Monthly Archives: May 2005

Bloggus interruptus

Pardon my Latin. Not that anybody has read this, but things went haywire last night and the whole 2,000 Days in the Valley disappeared overnight. It’s back, but all of my coding changes are gone. Time to re-create the link list on the right side of the page and fix the permalink coding (not that it’s broken, I just think it’s counterintutive to click on the TIME of the post to get the PERMALINK. Why not just click on the word Permalink (or Permanent link … I haven’t decided how jargony to be just yet) to get the link?

As I’ve observed, the way to get noticed in the blogging world is to feverishly link to other blogs, with the expectation being that those bloggers will, in turn, notice YOUR blog and begin linking to it in kind. Well, that’s the idea anyway. As effortless as this sometimes looks, actual blogging takes time.

For those who are following, the traffic light at Victory and Woodley hasn’t been as bad the last few days — maybe two lights to get through it. Perhaps it was tweaked a little?

The traffic signal from HELL

One of the stations on the new Orange Line busway through the San Fernando Valley is being built at the corner of Victory Boulevard and Woodley Avenue in the Sepulveda Basin (call it Lake Balboa or West Van Nuys or Just Too Damn Close to the Airport, whatever you like).

Presumably in connection with the busway, “upgraded” traffic signals have been installed at this intersection, where I’ve lately seen workers tinkering with what looks like a mainframe-worthy rack of signal-timing equipment.

And it’s killing me.

On my drive home from the Daily News in Woodland Hills to Van Nuys via Victory Boulevard, I can count on a five-minute wait just to get across Woodley Avenue. The light stays green for Victory traffic less than 30 seconds, it seems, and it takes three to five red/green cyclings of the light for me to get through on what is usually a VERY fast street. (Going East on Victory between Tampa Avenue and the 405 Freeway is GOLDEN … speed limit is mostly 45 MPH, lights are timed for 50-55, even though this IS NOT A FREEWAY.)

I got steamed enough yesterday to call 311, the Jimmy Hahn pothole line (thanks again, Steve Lopez) and got through right away to a very nice gentleman. But the transfer to the proper department was taking an interminable amount of time, and I only have 60 cell-phone minutes per month, so I clicked the phone closed, crossed Woodley and went home.

So much for civic duty and regulated road rage.

It’s easier to write about than do

That’s what I’ve been doing the last couple of years — writing about it, for the Los Angeles Daily News, where I work, and Just Jazz Guitar magazine, where I’ve done many freelance reviews.

I’m also semi-active on the rec.music.makers.guitar.jazz newsgroup, which I access through Google Groups. It’s a great way to take the pulse of what’s happening in jazz guitar, and quite a few pro players participate in what is, for the most part, a lively and civil discussion.

At left is a 1976 ES-175T, the relatively rare, thin version of the ES-175. I got this picture from eBay. My 1976 ES-175D, which I bought from Betnun’s Music in L.A. in the early ’80s, is the full-body version and has the rosewood bridge (the guitar at left has a metal Tune-o-Matic).

Here is the side view of the thinline.

What will Antonio do?

After crushing the San Fernando Valley under his boot in the seemingly long-ago secession drive, outgoing L.A. Mayor James Hahn (favorite nickname, “Slim Jim,” bestowed by L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez) tried to gain traction by pledging to fill our rain-drenched winter’s endless crop of potholes at a less-than-glacial pace. Never mind that my Van Nuys street hasn’t been resurfaced in the decade we’ve lived here and resembles a gravel road more and more with each passing day.

Can mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa (as he says, it’s Via, as in Air Mail, Rye as in bread, then gosa) make the trains run on time? I mean deal with the problem of the city’s crumbling streets.

It’s no secret that the drive down Burbank Boulevard from North Hollywood (part of Los Angeles) toward Burbank proper isn’t quite as treacherous (and suspension-killing) as it once was, due to a massive street-repair project under way, but one wonders how Burbank is able to care for its streets so well while L.A.’s are left to fall apart.