Friday, March 16, 2007

Fightin' Fool, I set you Free

I've found plenty of free reading material on CalTrain, and decided it was time to give something back.

After slogging through Fightin' Fool, by Max Brand--a western writer famous for the sheer quantity of his output--for several weeks, and finally finishing it, I decided to leave this book on the train I was riding at the time.

To be honest, despite enjoying selections from Brand's oeuvre in the past, I found this book somewhat slow-going--despite a few bits at the beginning that hinted it might take a course somewhat different from the western fare I'm used to:

Jingo was pleased. He liked what he had heard, and he liked the set of the stranger's shoulders, and the towering height of him. He hurried to catch up with him.
and later:

Jake Rankin licked his lips and ran his hungry eyes over the lithe body of Jingo. He was a judge of men, was Jake, and he could appreciate the way the parts of Jingo were fitted together. He handled him with his eyes the way a horse dealer handles a horse, judging bone and sinew, and the quality of the long muscles that make for speed, or the bulging muscles that make lifting strength. The muscles of Jingo were all long and cunningly worked together. He looked as capable of speed, say, as a well-braided whiplash of new leather. Jake Rankin missed not a single point.
But the remainder of the tale was fairly conventional for the genre.

Hopefully, at least, it may brighten someone else's commute a bit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reading Around the Blogosphere

I came across this blog, which has some interesting things to say about development, transit, and urban history in Sacramento:

Worth a read!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Is it Legal not to Drive?

After two years of negotiation between a developer and the city of Mountain View, from which it appeared settled that the former HP site across the street from San Antonio CalTrain would redeveloped into a respectable quantity of much-needed new housing, a new batch of council members has been elected opposed to this "fortress-like" development. Read the complete story in the Mountain View Voice.

These days, it seems that everyone is concerned with global warming, the loss of open space to sprawl, and the myriad other ills of our car-dependent lifestyle.

And so we have annual rituals of "spare the air" days and "bike to work" days, in hopes luring commuters out of their cars, and into trying transit, biking, and walking.

The trouble is, whenever type of housing that could make responsible commuting possible is proposed, namely dense housing, close to where people work, and in quantities large enough to matter, it's always "too big" and "too dense" to suit the neighbors, and city councils soon put a stop to it.

So let's stop pretending that commuters can choose a "transportation alternative". Living in far-flung suburbs and driving long commutes isn't a choice--it's the law.