For those that don't know, the MUNI is the glorious public transit system of buses and such in San Francisco.

Service is so shitty that there's a weekly comic to mock it.

Base chance of getting a bus on time: 100%

  • If the day is not a sunday: -15%
  • If the time is between 7am - 10am or 3pm - 8pm: -35%
  • If the bus needs to travel on a major street: -17%
  • if the bus is electric: -18%
Odds that:
  • You'll actually be able to sit down: 50%

  • You will get to hear the tinny leak of noise out of someone's headphones: 85%
  • out of more than 3 sets of phones at the same time: 50%
  • more than 5 sets, with one of them so loud that you can actually hear the bass, too: 40%
  • And this guy is on the other end of the buss: 39%
  • One of the people wearing the headphones will be singing along with them: 62%
  • This person will be a totally crappy singer: 95%
  • this person will know only a third of the lyrics: 74%
  • This person will cop attitude when they notice the whole bus is staring at them: 80%
  • This person will stop singing: 0%

  • There will be High School kids on the bus: 60%
  • They will be loud and obnoxious: 87%

  • There will be a person whose height in inches is less than or equal to their circumference sitting in thevery last row: 18%
  • Said "Large Person" will not need to get off the bus until the thing is full of people standing in the aisle: 100%
  • Said "Large Person" will act loudly indignant that they cant get off the bus in a timely manner because there isn't room to get by: 80%
  • Said "Large Person" will cough or rub their greasy skin on you as they try to "slide by": 95%
  • Number of seats by the door that were available when said "Large Person" got on the bus: MANY
...ok, so I was a little traumatized by this whole event...

The bus stop I go to to catch the bus home from work is in the middle of downtown (4th and Market for locals). It is served by 3 bus lines, the 5, the 21, and the 31. These all stop within 3 blocks of my place, so I can take any of them.

These buses run every 7, 9, and 11 minutes during peak hours. Logic would dictate that these buses would be spaced a little, correct?

no.

  • Average time I wait for a bus at said stop: 17 minutes.
  • Chance that I will not get on the bus because in that 17 minutes a small army has gathered at the bus stop: 25%
  • Chance that NOONE will get on the bus because the goddamn thing is chok full o nutz: 20%
  • Chance that the next bus behind it will be completely devoid of human life sans the driver: 38%

      Attitude towards doing anything when I get home from work: Piss-Poor.

      so there's some bitching about MUNI for you. In perfect world, Willie Brown would read it and do something beyond trying to get elected to something else after his stint as Da Mayor.

      No, really. The most Gentrified black guy onthehpeninsulaa was wearing a baseball cap saying "Still Da Mayor" when he got re-elected. Hell, I think My white ass may be blacker than him.

muni is a Unix utility (though it can be compiled for Windows as well), written by yours truly, to help find Unicode representation of Chinese characters.

To use it, you need to have a copy of Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary.

Hence the name muni = Mathews+Unicode.

To find the appropriate Unicode representation of a Chinese character, run muni from the command line. It will display its own prompt, which is a colon (:). Find the character in Mathews', and type its number (the dictionary numbers all characters as they appear in the dictionary). muni will display its Unicode representation as U+hex number, and display a new prompt. Then you can type the number of the next character. When done, press ^d (or ^z if used under Windows) to quit.

I will illustrate its use by using my own Chinese name, which is transliterated Yung Kang (no, I'm not Chinese, I received this name from my Zen master when I became a Buddhist). The character for Yung is numbered 7589, the one for Kang 3268. Of course, there are other characters with the same transliteration, that is why you need the Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary instead of just typing the "English" names of the characters. Here is how to find the Unicode for my name in Chinese (and it will work for Japanese as well because Unicode does not distinguish between the two, though my name is pronounced Ei Go in Japanese):

    muni
    : 7589
    > Matthews(7589) = U+6C38
    : 3268
    > Matthews(3268) = U+525B
    : ^d

Hmmm, I just realized the program output adds an extra 't' in Mathews' name. But the rest of it works fine.

Now, suppose I wanted to display my name on the web using Unicode. I could just type 永剛 Assuming the viewer had the right font, he should see my name in Chinese/Japanese: 永剛.

FreeBSD users can get muni by typing:

    cd /usr/ports/chinese/muni
    make install

Everyone else can download it from http://www.whizkidtech.net/i18n/muni/

Also a Sanskrit word meaning "sage". For example, a common epithet for the Buddha is "Sakyamuni" which means "sage of the Sakya", with "Sakya" being the name of his clan.

When I was in San Francisco, the MUNI--or Municipal Railway, as I think was its full name--was in a pretty decrepit state.

The buses was Mack Truck buses--very old Mack buses. I always wondered at the back engine access covers--they seemed to be open all the time; anyone could have thrown a monkeywrench in at any time.

And the way the drivers careened up and down Diamond Heights, where I lived (just above Castro Valley) was more then a little frightening, until I got used to it. There were never any accidents I remember--and it was exciting.

But what I liked most, were the streetcars. These electric raiway cars ran on two rails in the street. They drew their electricity from an overhead cable. Except for their color--which was green--they were exactly like the streetcars run by the TTC in Toronto.

In San Francisco, there was what they called a subway, but different from the one in Toronto. It was just the streetcar running under the hills of San Francisco.

Only the few lights inside the car were the illumination. Beyond it was so cool, and damp, as the streetcar ran silently through the darkness.

MUni (pronounced Mew-ni) is the most common abbreviation for Mountain Unicycling. I say "common" because it's not at all, but it is steadily growing in popularity... there are few better conversation starters than arriving at the summit of some whacking great hill on just one wheel.

WIth the added benefit that once you're up there, the cycle down is even more fun...

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