Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Transporting COVID-19 Positive Passengers In The Taxi & Progressive Insurance Dispute Resolved & Bakersfield Update & Shake Your Flabby Booty? Insane Antics On Aurora Avenue North & Passenger Expectations & A Bakersfield Portrait In Rhyme

 Last Week I Transported A Coronavirus Passenger to Goldbar, WA

My most recent COVID-19 tested-positive passenger originated from Kirkland's Evergreen Hospital, a medical facility I haven't picked up at in at least ten years or longer, rarely finding myself anywhere close to Zone 411 (Totem Lake), it not making much sense battling the usual heavy traffic on I-405 to get there.  That day I just happened to drop off a regular customer of mine at her dental appointment, and since the offered call was .02 miles away, I accepted it but not knowing it was yet another coronavirus-infected passenger, this lady making my sixth such variety of customer.  

Given I am vaccinated, and double-masking both me and the passenger, while also properly ventilating the cab, I feel I am taking a very minimal risk, if any risk at all, providing rides to those who really need to get home or to a quarantine shelter.  What makes the quarantine passengers so inviting is the extra $50.00 King County adds to the fare, something designed to calm the soul and soothe the anxious brow.  

But in this case, as with accounts other than the King County one, there was no such added surcharge bonus.  I have asked Yellow/Puget Sound Dispatch to explore the possibility of our other major account customers also providing a "risk fee" when requesting transport of COVID-19 patients, a kind of monetary acknowledgement and thank you.  And it does remain a potential risk for many of the drivers because this kind of fare is offered to our entire pool of drivers minus warning or notice, PSD not restricting the fares to vaccinated drivers only, something I have suggested more than once.  

To me, the liability issue for PSD is immense, because, if in theory a driver does get infected while transporting a virus positive customer, and dies, or perhaps worse, spreads the virus to a family member, with that person succumbing to the virus, I think it would be hard to defend PSD's current policy.  And to that point, it would be very wise to limit these kinds of fares only to fully vaccinated drivers, thus avoiding the needless hazard of endangering everyone involved.  

As to my Goldbar customer, she, like two others I have given rides to, was in denial that she was virus positive, saying she was only dealing with kidney stones and nothing else.  The ride out on Highway 2 was very pretty and enjoyable save for some heavy eastbound traffic near Sultan.  Being in Sultan brought back many memories, as I once lived there for a few months back in 1973 with my cat Sniffer, having then only recently turned 19 years old, and was at that point attempting to understand just what the hell I was doing.  The house was maybe a hundred feet from the railroad tracks, and I always appreciated that Sniffer was wiser than me, staying clear of those many rumbling trains passing by.   Only a young fool would move next to an active railroad.  That Sniffer and I could sleep through all that clatter was a gift of nature, thank goodness we were able to ignore the penetrating roar. 

Progressive Says I am not Culpable

This morning I got an email from a Progressive Insurance senior supervisor informing me that I hold zero responsibility for the recent accident I have been dealing with over the past few weeks.  It was a very friendly letter and I responded in kind, only interested in my declared innocence and vindication and little else.  But since the issue of damage was brought up, I will be getting an auto body repair estimate on the wound inflicted upon 1092.  That Crown Victoria is one tough car, lots of steel making it more impervious to damage than other cars.  

My personal car, my wonderful 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, would have been demolished in a similar collision but "Taco" does contain 10 airbags, hopefully pillowing the passengers from serious injury.  Thank you Progressive, for your conclusion, and if there is a next time, I will not delay in writing up an accident report and creating an accident diagram, being busy no excuse for not doing what is obviously necessary. 

Sad News Concerning my Sister JoAnn

I am very glad I was able to visit my sister over that recent six-day span as JoAnn passed away yesterday afternoon at 12:12 PM in Bakersfield, two Stage-Four tumors taking her away less than two months after her initial diagnosis.  She was 76, and born in 1945, the second of four children.  JoAnn was responsible for my first car driving experience, when in 1967, when I was age 12, she insisted I get behind the wheel of her beautiful 1955 Ford and drive down the road.  Scared, I made it a total of one block before putting the car in park and leaping out of the driver's seat.  Later that year, "dear old Dad" made me learn how to drive, this time in our 1952 Dodge Cornet.  RIP JoAnn! and thank you for taking me to the movies in Denver  1962-64 and buying me all those one dollar Woolworth's pizza slices. Who ever knew Elvis Presley was a boxer?  Or that Vincent Price would introduce me to Edgar Allen Poe?

Some Local Seattle TV Station Needs to Take Live Footage of the Ongoing Madness

I couldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself, last week seeing this prostitute wearing nothing covering her buttock, turning to the ongoing traffic and "shake, shake, shaking" her butt for all the world to ogle, a kind of "live-in-your face" advertisement for what you too can enjoy if only you would hire her for your personal pleasure.  Not that her buttock was in any way worth viewing but there it was in living color, whether wanting to see it or not.  

The situation on Aurora Ave North is getting fairly wild, with new hookers taking over for previous sex workers, new troops for the sexual trenches.  Does this make any sense?  Where are the Seattle Police?  Where are the King County Sheriffs?  This is nuts!  Shall we start calling Seattle the "New Amsterdam," and even there, in ribald Holland, these kinds of antics aren't happening.  Will it ever stop?

Passenger Expectations 

The passenger complained when I showed up a mere nine minutes late for her scheduled time call taking her to Sea-Tac International Airport and her flight aboard British Airways winging her to France.  As I told her, nine minutes late ain't nothing these days but here is the problem.  Customers are calling Seattle Yellow Cab all hours of the day and night with the old expectation that we are a fully operational twenty-four company, and when they find out the opposite, they complain.  Why do I have to be the one to tell them that we have been crippled, handicapped by a series of events over the past 7-8 years that were and are completely out of our control?  Did this particular passenger understand my explanation?  Maybe because she gave me a nearly $10.00. tip.  I liked that.

Bakersfield in Rhyme 

Merle Haggard and Buck Owens waving hello from the grave, while static filled AM fundamentalist Christian radio warns don't become Satan's slave,

be instead be a Cowboy road racer flying down Bakersfield's 151 square miles of streets and roads, like a mad hatter, like a Wild Mister Toad,

disregarding the reality of red lights and what makes sense to the common everyday woman and man, shouting I don't give a rats ass because I am a free Trump-loving denizen in our great American land,

shooting my guns bang! bang! bang! all objections be hanged and strung from the Great Oil Derrick floating high in the western sky, taking all the Colorado River's water to irrigate my carrots, grapes and 

lemons too, because out of the desert we have created a city bright and expansive and completely new, another kind of thinking, a combination of Mexican tequila and Budweiser beer fueling our unique human 

zoo, and we don't care what you say, we will drink unleaded gasoline straight and do what we gonna do, minus any Liberal crying, so please go soak your heads you damn assholes, straight into the nearest loo.  



Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Very Quickly, Greetings From San Francisco International Airport: What Is Normal?

Sitting here at the airport, and the race is on, can I get this posting done, edited and published before boarding at 9:05 AM, and what if anything do I have to say about taxi that will impart new knowledge upon the taxi hemisphere?  Nothing, I have nothing to say other than the new PSD policy having everyone paying monthly for their AT&T tablet services is a pain, my taxi colleague Rick reporting his tablet, the ability to get calls, went blank at 12:30 this morning.  Not nice, no, not at all.  Always something going wrong or astray in the wild, wild, wild world that is taxi driving.  Something good was a GEICO Insurance radio commercial touting the routing skills of cabbies, which I will repeat here once I can find the radio ad script or audio online.  It was astoundingly accurate which is rare when anyone other than a cabbie talks or writes about taxicab as it is and as I know too well. 

My time in Bakersfield and Tehachapi was at times confounding, bewildering and exhausting, dealing with situations unfamiliar and perplexing while attempting to get the cooperation of the various people involved with my sister's care and wellbeing.  It also didn't help that my sister has not been taking care of commonplace business for years, for instance not removing her husband's name on bank accounts, etc, even though John died in April 2009.  And adding to all this was my sister's off and on incoherence, simple decision making becoming something more than difficult but impossible, putting my poor brain in a spin.

But a huge positive, from a dining perspective at least, was the discovery of a very good Chinese restaurant, the Great Castle, located at 410 Union Avenue, Bakersfield, telephone number 661-325-3311, surprising me with some of the best Chinese Mandarin cuisine I've had in years.  As I find in my various travels, you never know, and if passing through Bakersfield, I highly recommend you find the joint and eat to your Chinese food heart's content.  And they seemed to like me too, one of the older waiters patting me on the back as I left yesterday evening's meal.  Why?  Maybe tipping but it seems I was the rare customer ordering "real" Chinese food.  Yeah, I've eaten Chinese 'round the world, and if I ever have the leisure time and opportunity, it would be fun writing a book concerning all my many thousands of Chinese meals here, there and China, Hong Kong and Saigon everywhere.  I still remember the canned Chinese food my mother would sometimes serve in our mobile home, La Choy and Chun King brands serving up overcooked and bland ersatz Chinese  Awful, truly awful American pretend Chinese food.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Greetings From Bakersfield, California, Population: 379,000---Home To The Most Craziest Drivers In All The USA & Progressive Insurance: What Are They Doing?

Bakersfield, CA, Home to Organic Carrots and Nutty Drivers

I'm in Merle Haggard's home town assisting with a family crisis, as my second oldest sister, JoAnn, now finds herself in palliative care due to a recent cancer diagnosis.  I arrived late last night and visited her this past afternoon.  Tomorrow I drive up to her house in Tehachapi, located up a desert mountain, meeting with a real estate agent, and Katherine, someone from JoAnn's local Catholic Church who has been helping my sister over the past month.  It is heartening to see community involvement joining in when a neighbor requires a helping hand.  Tehachapi is a small town, perhaps that explaining the kindness and care exhibited.   

But one Bakersfield community feature that isn't so nice is the deranged driving style embraced by nearly everyone, a standard 50 MPH speed limit upon ordinary streets encouraging true foolishness, folks more or less "drag racing" from light to light.  I've witnessed some dumbbell driving in our USA, especially in Los Angeles and Michigan but these automotive clowns might be the worst, Bakersfield's streets a nonsensical circus.  I now gun my VW Jetta rent-a-car off the line when the signal turns green just to avoid being crashed into.  The drivers here are truly vicious, out for blood.

I did notice three Bakersfield cabbies sitting at the airport as I drove away.  If I had noticed them earlier, I would have stopped by and chatted, curious what it must be like driving cab here, and now that I know, how the driving conditions are.  Ya gotta be fast to survive around here!

And know when you buy those "Bunny Luv" organic carrots at your local natural food grocery or organic produce section, know they were grown here in Bakersfield kissed by the desert sun and kept moist by water flowing in irrigation canals.  Where nothing should grow, everything does.  Ask Bugs Bunny.  He'll tell ya all about the California vegetable miracle story, almond trees drinking up all that precious water.

Boy, was I surprised!

Waking up yesterday morning, I got a call from my Progressive claims adjustor telling me I was being held liable for the accident I described last week, when the driver wanted me to die.  I was dumbfounded because it defies the known laws of physics, that when I was barely moving and the woman comes flying up beside at me at an angle, on the wrong side of the road, and hits me.  "No, no no!" I howled, this is not going to be!  

In one sense, I have only myself to blame because it took me two weeks, meaning this morning I finally filled out my online Yellow/PSD accident report.  And speaking of howling, I hounded my Key Insurance agents, fully expressing my displeasure with how this was being handled by Progressive.  To call me angry and disturbed by my own insurance company essentially telling me I was lying, that I am a liar,  that I made up this story, was, and remains beyond belief.  Someone at Progressive must have gotten my message because, later today, I received a email requesting that I fill out a diagram of the incident.  Now that's it more like it, and how it should be done. 

Anyone who knows me knows I'm an honest fellow, and if I had caused the accident, I would have fully admitted it.  It is that simple.  And when filling out the report, I only then noticed that the other driver's insurance info was expired.  Was she driving without insurance?  I wonder.   

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Aftermath Of An Accident: "I Hope You Are T-Boned And Die! I Want You To Die!" & Who Are Serving Hopelink Customers After 6:00 PM? Anyone? No One? & Poem

Hit on South Atlantic Street

It is a small expectation, one would think, when turning left upon a familiar street, a turn done thousands of times, that proceeding forward unhindered would be the commonplace result but no, this time it had to be different, my simple wish for unimpeded motion suddenly quashed by the completely unexpected appearance of a frenzied driver flying through the intersection eastbound in the westbound lane, rudely bumping poor 1092's nose, bruising his left side just above the wheel well, the crazy lady scratching her car's right passenger side from one end to the other.  Why she did this, you would have to ask her but one thing I do know for sure is what she, after exchanging information, said, that is shouted at me, shaking like the proverbial leaf, and I quote, "I hope you are T-boned and die!  I want you to die!"  And that isn't very nice, is it?  Obviously not.  Oh, ain't modern life grand, everyone having such a good time in Seattle-land. 

After hours Hopelink? Good luck!

Now with Farwest Taxi's curtailed evening hours and Hopelink not wanting to deal with our overseas dispatch, how will Hopelink's evening and early morning clients ever get home?  A surprised University Hospital nurse was startled when I told her I wasn't her patient's cab.  Did the mother and infant ever get home this past Saturday night.  Don't know but I do care.


Title: "Again, Poetry"

Placing words upon the poetic page

a hopeful anagram----collecting, combining

letters and words into a literary endeavor expressing

what? the issue and problem,

merely made more difficult when not requesting 

slippered feet scampering down couplet avenues

to stanza heaven, or is it Hades---words, elusive words

bedeviling the unamused practitioner,

Marianne Moore's toad sticking out its tongue,

laughing at you.


Please note:  This is not my intended structure but the damn computer won't let me do anything else, goddamnit!  For reference, see and read Moore's poem "Poetry."  And maybe the toad will become a frog sitting upon a log, loudly croaking, croaking through the fog shrouded pond. 

And "slippered feet" would be traditional meter used to dance and prance down the metric line, ever so fine! for the Victorian English mind!