Archives for July 2003

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LA By Train: Trips 2 & 3

I got lazy Monday night and didn't post anything then, so this covers my Monday return and coming in this morning. The return trip was indeed a lot easier, though there was still some uphill involved (you never notice the little downhills on the way in). Trip time for each was 1:30, which is right about where I'd expect it to stay. I'm not riding fast right now, just slow and steady while I get my legs into shape. Eventually I think I can shave at least 10 minutes off my one-way time. — Continue Reading...

LA By Train: Trip 1

This morning found me setting out to make the trip by bike from USC to JPL. If you ask Mapquest, that's a 19.3 mile trip. I'm not going to fill this space with details about the trip, you can click the title to read more there. I will say, though, that one stat towers over all others: 475 feet of elevation change between Pasadena and JPL. After a few months of this my legs will be made of steel. — Continue Reading...

the fun of transit

Yesterday the MTA opened Gold Line, a 13.7 mile light-rail line from Downtown LA to Pasadena. As someone who makes the commute from downtown-ish (USC) to Pasadena-ish (JPL... sort of La Canada), I've been excited about this for a while. I hate driving my commute every day. The pursuit of less traffic has even pushed me to get on the road by 6:20 every morning, in hopes of making my drive in less than a half hour. Now the day is here where I finally have an alternative, and that of course brings up the logistics. Ok, so there's a rail line, now what? Click the title to read more... — Continue Reading...

new look again

What is it about Sundays? My last look was posted on Sunday, March 9. It lasted four months and eleven days, though I did tweak it in the middle. This new look comes from my desire to get back to something white-based, and also really wanting some more room for the body area. The picture is current, so yes, all my hair is gone. Eventually I want to make the nav bar links drop-downs, but that's too much for me to tackle today. — Continue Reading...

show updates

I did my big show post the other day, but since then I've found out about some other stuff I want to add in or change. So, we'll do it again. July 25, Halou is at the knit. I've really wanted to see them live for a while now. July 31, Penny is at Hotel Cafe. I wrote about seeing Penny live a couple weeks ago. I highly recommend this show. I need to figure out the timing to see if there's any way I can catch this and Peak Show / Woven in the same night. They're both in Hollywood, so it's possible.

another one bites the dust

I just saw a clip from the NBC version of Coupling. Basic synopsis: same episodes, different people. Oh well. The BBC show is hilarious. I have all three seasons (on vhs and divx), and will probably pick up the DVDs once seasons two and three come out. The same producers are attached to the US version, but there's no way I could watch the remakes. That would just be weird.

ruminations on hotel cafe

I did make it out to Hotel Cafe on Saturday and got my weekly fill (or at least it's been weekyl recently) of live music. The Hotel's definitely the place to be these days, the last few times I've been there it's been pretty packed. Crowds seem to be biggest earlier rather than later. Part of this has meant that the atmosphere is changing a bit. I used to be amazed at how quiet people were while there was an act on. Now that's not quite as much the case. When Gus Black started his set on the 3rd you could see him trying to drag out his intro, hoping that the people around the bar would quiet down a little. Partly this just comes with the territory. If you're going to play small coffee house type shows, you have to get used to people having conversations. But on the other hand people need to show a little respect. If you want to be loud, go somewhere else. The Hotel's for the music.

But that's all prelude. This Saturday I went pretty late and only caught Saucy Monky and the band in front of them, and I've already rambled, so I'll just jump straight to Saucy. I know I've said this before, but they're just a fun band. They're loving being on stage, and it shows. At some point between the show and today I was thinking about how I like the fact that they don't have a lead vocalist, pre se, they've got two of them. It's sort of a tag-team, as one or the other leads through a song. But it's not a real tag-team, it's more of a WWF tag-team, where before tagging out the two team up while the ref's not looking.

Shows I'm Planning to See

I meant to post this earlier, but I get lazy and forget things. Anyway... TONIGHT, Saucy Monky is playing a midnight show at Hotel Cafe. Cool music and a really friendly band. July 23, Old Sol is playing a show at Fais Do Do. I've never been there, but the pictures on the website look cool. July 31, Peak Show is playing a show at the knit with Woven. I've never seen either of them, but KCRW's been playing both of them and I think they sound cool. August 15, the retooled lineup of the Red Elvises is back where it all began, Rusty's Surf Ranch. I can't describe Red Elvises. They just are, and they're fun.

weird phone calls

When I got DSL, I had to get a new phone line from SBC. We had an apartment line, but it was through Comcast, and couldn't be used. So I got just local, no long-distance, no frills, etc. Pretty much imediately the line started getting calls, mostly wrong numbers. That's not too surprising. I only really use my cell phone to recieve calls, so I've actually turned off the ringer on the line. Still, no big deal. What confuses me, though, is the answering machine messages I get. I swear 80% of them think they're talking to a real person. My message isn't deceptive, so I attribute some of them to callers who can't speak English. The rest must be telemarketers whose computers get confused and think it's a live person. In any case, it's very entertaining to come home and check the machine to find 6 messages which all start off with "hello? hello?"

ergo is more than a buzzword

For a long time now I've noticed that I was having a hard time sitting up straight at my computer for periods of time. This presented issues, since computer usage is my livelihood. Today I finally decided that the issue was monitor height, and decided to do something about it. Not exactly one to have proper tools for the job, my monitor raising consists of sitting the monitors on a shelf that's heightened off the desk by two stacks of books. What's currently on my monitor-raising best sellers list? On the left, from top to bottom: In Search of Schrodinger's Cat, by John Gribbin; 20th Century Ethical Theory, by Cahn and Haber; and Code Complete, by Steve McConnell. On the right side, The Lanahan Readings in the American Polity, by Serow Ladd; Chaos, by James Gleick; In Search of Africa, by Diawara; and White's Contemporary Moral Problems. My monitors will be enlightened.

very spammy spam

I saw where Cam wrote about his highest scoring spam, and it got me curious, so I wrote a script to run through my caughtspam folder. My top scorer was only 54.9. You can see it here. The spamassassin warnings stretch forever. I'm also starting to log my spam scores to Project SpamSearch. You can see my stats here when stuff starts getting reported.

those crazy berkeley people...

Amidst an article on some assistant professor fighting with UC Berkeley over tenure is the quote of the day. It's by molecular and cellular biology doctoral student Jason Delborne, who says:

"It's absolutely bizarre. At this university, we're supposed to be beyond politics. Clearly, we are not."
Hello? Where have you been? When has there ever been a time where Berkeley has been about anything but politics? You crazy hippies are always up in arms about something. I think this must be sign number one that Delborne doesn't get out much.