A squareish hand-painted metal sign with the words 'Coffee,' 'Espresso' and 'Wifi' stacked vertically. The letters and border are black on a bright yellow background. The sign hangs from an ornamented wrought-iron-style stand above a planter and is viewed diagonally from above. Between 'Coffee' and 'Espresso' there's a drawing of a cup and saucer with steam rising from it.

When I took this photo back in 2016, it was a combination coffee/Chinese food restaurant: they sold coffee in the mornings and Chinese food for lunch and dinner. The owner had previously run a separate coffee shop (The Bean Counter, IIRC) in the same shopping center, then combined the two businesses to save on rent. It was one of our go-to Chinese takeout sources, and I’d sometimes grab coffee in the mornings if I was in the area or on my way somewhere in that direction.

The old coffee location sat vacant for a few years until a bakery (with coffee on the side) moved in. Amusingly, the bakery — with is still there today — also chose a pun-based name: Redondough (as in Redondo Beach).

In early 2020 — and I mean early, either January or February — they were offered a really nice buyout price by someone who wanted to turn-key convert it overnight to a Hawaiian restaurant. I imagine when mid-March rolled around and the initial Covid lockdown started, they were extremely relieved to have accepted it!

I never did get around to trying the Hawaiian place, even for takeout. Eventually it was taken over by a Hawaiian-style fast food chain.

Photo taken February 27, 2016 and originally posted on my Instagram account a few days later with this title, but no commentary.

OSNews reports that Dillo has released a new version for the first time in almost a decade!

Now there’s a blast from the past!

Dillo (as in armadillo) is a super-minimalist web browser for Linux and related systems that’s especially useful on low-end hardware. I used it for a while back in the early 2000s, though not as my primary browser. It was great for reading documentation, though, because it was so fast (and docs usually don’t need JavaScript (and if they do, they shouldn’t)).

I haven’t really kept up with it since 2009 or so, not long after the the major 2.0 release, but I built its RPMs for a while. First on my desktop for RHL/Fedora, then on multi-boot partitions to build for older versions and other distributions like SuSe and Mandriva, then using User-Mode Linux (an older virtualization system). I later moved the build system to an expendable frankenputer after an OS installer trashed my partition table. The last set of RPMs I built were for Fedora and RHEL back in 2009. (These days, with containers and modern virtualization, it would be *so* much easier and safer to do all on one box!)

Apparently the project stalled in 2016 after one of the main developers, Sebastian Geerken died. A few years later, lead developer Jorge Arellano Cid just stopped posting online. A couple of years after that, the domain name expired and was picked up by a spammer. (I should see if I still have any links to the old site on here and update them.)

It’s sad to hear that Sebastian passed away.

I hope Jorge is okay and just off-grid somewhere.

This year’s new project has brought it up to date with modern SSL/TLS capabilities, which is a much bigger deal now than it seemed to be in the early 2000s, as well as improved CSS support and other improvements. I’ll have to try out how well it handles today’s (static) web. I bet it’ll run great on the PineTab2!

Updates: Not surprisingly, Dillo handles Snac pretty well. It’s able to view public Snac posts/timelines and log in to my account here. But posting isn’t working.

Not so much Pixelfed or Mastodon, both of which are JS;DR. GoToSocial static pages are readable, but it’s not using any of the styles.

The new project offers plugins for Gemini, Gopher, man pages and IPFS, as well as something called Spartan that appears to be another minimalist protocol like Gemini.

And it does indeed run quite fast on the Pinetab!

Brightline West is ready to start breaking ground this week, according to The Washington Post. The southwest endpoint will be in Rancho Cucamonga, where it will connect to Metrolink. (Which is definitely better than Victorville, which I’d seen suggested a few years ago.) Connecting to the existing lines here will make it simpler to build than trying to connect all the way to Los Angeles proper. (gift link)

Electric trains will depart every 45 minutes from a Las Vegas station south of the city’s storied Strip and a Southern California station in Rancho Cucamonga, a Los Angeles suburb about 40 miles east of downtown.

Traveling at up to 186 mph — faster than any other train in the United States — Brightline West trains will make the 218-mile trip in about 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Cross-posted from Metafilter

Circular shadow on the sidewalk, with lots of bright crescents inside, all facing the same direction.

For a lot of reasons, we didn’t arrange another road trip to see today’s total eclipse like we did in 2017 (which was amazing, by the way!). It was only partial out here in California, and not even with as high a magnitude as the one last October.

But we had clear skies, so we broke out the eclipse glasses from 2017 again. After testing them first by looking directly as a bright indoor lamp to make sure there were no scratches. And I’d heard that colanders make interesting patterns (each hole works as a pinhole camera) much like overlapping leaves do, so I brought that out — as you can see, it worked quite well!

I do kind of regret not being able to get out to see this one as total. Partial eclipses can be really cool, especially if you have multiple ways to observe them, but XKCD has a point. There really isn’t any comparison to experiencing totality, and it doesn’t come through very well in photos.

I bet northern Spain is already booked for 2026.

It is interesting to think that solar eclipses happen every year — usually twice! — but they’re not always total, and they’re only visible from a small part of the planet at a time. And sometimes that’s a slice of, say, Antarctica or Siberia or out in the middle of the ocean. Not rare for the planet, but definitely rare for any given location.

On one hand, it’s no wonder people used to see them as omens. With travel and communication slow (and in many cases impossible) in the ancient world, if you’re only going on what’s been seen in your area, it seems super-rare and unpredictable. On the other hand, cultures with sophisticated enough astronomy like the ancient Babylonians were able to calculate the eclipse cycle thousands of years ago!

One bit of funny timing: We’ve been catching up on the last season of The Magicians. Today we got up to an episode that…well, let’s just say the moon figures very prominently in it!

Update: Axios posted a nice map last week showing how fully booked AirBnBs are for the day in different parts of the US…which shows the path of totality *very* clearly!