inessential by Brent Simmons


Reminder: Tuesday night is Scripting News dinner night in Seattle, 7 p.m., at Mama's Mexican Kitchen in Belltown.

If we're real good, maybe after dinner we'll go mobile, take a short walk to the Frontier Room.

Sheila's got the scoop on squirrels.

Biermania! Bob's working on the Linux port of Frontier; this is his weblog.

I got a haircut today at the local barber shop, always a very Norman Rockwell experience. He actually did have lollipops, but he didn't offer me one. Well, that's okay.

I always feel smarter after getting a haircut. I also feel like I look fierce -- another illusion.

My barber has an actual barber pole. If you don't already know it, the history of the barber pole might be surprising (and a little gruesome).

Lawrence Lee applied the MinimalWhite Theme to -- then started personalizing it, changing colors, etc. It looks great! Lawrence writes: "This should be a popular starting point for new Manila users."

I'm glad to see someone using MinimalWhite. (This is the first instance that I know of.) My personal favorite so far, it's designed to bring the words to the front, to get everything else out of the way.

Also: it's a reminder that when you apply a Theme you don't have to stop there. Themes can be starting points, as Lawrence writes and shows by example.

How did I find out about it? I went to Themes.UserLand.Com, where Lawrence created a News Item. Members can create News Items, you don't have to be an editor. So if you create a Theme, or are using a Theme, or have something to say about Themes, that's the place to go.

Latte.Weblogs.Com: "BTW, I really like the new theme feature. I've tried to muck about with web page design but I'm not a graphic designer and I never will be. These themes allow design-newbies like me to have a cool web site."

I pointed to the Celebrating Italo Calvino NY Times audio special last November, and last night I finally got around to starting to listen to it. I didn't get much past the opening (yet) -- Calvino's daughter, Giovanna Calvino, so touched by the recognition her father still receives years after his death, can't make it through the opening remarks without starting to cry.

Is it too much to talk about "loving" a writer you've never met and never can meet? Yes. Duh. But then there's no word for the bond, however one-way, that exists between a passionate reader and the mind of the author whose works incite that passion.

Between the lines, behind the words, one perceives -- partly, inaccurately, with not a little bit of projection at work -- a style of consciousness, a mental cosmos that's immensely attractive. It's a fiction, to be sure, one in which the reader plays a large role. But: there is (was) a real mind behind it.