March 2, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
The San Diego Trolley Goes By
You may recall a post of mine from the end of January that told my tale of woe while trying to reload my Compass Card at a ticket vending machine.
This time around it went off without a hitch. It makes me very happy to say that! It was very easy and took exactly 45 seconds, so it’s a bit more time than buying a day pass, but WAY less time then buying a monthly pass at Vons.
With all actions done by pressing buttons and tapping your card, you start by pressing any button to wake up the TVM, select the pass you want to add to your Compass Card, tap your Compass Card on the validator, pay $72 via cash or credit, tap your Compass Card again, take your receipt and go.
Very important notes: For those that pay with cash, the TVM’s give a maximum of $5 change, dished out as Sacagawea or Presidential dollar coins. Also, paying with coins to buy a $5 day pass or $2 one way ticket is fine, but won’t work for a monthly pass because there is a 20 coin deposit limit, so that means you can’t pay with coins, Einstein. You’ll just have to find somewhere else to spend your $72 in change.
February 16, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
You Are Preaching To A Reflection
I’m not taking big enough risks when I break out my camera, so my photography is not risky at all, and I can’t explain why. I suspect that I am using my secretive and unseen method of photography as an excuse to not branch out and explore other areas of photography, but even that excuse, ultimately seems like an excuse as well. The man in the photo above was either trying to show the person seated behind him something to do with God, or something to lead her into his bedroom. I’m not sure which route she chose.
In Or Out Of Focus – San Diego Bus Rides Are Eclectic.
I don’t know what “eclectic” means, and as I refuse to Google it right now, I’m going to define it as “weird”. If you pass through 12th & Imperial trolley station during the day, trolley guards will hassle you for not tapping your Compass Card for the umpteenth time during your commute. At night, degenerates will hassle you to buy pistols, drugs, bus/trolley passes, ipods, jewelry and cigarettes. Take your pick. For me, knowing I can score a any of those things on my way home from work at 12th & Imperial makes my daily commute a little easier. On the OTHER hand, knowing that Compass Cards are a retarded rouse for trolley security guards to line the pockets of San Diego’s politicians with MORE of my money AFTER I buy a monthly pass for $72 really grinds my gears. I didn’t get that line from Family Guy. I invented it right now.
Reduced To A Cat Drinking From The Faucet
After my gutless crusades on the bus this night, I ended up watching fleas drown and an ordinary house-cat drinking from a faucet. By next weekend life will be good.
February 11, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Same Pictures – Same Story
One of the self imposed “things” I have done since May 2009 on this blog has been to provide new, fresh photos for each post I write. This post is a clip show with photos I have already used because the subject matter is the same… San Diego and the new Compass Cards it has issued for trolley and bus passengers are a straight up scam to generate revenue for the city. Tonight, on my way home from work on the blue line trolley, I watched two trolley guards make a disabled person get off the trolley to issue him a citation. The reason? He did not have an ID that proved he was disabled, he only had a valid disabled rate Compass Card. Now, I’m not going to get into what physical/mental liabilities this man had, but anyone with eyes could see from a mile away that this guy was disabled. Anyone with ears could HEAR that he was disabled when he tried to explain to the trolley guards that he had purchased a monthly, disabled rate Compass Card. The trolley guards still wanted him to exit the trolley so they could issue him a citation, even though he said that the delay would make him late for dinner with his mother.
Trolley Guard Compass Card Validator Does Not Feel Emotion
Before the trolley guards made this disabled man get off the train, the female guard, that seemed to be the senior of the two guards present told the disabled man that the citation would be “on hold” for three days. All the disabled man had to do was procure something that proved he was disabled, and the citation would be nullified. So, a disabled person that, due to his liabilities rides public transportation had to to take public transportation to where ever in the Hell disabled persons have to go to prove to SDMTS that they are indeed disabled withing 72 hours, or the citation would go into effect. Today is Thursday, February 11, 2010. That means that SDMTS trolley guards told a disabled person, right in front of me that he had Friday, Saturday and Sunday to acquire documents to prove his disability or he would have to pay the citation fine come Monday. A cripple now has to take the San Diego trolley, OVER THE WEEKEND, with a prepaid Compass Card to prove he is disabled.
February 2, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
San Diego Culinary Institute
My Nikon D5000 has a boosted ISO of 6400, so that’s what I set out to test tonight. I wanted some real, after dark photos shot with ambient light while gunning the ISO throttle of my D5000 all the way to the max. The biggest lesson I learned tonight was that when you are out testing a specific “thing” on your DSLR, don’t forget that you don’t have to stick to the thing you are testing. In this case, I was out testing the 6400 ISO of my camera when I camera across the scene above. I had the presence of mind to switch the ISO to 200 before taking the shot. This resulted in the dark exterior of the building creating a frame around the soon to be chefs inside.
The Compass Card validator to the left was shot at 6400 ISO, and is presented to you here WAY smaller than actual size because full size was pretty noisy. Anyway, I was out looking for any dark alley type place around my neighborhood so that I could give 6400 ISO a real stretch of the legs, and my general consensus is that 6400 can not be shown at 100%, even on the web. You can still get very low light shots that will blow your mind, especially if you are from the days of film, but for the sake of passing images on for posterity, I’m going to have to hold back on 6400. What I will do is work with 3200 ISO because it is WAY less noisy than 6400, and yet is still very light sensitive. I’m going to find the sweet spot for high ISO and my f/1.8 lens even if I have to stay up all night every night. SO, with that in mind, here is where I am with this post. That pic above is ISO 200, because I remembered to change it down from 6400. The pic to the left is 6400, as is the pic below. I am now wishing that I had remembered to dial the ISO down from 6400 for the pic below because I really would have liked the sad detail in the man’s face to show through.
Unnecessary Use Of 6400 ISO
January 31, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · Leave a Comment
Compass Cards Are Not Clear Yet
I’m trying to like my month old Compass Card. I really am. In theory, there are a handful of convenient ways to purchase and reload a Compass Card, so I chose to reload mine at a ticket vending machine at my local trolley station. I walked away empty handed because the only monthly pass reload option I was given was for a $100 pass. My usual $72 pass was not available as an option to purchase. This had me going to plan B which was to reload it at Vons which was done in a few minutes. So even though I’m good for February 2010 on all San Diego Trolleys now… What the Hell?
Compass Cards Do Not Yet Have My Support
I had these plans for making a video showing how easy it is to reload your Compass Card with cash at a ticket vending machine, but there was no $72 pass option available. There was a technician working on the machine next to me, so I’m all feeling like a character from the movie Amelie’ but all I really wanted was to buy a monthly pass. I was so put out that I couldn’t even snap a photo of the offending machine, or the technician… I just went to Vons.
January 23, 2010 by Rob Hurlbut · 6 Comments
Revenue Scam Validator
The new Compass Card that San Diego’s SANDAG/MTS has rolled out is nothing more than a way to generate revenue, via citations for the city, and I’ll explain to you why. Prior to these reusable, reloadable plastic cards, monthly pass purchasers were issued beautiful, colorful, local artist produced paper passes. We could buy them starting on the 20th of the previous month and once purchased merely needed to be kept on your person to make us good to go. For the next 30 days, we merely had to show it to bus drivers when boarding buses and trolley guards while riding the trolley. That was it… Simple & seamless. One monthly purchase meant that we were golden for a month, as long as we kept our pass in our purse, bag, wallet or lanyard.
These new Compass Cards have taken away simplicity and one time remembrance and substituted an avenue for monthly pass holders to be issued citations on a daily basis. My explanation will start with the photo below.
6 New Ways For San Diego Trolley Guards To Issue Citations
What you see above are the new rules for those of us that fork out $72 for a monthly transit pass in San Diego, handed to me by a trolley security guard. Typos aside, let me just type this all out so that we can be clear; If you do not tap your $72 Compass Card when you get off a trolley to board a bus, get off a bus to board a trolley, board a trolley at any station, get off of a trolley and board another trolley, get off The Coaster and board a trolley, get off a trolley and board The Coaster, get off a bus and board The Coaster or board a bus, you will be issued a citation. On the OTHER hand, if you buy a $5 daily paper pass, you can do/board any of the above WITHOUT tapping anything and without being issued a citation. This is wrong on so many levels that it almost makes me want to go out and buy a car.
There are a couple news stories out already that discuss just how flawed Compass Cards are. Way back in August off 2009, Sign On San Diego reported just how buggy the software that controls/monitors Compass Cards is. On January 10, 2010, San Diego’s 10News reported that visually impaired (blind) trolley riders are having trouble with Compass Cards because the the Compass Card validators are not in uniform locations. Sign On San Diego then reported again on January 17th, 2010 that regardless of the buggy software being fixed, San Diego trolley riders were still questioning the need to tap their prepaid $72 cards at EVERY SINGLE leg of their commute. Click on any of the underlined text above to read the stories.
Public Transportation In San Diego Used To Be Art
There is just one final thing I would like to talk about regarding San Diego’s new Compass Card system, and that is how they are cloaking an invasion of every Compass Card holder’s privacy by claiming the new Compass Cards will, “…streamline and expedite fare collection.” What users of the Compass Card may not know is that every time you tap your card, your riding activity is logged & stored on a Compass Card server. What that means is that if you register your Compass Card with SANDAG/MTS, not only will your riding activity be logged, but the name, address and credit card info will also be attached to your card. The Compass Card Website states that a benefit of owning a Compass Card is that it is secure against loss or theft, but only if you register your card with your name and other personal information.
So take your pick people… Pay $72 and risk a citation at every leg of your commute for the following 30 days on the San Diego Trolley, or $5 for a day pass the with absolute guarantee that you will not receive a citation until midnight that night. Compass Cards are a scam and should be discontinued or at least only provided as as OPTION for the old paper monthly pass.