Vae Viator12

Reflect on This♪

Let the Work Speak for Itself
The photo above speaks volumes about the LACMTA: the lack of thoughtful planning; poor execution; no management follow-up;  assigning tasks to those who lack the training and skills to accomplish them (here think assigning TAP/access control to a PR staff); and the inability to reflect on what lessons can be learned from jobs as obviously botched as this one.

Did anyone at the LACMTA consider how much fun it is to attempt to purchase a ticket when the sun is reflecting off the screen?  Short answer -NO!

With this posting, starting late in the month, your Mole has begun reporting on the technical driving skills of Metro drivers.  This section will appear just before La Taupe's Abréviations (below).  Su Topo is of the opinion that with all the practice Metro drivers get that they should have no problem at all, under normal circumstances,  in maneuvering their vehicles to the bus stop so that the “flag pole” is slightly to the front of the bus and the curb is and easy step away from the bus.   What do you say Mr. Leahy, can you meet these standards?  I know that many of your drivers either cannot or don't care to exert the effort. 

 Lots of Basura♪

Above is pictured just a portion of the trash strewn about and in the bushes at the fifth bus stop from the LAXCBC on the 232 Line.  Are all riders slobs or do only slobs ride the bus?  That is likely and unfair choice as the people who sell the items whose packaging makes up the bulk of the litter must share in the responsibility as must the LACMTA for not providing trash cans at bus stops.  Which organization wants to squeeze ever dime they can from us, directly from fares and indirectly from a potion of the taxes we pay without spending any money on things other that what they want.  Does that sound somewhat like “Equal Taxation Yields Unequal Provision of Service”?

The organizations which sell the products, in this case, contained in this area's litter are: Jamba Juice, Ralphs, Starbucks and a number of others all located within a ten minute walk of this bus stop.   They are happy to take their customers money but will not, apparently, chip in to provide trash containers.  Neither will they attempt to educate their customers regarding proper trash containers.  Ad Council, here is a ready made project for you!


The route graphic above is found on Green Line trains, but a corresponding graphic is NOT found on the Blue Line.  For those of us who don't commute daily on the Blue Line it would be nice to know how we are progressing toward “our” station.  This fact appears to be incomprehensible to the staff and management at the LACMTA.   


The lines underlined in the schedule shown above are indicative of exactly how lacking the LACMTA is in terms of grey matter.   Two bus routes which originate at different points parallel each other at the end of the route.  Why not use a bigger bus and eliminate the bus on the shorter route, why not …?  You get the idea even if the LACMTA doesn't.


The LACMTA is an agency which seems to only attract people without critical thinking skills and no ability to evaluate ideas.  Above is one of the display units which are seen in many places, although I believe they are not found at rail stations which are exposed to sunlight.  It’s a reflectivity problem.  Sound familiar?

Even in the gloom of Union Station, as shown above, the train times and destinations (colour codes) are difficult to see.  Oh wait, on closer inspection (using an electron microscope), I find that they don’t indicate the train colour, one has to, how do you say?, mmm, “figure it out for oneself”. 

A view of one of the signs from the platform is shown below  It can be read from immediately under it, but becomes more difficult to read as the distance between the sign and viewer increases.

Here, again, is a self referral and link to how it should be done AND is done by BART, in San Francisco.


Yes, the use the older display technology AND it works.  I know that it will come as a shock to the those at the LACMTA capable of making the leap, but people don’t care to stand on the platform and read “safety tips” and about how the elevators are out of service (again) at the Civic Center Station.  Please note too, that the Bart stations are so much brighter than the gloomy LACMTA ones in Los Angeles.

La Taupe is weak for advertising especially when it is yet another “brilliant idea” from the LACMTA.  The on-board advertising hyping a combined TAP/Debit Card is often seen recently; the combination could be the worst of both worlds.  Attention under-utilised attorneys:  Can the LACMTA perform banking functions?

Su Topo asked a friend to find out more detail vis-à-vis the combined card.  The results: a request to the e-mail provided has not been answered after several weeks, and an online attempt to send a request has resulted in the failure shown immediately below.

The issue to which your Mole would like your attention directed is what he believes to be the lack of liability on the part of the LACMTA; should your wonderful combined TAP/Debit card be lost or stolen.  This Mole believes, based upon the terms of most debit cards, that although the LACMTA may give you a new TAP card and pass but you, my friends, may be required to bear the financial loss for unauthorized use of the debit card.  I will continue to try to obtain a clear answer from the LACMTA.  Of course, the LACMTA could comply with “Truth in Advertising” recommendations –whether required or not— and reprint the on-board placards.  They might wish to consult this website first.  

This Mole reads the Metro advertising card 11-0666JL (LACMTA), “Switch to Direct Deposit on a TAP ReadyCard … ...and get great benefits” as totally lacking in detail.

The LACMTA, in not subsuming it as a sub-domain (perhaps they don’t know how to do it), makes a weak attempt to disassociate “Metro” from the “taptogo.net” website.  After all what does one expect from this feckless agency, however your Mole did the due diligence and can make this report to you: 

Domain Name: TAPTOGO.NET           Registrant:   Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority One Gateway Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90012” 

It appears that they are spending the taxpayer’s money on yet more outside services, this is in addition to their already huge technical budget! 

Your Mole has said this before but it bears repeating: “You’ve seen the LACMTA’s take on Mass Transit, now let them handle your money.”  Still think that it is a good idea for the LACMTA to dip into your cash?  Please consider this, lost or stolen TAP cards probably fall under the same rules as debit cards, we are real sorry, but no refunds.

Well Mole, exactly how much do they spend.  Dear reader their total budget for FY21011 (Fiscal Year - July 1 2010 ~ June 30 2011) is 3.9 BILLION dollars!

The capital IT expenditures as copied (less than 1% of the document) from: http://www.metro.net/about_us/finance/images/FY11BudgetBook.pdf

Please note that the “Application Platform” and “Computer Equipment” are all HARDWARE to the professional.  Yet they are presented on several lines as is the software, e.g., “Transit Operator Activity Scheduling and Tracking” and “Procurement Contract Management System”.  These are “big hits” taken in smallish lumps.

After not insignificant searching I found a board meeting document which authorized only $130,000 for what read to su Topo as a study*.  Here we see that they spent $514,000 or almost four (4) times the amount authorized by CEO Arthur T. Leahy and Chief Administrative Services Officer, Lonnie Mitchell.  AND there is another $2,263,000 scheduled for the life of the project.

*Now when someone wants to buy trucks and the advisor on the project is found to be selling XYZ trucks, red flags would usually be raised, unless of course the consultant recommended Ford trucks, if you get my drift?  

All this reads to this profession like it is supposed to end up with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.  The Gold Standard for ERP is SAP.  SAP is the product for an organization that has a near $4 billion budget.  SAP has lots of modules, because the LACMTA is not, to my knowledge at least, a manufacturing organization, it won’t need all of them.  The worst case scenario is one in which a consulting group will try to do-it-themselves.  A trail which is wet with tears and littered with invoices paid and unpaid and not a few legal documents.  Unfortunately, it appears that

There were 130 IT employees in 2010; twenty of them will be out of a job in 2011

Your Mole has said this before but it bears repeating: “You’ve seen the LACMTA’s take on Mass Transit, now let them handle your money.”  Still think that it is a good idea for the LACMTA to dip into your cash?  Please consider this, lost or stolen TAP cards probably fall under the same rules as debit cards, we are real sorry, but no refunds.
Confirmed here:
http://www.metro.net/about/bos/           (Bus Operations Subcommittee) 

Questions which were NOT answered by the limited detail available in the Budget document:


What monies flow from LAWA to the LACMTA (Los Angeles World Airports)?
Why is LAWA assuming transportation functions which would seem to be the prerogative of the LACMTA?

What monies or values flow to LAWA from the LACMTA ?

Why is the LACMTA allowing LAWA to usurp LACMTA transportation functions?

Where are those pro bono lawyers when you really need them to serve the public interest?   How about County oversight, Ms Wendy L. Watanabe, Auditor-Controller
What are the cash flows, expenses and Budgeted/Actuals associated with the Orange Line?

What are the expenses and Budgeted/Actuals associated with the Expo Line?

What are the cash flows, expenses and Budgeted/Actuals associated with the Silver Line?

They are advertising that the Silver Line 15 minutes faster to downtown.  Faster than what?  From where? 

Su Topo watched a, mostly empty, Silver Line bus roll through a part of Downtown Los Angeles.  While we have the Silver Line under discussion it is not wasted on this Mole that the LACMTA assigns “colour designations” to bus lines as if they were rail lines.  Does that strike you as disingenuous?  The design and planning of the Silver Line leaves me wondering –“what were they thinking?”  But then again clear, hard nosed thinking is NOT what one expects from politicians who are, pretty much, self designated transportation experts.  The Silver Line starts off in El Monte by possibly siphoning off Foothill Transit passengers who are headed Downtown.  I am sure that the staff and management of Foothill Transit have some choice adjectives for Metro.  After all, it was Foothill Transit pioneered their own “Silver Streak” express line in 2007, which idea and half of the name was then shamelessly copied by the LACMTA last year.

If it simply ended at Union Station that would have been bad enough, but no, it goes on to become even more otiose and redundant.   So rather then habituating its passengers to the use of a transportation “system” comprised of bus, rail and subways, the LACMTA “Band-aids” yet another bus route overlay that intersects the Green Line, parallels the 740 Line.  

This Mole sees the Silver Line as another 715 Line, i.e., it “Moves a lot fewer, a little faster”.  It is also another 720 Line in that it creates competition with itself while duplicating costs.  

Life in the “big city” demands that commuters will make modal changes between bus and rail.  That will be the case if the “purple” line is ever extended to the sea.  So, Silver Line which is REALLY the 910 Line, 720 Line or rainbow hued line, the LACMTA, especially in this era of budget limitations, should ensure that ALL parallel routes are eliminated.  This will rationalize the system and reduce costs.  

The 910 should terminate at Union Station or, at most, end at the Blue Line Grand Street Station.

Why Projects Fail
There are many reasons for LACMTA projects either to exceed budget of finish late or both.  OR to come back later to bite the organization with added unanticipated costs, here think, the Orange Line roadbed rebuild or chunks of concrete falling off the Gold Line.

La Taupe is not a great fan of short lists which seen to offer easy 
answers.  That said, this list of three may hold some of the answers for the LACMTA, although in some ways it would represent triumph of hope over experience.  
There are other lists available on the Internet.  Please note that one above, which su Topo located from using totally unrelated means, e.g.,  an Internet search engine am/or a publication to which he subscribes.  The document originated in the UK (United Kingdom), not the local transportation agency. 

I quote others only in order the better to express myself.
Michel de Montaigne (1533-02-28~1592-09-13)

The Mole reads the papers and other things, so you don’t have to.

The Los Angeles Times food section provides a nice piece(Hallock) on Fr. Boyle’s Homeboy Industries new product - chips and salsa.  This Mole has already completed his taste test and the verdict on the chips is, Great!  The salsa will be taste tested before the end of March.  
Oh, and Thanks to Ralphs and Kroger!

The Los Angeles Times covers (Connell) a recommendation by a State senator to place the “quasi-independent California High-Speed Rail Authority” under Governor Brown’s jurisdiction.  A proposal that this Mole greets with “¡Bravo!”  Your Mole feels that the most appropriate statement to quote from the piece, vis-à-vis this Board, is “Lownethall’s bill also would set new ethics guidelines.”  Meaning, that su Topo and the Los Angeles Times will have less to write about.  Nice reporting guys.  Now if only someone could place an adult in charge of the LACMTA and implement some new “guidelines” there too.

The New York Post reports (Otis) on Mexican women who are tough enough
to do the work of male police officers.  Sadly, one of these
ladies, Ms Erika Gandar, disappeared two days before Christmas,
she probably was a kidnapping victim.  The entire piece is sad.
You can find it at the New York Post site.  This link will show
a graphic which summarizes the story.

Barnes and Nobel's Nook Colour e-reader has become a “tablet” (helped by outsiders) Note to B&N: hire these guys!  Nook as a tablet, this Mole likes the idea! 

But he will wait until B&N officially released Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and the Nook is given a CPU boost.

These links will give you the details.


Disambiguation by redundancy.  
La Taupe found an online piece, a review of “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood” by James Gleick, in the New York Review of Books, which allows us to consider how information may be encoded and transmitted.  We can learn about these things by reading a portion of a New York Review of Books article which is devoted to the signaling drums of Africa.  Drum communication in Kele, the language of an area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, requires a good deal of “overhead”.  This meant that the, now unused, drum signals needed eight “drum words” to communicate a single word of Kele.  In communication terms we can describe this coding system’s information carrying capacity as “less dense” than its linguistic counterpart.  It also illustrates a case of effectively trumping efficiency.
Also covered was the French télégraphe optique [optical telegraph], 
invented by Claude Chappe (1763-12-25~1805-01-23) in 1793; 
Napoléon expanded the system in 1799 and added security by encoding 
Chappe’s name lives on in the field of education in Paris at the Département Informatique de l'Université du Maine, Institut d'Informatique Claude Chappe. 

The optical telegraph was the precursor of the railroad semaphore system
used here in the U.S., beginning decades ago.  See a diagram of a 
railroad device at: http://www.thortrains.net/1rrlite2.gif
I highly recommend this article to anyone who has in interest in 
(See: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/mar/10/how-we-know/ )

The Daily Breeze publishes (Orlov) sees that transit programs as a source of jobs in Los Angeles and nationwide.  Readers of these postings know that your Mole would decline to give a nickel to the free spending LACMTA and hopes that agencies in other American cities treat the people’s money with respect.

This month I let the work of the LACMTA speak for itself and it tells a sad tale, although I have only covered a very few items of the many more there are to write about.  

For example, the 232 Line make a unnecessary northbound loop around Mariposa Station and has done so for over two years when some one-way streets were made two-way and consequently made the route in this area an anachronism. 

I am laughing as I write the following quote from the article: ‘It is part of an effort called “America Fast Forward” which was developed by the [Los Angeles County] Metropolitan Transportation Authority and calls for increased federal spending for transit programs.’
I wonder, is “America Fast Forward” like “Moving fewer Slightly Faster”?  I’ll bet it calls for increased spending :-).

The mayor supports a "30/10" proposal, adherence to which would see $40 billion of federal monies used to build thirty years of transportation projects in ten years.  Which  program, I'm believe, the LACMTA would quickly turn into a "10/30" program.

So, with all respect, Mr. Mayor, we must agree to disagree about using the LACMTA to provide jobs beyond those for which they are directly responsible.  Let them make the system we have now efficient and economical, then they will be qualified, perhaps … .

Ear to the Rail
It has been a short month with too much to do, so let's listen to “Satori” by Rodrigo & Gabriela.   It will be played on the site which gives us all kinds of music, www.Grooveshark.com.  Thank you to them!
Please link to it via: http://listen.grooveshark.com/s/Satori/6haM?src=5

Astronomy Picture of the Day has as video that is better to watch than for me to try to write about.  Please link to it:      http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110201.html

Then see the “Known Universe” which is a link in the second to the last line of the caption under “Powers of 10”.

The Mole Rides Again, so that you need not see how far you can stretch your legs in order to reach from the curb to the bus.
 (All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

2011-02-02 @ about 8:40, a 232 Line bus:  It seems fewer and fewer drivers are making the effort to position their buses near the bus stop flag and near the curb so as to make boarding easy and predictable.   The driver # 77506 of this bus was near enough to the flag but about an estimated 2 metres away from the curb.  This required a step down, several steps and a step up into the bus.   Also this driver, like lots of other MVT drivers, seems to want the dispatch radio full on or doesn't know how to turn it down.

I ride the Green Line, Car # 227B.  The overhead paneling snaps and crackles like Rice Krispies.  

Riding the Blue Line: An apparently homeless woman slams your Mole in the shoulder with a heavy bag and moves wordlessly on her way. 

2011-02-02 @ about 12:30, 232 Line bus:  I wish driver #70538 would be quiet but she won't.  If I didn't have my sight I would go crazy trying to parse all the noise into bus stop information.

2011-02-05 Your Mole sees one of the rare “whois” bumper stickers aboard a 42 Line bus, number 5145.  Although it is clearly visible and dates back to an early generation of these nuisances, it is printed in black and white; the LACMTA “removal squad” has consistently missed it.
2011-02-13 @ LAXCBC about 8:20:  A man dumps bits and pieces of crackers from a plastic bag into a small mound for the birds.  One of the benches is littered with bits of paper and several business cards; part of someone's life simplification process? 

2011-02-14 @ 9:00 aboard a CCMBL #6 bus, Happy Valentines Day!  The man seated two rows ahead has one of the world's cheapest audio devices but he is not too proud to share its tinny, distorted sound with us.   Usually the Culver City drivers are quick to ask people to “turn it off”, but not today's driver.

2011-02-15 @ about 10:45, aboard a 40 Line bus:  A woman stands up and asks for money to “ride another bus”.  Dissatisfied with the response of her fellow riders, she throws whatever change she has in her hand and exits the bus – irrational.

2011-02-19 @ about 16:45, waiting for a 111 Line bus:  Someone who has been waiting for quite a while tells me that the bus scheduled for 16:41 didn't arrive.  This is an all too common occurrence on weekends here -Come on Mr. Leahy? and Division 5 management??   The 111 Line bus scheduled for 17:11 does show up but it leaves several minutes late.
2011-02-20 @ about 9:30, aboard a 232 Line bus:  The driver #70900 seems to be playing a personal radio OR it might be music from the dispatch radio.  In any event it is louder than it needs to be, especially when the sign reads “Radios Silent”.

La Taupe is disappointed with the MVT drivers, not much better and no worse than the First Transit drivers.  Many of the latter became the former, i.e., the old First Transit Drivers were hired by MVT. 

2011-02-20 @ about 16:22, waiting for a 232 Line bus:  These buses have a habit of not showing up on weekends.  The bus should have been at this stop at about 16:21 so it is a no-show OR it was early and didn't wait at the last time point until it was back on schedule.  Even if I missed it I should have seen it pass as I approached the bus stop.  My mood is NOT good, it is cold and windy.   As I mentally compose this a mother and daughter who are talking quietly pass me.  As they prepare to cross the street the mother takes her about nine-year-old daughter’s hand.  A nice scene.

Minutes later the 16:50 bus shows up and my wait is over. 

Back at LAXCBC the bus I arrived on is preparing to turn-around.  There was a driver relief and the driver taking over is having a lot of trouble setting something us in the input panel.  It seems to be taking forever, but at last they leave.

2011-02-22: The Green Line is quiet this morning.  I transfer to the Blue Line which seemed to take forever to get to the Imperial Station.  It is crowded.  Across the aisle a man has a conversation with a woman; his part is laced with curse words.  A few minutes later he is “God Blessing” everyone around him.
The woman seated nearby is using her e-reader and we talk abut the device for a while.  I find out that it is possible to play games on it.  Your Mole is not much interested in gaming.  Another woman down the aisle had a board which measures about 12” X 4” with a slot cutout, surrounded by about 30 silver pegs, running down the center.  I searched the “Web” and found out that these devices are called “sock looms”.  They seemed expensive online, $30 or so.  The one the lady was using seemed much simpler, perhaps it was hand made, but seemed to look professional.  Anyway, she was working hard at it and whoever received the result should appreciate her had work; much better than wasting time on games and Sudoku.  Riding the bus can be a learning experience.   

I transfer to the Gold Line to complete my trip to Pasadena.  There are young Cordon Bleu students in the same car, talking animatedly.  There conversation, unfortunately, contains lots of “F” words.

2011-02-24 @ 7:30 Aboard a 232 Line bus:  It seems that most MVT contract drivers insist on setting the “squawk box” at ear-drum shattering levels.  We riders don’t need to listen to this chatter, e.g., dispatch tells a north bound 232 driver the time points on the line for his current trip, “… LAX nine AM”, "... "Pressthe green button and the number five at the same time".  My first thought is “doesn’t he carry a schedule?”  

 Two rows ahead of me a man, taking up two seats on this crowded bus, noisily repack his recycling materials while a lady who boarded at Mariposa Station stands.  This is just another reason for disallowing this unsanitary “cargo”.

Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
'By my oath, Senor Don Quixote, you are not in your right senses; for how can your worship possibly object to marrying such an exalted princess as this? Do you think Fortune will offer you behind every stone such a piece of luck as is offered you now? Is my lady Dulcinea fairer, perchance? Not she; nor half as fair; and I will even go so far as to say she does not come up to the shoe of this one here. A poor chance I have of getting that county I am waiting for if your worship goes  looking for dainties in the bottom of the sea. In the devil's name, marry, marry, and take this kingdom that comes to hand without any trouble, and when you are king make me a marquis or governor of a province, and for the rest let the devil take it all."

Don Quixote, when he heard such blasphemies uttered against his lady Dulcinea, could not endure it, and lifting his pike, without saying anything to Sancho or uttering a word, he gave him two such thwacks that he brought him to the ground; and had it not been that Dorothea cried out to him to spare him he would have no doubt taken his life on the spot.

"Do you think," he said to him after a pause, "you scurvy clown, that you are to be always interfering with me, and that you are to be always offending and I always pardoning? Don't fancy it, impious scoundrel, for that beyond a doubt thou art, since thou hast set thy tongue going against the peerless Dulcinea. Know you not, lout, vagabond, beggar, that were it not for the might that she infuses into my arm I should not have strength enough to kill a flea? Say, scoffer with a viper's tongue, what think you has won this kingdom and cut off this giant's head and made you a marquis (for all this I count as already accomplished and decided), but the might of Dulcinea, employing my arm as the instrument of her achievements? She fights in me and conquers in me, and I live and breathe in her, and owe my life and being to her. O whoreson scoundrel, how ungrateful you are, you see yourself raised from the dust of the earth to be a titled lord, and the return you make for so great a benefit is to speak evil of her who has conferred it upon you!"

Sancho was not so stunned but that he heard all his master said, and rising with some degree of nimbleness he ran to place himself behind Dorothea's palfrey, and from that position he said to his master: "Tell me, senor; if your worship is resolved not to marry this great princess, it is plain the kingdom will not be yours; and not being so, how can you bestow favours upon me? That is what I complain of. Let your worship at any rate marry this queen, now that we have got her here as if showered down from heaven, and afterwards you may go back to my lady Dulcinea; for there must have been kings in the world who kept mistresses. As to beauty, I have nothing to do with it; and if the truth is to be told, I like them both; though I have never seen the lady Dulcinea."

"How! never seen her, blasphemous traitor!" exclaimed Don Quixote; "hast thou not just now brought me a message from her?"

"I mean," said Sancho, "that I did not see her so much at my leisure that I could take particular notice of her beauty, or of her charms piecemeal; but taken in the lump I like her."

"Now I forgive thee," said Don Quixote; "and do thou forgive me the injury I have done thee; for our first impulses are not in our control."

"That I see," replied Sancho, "and with me the wish to speak is always the first impulse, and I cannot help saying, once at any rate, what I have on the tip of my tongue."

"For all that, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "take heed of what thou sayest, for the pitcher goes so often to the well--I need say no more to thee."

"Well, well," said Sancho, "God is in heaven, and sees all tricks, and will judge who does most harm, I in not speaking right, or your worship in not doing it."

"That is enough," said Dorothea; "run, Sancho, and kiss your lord's hand and beg his pardon, and henceforward be more circumspect with your praise and abuse; and say nothing in disparagement of that lady Toboso, of whom I know nothing save that I am her servant; and put your trust in God, for you will not fail to obtain some dignity so as to live like a prince."

Sancho advanced hanging his head and begged his master's hand, which Don Quixote with dignity presented to him, giving him his blessing as soon as he had kissed it; he then bade him go on ahead a little, as he had questions to ask him and matters of great importance to discuss with him.  Sancho obeyed, and when the two had gone some distance in advance Don Quixote said to him, "Since thy return I have had no opportunity or time to ask thee many particulars touching thy mission and the answer thou
hast brought back, and now that chance has granted us the time and opportunity, deny me not the happiness thou canst give me by such good news."

"Let your worship ask what you will," answered Sancho, "for I shall find a way out of all as as I found a way in; but I implore you, senor, not not to be so revengeful in future."

"Why dost thou say that, Sancho?" said Don Quixote.

"I say it," he returned, "because those blows just now were more because of the quarrel the devil stirred up between us both the other night, than for what I said against my lady Dulcinea, whom I love and reverence as I would a relic--though there is nothing of that about her--merely as something belonging to your worship.""Say no more on that subject for thy life, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "for it is displeasing to me; I have already pardoned thee for that, and thou knowest the common saying, 'for a fresh sin a fresh penance.'"

While this was going on they saw coming along the road they were
following a man mounted on an ass, who when he came close seemed to be a gipsy; but Sancho Panza, whose eyes and heart were there wherever he saw asses, no sooner beheld the man than he knew him to be Gines de Pasamonte; and by the thread of the gipsy he got at the ball, his ass, for it was, in fact, Dapple that carried Pasamonte, who to escape recognition and to sell the ass had disguised himself as a gipsy, being able to speak the gipsy language, and many more, as well as if they were his own. Sancho saw him and recognised him, and the instant he did so he shouted to him, "Ginesillo, you thief, give up my treasure, release my life, embarrass thyself not with my repose, quit my ass, leave my delight, be off, rip, get thee gone, thief, and give up what is not thine."

There was no necessity for so many words or objurgations, for at the first one Gines jumped down, and at a like racing speed made off and got clear of them all. Sancho hastened to his Dapple, and embracing him he said, "How hast thou fared, my blessing, Dapple of my eyes, my comrade?" all the while kissing him and caressing him as if he were a human being.  The ass held his peace, and let himself be kissed and caressed by Sancho without answering a single word. They all came up and congratulated him on having found Dapple, Don Quixote especially, who told him that notwithstanding this he would not cancel the order for the three ass-colts, for which Sancho thanked him.

While the two had been going along conversing in this fashion, the curate observed to Dorothea that she had shown great cleverness, as well in the story itself as in its conciseness, and the resemblance it bore to those of the books of chivalry. She said that she had many times amused herself reading them; but that she did not know the situation of the provinces or seaports, and so she had said at haphazard that she had landed at Osuna.

"So I saw," said the curate, "and for that reason I made haste to say what I did, by which it was all set right. But is it not a strange thing to see how readily this unhappy gentleman believes all these figments and lies, simply because they are in the style and manner of the absurdities of his books?"

"So it is," said Cardenio; "and so uncommon and unexampled, that were one to attempt to invent and concoct it in fiction, I doubt if there be any wit keen enough to imagine it."

"But another strange thing about it," said the curate, "is that, apart from the silly things which this worthy gentleman says in connection with his craze, when other subjects are dealt with, he can discuss them in a perfectly rational manner, showing that his mind is quite clear and composed; so that, provided his chivalry is not touched upon, no one would take him to be anything but a man of thoroughly sound understanding."

While they were holding this conversation Don Quixote continued his with Sancho, saying:

"Friend Panza, let us forgive and forget as to our quarrels, and tell me now, dismissing anger and irritation, where, how, and when didst thou find Dulcinea? What was she doing? What didst thou say to her? What did she answer? How did she look when she was reading my letter? Who copied it out for thee? and everything in the matter that seems to thee worth knowing, asking, and learning; neither adding nor falsifying to give me pleasure, nor yet curtailing lest you should deprive me of it."'

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616) Don Quixote (1605), excerpted from Chapter XXX

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 0;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation.  

I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers:  0;
None included here, but observations of a minor nature may be included in the main posting;
Codes: (i) Extended conversation(s) with passenger(s) or (ii) cell phone call(s).  Frequently, details can be found in the text above, (ii*) cell phone call(s) which are aggravated by some other action, (iii) Self-distracted.  Codes (ii*) and (iii)  will ALWAYS be explained in the posting.

I.D. Numbers of Buses Defaced by WhoIs stickers:  5145+L;
~UR or +UR = (+UR) whois sticker and the ugly residue left after passengers partly remove the sticker. (~UR) = Only the ugly residue left after passengers almost completely remove the sticker. +L = an old (legacy) sticker black letters on a plain white background –these are the original form of defacement. 

* Another reason for displaying the operator's ID on the internal display and the headsign.

ID numbers of Buses whose Head and Tailsigns disagree: 5211 42/212; 6562 111/650; 5127 42/108;
Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

METRO drivers  Basic Technical Skills Report
The format is Driver number F[{Y/-n/+n} C[{Y/N}].  Meaning of F if Y the driver stopped with the Bus stop “flag pole” somewhere between the bus front door frame.  A negative number, e.g., -3 is the approximate distance in metres (think yards dear readers) between the nearest bus door vertical frame member and the flag pole signifying that the bus stopped short of the flag.   A positive number, e.g., +3 (metres) is the approximate distance between the nearest bus door vertical frame member and the flag pole signifying that the bus stopped past the flag.    The value for C[{Y/N}], “Y” tells us that the driver stopped within an easy step from the curb to the bus, “N” means it was NOT an easy step from the curb to the bus.   It is this Mole's belief that an average experienced good driver should be able to control his bus so as to position in near the curb and with the flag pole slightly to the front of the bus.  
16817 F[+3], [Y]; 18031 F[Y], C[N]; 16168 F[+3], C[Y]; 70623 F[+4], C[Y]; 77506 F[-1], C[Y]; 70905 F[+1], C[Y];

La Taupe's Abréviations
ADADO = Automatic Destination Announcement (on) Door Opening. This feature is installed on many buses and operates on extremely few.  Another “money down the toilet” LACMTA investment.  La Taupe that this is intended for the visually impaired because people who can see can read the “head signs”.

ASAS = Automatic Stop Announcement System the GPS (Global Positioning System) driven mechanism for generating audio for the upcoming stops. N.B. Because of the low power (read weak) processors used in the on-board stops may be too close to identify stops separately.  This is known as a granularity problem.  Then too, if the driver operates the bus at speed above the speed limit you will find the system “back announcing” stops which you have already passed.  I find that this will NOT keep some drivers from complaining “that you didn’t signal (ring) in time.  They don’t understand their relationship to the system and how, by driving faster than the GPS computer, they can bias it.

BBB = Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus

CC or CCMBL = Culver City (Municipal) Bus (Lines)

CCTC = Culver City Transportation Center this is the place formerly known as FHMTC = the Fox Hills Mall Transportation Center (Sepulveda & Slauson)

FFE = Full Fare Equivalent (presently $1.50)

LAXCBC = the LAX City Bus Center.

Rapid Transit = does not compete for right of way, that is, it will not run at grade unless it has EXCLUSIVE DEDICATED USE of the right of way).

TT = Torrance Transit.

T1 = the normal type of driver/staff.

T2 = is the non-stop talker type of driver/staff, on the phone or to passengers,

T3 = the uncommunicative type of driver/staff, sometimes surly.
WLATC = the West Los Angeles Transportation Center (Fairfax & Apple)

Su Topo’s Disclaimer and apologia
Your Mole always attempts to write an easy-on-the-eyes page using text input.  Blogger.com however, has other ideas and will often not stay with a single font type or point size, produces extraneous spacing and etc.  I wish I had time to debug the HTML which they produce, it is NOT the straight text which I pasted into the form, but I don’t.  Therefore, I apologize on behalf of Blogger.com for the changes which they make, of which I do not approve.  Sometimes, what I see, thankfully you don’t, is 24 point type –it is giant and other times they swallow my text, although it still seems to be there.  In fairness to them, things seem better, although this is partly because I do understand which of their “features” do the most damage to me and consequently do not use them.  Communicating these problems to them, for me, is something like having teeth extracted without the benefit of anesthetic, actually it is less fun than that.  By their design, there is no simple e-mailing them with "Please look at my say, posting of 2009-06-28, it is weird!” I am hoping that one of their developers will some day read this, copy my code and improve their text to HTML engine.  Until then, lo siento.

Mole’s Copyright Statement
All photographs and original written materials are copyrighted © 2007~2009 by LAmetroMole.  ♪Clicking a photo will often* present you with an enlargement. *This feature is dependent upon the Internet browser which you use and possibly other factors.

This site contains or provides links to copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, sustainable development, environmental, community and worker health, public disclosure, corporate accountability, and etc. We have often included relatively brief quotes from articles and etc., sometimes in addition to a simple link, because we have found that links frequently go "bad" or change over time. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without fee or payment of any kind to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes and to those who access the site via any and all other channels. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Music or other recorded material on this site, or referred to by this site are copyrighted by their respective artists and are made available here for evaluation purposes only. Please support the artists you like by buying their commercial CDs, MP3s and downloads.

Your Mole’s Conflict of Interest Statement
This  is to certify that I, the blogger who is known as the LAmetroMole, with respect to this blog, except as described below, am not now nor at any time during the past year have been, nor it my current intention to ever be:

1) A participant, directly or indirectly, in any arrangement, agreement, investment, or other activity with any vendor, supplier, or other party doing business with any of the entities about which I have written, which has resulted or could result in personal benefit to me.

2) A recipient, directly or indirectly, of any salary payments or loans or gifts of any kind or any free service or discounts or other fees from or on behalf of any person or organization engaged in any transaction with any of the entities about which I have written. 
Any exceptions to 1 or 2 above are stated below with a full description of the transactions and of the interest, whether direct or indirect, which I have (or have had during the past year) in the persons or organizations having transactions with any of the entities about which I have written.

There are no exceptions.

Date: 2009-06-24                  S/ LametroMole                  

Works Cited
Connell, Rich and Weikel, Dan. “Bill targets high-speed rail operations”. Los Angeles Times. 19 Feb. 2011:AA3. Print

Dyson, Freman. “How We Know (Book Review Column)”. New York Review of Books.  n.a.

Hallock, Betty. “Chips, aslsa and purpose”. Los Angeles Times. 17 Feb. 2011:E1. Print.

Orlov, Rick. "Transit program pushed". Daily Breeze. 24 Feb. 2011:A3. Print.

Otis, Ginger Adams. “Las valientes of Mexico”. New York Post. 30 Jan. 2011.  www.nypost.com.  Web.

LACMTA. “Switch to Direct Deposit on a TAP ReadyCard … ...and get great benefits”. LACMTA 11-0666JL © 2011 LACMTA.

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