Sometimes I find myself leaving a problem without trying to analyze it,
and then when I come back again, it works. Most of the time, I can't
figure out why... I just scratch my head and think "What did I do
different _this time_?"

The encouraging thing about this is that as you get better, the time
between the head scratching gets longer.

Another resource you can try Ruby on when you get frustrated with Pine
is http://tryruby.hobix.com/
This is interactive and fun, and was written by someone who is
certifiably insane. (He wrote Poignant's Guide.)

Paul