A flavor extravaganza to be sipped with single malt Macallan’s scotch…An unforgettable wedding desert for scotch lovers!
~~~ Ricky West ~~~
Malt’s Honeymoon is the marriage of a scotch and flavor assortment…Single malt scotch dilutes very easily when mixed with other ingredients. Scotch aficionados take this loss of flavor very seriously. To avoid this dilution, and show respect to the fine Macallan scotch, the liquor has been segregated from the complimentary flavors that it is paired with!
When you look inside yourself and see you have the goods, then it is time to take a leap.
Its a leap only you can take. You will be alone at the start of the fall. It is terrifying. Your on the fast track now, playing the real game. Hurdles will rush towards you; you will experience mistakes and failures.
But, with your quality and new found conviction, you will carve your own path out of the chaos. Your missteps cannot stop you anymore, they only teach you. You laid it on the line to become yourself. Nothing is more satisfying.
Others will marvel at you. Most of all, you will marvel at yourself.
I decided to drive Uber normally in SF Bay Area for four hours. Just in case the drive to LA was dry. This turned out to be a wise precaution.
Uber allows the use of destinations, you can chose an address and receive trips heading in that direction. A destination to Bakersfield was set; a four hour ride. While I was allowed to do this, the destination acted buggy.
Taking I-5 put me through miles of open road with sparse Uber fares. I learned that Uber destinations require extra consideration when set to long distances.
I only had one ride on my way to Bakersfield. However, it wasn’t a bad drive. Listening to my audio-book; Creativity Inc, and stopping to take photos on the landscapes got my vacation rolling!
These are art pieces, made from photos I took along I-5 and Pyramid Lake.
When I finished my first destination, I set a second two hour destination from Bakersfield to Pasadena. This destination was much more successful! I started getting rides at Santa Clarita and had four customers on the way to my cousin’s home.
One passenger had a useful story to share with me about another driver like myself. This man was from Seattle, moving to LA. He drove down and worked Uber while he was checking out houses. Apparently, an Uber driver can survive while driving in a new region!
After arriving in Pasadena, I caught up with my cousin, Adam. Then geared up for Uber work in LA.
On my 1st day in LA, I began Uber work at 7 AM. Very late for the morning rush, I know. There was a reason: I was scared of getting an airport ride before I could collect my airport placard at 9 AM.
LA seemed to be a wonderful city to drive Uber; apart from the traffic. I got plenty of work between 7 AM and 9 AM. There were three 40 minute+ rides I could have taken, had I not been concerned about airport rides.
At 9 AM, I visited a Uber Greenlight hub to collect my LAX placard. They gave me bad news and good news.
The bad news was that I was ineligible to do airport pickups unless I changed my home region to LA. My time taking the quiz and driving to the hub was a waste.
The good news was, because I was ineligible, I didn’t have to worry about getting airport rides.
The three 40 minute+ rides I passed up were safe to take after all; damn! Annoying findings but I accept the scientific process. We do our best until we learn how things work.
At this point, I knew I could work in LA without worries.
In the middle of the day, during the quiet hours for Uber, I went on vacation.
If your down in LA, be sure to check out the Griffith Observatory. Beautiful, relaxing, a great location to build photographic art.
When looking out at the city, I don’t know if it is heat or smog that causes this, the cars of the city will reflect the sun like rippling light.
I started up Uber work at 1 PM and was pleasantly surprised. Uber work was plentiful. In the Bay Area, I wouldn’t find consistent rides until 4 PM.
Driving Uber in LA proved to be a feasible way to make money as a traveler. Better yet, driving there showed me parts of the city I would not have seen otherwise!
Visited the Huntington. It’s amazing how much fun can be had for free when I take photos that can be made into art.
The evening concluded in the form of an awesome dinner with my cousins, Mark and Adam!
Having completed my experiment, and needing to address affairs at home, I prepared to leave LA in the morning.
At 10 AM, I began driving back to San Francisco from Pasadena. Not wanting to get caught in LA, I waited on setting an Uber destination until I reached Santa Clarita.
The most direct route to home would be taking I-5, but I had already learned this route lacks business opportunities.
Highway 99 would add twenty minutes to my trip but runs through Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, and other cities. Wanting to see if Uber could help pay for road trips, I went this route. Setting a destination from Santa Clarita to Fresno, then from Fresno to Fremont.
This decision had a big payoff! I drove 7 passengers on my way home, earning $80. All my gas and meals on the trip were paid for. Best of all, my passengers alleviated the boredom of a long drive.
Another route to try when driving from SF Bay Area to LA is Highway 101. This highway is has great coastal views and many towns to find passengers. I will try this route on my next visit!
I returned home at 7 PM. Ready to write this article!
In SF Bay Area, Uber tends to pay between $15 and $30 an hour; $20 is average. The Bay Area has times and areas that don’t provide enough rides to consistently drive; this results in a $15 hour.
In LA, Uber pays $15 an hour. Rides here are much cheaper than in the Bay Area. 40 minute rides that would secure high pay in SF made no difference to the hourly pay out. LA does provide a near constant stream of work in the busier towns; ensuring a $15 payout per hour.
Before anyone swears off LA Uber, you need to know that LA is cheaper than SF Bay Area. Food, parking, and hostels are all cheaper in LA. Gas is unfortunately has the same price range in both regions.
For better or worse, LA offers a percentage surge while SF Bay Area offers a flat dollar surge.
Once you do arrive in a city and start work, be an extra careful driver for the first few days. You will not be used to the roads or drivers, and Uber work tests your driving skills. I achieve caution by making all actions 15% slower or by imagining rainy weather.
Also, mind the traffic conditions. Any plans you make can be seriously thrown off by unfamiliar bad traffic.
Aim for cheap gasoline during travels. Waze is a great app for finding cheap gasoline. There are many other apps for this too. LA had a range of gas prices that was equal to SF Bay Area; unfortunately. In a city with less payout, saving money on gas is critical.
I suggest doing some research before visiting a new region. Even a little can make all the difference in preserving your enjoyment, safety, and passenger’s safety while driving.
Using long Uber destinations
When setting an Uber destination, make sure the drive takes no more than three hours. A four hour trip gets buggy, a six hour trip will be outright refused.
To make your destinations profitable, aim them along highways that have many towns. I-5 ran through quieter areas; I had one ride here. Highway 99 ran through Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, and other smaller cities; I had seven rides here.
Can an Uber driver support themselves in a different region?
My conclusion is that I can survive in LA and have a fun road trip! Here are tips and a few things I would do on my next trip.
Ideally, stay in a city for more than a few days. Especially if you want a prolonged road trip. This will give you time to acclimate to the driving conditions, save up some money, and enjoy the region more fully than most travelers do.
You can save money by planning trips to cities where friends or family live and stay with them. If this is not available, hostels are the next best thing. Cheap lodging filled with travelers and often providers of social events. LA has hostels for as cheap as $26. Easy lodging in a city that pays $120 for eight hours of work.
Look up free or inexpensive attractions in your new region. You can have plenty of fun in a new place with low expenditures. Remember that you are in a new town, surviving away from your home. Unless you have a surplus of cash in your bank, live light.
Turn off your Uber app and smell the roses! This is supposed to be a vacation. Uber takes us to so many cool places, take advantage of that. If you finish dropping off your passenger by a nice club or beach, turn off the app and enjoy!
Driving in LA did pay for my vacation, but it didn’t help with my Bay-Area priced rent. Similar trips in other states will likely result in fluctuating pay from city to city. I would do another trip like this after saving up a surplus of money.
I encourage LA Uber drivers to visit SF Bay Area. The pay fluctuation works in your favor. If you avoid spending money, you stand to make a decent profit and take it home.
Can I do a road trip across state borders?
After contacting Uber 24/7, I learned that Uber will not give any rides to a driver that crosses state borders. To really transition to another state, you would need to call Uber and relocate to a region in that state. A process that takes seven to fifteen days, requiring documentation.
However, I have heard of cross state trips that clients requested. Also, there was the story I heard of the driver in Seattle who was working in LA; did he already set up a transfer? I don’t know. There is some grey area that could be researched further.
For now, I suggest Uber drivers stick to road trips within your own state.
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Mufasa protected and managed the pride lands. Hunting only enough food to survive. Scar over hunted and took and took, that is why his reign was a failure.
This is something important to remember, for all of us. I will think of this quote as I develop my career. To remind me to only take enough so that I can give my most back to you.
And now for a controversial opinion…
The new Lion King is better than the original, it is the definitive version of the story! The film follows most of the same notes as the original while adding little touches that enhance the experience. This aphorism is one of those improvements!
These little touches made most characters even more likable. Simba, Nala, Zazu and Scar being standouts. I especially like that they gave Nala some more moments to showcase that the Pridelands had a strong queen, as well as a strong king. Timon and Pumbaa were great, they had to be of course! Not every character is perfect. I wanted more Rafiki, and could swing either way on which version of Mufasa was better.
I’ve noticed that other people had the opposite opinion of the movie. So go see it and form an opinion for yourself!
These two versions of the same story carry a lot of personal significance to me…
A big theme of the story is that Simba is strong but he had to grow up before he could truly be a king. I saw the animated film when I was a boy, Full of promise and wanting to be a man but still a cub like Simba was.
Now I am seeing the story again decades later, as a man. Like Simba, I have been hurt by the world, grown up, and have learned to overcome my hardships. I am have become the man I always wanted to be. I am ready to be king of my life and take my place in this world.
The timing of seeing this film could not be better!
It has been 18 days since I launched this site! I am enjoying the process. Being fully forthcoming, there are days when I feel discomfort as I look at my current life and where I want to be. Soon after, I always remember that I am not falling into a hole, in fact I am moving forward. Just not moving forward as fast as I would like, not yet! This situation gives me full confidence in what lays ahead.
Great improvements have been made to my website since launch. Now, I am ready to make some big shifts in my life. So, it is time to write a website update for you. Now you know what is and what will be…
The current website state:
I have made many upgrades to my website since launch. My social media accounts are linked and I have made many formatting improvements. With all the posts I’ve done, I feel my writing style developing. All the time I add little style improvements. For example: adding emojis to every article title and learning word-press formatting improvements.
Short stories has been added as a article category. There is no need to add any more category varieties to the articles.
Unfortunately, I had to make changes to the filtered photo art and the page is still far from what I have in mind. I had to remove a lot of my work and don’t see the point of reposting my art in the current format when I intend to make another major change to that page.
What comes next for the website?
The next change will be to refine my social media connections to be razor sharp. I now have a social media following but I’m not using the sharing features I built into my website. I want a bit more polish to the social media process before I share each new post on facebook, twitter, instagram, and tumblr.
There is general website polish I want to make as well. I want to smooth out the category pages and make them more magazine like. Adding descriptions would be great!
Following that, I want to redesign the filtered photo art page. I have long term ambitions to sell pictures and will plan to redesign the page in August to move towards that goal.
My Raise my Rideshare course is on hold for now. The ad just expired and I have made a choice. There is enough engagement to merit a product, and my product can have an impact. There is not enough engagement to incite me to making over thirty carefully crafted videos. So, I will write a $15 eBook instead! I expect to have this done within two months.
The next new addition will be a new “Art” tab: Video Art! This would include dance videos and other fun projects involving videography. I don’t see this making me any money, unless a video went viral. This work would be work of passion and so is a secondary improvement.
I am still a long way from posting as much as I would like. I expect at least two more months before I have a money generating product on this site. For that reason, I will be slowing down website updates for a bit and get some movement in my life first…
My website does immediately give me some monetary opportunities for job changes. Now that my website is up, I have a lot of material that gives me credibility in the fields of mixology and graphical design. I’ve enjoyed my time with Uber but am now ready to create new work.
I am only applying for remote work, which would allow me to live in other countries. How cool would it be for me to produce posts while living around the world?
Soon, I will be offering specialized cocktail mixology services to bars and catering companies. I’ll face more rejection, sure. This is how I learn, these will be the experiences that will form me into a savvy businessman one day!
Additionally, I have decided to make a service gig on Fiverr. For those of you who don’t know, Fiverr is a site for offering and buying freelance services. Photo editing, voice work, business advice, website design and more are offered there. I will make my own service here.
I like to think of all this work as entry level learning in entrepreneurship.
Finally, I want to talk about you. My community.
I’m very grateful and pleased that so many of my posts are appreciated! This blog is gaining more likes and followers all the time. I want to take some time and say hello to my followers, read their blogs, and engage with you all more! It will be some months before I can be active on a daily basis but you can expect to hear from me if you are a follower.
“It is an extremely common mistake. People think the writer’s imagination is always at work, that he’s constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes; that he simply dreams up his stories out of thin air. In point of fact, the opposite is true. Once the public knows you’re a writer, they bring the characters and events to you. And as long as you maintain your ability to look, and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to seek you out over your lifetime. To him, who has often told the tales of others, many tales will be told.”
What you put into the world will often reflect back on you.
For example, I designed cocktails and hosted cocktail parties. Now when I meet new members of my community, they already know me for my cocktails. Four of my friends have talked to me about their business ideas involving bartending.
I think of this quote as I add my short stories category. This post is timed to my 1st one! My First Ad and the Four Days Following. Now I will tell tales of others, and I expect that many will share their tales with me.
This will be a welcome change!
For an interesting man is only as fascinating as the interesting people he draws into his life.
For $30, facebook will run a 10 day ad. A post that can be seen by over 300 people a day! It was an exciting moment, one of those uncomfortable ones I know will bring growth.
As some of my current readers know…
I survived, and had the flexibility to make this website, by Uber driving. What surprised me about my work with Uber was that I was very good at it. I was a highly rated driver from the start. Quickly, I discovered many quality-of-life habits that made me a more effective driver.
This website was made with a few paid programs in mind, so I felt a course on Uber might be a good service I could give and make some money.
This month, I have been reading The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. A piece of advice he gave is to market your potential products a little before you have a product. Why spend good money and time on a product only to learn the market doesn’t want it?
With that in mind, I realized something about my Uber course. I would gladly pay thirty dollars, learn that there is a market, or find out I shouldn’t make over thirty videos.
After running the ad by a few close friends I posted this final draft:
The most important teachable lesson I have learned over the four days since then…
Good results will come from quality work but expect a lot of harsh, if not pointlessly negative, feedback from your 1st Facebook ad.
As a new unknown with no previously established credibility, you can expect a lot of distrust from some people. It is only after we walk through that gauntlet for a while before we gain a reputation that promotes good feedback. So walk that gauntlet!
I am so grateful to the experiences and mentors who gave me the power to meet that feedback with professionalism and grace. Now, I feel enjoyment with how I handled my 1st three commentators! It is owed to what I have learned.
Here is the exchange between me and my 1st commentator, Ismael:
My second commentator was Hermes:
My third commentor may have been named Matt but his name is of no consquence…
Because all he had to say on my ad was “motherfuckers.”
I swiftly deleted this comment without a single thought of responding. I suggest to you, my dear readers, that you will be happier by never engaging with criticism that has no value at all. Nor should such criticism be left for others to see. Delete and forget, like I did.
So how has the ad done so far?
My ad has reached 1904 people and had 69 engagements. I’ve gotten 15 likes, the likes stand out. In my ad I asked to “like or comment” if you wanted to get this product. Lets assume 60% of people who liked actually bought. That would be 9 people and $270 earned. After I put in the hard work to get the videos ready, that is money earned without me looking at it.
An encouraging start!
What really matters though is where my time spent nets the most value. For the next month, I will be working on developing a job and/or gigs that pay more than Uber. Now that my website is getting its footing, I have a lot to show for my work and can use it to negotiate exciting work opportunities.
I still may make the Uber course in the fall. The ad showed some potential ROI and a market that would benefit from my experience!
Dad did it all, He would draw the designs and then have a hand in every aspect of the building. Carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, landscaping and terra-forming are all parts of Martin’s legacy.
Being Martin’s son, I have been around tools, design, and vision building for my whole life. When I was 12, I started working with my dad and spent many of my summers helping build Casa di Martin.
For Dad, Casa di Martin was his dream home. It was that type of project that all artists have: the big expression of talent that artists seek to make reality. Dad’s design of Casa di Martin was inspired by the architecture of Tuscany. Hence, I gave the home’s nickname an Italian feel too.
Growing up at Casa di Martin…
I lived in Casa di Martin even before it was fully constructed. To give you readers context, my family moved into this house for tax reasons and had to made do using an outhouse and showering at a friend’s home or at the gym for five months. Made me appreciate a good bathroom, I’ll tell you.
Living at Casa di Martin was luxurious in ways. I had a beautiful home, a full acre of space to explore, dance, and do what I wanted. However, my family’s experience was unique. Most people who live in homes like this have loads of money and can afford to employ cooks, gardeners and maids. Since my my family was a middle class one that built its way into living in a mansion, we had to do all the work ourselves. Living in a mansion is not all sunshine and rainbows when you have to maintain the grounds personally.
When the great recession hit the USA, I was in college. Partly due to the recession, I returned from college to help my family survive the recession’s effects. For years my family worked to improve the grounds of our home to keep its sale value up. We would work long hours, then clean the whole house every day. Finally we would have a pain pill and glass of wine to end the day.
We sold Casa di Martin to another family in 2014. We lost a lot of value to the recession but the sale gave my father a comfortable retirement, my mother a decent sum, and allowed me to pay off all my student debt from college. To this day, I have nearly no debt and I am very grateful.
Moving to smaller homes was a reprieve for my family. My father and mother separated soon after the sale and we three went our separate ways. All of us enjoyed having simple homes that were not so exhausting to live in.
It has been five years since then. A lot has happened but I still feel the peace of not having student debt. I remember my childhood home. Gratitude for the experience is what I say about Casa di Martin.