Posts tagged #from-blosxom

These posts are from version 1.0 of mahnamahna.net, when the site’s blog was powered by Blosxom. Everything here dates to 2010 and earlier. Expect broken links, and in a few cases, broken/missing site functionality.

Of Shoulders

Yesterday I read that Giants closer Robb Nen is out for the season with a torn rotator cuff. Surgery is required. Sigh.

Then I came to home to find new e-mail from my mother. Turns out my 87-year-old grandmother has been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. Surgery is required.

 Sigh.

Perfect Moments

In 1997, Zannah, having fallen in love, created an exquisite online monument to her boy, which grew over the subsequent two years. The hopeless romantic in me thinks this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen on the web. I wish there were more than fifty-six entries; I could page through these all night.

[Zannah also writes two fantastic blogs, vox.machina and #!/usr/bin/girl.]

I’m Listening

Two fantastic albums I’ve been enjoying lately:
  • Sway by Phaser. I saw this in the “new indies” section at Rasputin’s, with an interesting writeup beside it. Bought it on a whim. A little hard to describe — something like a fusion of Radiohead and The Verve. Extremely good stuff.
  • Evolve by Ani DiFranco. I have never been an Ani fan, but holy cow am I hooked now. Did you think folk-inspired music was dead? Did you think political music was dead? Wrong, boyo. Check out this disc’s title track. And regarding track four, “Slide”: Where else are you going to find lyrics like “my pussy is a tractor, and this is a tractor pull”? (And where can I find me a girl with that kinda spunk?)

Can’t Trust That Day”

How’s this for a Monday morning? You arrive at work to discover that, for the second time in as many years, an A/C unit on the floor above you malfunctioned over the weekend, sending water dripping down into your cube for hours and hours, destroying dead-tree files, soaking yer chair, and turning the carpet all spongy. As before, nothing expensive (yet replaceable) was damaged; the only casualties were cheap (but irreplaceable): interesting handouts from a training session I attended last year, docs and specs from older projects for which there never were electronic copies, and so forth. I have a funny feeling that since there is no immediate cost tied to this, in another year’s time I’ll go through this yet again. I wish the flood had destroyed my PC and monitor. That might have gotten a beancounter’s attention — when that happens, things get done. Hmmph.

I’m a Little Glowing Friend”

I saw They Might Be Giants at the Great American Music Hall tonight. Predictably, they rocked the house. Just blew the roof right off the dump. It was a relatively typical TMBG show: Flansburgh never seems to age; Linnell always looks a bit different (he changes his hair or something) and a bit haggard. They are still touring with the Band of Dans, and guitarist Dan Miller never fails to amaze me. Glad to see that Flansburgh still delights in leading the crowd in a chant of “Dan Miller! Fuck yeah! Dan Miller! Fuck yeah!”

Now here’s the real scoop. If you’re me, what is the best thing you can imagine seeing on-stage? How about one of your very favorite bands covering a Beatles tune? Wait, we can do better than that: How about one of your very favorite bands covering a George song? “Fuck yeah!” But wait, we … read full post »

A Beachwalk

Yesterday afternoon, I had already done my “work” (read: apartment hunting) for the day, so I headed into the City for a walk on the beach. If you’re me, you need walks on the beach from time to time. I’ve had one coming for a few weeks now. It was overdue.

Walks at Ocean Beach are one of the very few rituals in my life. The rules are simple.
  1. Drive to Ocean Beach; park at the southmost end of the lot near the foot of Lincoln Way.
  2. Shoes and socks come off. Pants get rolled up. It’s better if you wear shorts, or those crazy cargo pants whose shins zip off, resulting in a long, many-pocketed pair of shorts.
  3. Walk straight out to the water’s edge, get feet wet. It hurts at first.
  4. Turn right. Walk northward till you arrive at the cliff wall where further progress is impossible.
  5. Touch cliff wall. Very important.
  6. Walk back. …
read full post »

Sexy Beast Connection #2

Sexy Beast is one of two movies released in 2001 to feature a human-sized, demonic-looking rabbit. The other is Donnie Darko. Both these films are worth seeing, but the latter is one of my favorite films. Friday night, I watched it for the third or perhaps fourth time.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays troubled teen Donnie Darko — a ninth grader, I’m guessing. Donnie’s older sister is played by, well, Jake’s older sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, whom you will never, ever forget once you’ve seen Secretary. Chief amongst Donnie’s woes is a bad sleepwalking trend. He frequently finds himself far afield in the morning. At one point, we see him waking up on a golf course. The previous night, he had a conference on the putting green with his six-foot rabbit-demon, Frank. It’s that kind of movie. (It was released in October and its story ends on Halloween.)

But it’s also … read full post »

Sexy Beast Connection #1

At Rasputin’s last week, I picked The Stranglers Greatest Hits out of the used bin, kind of on a whim. I only knew one Stranglers song, “Peaches,” which serves as opening theme music for a great movie, Sexy Beast. Fun song that makes me smile + cheap used CD = spontaneous purchase.

Turns out it’s a fun disc, with a neat cover of a song I had not heard in years: “96 Tears,” originally a hit for Question Mark and the Mysterians in 1966. During my childhood, whenever that version of the song came on the car radio, my dad would emit an excited “Ooh!” or “Yes!” and crank the volume up. Great song. Sometimes the painfully simple lyrics work best:
Too many teardrops
For one heart
To be crying

Too many teardrops
For one heart
To carry on

Geek Disaster

Today my c: drive at work bit the dust.

I was installing Mandrake 9.1 and told it to go ahead and resize XP’s NTFS partition. It did that, but it also corrupted said partition. I actually don’t know for certain that the data loss is Mandrake’s fault — through a stupid mistake of my own that I cannot bring myself to detail here, the partition may have been in a damaged state when I told Mandrake to resize it. But I did not realize that until it was too late. And now I’ll never know.

The machine in question is a brand-spankin’-new Dell that I’ve only had for two months, and I still have my old machine, so I’ve really only lost two months’ worth of data. (Plus, a lot of my work — email included — lives on a server, not on my local drive.) The main loss … read full post »

And Once, Center Street Was A Creekbed

Berkeley’s College Avenue used to be Audubon Avenue. Telegraph was Choate, and Shattuck was Guyot. Martin Luther King Jr. Way was Grove Street. The flatlands were known as Ocean View. And those are just the changes in placenames. Fellow lovers of the East Bay, check out the history of Berkeley.

He Is Risen

Today, I observed Easter for the first time in years, accompanying A&B to morning services at San Francisco’s Glide Memorial United Methodist Church. This ain’t church like I’ve ever seen it. Glide is the lifework of the Reverend Cecil Williams, who, over the past four decades, has built one of the most diverse, all-embracing, active congregations in the country. They are ten thousand strong. They are a tremendous force for good, and when you are in their midst, they seem to you unstoppable.

You find Glide in the middle of the Tenderloin, one of San Francisco’s dreariest, most neglected neighborhoods. The Sunday services are anchored by the Change band — guitars, keyboard, sax, trumpet, trombone, drums. These guys rock the house as well as your soul. Then there’s the Glide Ensemble, a great big choir, what a whiteboy like me would call a “gospel” choir, but that … read full post »

Worst. Rule. Ever.

It’s all about baseball: April’s not even past us yet, and I’ve already taken in a National League game and an American League game. Today my afternoon consisted of beautiful sunshine, hot dogs, beer, a large soft pretzel with mustard, and a spanking of the Texas Rangers by the Oakland Athletics, 12-2.

I’d really like to be a hardcore A’s fan, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. Nearly every game they play is marred by the designated hitter rule, one of the foulest creations known to man. Interestingly enough, there is an entire Web site devoted to abolishing the DH, but in reality, that will never happen as long as there is a players’ union. Here’s a bit of irony: History’s first designated hitter can’t believe the rule is still in place.

College in the Web Era

When I was a sophomore at Cal, I remember teaching folks how to use the World Wide Web. It was exciting new technology that a lot of students hadn’t yet experienced.

Less than ten years later, things are quite different, of course. Students now blog and hack together creations like U.C. Berkeley Hot or Not and Final Distance, which, when fed your desired class list, outputs an optimized class schedule. Actually signing up for classes happens on the Web now, too. Wow. I hope the Tele-BEARS phone bots found work.

I’m No Biologist, But…

The World Health Organization has confirmed that SARS is caused by the “same virus” that brought you the common cold. If that’s true, then how come every article I read speaks optimistically of a vaccine or even a cure? I mean, if it’s the same virus that causes the cold—which, last time I checked, can’t be prevented or killed off once it’s got you—then aren’t we just fucked?

Why Most of Us Drive Too Much

Conflict of Transportation Competitors is titled like a government report and reads like one too, but it is fascinating nevertheless. Wanna see how the Bay Bridge worked when trains crossed it? How about a map of the old Key System, which at one point connected San Francisco, Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, and San Leandro with electric streetcars? What’s with those “expressways” in San Jose? Also: details on how General Motors systematically destroyed every major transit system in California (with the exception of San Francisco’s Muni). Makes me feel kinda dirty for driving a Pontiac.

[found on Boing Boing]

End of an Era

I knew this was coming, but I don’t keep up on NYC news as well as I’d like, so I did not know until today that tokens for the New York subway were sold for the very last time this past weekend. [Feel free to use the user/pass pair “gatsby/daisy” if you don’t have a NYT account.]

Back in college, visiting New York was nothing but a dream, and a friend named Anastasia gave me a subway token as a sort of “you’ll get there someday” keepsake. There has been an MTA token on my keychain ever since. Now it’s a relic. Sigh.

I have to admit that Metrocards are nifty and convenient, but I’ve always liked the tokens. The very idea that the transit system was so important as to merit its own currency struck me with awe the first time I found myself in Manhattan. I never knew … read full post »

How Blogs Will Reshape Content Distribution

Dave Winer is a brilliant, high-profile software/standards developer and Big Thinker who pontificates about this and that in his DaveNet blog and keeps track of the geeky world of scripting (as it relates to Web development) and more in his Scripting News blog. Winer is a dyed-in-the-wool commercial software developer: His company produces and sells the popular (and powerful) Radio Userland desktop blogging software. I tend not to give Winer as much credit as he probably deserves because — and this should be no surprise given his mode of making a living — he is hostile to the Open Source and Free Software movements, and has been known to badmouth both with red herrings and false premises. Winer likes open standards, but not Open Source. Pity.

He really does understand the power of the Web, though, and more specifically, the emerging power of Weblogs. His latest missive ties together … read full post »