Wednesday, November 30, 2011

tis the season

care of metrolink (click image to enlarge).

not exactly sure who the intended audience was, as it left before my train got there, but it was going full blast the whole time all us on the gold line platform were enamored by it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

brain teasers, pt. 2

undertaker or JABGIAS (just another bald guy in a suit)?

super-successful accountant or future dictator?

west african diaspora or JAHWAB (just another hippie with a bike)?

recent entry into pubescence or harris from freaks and geeks, sufferer of heinsbergen syndrome?

Friday, November 25, 2011

personhood initiative

so, personhood initiatives have failed quite miserably a couple of times now.  i'm pretty grateful for that.  except there is one thing nagging me on this black friday, when we most put things over people.  those hunks of silicon, plastic and magnetic stuff are behaving with more humanity than the humans nowadays.  collectively, they're giving better directions, recommending better music and providing more videos of cats farting than any group of what we currently consider "persons."  it appears someone on the train agrees with me.

not to be outdone, across the aisle, another hunk of metal tries to elevate itself into personhood.  awwww, they're holding hands.

and, of course, who wouldn't treat their bottle of soda as a person?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"medical billing" used with "hero" non-ironically

i'm not sure where else this ad runs, but i saw it on the train first and haven't seen it since.

doctors are held up as heroes every once in awhile.  usually, though, they have to give way to some military man of action, captain kirk, a frog* or, in very rare instances, an investment banker**.  never in my entire life have i heard someone, real or fictional, say, "that guy in billing saved my life."

who knows?  maybe medical billers and coders really are heroes.  but wouldn't that be kind of sad?  that we find those brave enough to navigate the bureaucracy heroic?  welcome to terry gilliam's brazil.

* -- new muppet movie is coming out soon and i doubt bunsen honeydew will get the hero's role.
** -- harold always seems to be bailing kumar out, though it's more of a team effort in a very harold and kumar christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ask and you shall receive

a little over a year ago, i wrote about safe bike lanes after an incident where a bus driver honked aggressively at a biker and the biker proceeded to ride past and slam the bus right under the driver's window.

well, here they are.  real bike lines, inspired by the work of those in nyc, led by occidental college alum janette sadik-khan.

Monday, November 21, 2011

nerd love, i think

just read the book "american nerd" not that long ago.   though i'd recommend it, i was kinda hoping to read more of myself in the book.  one question it's raised that i haven't been able to nail down is "what is a nerd?"  it's sorta like supreme court justice potter stewart's take on hard-core pornography: maybe it can't be defined, but you "know it when you see it."  well, upon seeing the pair below, i knew it.  i have no idea if any love at all is involved here, but these two are definitely very good friends and they're having a way better time on the bus than your average rider.

another item of interest from the book "american nerd" is that being a nerd isn't the stigma it used to be.  hopefully, that's a sign of broadening tolerance and increased curiosity about the things nerds are interested in.  regardless, these two never hide, having animated conversations about anime and, yes, even watching it on their bus ride.

Friday, November 18, 2011


not the most welcoming bathroom sign i've ever seen.  let's see, all i gotta do is jump down off the platform, hop the train fence, cross two more tracks, climb another fenc--OH NO!  TOO LATE!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

necessity's children

i see a lot of baby/kid shoes on the train.  they're not always attached to the child they belong to, babies being prone to kicking and screaming and all, but usually they're not too far away.  so when i see the kids' shoe below and no associated child, i look a little longer.

you might not be able to tell from this picture, but the woman is looking into a mirror, doing her makeup.  what's this got to do with the shoe?  that's her makeup bag.  i'm gonna guess all her kids outgrew that size.

who needs a blue bin for recycling?

Monday, November 14, 2011


i'm often baffled at the work credentials i see displayed on the train.  it's not very often i want complete strangers knowing where i work and my full name.  while the likelihood of any negative consequences from displaying such information is remarkably small, it's remarkably smaller when not displayed.  but, more importantly, lanyards and belt clips make an otherwise professional looking person look sloppy (though, admittedly, "otherwise professional" isn't always applicable).

whatever the safety and fashion implications of work credentials are, i don't think i'd be alone in thinking they are magnified many-fold when you hold up a big, fully-addressed envelope address-side out.

who knows?  maybe she's just delivering this to the post for someone else.  maybe she's part of a criminology research project to see just how dangerous flashing your full-name and address together in public is.  maybe she just don't care.  and maybe she's even trying to be discovered and wants to be stalked.  any of these might be true for her.  but unless they're true for you, please PUT YOUR CREDENTIALS AWAY and protect your pii (that's a census term, google it).

Friday, November 11, 2011

coffee mate is not ouzo

i came across this ad in the train station.

the guy reminded me of another guy in another ad i saw once.  a friend of mine was telling me about ouzo and sent me this picture about how it should be enjoyed.

no matter how similar the happy expressions of these two ads are, coffee mate can not possibly make you as happy as ouzo.  though, to be fair, i've only tried one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

trash porn, pt 7

some people may recognize the house below as "where strawberry lives."  some may ask "who's strawberry?"  strawberry was a vietnam veteran.  strawberry was a cool uncle who threw cool parties.  but most notably, strawberry was a fictional character in cheech & chong's first movie "up in smoke," who had a distracting birthmark and flashbacks while operating a motorcycle with cheech in the sidecar.

these pictures feature in trash porn because for many reasons, this house should be worth a fair amount and, by extension, well kept.  it's centrally located, close to a train station, in an historic zone, on a corner lot, has very unique features (sculptures and a frickin turret with frickin cannons*) and is a symbol of the pride the neighborhood takes in having been featured in a groundbreaking, seminal movie that still influences how people dress, talk and, well, not be sober.  as you can see though, the yard and the sidewalk around it mostly collect trash.

it should be noted that the view in the second picture is usually obscured by parked cars so i had to wait til street-sweeping day to get a clear picture.  naturally, much of the trash got swept away.

* -- well, things made to look like cannons anyway

Monday, November 7, 2011

spouting water

i can't help but think the natural version of the waterfall below would be much more appealing, but this one's pretty cool too.

i'm a little surprised the city didn't think a giant column of water right over a parking lot was a problem when they built this overpass; but given the spread of the downward plume, perhaps the city's fluid dynamics folks know more than i do.  we won't see who has the last laugh until it rains hard without any wind though.  my money's on a nice little complaint, possibly followed by a lawsuit, from whoever's parked beneath this little spout.

in case you're wondering what this has to do with mass transit, it's just one of those things that i wouldn't have passed by if i were driving, much like the most awesome dmv ever.

also, as a completely arbitrary aside, connected to this post only through the single word "plume," nasa's cassini spacecraft is orbiting saturn and just yesterday completed a flyby of the moon enceladus, one that has ice volcanoes such as the many below.  from my very amateur estimates, the combined plume pictured reaches out about 180 miles, greater than the mean radius of the moon itself.

check the cassini mission in the coming days for the new images.  currently, the images from a fly-by of enceladus from a couple weeks ago are on the front page.

Friday, November 4, 2011


i was trying to figure out which of the names on the sign above went to the trouble of renting the helicopter parked in their shared lot, shown below.

my money's on hooters.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

i see moose

the fall temperatures must have dropped below 70°F (21°C for the "civilized" world).  that's what angelenos refer to as the "moose hat point."