Hiccup

The cow orker friend who has graciously given me a chunk of webhosting for a few months since io.com barfed on the backup for the blog had his own hiccup recently when his hosting company didn’t do their chores for a while. Should be back up now; and thanks again to Baba for the free mobile home while I still procrastinate on getting a permanent home.

Anyways, that’s why you couldn’t get here for your weekly dose of crackpot. The enb.

Plans for the blog

Well, now that the election is over, and I waited a week to cool the electrons, here’s where this blog is going to go:

  1. More emphasis on other transportation-talk (I had a bit of this sprinkled through the early articles here – see these categories for some examples). I took up the pro-transit but anti-commuter-rail flag because nobody else would, not because it’s my only interest). I have a couple of long articles ready to write once I get some time – one about TXDOT’s pedestrian-hostile highway construction, and one about the Jollyville Road severing.
  2. I’ll be evaluating any proposals made to “fix” the commuter rail line. Some mumblings in the press right now indicate that they think they’re going to get a proposal or two before the voters for the 2006 election. I sincerely doubt this will happen – there was far too much political capital spent on the “let’s build this one and then see how it does” position, and the kind of studies they need to do in order to get to the ballot-box are not likely to be quick.
  3. I’ll be commenting on the election results if and when the Chronicle does a precinct analysis (like they did for the 2000 light rail election).

Evaluating my campaign and my predictions: I thought the rail plan would pass, but I did not think the margin would be this great. I’m surprised at the margin in unincorporated Williamson County (according to today’s Statesman, it was fairly large). As mentioned before, I don’t know how it did in the central city compared to light rail.

I had hoped that I would get enough traction with the press that it would be difficult to forget (in 2010) that there was at least one guy who knew what he was talking about who predicted that the starter line was fatally flawed (to shorten the rail transit interregnum that will occur when the line fails). I don’t think I met my goals here – got some early coverage, including a good spot on KXAN where I was able to articulate the main failure, but most of the other press coverage misrepresented my position to “it doesn’t go far enough” which is too easy to counter with “well, we’ll just build streetcar or go to Seaholm” which only solves one of the ten or so problems with this line.

The success of the starter line is now in the hands of people in Cedar Park and far northwest Austin. If they enjoy riding shuttle buses every day from the station at MLK (crossing I-35 on MLK to get to UT and the Capitol) or from the Convention Center to 6th and Congress, then the plan will survive long enough to build extensions and expansions. Note, however, that none of those extensions or expansions provide rail service for the residents of the center city – they are other commuter rail lines headed from shuttle-bus stations out to other suburban areas.

I’m prepared to make a limited number of ridership bets for more steak dinners (hi Patrick!). You know where to find me. Otherwise, I may have the sidewalk article up in a week or so.

Two down

Adam Rice, another of Austin’s best bloggers and a fellow center-city cyclist, has kindly linked to this blog with an endorsement.

So I’ve won two votes so far – only about 20,000 to go! Well, also, since my cousin, wife, and father-in-law said they liked my presentation at the LBJ school last week, I probably have their votes too. My mom would probably also have liked my presentation, so there you go.
Adam also came up with a great title – All Systems Whoa. If I wasn’t running my quixotic campaign on a budget of exactly zero, I’d go buy the domain name allsystemswhoa.org to match the monorail guys at allsystemsno.org (not an endorsement by me – remember I support light rail, which runs in the street and would also be hated by these guys).

Readers encouraged to comment

Is anybody actually reading this thing? I’ve been spending a lot of time writing here, nd it would be nice to know that it’s not been a wasted effort. Certainly today’s Statesman fluff-piece was disappointing, since I’ve fallen back off the radar with Ben Wear.

Comments and suggestions encouraged, if for nothing else than to establish that this hasn’t been a waste of time.

Comments lost

The disaster which prompted this temporary move was a lack of backups being performed on the part of the filesystem at IO which contained the mysql data which backs this blog. One file was corrupt – which happened to be the file which was the backing storage for the comments table.
The people at PrismNet, who bought IO a while back, have mailed me the data in big chunks, and I might re-enter some of the comments if I have an afternoon to spare someday, but for now they’re all lost. Sorry.
This temporary site, donated by a cow orker friend, will work in the meantime while I get the permanent hosting worked out.

bus hilarity

(17:10:34) mdahmus: oh, forgot to tell you about my dillo experience
(17:10:39) mdahmus: 3 HIGHLY drunk guys on 4th and congress
(17:10:47) mdahmus: scaring the crap out of the white chick sitting next to me on bench
(17:10:54) mdahmus: as I waited for red dillo to go back to park-and-ride
(17:11:06) mdahmus: and then one of them DROPPED HIS FRIEND’S LIQUOR BOTTLE and it BROKE
(17:11:12) mdahmus: the apologies were flowing like cheap liquor
(17:11:22) mdahmus: man, did they smell stinky
(17:11:36) (coworker): there is no defining the amount of class it takes to drink liquor from a bottle on the street
(17:11:42) mdahmus: every time a bus came up, the drunker and stupider one would go up to the bus and his friends would yell “that’s not the right bus man, we’re looking for the 26”
(17:11:53) mdahmus: apparently he was not only illiterate but illnumerate as well
(17:12:08) (coworker): you should submit “illnumerate” to something
(17:12:14) mdahmus: yes
(17:12:24) mdahmus: I will submit it to my crackpot blog
(17:12:32) (coworker) logged out.