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 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 05 November 2006
uglycute bulldog
The bulldog I met at the laundromat.

(Double-post today to make up for a busy, postless Saturday. Have I destroyed my NaBloPoMo mojo?)
posted to /life at 10:05pm :: 0 responses
Friday, 03 November 2006
My alma mater’s longheld desire to renovate its football stadium has hit yet another unexpected snag: It appears that the current plans would effectively destroy the longstanding Golden Bears institution known as Tightwad Hill. I’ve never watched a game from up there, but I’ve always liked the idea that it was a possibility. My hunch is that the university will destroy the Tightwad tradition, just as surely as it has quashed decades of tradition at nearby Bowles Hall.
posted to /life/bayarea at 2:03pm :: 0 responses
Thursday, 02 November 2006
1. The new Sequoia e-voting machines set to debut in my home county of Alameda next week apparently have a rather awful flaw: “Just push the yellow button and you can vote as many times as you want.” No kidding. And of course, the brain-dead (or are they willfully devious?) public officials who have adopted this horrid technology are still missing the point. They say they’re going to ensure that poll workers watch the machines all day — to make sure there’s no funny business from the voters. Apparently nobody remembers Florida in 2000, which taught us that it’s not the voters you have to worry about, but the election officials themselves, who now have another tool in their arsenal should they decide to rig an election and leave no evidence behind. This is frightening as all hell. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 has proven to be exactly what you would expect from the current Republican regime — a boondoggle for greedy/evil corporations that want government money (heaps of it) for producing shitty products or providing shitty services. We’re seeing it all over the map. Halliburton in Iraq. Various companies providing expensive, ineffective machines for the “security theater” ridiculousness at our airports. And then companies like Diebold and Sequoia, who really take the cake because they’re not just providing shitty solutions — they’re undermining our very democracy. Three cheers for the American Way.

2. Heard this joke last night, am loving it. How many Bush administration officials does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, as there is nothing wrong with the lightbulb — as a matter of fact, the situation with the lightbulb is improving every day. And it’s hard work. But any talk of a lack of illumination is liberal, Democrat spin. Besides, you think the Democrats have a plan to replace the lightbulb? They want us to just live in the dark! That’s what you’re voting for if you vote for a Democrat — you’re voting for darkness. Why do you hate our freedom?
posted to /politics at 12:02pm :: 1 response
Wednesday, 01 November 2006
Aux2CarPROBLEM: You want to play the music on your iPod (or other digital jukebox) in the car, where you have a factory head unit with an AUX that only talks to CD changers — and you live in an urban area where all FM frequencies are taken, so those stupid FM transmitter solutions simply don’t work at all.

SOLUTION: The Aux2Car from Peripheral Electronics. You purchase this sucker, plus a customized harness that connects it to the head unit in your particular vehicle. As far as your car stereo is concerned, this sucker is a CD changer, but of course, it’s not. It just talks to whatever device you plug into it.

The whole shebang cost me about a hundred bucks (great prices on eBay…), and it took about an hour to install. The installation procedure includes the setting of DIP switches, which I hadn’t encountered for years; I felt taken back in time in a very happy way. And now, there’s a plug in my car that fits right into the line out of my MP3 player (a 20GB Rockbox-ed iRiver IHP-120 — soon to be replaced by an 80GB iPod, as soon as Rockbox runs on those), or the headphone jack of my Treo 700P cell phone, which is sporting a 4GB card full of tunes these days. Digital music in the car, at long last! HUZZAH!
posted to /tech at 2:01pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 31 October 2006
I am following in the footsteps of HairyAlien and Majordojo and committing to NaBloPoMo, which means I’ll be posting to this blog every day in November. The idea is kind of an intentional reboot. (And besides, I’ve always been too chickenshit to try NaNoWriMo.)

Will you join us? Commit in the comments.
posted to /site at 12:31pm :: 1 response
Friday, 20 October 2006
Cory Doctorow hits all the right notes with his scathing critique of the Boy Scouts’ latest move — the creation of a merit badge for “respecting copyright.” You guessed it, the MPAA is behind this.

(UPDATE: Wow, I didn’t know this, but apparently Penn and Teller did a whole episode of their Bullshit! TV program on how the Scouts have effectively been turned into an arm of the Mormon church over the past few decades. I’m gonna have to watch this. The story is well-known to many who have been involved in Scouting during the time period, but it’s a story the mainstream media won’t touch with a ten foot pole. UPDATE 2: Turns out it’s not a merit badge in the original story; it’s an activity badge. The distinction is important, but I shan’t bore non-Scouters with the details.)
posted to /news at 1:20pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 16 October 2006
  • ITEM: “The wave” that sports event crowds do — a Bay Area creation?
  • ITEM: Supreme Court lets stand California ruling that municipalities may respond to the discriminatory ways of the Boy Scouts of America (covered previously)
  • ITEM: “Results-Only Work Environment” — corporate speak for compassionate employment? (I need a ROWE job!)
  • ITEM: Correlation is not causation, yadda yadda, but: Does TV trigger autism?
  • ITEM: Neat! the_lucky_duck compares Scorsese’s The Departed with Infernal Affairs (the Hong Kong flick that inspired it)
posted to /misc/items at 12:16pm :: 1 response
Wednesday, 04 October 2006
Colorado Division of Wildlife officers were called to a school near Boulder on Tuesday to deal with a drunk and disorderly, bear. The wobbly bear was spotted in a neighborhood in Lyons, near Boulder, and she was having a hard time walking. Officers said the bear was probably drunk from eating fermented apples.
With video (!), so you can see for yourself: This bear was wasted!

[previous editions of Bears in the News]
posted to /news at 12:04pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 03 October 2006
a Burning ManAs happened last year, it has taken me an embarassingly long time to get my Burning Man pictures up. But here they are, at long last.

The word I’ve been using to describe my third Burn is “transcendent.” I am still feeling the playa’s effects; I am still discerning the meaning of all I encountered and experienced; I am still in a state of flux. It is mostly a happy, happy feeling.
posted to /site at 2:03pm :: 1 response
Wednesday, 20 September 2006
  • ITEM: The neatest photograph you’ll see on the Web today.
  • ITEM: “American Buddhism on the rise” sez the Christian Science Monitor.
  • ITEM: It made me cry: Brother-sister Holocaust survivors find each other after 65 years. (Thanks, KW!)
  • ITEM: A good take on the disgusting torture debate in Washington. “Who would Jesus attack with dogs?”
  • ITEM: Heard on the radio this morning: A rockin’, twangy country remake of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” by The Gourds. (Thanks, KALX!)
  • ITEM: The Knack is suing Run DMC for sampling “My Sharona” in “It’s Tricky” — 20 years ago.
  • ITEM: I don’t remember this at all: The original video for “It’s Tricky” features Penn and Teller!
posted to /misc/items at 3:20pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 04 September 2006
I’ve returned to what Burners call “the default world” and it’s all feeling a little weird. Typical. Over at SFist is a report I filed from Black Rock City. I’ll have a picture gallery up here soon.
posted to /life at 5:04pm :: 3 responses
Friday, 04 August 2006
little boy and his parents at the beachJust a few dozen yards away, the boy was squeaking and giggling and splashing up a storm. The best my camera phone could manage to record is the pathetic pixelated piclet you see here. Surprisingly, it does somehow manage to capture (for me, anyway) a bit of the human joy that was present in that moment.

(Note to self: take a real camera to the beach next time.)
posted to /life at 11:04am :: 0 responses
Monday, 31 July 2006

Certificate of Appointment - Deputy Commisioner of Civil Marriages

Yep, I’m a Deputy Commish. Licensed to solemnize!

posted to /life at 12:31am :: 2 responses
Sunday, 30 July 2006
Thanks in no small part to a wee bit of Perl coding by Majordojo, I have at long last launched a new comments system here. All old comments have been carried over, and hundreds and hundreds of spam comments have been removed. Let’s see how this goes.
posted to /site at 1:30am :: 0 responses
Monday, 10 July 2006
Cody's Books (RIP)The Telegraph Avenue location of Cody’s Books closes today. It’s big news. People are sad. I was feeling the same way until I read these latest words from owner Andy Ross:
“Students today, they use the Internet. They read their textbooks,” Ross said. “In the ’70s, they had wide-ranging intellect.”
This is not the first time Ross has blamed his clientele (and elsewhere, the city of Berkeley) for the fact that he failed to adequately respond to changes in his own industry and in his business’s immediate environment. Your bookshop is not shutting down today because 21st-century students suck and don’t read books, Mr. Ross. Your bookshop is shutting down in part because your mindset shaped your business, and that mindset has become a lot more friendly to the yuppies who inhabit your store on Fourth Street than it has to the university students of today, plenty of whom have wide-ranging intellects and might have kept your store alive had you not been so dismissive and scornful of them.

[image stolen from]
posted to /life/bayarea at 3:10pm :: 3 responses
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