December 31, 2021

Four From Palm Springs Pride

All of these were shot on Let It Snow! film with a dark red filter.

BLK PL8

Pride On Palm Canyon Drive

Posing At Pride (1)

Leather Teddy Bear

permalink | December 31, 2021 at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2021

Three Kodachromes and a Digital

Autumn Color on the Esplanade
On the Charles River Esplanade
, Kodachrome, 2001. IIRC, I shot this on 9/11/2001. I worked in downtown Boston as a federal employee. We were sent home early, it was a beautiful day, and I wasn't sure the subway would be entirely safe, so I walked home, getting this photo on the way.

Saguaro (4)
Kodachrome, 1988
.

Ford "Toy" Convertible
Kodachrome, 2002
.

"Shoshone" (5690)
"Shoshone," by Mark Di Suvero
at the base of FourFortyFour South Flower in Los Angeles. That's the Bonaventure hotel in the near background. This is a digital shot that I took two days ago.

permalink | December 21, 2021 at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2021

Some Photos

Flower (7399)
Ektachrome, 2001
.

Vintage Plymouth
A vintage Plymouth on Comm Ave in Allston
, Kodachrome, 2002.

Hoover Dam (7)
Hoover Dam
, Agfa Scala film, 2001.

Christian Science Center Fountain (2)
The fountain at the Christian Science Center in Boston
, Kodachrome, 2001.

permalink | December 14, 2021 at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2021

A Segway For Our Time?

It seems this is real, not CGI.

Honestly, the top question in my mind is did they negotiate with Hanna-Barabera (now part of Warner) for the rights to use the name "Jetson?"

It's a Swedish company and manufacturing for sales to consumers will begin in 2022. They plan to make a dozen of them in 2022.

A complete vehicle is 92 000 USD and is delivered to you as a partially (50%) assembled kit for home completion. It contains everything you need, from the aluminium space frame to motor controllers, propellers and motors. You will also receive detailed build instructions.

If you want to have your own Jetson ONE, please contact us for purchase. 22 000 USD deposit to reserve a build slot. We plan to have twelve build slots for autumn 2022, with production starting during the summer of 2022.

All twelve of those have already been sold. The first two purchasers were from San Francisco, so I like to imagine a couple of wealthy gay men who plan to make quite the entrance at some grand soiree. There are two other buyers who live elsewhere in California. We could almost have traffic.

They say it can fly safely on only three motors. It includes a "ballistic parachute." Net weight is only 190 pounds! Pilot weight is limited to 210 pounds. I imagine that's real weight with gear and everything. Max air time of 20 minutes. They don't provide an estimate of how long it takes to charge up the battery.

permalink | October 26, 2021 at 07:47 PM | Comments (0)

Free Motorcycle Classes

The Riverside County Sheriff's office has received a grant that will allow it to offer free motorcycle riding classes. From the brief description, it sounds like totally beginner stuff that you should learn before riding on a public street...but if you are already riding a motorcycle and are smart enough to realize you're an unskilled rider then this would be for you too.

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department/Moreno Valley Sheriff Station Receives Funding for Motorcycle Safety Training Program.

Moreno Valley, Calif. — The Riverside County, Moreno Valley Sheriff Station received grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to step up motorcycle safety awareness with free, hands-on rider trainings.

The $36,000.00 grant will pay for a series of free motorcycle safety classes that allows riders to practice braking, turning, steering, entering traffic and other skills that help avoid collisions and improve rider safety on the road.

This event is called “Ride To Live” and will assist the civilian motorcycle enthusiast on becoming a better and safer rider. You will learn the following:

  • Proper manipulation of clutch and throttle in order to work the “friction zone”
  • Proper use of head and eyes when turning a motorcycle
  • Counter steering
  • Negotiating curves
  • Low speed precision maneuvering
  • Instructors will be from the Moreno Valley Station Traffic Motor Team.

The motorcycle training program will run through September 2022.

Classes will be available starting December 11, 2021. To register for a free training class, email MVSSRIDETOLIVE@riversidesheriff.org

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

permalink | October 26, 2021 at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2021

Hertz to Acquire 100,000 Teslas

Hertz will acquire 100,000 Teslas between now and the end of 2022. Beginning next month people "will be able to rent a Tesla Model 3 at airports and other locations in major U.S. markets and some cities in Europe." Electric vehicles will make up 20% of the Hertz fleet globally.

All contingent on whether you want to rent from Hertz. Good luck with that.

permalink | October 25, 2021 at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2021

Halloween Horrors

Pumpkins

permalink | October 21, 2021 at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2021

F-150 Taillights

Taillights on new Ford F-150s include a 4-LED display to show how heavily loaded the pickup is. All four LEDs light up on a fully loaded F-150; if it's overloaded, the top LED flashes. So now when you pass an overloaded F-150 on the highway (or they pass you) and you ask yourself, "My, isn't that truck overloaded?" you will be able to confirm the fact by looking at the taillights.

permalink | October 16, 2021 at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2021

Subaru Uses Nude Bowl For Commercial Advertising

Did they get a filming permit from the city? I doubt it.

Direct link if the embedded video is not appearing for you.

permalink | September 25, 2021 at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2021

Seen On The Internet


BudLightIsMyVacseen

permalink | August 12, 2021 at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2021

"Eldorado Brougham in Palm Springs"

Eldorado Brougham in Palm Springs
April 1958 Kodachrome photo by chuck french
.

permalink | July 12, 2021 at 06:04 AM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2021

4-Wheeled One-Ton Bicycle


They mention Torrington once, so that's either Connecticut or Wyoming. I'm pretty sure it's Connecticut.

permalink | June 18, 2021 at 11:50 AM | Comments (1)

June 13, 2021

Three From California, and a Boston

Flowers in a San Francisco Park (1)
San Francisco
, 1995.

Studebaker in San Francisco
A Studebaker in San Francisco
, 1995.

Davenport, California
Davenport, California, on California AIDS Ride 2
, 1995.

Beacon Street & Charlesgate East
At Beacon Street and Charlesgate East in Boston
, Kodachrome, 2002.

permalink | June 13, 2021 at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2021

Ordinary Humans Allowed Into Elon Musk's Las Vegas Tunnels


They don't actually get into a tunnel until past the 11-minute mark.

Story.

permalink | May 27, 2021 at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2021

Pink Cadillac — 1968

Pink Cadillac — 1968
Photo by ElectroSpark
, Kodachrome.

permalink | February 15, 2021 at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2020

Some Recent Photos (on film)

Mustang (0001)

Gas Blvd Dispensary (0028)
The city's newest marijuana dispensary.

11360 Palm Drive (0026)
On Palm Drive at 5th.

5th Street Trailer Park (0024)
The trailer park on 5th Street.

Swimming Pool (0010)

permalink | May 31, 2020 at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2018

Low Clearance On New York Parkways Results In Bus Crash

Here's the news story about a bus striking a low clearance bridge on the Southern State Parkway on Long Island. "Major David Candelaria of the New York State Police...estimated the height of the clearance to be less than 10 feet." The article says it was an 8-foot clearance, but the signs say 7' 7". I'm really surprised the state police are so far off estimating the bridge height. The parkways in NY state were intended for passenger vehicles only, so designers intentionally made the bridge clearances low in order to discourage any future legislature from opening up the parkways to trucks and buses. Here's an interesting article that discusses the motivations of Robert Moses, who designed this particular parkway, to make these bridge clearances even lower than they are on other New York parkways. The primary accusation made against Moses was that he was rabidly racist (apparently a proven fact) and he didn't want low-income people (who he assumed would be mostly black or Puerto Rican) to come by the busload to the parks and beaches that are connected by the parkways. The author identifies one beach that was obviously designed for bus access, so he thinks the racism story may not be true.

The comments are very interesting. The ones from locals are like "Driver's fault, everyone knows about NY parkways," "Driver's fault, everyone in the northeast knows about NY parkways," or "Driver's fault, there were warning signs." I've been on NY parkways just a few times (when I lived in the northeast), and while I greatly appreciated their aesthetics, I wasn't consciously aware of the bridge heights, so I think there's just a lot of New Yorkers who think everyone knows all about New York.

The article says the bus passengers were returning home from Europe. I assume, therefore, that they were coming from one of the NYC area airports and heading east (the accident site is east of any airports). In fact, it seems most likely they were coming from JFK airport because from JFK you can get on the Belt Parkway from either I-678 or the JFK Expressway. The Belt Parkway then takes you to the Southern State Parkway.

I used Google Streetview to search for warning signs and the photo below shows the first (and only) warning sign that the parkway is for passenger cars only. This is coming from I-678. I could find no similar sign for those coming from the JFK Expressway.
First Warning Sign Entering Belt Parkway From I-678 Leaving JFK Airport
First (and apparently only) warning signs entering Belt Parkway from I-678 leaving JFK Airport
.

I used the New York State database of bridge heights that the Post author referenced. You've got to zoom in a lot before it becomes useful. I would expect a state department of transportation database of bridge heights to have both the highest and lowest clearance heights from both directions, a total of four heights. But the NYDOT only lists one height (the lowest) for each bridge. They only distinguish the different heights for either direction if the bridge has two arches. One arch bridges get only one height. IOW, inadequate.

Searching for info on the typical height of intercity buses, I found that the limit is 12 feet, but I didn't find any particular bus models taller than 133 inches (11' 1'). The extra 11 inches is probably a safety margin to allow for heavy snow on the road surface or changes in the height of the road due to repaving. I found a couple of trucker forums where drivers claimed that posted clearances in New York State are 12 inches lower than the real clearance. If those claims are true, then an 11' 1" bus ought to fit under any New York bridge with a labeled clearance of 10' 2", giving a tight one-inch safety margin.

Using that state database and following the route of the bus, the first bridge that appears too low for them is where the Belt Parkway passes under 130th Avenue. The photo below shows that underpass.
NB Belt Parkway Under 130th Avenue
NB Belt Parkway under 130th Avenue.
The 9' 8" warning sign is the lowest clearance in the right or left lane. If the bus had been in the center lane at this point, the clearance there might have been a nominal 10' 2" or more (11' 2" in reality, if we trust the alleged 12-inch safety margin) and the bus would have cleared it with an inch to spare.

As the bus transitioned from the Belt Parkway to the Southern State Parkway, it would go under the nominally 8' 6" bridge shown below.
First warning sign on EB Southern State Parkway coming from Belt Parkway
First warning sign on EB Southern State Parkway coming from Belt Parkway
. If 8' 6" means 9' 6", the clearance over the leftmost lane would need to be at least 17 inches higher than that over the right lane. It's possible.

BTW, the only height clearance warning signs I could find on the parkways were the single signs mounted on each bridge, small and usually white, although some were yellow as shown in the photo above. On entrance ramps I could usually find one standard "No Trucks" sign and two diamond signs showing the clearance of the first bridge to be encountered. The sign on I-678 is the biggest, flashiest warning I could find and even that one says nothing about low clearances. There were no "No Trucks" signs on the parkways, other than a single one at each entrance ramp. There were no "Trucks/Buses Must Exit" signs at any exit.

The next underpass has a nominal clearance of 8' 11", but that sign (white) is obscured by vegetation, as you can see below.
EB Southern State Parkway under Elmont Road
EB Southern State Parkway under Elmont Road.
An additional 15 inches of clearance would be needed for an 11' 1" bus (again, assuming the NYDOT actually deducts a 12-inch safety margin from their signs). There might be 15 inches difference between the righthand edge of the road and lanes number 2 or 3 (counting from left to right).

Then we come to Fletcher Avenue where the nominal clearance is 7' 8" which is only one inch higher than the underpass at Eagle Road where the bus accident happened.
EB Southern State Parkway at Fletcher Avenue
EB Southern State Parkway at Fletcher Avenue.
Google Streetview sometimes pixelates the height signs because they appear to be similar to license plates, which Streetview routinely pixelates, but the NYDOT database says this one is 7' 8", and that does not appear to be inconsistent with the pixelated sign. There would need to be a whopping 28 inches of additional clearance in lanes 1 or 2 (left to right) for the bus to pass under it, but pass under it the bus did.

Continuing east, the next bridge at Corona Avenue is nominally 9' 3". The next very low clearance bridge is at Franklin Avenue where the nominal clearance is 8' 7". After that the bus passed through four underpasses that seemed to have a nominal height sufficient for the bus to clear. And then they came to Eagle Avenue which is nominally only 7' 7", shown below.
Eagle Avenue Bridge Across Southern State Parkway Looking East
Eagle Avenue bridge across Southern State Parkway, eastbound.
.

aerial view of Southern State Parkway and Eagle Avenue
Click to go to the Google aerial view
of the interchange of Eagle Avenue and Southern State Parkway.

The photos of the wrecked bus in the Post article show much greater damage on its right side than on its left, so I think it was in the right lane and hit it at 7' 7" (or 8' 7" in reality) which would be about 23 inches lower than the top of the bus.
Bus Crash

Bus Crash

Bus Crash

The bus driver is a professional, so he should have noted the one warning sign he went under when going from I-678 to the Belt Parkway (if indeed that was his route). And he should have known that buses were prohibited from parkways. The bus company is based in New Jersey, so I think it's save to assume they do a lot of driving in New York State. In addition, the driver should have noticed his hairbreadth clearance under some of the bridges before he got to Eagle Avenue. If he'd been paying attention, that alone should have caused him to question the wisdom of his route.

The signage, however, erected by the NYDOT is all consistent with the assumption that every driver knows you can't take a bus (or truck) onto a parkway, and every driver knows there are very low clearance bridges. But that's a bit like the reasoning "but I had the right of way" as you lie dying on the pavement somewhere. Three vehicles a year strike this bridge! How many hit the other very low clearance bridges on this parkway? Construction of the Southern State Parkway began in 1926. It's been 92 years and no one has ever felt the need to upgrade the signage?! "In December [2017], Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $4.3 million project to install an electronic warning system that detects when oversize vehicles enter parkways." Here's what the NYDOT claims in that article: "An over-height vehicle entering would break the beam, triggering a warning message on a full color LED variable message sign display. The warning would indicate that the vehicle is over height and alerts the driver of impending bridge strikes ahead," but if you look at the photos you'll see the sign falls far short of what they claim.

Overheight Warning System
Full color LED? I don't think so. This is old technology, certainly not any color but amber. I don't think these lights are LED or I wouldn't see so many burned out elements both out on the road and in this photo. If they are truly LED, they could do a lot more with them than simply display crude dots. As for "The warning would indicate that the vehicle is over height and alerts the driver of impending bridge strikes ahead," uh, I don't think so. If the sign in the photo actually does that, it's going to have to scroll three or four message displays to do so, and the offending vehicle will have passed by the sign already. In addition, the sign is placed too late. Is the driver of the truck or bus supposed to back up or do a u-turn across the grass or just stop and call the highway patrol to assist? In the photo it appears that the detector is actually placed AFTER the warning sign, so its only real function would be to alert following drivers to get their cellphones ready to record the expected crash.

The NYDOT seems to work on the assumption there are no stupid or ignorant drivers on their roads. Most other states have learned the folly of that assumption when dealing with potentially life-endangering road hazards. In California there are generous warning signs where stupid or ignorant drivers might do the wrong thing. The bus driver is technically at fault in this case, but the NYDOT is doing less than the minimum to try to mitigate the risks of these low clearance parkway overpasses. The very least they could do is use the standard big yellow signs that are mounted on bridges directly over the roadway...and clear the damned vegetation!

There are at least a couple of low clearance bridges elsewhere in the United States that are routinely struck by high clearance vehicles. Go here to read and view videos about the infamous 11' 8" bridge in Durham, North Carolina. Note the extremely generous warning signs for the stupid or ignorant. Even so, plenty of drama still happens.

permalink | April 9, 2018 at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2017

Tesloop - Palm Springs to Las Vegas

$99

permalink | March 8, 2017 at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2017

Finnish Motorcycle Chase

Here’s a rare video. It's a police chase (ho hum) but it's motorcycle chasing motorcycle in Finland! With no cuts, this video is almost 34 minutes long, but the first 8 minutes and 15 seconds is nothing but what the cop happened to be doing for the 8 minutes and 15 seconds before he leaped into action. I assume it was a radio call that got him going. I can't see any motorcyclist breaking any obvious traffic rules that would have triggered him. So this video starts at the 8:15 point.

I wish I knew why this guy was being chased. The chase pushes him to make a lot of dangerous maneuvers and the chasing cop copies him in almost every move. Obviously, other people on the road were endangered. But there doesn't seem to be the sort of congestion I'm used to seeing in an American city - neither people nor traffic.

In the video you won't hear the cop relaying his location and direction to dispatch, as you would in America. I don't know of any maneuvers that can be performed by a chasing motorcycle cop to force the other one to stop. Can't do a pit maneuver. So it would seem his only hopes of catching this guy were either he'd run out of gasoline, or he'd make a mistake and crash, or the chased would simply give up, or other police would get ahead of the chase to try to block him off. But help never arrives. At least three times a police van appears ahead of him, sitting in the road. Once it looks like that cop is there only to control traffic while the chase goes through. In the other two appearances, the cops with the vans appear to be doing nothing, but if the chased man wanted to surrender and get a nice ride back to jail, they were there to serve.

Notice the one surprising scene where our cop gets well ahead of the chased, who had stopped in order to avoid an accident. The chased hurriedly gets back into his usual position, even though he had the opportunity there to turn right and go the wrong way on the entrance ramp. That might have given him enough head start to get away.

Finnish cop in motorcycle chase
This is the cop who did the chasing
. We don't see him until seconds before the video ends.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but I'll tell you I was surprised at how fast the chased person could run on two legs! He did way better than Americans who try to run from the cops.

permalink | February 3, 2017 at 05:39 PM | Comments (3)

January 16, 2017

"GoPro Ready"

You may recall that a year or two ago Toyota was promoting one of their vehicles as "GoPro ready" because they had simply built in a standard GoPro attachment point somewhere. Pffft! Now Jaguar has come up with a car that really is "GoPro ready." You attach your smartphone to the car via USB (they skip over the part about how iPhone users will handle this) and attach the phone to your camera via Wi-Fi, and then let your camera record your driving. While that goes on, the Jaguar is recording all sorts of details about what the car is doing (speed, RPM, which gear, etc) which is then synched perfectly to the GoPro video. This will be excellent for professional drivers or those who just like to race illegally. Also, you could use it to monitor a teenager.

permalink | January 16, 2017 at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)