Heavy Lyfting

There was some serious budgeting for the trip to San Diego with YA.  First off, the trip would not have been possible at all except for free airline tickets that I won last summer as well as all the award points that I’ve saved up at work over the past few years (they paid for the hotel and the zoo/safari park).  That left us with food and transportation.

We had an Excel spreadsheet for all of this and the transportation was the most challenging.  While the airport, the zoo and Balboa Park are all fairly closely clustered, the safari park was quite a distance.  Plus we were working with a limited selection of hotels due to the budget (I only had so many award points).  I initially just wanted to rent a car, but that got expensive fast with overnight parking as well as parking at many of the attractions we wanted to visit.  We used a website we found for approximating taxis in San Diego – not much better of a price point.

YA suggested we should just use Uber/Lyft like she did on her last trip and the initial research showed quite a bit of savings over rental cars and taxis.  But I was hesitant.  I’ve never used Uber or Lyft and it made me really nervous.  YA said she would take care of it all.

The first morning, the Lyft driver showed up at our house 10 minutes after she set it up.  Perfect.  Since that was the transfer I was the most nervous about, I could relax.  Uber/Lyft are just big software applications that hook drivers up with passengers.  More than once during the trip, we had a driver change while we were waiting; at the zoo the driver changed twice after we set up the initial request, which ended up getting up back to the hotel sooner than we had anticipated.  After doing a bit of research I figured out why it’s cheaper and why taxi associations are up in arms.  Uber/Lyft drivers are not employees – they are individual contractors and the software just puts them together with folks who want a ride.  No fleets of cars to maintain, no huge workforce to deal with employee issues, insurance, etc.  (I did this research because the day before we were to come home Uber and Lyft both announced they were going to stop service in California (that night!) due to a new law that the state has passed concerning the employee status of drivers.  Luckily within a couple of hours there was a stay granted so that Uber/Lyft can continue challenging the new law, so we were still able to arrange a transfer to the airport the next morning.

Really the only problem that I found was that both Uber and Lyft driver rely completely on GPS, unlike taxi drivers who actually do a lot of training and testing before getting their licenses.  So if the GPS is off, then the ride is off.  On our first full day, we headed up to Escondido to the Safari Park.  It’s a long haul, about 40 minutes and YA had her phone open to the Lyft app the entire time so we could track where we were along the route (apparently this is “how it’s done”).  As we approached the main entrance to the park, there was a clear turn off and a huge sign but our driver went right by it and turned left at the next driveway, which was exactly what GPS was telling him to do.  Unfortunately this was some sort of service entrance with a security gate; it took YA a couple of minutes to convince the driver to go back to the first entrance to the park.  Luckily, you pay upfront for your trip, not by the miles or the time you are actually in the car, so this kind of thing doesn’t jack up your price.

So every single one of our transfers was done by Lyft.  YA says she likes Lyft better than Uber but she can’t articulate why.  It doesn’t seem like the two companies can be that different; several of our drivers had both Lyft and Uber stickers on their windshields.  But whatever the difference, it worked out quite well for us, saved us money and I survived using a new technology.  Of course, we’ll see how it goes if I ever had to set up a Lyft on my own!

Any new technology that you’ve survived recently?  Or that is driving you crazy?

23 thoughts on “Heavy Lyfting”

  1. uber and lyft are great
    they work well as competitors
    to keep the industry honest
    groups of three are in play here
    if you pull one out the others function differently
    uber and lyft and the taxis are there
    you have to check both uber and lyft to get pricing
    often different by a substantial
    amount and there is no real reason but you need to go with the cheap one
    walmart target kmart (poor stupid kmart)
    lowe’s home depot menards
    ace true value do it best
    macy’s bought all its competition so we are down to macy’s nordstrom’s and von maur in that dinosaur catagory
    ebay amazon and paypal are all so far above
    their competitors that they don’t count
    ford gm dodge
    toyota nissan honda
    honda suzuki yamaha
    three in a field is the rule
    when it’s hot a million new guys show up but it always boils down to three

    communication is interesting
    phone email text
    wechat skype whatsapp
    instagram snapchat pinterest
    facebook twitter google
    post office fed ex ups

    laptop tablet phone watch
    newspaper podcast streaming news source

    they talked about the age of information 10 or 15 years ago and how we are all being bombarded by exponentially more of everything

    amazon apple ebay google facebook

    then you look at all the ways that allows us to become wrapped in our own little circular lives

    it was likely always this way but wow
    it is so much that way it’s dystopian

    dropped daughter off at school in chicago a couple hours ago

    have two living there going to online classes but living on or near campus

    they enter a different world than my 30 year olds entered

    worlds change fast

    hang on tight

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Son moonlights as a Lyft driver in Brookings on weekends. We used Uber alot in LA when daughter graduated from USC. She know all the passenger etiquette. Drivers rate passengers based on their manners and how interesting their conversation is.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A few years ago when we were in DC, we used both Lyft and the taxis. As you said, the taxi drivers knew their way around while the others use GPS. I preferred the taxis. Also, remember they have a policy where the rates increase if the need increases. For example trying to get a Lyft during a thunderstorm and the price goes up two hundred percent. I did not know at the time that you can barter that a bit.

    Side story, we wanted to go to the Udvar-Hazy center which is about 45 minutes from where we were. Had no choice but to call a taxi. Then had to order a taxi to get back, and when I walked out there was a taxi waiting. I think I took someone else’s taxi. Oops. Sorry about that.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Last night I picked 19 lbs of San Marzano tomatoes and cooked them up preparatory to pureeing them through a hand cranked food mill and canning them for sauce. I picked another 8 lbs the night before. My arm is sore today after cranking them all through the food mill, and I am prepared to buy an electric gizmo that does it all for next year’s crop. Now that he has his fancy smoker/grill, Husband is eyeing an electric meat grinder/sausage stuffer. We are just technology fools out here! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Well, I manage, somehow. Husband is a true partner in the kitchen, and that helps. We figured we have dealt with about 200 lbs of tomatoes thus far. Canning the puree is a sign the garden is winding down. I will can the puree tonight after work.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I have only partially survived buying the iPad. Have managed to do Facetime with the kids in N. Calif. (thankfully out of fires’ path this time), but can’t seem to get connected on Zoom, although I thought I’d downloaded the app. And I need some coaching on how to navigate the thing. I can do zoom on the desktop computer, but my webcam doesn’t work, so I’m not fully participating in zoom gatherings.

        Couldn’t something just work all the time, or be new-user friendly?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m getting the hang of Zoom. Not a big fan, but it seems to be a necessary evil. I’m even going to moderate a panel of MN mystery writers for a pre-recorded session to be aired during the VIRTUAL Deep Valley Book Festival on Oct. 3-4. It’s a nice little fest I’ve done live the past two years featuring dozens of MN authors. I just got some training last night on how to set up the recording time, then how to actually record, edit, and submit the session to the festival honchos.

    Could be interesting . . . or a disaster! 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I haven’t had too much trouble with technology lately, though my aging computer equipment keeps me on my toes. I seem, however, to have a kind of dyslexia when it comes to filling out forms. Invariably I come up against questions that strike me as so ambiguously phrased I can’t be certain what they are looking for. I end up frozen in indecision.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t remember if I’ve told this group about my new laptop. Apologies if I have because I’m telling you again.
    My farm accounting program updated. I’ve been using an older Acer laptop, but it was getting full so it was time to update anyway. It didn’t take much power for this program and it’s all I used the laptop for so I picked up a Lenova for $300 back in March.
    The new software is cloud based rather than just on the laptop (or something like that from what I understand. Something about new security features).
    Anyway, it wasn’t working so well now. Slow. Error messages. I had them remote in and they said the chip in this computer wasn’t good enough. Well, it would have been nice if they’d put that in the specs then. I was really thinking I could get through the year with the Lenova, but man, enter a transaction, click “Enter” and I could go have lunch while it thought about that. And I have enough frustrations in daily life without putting up with that.
    So I looked for other laptops. And to get what they were suggesting was a lot more money. But I picked one, had them double check the specs to be sure it would work, and ordered it. And it is very nice.

    I had a real nice desk set up at home; calculator, bigger monitor to add into this laptop, and all that. But Kelly needed a desk when she started working from home. And she had her work laptop and a docking station and a second monitor so she moved on to that desk. I don’t blame her; she needed to do that.
    The accounting guy said to me “You could get a smaller laptop and add an external monitor”. Yes. Yes I could. But for now I’m working off the kitchen table. And now with class homework and more computer time the kitchen table makes my neck stiff.
    Kelly and I think we can re-arrange things. Maybe this weekend we’ll get to that. Technology can mean so much more than just the iPad / laptop. it all ties into having internet or a desk, or paying bills online and keeping track of all those passwords.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. i was getting ready to cut back on internet because it’s just email and debbie grading papers and then covid and son in the basement moved his office 2 monitors and dedicated landline to new desk down there
    wife went to exclusively online teaching
    2 daughters came home to finish spring 2020 school year and then summer classes and other daily involvement
    just sent them back but the three remaining bodies live on the internet 24/7
    china just got slammed and my wechat conversations will need to change thanks to trumps accusations.
    dealing with pandemic is something you take a deep breath and deal with
    dealing with political crap from a psycho is harder and taking a deep breath doesn’t work

    good for you vs for figuring out how to get it done in the face of furlough

    good luck with return to normal

    Liked by 2 people

  9. No new technology struggles lately. I gave up on trying to navigate my old iPhone, so today I sprung for a new one. We’ll soon know if that makes a difference.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Way off topic. My four budgies Pete, Delmar, Yankee and Rebel died yesterday. I broiled a steak on a new non-stick pan. The fumes killed them. I was able to hold each one as they all perished. I knew about the dangers of heated Teflon to birds but forgot. This morning I will have four funerals. No assignment to a dumpster for these former companions.

    Liked by 1 person

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