Older blog entries for mjs (starting at number 111)

7 Nov 2001 (updated 7 Nov 2001 at 15:17 UTC) »

Nothing stands still. Everything changes. I will inherit no house, and no house that I build will now pass to my children. That way of life has gone. I have lost my twenties, and what I have been looking for since I left home hasn't come to me. I have only been waiting. I will wait for the rest of my life. - V.S. Naipaul

I wonder if Steph reads my diary. She is often encouraging me to read hers. I think she would appreciate this quote.

7 Nov 2001 (updated 7 Nov 2001 at 09:02 UTC) »
forbidden words for 2002

reality tv
street theater
human intelligence
culture jamming

kids in the hall

M: I don't have a couch and I don't have a wife, OK?
W: Then where do you sit... and who do you sit with?
M: I stand. Alone.
W: How brave!

I think that about says it all.


I went out to 1015 Folsom with my roommates and some people from Apple to see internationally renowned trance DJ Paul van Dyk spin. I'm not sure if we actually heard him but what we did hear was cool. It was really fucking packed in there, but the music was fun to dance to and there were cool lasers and lights and smoke and stuff. Might have been better with chemical assistance.

Afterwards we were accosted by a random crazy guy on the way home. I am not sure if he was trying to mug us or what. But Nick was on the ball and called a taxi.

Then we went to Lucky 13 and had some beers and played some songs on the jukebox.

An entertaining evening overall.

19 Oct 2001 (updated 19 Oct 2001 at 07:53 UTC) »
out of context snatches of conversation

Steph: I thought you were going out to buy chicken.
Me: I was. But I decided to get pizza and cigarrettes instead.
Nick: Is that the pizza?
Steph: No, it's a guitar cable.
Me: I'm going to step out and get cancer now.


Last night I went to an indie rock (the phrase begs to not be capitalized) show at the Gream American Music Hall with Nick and Schnitz. Acts playing were Magic Magicians, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Quasi. The first act was lame two person drums and guitar only noodling, with scream-whined vocals. I never got the impression that this was a band, just two guys fucking around. Ted Leo & Co. rocked out on a few of the songs, which I approve of, but on others there was an overwhelming sense of preciousness and self-importance, and I can't stand the way Ted Leo sings.

Quasi were quite good. What is it with these ex-husband/ex-wife two-person acts these days? That's some fucked up shit. Anyway, the drumming was phenomenal, and the keyboard playing was pretty rad. The singing was pretty nondescript to me, though, and when the keyboard player guy picked up his guitar, he apparently lost all ability to create cool funky and melodic soundscapes, and reverted to shapeless indie-generic noodling. Some of those songs were saved by the drumming though.

Oh yeah, there were a lot of cute girls there.

All in all it wasn't bad for a night of three bands I'd never heard of before.

the culinary arts

Recent dishes I've made include orchiette with a sauce of forest-picked porcini, shallots and port wine, and tuna casserole (spiral noodles, tuna, mayonnaise and peas). Mood swingy eating habits.

I also watched the Iron Chef mango battle just now (Iron Chef Italian vs. a Mexican chef) and it rocked. Amazing dishes on both sides.

personal hacking

I've been working hard on reviewing the upcoming GNOME Human Interface Guidelines. Along the way I read many other HIGs including the classic Macintosh HiG and the new Aqua HIG. Quite a learning experience. I am getting more and more interested in interface design, and I hope someday I can have a job that mixes in more of that with programming.

work hacking

There were plans afoot for me to work on an interesting new open source technology at work. But it looks like we may manage to convince Apple to adopt the best existing open source product for this purpose instead, and help with it's development. I probably shouldn't say more until things are more firmly decided. Apple is definitely getting less dfearful of the LGPL and to some extent even the GPL.

The proprietary bits bug me, but Apple is doing way more to bring a great UI to Un*x, and to bring Un*x and free software to the masses, than many pure free software companies.

Still, it disturbs me how many people are just utter Apple fanboys, including people who work here. I'm pretty indifferent to the whole thing.


Good day today so far. I got up early and ran some errands, and then I made myself spanish-style fried potatos with aioli and eggs sunny side up for lunch.

Then Steph and I went up to the Marin Headlands - there are some really breathtaking views of the Bay, the Golden Gat Bridge, the Ocean, and San Francisco from there. Wow! It was warm and sunny and we pumped Kruder & Dorfmeister on the way there. For dinner I'm making myself gnocchi in tomato vodka cream sauce. It's coming out pretty good - the alchohol in the vodka burns off and what remains does not have much flavor in itself, but it makes the tomatos sweeter and brighter. Search for a recipe on google some time. Goes best with gnocchi, or tube or shell pasta.

I think later on I'll hit the gym and maybe go to a club or go see Iron Monkey. I'm feeling pretty good today.


I'll probably have to pitch in and fix the Nautilus performance issues for 1.0.5. That's hard to balance with gnome-vfs hacking, oaf hacking, reviewing the HIG and may day job....

Oh well.

I never realized Britney was so deep.

I think I am going to set up my own personal diary site sometime soon. It seems like everyone is doing it, especially people I know, so I guess I will succumb to peer pressure.

Also, I feel like I have a lot of stuff I want to write down that doesn't fit right (to me) on advogato.

Of course, to get into the whole DIY spirit I decided I should write my own weblog software. I haven't yet decided whether I'm crazy enough to do it in Guile.

Here are some facts (with citations) I have attempted to dig up about Osama bin Laden's motivations (his organization being the prime suspect un the recent attack). Rather than stating my opinions (opinions just seem to get people mad) I'll let folks draw their own conclusion.

According to this article, the main thing that angers bin Laden is the US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia at the request of the Saudi government. He believes that Islamic scripture forbids the presence of non-Muslims in the Arabian peninsula (citations for this in Islamic holy writings I have seen include Hadith Vol. 5:716 and Qur'an 4366, but these were found on sites that aim to discredit Islam so I cannot vouch for how these verses are interpreted by Muslims in general). This is one reason his organization tries to destabilize the Saudi government and attacks the US military presence there. Second on his list of grievances is US support for Israel, and third are US alliances with the more moderate Arab governments (such as Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc).

In this rare interview, bin Laden expresses these views (all the references to liberating the Ka'aba are to the US presence in Saudi Arabia). He also seems upset at alleged support the US gave to the Serbs in slaughtering Bosnian Muslims; and later in the interview, for a plan he believes exists to split Saudi Arabia into three countries.

He also specifically includes Britain, along with Israel and the US, in the "crusader-Jewish alliance" that he opposes.

I strongly suggest reading the article and the interview to those interested in these issues.

(The reference to crusaders is particularly interesting since the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 638 was used by the Catholic Church to instigate the Crusades, which resulted in the slaughter of many Jews and Muslims. An amazingly sad and violent part of history.)

yakk: I still find it ironic that you criticize US intervention in some cases and US inaction in others, whichever better suits your agenda of making the US look bad. Not that the US hasn't done bad things, but your comments paint a wholly one-side picture.

I have the US to thank in part for saving my grandparents from the Nazis and my parents from the Communists (if my family hadn't been able to come to the US my dad would have had a short and unpleasant career as a uranium miner in Siberia). And I am grateful for this, despite the fact that the US sold my country out to Stalin at the Yalta conference (I'm Polish by origin for thosw who don't know).

Maybe you should think about the fact that if the US hadn't entered World War II, Australia would be a Japanese colony right now.

And even right now, when broad, unjustified anti-Arab feeling in the US is at perhaps an all-time high, I would rather be an Arab in the US than an American in any Arab country.

While the US has made some poor decisions and done some bad things, I frankly think much anti-American sentiment in the world is jealousy. In particular, the casual anti-Americanism seen in countries such as Canada, Australia and France, even as they guzzle Coke, snarf down Big Macs watch American movies and make the US one of their top trading partners, is largely because these countries cannot stand their relative irrelevance on the world stage. I get by just fine without ever drinking Coke or eating Big Macs, so I don't think anyone is forcing them at gunpoint.

Or look at Mexico; there is considerable anti-Americanism, yet their top goals with regards to the US are to let more of their people come here and have more American factories go there (both of which I endorse, BTW - I believe in free trade and open borders, unlike many anti-globalization activists).

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