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Sunday, June 18, 2017

WTF Lyft?

Dear Lyft,

I have a suggestion for you. Do you have a suggestion box? Probably one that looks like this:

But I'll try anyway. This is a change that probably wouldn't be too difficult to implement and wouldn't cost you any money (hooray!) I mean, now that you have a dedicated driver app, which you like to point out that that means more features can be added (detailed driver summary anyone??) I would hope this would be something that can be easily changed. Here it is.

Why do we, as drivers, need to know how much we could have made? I'm trying to figure it out.
Here's my example:

That big number in bold at the top? Not what I made. Not the "driver payout". That number is the tiny one under "balance". In other words, Lyft took its cut of $13.98 and I get paid the rest.

This has two possibilities that I can think of. They want us to feel like we're making more money than we actually are. Or, they like the bait and switch technique.

Lyft: Here's how much you could have made if we hadn't taken out 25%! Haha!

Lyft: Here's how much you made but not really.

Why - WHY - would I ever in my life want to know how much I would make before Lyft took its cut, and why is it so prevalent at the top of the screen to confuse me? If I wanted to know how much money I made without the 25% cut, I could do the math. But I have no reason to. If I really cared, I could look at my driver summary.

The reason I bring this up and the reason it really really bugs me is a ride I gave just yesterday. The guy asked me how much this trip would cost because he's not the one who ordered the ride. I told him that I didn't know until after it was all said and done. Well, he stuck around (unloading his stuff) and after I rated him I let him know that I made $11.98 so he would probably be charged a bit more.

Well that was my last ride of the day, and because of that incident, I specifically remembered that fare so I went home and got onto the Lyft website to look at my detailed driver summary (again - put this on the Lyft driver app I hope???) and did not see an $11.98 payout anywhere. No, the total was $8.98.
Are you trying to tell me that not only does Lyft give a big bold number at the top of my app for an amount I'm not getting, but it also TELLS ME THE AMOUNT BEFORE LYFT'S CUT FOR EACH RIDE?

Are you fucking kidding me, Lyft? Sorry for the language but what the hell?! Why in God's name would you want to make drivers feel good about their payout just to be disappointed when they look at their summary/actually get paid? Now I feel disheartened. Now, I will do a long drive, see a payout that feels good for the amount of driving I did, and then remember that that's not what I'm actually getting paid. Gee, thanks.

This is stupid. It makes no sense. Uber doesn't do this. For all it's faults, at least it gives you a detailed summary of each payout and tells you exactly what you're getting paid. It doesn't throw these happy numbers at your face just to make you sad later. Ugh I am so upset by this, mostly because I don't understand why your system was built this way in the first place.

Please, please change it.

/end rant

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Canopy Tours NW

For the record, this is not the first time I've done a zipline. Unfortunately, I never finished my previous blog post about going on the zipline at NW Trek because it included a write up about the whole facility and I never finished editing the many many pictures I took. I know, sad, because I had the most freaked out experience ever and I really should just post it as a separate entry but anyway, I digress.

Despite the "issues" I had at NW Trek, I flipping loved the zipline and knew that I wanted to do it again someday. Fast forward to yesterday. I got invited to a friend's reception dinner (he got married at the courthouse on Friday) waaaay up in Marysville, which is like an hour and 10 minutes from my house. I figured, if I'm going up there for a dinner, I might as well make a day of it and find something else to do.

Line 2
I'd been toying with the idea of going to Canopy Tours NW, especially because they keep winning Evening Magazine's Best of Western Washington (this link is a good video of what it's about), but they are way up at Camano Island, and it's like $103. So, I kept pushing that idea aside. But yesterday I decided to be impulsive and just go with it. Now, Camano island is still 30 minutes north of Marysville but it was a heck of a lot easier to justify the drive up there now! It was going to be a nice day, and I was still able to buy tickets only a few hours in advance.

Each line gets more progressive and kind of builds up your confidence as you go. There are 6 in total, although line 5 is the longest (longer than the Space Needle is tall) and has the camera. I have to admit, I still felt a little trepidation stepping off of each platform. It didn't really get any easier! But, I have no irrational fear of heights so that wasn't an issue.

 Line 4
Line 5 

The views and scenery are amazing, the guides were awesome, and I felt safe the entire time. They taught me how to control the zip so that I wouldn't end up spinning around or landing backwards, and by line 5 I'd had it down perfectly enough to pose for the camera!

Although I had a great time, I'm still not getting that always talked about "adrenaline rush". I keep trying, but I kept wanting the zips to go slower so that I could look around and admire the landscape. I was concentrating too hard on keeping straight, and it was so fast that all I could really do was prepare to "land" on the next platform. That's the only part where my heart rate spiked, because you're coming straight at a tree going quite fast and the only thing that is going to stop you from slamming into it is a pully brake that the guide uses.

The last thing we had to do at the end was repel down 47 feet. This scared me a bit too, but turns out it was incredibly easy. 

This is the view from on top of the repel tower

Now that I've done this, I don't think I will ever do it again - I don't need to. I still loved it, and it was a great experience, but I'm cool with just the one time.

What about you guys? Would you ever try this? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Brownies or not-Brownies?

What makes a brownie a brownie? Is it like fudge? It is like cake? Is it a flat fudge cake? What if it had no flour?

What if it had no sugar?

Here is my recipe for flourless, "sugarless", healthy brownies.

5-6 prunes
2 eggs
1 scoop chocolate idealshake (can use whey or casein)
3 (or more – up to you) squares of intense dark twilight delight Ghirardelli bar
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tbs coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Several drops of vanilla-flavored stevia (or other artificial sweetener)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Using a small pot, melt the chocolate squares and coconut oil together. Once melted, incorporate the tablespoon of cocoa powder. Put aside to cool slightly.
Add the prunes, vanilla extract and eggs to a blender and blend until as smooth as possible. It will come out thick. Add to a small bowl. Add the scoop of protein powder, baking soda and baking powder to the egg mixture and incorporate together.
Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and mix together. Spray an 8x8 pan liberally with non-stick spray and pour mixture into pan.

Cook for 12-15 minutes. Cool before serving.

As long as you don't expect it to be sweet, they taste really good. You can always make them sweeter by:
A. adding more stevia/splenda 
B. using milk chocolate instead of intense dark chocolate
C. sprinkling some powdered sugar etc on top

This comes out to about 145 calories a piece for 9 servings. Not bad if a chocolate craving hits, right? The chocolate is pretty intense thanks to the three types you add to it. Believe it or not, these come out kind of cakey. I'm not sure how; but they do not come out dense and fudgey like you'd expect they might without the flour. Just a head's up!