Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Is Any President This Important?---Traffic And Sea-Tac Chaos Amidst Biden's NW Visit & Mister Hubbly Bubbly's Shrewd Observations & Update On Stacy Anderson: RIP---06/03/1955-04/23/2022

 Why Didn't Joe Biden Just Grab a Cab?

President Biden flew to Seattle last Thursday to celebrate Earth Day, and the resulting traffic chaos Thursday, and flight disruptions Friday, were truly memorable but very questionable, asking if any of it really necessary---heavy-handed security precautions seriously disrupting the life of thousands who simply wanted to get home by car and airplane.  Air Force One landed at Sea-Tac, which is about 13 miles south of downtown Seattle, an appearance rousing local police, it seems, to do everything feasibly possible to protect Biden.  But what were the current threats to Biden's life justifying an hours' long closure of southbound I-5 from the University District southward, essentially cutting the city in half, all southbound arterials clogged, stranded at the Ship Canal proceeding forward, or not, the canal transformed into a kind of protective moat minus a Medieval castle.  If there was good reason for this, the public should be told, assuaging our irritated, agitated brow. 

But Friday's flight disruptions should be categorized as far worse, the mere location of Air Force One on Sea-Tac's tarmac causing countless flight delays and cancellations.  I know this as I was one of many cabs belled into the Sea-Tac Doubletree Inn to take aggrieved dumped airline passengers to the Bellevue Hilton, the Doubletree sending customers to any area hotel rooms made available.  

While this madness was a boon for the hotels, why stop all incoming flights due to one parked US Presidential airplane?   Seems nonsensical to me but what do I know, perhaps Putin's evil agents were out and about looking to harm Biden, avenging his support for the Ukraine.  While all of America wants their President to remain safe, does life have to be turned upside down, causing unnecessary resentment and voter anguish?   If this kind of nonsense is repeated every time Biden and other presidents leave Washington D.C., then please, I request they instead stay home and conduct their business safely from there.   

Does anyone need yet another traffic jam or flight delay?  I don't think so, and I bet Biden, if asked, would completely agree with that commonsense sentiment, clearing the infrastructure from what is the presidential mind, or is it, theoretical brain.  

Another Awake Cabbie

A Yellow cabbie, calling himself Hubbly Bubbly, has posted wise comments displaying an awareness that I wish was shared by more of our taxi brethren, making valid points about how the City and County are not releasing returned or moribund medallions to the taxi public, thus alleviating our shortage of working cabs.  He also noted how the Cebu dispatch callcenter neglects non-served bells, leaving them sitting on the BID/Prospect screen for hours.  He also pointed out the many cabbies sitting at Sea-Tac waiting for their imaginary Golden Goose to lay a one-hundred dollar egg, while dumbbell Uber and Lyft customers walk by them, paying more for less.  Good work, Mister Hubbly Bubbly, keep thinking, keep grousing, keep writing.  

Update: Stacy Anderson Succumbed to Cancer Saturday Afternoon April 23, 2022 

Stacy died mid-afternoon in his sleep.  At the point of his physical departure, Stacy was experiencing severe pain due to a cancer metastasized throughout his body, penetrating his back and spinal cord.  A memorial will be announced soon.  Donations are needed to cover funeral and other expenses.


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Not Enough Working Cabs In Seattle/King County & Real Gasoline Prices in Washington, Oregon And California & One Month MV (Metro Access) Extension & Go Fund Me Account For Stacy Anderson

No One at the City of Seattle, King County and the Port of Seattle Seems to Care

It is past stupid, past commonsense, it all becoming completely farcical, this lack of cabs in Seattle and King County.  After arriving back from my car trip I was instantly inundated with more fares than I or Yellow Cab could deal with.  My first day back, on a Wednesday, along with a varied assortment of fares, I had two Sea-Tac runs along with an account fare to Olympia, Washington.  It was crazy busy.  

Friday night I went to Parkland, Washington, home of Pacific Lutheran University SE of Tacoma. Passengers were waiting one hour, two hours and more all over the city and county.  I keep writing to the regulators at Seattle and King County, pleading for intervention but nothing, I get nothing in response from those in theory providing oversight for our local taxi industry.  

And with the onset of the baseball and Alaska cruise ship seasons, along with the return of the Victoria Clipper, the demand for cabs will be hitting the taxi roof.  Three out of the five days I worked, I stayed out deep into the night.  I could have stayed out until the morning light and made even more than I did, but I'm getting too old for this nonsense, I really am.  I can't save the Seattle taxi world all by myself.  Two days off and I remain exhausted.  You call this fun?  Well, fun it isn't, no, not at all.

And making it far worse is that the regulators are allowing cabs to drive minus association affiliation.  Yes, you read me correctly, drivers are not paying association fees but are still permitted to to take passengers even though there exists no official accountability if something truly bad occurs like a serious accident or a driver assaults a customer.  The City and County and Port are letting any driver who wants to to become a kind of taxi free agent, unaffiliated and unconstrained and free to operate in any manner they wish to or not.  

What we are seeing locally is a season of anarchy where almost literally anything is okay while the Neros at the City and County and Port watch it all burn, the flames reaching higher and higher, smoke engulfing the taxi sky.  It isn't poetic; instead they are overseeing an avoidable tragedy of their own construction.  Will this column get their attention?  I can guarantee right now that it won't.  Why care or do anything when they themselves will not be held responsible for the situation, instead collecting their paychecks on the way to a pension-funded life in retirement.  This is not cynicism.  This is the operational reality.  And it won't be changing anytime soon. 

Gasoline Prices I Encountered During my 10-day Drive

With everyone screaming about the cost of gasoline, I found a vast range of prices throughout Washington, Oregon and northern California.  Gassing up twice in Washington, I paid $4.03.9 leaving and $4.08.9 coming back.  

In Oregon the prices ranged from $4.15.9 to 4.75.9 depending from where I was, central Oregon along I-5 the cheapest.  I filled up twice at $4.29.9 per gallon.   

California was higher, finding myself paying $5.69.9 per gallon but I did find a station on the east side of Redding on StateHighway 299 that was $5.00.9.  Not cheap but certainly better than any other station I saw along 299.  My 2012 Chevy Sonic is now getting about 40 miles per gallon, down from the amazing 50 MPG I got for years but "Taco" is getting a little tired so no complaints one way or the other.

Yellow/MV Truce

Just as I thought, Puget Sound Dispatch and MV are working through their differences, and it looks like Yellow will remain the prime Metro Access provider.  PSD agreed to keep servicing April while negotiations continue.  The sticking point, MV fines, will be capped to a certain point and nothing beyond.  Sounds like compromise in action, which is a good route to take for everyone. MV does offer some very good fares, so all this is very positive for both the cabbies and MV passengers.  May peace progress though the year, commonsense wining the taxi day.

Gofundme Site For Stacy Anderson 

Stacy Anderson, a long time cabbie, cab owner and Seattle Yellow Cab dispatcher is now in hospice from a rapidly spreading cancer.  I am requesting donations to give Stacy the proper sendoff into the eternal that he deserves.  I have always personally thought of Stacy as "King of the Cabs" due to his comprehensive knowledge of Seattle and Portland streets.  There is no one else like Stacy, his font of knowledge disappearing with him.  Chris Van Dyk and I both agree that a toplight shaped headstone would be a great memorial for Stacy, taxi royalty if there was one, warranting a twenty-one taxi horn salute.  

Stacy's story is typical of taxi and its disputed legacy.  You can be one of the America's greatest cab driver yet remain utterly unknown, Stacy's skillset worthy of a New York Times obituary but he isn't gonna get one.  That is why it is important to donate for Stacy's funeral and whatever else we can afford.  In Stacy's passing we can celebrate a cabbie's life well lived, a final salute, as I said, a last honking of taxi horns.  Beep! Beep! move it, will ya, Stacy is coming up Heaven's way!  


Sunday, April 10, 2022

Greetings From Arcata And Other Points West And East: Uber, Lyft, DoorDash Cry Babies Lament Gas Prices & HB 2076 Signed & Would You Pay? & No Farwest Merger & MV Dispute Resolved? & Rockin' To Deep Purple & Rick Has Retired

 Sitting in "She-Who-Can't-Be-Named's-Kitchen

After a bit of a hiatus, I am back at the blog typewriter, in Arcata in my final few days of yet another escape from taxi, this time exploring the NE corner of California and also the Northwest corner of Nevada that comprises 900 square miles of what is Shelton National Pronghorn Antelope Wildlife Refuge.  

Just east of Cedarville, CA, there sits in the middle of a high desert valley, Surprise Valley Hot Springs, where we soaked for two days in the some of the strongest mineral water I have experienced.  From there we drove east upon gravel roads into desert desolation, incredibly austere and beautiful high country, 7000 feel elevation, lots of early Spring rain green-tinted sagebrush but alas, no pronghorn our two days there.  

Our one night at Virgin Valley Warm Springs, a place I have twice visited perviously, was marred by too many RV campers, an invasion this fragile area doesn't take to, the desert best enjoyed in relative isolation serenaded by singing meadowlark and coyote.  

Driving back to Arcata, we found a wonderful spot high up in the Modoc National Forest, a mountain stream winding through a snowfield, spring watercress brightening the flow.  And the north fork of the Trinity River also welcomed us as we sat in a patch of purple blossoms, enjoying the sunshine and water.  And is it any wonder why I leave taxi as much as I do?  There should be no question why.

Whining Ubers 

With the onset of higher gasoline, national and local media has focused upon the sad lament of TNC operators crying "Foul!" as if they are insulated, or should be, by cultural economic fluctuations affecting all of us, not only here but in Africa and elsewhere, these crybabies once again demanding their buttocks be powdered.  Why these Uber, Lyft, etc drivers feel they deserve special treatment is something I will never understand, or perhaps I do, these guys and gals incapable of comprehending what service world they have inserted themselves into.  They act like they don't know where they are, and that I do believe is their daily reality.  Bring out the diapers!

HB 2076 Now the Law of the Washington State Land

And speaking of coddling, the good WA ST governor waited until the last day of March to gift the ride-share operators a wonderful present that wasn't any First  of April fooling, handing the wailing Uber and Lyft masses protections they certainly neither warrant nor deserve.  Teamsters 117, screw you, is all I can say, as you screwed all those trusting cabbies who sought your protection.  Not NICE Teamsters 117, covering all us cabbies, with LICE!  

Tree Trunk Thighs 

There she was in the backseat, big and fat and no underpants beneath her miniskirt, her vagina open and ready for her next "John."  Who would pay for the displeasure?  May God Help Us ALL! is my sole comment.

Merger is Dead

As far as I know, the once close-to-be merger between Farwest Taxi and Seattle Yellow is dead-in-the-water.  Why?  Someone new bought Farwest dispatch and nixed the deal.  If someone knows differently, do tell.

What is Happening with MV/Metro Access Account?

I thought Puget Sound Dispatch had given MV notice of departure but into early April they were still screaming for drivers to serve the MV fares.  Was the disagreement repaired?  Thanks for not telling us. 

Early Deep Purple

A comment from a reader mentioned he was listening to the rock band Deep Purple, which brought up memories of the only Deep Purple album I have owned, the 1968 issued "Book of Taliesyn."  It has some great covers, "River Deep, Mountain High" and "Kentucky Woman."  Great stuff and now I will get the CD version, pretending to be age 15 all over again.  A few months later I was hitchhiking in BC and dropping LSD.  Hurray for 1969!

Rick Nelson Retired After 40 Taxi Years

A reader noted that my taxi buddy Rick Nelson was no longer seen at King Street Station and it's true, Rick, the former owner of Red Top Taxi, is now officially retired from the taxi world, and why he held on so long remains a mystery to me.  After merging with BYG, the money rolled in.  Regardless, Rick finally had enough of these taxi "fun & games" which, as we all know too well, ain't always that much fun. 

Sad Note: Stacy Anderson in Hospice Care

Cancer has taken over and Stacy's time is nearing an end.  As many know, Stacy Anderson was a longtime Yellow dispatcher along with cab owner and driver here in Seattle and Portland, Oregon.  I will be setting up a Go Fund Me account for him soon.  Please donate as much as you can, even $5.00 helpful.

Haiku: Up Near Lilly Lake, Modoc National Forest

A mountain meadow---

tree frogs crazy loud, annoyed:

please go away, now!