, anyway, when I’m of a mind to be productive)
  • ITEM: Salma Hayek is shameless. And why shouldn’t she be? (technically SFW but perhaps not advised)
posted to /misc/items at 9:27pm :: 0 responses
It feels good to give.

(It feels good because it does your soul/spirit/whatever good.)

(When was the last time you surprised someone with a simple gift? Do you remember how you felt when their face lit up?)
posted to /wisdom at 9:27pm :: 1 response
Sunday, 26 November 2006
This is the time of year for rainy Sunday afternoons at matinees, so today I took in The Fountain. I have been waiting for this film for quite some time. The writer-director is Darren Aronofsky, who previously brought us Pi and Requiem For a Dream. The former is completely bizarre and unsettling, the latter about as harsh and brutal and nightmarish a time as I’ve ever had at the movies. But both proved that Aronofsky is the real deal. He can write, and he can shoot. The Fountain proves that like any artist, Aronofsky can also aim very high, and misfire.

The story we’re told spans a thousand years. Five hundred years ago, Hugh Jackman is Spanish conquistador Tomas, and Rachel Weisz his Queen Isabella. She sends him off to New Spain in search of the Fountain of Youth. After much toil and bloodletting, atop a Mayan pyramid he instead finds … a tree. And dies. more...
posted to /art/cinema at 11:26pm :: 2 responses
Friday, 24 November 2006
Over in the City, at the Buena Vista — the tavern that introduced Irish coffee to these shores — they’ve changed the whiskey they pour, actually moving away from their own private blend. The owner sez money has nothing to do with it. He just likes Tullamore Dew better, and claims that was the stuff they used when Irish coffee arrived here in 1952. Hmm.
posted to /life/bayarea at 9:24pm :: 0 responses
I will not judge the actions of the Buddhist monk in this news story, but I am very, very glad that I do not experience similar impulses.
posted to /news at 9:24pm :: 0 responses
Thanksgiving group picture

On a day like Thanksgiving, if you can’t be with family, you make family. Did you have a happy Thanksgiving? I did.
posted to /life at 8:24pm :: 1 response
Tuesday, 21 November 2006
Here we have American troops teasing Iraqi children who are apparently desperate for a drink of fresh water. Just listen to these asshats laughing it up. A nice reminder that there are plenty of ways to treat people cruelly without resorting to torture. Our forces seem to be exploring all options.

[spotted at Fark]
posted to /news at 2:21pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 20 November 2006
  • ITEM: Souvenirs
  • ITEM: How to fix shows (like Lost) that suffer from Twin Peaks syndrome
  • ITEM: Now different, not as good: Best Foods mayonnaise
  • ITEM: The newest attraction in NYC’s Times Square
  • ITEM: Episode 1 (of 8) of David Lynch’s Rabbits (6 minute video)
posted to /misc/items at 1:20pm :: 0 responses
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