Thinking of driving for Lyft? Something to first consider

One of the things to consider before driving for Lyft is they have no problem asking you to take trips guaranteed to make you lose money. Case in point, the trip they sent me on the other day.

Lyft sent me 21 miles away to pick up a rider who wanted a ride from his house to a liquor store around the corner. I drove him to the store and waited while he bought beer. He then got back in the car and I drove him back to his house.

The entire round trip from his house, to the liquor store, and back to his house was less than a mile. Lyft was aware of this when they dispatched me to pick up the rider 21 miles away. Riders enter their location and where they want to go when requesting a ride.

Would Uber do this?

Uber handles issues like this differently. If a driver has to drive an extended distance to pick up a rider, they pay the driver for the inconvenience. Lyft doesn’t do this. Considering how Lyft’s business model seems to be based on imitating everything Uber does, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Lyft starts paying drivers in a similar fashion.

Until they do, don’t allow Lyft to send you far away to pick up a passenger. The only reason I accepted it was because I was worried about my acceptance rating so I’d be eligible for the weekly promotion.

That’s never happing again. Before driving for Lyft, this is something to think about.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business

Toys R Us has declared bankruptcy and will close all of its retail establishments. Everything still on the shelves has been marked on clearance for easy liquidation. Or has it?

When I go into the Hagerstown Toys R Us, I feel like they aren’t truly committed to going out of business. They haven’t committed to the bit. The signage on the front windows says the entire store is “up to” 30 percent off, but I don’t think that’s true. I’ve gone in and walked around and I haven’t seen anything that was 30 percent off.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

The entire line of Lego toys is marked down only five percent. I don’t buy Legos, so I don’t even know if that is any cheaper than what Walmart, Target, or any other retailer sells Lego toys for.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

Their entire line of Funko Pops! is marked down ten percent. Even with the discount, they are still charging more than Walmart, Target, and every other brick and mortar retailer.  When I buy Funko Pops!, I buy them at Target for $8.99 each or I order them on Amazon for even less.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

All their Marvel Comics toys and related paraphernalia is only discounted ten percent. I did want to buy a Diamond Select Gallery Classic Iron Man PVC figure statue. The last time I checked, they have only one left and at ten percent off, it’s going for $35.99. That’s more then what the statue is going for on eBay and Amazon. 

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent CornerI’m thinking if I truly want the PVC Iron Man statue, I should just go into Toys R Us and buy it. It’s not like it costs more than it costs anywhere else. It’s the last one and I can make it the last thing I ever buy at a Toys R Us.

One thing I noticed as soon as Toys R Us announced it was going out of business, they removed all of their Magic: The Gathering cards from the shelves.

Toys R Us has not fully committed to going out of business - Bent Corner

I don’t know if they were able to return them to their distributor or to Wizards of the Coast, the manufacturer of Magic: The Gathering. I only know the Hagerstown and Frederick stores didn’t have any Magic: The Gathering product. It didn’t really make any difference since Toys R Us actually charged more for Magic: The Gathering product than the standard MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price). That way they could run gimmick sales such as “buy one, get another at 40 percent off ” and not lose any money.

How did that work for Toys R Us?

Update

I went and bought the Iron Man statue and it cost me $38.15. The receipt says I saved a whopping $4.00.

 

Today is the first day of Spring, but the snow is falling

According to The Fantasy Art of Frazetta calendar, I bought on clearance a month after New Year’s Day, today is the first day of Spring. With that said, it’s been snowing pretty good here in Hagerstown most of the day. And it’s not supposed to stop until tomorrow.

The warlocks and witches that work at the National Weather Service say we might get eleven inches of white death. They put the odds at 1 in 10. Odds?

Do people bet on the weather?

Even though I’m not very healthy right now, I went out and shoveled off the driveway earlier. I just pushed the snow off to the side. It seemed like only an inch or two of snow.

I’m one of those weirdos who like snow. I like the cold and I like snow. I like watching it fall and I even like driving in it. I’m not into skiing or snowboarding. I tried skiing only once and didn’t care for it. The actual skiing was fun, the not being able to stop when I wanted to part was not fun.

Hagerstown welcomes its new electronic overlords, red light cameras

Hagerstown began issuing $75 tickets yesterday based on the findings from its shiny new red-light cameras. The cameras are installed on Potomac Street and Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue and Burhans Boulevard.

I’m actually happy about this. People in Hagerstown are terrible drivers. I only hope city officials can handle the huge influx of money.

I would go even further. Instead of having two stationary cameras at intersections known for people running red lights, I would empower the people to enforce basic traffic laws.

Transcend DrivePro 220 3.0 MP Dashboard Camera – 1080p

With quality dashcams being cheaper than ever before, I would initiate a program where normal citizens could upload video clips of drivers breaking the law. The city or the county could then split the fine collected with the person who uploaded the video.

A person could make a small fortune driving around Hagerstown with a dashcam, snitching on their fellow citizens, if a program like this was ever instituted.

Top photo courtesy of the Herald-Mail, Hagerstown’s premier newspaper.  

I have been blocked by Steve Shives

I’ve joined thousands of other Twitter users and I’ve been blocked by Steve Shives. Who’s Steve Shives? He’s a guy who lives in nearby Sharpsburg, Maryland and maintains a YouTube channel dedicated to social justice, feminism, and atheism.

He’s pretty famous for blocking people on Twitter. Evidently, he has a bot that blocks people based on who else they follow on Twitter.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, block bots are evil, dumb, and I hate them.

Steve Shives

Back before Steve was on YouTube, I considered him an e-friend. We both lived here in the Hagerstown area, we both had blogs, and we both shared a dislike for our local newspaper, The Herald-Mail. We were also very similar in our political views until we weren’t.

I was a fan of Steve’s writing on his blog, Steve Likes to Curse. It was a daily read for me. Although the site is still up, he no longer writes blog posts. That’s too bad. I think he is a good writer. He probably writes scripts for YouTube, but listening to someone’s videos is not the same as reading someone’s written words. And to be honest, I don’t like Steve’s videos.

Here’s a recent video of his:

Steve Shives is such a polarizing figure on YouTube that he is often the subject of other YouTube creators. A good many YouTubers make videos about Steve Shives and the things he says. Some of them are quite funny.

I started having problems with Steve and his opinions even before he left LiveJournal for YouTube. Mostly it had to do with his inconsistency of atheism. Even though he gave the impression he was an atheist, when he and his wife married, they married in a local church. I know this because I saw the photos in The Herald-Mail. What kind of atheist gets married in a church?

That threw up a red flag for me.

And then there was Steve’s defense of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. Atheist Steve was a vocal defender of building it. What kind of atheist supports building religious structures for any religious group? Here are some of the posts he wrote about the topic seven years ago:

If you can get through the above posts about the Ground Zero Mosque, give the following post a read and look at the inconsistencies. In it, Atheist Steve writes about a local church, the Emmanuel Baptist church spending an estimated $7 million on a new sanctuary and classrooms for a fundamentalist Christian private school.

I also found the title of the above post to be a little silly. How can you call any Christian church misogynist when there’s such a thing as Islam? Islam is the apex predator of misogyny. It’s not even close.

How can an atheist defend an Islamic group building a religious center, but criticize a Christian church for building a new sanctuary and new classrooms? Shouldn’t atheists be consistent in standing up against all religious groups?

And that’s when the wheels fell off for me with Steve Shives. He was a pro-Islam, anti-Christian atheist who when it came time to marry the love of his life, got married in a Christian church.

In comparison, when my wife and I got married nearly twenty years ago, we got married in the courthouse, like the honest, consistent atheists that we are.

Shoplifting cuffufle takes place at Hagerstown Target

Someone tried to shoplift from Target last night located behind the Valley Mall on Cole Road. The shopping center is actually in Halfway, not Hagerstown.

When a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy tried to stop the shoplifter, the suspected wrongdoer tried to ram their vehicle into the deputy’s vehicle.

Over something shoplifted from Target.

The deputy reacted appropriately to the attempted ramming by firing a shot at the suspect. I don’t think they were hit, but there is a lot that’s not public quite yet.

I hate to say this, but I may have to subscribe to the Herald-Mail, the area’s newspaper of record.

I don’t understand shoplifting. Although there are lots of nice things at Target, most of the high-value things come with anti-theft devices. Buy a pack of Magic The Gathering cards for $4.19 and there’s a sticker. What are people shoplifting? Do they not care about the anti-theft devices? So they just allow the security gate to sound the alarm and they’re happy with the notion of ramming a law enforcement vehicle if it gets in their way? That sounds very JV to me.

I don’t get it.

Update – The suspect is Melson S. Perry

Melson S. Perry

Here’s a photo of last night’s shoplifting suspect. Something tells me he wasn’t trying to steal Magic The Gathering booster packs. Maybe he thought since he had the word “BOSS” tattooed on his neck, the Target employees would just let him walk out with his ill-gotten goods.

Plus, he has a dollar sign tattooed at the center of his unibrow. It makes you think he has money.

Evidently, he was trying to return an iPad box without an iPad inside. From the Herald-Mail:

Troopers said the suspect, later identified as Perry, was known to enter Target stores, where he would return a previously purchased iPad for a refund or gift card. Instead of returning an iPad, however, he would return an iPad box with materials inside to simulate the weight of merchandise inside.

Maybe it’s just me, but this caper doesn’t sound very boss to me, especially when your backup plan is to just ram any law enforcement vehicles that get in your way. Did he know that Washington County deputies carry guns?