do you ever get the feeling youre being swindled?

dennis-hopper-easy-rideruber is an interesting company. recently they were valuated at like a gazillion dollars.

all on the backs of normal people like you and me who drive around in their own cars dealing with traffic and people puking so they can make $20 an hour.

here in LA uber jacked up their cut of the ride by a bunch while lowering the prices for the passengers.

all of this hurt drivers.

now they are introducing this thing where the drivers have to rent the iphones from uber for $10 a month.

is there no end to the nickel and diming?

sometimes i feel like uber hates success.

we’ve seen this happen before, of course. we saw friendster own the market for a little while only to get leapfrogged by myspace, and then facebook. now facebook is doing everything they can to shoot themselves in the foot and piss off not just their users but the companies who try to connect with their audience.

digg did the same thing. they were on top of the world so they decided to change the most important part. they tried to ruin the Digg Effect – and they succeeded. thus ruining Digg. now Reddit is the big cheese.

uber has amazing lawyers that help them get into cities over the whines of the cab companies. thats impressive. they have deep pockets and will pay for drivers who have their cars impounded. thats also impressive.

but whats not impressive is the way they show so much disdain for the face of the company, for the real product: the normal people driving in their own cars.

if lyft was smart theyd just keep improving their game, they wouldnt panic, and theyd just wait for the moment to leapfrog. because all signs are pointing to uber doing one more dumb thing and then it’s over.

which makes me sad, because as you know, i love uber.

i learn a lot at my real job like this today:

marlene dietrichturns out marlene dietrich was a violin player before she was an actress

she also played the piano and sang,

thus when you see her in the Blue Angel thats really her.

she said she wore “mannish” clothes because women in Europe did in the daytime.

she said she loved bloggers and blogging and flying high above LA.

she said she didn’t like to talk unless she had something to say.

back in the day gossip columnists were way more powerful than they are today. so much so that the stars would go on their radio shows so they could tell their stories without the filter of the MSM.

one day she was on the radio with Louella Parsons, a popular gossip columnist talking about being relatively new to Hollywood. this is how she ended her interview.

Parsons: Do you find it easy to combine the duties of motherhood with those of being a successful actress?

Dietrich: Yes, I do, because my daughter is the greatest incentive I could possibly have. I have never been so happy in my life as since I’ve had her.

Parsons: Do you think little Maria will be an actress or a musician?

Dietrich: I hope that she will have enough talent to become an actress because I think it is the most beautiful and interesting career a woman can have. And now, Miss Parsons, I would like to say goodnight. You see, I promised to tell my little daughter a story before she goes to bed and it’s getting late.

marlene dietrich lived to be 90 years old and worked much of that time, she said to make money.

i hope when im old im doing it for the same reason im doing it now: because i love it and i love being around smart people who are nice.

the picture on the right is marlene supporting the troops back in the day.

i heard a lot of noise in my otherwise quiet courtyard

theres a cat in my seat

it was a neighbor who a few months ago i heard yelling at another neighbor about a terrible sound we all heard.

that particular night we heard a blood curdling sound of one animal attacking another.

we all assumed it was a raccoon eating one of the stray cats alive!


a few months before that she was yelling at a different neighbor about the automatic lighting thatd just been installed

and the cement walkway that had been placed over the quaint stepping stones.


so yesterday when i saw her helping the movers move her i was both surprised and not surprised.

surprised because it took her a while and i think we all got used to the changes

including the fact that the cats were no longer lounging in the courtyard– because Blanket is a terror.

Wrigley has resigned himself to the alley and the three fluffy cats as well. they hang out by my back door now.

the scared cat is beneath the house still but he only comes out when he hears my front door open and meows when he doesnt see any food.

pretty sure im their pet now instead of vice versa.

so this morning when i walked to my car i ran into the neighbor who said, yep im moving. i said oh.

she said, its really nice what youre doing for the cats.

which surprised me because i thought she didnt want me helping them.

still, all i did was smile.

like the xbi taught us to do.