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.

Whirlwind

Yesterday: Laid off by my employer.

Tomorrow: My first-ever trip to Hawaii.

In between: Completely reacquainted myself with the unstoppable combined powers of the dharma, meditation, and the deep and abiding love of many wonderful people who care for me so much it’s beyond humbling.

New chapters await. An overdue reshuffling of priorities. Already, this soon, excitement is overtaking fear …

(Ka is a wheel!)

Bears In the News

silly old bearIt seems that in Macedonia, you can sue an animal. So when a bear ransacked a beekeeper’s hives, said beekeeper took the bear to court, suing for damages. And won. You may ask: Uh, who will pay? Don’t you worry, Macedonian courts think of everything:
A court in the city of Bitola found the bear guilty, and since it had no owner and belonged to a protected species, ordered the state to pay the 140,000 denars (1,726 pounds) [roughly US$3500] damage it caused to the hives.

Mad Props: A Voter’s Guide to California’s Ballot Measures

There is a ‘politics’ category on this blog for a simple reason: I am a lifelong student of the subject. This is partly due to circumstance. My father is a professor of political science—meaning, for instance, that back in the 80s, when I was wee, come a Friday night, the household’s singular television would spend half an hour tuned to PBS’s Washington Week in Review before we could move on to the “good stuff” (like Night Flight). But over time, dammit, political and current-events programming became the “good stuff” as far as I was concerned, and so it was, when I got to college, that studying literature wasn’t enough; I had to study literature and political science—thus leading to the unforgettable moment on the phone when dear old dad laughed and noted that I had chosen “not one, but two completely useless majors.” Ahem.

As a lifelong student … read full post »

Lock the Freaking Tray Tables

The “Can a plane on a treadmill take off?” debate returned to BoingBoing yesterday. More than a hundred comments so far. Everybody thinks they’re right; some of them are certainly wrong. Luckily, we get to find out who’s wrong Wednesday night on MythBusters, a show I’ve never seen on some cable network I never watch—but I will, because I want to see happen what I know will happen: The plane will take off. Why? Because Cecil Adams says so.

A Present, Every Day

Dale CooperHarry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just … let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or … two cups of good, hot, black coffee.”

FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper

Item Item Hoozgotta Item

  • ITEM: James Joyce gets namechecked in this lovely report of snow falling in Baghdad for the first time in living memory.
  • ITEM: How to Read The New Yorker in 10 Easy Steps
  • ITEM: Best Blogs of 2007 That You (Maybe) Aren’t Reading (this list introduced me to the wonderful bookforum)
  • ITEM: I wish this Ask MetaFilter thread on cooking for one were longer, but it’s got some nice ideas.
  • ITEM: Answers to the questions Cecil Adams refuses to answer. (Not bad!)
  • ITEM: For the geeks: Richard Stallman gets flamed. From the comments: “On the whole, RMS comes off as the most reasonable participant in the discussion. For all his reputation of extremist dogmatism, he’s not the one slinging ad hominems and resorting to hyperbolic fallacies. Indeed, his patience in the face of such is almost eerie.” I would say “zen-like.”
  • ITEM: For the geeks #2: Mark Pilgrim …
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Turn Turn Turn

me @ 33Last year, I took my birthday off from work. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you can, you should take your birthday off. Period. And do what you want to do. Which, today, I did. And it was wonderful.

Among a great many other things, I returned, for the first time in years, to a place that fills me with great wonder and great emotion, a place that is, in many ways, my own personal Dark Tower. I stood at the gate today and I commanded it to open to me. It opened. And the end of the story is one that I keep to myself, but I tell you this: As with any really good ending, it was really more of a beginning.

Ka is a wheel.”

— Roland Deschain, of Gilead

To all who showered me with gifts and great, great love … read full post »

Another Set of Winter Friday Items

  • ITEM: News so happy, I’m verklempt: New York’s 2nd Avenue Deli finally reopens next week (just off 2nd Ave). Time to book a flight!
  • ITEM: Jon Carroll’s yearly pitch: This holiday season, won’t you volunteer for the Untied Way?
  • ITEM: Fan reviews of Tuesday night’s Tool concert at the Civic Auditorium. It was, of course, an absolutely transcendent experience. We should be erecting statues of Maynard James Keenan in all the major cities. :)
  • ITEM: You know how there’s that stretch of road in our beloved East Bay that is both I-80 East and I-580 West, while the other side of the road is both I-80 West and I-580 East (all this despite the fact that the road runs mostly north-south)? Turns out there’s a cracktastic term for this.
  • ITEM: I worked a fifteen hour shift yesterday to help launch this … the new Macworld.com!

Items Gathered On a Chilly Friday

  • ITEM: I ordered an XO laptop and cannot wait for it to arrive. Are you a geek? Perhaps one with a child in your life? Here’s why you should follow suit (the Give 1 Get 1 program has been extended till 12/31).
  • ITEM: John Carroll wrote two amazing columns this week. First up, his take on the rich fucktards in Seadrift who think they own the beach. (Are you a transplant to California? Then listen the fuck up: In this state, the people own the beach.)
  • ITEM: John Carroll #2: At his funniest, on what can happen come a Tuesday.
  • ITEM: Just another lie: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never said “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
  • ITEM: Stanfurd 13-point favorites for tomorrow’s Big Game. “I have a bad feeling about this.” GO BEARS!

We Are These Changes (or, Good News Indeed)

It doesn’t get much better than when one of your favorite musicians gives you a sudden and unexpected dose of the spiritual truths you hold dear:

autumn leaves And she spoke unto me, saying:
‘Fear not the movement of the heavens above
Or the earth below
For change is what we are, my child!
Righteous are those who look up and sway with the wind,
Who look down and dance with the shifting of the soil,
Who swim with the movement of the tides,
Who seek the truth around them and discover,
We are and have always been in paradise —
The reflections of heaven on earth! Amen!’


And she spoke again, saying:
‘Know, my child, that there is no devil
Seeking to cause guilt nor harm to men.
No evil save blind faith, ignorance,
And the desire for the unprepared to blame others
For the devastation left in the wake of …
read full post »

This Blog’s First-Ever Celebrity-Sighting

Spotted brunching together at the table next to me this morning at La Note in Berkeley: Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon. They shared a Sunday New York Times as they waited for Berkeley’s best breakfast to arrive. Reese is a tiny little thing, and even mousier in person than on the screen. (I’ve never understood why some guys find her dreamy.) Jake is a hunk who apparently has to do battle with acne, just like a real person.

This Weekend In College Football

Let’s just forget about what’s happening in Division I football (sez this Cal fan)—direct your attention, please, to Division III! Trinity beats Millsaps 28-24 on the final play of the game. Fifteen laterals. Fifteen. Linkage: story · video (includes announcer calling the play beautifully and then losing his mind)

Money quote from the Chronicle story—the team’s coach, when asked if they had practiced such a play:
“Are you kidding?” he said. “We couldn’t do that against air.”

Everybody Loves Friday Items

  • ITEM: Blade Runner: The Final Cut, now showing in LA and NYC, arrives in San Francisco November 30.
  • ITEM: Douglass Rushkoff on 9/11 “Truthers.” I have just about had it with these people. (Seems Bill Clinton feels similarly.)
  • ITEM: Mark Morford on the danger of progressive extremists. (He’s absolutely right, and, happily, this piece is less shrill than most Morford screeds.)
  • ITEM: Elementary school science: Nearly extinct. This is so depressing. By the time I have a school-aged child, will there be any public schools left worth sending him or her to?
  • ITEM: New Orleans, two years after Katrina, in pictures. Heartbreaking.

You Can See My Hose Right Here, Valiantly Trying To Do Something…”

I last blogged about fires in my hometown of San Diego four years ago. Seems half the area is aflame once again tonight. I’ve got cousins who are under evacuation orders; everyone’s safe and sound.

Digression: As far back as I can remember, there’s been this dude (yep, a proper dude like you only get down south) named Larry Himmel on San Diego’s CBS affiliate, channel 8. He’s always been the guy who does feel-good pieces about the city, its people, its institutions, et cetera. If you’re the news director and you need ninety seconds on the diner out in Crest where some of the regulars have been regulars since the fifties, Larry’s your man. You need a heartwarming broadcast-closer about kids picking pumpkins up at Bates Nut Farm, you put Larry on it. Larry’s stuff has never been “news” or even “important,” but he’s very, very good … read full post »

I’m Listening

rainbowIt’s a rainy fall night here in Oakland, but it’s morning in the U.K., where Radiohead’s e-mail bot has sprung into action and delivered to me a link to the new album, In Rainbows, which is causing music executives around the world to cut themselves with knives.

For about a year, I’ve been enjoying recordings from the band’s summer 2006 tour (including the Berkeley show I attended), across which most of the material on this new album is performed several times. There’s this lovely collection of songs I only know by their live versions, because that’s all there’s been, and now, I get the studio takes. Luscious, I just betcha.

I’ll know soon enough. But right now, I’m hating my pokey DSL line.

(01:01 10/10 UPDATE: Yes, some luscious stuff. A dreamier sound. Echoes. First impressions include: “Nude” is amazing; not sure I like what they did to … read full post »

Bears In the News

hanging bearI’m a bit late picking this one up, but the pictures alone make it worth circling back to: A black bear recently escaped from oncoming highway traffic near Donner Summit by jumping over the side of a bridge. The poor creature spent the night trapped beneath the roadway, on the bridge’s superstructure, and was hanging on for dear life by the next day. A rescue effort was mounted; a tranq dart was employed; all’s well that ends well.

Some Justice, Perhaps

Contra Costa prosecutors say they know who killed Rex Farrance. The three men involved are already behind bars on other charges; all three are now eligible for the death penalty under California law.

A colleague of mine for eight years, Rex was shot during a home invasion robbery earlier this year. He is and will always be dearly missed. I had begun to doubt that the wheels of justice would ever begin to turn in this case, but now, here they go, doing that slow, deliberate, creaky thing that they do.

Items I’ve Collected Over the Past Couple of Weeks

  • ITEM: “Animals at Play” (short video): I cannot shake the sense that the bear and the dog recognized each other as old friends from a previous existence and were just overjoyed to have encountered each other again.
  • ITEM: “School Cheating Scandal Divides N.H. Town”: We had a similar, far more widespread situation at my own high school during my years there; the kids involved were never punished and happily moved on to schools like Princeton and Stanfurd. Sounds like things work differently in New Hampshire.
  • ITEM: The Solano Drive-In: I had no idea there was an extant drive-in movie theater in the Bay Area! Gotta go!
  • ITEM: H.L. Mencken, writing in 1920: “On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
  • ITEM: Sanity prevails…or does it? Southwest Airlines …
read full post »

A Change of Heart

So the conservative jackass mayor of the conservative jackass town where I grew up turns out not to be quite such a conservative jackass after all. Two years ago, when running for mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders was firmly supportive of civil unions and firmly against gay marriage, which played well with the conservative jackasses who populate the city. Yesterday, in a moving, tearful speech, he explained he has had a “change of heart,” and revealed for the first time that this issue hits home for him:
“I have close family members and friends who are a member of the gay and lesbian community. Those folks include my daughter Lisa, as well as members of my personal staff.

“I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones — for each of them to find a mate whom they love deeply and who loves …
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Where You Find the Buddha

I read Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog for the tech, but today there was a happy diversion. On the occasion of his daughter’s first day of preschool, Zeldman noted:
Nothing says Buddhism like raising a child. To cherish what has already changed as you look upon it. To hold most tightly what you must most let go.
How wonderful! I can’t wait for the day I experience it myself. But in the meantime, I note that parenting is practice (“practice” in the Buddhist sense), because everything is practice: waking up is practice, cooking an egg is practice, your morning commute is practice, taking out the trash is practice, sitting is practice, walking is practice, breathing is practice. I had to go to Kaiser this morning to have blood drawn: practice.

Everything you experience, every action you undertake can be a gentle reminder of the Middle Way. Babies have the Buddha’s … read full post »