30 November 2007

[liff] All You Need To Know about TV From 1978 Through 1995 In One Video Mashup

1165. The ultimate video mashup: the opening of Star Trek:The Next Generation, via Dallas. 

Best Video Mashup. Ever. We can close up civilization and go home now.

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[street_blades, info_design] New Portland Overhead Signs, and a New Street

1164. If you've been looking up and forward whilst waiting at any light in the Portland corporate area latterly, you'll have seen a sign bound to the overhead like this:

The City is, at last, addressing a real need in road signage. Most other larger towns up and down the valley (and across the Columbia too) have large signs denoting the street name on the traffic signal arm. Any driver who's been saved from having to frantically scan about on the corners to see what street they're crossing don't need to be told how good this is.

The standard has seemed to have been set; the iconic representation of the "Portland Rose", the red rose with three green leaves, and a simple representation of the street name at cross.

The notation on this particular sign deserves some explanation. For the past several months, a major realignment of the connection between Killingsworth Street and Columbia Boulevard has been becoming reality. The old Columbia Boulevard opening, a two-lane underpass under the railroad tracks, is a bottleneck. This old T intersection is being deprecated (and looks like it's being closed completely) in favor of a new higher-capacity, split access to a short road which is apparently being called Columbia Parkway, which goes frm NE 89th Avenue and Killingsworth Street over to Columbia Boulevard at the Holiday Inn Airport.

The (SB) denotes the split access–Columbia Pkwy splits into separated Northbound lanes and Southbound lanes.

The old part of Columbia Blvd east of that new intersection (which is also fully signalled) appears headed to a destiny as a dead-end stub.

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[bloggage] Blogger's Just Giving Away The Graphics

1164. Currently, when you clicky to embiggen an image in blogspot blogs, instead of embiggening, the image downloads to your desktop. I'll keep this in mind when posting photeaux in the near term.

The above link also has information on what they claim is a workaround.

Fortunately, I'm not the only one having this problem. I'm always relieved when I find that sort of thing out.

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[pdx_transit] TriMet TV #7: A Ride on the #20

1163. TriMet TV episode 7 is out, and it's a ride on the #20-Burnside/Stark line.

This episode is in the travelogue mode. The #20 line runs from Beaverton Transit Center, via Cedar Hills Blvd, Sunset TC and Barnes Rd, then down Burnside from the crest of the hill all the way out to Gateway TC, then out Burnside to Gresham. The episode is light on info for the real local, but has a nice flow to it and ticks off the things you can do and see and go to which are right on the line (Mt Hood Community College, Powell's Books) and just off it via the Streetcar (Classical Chinese Garden, The Pearl).

This vod is really for the tourist–and people like me, who like buses. But withal the production value is right where it should be, and makes a pretty nice calling-card and invitation to try for the tourist or the local looking for a little transit based adventure.

You can watch it (again, less than three minutes, won't waste much of your time) here.

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29 November 2007

[sign_design, info_design] County Highways in Oregon

1162. One thing not seen often in Oregon are signed county routes. I think this is unfortunate, because having county route numbers are a really nifty way of instilling terrior, a sense of place, and saying "follow Country Route 3" dispenses with all sorts of "go left here ... or was that right ...no, wait, start over" monologue that even I (and you can't get me lost very easily anyhwere in the Valley north of Corvallis) tend to get into (the brain is a funny thing).

There is one county in Oregon that implements a badged county road network, and that county is Douglas. It's a little hard to find maps with the route numbers on online–I do have a map of them, but that's off the official Douglas County map of 1990, an illustration of which is at left (click the map to embiggen).

The county road shield is a standard one: gold FHWA-style type on blue field, an irregular pentagon taller than wide, with mitred corners on the bottom two points and rounded corners on the top three. I've created what Douglas County Route 1's shield probably looks like.

I think one Good Thing to Do™ would be to institute a county route badging system in Oregon's counties, at least the Willamette Valley's. People who still complain about finding their way around Portland (even though it's largely simply laid out) would do with a City Route system (such badging regimes already exist in Winnipeg and Charlotte NC (though Charlotte only has the one badged route, Charlotte Route 4, but they personalize it with a city logo, which makes it kind of cool). This may become important in the near term as we seem to have this mania for renaming roads ...

We'll come up with our own design for those presently. Marion County, with trunk roads converging on the capital city, has particularly interesting numbering possiblities.

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[info_design, street_blades] Salem Street Blades-The Way They Used To Be

1161. Posting about Salem street blades got me reminiscing about growing up in Salem, and I remember seeing some of the evolutions of that form. The following comes from memory ...

When my fam moved into town, the street blades (inside town, anyway-the Marion County blades were wooden, and standard off-white on green) weren't green-on-white, as detailed two entries back, but rather looked like this:

That's m4d Photoshop skillz, yo. The letterforms were slightly different too, but the current editions are close enough that this looks very close to the way they used to be. But this was just an intermediate step in their evolution. Perhaps influenced by styles seen elsewhere, the name blade used to be slenderer–with only room for one line of type, the street name; the block index went on a tab that was riveted to the main blade:

I believe this style was current in Salem through the late sixties and was supplanted by the other style as signs needed replacing. Moreover, street blades during those times attached to these burly, rebar-reinforced concrete pillars, not the lengths of pipe we are quite familiar with today.

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[design, layout] The Perils of Page Layout, 2: Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

1160. From the movie listings in The Big O today:

Yes, but which one will we go see ... oh, well, when in doubt, see the one that has Jake Gylenhaal in it...what, dude, what ... neither of them have him in it? Oh, my.

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[info_design, street_blades] A Tour Of Salem and Keizer's Street Blades

1158. Latterly, as detailed before in this consciousness stream, we visited Salem to see Fam and overeat generally. Missions both accomplished. But what Yours Truly had in mind was to snap some images of something we don't see often: Salem and Keizer street blades. Lets just cut to the chase, then.

The first of the two cities one comes to is, of course, Keizer. Formed in 1982, mostly to keep Salem out, Keizer is one of the two areas where Salem ever got any sprawl on before urban growth boundaries sprang up around Oregon cities back in the day.

Here's a typical set of blades in a typical Keizer neighborhood. 14th Avenue NE is notable because it is to greater Salem what Peacock Lane is to Portland–it's the street where all the neighbors go all out every holiday season in a Christmas decoration extravaganza:

The block number indexes are notable here. You're looking at the intersection of the 1300 block of Harmony Dr NE and the 5700 block of 14th Av NE–in constrast with Portland, where the block number is placed on the crossing-street blade and omitted from the numbered Ave blade (the block number of the named street being easily deduced from the number of the Avenue). Other notable traits are the blue color of the sign (in constrast to the green background of Salem's (and almost every other city which we've been in) and the standard look of the font.

There is also one rather delightful difference:

Keizer really personalizes its street blades by putting the city symbol on. I really like this and I think it would be quite cool if more cities locally did it. It's visually interesting and leaves you no doubt as to which jurisdiction you're in, contributing to sense-of-place (this is also why, digressing now, Hillsboro standardized addressing and street naming in the Reedsville area where all its recent annexations are being completed).

The banner on the bottom displays the city's motto: Pride, Spirit, & Volunteerism. This was chosen early on over some other motto ideas such as We're not Salem, Dammit, Death to the Salem Overlords, and the recently-floated Those Pedestrian Barriers Aren't What They Look Like, so Stop Saying That, Oh, Hell, We'll Spend More Money to Replace Them.

Casting a glance back at the Harmony Dr sign ...

... we take our leave and wend our way down River Road N into the north end of Salem. Address, wise, Salem is divided into five "quadrants", four east of the river (N, NE, SE, S) and one west (NW). There is no defined SW area of town (there is one that could be west of Eola, but that's getting off the program again). All directional areas are represented in the Salem corporate limits, but North is the smallest–literally just a handful of square blocks. Stark St N (no obvious relation to our Stark St) lies just inside the Salem city limits from Keizer, and the River Road N name continues for a fraction of a mile inside Salem. River Rd N forms the dividing line between N and NE, and all streets on the N side of River Road are in the 100 block:

The Salem street blades are nothing if not readable, and the same stadard font look applies. Presumably Salem, Kezier (and maybe even Marion County) use the same sign shop. What isn't evident from these photos (though perhaps it can be sensed) is how big these newer street signs are. I had to back up a aways to get this shot framed properly.

River Road N does a three way split int Commercial, Liberty, and Front Streets NE about two blocks south of this. We proceeded perforce onto the cardinally-oriented grid of north Salem's streets; in short order, we reached the place where the street pattern doglegs to the canted orientation of the city center which, along Commercial St NE, happen where Commercial, South St NE, and Jefferson Street NE come together. Perforce, photeaux:

If the Stark Street side seemed big, this seems particularly Brobdingnagian.

The Commerical St blade seems a bit off-kilter here–maybe because it's so large? And just to drive home the point as to how big these signs are, consider that I stood at the corner of Commercial and Jefferson, meaning I took this photo from about 100 feet away:

Moving along from here, my Fam lives on the east side of Salem, beyond Lancaster Drive. So, after going through downtown Salem (pictures of that were here) we proceeded out State Street.

State Street, in the geography of Salem, serves the same purpose as East Burnside Street here in Portland; it divides the main north side of the eastside from the main south portion. Therefore, naturally, streets north of State Street are suffixed NE; those south are suffixed SE (Liberty Street on the other side of this pictures intersection would be Liberty Street SE). Uniquely for State Street, however, there is no directional suffix at all. Historically, State Street has only been State Street, not State Street NE or State Street SE–and certainly not State Street E (which would be logical even though people would wonder why there's no State St W–the reason why this is is obvious from looking at the physical and human geography of Salem).

Here's the State Street sign up close:

We note that the generic ST seems to have been applied on a patch. We have a guess as to why that is; that will come a little ways down the road, literally as well as literarily.

We also find that Salem has taken an interesting approach to sign-topping. Informational content is preserved because the block index is on the main blade.

Here's what the Liberty St NE blade looks like up close:

Moving west we find there are no numbered streets until we cross the railroad tracks at 12th and State, then they start increasing as one moves east. At 21st St SE and State (they don't line up, indicating that the north side of State may have been developed at a different time than that south of State), we find a particularly "horsey" example:

This seems overwhelmingly big even without immediate context. But the real howler here? This is on the south side of State Street. That sign should read 21st St SE, not NE (any Salem reader wants to verify this, just go to the US Market & Cigs quick-shop at the corner of 21st and State, and look at the street sign on the corner across 21st (but don't go into the US Market & Cigs, as romantically named as it is–it looks kinda sketchy).

Just down the street we come to State and 24th, and another oddity:

Yes, you read it right. This says "State St SE". Now, it is on the south side of State at 24th, but the preponderance of signs which simple read "State St" (including the newer ones like the photo of 21st St) suggest that this is the out of place example. It was also the only example of State St with a directional we were able to find along State, and we also suspect that the one at State and Liberty, which is approximately the same vintage, was also labeled with a directional–the patch looks about the right size and shape. I did eagle-eye the sign across the street–it did say "State St NE".

And, before we leave this discourse, I did mention above that there are no numbered streets before you cross 12th St going east. this is not strictly true. As Salem grew north, a different (yet still parallel and rectilinear) plat obtained in the north end of town with differently sized–smaller–city blocks. Downtown street names are carried north, but due to a new block size there is an additional north-south street to name between Liberty and Broadway (the extension of High Street NE into north Salem) and Broadway and Church St NE. This problem was solved: the first street is called 4th St NE, and the second one, 5th St NE. They are close enough to being the 400 and 500 blocks that this works logically. The photo details the cross of Jefferson and 4th Streets NE, one block east of the picture location of Jefferson and Commercial.

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28 November 2007

[liff] Nobody's Ever Said What That Makes Idaho

1157. Ever since Stephen Colbert declared Oregon "Idaho's Portugal", I've had a bit of trouble wrestling with this metaphor. Oregonlive.com has seen fit to lift this geographic slight (and get a few hits of Colbert's name, but hey–so am I) with the ad clipped at right (h/t Nonprofit Girl).

My point is, if Oregon is Idaho's Portugal, then Idaho should be Oregon's Spain (Calfornia and Washington are Oregon's USA, if you apply the Colbertian metaphor the other way).

But Idaho is a poor stand-in as anyone's Spain. I mean, can you picture someone in Eagle going down into Boise for tapas? No, I can't either.

And just what is up with that little yellow alien by the word Oregon fnord?

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[design, logo_design] Channel 3's

1156. And now, a song of Channel Threes. This post is in fond memoriam of KVDO Channel 3, Salem, which broadcast from 14 Feb 1970 to 19 Feb 1976 as Salem's local independent TV station (after Feb 1976 it was broacasting OPB content, and we're including that period when that disgruntled viewer cut down the Channel 3 transmission tower). So, after a brief 30-second (or 60-second, if you can afford it) pause to reflect, we'll move on.

There. You know, it just occurred to me–does anyone have any KVDO ephemera? If you scan it and send it here, I'll be happy to post that. Anyway, without further ado ... Let's tune in across the country to Channel 3 ...

On Cable Channel 3 in Longmont, Colorado–The Longmont Channel:

I thought it was cool the way someone did a little design job just for their local cable channel.

Acadiana's News Channel, KATC, Lafayette, LA:

KBTX, Channel 3, College Station/Bryan Texas. They sure do know how to work that Lone Star down there:

KCRA, Channel 3, Sacramento. The old style TV-screen-shaped frame around the 3 reminds me of the way channel listings used to look in the old TV Guide:

And they've been using, legend says, that tagline for literally decades, so no copycatting off KGW here.

A particularly burly 3 (as many are) is sported by KESQ, Channel 3, Palm Springs CA:

KEYT Channel 3, Santa Barbara CA, distinguishes itself with a brief, staccato tagline–and another flat-topped 3:

And, of course, the KIDK (Idaho Falls/Pocaltello) update, which I've commented on:

KIEM News Channel 3, Eureka CA:

KIII Channel 3, Corpus Christi TX (one of the damned coolest call-signs one could ever get, is what I think. You can also say it as "K ai-yi-yi", if you want. And, of course, an appearance by that Texas staple, the Lone Star:

KIMT Channel 3, covering southeastern Minnesota and Northeastern Iowa (the IMT seem to stand for Iowa Minnesota Television:

KMTV, Channel 3, Omaha:

KTBS, Channel 3, Shreveport. They're on your side too. And it was already getting crowded in here from all the Channel 2's that are on your side. We're going to have to build an addition to the house:

KTVO, Channel 3, Ottumwa Iowa. My instructors in GD might have had a problem with the vertical type, but it does lead the eye to the top of the 3, which directs the eye back down to the ABC logo, which gets you back to the K where you do it all over again:

KVBC Channel 3, Las Vegas, gives us what looks like a very unhappy 3 that was a 7 before it had a disabling accident. This 3 is angry. Might have a history of violent behavior. Fear this 3:

KYTV, Channel 3, Springfield MO, has a very sophisticated look to it:

WAVE Channel 3, Louisville KY, likes them the gradients:

With the big blue CBS peeking out at you from behind the huge 3 of WBTV, Charlotte, NC, I get mixed emotions; either CBS is sneaking up on me to get the drop on me, or it's shy and has to hide. But the soft blue color and the way the 3 bleeds out of the design are quite strong:

And now, Vermont's own, WCAX, Channel 3, Burlington:

WEAR, Channel 3, Pensacola FL–Close to the sea, dont ya know (but nice consistency throughout on the type):

WFSB, Channel 3, Hartford CT or thereabouts–very slick, polished, and cool (and one of the few 3's that really rocks the circle):

Harrisonburg VA's WHSV obliques the 3 then puts it in a box:

WISC Channel 3, Madison WI, gives us another flat-topped 3 by way of Mondrian:

WKYC, Channel 3 Cleveland, draws a line from the top of the NBC peacock and takes a small sliver of the 3, which is actually quite an interesting approach:

WLBT Channel 3, Jackson MS:

WRBL Channel 3, Columbus GA, has a big open paren on one end:

And Channel 3, WRCB Chattanooga TN, seems to be going the KIDK/KBCI route, with the rectanula supporting shapes, and perspective view. Notice how the NBC peacock seems to turn up on the lower right hand side of the 3 when it's used?

Hang with us, boys and girls, the end is coming up...

WREG Channel 3 Memphis has an uninspired if effective approach:

As does WSAZ Channel 3, Huntington WV. However, they do get bonus points for using something resembling Eurostile:

WSHM Channel 3, Springfield MA, is up in your face with the Eye:

WSIL, Channel 3, apparently based in Harrisburg IL. Serving southern Illinois (S. IL) and southeastern MO (and puts the ABC logo in the same place as WHSV does):

WSTM Channel 3, Syracuse NY, has both cliches–the flat-topped 3 and the peacock on on the lower right of the 3:

WTKR Channel 3 delivers the news to Newport News (as well as the whole Hampton Roads area of Virginia), and they're taking action, thank God:

The flat-topped 3 is a bit Peignot-ish, which is an interesting twist, and lives in a circle, which is kind of counter-intuitive given the angularity of it. But they're taking action (did I mention?) anyway, so that's okay.

WWilmington NC gives us WWAY, Channel 3. I wonder how anyone gets anything done with all this news channeling going on. But at least they got the network logo in the expected place:

From now on to us, "coverage you can count on" will refer to the area the network logo covers on the numeral. It always seems to be the same place ...

And lastly (I told you you were almost done) we have WWMT, channeling news in Kalamazoo, MI, and took their inspriation from a UNO card, maybe:

And that's a song of Three ...

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