Archives for December 2004

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Yes, It's Water, but Different

Every so often I wander the bottom of the LA Blogs blogroll. Though the idea of a blogroll is that the sites at the top are the ones who are updating, the imperfections of the internet mean that those at the top are really just the ones smart enough to ping the appropriate spots when they update. Today I ran across a post from amandarin titled "It pours". She chides LA people for being soft when it comes to rain:

People, it's water. WATER. You carry it around by the designer bucketful, is it really so scary when it's loose? You are not going to be trapped in your home for days on end. No one is going to drown crossing the street. The pilates studios, Whole Foods markets, and tanning salons will all remain open.

How true... — Continue Reading...

A Bad Setup Made Worse

One of the biggest headaches any time you're going to be going to the Rose Bowl is just getting there and finding somewhere to park. The area surrounding the stadium itself has nowhere near the necessary spaces, so people resort to things like parking in nearby neighborhoods and walking in or taking the Parsons shuttle. And then this little storm came along and dropped a heck of a lot of rain on LA, and in particular on the Rose Bowl's adjoining golf course. On normal game days that course holds 14,000 cars. For the Rose Bowl it'll hold a number that's pretty close to zero... — Continue Reading...

Three New Essays in Verbal

One last bit for the night, then I'm off to bed: I've just posted three new essays up in verbal intercourse. I think I have a few more sitting on my computer in LA, but it's off right now so I can't get to those. What's new:

All three are from film classes, as you can probably see.

Downtown: Urban Life vs. the Automobile

My normal routine each day is to read the California, Business, and Sports sections of the LA Times. Leaving some sections out means I sometimes miss stories like the one that ran Monday titled "Give Up the Suburb? Yes. Give Up the Car? No Way".

People are moving downtown, all right. But this is L.A. So they're bringing their cars with them.

And now local officials, who just a few years ago stopped requiring developers to build parking spaces in most loft buildings, are scrambling to accommodate automobiles — and their owners — downtown.

The article's interesting, though not necessarily all that informative for those who are already downtown and deal with these sorts of problems everyday... — Continue Reading...

One Big Backyard

Today's (well, yesterday's... I'm slow) absolute understatement of the day comes to us by way of a Daily News piece talking about how the Sepulveda Basin dam handled this week's rain. The article helpfully tells us that:

The Valley's largest recreational park doubles as its flood-control system - one that can hold thousands of gallons of water, then slowly release the flow into the Los Angeles River after the storm has passed.

So, here's the thing: I'm sure the basin really holds somewhere up around a million gallons. "Thousands of gallons" is tiny. This pool site tells me that a 4' deep pool with a 24' diameter holds a touch under 12,000 gallons. I'd really like to think that the Sepulveda Basin holds more than a small swimming pool or two.

The Hand Deceives

I drove over to Grand Rapids, MI, this evening to meet up with Shmuel and Brian Tol. It was a good time, hanging out talking about computer stuff at one of GR's numerous coffee shops with free wifi (It's a Grind/Urban Mill). Afterward, driving across town to go to World Market, I noticed something: Grand Rapids has some horrid lights. — Continue Reading...

My Most Popular Days

I was just fixing up the styles for the "On This Date" feature and got curious about how many days of the year I've posted on in the 6+ years this blog's been running. A simple MySQL query later*, I had the answer: 348. So out of the 366 possible days of the year, I've missed 18. The most popular day, with 10 posts:

Fascinatingly, I implemented "On This Date" on Dec. 11, 2003. Close behind, with 9 posts:

Rain, Rain, Rain, but the Lights Are On

So I left LA for a few weeks and missed crazy record amounts of rainfall. You really need to see these pictures of a flooded 110 (linked from Reading stories of 4.3 inches of rain downtown (over 24 hours) I'm amazed that the power in my apartment hasn't been touched. How do I know this if I'm sitting in Michigan right now? Well, the server you're reading this off of is sitting in my living room. That means that our power, phone, and DSL have survived untouched through the downpours.

My old apartment would lose power every now and again just for the fun of it. It's nice to know that's different now.

The One-Day Look

So the look I bragged about in my last post lasted less than a day. Luckily I made that screenshot, 'cause that's the last you'll be seeing of it here. I give credit for all the good ideas in this new new design to Max (otherwise known as Rev. Fun). I kept pestering him with design questions last night, and woke up this morning to find a mockup of what he thought my site should look like. His was much better than mine, which is probably why he gets paid for this sort of thing and I don't.

You'll notice that the expand/collapse that reappeared yesterday is gone. In it's place on posts that have a body you'll find a Read More link below. That'll expand the post body in-place... — Continue Reading...

Taking Advantage of that CSS

Firefox screenshot After spending a few hours tonight hacking on them, I've just put up some new CSS for the blog. Like any good work it consists of elements lifted from here and there. The little frame elements in the top-left and bottom-right are loosely adapted from a rounded corner guide here, and the little calendars are lifted from mezzoblue (though in fairness I'm not presenting quite the same). The goal was to de-clutter and reduce the number of colors I'm using. I don't think it's perfect (or even close), but it's a start.

Now, those of you using Internet Explorer are sitting there saying "what frame elements?" and "what calendars?" That's why I gave you the little screenshot to click on and see what you're missing. There's no excuse not to be running a browser from Mozilla these days. You deserve a better browser than IE.

That said, the calendars should work in IE and I'm not sure why they don't. I need to look into that more.

new features

So a slew of "new" features should be coming on right now. I'm testing as I copy things from the dev setup to live, so if something doesn't work in the next half hour or so that won't really surprise me. So what's "new" (and why the quotes?):

  • Comment support is back.
  • The expand/collapse navigation is back.
  • "This Date" is back.

As you can see, I say "new" 'cause I had all these before. But they're all genuinely new to eThreads2.

one last caltrans bit

This quote comes from an article in the NY Times:

But in our security-obsessed age, the [Caltrans] building's spirit of openness makes it exceptional. Its vast "urban lobby" is carved through its core, sucking surrounding street life inside.


If you wanted to suck street life inside the "lobby", you'd have punched a hole through to Los Angeles St. and the New Otani. As it is I don't even feel like I should be mounting the front steps. As is habit in LA, the plaza doesn't have anywhere to sit. It's concrete, with metal. That sort of an environment doesn't really suck many people in.

Hopefully the public eatery that's supposed to go in will change some of that.