What happens to the over tired cabbie? In my case I sleep 14 hours after pushing it to make it out the door and to Sea-Tac Airport upon a too crowded Monday morning 5:30 AM. Believe it when you read that the Seattle-area has some of the most crowded roadways in the world, let alone the good, old USA. If I hadn't known that Military Road South runs parallel to I-5 I would have been completely screwed. Amazingly to me I found stretches of Military Road completely absent of other drivers. As I have discovered long ago, the majority of Seattle drivers are devoid of imagination, all obediently following each other in "apple-pie order." Not a recommended mindset when having to really get somewhere and finding your normal route obstructed and slowed.
Regardless, I got to the airport in plenty of time. And even better, since I appear to be a good Alaska Airline customer, I was once again granted a TSA Pre-check waiver, meaning I was allowed to speed through airport security minus any invasive scrutiny.
The supreme irony is that only in these situations, boarding an airline, do I ever find myself treated as someone less than suspect. Time and time again, where ever I go, I am subjected to "profiling" due to my lack of recent haircuts, police and others thinking there must be something wrong with me, given my ongoing choice to not look like them. At least Alaska and Delta Airlines know that I am an "alright customer," above and beyond suspicion. But if they also know I am a bit of a shaggy taxi dog I can't tell you.
And what the heck am I doing in Romulus, Michigan, which is where the Detroit Airport is located? Other than breathing the Midwest air I am checking out both the Detroit and Toledo, Ohio areas for houses large enough to contain my 7000-plus books. For those who might think I am just your average hoarder, I recently turned down a bookstore-owner friend's offer to take "all" of her stacked-up inventory of stored books not popular for quick and easy sell. No, all my books are hand-picked, many of which have been read or are slated to be read if I live long enough to have the time to sit down and read, read and read some more. Yes, yes and yes, I am a bore, all I want to do is read, so bar and lock that door, and please, don't knock as you will just make me sore!
Yes, it is damn true, million dollar houses in Seattle are going for $50,000 in Toledo. Why? Well, while the reasons are many, they certainly do outnumber the potential dollars in my pocket. Toledo is of course where everyone in my greater Blondo/Rick clan was born, thousands, beginning around the year 1900, bred and born in the Hungarian neighborhood of Birmingham.
As for little, old taxi me, I sprouted in late 1953 in that once-small but now very suburban western Washington town of Puyallup. At the time my father was finishing up his degree at what is now known as Puget Sound University, a school located in nearby Tacoma. But yes, I am looking at Toledo, where my mother and all my grandparents and uncles and aunts are buried, and where I might be living at least part of the time.
And I am also checking out Detroit because the property prices are even cheaper, and if you can believe it, have spawned an urban gardening and farming revival located directly within the city itself. "She-who-can't-be-named" is also very interested, bugging me to visit some of those Detroit organic farms and gardens, which I plan to once I finish this posting. While I still hope to own some large acreage or big parcels of rolling prairie eventually in some place like southeastern Montana, moving away from Seattle to someplace much more affordable would be a start.
I envision all this being completed by summer's end. And what about my driving taxi in Seattle? I see this as a step-by-step transition. I will remain in Seattle only as long as I have to. If circumstances allow me to stop driving a cab I will gladly give my recently won medallion back to the City of Seattle, more than happy to never drive a taxi again. I for one do not want to sleep the remainder of my life away, forever recovering from the exhaustion that is cab driving. At age 63, the "wear & tear" is too obvious, dragging me in total down, down, down until I too am buried six feet beneath the ground!
Feds interested in Uber's Greybull
Uber, those transportation pirates, might be in serious trouble due to using software, dubbed "Greybull," to avoid law enforcement detection both in Portland, Oregon and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The US Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation exploring what, if any, laws have been broken.
Recent reporting in the NY Times certainly infer that Uber could be in big trouble. Only time will tell, but if nothing else this intervention by the Federal government should assist in tempering Uber's corporate behavior.
And to think so many have called the taxi industry lawless. If we are, which sometimes seems true, we remain pathetic amateurs. The best I can do to avoid detection is to turn off my top-light while speeding down I-5. Does that truly help? I seriously doubt it.
Local Bar Association
I received a letter stating that, since the Emerald City Law Group contacted me by letter, they did nothing wrong. My question remains is how researching my private info for commercial purposes is legal and allowable? And were the statements made in the letter sent by the law group true and verifiable? I will be asking the bar to explore these and other issues. As I have stated, I did not contact these folks and never wanted them to. Just where and how they got this permission is something I am very interested in finding out about.
And one last thought. Just as it has been found to be counter productive having the police investigate themselves, could this be a similar example of something better left to a more completely uninvolved agency? While not implying anything out of the ordinary, the bar response certainly has me wondering just what in the legal world is going on? Again, I didn't ask for any of this, having it thrust upon me by the Emerald City Law Group. Instead of feeling protected, I feel victimized. Not a good nor positive sensation I can assure you.