The walk wait at the intersection went better today. Once again, I arrived there at the most inopportune moment and had to wait for the entire light cycle. This time I kept pushing virtual buttons and the phone remained in “awake” state. Barely any time was lost in the stopwatch restart process. Further along the walk route the streets border a large open space and if I go early enough in the morning I often see several rabbits. If I go later in the day, I’ll see fewer bunnies but many more lizards. The lizards have this dopey routine where they dart out at you and freeze for a moment, making sure you notice them, before zipping back into the bushes. Today I saw no rabbits and only a couple of lizards, albeit big ones. Guess I was right in between their two viewing opportunity windows. But I did notice a couple of other things. One was little plastic bags of wrapped up dog poop. Yes, folks take the trouble to pick up after their pooch, tying a tight knot in their slow degrading plastic, and then toss the whole thing back onto the ground. I don’t get it. Isn’t this a case where, if you can’t do the right thing, that nothing would be better than something? The other item of note was the current size of the Los Angeles Times newspaper. It’s tiny. Like the size of a folded flyer. Nothing like the enormous editions I wrestled around by bicycle during my early teen home delivery career.

I’ve been walking my 3.5 mile route for a few months now. Off and on. But I’ve become a bit more serious and dedicated recently. I bought some proper shoes and extended the route to 5.1 miles. The longer route includes more elevation gain and loss. This cumulative elevation gain forces me to increase my gravitational potential energy. So the new route is both longer and a better workout. But it includes a major intersection that the shorter route did not. Tens of seconds and sometimes minutes are lost waiting for the intersection signal lights. Because I listen to music on the walk I take my phone. Because I take my phone I use the built-in stopwatch to time each walk regardless if it’s just a leisurely stroll or a concerted effort. But I don’t feel the time lost at the intersection should count against me, nor is it very consistent. So I decided for longer waits there that I’d pause the stopwatch and then restart it once the light changed. Today the wait was gonna be about the maximum it could be. So I pushed the push here to walk button and took my phone out and paused the stopwatch. I kept the phone out and was ready to press the start/resume button. The light changed, I stepped off the curb, and the phone screen lock appeared. Damn. Now I’m crossing the major intersection while swiping the screen and entering my password with one thumb. The cars have all stopped as they should and there are still 24 of 28 seconds remaining on the walk signal. I thumb my password incorrectly. Damn. I’m now halfway across the street and I have to look down again. 18 of 28 seconds left. I’d feel more comfortable looking at the oncoming traffic. Yeah, I know they’ll probably all stop just fine, but I’d like to be observing them instead of peering down at a keypad. And isn’t this just the thing I’d always be telling the kids not to do? So I gave up and waited until I got back on the sidewalk on the other side before further fiddling with the phone. And then later I waited an extra ten seconds at a different corner to try and even out the time.

Alison Faith Levy & Mushroom – Yesterday, I Saw You Kissing Tiny Flowers

Secret Chiefs 3 – Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini

Chicano Batman – Cycles of Existential Rhyme

The Durutti Column – The Guitar and Other Machines

Eno & Hyde – Someday World

Philip Glass – Low Symphony

Radar Men from the Moon – Strange Wave Galore

Percy Jones – Cape Catastrophe

John Zorn – Astronome