Sunday, December 22, 2019

Visiting The Local Magistrate: Seattle Mandates You Pay $80.00 Regardless of Anything

Fines, tickets etc are one unfortunate part of taxi life.  It is going to happen despite your best efforts to avoid the bureaucratic thumb attempting to snuff you out.  Thursday afternoon saw me visiting a local court magistrate in a vain attempt to mitigate a Red Light Camera ticket received at the south-bound intersection of 6th Avenue crossing James Street.  I knew I would have to pay for my transgression but how much was the issue. And this after I thought I knew the location of every intersection camera in the city.  How did I miss the signage?  I can't really tell you other than I have no excuse whatsoever.  Driving taxi is a war, and to not pay attention every second is potentially fatal. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my everyday reality.

The judge herself was great, friendly, and having seen my situation thousands of times, voiced even before I could say it, the fact that I was probably rushing a passenger to an appointment, something completely accurate.  She apologized when announcing that the City of Seattle would only allow her to reduce the fine to $80.00, mandated not by her but by the powers dictating her authority. Given the madness I encounter daily upon the streets I don't blame anyone for trying to control what is truly insane driving behavior exhibited by the masses.  And with the City of Seattle planning even more red light and school cameras, I am sure the good judge will be busy past commonsense.  

The only personal positive I can take from the experience is the great public art to be found in Seattle's municipal buildings, some great Eastern Washington photographs and one very interesting large oil painting making the moment slightly less painful.

A Rat Jumping Ship?

Has Uber hit its last fatal financial iceberg?  From recent actions demonstrated by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the Uber sailing forecast appears to be doomed, Kalanick having already sold off 90% of his company stock, $2.5 billion dollars worth, and will soon be divesting the remaining 10% of his Uber holdings.  Since June of this year, Uber stock has lost 43% of its original value.  The question is, when will Uber's corporate investors join Kalanick in getting out before going down with the sinking ship?  The new year, 2020, should tell us much concerning Uber's future.  Maybe, just maybe, 2020 will be Uber's setting sun, an unsavory company receiving its just desserts.

And all those former loyal Uber customers might find themselves riding in a taxi. I would like that, and I am sure, you would too.

A Reader Asks a Question

When was Uber formed?  The answer is 2009, with the original idea for the company forming in 2007 & 2008.

Dealing with Drunks: Just tell them goodbye

Late last night, two inebriated fellows, wanted to go a local MacDonald's.  That they didn't know where one was didn't stop them from angrily bossing me around.  I immediately told them then to get out or I was calling the police, having done nothing wrong expect perhaps letting them into the cab, not interested in their unnecessary abuse. That is how you deal with unruly drunks.  There is no other way.

These guys were high-caste Indians from India.  Have you been following what has been happening recently in India?  In my case, India's bad behavior was transferred to my cab, and I am neither Muslim or from Kashmir.  No, I do want Indian citizenship.

Again, treated once again as a taxi dalit. Boring!

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