How do I raise my Uber rating?

uber

My Uber rating is 4.82, I’ve been trying to get it up to 5.0, which is was for a long time, but about a year ago it dropped and I don’t know why.

I don’t know why I care either, but I’m just wondering why it went down.

I always tip, I over-tip. But am I talking too much for one driver and not enough for another? Should I sit in the back seat or the front seat? Do I remind a driver of someone they don’t like? What is it?

I never check the driver’s ratings, I just hop in the car and we’re off and I suppose the drivers don’t really check most ratings of passengers, since it’s numbers game and I doubt they can be that picky.

One time a driver got mad because the address given on the system was next door to where I was. But for some reason, I couldn’t get it to put my exact address in. Now it uses a GPS that does it for you so you don’t have to punch in the address.

But he was upset. Not sure why, I was literally 10 feet away early on a Saturday morning, there was not another person on the street and there I was standing there, holding my luggage waving at him.

But I want that rating up to 5.0. Maybe I should offer them chewing gum and bottled water when I get into the car, rather than the other way around.

Maybe I’ll try Lyft. I think I have a few free rides coming with them.

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I’m learning WordPress

code

I’ve been rebuilding my business website. Yes, while I would love to draw comics and write about art and comics all day long, I do have a real job.

I’m not very familiar with WordPress, although this blog is on the WordPress platform. But for the business site, I’m using WordPress.org, rather than WordPress. com (there is a difference).

What happened was, I am using an ancient program now called FrontPage 2003, which is obsolete, my web host, along with almost every other web host in the world will stop supporting the program, most have stopped already and mine is ending it all in May, so I’m scrambling to get the new site up and running.

I would prefer to pay someone, but I am willing to sit here for 12 hours to get something done while I know if I paid someone, that 12 hours would turn into weeks for them. I know from experience. So to get it done fast I am plugging away, literally with all the plugins I’m using.

I did spend one full day doing something only to realize that I could just copy and past a lot of the old site to the new site, which sort of wasted the previous day. Live and learn.

I do like learning new things. I was very proficient in HTML and this new way of doing websites is a lot of plugins and CSS, which I am learning. I must say, I have a very high regard for people who write code every day. I would jump out the window if I had to do this daily, it’s not for me. I prefer drawing and writing.

I’m excited to “go live” as they say. It’s the first reboot of the site in almost 20 years! Scary and exciting at the same time. When it’s done I’ll share it with you.

Picking fights on social media

socialmediaI usually ignore people on social media, what I mean is I ignore it if someone says something about me that I don’t like and I also ignore things that bother me, like plagiarism, unless it’s my own work they are stealing.

I got into an altercation with two people yesterday on Facebook and Twitter. One guy attacked me on Twitter about my Ten With Tom interviews on Huff Post and here in this blog, saying,  “You can speed answer the questions. I don’t mind. I give my interviewee’s time to think up good answers.”  And “They [meaning me] only do 10 questions. We do 20. They only do half the job on the Huffington Post.”

He sounds like a jerk and quite amateurish, I don’t know of many people who attack people on their non-confrontational interviews. Guess his handful of readers prefer his 20 questions over my millions of readers at the Huff Post who prefer my 10 questions. Who knows. I like the sound of “Ten With Tom” rather than “Twenty With Tom,” plus I know the readers and the person interviewed are really not into 20 questions – too long and boring.

The other guy I had the altercation with posts comics on Facebook and they are Peanuts characters, you know, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. He does this all the time. I mean, every time he posts a comic, that’s what it is, Peanuts, only his version.

I told him I thought that was copyright infringement, he says it’s a parody, but I don’t know if a parody or fan art could be considered that if it is every single one of your comics that you post. I know I wouldn’t like it if it was my work being “parodied” every single time. I thought it was daily, but he says he doesn’t post daily. I’m not a fan of his so I didn’t know. But every time he posts, it’s Peanuts characters which I think are being stolen and breaking trademark and copyrights.

So anyway, we got into an altercation over that.  What do you think about this?

Our yearly block party

We have this great block party in our neighborhood once  year in March. Everyone comes out and shows and sells their art, there is live music and food and everyone knows everyone. It’s a lot of fun. It’s on Gifford Lane, hence, it’s called the Gifford Lane Art Stroll.

giffordlane1

Out with Huff Post in with Medium

I’ve started writing for Medium, moving away from Huffing Post (here is all my work there), where the stories get jumbled too much with politics.

thinker

Not that I’m against politics, but I don’t write about politics, I write about art and culture. So I’ll be writing columns for Medium now. But interestingly enough, politics is the number one subject read about on Medium, but I think with Medium, you can choose the type of stories you would like to read so if you don’t want to see politics, you don’t have to.

I like that Medium is easier to navigate and it has more of the subject matter I like.

I will have two columns on Medium. One will be stories, articles and the other will be single-panel cartoons. I’ll let you know when I start publishing those.

At the end of 2016 Medium’s audience grew 140% to 60 million unique readers a month!

I have carried my 10 With Tom column there, I reposted the Stephan Pastis piece on Medium, which drew more readers than any one of my other columns at the Huff Post, about 100,000 people read that piece – my most popular one. That says a lot about Stephan.

I have been posting my stories under the “Medium Partner Program” where people who subscribe to Medium for $5 per month receive these stores. Not that they cannot be seen by everybody, but with the partner program I get paid each time partners read my stories.

The majority of Medium is free to read. 90% of the stories are free, it’s just the partner program stories that are not, well, they offer three free views per month, sort of like a newspapers’s paywall and I liken the partner program to a Patreon account where you receive some free goodies for subscribing.

But the majority of the same stories are posted here on my Tomversation blog, so you don’t have to go there to read my stories, but I would like you to maybe check them out just for the hell of it.

Here are three that have run in the past, but I have now had published on Medium:

10 things you didn’t know about cartoonist Stephan Pastis

It’s an underground world that’s full of history (lots of pics of the NYC Transit Museum

7 Reasons we’re addicted to HQ Trivia. Do you play this live trivia game?

I’ll start posting new stories at Medium and I have to start interviewing people for 10 With Tom again. You can see my past 10 With Tom’s here on Tomversation.

And when I start publishing my single panel cartoons, I’ll give you the link for that.

I was ghosted by a mentor

hal-paperI was looking over Facebook friends, deciding whether to dump people and I came across this lady who works at one of the major newspaper syndicates. She and I met by accident through social media and she was going to help push me and my comic strip through the syndicate process as she has with others only I screwed it all up. She has ignored me ever since. And I think she would like Hal (shown here) from my new comic strip “Hal and High Water.”

What happened was I did a bunch of 10 With Tom interviews with cartoonists and I happened to interview one of her favorites. She helped get this particular cartoonist published and syndicated and she seems like she is in love with him, at least it appears that way from her Facebook posts, but she did fawn all over him in an online chat.

Well, she saw the interview and asked to befriend me on Facebook. I wondered, “Who the hell is this person wanting to befriend me?” And then I looked her up and saw she worked at the syndicate. I got all excited. I approved her friendship and that was that.

But as I do too often, I’ll approve a friend, someone I have not seen in years, and we don’t interact. We are just there. So I said to myself, “Let me say hello and introduce myself so as not to just have our ‘friendship’ linger.” I sent her a direct message and for the next hour, we had a conversation back and forth on Facebook Messenger.

She asked about my own cartoons and offered to help! She and I spoke about that bitch who works at the syndicate who I told you about before, the one I confronted at ComicCon, and lo and behold, she hates her and she called her every name in the book, using some filthy language! I was shocked and excited. I had an ally. She told me all sorts of gossip about the syndicate and she told me about all the famous cartoonists she has known and I thought, “This is it, I reached my tipping point.” I truly wanted to meet her.

She then told me to send her my comics, printed out in hard copy form. She said she was going on vacation the next day and she would look at them upon her return. So I agreed.

The next morning, she checks in on Facebook in Islamorada, one of the Florida Keys, which is basically in my neighborhood! What should I do? Invite her and her husband for drinks? Coffee? Lunch? I wasn’t sure how to approach it. I had only “met her” online the night before and anything I did or said would obviously look like me reaching out to use her influence. Should I bother her on her vacation or what? I wanted to, but I respected her privacy.

I decided to not say anything. And all that week she posted her adventures on Facebook, she was in my neighborhood for lunch, she went to a museum, they went fishing, they really did it all and me, I stayed silent. I didn’t even “like” her posts. I just stayed silent.

I guess that was not the thing to do because she has never said a word to me again. I did reach out and ask if she received my comics and I got silence back. I was ghosted by her, a potential mentor.  To this day, which is almost a year later, she has not said a word to me on Facebook and we do comment on common posts. We agree with things politically and we enjoy the same comic artists and we have so much in common.

I do see from her posts that she travels often and likes to get together with people. I didn’t know. I honestly didn’t mean to offend her. I truly wanted to meet with her and pick her brain, but I guess I wanted to respect her privacy, too and therein lies the rub, I ruined my chance of what could have been something so great. Now I’m on my own again, pushing my comics and trying to get noticed.

UPS ruined my cooking experience

I ordered one of those Instant Pots. I have been wanting to make bone soup and other things in a crock pot and I read about this newfangled pot in the NY Times and I ordered it from Amazon.

instantpotIt came in two days. I haven’t tried it yet, I may try to figure it out this weekend.

I do have a complaint though, it’s about the delivery. The UPS driver just threw the box over the gate, you know, like you see on the tv news? I’m assuming this is a delicate piece of equipment and throwing it over the gate isn’t a good thing.

I complained to UPS about the driver and asked why he didn’t ring the bell, which he never does. Their response was that the driver cannot call me and that I should choose another delivery address for deliveries in the future!

I didn’t ask the driver to call me, I asked that they ring the bell and I was home, why would I ask for another delivery address?

So if the food in my Instant Pot comes out bad now, I don’t know if the pot was damaged in delivery or if it’s operator error.

UPS and their stupid response is unacceptable and is a total example of what is wrong with society today.