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.

Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed

the Burning Man It has now been two weeks since I returned from Burning Man 2007 in Black Rock City, Nevada, and the experience is still reverberating within.

T.S. Eliot etched the phrase “unreal city” into my head a long time ago, but ever since my first trip to the playa, I’ve used those words pretty much exclusively to describe Black Rock City. They dance in my head when I daydream of being there; they echo unceasingly as I wander the city during the one magical week it arises each year.

Has there ever been a place more deserving of the tag “unreal”? My yearly slideshow only scratches the very surface, really, but perhaps one or two of these images will convince you that Black Rock City is a place like no other…

The Burning Man 2007 gallery is now open in the museyroom: Visit the index or begin with the first … read full post »

A Few Links I’ve Left Lying Around

  • ITEM: Alphablogger J-Walk goes to Amsterdam, can’t believe all the bikes.
  • ITEM: “How To Be Happier By the End of the Day” — not bad, actually.
  • ITEM: “Chick flicks?” Sure, they exist, admits Gloria Steinem. But then, so do “prick flicks.” Brilliant!
  • ITEM: “Brain Scans Reveal Why Meditation Works” — this is great and all, but I remain convinced that meditation’s power is lessened the moment a scientist starts trying to measure it. (The same goes for the power of prayer.)
  • ITEM: Public elementary school students right here in Oakland are receiving mindfulness training. Right on!

On Missing Dear Friends

This morning, John Carroll said:
I mean, come on, it’s New York. It’s the city that never sleeps because people are up all night thinking and fantasizing and making plans. I know where my home is, but I also know where New York is. Being there was like spending time with an old friend.
I know how he feels. I have not traveled the globe nearly as much as I would have liked by this point in my life, but I have made a few dear friends that I do not get to see nearly often enough. I miss my dear friend New York City very much; my heartache over letting many years pass between visits will perhaps be lessened if the 2nd Avenue Deli is in fact reborn by the time I get back there. I miss my more remote friend Amsterdam terribly and despair at the … read full post »

Welcome to July

Hello, everyone. After a coupla months spent out of gas, I think the engine’s fired up once again here at mahnamahna.net. I’ve been busy with a few things while I’ve been silent. In fact, check this out: I HAS WRITED A SOFTWARE!!1

Devidify iconDevidify is a humble little hack
for extracting audio tracks from DVDs.

Devidify has its own exhibit over in the newly-renovated mahnamahna.net museyroom.

More fun stuff on the way, I think. There’s gas again now.

Bulb to Burn Out?

The Chronicle reports on a plan to “ruin” the Albany Bulb. This is the best (and most affectionate) portrait of the Bulb’s current state that I’ve seen in the mainstream media. I will never forget my first visit to the Bulb (back in 2001, when the Sniff pieces were in much better shape and not, it seems, as well known), and the place has grown quite dear to me since then. I hope that its freewheeling nature—indicative of much that is special and good about the Bay Area—can be preserved.

Free Software Geeks Know What’s Good

I read planet.gnome.org on weekday mornings, mostly to find out what’s happening in Gnome development. But the geeks who build my interface of choice frequently have great posts on non-techy topics, too. Two from this week:
  • Murray visited Amsterdam (for my money, the most beautiful and civilized city on the planet), and has some insightful comments about what makes the place so damned inviting and livable: “I had no idea that such a vast amount of the old city exists and in such a perfect state. There’s a functional found beauty to the rows of high narrow canal houses and repurposed warehouses… . The streets are an obstacle to cars, to the benefit of pedestrians, bicycles, and general well-being.”

  • Jamin sings the praises of sardines. “Sardines are amazing. They are cheap (75-85 cents a can where I shop), have a shelf life of several years, are high in protein, …
read full post »

A Triad of Friday Items (To Prove I’m Not Dead)

  • ITEM: A very selfless bird tried to make the world a better place today, and, sadly, failed.
  • ITEM: Was not aware, am very glad to hear: There is a movement afoot to lower the drinking age in this country to 18. (I’m always shocked when older folks don’t realize that most college drinking these days is illegal because of the stupid age-21 laws.)
  • ITEM: On eHarmony, folks are asked to name the last book they read and enjoyed. I close the match anytime a person responds with an Ayn Rand novel or The Da Vinci Code (which happens more often that you’d expect). I’m three years late finding this, but someone took the time to explain (better than I ever could) why Dan Brown’s book is such a dreadful POS. [spotted at kottke.org]

I’m Listening

It’s a fantastic sort of Friday: one where there’s a new Nine Inch Nails album to listen to all day long. Enjoy Year Zero, officially streaming on the World Wide Web in anticipation of its April 17 release.

(Yes, Virginia, it is possible to capture the files retrieved and played by that Flash app, and also possible to convert them to a useful format such as MP3…)

The Problem With Ants

My heart goes out to the Buddhist monks of Malaysia’s Hong Hock See temple, which is besieged by ants. Due to their strict adherence to principles of nonviolence, the monks won’t kill the ants, and so far have been unsuccessful in relocating them.

Not long after I became a Buddhist, I stopped killing spiders in my house. These days I take a sheet of paper, get the spider to crawl onto it, and then carry the spider outside, where I set it free. Flying insects are similarly relocated using the old hand-over-a-cup technique.

That said, I still kill ants with impunity. There’s no relocating ants. You arrive home to find your kitchen overrun with ants and there’s only one thing to do: Spray ‘em down with Windex and watch ‘em die by the thousands. Stupid ants.

I have much to learn before I could ever be a monk.

A Woman In Trouble

Inland EmpireDavid Lynch insists that his new film, INLAND EMPIRE, is simply about “a woman in touble.” I’ll say. It’s hard to describe what Laura Dern’s character goes through over the course of this fantastic and initially grueling three-hour experience, but none of it is anything you ever want to experience yourself, that’s for sure. It’s like imagining yourself living the life of Henry, the doomed protagonist of Lynch’s first feature, Eraserhead. You shudder at the thought.

Lynch has also said that his new film is “a mystery.” More like a whole bundle of ‘em. There is a murder—except, no, the victim doesn’t seem to die—while elsewhere, flung far afield in space and time, in grainy, black and white scenes with scratchy sound, there’s another killing—no, make that two—but we can’t quite make out (at least, not on first viewing) who was killed or who did the killing, because … read full post »

Gray Monday Items

  • ITEM: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Read it before it disappears: NYT piece on eating by the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (currently on my nightstand).
  • ITEM: Here’s just one reason why ethanol sucks: It makes corn tortillas too expensive for poor Mexicans who depend on them. Repeat after me: Don’t burn food!
  • ITEM: Rolling Stone: “Why Gore Should Run — And How He Can Win”
  • ITEM: “Cineplex Drove Me to Piracy”: The best breakdown I’ve read about how much modern multiplexes suck.

Live Life Like You’re Gonna Die…

…Because you’re going to. Last night, as I was finishing off the greatest birthday I’ve ever had, a coworker of mine was murdered in his home.

If you have never heard William Shatner’s glorious “You’ll Have Time,” please, take three minutes to put on your headphones, crank the volume up as loud as you can stand it, and have a listen on me.
You’ll Have Time
(William Shatner/Ben Folds)

Live life
Live life like you’re gonna die
Because you’re gonna
I hate to be the bearer of bad news
But you’re gonna die

Maybe not today or even next year
But before you know it you’ll be saying
“Is this all there was?
What was all the fuss?
Why did I bother?”

Now, maybe you won’t suffer, maybe it’s quick
But you’ll have time to think
“Why did I waste it?
Why didn’t I taste it?”
You’ll have time …
read full post »

Four Cameraphone Shots of Varying Quality

(And a wee bit of text: Today was my thirty-second birthday, and it was so, so, so very splendid. I do not have words to describe… I could tell you I walked aerily along a beach lit with the brightness of a thousand centuries… I could tell you about watching the waves roll in with a friend who has been there watching those waves with me for eons… I could tell you about the baby who looked at me with stern, trusting eyes that imparted everything he knew about where he had come from… I could tell you about the toothless old man who walked with a cane and smiled at me, knowing something about my future… And I would not have even begun. So, at a loss to convey what this beautiful day has meant to me, I leave you with four images, and this: I am so blessed. … read full post »

A Friday Foursome of Items

  • ITEM: Good news from NYC: The 2nd Avenue Deli may rise again.
  • ITEM: The Candy Desk of the United States Senate.
  • ITEM: Jon Carroll waxes eloquent on winter, diabetes, and bakeries.
  • ITEM: I could watch this baby panda sneeze over and over all afternoon.

Attention All Beatles Fans

From my inbox:
Richie Unterberger will be presenting and discussing two hours of rare Beatles audio clips, as well as showing a few rare Beatles film clips and discussing and signing his book The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film, on Wednesday, January 17, from 7:00-9:00pm at the Park Branch of the San Francisco Public Library at 1833 Page Street in San Francisco.
I received a copy of the book as an early birthday gift; it is magnificent. I also attended a similar presentation by Richie last month at the main library in Alameda; it was fantastic.

A Succinct Look Back (Before Striking Forth!)

I was challenged today to contribute to the Mayfly Project, where you use 24 words (no more, no less) to sum up the past year. My entry:
I strive daily to cultivate peace and compassion. I am often blissful, sometimes troubled, sometimes stressed, and usually a bit lonely. Change is possible!
A belated Happy New Year to everyone!

Beautiful Secrets, Exposed (Again)

one secret

Here’s a first: PostSecret is a site I’ve blogged about before, but somehow I forgot all about it, only to rediscover it recently and fall in love with the concept all over again. New secrets are posted (and all old secrets removed) each Sunday. To contribute, all you need is a postcard, a secret, and a stamp.