busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, February 20, 2017

    got this rich guy in DTLA 

    he needed to get to a body shop on La Cienega

    it was an Uber Select ride, so i was stoked

    when i put the address into Waze it told me to take the 101

    but i thought, and i told him, shouldn’t we be taking the 10?

    he said, if Waze says the 101 lets do it.

    i thought maybe because of the rain and the sink holes and craziness maybe Waze knew something i didnt know.

    are you ok, i asked, when he told me about the body shop?

    he said, “funny story, my brother is in from out of town and he was gonna rent a car for a few days, i said take my Porsche, it’s a classic but i never use it.

    “so he takes it and as he is about two blocks home he looks over and sees this stunning woman walking down the street and rear ends the car in front of him.”

    i said, i did the same thing when i first moved here from Chicago. the women here are something to get accustomed to. he was all, no kidding.

    we get to where Waze tells us and the guy goes, no, this isn’t it. im like, it’s not? he goes, no its closer to Olympic (we were about 5 miles from Olympic.) i say, my man, I’ll take you wherever you want.

    so we keep going and we’re looking at the sky and its beautiful and he says, when i moved here 20 years ago the air was so terrible. regulations really can make a difference: smog checks, emission standards, fancy gas.

    i said you really dont hear smog jokes about LA any more.

    he was all, no you do not.

    and then we were there.

    $40 on the nose.

  2. Friday, February 17, 2017

    just because youre nice doesnt mean yr not the boss 

    she was all, i want you to do this thing

    i said you should probably change that verb

    to what?

    how about to one where you are begging.

    you mean, tony i beg of you to do this thing?

    i said thats a start in the right direction.

    she said, please tony, im begging?

    i said, keep practicing in that ball park.

    the sad thing about the world is there are very few leaders.

    there are repeaters, and they dont even do that very well

    there are followers, many of whom stray.

    and there are doe eyed believers.

    but leaders, especially those who know where to go and how to get there

    are few and diminishing.

    for some reason she wants to tell me what to do in my house and in my bed

    room.

    gigantic mistake.

    and proof she has been lusting the wrong white boys.

    brothers dont play that game.

    other day i was driving through a bad part of town. but crazy me, i forgot i was driving a benz.

    young dude, looked to be have hispanic half black, skinny, hungry, wild eyed

    he was sitting at the bus stop then he jumped up when he saw me not flinch when our eyes met

    the light was red and he approached my rolled up window. he tapped.

    i rolled it down a smidge.

    “whats your name” he asked and yanked the door handle

    knife glistening in his sweaty waistband.

    Death i said. meant it, and drove away.

  3. Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    last night a sweet lady on rodeo drive lost her phone in my car 

    it’s a pain when this happens because it screws up your flow

    if youre doing things right all of your mojo is about pick up drop off pick up drop off, keep it moving.

    as long as the wheels are turning and somones in the car with you youre making that money

    and i dont know about you but ive got a little bit of credit card debt that im trying to knock all the way down to zero and last week i only made $100 off uber, which isnt my goal, fyi

    so i was rolling. one two three uber select rides in a row. it was great. until i realized #2 had left her phone in my car.

    i had remembered what restaurant i had dropped her off in beverly hills so after i picked up and dropped off the screenwriter of Arrival(!) at the Roxy, i headed west to little santa monica to the new italian joint where she was dining.

    heres my problem all of my passengers look the same to me in the back seat in the dark.

    if youre white you look like amy adams to me. if youre black you look like lupita, my queen. if youre a dude you look like robin williams in popeye.

    so there i am roaming around in this crowded nouveu restaurante and no one looks like amy adams. so i double back and go to my Waze to see if her home address got stored in there. it was, sorta, it was a range of addresses. i get there in a few minutes, park, walk up the walk, knock on the door, husband opens, he is shocked that the uber driver is arriving, dont be shocked its busblog who was raised right. was sorta expecting him to slip me a $20 but no, thats ok. i mosey back to the car because giving back to the hood is really what its all about anyways,

    then today i get a phone call. i guess she wrote uber and uber gave her my number indirectly. she and i chat she tells me the restaurante is crap. i was all did you see Ryan Seacrest there? she said yeah he was at the table next to mine. i was all omg i was right there then. oh well. she says i wanna tip you. i say ah, just pay it forward to the next driver. she says no really.

    so i say do you have Venmo. she says no. i say ah. she says but i will get it! so i text her my name on venmo (busblog) (duh) and she flowed me $40!

    people really do win on MTV!

  4. Sunday, January 29, 2017

    dear tony, did Uber do the right thing by capping Surge for today’s protests 

    tony,

    people are deleting their uber apps for a variety of reasons.

    today Uber said that they won’t have surges for people going to the airports to protest the Muslim Travel Ban. isn’t that a good thing?

    signed,
    Not Travis

    Uber is hypersensitive about Surge and manipulates it – almost always – for the wrong reasons. This is no exception. Uber introduced Surge as being an incentive to Drivers to go places they weren’t at or go to events that are a royal pain in the ass.

    Most people would say that driving to the airport on a normal day is a pain. Imagine driving there today when protesters are making things extremely slow and arduous?

    If the Surge is capped at a low rate the person losing money on the deal isn’t Uber, it is the Driver. It’s the driver’s car, the driver’s time, the driver’s gas and insurance and headache – not Uber’s. Travis is enjoying a Sunday that will get him more “Booking Fees” than an average Sunday. He doesn’t care about Surge because he only gets 20-25% of that.

    If the Surge is too low, drivers won’t leave their couch. The best way for Uber/Trump to fight these airport protests is to de-incentives Uber drivers from taking passengers to the crowded airports.

    tony, I see your point, but it still seems like an equally viable explanation (to me) was that they were trying to make it easier for people to get there. Uber’s core value (I speculate) is not to help their drivers make money l, but to service their customers (and I apologize, knowing that you’re a driver, too, but their customers SHOULD be their focus). The screwing over of the employees not withstanding, might the corporate bigwigs not have been expecting a baseline of employee responsibility from their drivers and were instead trying to help out the customer?

    It’s interesting how in this case the same action could literally be taken in exact opposite ways.

    – not travis

    I share your belief that Uber cares about the customer. So do we drivers. But again, Surge inspires drivers to get on the road. Which would a customer rather have: no uber cars available or uber cars available at the same price as cabs (which is typically what an uber at surge rates costs)?

    Let’s say right now a driver takes someone from DTLA to LAX. What would inspire him to drive back to DTLA to pick up new passengers other than a generous surge? Nothing. Thus DTLA gets depleted of Uber cars, and the passengers there don’t get served. Surge helps replenish areas with high demand and fewer cars. To manipulate it, in my mind, does a disservice to all parties.

    if you are considering deleting your uber app, sign up with Lyft and get $10 off your first trip

  5. Monday, January 16, 2017

    i wanna say thats not joey ramone 

    but that equipment looks like the real thing.

    those are like four Marshall headers

    but who’s that on guitar?

    i ask because Joey’s neck looks suspicious

    wasnt he always a twig?

    even the hair looks like a wig.

    was listening to end of the century for a while and now im on the clash sandinsta because its my least favorite class record

    three albums of experimentation if you ask me

    aint nothing wrong with trying things out

    but

    tonight i got an uber select call from a little mexican guy named juan

    we talked about tacos when i saw we werent going very far away

    i said ive been to england ive been to france but they aint got tacos. he told me i need to go to mexico city. i say so thats where the real deal is? he goes, no, you gotta go to the towns around it, especially in the south.

    im like do they have chips there and good salsa? he goes yeah. i say whats your thing right now?

    he goes i really like a good quesadea.

    he’s all, youre not spelling it right.

    i go, its not spelled queseda?

    he laughs and says, its not spelled that either.

    we were getting close to his house. huge craftsman right near pico and western. pretty much the house i wanna buy for zulekia and marry her and raise her kids at.

    dropped him off and he paused, dug into his pants

    now believe me when i tell you he looks exactly like a busboy and hes ordering mercedeses

    and tipping!

    gave me three bucks.

    and i was like muchas gracias amigo. and he was all later!

  6. Monday, January 9, 2017

    picked up a guy at usc who had a complicated knee brace 

    i was all, snowboarding?

    he said, skiing.

    i was like, kids still ski?

    he goes

    but before he could i answered for him, not well.

    LOL

    id been driving for about two hours around SC. today was their first day back from break.

    after so many days of getting very few rides i just wanted to do like 15 or 16 in a couple of hours and get the mojo going again.

    did 22.

    this guy was the last one.

    he goes, hold on got my buddy coming.

    im all, youre the invalid and you got here first?

    his friend arrives with a jovial, hey cripple.

    i slide the iphone and start the ride. Arabian Nights? whats that?

    he goes, we’re gonna buy a bong!

    LOL

    his buddy is like, all the guys on our floor chipped in and we’ve got $100.

    i go, what sort of flooring is happening in this dorm?

    he’s like hardwood.

    im all well you cant get glass.

    he’s like i cant use a plastic bong.

    i go dude one bong and an entire floor of freshmen dudes? that things gonna break.

    he goes, theres carpet in the rooms.

    and im well alright then, but maybe you should rubberize it or something. get creative.

    and his buddy murmurs, the old one did break. glass.

    i said SEE!

    freshmen.

  7. Sunday, January 8, 2017

    gonna try something new this week while driving 

    works simple. first half hour of each hour try to get a Select ride.

    if no rides appear by the second half of the hour just take any old ride.

    the goal is $20 an hour. if you can do that for 20 hours that gets you $400 a week.

    my goal last year was $250 a week which i hit but i rarely took any old ride.

    its gonna rain pretty hard tomorrow they say

    everyones probs gonna croak.

    then tuesday Casie from Canadas gonna be in town.

    but i will try this experiment, have no fear.

    somehow.

  8. Sunday, January 1, 2017

    stand out once in a while 

    the night started slow, it was cold, it had rained, but there i was driving a french dude and his rich girlfriend from brentwood to hollywood

    and they were fighting.

    every now and then he’d switch from english to french

    but i parlez frances une petite peut

    so.

    at issue was the fact that he had texted an ex gf something along the lines of “it’s too bad you have a bf or else i would…”

    the girl in the car said, “or else what? what would you do?”

    he was cornered. he answered the only way he could – by not answering

    “zo, you are checking my phone now? voila!” he fired back.

    she ignored him. “what would you do? did you tell her you had a girlfriend? how many other exes do you say these things to?”

    at some point he successfully changed it to how she didn’t seem pleased with the expensive meal he had just treated her to.

    “of course i liked it. i even gave you money because you overspent on me. it was unnecessary,” she said.

    we were getting off the freeway and exiting on a long off ramp. as i slowed down to the stop light to fairfax he rolled down his window, which was odd because it was so cold outside and nice and toasty in my ride.

    he reached into the breast pocket of his blazer and removed his wallet. then he took out $40 and threw it out the open window!

    WHAT ARE YOU DOING JEAN MARC? she said

    “i dont need your money, im not with you for your money. i only want you to be happy. you take lobster, i pay for the lobster. you take champaign, i pay. you take a nice dessert, d’accord. i have my own money. i dont need yours.”

    we still had 5 more minutes to go to get to the restaurant and i promised myself that if jean marc threw out any more money i was going to run out and collect it. i wasnt driving out in these wet streets for blog material.

    but it was nice to have some.

    for once.

  9. Saturday, December 31, 2016

    dear tony, im thinking about driving for uber and or lyft 

    omg sounds fun.

    heres a few things you should know.

    your car is gonna get dirty on the inside and outside.

    youre gonna use more gas than you expect.

    youre gonna put a bunch of miles on your car.

    repairs are going to be needed.

    not everyone is gonna be nice (but most will be).

    so the first tip i have for you, especially now that the new year is moments away: Get a small notepad, something that will fit in your glovebox. This will be by your side as you drive.

    What to write in it: every trip write down the time you got to the spot, what time you dropped them off, and how much you are supposed to get paid. (Sometimes the payouts are wrong and omg mysteriously they are never in favor of the driver.)

    Also write in it your odometer when you start driving for the day and when you have stopped. (There is software you can buy too, an app called Sherpa Share, which is good, but this is an analog log.)

    Also write in any time you do repairs, get gas, get a car wash, pay tolls or parking or buy water for the passengers or aux cords or anything for the car that you are using for ridesharing.

    Once a week take a picture of the pages for that week so you have this backed up digitally in case your notebook gets lost, stolen, burned up in a terrible fire.

    Yes this notebook is good for taxes, but it will also show  you if what youre doing is profitable. Which may be a goal of yours.

    Get SiriusXM and play either Metal or Jazz. 

    the majority of your passengers will say they don’t care when you ask them what music they wanna hear and thats exactly why this country is in the toilet.

    young people today can name a half dozen kardashians but not one ted nugent record. wtf is that?

    so basically if you’re under 60 i have the station on Ozzy’s Boneyard. if you’re older i’ll put on Real Jazz which is old school Monk, Trane, Bird…

    the ride can be and should be an education. and as with most things in life, it starts with the sweet tunes.

    best of all you can write off the subscription.

    sometimes people, particularly young people, will ask for the AUX cord.

    heres my question, if they asked for the steering wheel would you give it to them? of course not.

    never let anyone grab your aux cord because the first thing they want to do when they get it is ask you to crank it.

    trust me when i tell you, you do not want to crank their music.

    not even for the 15 minutes that the average drive consists of. of all the tips, this may be my best one.

    do not do it.

    they will pout, they will threaten your beautiful driver rating, but trust me. ignore the plea.

    instead, say: i have every channel on sirius, which one do you wanna hear.

    and then play ozzy when they say uhhhhhh.

    Babies are OK if they have a car seat.

    if they don’t have a car seat they don’t get a ride.

    if anyone complains just say, “look im on probation. i can’t go back.”

    they’ll understand

    dogs are ok if they can do a trick or if i can take a picture.

    most people who bring dogs are women. no one knows why. they usually smell a tiny bit because they’re dogs, but they magically bring joy to you and your ride and it lingers.

    have some air spray or some orange peels or something that can get that dog smell out of there once he leaves because i promise you it will smell like a dog a little no matter what their owner says.

    you will be hit on. resist.

    if one thing leads to another and your passenger wakes up with her uber driver next to her and doesnt remember how it all happened, her memory will never create a romance story. it will be a horror film. slow mo. you will go to jail. no one believes the uber driver about anything. no one. give her your number if she insists, but don’t call her back until the next day.

    if you must.

    the media is obsessed with uber drivers and i have yet to read the story about juliet meeting her romeo the uber driver.

    get a dash cam, preferably one that has two cameras, one that points forward and one that goes backwards. i have the Falcon. it costs about $140, sometimes you can find it as low as $100. i only have the camera pointing forward recording most of the time. but if trouble lurks i tap two buttons and the rear camera is on along with my announcement, “for your safety and mine, the dashcam is now recording audio and video and its being stored in the cloud.” shit mellows out quickly when they hear that. bad news: it’s not really being stored in the cloud. good news: it’s usually drunk people being verbally abusive that you have to say this to and they don’t know.

    why do i have the forward facing camera rolling at all times? because people cray and if someone hits me in the front of my car i have video of it. because, no one would believe the uber driver without it. you can write this off too.

    take a lot of pictures. youre gonna see some weird shit.

    only let people eat in your car in the daytime. people spill. if they spill at night you might not ever see it and sploosh theres some ketchup on the white jeans of your next passenger. no good for anyone.

    if its not busy i will take you through the drive thru. but you have to buy me a shake. and let me take a picture. and give me some fries.

    but only if its day time.

    you can try to be a nice guy who goes in the burger king drive thru at 2:15am on a friday night but one person is gonna barf which is gonna make everyone else barf.

    you are the boss of your life. my life has very little puke.

    you can cancel rides you know. sometimes you should.

    when the passenger orders the uber it tells them how far away you are. it tells them how many minutes it will be. rarely in LA are you further than 10 minutes away (btw don’t take rides where you have to drive more than 10 minutes to get to them).

    so when you show up, and you are waiting and waiting, what i like to do after waiting two minutes is i text them this: “hi this is uber, i am [in the driveway/in front of 1234 Boogie Woogie Ave/in valet] is that where I should be?”

    two things may happen. sometimes they never respond. hard to believe since they just used that very same phone to order the uber. or they will text back with “coming” or “be right there”.

    if after 5 minutes of waiting they are still not there (and you know the time because you have written it in your notebook) you can cancel and you will get $4.

    even if they say, “turn on the meter” do not. the meter on uber/lyft rolls slower than you would ever imagine. it’s pennies. not a lot of pennies. maybe 5 pennies. a day. for waiting. fuck that. cancel. the server took forever? no, YOU took forever. thanks for the money.

    drive at all hours of the day and night.

    but know the worst time is from 1:30am – 3:30am. why? it’s a vomitpalooza, no one gets to your car in a reasonable time, the roads are filled with drunks and cops, people are cold hungry and have to pee, some people are crying, some are trying to have sex in your car, some fall asleep, some try to get violent. nowadays it only surges for 20 minutes or so around when bars close – it’s not worth it. go home at 1am.

    and often the best time is at 6am. theres little traffic. often it’s rides to the airport. have a clean trunk at all times.

    Once you start driving you will get a referral code for new drivers. They will ask you questions. Answer them. The best way that they can thank you for your knowledge and ongoing tips is for them to sign up using your referral codes (yes you should drive for both Lyft and Uber)

    My Uber code is https://partners.uber.com/i/8q88tl

    My Lyft code is https://www.lyft.com/drivers/TONY3772

    The robots will take this away from us one day. Until then, enjoy the ride.

  10. Friday, December 16, 2016

    im not like them, i cant pretend 

    it was raining, but it was surging so i said fuckit and drove after work

    we’re all gonna die anyways.

    got this rich businessman coming out of a beverly hills hotel.

    we were talking about this mixer he just came outta.

    i says, so you guys buy companies

    he goes, invest, buy, sell, real estate too.

    i go whats your game plan for weed?

    he says oh we’ve got a couple companies into it. big time.

    i go, ok heres my question. i heard these dispensaries cant put their money in the bank because its federally against the law and banks have to answer to the feds.

    he goes yeah.

    i go, ok you said you also do real estate. so if a dispensary has lets say $10 million, can they buy a damn mansion through you, rent it out for a little while, then flip it?

    he says no because even if you buy a house with cash, which you can do, the seller has to put that cash in a bank and youve gotta explain where you got anything over $10k.

    so i say so what do you do with the weed money from those companies you own

    he says we buy old cop cars and make them look as close to cop cars as possible and we use those to transport the cash to the safe house.

    then he tells me how much weed is selling for in pounds, then he converted it down to the gram.

    i asked are you a math wiz?

    he said, no, ive always been interested in weed.

    then he asks me, ask me how many grams are in a pound?

    i go, how many grams are in a pound.

    and he goes 453.6

    we approached a gate he said drive over to the box.

    we roll slowly, he rolls down his window, he punches in a code into the box

    the gate slides open, and we drive up

    and up

    and up.