Saturday, January 14, 2023

Greetings From Surprise Valley Hot Springs (Cedarville, California): The Financial Mystery That Is Puget Sound Dispatch (Seattle Yellow Cab)

Soaking Our Heads

This week being "she-who-can't be named's" birthday week, we have been enjoying the hot water that is Surprise Valley Hot Springs, a wonderful "middle-of-nowhere" locale in the far northeast corner of the state of California near the Nevada border, accurately known as Modoc County.  For little more than than the inflated price of your average awful roadside motel, you can have your own 24 hour mineral springs supplied hot tub, taking it easy while enjoying a Big Dipper star-filled night sky.  Listen to the coyotes howl.  And when taking a break from the stuporific waters, there are nearby hiking trails, and further south, the South Warner (Mountains) Wilderness to explore.  

How to get there?  Shoot down southbound I-5, and at Redding, California, turn off onto to State Highway 299 heading northeast until you are five miles east of Cedarville, which means you are there.  It is very easy to find.  Route 395 out of Oregon is another  good way to get there.  If you do, check out the John Day Country--- dinosaur fossils and pastel colored hills reminding of Death Valley, another place one needs to visit before exiting this earth.  But watch out for the Panamint Valley rattler, crotalus stephensi, and having met one such example in 1974, I know.

                                                                    January snow

                                                                    tinting the Warner Mountains 

                                                                    white over the blue. 

We experienced all kinds of moody winter weather including snow coating the surrounding mountains.  Beautiful upon a winter's day.  And Happy Martin Luther King Junior Day!

Since the Yellow Cab single owner/operators are Financing Puget Sound Dispatch, shouldn't we have a say in Day-to-Day Operations?

I have made this point before but it continues to be utterly true.  Without our weekly dispatch fee of a now too high $195.00, PSD would not exist.  It is that simple.  Something beyond all deniability.   Given that sober reality, why does PSD continue to act like it has no real accountability to the single owners keeping the company extant as a taxi association and dispatch company?  

Once the BYG Co-op folded, ending its lease-driving operations, everything changed though it's obvious that PSD doesn't understand that, continuing to act like they own the pursestrings when they don't.   The thousand or more lease-drivers that once funded the Co-op are gone, with an entirely different business model taking its place.  The sad reality is that we single owners are treated more like employees than the independent business operators we are.  And until they recognize that, conflicts will continue, eventually leading to a revolt and the disappearance of Puget Sound Dispatch altogether.  

It should be more than obvious that what all we owners need and want is a dispatch company providing professional dispatching, something we can own and operate ourselves if we choose.  The resource to do this is the money we are now giving weekly to PSD.   As far as I know, current PSD board members have once again begun taking our weekly dispatch fees and putting whatever sizable percentage directly into their own pockets instead of reinvesting it back in the company itself, perpetuating ever ongoing staff shortages and inadequate dispatching that continue to daily plague us.  

With the advent of a new year, how can anyone call this acceptable?   I for one don't which is why I am requesting a new dialogue between the single owners and PSD.  If PSD is going to continue in its current form, it must be with our input and knowledge of how PSD operates, what its staffing and financial goals and priorities are minus all obfuscation.  We require transparency, yes, like a clear blue high desert winter sky in northeastern California.  Let the taxi deer and antelope roam!

On a walk before driving taxi on Christmas Day 2022

What makes this a taxi poem is that I was taking a walk along an urban trail before setting out in the cab, unfortunately noticing a man lying on top of a pile of debris obviously dying from a drug induced overdose.  I called 911.  It was raining and having no protection from the elements, his body soaked by the falling moisture.  What a Christmas present to the world it wasn't, unwrapped, bare to the eye.

Poem:  "Jesus Christ On A Christmas Morning"

A new Christ Child upon a Christmas dawn

arms outstretched lay dying for whose sins

he of course never knew, 

prematurely crucified even before Bethlehem ox  

and ewe and ass could kneel and in sweet tribute 

sing out his birth in celestial chorus;

instead deceased, the searching Three Kings

stumbling over a stiffening cadaver, spilling their

frankincense and myrrh, this Child never again

rising up on April Spring Sunday mornings, no

Easter chocolates sweeting the tongue 

of someone lost to God's memory,

forever forgotten in the anointing rain, his

mouth agape, never 

to smile.  


Check out the Thomas Hardy poem "The Oxen"

PS 01/16/23

The Seattle Times reported today that in 2022 310 homeless died on the streets.  I am guessing that my "new Christ Child" was one of them.

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