April 12th, 2013


Today's awesome walk, 8.13 miles in 2:26

I had a cool walk planned out which I couldn't due because there were no
available cars around. The bus for this one is out of the question because
it takes an hour or more to even get there, and it's a ten-minute drive.
Not gonna do that. Since I couldn't do that one, I decided to do a
difficult out-and-back type route.

Marsh Island was a little too marshy today, and one of the bridges is
sinking into the water. There are normally big plastic barrels under it to
stop that from happening, but it looks like they floated away.

steve blue steel


publiccomment.jpg by christopher575
publiccomment.jpg, a photo by christopher575 on Flickr.

Here's the statement I went there to make. Had to cut a lot out due to the 2-minute time limit, but I emailed it to a council member after:

Uber is a service that I am grateful to have in my arsenal of transportation choices. I share a car with my husband, but am only in it about once or twice a month. Mostly I commute by bus, walk, use a car2go if it's convenient, and splurge for Uber for airport trips and getting home after a night out on the town. Or when I miss a bus and need their help getting somewhere on time.

I'd like to share some of my experiences with taxis in Seattle.

A cab driver brought me home, but refused to take my credit card, even though he had a card reader. I didn't have the cash for his fare, so he drove me half a mile to an ATM with the meter still running so I could get cash.

A cab driver launched into a homophobic tirade, blaming us for bringing out the conservative vote in 2004 and handing the election to George W. Bush.

I saw cab driver turn left from Denny onto Stewart from the right hand lane in order to bypass the cars waiting to get onto the Yale entrance of I-5, nearly mowing down two pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A friend and I were nearly hit by a cab in a crosswalk on Pike street, and the driver got out to yell at us for being there. I pointed at the crosswalk and he explained, shouting, "Yellow Cab makes me!"

A dispatcher couldn't send a car for me using the intersection where I was, so I had to approach the front porch at someone's house late at night so I could get an address for them to use.

I'll spare you individual descriptions of all the times I've been unable to get through on taxi phone lines and the cabs that simply never arrived.

In spite of all of this, I don't pit taxis and Uber against each other or think either one of them should try to drive the other out of business using regulation. Uber is a premium service that I'm willing to pay a little more for. And a lot of people I know won't! I prefer the accountability that comes seeing what cars are available, having a specific driver assigned to me who I can call, and having my credit card on file so I'm in no danger of losing my money. Being able to choose my pickup location on a map is ideal.

I also really appreciate their dedication to a comfortable, safe ride, backed up by their amazing customer service and appreciation. If you email or even tweet them, they will answer right away, and if there are any issues, they will always make them right.

And the only issue I've ever really had with Uber was having to give the driver directions more often than I care to.

If Uber is doing anything, it's showing how taxi service can be improved, not put out of business.

Thank you for your time.
steve blue steel


I have mixed feelings about posting about weight loss. I don't measure my accomplishments using a scale, and think it's more important to make permanent life changes in order to achieve permanent results. Usually people kill themselves until they meet a goal, then stop doing what they were doing because they were miserable. What I decided to do instead was just start walking and see what happened.

Since I want people to see how beneficial it's been, I'll share in spite of myself. I'm down 31 pounds in 13 months, and the only change is the walking. I eat and drink whatever I want, and when I started to plateau a bit, I just started doing harder walks; up more hills and steps instead of just going further.

I didn't really feel like sharing the details, but I definitely want people to know that walking is pretty awesome. I can always tell a lot of people don't take it very seriously as a form of exercise, but it suits me just fine.