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Blog Fu: This Much Is True 3.0

Posted in 104, awesomeness, bad ideas, blog fu, celebrities, culture, entertainment, hip hop, music, nokia, phones, randomness, smartphones, whimsy on November 24th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu
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This one’s been stewing a while. Here goes …

- Never buy the sugar free muffins. Even for a dollar and a half less, they’re not worth it. Go for the sugar, it’s worth it. Gak!

- Without looking at the screen, I’ve mixed up Rihanna and Justin Bieber no fewer than three times when playing music from my “Download everything and just let it fly” playlist. Included there was the first time I heard “What’s My Name?”

- The very few times I’ve gone on vacation (extraordinarily rare, because there truly is no rest for the wicked), I took the most valuable things in the house with me. Computers, family, hard drives. I never know what I might need on the road, and I can’t guard things when I’m away. I just stopped carrying everything valuable with me everywhere I went about eight or nine years ago. I followed the advice of one of my elders, “leave home as if you expect to never return.” I’ve got more reasons to return now. Still, the goodies always go with me if I’m gone any longer than a day or so, often go with me in pieces every day (my game consoles are ancient, so no worries there), and I’m considerably better prepared to defend what matters in person than I would be fortifying a position I’m leaving.

- It took me a while to come to it, since I thought they were a wash at first, but Nicki Minaj > Drake. That girl is freaking talented, no matter how much surgery she’s had or what words she uses that I wish she wouldn’t. It kind of helps if you only hear her songs and never actually see her. Kind of like Lady Gaga.

- If you’ve forgotten, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is really, really terrible in the funniest possible way. The repeated stock footage, the simplistic plots, the goofy looks on everybody’s face, even the relentlessly racist episode where He-Man’s a gladiator. We really were much more innocent back then — you couldn’t mix weaponry and goofiness this way these days, let alone have a little female “starchild” riding on Battlecat’s saddle in front of a muscleman’s hairy panties. One night while my wife was having a “sister circle” (i.e. “lots of women in my living room talking loudly while I turn up the sound on my headphones”) I sat and watched in as a kind of counter-programming. Hilarious stuff, unintentionally.

- Speaking of, did you notice that King Randor from MOTU looks a lot like Burger King? I’m just saying.

- Theophilus London > Kid Cudi.

- Most people I know who’ve bought a smartphone say, “I hate this thing” within a year (including my wife, my barber and my home boy in Oakland). I’m a little more than half way to the one year mark on my N900 and I love it more than I did when I got it. I couldn’t FTP back then. I don’t know if I’d installed Abiword for dealing with the .doc crowd. I hadn’t replaced my iPod with this as an MP3 player (better with MussOrgSky), nor started watching any video files on it. I was still doing most of my blogs on a computer, didn’t count my steps with the pedometer, didn’t use it as an Apple Remote, didn’t track my wife’s menstrual cycles with Maegirls, didn’t live by TouchSearch (set to Google/Wikipedia/Google Maps) or enjoyed the free GPS for life mapping on the phone’s native software. I can’t believe how amazing this is. The only thing that could change my mind is if Nokia made an even fresher smartphone running their Intel/AMD collaboration MeeGo and upped the storage space (yes, I’m running into storage problems even at 48GB … blame the MP3s and videos).


Watching (Hulu) Burn Notice, “Hot Property

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An Announcement for Bastille Day 2010

Posted in 104, awesomeness, buy pile, comics, effectiveness, freedom, inspiration, mobile, n900, phones, science, smartphones, technology, wireless on July 14th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu
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I’ve got something to tell you. Parts of it will be sprinkled all along this blog, but the stuff that may get people really talking about might be at the end. Just FYI.

For the last two years, I’ve had something on my mind that I want to share, and the date I pick is normally around the holiday known in some parts of the world as Bastille Day. The funny part is that I don’t even celebrate Bastille Day.

I’ve made no secret of my belief that Great Britain is probably the most vile nation to ever wipe its poo-caked hands across the earth, largely through their colonial sequel. There’s plenty of reasons to hate the French — ask the people of Senegal or Cote d’Ivoire, let alone any World War 2 enthusiast — but I don’t have any particular antipathy towards them over and above my general distaste for Earths imperial nations.

Still, the whole “storming the Bastille” idea always spoke to me, kind of like Guy Fawkes Day. Whether you win or not really isn’t the issue — you want your kids and their kids and their kids’ kids to know you didn’t bend over, relax your muscles and take it willingly. For years, my brain always perked up around July 14th or November 5th, like I should be doing more to try to take over the world.

So, when I was planning to launch the first version of The Hundred and Four, I chose Bastille Day because it was near SDCC (when lots of people would be reading my reviews column at CBR) and because I’d been working on it for a few months.

Not enough months by any stretch of the imagination, because within a year my ambitious little “online literary symposium and journal” fell to disrepair and neglect. Four grown men just couldn’t find the time, and that’s fine.

My second Bastille Day was a much less ambitious project — do a blog about stuff that wasn’t me. That didn’t seem so hard — most things aren’t me. I reviewed smartphones, I blathered about music and movies, I generally had a blast. However, in the end, the issues of syndication and dividing the very limited attention of whoever is willing to read my work seemed to make it a needless appendage, like a seventh toe. I’ve often used “simplify” as a motto, so I rolled the “brand” of the Hundred and Four into my main blog (as you see from the header above) and left the website as a random digital playpen for my own amusement that’s not seen by most of mankind.

I’m always working on a ton of projects. I have something in the works I’d have loved to make my Bastille Day announcement this year (as it did feel like something should happen), but the ink hasn’t even hit the paper, let alone had time to dry. There’s other things in the hamper — I’m also three quarters of the way done with my third novel, I’m reading poetry at the Fifth Annual Power of Art celebration, August 14th at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (better announcement to come). There’s a million things that happen every day as a father and a husband that I could crow about, amazing accomplishments my wife or my daughters make.

Today, however, is something else.

Anyone who’s read my rantings regularly over the past year or two knows that I am superbly interested in mobile computing. I’ve spent a lot of mental energy (and actually a lot of money, when you look at my smartphone budget for 2010 alone) getting into the idea of the mobile experience. I’ve said often “apps are traps” and I don’t wanna spend the majority of my focus working on one platform (iOS, Android, Symbian, WebOS, et cetera) only to ignore the rest — the marketplace is too big for that. I like “thin clients” — mobile enabled websites that work just as well on virtually any web-enabled phone in the world.

So I built one.

The Operative Network: Mobile Edition

Coming at you through your smartphone now ...

With great pride and humility, I present to you The Mobile Edition of The Operative Network, which should work on anything from a Palm Treo or old-model Blackberry to the most powerful phones on the market. You can use the number keys on your phone to navigate. You can get a sampling of what you’d find on the “big” website (I hesitate to call it the “real” website, because the mobile site isn’t “fake” … stupid English language, another thing you can pin on Great Britain and their “the sun never sets on the British Empire” shtick), including poetry, fiction, my resume and even some mobile-exclusive stuff.

Remember what I said about stuff that might get people talking? Here we go.

In the blog section, not only can you get my world-watching “what fascinates me” linkroll (updated infrequently and incessantly, depending on when you look), but you can see the first 2,000 characters of the latest blog posted right here. Why not just do the whole thing? Couldn’t find an RSS reader that would work, or an easier way to syndicate to mobile. That could change.

Anyway, aside from all that, the crown jewel is the Tumblr-powered “Greatest Hits” page, which will spotlight/syndicate the best of all the areas of my interests — linkroll, Twitter (when I get back to it … oh, you didn’t know? I took ), blog … and it’ll feature “as-they-happen” sneak previews of my Buy Pile column. Between the hours of 5:30PM-9PM on Wednesdays, I’ll post quickie comments about how the comics are going, what looks likely, what looks terrible, what zaniness is happening in the shop like the epic Namor McKenzie vs. Comics Ink case, which remains some of the finest comics scholarship I’ve ever seen) and so on. That will not happen anywhere else. The “Greatest Hits” is a different experience than the Soapbox (“Didn’t you try that with the Hundred and Four and it didn’t work?” “Shut up, this is different, this time the Soapbox will help feed it … stop interrupting me!”) that will be exclusive to mobile visitors.

Why am I doing this? Well, I wanna start this as … hang on, almost let the cat out of the bag. Too soon. Suffice it to say, I’d like this to be a vanguard for more content from me, proliferated in more ways. I’ll take stuff from my Fictionaut page and repackage it there (particularly The Messenger). More poetry. More … Hannibal. I think that’s a good thing.

As with all things, your mileage may vary.

So that’s the news for this Bastille Day — Hannibal launched a mobile site. Thanks for reading and riding this far with me.

Playing (Music): “I’m Feeling Myself” by Nipsey Hu$$le feat. Lloyd

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Scattershot (work friends phones politics gratitude life)

Posted in family, friends, gratitude, life, music, phones, politics, randomness, work on March 13th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu

BANG! BANG! Bullet point blog shots to your dome, home skillet!

- Today I flew to Oakland at 7AM for an all-day staff meeting. I didn’t really consider it the best usage of my time, but I got some good news: I got a raise at my job that will kick in within a month, plus a nice little bonus based on merit. Me! Merit actually recognized! I’m so flabbergasted at that I think I’ll start a new savings account.

- I also was extraordinarily blessed to hang out with my friends, libertarian kook and activist Jere and anti-Obama crusader Jabir. We ate at a place in Jack London Square called Kincaid’s and recorded what might one day be one heck of an amusing podcast. Jere and I also re-enacted a scene from Pulp Fiction because the rental company stuck him with a Grand Marquis that had less than 9,000 miles on it. I almost wanted to make out with this car. I love domestic sedans, I won’t apologize for that.

- When I got home to my beautiful wife and sleeping daughter, I ordered my new phone, the Nokia N900. I also got a hard rubber case to protect it. My laughable Samsung Behold 1, which I could only review like this will likely be used as a spare camera/MP3 player for the car. I’m excited to step back into the 21st century, but a little nervous about getting all my data up and running on a new OS which is not exactly user friendly. More news on that as it develops, as the phone should be in my hot little hands by Wednesday.

- Saskatchewan.

- My dinner at Kincaid’s with Jere and Jabir got me really interested in this book and how DDT could save millions of lives (while, admittedly, whacking a few along the road) as well as spur on development on the African continent. Maybe I’ll expand on that. Maybe.

- My stepdaughter’s mother got me some down slippers. I barely know the woman. I find that extraordinarily kind and generous, and appreciate it a great deal. I am very blessed to have some very good people in my life.

- Shut up, you’re drunk!

- Also got a very nice comment about my good friend Craig, who I miss dearly but who (like many of my friends) simply operates outside of my periphery right now. The good thing is that like many other friends — Inpu, Dana, Malik, McGowan, some others — the second I see him we’ll fall right back into that old rhythm, like we never missed a beat. I’m very grateful for that too.

- I think the $12 backpack I carry my work computer in is starting to show some signs of wear and tear … I bought it on a whim at a Sav-On in Westchester late one night.

- Why is this bullet point blog not on The Hundred and Four like the last one I did? It’s more personal. The last one was more “look around at the world” and what not.

- I will say, musically, that I’m enjoying the surprisingly smart mixtape from Malcolm and Martin and the singer London’s new project, both of which have me itching with ideas for a mixtape of my own. Lloyd’s also been dropping some digital heat, while Chris Brown’s been engaging his Euro-pop side with songs that would likely rock Catch One. Mateo’s new project is also a revelation, so far.

- Sleep now. Early morning watching Fraulein Fussenfeiffer (my daughter Ella’s nickname is “Fuss,” which I have morphed into Doctor Fussenstein and more weird configurations, which are at least close to being spoken in English) while the wife teaches, then (I think) a 3D screening of Alice in Wonderland and maybe time for my weekly haircut at my barber’s new shop (he’s a co-owner), Head of The Line Barber Shop, 5420 Adams Boulevard, 323-691-8475. Clean shop, nice neighborhood, an organic cafe next door, ample street parking and some hilarious freakin’ barbers crackin’ jokes in there.

Playing (Music): “I’ma Rep Texas” by Chamillionaire

NOTE: Since this blog is automatically imported into my Facebook page, I apologize if you comment on it and I don’t respond, as I am taking a sabbatical from social networking for 2010. So me not responding is not personal, I just won’t see the comments … until 2011. Maybe. Also including this disclaimer on blogs, but you’re welcome to go to the blog itself and speak your mind, as I may look there …

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