On this Memorial Day I would like to thank all my brother and sister veterans for their service to our country.

To the families and friends of those who have sacrificed their lives for the United States of America, I send my sympathy and gratitude.


Vae Viator15

Killing the 439 Line♪

Let the work speak for itself.

As one can see by the photo (above) the LACMTA does not stay current with their technology.  The GPS hardware/software on each bus should be able to display the proper headsign.  Based upon direction, in this case the bus is turning in an easterly direction from a southerly heading after leaving the CCTC. The headsign should show “Union Station” it still has the headsign from its outbound trip, therefore, it doesn’t have current technology aboard and the driver forgot to change the headsign.
Elementary, my dear Leahy!    

But the really bad news is that it appears that the LACMTA has finally been able to cancel this line.  Possibly, after the June “shake-up” even the almost useless morning and afternoon service between Union Station and the West Los Angeles Transportation Center will be gone.  Read, you will not be able to travel between Union Station and the LAXCBC on Metro, except for the 42 Line.  For my ride on a 42 Line bus, vide infra. Of course, one could also pay almost 4.7 TIMES the METRO base fare and ride the FlyAway; and please remind me why the LAWA are in the transportation business anyway?  Ms Greuel??

What they should have done, if they were thoughtful systematic planners:
Primero– (A) Reinstate all day service between Union Station and Aviation Station until the “Bad idea”, sorry, the over budget, behind schedule, shortened Expo Line is in operation. 
(B) Continue to run the 439 Line to the West Los Angeles Transportation Center but, run it all day long.
Segundo– In the event of (B) run an all day circulator shuttle service between the West Los Angeles Transportation Center to the Aviation Station with two intermediate stops (1) at Culver City Transit Center and (2) at the LAXCBC.
Tercero When and IF the “Expo Line” is in operation shift the circulator shuttle’s eastern terminus to the end of the “Expo Line” at La Cinega Station or wherever it might be and continue to serve the Culver City Transit Center, LAXCBC and Aviation Station. IF and when the Expo Line is extended, serve the Culver City Transit Center, LAXCBC and Aviation Station from the Expo Line Station nearest the Culver City Transit Center.

Cuarto – Continue this service in the manner described, until system additions make this service unnecessary!

Form Devoid of Function
Pictured above is the Expo Line’s La Cienega/Jefferson Station.  By a show of hands how many people think the canopy shown in the photograph will protect them against rain.  Hmmmm, not many.  Actually as a non-functional artistic endeavour whose designers have no plans to ride the Expo Line after the inaugural day, it is not too bad.

It does have that Toonerville Trolly aspect but as protection for passengers who wait there on a rainy day, sorry, you’re going to get wet.

But we all know that planning is NOT the LACMTA’s strong suite, if they have on at all, that is.

No monthly posting is complete without a trip to the costly LACMTA website, the one that they have to acknowledge, anyway.  This month I revisited the "Trip Spoiler" hoping that it would woik.  It didn't.  The three (3) screen captures below track my disappointment: 1, 2, 3. 

1. Data Entry

2. Reenforcment

3. Disappointment!

Auguste Rodin (1840 ~ 1917)
[Art is the most sublime mission of man. Mole]

Approprié à Rodin, an excellent film, Camille Claudel (1989), captures Rodin’s relationship with his student, assistant and err, significant other.  If you like happy endings, this is not the film for you.  It does, however, feature powerful performances by Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu. 

For those of you who haven’t seen Rodin’s work first hand, you can do so at the Los Angeles Museum of Art.  A virtual visit is also possible here:

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

You Mole read an eleven page (5 and a half pages if they were printed on both sides) brochure entitled, “GUIDE TO PLANNING & BUYING TRANSIT TV”.  No dates, or other citable data were provided so it will not be cited.  I will only quote a single phrase, which says it all, from the section headed “Advertising Restrictions”: “No non-paid public service announcements.”   The first question is what is a public service announcement (PSA)?

Su Topo often learns by example, so he will give you an example.  Be warned.  This is difficult to view and is NOT for children.  It graphically shows the dangers associated with texting while driving and is an example from which we can learn.

Now we find that Transit TV will only show PSAs if someone pays them.  After all, they wouldn’t want to show us anything from which they couldn’t make a dollar, would they?  Need I add that the LACMTA seems not to object?  Other than the safety posters on buses and trains they never bothered to put up much in the way of PSAs, even before Transit TV.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram featured an article about Long Beach Transit (Hanson).  The sub-head tell the story: “City’s bus system tightens its belt in an effort to avoid having to raise fares”.  Not only that we find that they offer a student fare of .60.  Are you listening LACMTA?  This piece is rich in detail of about this proactive bus organization.  One point that was available from the article, appears to be a top secret at the LACMTA, that is, operating costs; the hybrids (Please see) cost $1.05 per mile for fuel and maintenance while their diesel buses cost $1.19 per mile.  

The Metro has found another way to get their hands on your money provided an additional service(Metro Monthly).   On page, oops, they don’t number pages, perhaps this is a cost saving measure.  Well it would be on page 4 IF they numbered the pages.  You can store a money value on your TAP cards.  Although why anyone would do this since the TAP card is essentially a pass, ahh, ahh, so you don’t need cash to pay a fare, is a mystery to this Mole.  That was probably the best money making idea that they could come up with.  The money is only imaginary anyway, the cash goes into their hot little hands and as you use the stored value they deduct it from a computer balance; the actual cash could have been long spent before your computer balance goes to zero.  If you have lots of cash around you could put up to $50 on your TAP card.  As for this Mole, Gracias, ¡NO!

The New York Times printed an excellent series, entitled “Driven to Distraction” 

The reporter, Matt Richtel and members of The New York Times staff, won the 2010 Pulitzer prize for National Reporting for the series. 

Higher fares, fewer buses, less for more all equals “Taxation without Transportation”.

That is Mole shorthand for the June “shakeup” cuts which the LACMTA has in store for us.  Just to summarize, from the LACMTA brochure, the Line 4 on Santa Monica BL will operate for fewer hours between West Los Angeles and Santa Monica.  They offer the 704, for which I waited for over half an hour last week, while four lightly loaded Line 4 buses terminated at Sepulveda.  I also noted that the service level agreements which were posted for the “Rapid” had been removed.  Now, instead of promising say, a bus every fifteen minutes, and never ever delivering on that promise, they promise nothing at all, it is a safe bet that they will deliver on the later.

They will only run the Line 20 buses on Wilshire only when the BBL Line 2 is finished for the day.  Maybe I should say less and less for more and more.

There are more reductions along these concordance lines: discontinue (11 references); combine (4 references).  The only additional service will be to run the “Metro Silver Line” by which name they try to conceal the fact that it is a [lightly loaded] bus.  Someone asked your Mole: “You mean, it’s a bus?”

Yes, it’s a bus and lightly loaded too.

The fine print, “In addition, minor schedule changes will be made to most other lines”, taketh away too.

The Los Angeles Times covered(Weikel) the bullet train project.  Your Mole disagrees with the sobriquet “train to nowhere”.  In truth, it should be called the “train from nowhere-A to nowhere-B”.  Over the long haul these two fine California cities should be served by rail, just not now, which as a side-effect, possibly enrichs land holders who will have to sell their land to the railroad, wink, wink.  The cost has already risen over 30% from the original estimate of $33 BILLION, which might have been provided by the same guys the LACMTA uses, to $43 BILLION.

Incidentally, the Feds seem to feel that the “plan” can continue without delay AND without a definite offer of Federal monies … interesting.  As they say on “Law & Order”, “We will reconvene after a sanity hearing”.

Ear to the Rail 

Please listen to the award winning Terry Gross interview Matt Richtel (vide supra) on her program, Fresh Air, here.

¿Musica?  Click here to hear DF with Mala Vida from their album México Mestizo –courtesy of our friends at www.grooveshark.com!


Caltech presents a series of lectures called Tedx Talks.  Please view this one on the Arrow of Time.  

How about one more?  Here is Professor Stephen Hawking.

Enjoy more at ted.com.  Then too, we have the big rip which some contrast with the big bang as a universe ending scenario.
Please see the History.com take on the big rip sometimes called the cold and dark ending of the universe", here

The Mole Rides Again, so that you need not throw your arms up to protect your face, as driver number 28444 exits the LAXCBC entry driveway.
(All times are expressed in the 24 hour system.)

2011-05-01 @ 15:53.  Driver #28444 takes his Line 111-003 bus out the south driveway, the entry driveway at the LAXCBC.  Later you will see that he does this again on another day

Cinco de Mayo, 11:10.  Five BBB pass the corner as I wait for a 704 Line bus to Santa Monica.  The LACMTA gives BBB lots of money: $6,204,440 for bus shelter improvements and 20 NEW buses.  Then the BBB is given another $3,172,796 as their share of Proposition A, Proposition C, Article 3, Article 8 and … .  Talk about Taxation without Transportation, and Metro is unable to negotiate mutual pass acceptance with BBB which would be nickels and dimes compared to the almost $10 million of our tax monies which the LACMTA so freely dispenses.  Oh, and you can see these values for yourself aqui
Yet the taxpayer, you and me folks, has to come up with .35 for a transfer OR pay full fare on the BBB if he doesn’t want to wait for a Metro bus and use his pass.

New non-political management needed at the LACMTA?  I think so!

Really, what is needed is hardnosed negotiation with other carriers by the LACMTA, instead of double dipping (Pass and (transfer or Muni fare payment)) into the passengers’ pockets.

For example, BBB (other Muni lines receive money too) receives the equivalent of 26, 792,102 thirty-five cent transfers and yet they drive empty seats to Santa Monica on virtually every bus.

If the LACMTA can’t or won’t negotiate mutual pass acceptance or free transfers then, I am in favour of interviewing the present head of LB Transit, who seems to care about his ridership to head a depoliticized LACMTA (Please see the Mole Reads, above).

Where Have the Rapid Flags Gone

I note that the Crescent shaped “Rapid” signs seem to disappearing. Your Mole sees this as a way of disguising “Rapid” stops as they are now identified by a more usual kind of flag sign.  “Rapid” lines AKA as a “Moving fewer slightly faster” mode.  In the strictest sense these lines are not truly rapid in that they (1) compete with lots of other vehicles for the roadway and (2) and reduction of the travel time is obtained by skipping lots of regular stops, stranding passengers and saddling us with “Taxation without Transportation”.  Today I could have ridden to Santa Monica and back in the close to an hour I waited for a 704 Line bus. It’s NOT Rapid, it’s Limited Service

No Crescent Flags

Shown above is the new form of “Rapid” stop indicator.  It is atop a “flag” pole, planted amidst a gum splattered sidewalk, located on the southeast corner of Santa Monica BL, just east of Sepulveda.

One could consider this part of a vast conspiracy but since the LACMTA is involved, I chose to call this a half-vast conspiracy.

2011-05-08:  These 232 Line buses sometime have a few too many weird passengers for la Taupe. This guy has a CD player on full and is dancing in the aisle.

2011-05-09 @ 14:50:  I ride a 232 Line bus, number 11003, the driver of which (number 76800) has the honour of being the first to have his number entered in the R&J [Rough and Jerky] “skills” log below.  Oh, and he wasn’t wearing a seat belt either.
2011-05-11 @ 10:30:  As we cross Rosecrans there are only 12 passengers on this “Rapid” bus.  Before transferring to this 740 Line bus. On another line, I talked with an Australian who had just arrived at LAX and was on his way by to his hotel by bus.  He added a word to su Topo’s “how to tell Australians from New Zealanders with a single word” notebook.
Crossing Artesia we are down to 9 passengers.  It sort of belies the idea of mass transit, doesn’t it?
This is especially the case since I know that the 40 Line buses behind us are full because they pick up the people bypassed and stranded by the 704 Line.

Well, not quite.  A 40 Line bus pulls in with only 6 people aboard.   Then a 710 Line discharges NO passengers.  Perhaps people don’t have money to spend here at the South Bay Center where I wait.  It seems to me that the passengers should pool up at some intermediate point, a transportation center at the Hawthorne Green Line Station and then transported on larger buses like the 740 Line uses which also make more stops.  In any event there is a much better way to do it.  I have seen many times 720 Line buses arrive at short intervals with only a few people aboard.  All that money, fuel, and etc. and etc. wasted on so few people all so that your Mole could say: “Moving few passengers slightly faster. 

As I have written before, the 720 Line buses should run as a loop-line from Wilshire and Western to Santa Monica with the eastern portion of the 720 running from Commerce to the first Red/Purple line station encountered; Civic Center?.
At the true rush-hour period “Rapids” should stop at half the interval, six blocks vs one mile and every passenger should be given a FREE, time-limited, Metro transfer to all rail and local buses both Muni and Metro. This plan would put people, at most, only a three-block walk to a “Rapid” stop.  Outside of rush hours the same buses, we don’t need no colour code, should run as locals.

2011-05-11 @ 17:00:  La Taupe waits at the Inglewood Transit Center.  Ten of us are waiting, four are smoking.  This is a real problem for a non-smoker like the Mole.  It is that weird time of day when the LACMTA thinks that no one wants to go to LAX.

Two of the seven buses which I will have ridden by day’s end had passengers with large garbage bags full of recyclables.

2011-05-13 @ 7:55, LAXCBC: I debus and almost immediately see a civilian car pull into the Center and drop someone off.
The woman driver either did not see the signs of prohibition or chose to ignore them.

Minutes later a van drives though, mistaking the LAXCBC for some airport related facility.

La Taupe will again outline what need to be done at the LAXCBC because, obviously, there is no a soul at the LACMTA which has the requisites to do it for them.

a>  New, cleanly designed, clearly understandable, brightly coloured signage which prohibits entry, should be erected at both the entry to and exit from the LAXCBC

b>  Provide for frequent security patrols and ticketing those who unlawfully enter the LAXCBC. 

c>  Install a combined Information/Sales booth which would be open from 7:00 ~ 19:00 daily.  Tokens, day passes and change making would be available.  Just this one simple act would raise tourist’s opinion of the LACMTA which they now find somewhere between unbelievable and laughable.  

d>  After hours (19:00~07:00) people could purchase the same items which are available from the rail station ticket machines from like equipment installed at the LAXCBC.

e> Each transportation/bus center within the LACMTA's purview should be considered for similar installations.

This Mole believes not only that the LACMTA is breaching its duty to their ridership but
also reenforcing the idea of "Taxation without Transportation"  by offering fares at a DISCOUNT for resale by other entities; when in fact, the have the means, if not the will, at their disposal to conduct such sales.    Ms Greuel??

Your Mole waits for a 42 Line bus which is due to leave at 8:10.

An obviously homeless man sits up front on the left and carries on an interminable conversation with the driver and a woman passenger.    When we reach her stop the driver waits an overly long time while the homeless man and the woman continue the conversation, he seated onboard and her standing just outside.
This is just enough delay so that I see only the tail lights of the 439 which I had hoped to ride. 

The larger problem is that the LACMTA makes no attempt to schedule buses so that transfers can conveniently be completed.  This colossal ineptness on the part of the LACMTA contributes to the absolute transportation mess with which we live.
So, I ride the next 42 Line bus and what a ride it was!  This is a bus where male passengers feel free to display their underwear and conversations go something like: “I can’t go back to prison again. … before I was never afraid to go to prison, but I am now.”   Conversations are liberally sprinkled with the N-word.   

This changes the further along Broadway we progress and suddenly I am aboard a bus with almost entirely Spanish speaking passengers.

The 42 drops me at Union Station and I head for Track 2 and the Gold Line.  While on the platform I take the above picture as part of my “Let the work speak for itself” project.

Here we can see that the temporary blue tarps which we saw in March 2011 have been replaced with more permanent tarps.  That is our LACMTA at work.

2011-05-18 @ 8:00:  Your Mole rides a CCMBL number 6 Line bus.  The woman across the aisle from me has been on her cell since we boarded; she shows no sign of stopping. Her voice is quiet but occasionally, when apparently irritated, speaks more loudly.  As in: “Anyway, … anyway … .” She is scowling and seems unhappy.  Her call ends abruptly.  She begins eating chocolates from a triangular box, when another call come in, signaled by an old-timey ring tone, like one can hear on the Three Stooges films. 

The conversation emanating from her end seems sharp and clipped –no softness at all.  Su Topo can see that after an hour of unpleasant telephoning one could become agitated and angry.  This Mole refers face-to-face communication, where possible.  The telephone’s bandwidth doesn’t allow for reading facial expressions or hearing a nuanced conversation. 

2011-05-22 @ 16:00: Aboard a 111-003 bus with driver 28444  who makes another illegal left turn out of the EXIT driveway at the LAXCBC.  This has earned him an entry in in the list of drivers who will give you a potentially life-threatening ride, below.

BBB installs a Maxella Trash Can
We can see the nice trash can (above) which BBB has installed at their Lincoln and Maxella bus stop, so that riders no longer have to stuff trash in every available nook and cranny.

But, wait a minute!  Upon closer inspection it appears that the picture has been altered.  Now, I must retract the report of the trash can installation and further state that this is NOT the work of BBB.

After all, for years they have not spent a dime on this bus stop; so why would they spend even the insignificant amount of time and money in modifying the photo.   No, BBB didn’t do this.
I revisited the site and have inserted (below) a photo taken there.

Lincoln And Maxella♪
Sadly, there is no change.  People are still stuffing trash anyplace they can.  It is difficult for this Mole to understand why, with all the money Big Blue Bus spent on their new maintenance center, all the money they are given by the LACMTA  –close to $10 million– and all the money they are raking in by forcing, like the LACMTA, their ridership to pay for transfers or buy day passes, that they could not come up with $100 or so to place a proper trash receptacle at the site.

2011-05-19 @ 5:35 Aboard the Green Line to Norwalk.   A wheelchair bound man engages a young woman in conversation, which she seems to not necessarily want.  He shows her family pictures.  Being a few seats away from this little drama feels uncomfortable, he is insinuating himself, so the Mole move to another seat at mid-car.

I missed an earlier train by minutes and now, after arriving at Norwalk, I find that I have missed the 460 Line bus by about five minutes.  

It is before AM, yet the station is crowded.  We are treated to a loud rant by a man with a towel on his head.   A woman asses our cluster of people and leaves her sent; su Topo feels that it is sort of like blackberries?

The people who board he 460 behind me must stand.  The driver must have a fever because, although cold this morning, he has the air conditioner full on.  The TransitTV at the front of the bus has a bad case of the jitters and is unwatchable.

We pass through an OCTA (Orange County Transportation Authority) bus center.  It has public rest rooms!  Mr. Leahy??

2011-05-24 @ noonish: I wait and wait for a Santa Monica bound 704 Line bus at Sepulveda BL and Santa Monica BL.  One finally shows up and I share an area with some French speakers, on man wears a shirt that says “Meaux [Mo] Town”, which works two ways.  

2011-05-24 @ 16:00: I am riding aboard a 358 Line bus and trying not to listen as two women talk across the aisle.  One is bad mouthing her ex-husband and current boy friend.

2011-05-24 @ 14:20: I am riding aboard a 232 Line bus number 11007and being given a rough, jerky, bumpy ride by driver #78072.  He is also struggling to compute fares, including amounts for transfers, for multiple tourists who board late in the trip.

On a pleasant note, I have included a picture (below) of the Homeboy Bakery stand at a West-Side Farmers Market.  You can check for dates and locations of these usually weekly events aqui.

HomeBoy Panaderia

La Taupe loves French bread, so he bought a baguette at the stand which was an important part of a delicious cheese sandwich at lunch, and with butter accompanied a dinner salad; it survived to provide toast the next morning. Please make a purchase from Homeboy Bakery at a local farmers market or visit it and the co-located Homegirl Café which can be found a block or so in the direction of Union Station, after exiting at the Gold Line Chinatown Station.  If you do, this Mole can assure you that you will be doing good while eating well!

Oh, and I know that my photo trimmed the “H” from the banner, but I know you will be able to find the stand :-)

Dedicated to the Dulcinea of my dreams
‘Drothea could not help laughing to hear how like a child Dona Clara poke. "Let us go to sleep now, senora," said she, "for the little of the rght that I fancy is left to us: God will soon send us daylight, and we will set all to rights, or it will go hard with me."

With this they fell asleep, and deep silence reigned all through the inn. The only persons not asleep were the landlady's daughter and her servant Maritornes, who, knowing the weak point of Don Quixote's humour, and that he was outside the inn mounting guard in armour and on horseback, resolved, the pair of them, to play some trick upon him, or at any rate to amuse themselves for a while by listening to his nonsense. As it so happened there was not a window in the whole inn that looked outwards except a hole in the wall of a straw-loft through which they used to throw out the straw. At this hole the two demi-damsels posted themselves, and observed Don Quixote on his horse, leaning on his pike and from time to time sending forth such deep and doleful sighs, that he seemed to pluck up his soul by the roots with each of them; and they could hear him, too, saying in a soft, tender, loving tone, "Oh my lady Dulcinea del Toboso, perfection of all beauty, summit and crown of discretion, treasure house of grace, depositary of virtue, and finally, ideal of all that is good, honourable, and delectable in this world! What is thy grace doing now? Art thou, perchance, mindful of thy enslaved knight who of his own free will hath exposed himself to so great perils, and all to serve thee? Give me tidings of her, oh luminary of the three faces! 

Perhaps at this moment, envious of hers, thou art regarding her, either as she paces to and fro some gallery of her sumptuous palaces, or leans over some balcony, meditating how, whilst preserving her purity and greatness, she may mitigate the tortures this wretched heart of mine endures for her sake, what glory should recompense my sufferings, what repose my toil, and lastly what death my life, and what reward my services? And thou, oh sun, that art now doubtless harnessing thy steeds in haste to rise betimes and come forth to see my lady; when thou seest her I entreat of thee to salute her on my behalf: but have a care, when thou shalt see her and salute her, that thou kiss not her face; for I shall be more jealous of thee than thou wert of that light-footed ingrate that made thee sweat and run so on the plains of Thessaly, or on the banks of the Peneus (for I do not exactly recollect where it was thou didst run on that occasion)
in thy jealousy and love."

Don Quixote had got so far in his pathetic speech when the landlady's daughter began to signal to him, saying, "Senor, come over here, please."At these signals and voice Don Quixote turned his head and saw by the light of the moon, which then was in its full splendour, that some one was calling to him from the hole in the wall, which seemed to him to be a window, and what is more, with a gilt grating, as rich castles, such as he believed the inn to be, ought to have; and it immediately suggested itself to his imagination that, as on the former occasion, the fair damsel, the daughter of the lady of the castle, overcome by love for him, was once more endeavouring to win his affections; and with this idea, not to show himself discourteous, or ungrateful, he turned Rocinante's head and approached the hole, and as he perceived the two wenches he said: "I pity you, beauteous lady, that you should have directed your thoughts of love to a quarter from whence it is impossible that such a return can be made to you as is due to your great merit and gentle birth, for which you must not blame this unhappy knight-errant whom love renders incapable of submission to any other than her whom, the first moment his eyes beheld her, he made absolute mistress of his soul. Forgive me, noble lady, and retire to your apartment, and do not, by any further declaration of your passion, compel me to show myself more ungrateful; and if, of the love you bear me, you should find that there is anything else in my power wherein I can gratify you, provided it be not love itself, demand it of me; for I swear to you by that sweet absent enemy of mine to grant it this instant, though it be that you require of me a lock of Medusa's hair, which was all snakes, or even the very beams of the sun shut up in a vial"


"My mistress wants nothing of that sort, sir knight," said Maritornes at this.

"What then, discreet dame, is it that your mistress wants?" replied Don Quixote.

"Only one of your fair hands," said Maritornes, "to enable her to vent over it the great passion passion which has brought her to this loophole, so much to the risk of her honour; for if the lord her father had heard her, the least slice he would cut off her would be her ear."

"I should like to see that tried," said Don Quixote; "but he had better beware of that, if he does not want to meet the most disastrous end that ever father in the world met for having laid hands on the tender limbs of a love-stricken daughter."

Maritornes felt sure that Don Quixote would present the hand she had asked, and making up her mind what to do, she got down from the hole and went into the stable, where she took the halter of Sancho Panza's ass, and in all haste returned to the hole, just as Don Quixote had planted himself standing on Rocinante's saddle in order to reach the grated window where he supposed the lovelorn damsel to be; and giving her his hand, he said, "Lady, take this hand, or rather this scourge of the evil-doers of the earth; take, I say, this hand which no other hand of woman has ever touched, not even hers who has complete possession of my
entire body. I present it to you, not that you may kiss it, but that you may observe the contexture of the sinews, the close network of the muscles, the breadth and capacity of the veins, whence you may infer what must be the strength of the arm that has such a hand."


"That we shall see presently," said Maritornes, and making a running knot on the halter, she passed it over his wrist and coming down from the hole tied the other end very firmly to the bolt of the door of the straw-loft.

Don Quixote, feeling the roughness of the rope on his wrist, exclaimed, "Your grace seems to be grating rather than caressing my hand; treat it not so harshly, for it is not to blame for the offence my resolution has given you, nor is it just to wreak all your vengeance on so small a part; remember that one who loves so well should not revenge herself so cruelly."

But there was nobody now to listen to these words of Don Quixote's, for as soon as Maritornes had tied him she and the other made off, ready to die with laughing, leaving him fastened in such a way that it was impossible for him to release himself.

He was, as has been said, standing on Rocinante, with his arm passed through the hole and his wrist tied to the bolt of the door, and in mighty fear and dread of being left hanging by the arm if Rocinante were to stir one side or the other; so he did not dare to make the least movement, although from the patience and imperturbable disposition of Rocinante, he had good reason to expect that he would stand without budging for a whole century. Finding himself fast, then, and that the ladies had retired, he began to fancy that all this was done by  enchantment, as on the former occasion when in that same castle that enchanted Moor of a carrier had belaboured him; and he cursed in his heart his own want of sense and judgment in venturing to enter the castle again, after having come off so badly the first time; it being a settled point with knights-errant that when they have tried an adventure, and have not succeeded in it, it is a sign that it is not reserved for them but for others, and that therefore they need not try it again. 

Nevertheless he pulled his arm to see if he could release himself, but it had been made so fast that all his efforts were in vain. It is true he pulled it gently lest Rocinante should move, but try as he might to seat himself in the saddle, he had nothing for it but to stand upright or pull his hand off. Then it was he wished for the sword of Amadis, against which no enchantment whatever had any power; then he cursed his ill
fortune; then he magnified the loss the world would sustain by his absence while he remained there enchanted, for that he believed he was beyond all doubt; then he once more took to thinking of his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso; then he called to his worthy squire Sancho Panza, who, buried in sleep and stretched upon the pack-saddle of his ass [mule], was oblivious, at that moment, of the mother that bore him; then he called
upon the sages Lirgandeo and Alquife to come to his aid; then he invoked his good friend Urganda to succour him; and then, at last, morning found him in such a state of desperation and perplexity that he was bellowing like a bull, for he had no hope that day would bring any relief to his suffering, which he believed would last for ever, inasmuch as he was enchanted; and of this he was convinced by seeing that Rocinante never stirred, much or little, and he felt persuaded that he and his horse were
to remain in this state, without eating or drinking or sleeping, until the malign influence of the stars was overpast, or until some other more sage enchanter should disenchant him.

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

Fare Box Score Box and related Lists of Shame
I.D. Numbers of buses with Out of Order Fare Boxes: 8425;
Note: No or few entries above do not necessarily mean all fare boxes are in operation. 
I.D.Numbers of Distracted Drivers: XXXXX (i);
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: XXXX;
~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: xxxx;

Format is Bus number followed by Headsign number/Tailsign number.

ID numbers of Buses without Braille signs: xxxx;

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.  
71883 F[+6], [Y]; 73753 F[+5], C[Y]; 76798 F[+4], C[N]; 77313 F[-7], C[N];

I.D. numbers of drivers who are almost guaranteed to give you a Rough and Jerky (R & J) ride76800; 78072:

I.D. numbers of drivers who will give you a potentially life-threatening ride.  12013(S); 28444(J);  
Codes: S = not wearing seat belts; J = bad judgment (unsafe driving practices).

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 didnt signal (ring) in time.  They dont 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.
OCTA = Orange County Transportation Authority.
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).
R & J = Rough and Jerky [ride].
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 (sometimes successive clicks will further enlarge the photo). *This feature is dependent upon the Internet browser which you use and possibly other factors.

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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
Hanson, Kristopher. “Fuel costs straining LB Transit”. Long Beach Press-Telegram. 2 May. 2011:A3. Print.

(Metro Monthly) Brochure 11-123OJL ©2011 LACMTA. May 2011. Print. 

Weikel, Dan. “U.S. rejects proposed changes to bullet-train project”. Los Angeles Times 26 May 26 2011 WEB 

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