Archives for April 2005

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FishBowlLA Bored with Media, Picks on Me

I just noticed in the referer logs that the site FishBowlLA had done a bit on my coverage of the April Art Walk. I assume that I'm supposed to take it to be making fun of my lack of art jargon describing the walk. Of course they start by just getting the site url wrong (, thank you), so maybe I'm reading more into it than there really is. I'm perfectly fine with the fact that I know nothing about art. Pre-LA, none of the places in which I've lived have ever have anything more than a Thomas Kinkade shop.

But if you're going to do the "gossip blog" take on LA media, pick on bad writing in something a little more prestigious than a little blog.

At least do what I do, and pick on one that's about trying to make money.

Flexcar: Rate Changes

I got my March Flexcar bill in the mail a few days ago, and noticed that it came with a sheet titled "Important Notice to Flexcar Members." The annual membership fee is going up $5, mileage charges are going away, and the Advantage plan rates are changing. The flyer doesn't specify, but I would assume these changes are specific to the Los Angeles market (at least the plans... the annual fee might be system-wide). Taken together, the changes make me wonder if Flexcar is altering its focus away from short mid-day trips. — Continue Reading...

flickr pro

I signed up for flickr pro today. That got me thinking that even though I've loved flickr, I've never really explored it all. There's some cool stuff there. I'd never used the organizer, and I'd also never seen the calendar of photos by date taken. I also set up my first set, with the seven pictures I took at Art Walk last night.

A Question

Question: Is it possible to write ten pages off of this thesis?

The characterization of societal power structures in the film The Muppets Take Manhattan serves to underline the importance of equity and diversity.

We'll find out soon. The paper's due in three hours. I'm halfway into page four.

Update (Saturday): The answer, I guess, is that you can at least write nine. The resultis now up in verbal intercourse: "Being Green in the Big City" (PDF Version).

LAist: Welcome to Last Fall

LAist today gives us this great observation:

We saw this billboard on Vine at Selma. Is it still up?

Nevada sure isn't pulling its punches as it lures business away from our sorry state.

Is Nevada's message accurate?

"They" include what is a good picture of the Nevada "terminated" billboards, so I'll give credit there. But, uhh... Those billboards have been running since October of last year. For instance, here's a picture I took on October 15th, 2004, just a few miles from my apartment. I thought the point of blogs was to be current. Perhaps the post just got caught at the editor's desk.

Too bad they couldn't add any insight to the "sorry state" bit. I happen to think that the small business tax reform passed in LA recently might improve the business climate, but I don't know if that makes the state's message accurate or not.


Is it just me, or does Bob Hertzberg's bigideas4la need some new ideas for service? Yesterday and today I've gotten a SERVFAIL error from the site's listed DNS servers. :

[eWorld (eric@bit)-([Tue April 12 10:25am])]
~: dig @

; <<>> DiG 9.2.4 <<>> @
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: SERVFAIL, id: 2737
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

Perhaps big ideas should start with even a little work on keeping the host entries working correctly.

A Screenshot


It's been a long time since I posted a screenshot. This one's actually from the first four desks of my workstation here at work, but I wanted to point out that three of the four backgrounds are photos. Two of them (the second and fourth desks) I took, and one that Jonah posted on LA Blogs. I love how all three work with the transparent terminals on top.

Just Another Friday

Sometimes I just have to sit back and wonder how it is that I ended up in my life out here in LA. Friday afternoon was one of those times.

It all started when I wanted to buy a pirate hook.

I wasn't sure where to do that. So I emailed Jon Regardie at the Downtown News and asked if anyone around the newsroom knew where I might pick one up. Oddly, he did. — Continue Reading...

The Fun of Self-Help Technology

Being that I'm somewhat in love with technology, it would seem to me that I should like things like the self check-out machines at the Central Library. But I don't. They're hard to use.

Today, though, the line for regular check-out was long and I didn't feel like waiting, so I thought I'd go through with it. — Continue Reading...

UP to Test Hybrid Locomotive

From the San Jose Business Journal:

The Union Pacific Railroad's switching yard in smoggy Fresno has been picked as the place the Omaha, Neb.-based company will test its first hybrid diesel-electric locomotive.

... It is expected the hybrid will cut air emissions by 80 percent to 90 percent and reduce diesel fuel use by 50 percent to 80 percent compared to a conventional diesel-powered switching locomotive, the company says.

The locomotive is built by Railpower Technologies. Apparently I missed the LA Times story from March 16th talking about one of these locomotives in LA. Here we find that the engine can switch cars around the yard for at least eight hours on battery power.

My favorite line, though:

The locomotive is the world's largest and heaviest hybrid land vehicle currently in production, Union Pacific says.

Not much competition at that size, I don't think.

Stupid Internet Explorer

I'm sitting in the Annenberg computer lab right now waiting for my advisor to get back from lunch. Being in a room full of Windows machines gives me occassion to see my site in Internet Explorer for the first time in a good while. At least on IE 6.0, it really isn't that pretty. Sidebar padding is a bit whacked, and some background colors aren't getting into places they should.

But you know what? I don't care too much. The design still works in IE, even if it isn't optimal. And I'm sick of trying to accomodate really broken CSS models. I'll bend for Safari, since at least it's trying (and the couple bugs like min-width: might be working now), but as long as it's at least passable in IE I'm satisfied, despite its leading 34% marketshare (on blogdowntown).

Here They Go Again

It seems like this kind of stuff pops up every few months these days:

Martin, named FCC chairman two weeks ago, told a crowd at the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. convention here that his agency did not have the authority it exercised over conventional broadcasting to regulate the programming that streams over cable lines.

But, he warned, that could change if Congress decides to give the FCC power to police content on cable and satellite.

At least he's honest; cable's in no way within their control. I don't think Congress can change that, either. Sure, they can pass a law giving the FCC control over cable. They can even make cable indecency fines a million bucks a piece if they feel so inclined. But you're going to have a pretty hard time convincing the Supreme Court that they've been wrong about almost a century of established doctrine regarding what forms of speech the government does and does not have the right to regulate. The government can talk and talk and talk about how "pervasive" cable is because "everyone" has it, but that still doesn't change the base fact that it's a service into which you have to subscribe. Case closed.