Sunday, July 29, 2007
On this posting I would like to share a few thoughts with you all.
Last night at the end of the shift I picked up 2 men and women going home. They had had a good night out as this was around 7am. First drop was at Donnybrook. Guy starts saying,here driver take this 50 give me back 20 and bring these people home.
All the usual banter giving him back the 50 etc and eventually he gets out.
I think it was an Audi with a great sounding engine. He walked to the car and got in.
No he's not going to drive.
Yes he did, with a roar like a Farrari he shot onto the road and headed towards UCD.
I blew my horn as he had not seen a drunk crossing the road.He avoided the drunk and gave us an exhabition of high speed driving.
The boys sitting in the front called him all the names under the sun while the girls in the back said he was really nice and if we really knew him we would not say such things.
So I brought everyone home and then went into Donnybrook Garda station.
I told the garda on duty the story and he looked at his watch.
This said it all, they were about to change shift and there would be no one to follow up the story for a while. But he would "do his best".
No one ever goes out with the intention of killing someone.
Perhaps if we slowed down we could avoid idiots like the guy last night.
Motorcyclists keep your lights on and slow down.
The flowers at the tree are where a Porsche turned right into the path of a biker.
The other photo shows the imprint of a car on a wall. 18 years old drink or drugs or both, the passenger had to be scraped from the wall on the opposite side of the road..
When I was young a real nice caring man brought me around his scrapyard to show me, not the wrecked cars but the wrecked lives.
You are starting off driving, I will show you this, its real and I am not trying to scare you, you can't teach or scare young people
Bent steering wheels, knees through the dashboard. bits of flesh on the bracket which holds the steering colum in place, hair and flesh on windscreens.
Blood on the headcloth of the car and a babys shoe.
Every one of these people would love if they could turn back their lives 10 seconds.
All the cars can be replaced,beautiful cars worth nothing.
Priceless lives lost or in ruins.
The road the undertaker goes has no road back.
I was back at his scrapyard a few years ago and his grandson is running it now.
They have fantastic Farraris, Porsches, BMWs and Mercs..I took some photos,they're not pretty.
The present boss has a Bentley The number is tin man or something like that.
Need a part. he's your man.
So don't let your life end in the scrapyard. Take the taxi home.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
If the second photo does not load up click on this little box above.
Here is a famous Georgian door from Fitzwilliam square.
Nearys bar just off Grafton St. Its claim to fame is that the barman threw out a group of people for singing. Donie Potter had auditioned Pavarotti to do a part for the Rathmines and Rarthar Opera society. Well he just wanted to demonstrate a small section in the piece. The barman went frantic "I told you lot before No Singing, get out and never come back again"
Pavarotti got the gig and went on to do quite well for himself. He later came back to Dublin and did a show for no fee in gratatude to the R&R for giving him his start.
His hand prints are on the foot path in front of the Gaitey Theatre.
Well its been head down,foot to the floor since I came back from the USA.
Yesterday my friend John rang me from the hospital, he is hooked up to all kinds of monitors. He felt a bit off color and walked up to the hospital(about a mile). The doctor saw him and figured he had been suffering a mild heart attack and he would need do more tests.
I suppose if they told you that it was a bad heart attack you would die of fright.
So boys and girls lets get work life balance back on track.
Funny how things work out and how odd people are.
Passing the 4 Courts I was stopped by an English couple.
"Take us to this address.".(Why do people print things so small on business cards)
They had been in court and they were not happy with their solicitor they had and they were on their way up to tell him so.
En route they rang him, but he was busy and would talk later.
This would mean missing their flight home to England.
I parked up and got out giving them privacy on their call.
When she was finished she called me back into the car.
"Airport please" "How do you get the number for the law society?"she asked. Better still its just around the corner said I, so I took them there. While the girl was inside the law society the man asked me if I knew of a good solicitor..Well I phoned a friend and I had the name of one of the top criminal lawyers in the state. When his sister (as it turned out) came back he told her that I had given him a contact.
"Well with the greatest respect what would a taxi driver know?"
That information was from a prison officer who has spent 30 years bringing criminals in and out of the courts.
Not yet happy she decided to try one more time.
So she went back again to the 4 courts to speak to the clerk of the court who gave her another different opinion about what she should do.
You see the staff who work the courts are often temps. as there has been an embargo on recruiting staff for a long time.
All the staff who KNOW HOW THINGS WORK HAVE GONE ON TO BETTER THINGS.
Well any more information from me she would have to pay for.
But my man is THE man if you are up on serious charges.
(Still You would seem to be guilty if you turned up in court with the cleverest defense in the land)
I could have rung my brother who is a solicitor, but then taxi drivers know nothing!
She is a barrister with a UK practice.God help us!
Lady you never get involved in law cases involving friends or family, you are too close to the problem and as a result you can make bad mistakes.
Another strange one happened around 5 am.
Sopped by a couple at the bottom of Dawson St.,Started the meter.....A long long pause then the lady gets in alone.
The guy she left behind looked like Malcom McArthur the subject of Ireland's most bizare murders, who is out now. Who in this day and age wears a polo neck bry nylon polo top in 2007?.
Then her phone rings. "We have been through this a 100 times and the answer is still no.No! NO!.......
Well if you must follow on the taxi will cost you e6.40. You can stay for a while and do what you must but only if you leave me alone after that."
"Why can't I find a normal man?"she said to me.
Well when you say things like what you just said it is a miracle you are still alive.
What I did say was " Tell him you are a lesbian and even if you he was the last man on earth he still would have no chance, then turn off your phone".
She just got out and almost sighed "Why must I be the victim"
I think a few evening classes would be a good start.
Followed by a hill walking group, or perhaps a canoeing or a sailing weekend.
She looked good enough(divorced perhaps) guess she needs a life coach.
Now for something different.
Got a sat nav from Aldi. set her up. It must have been programmed for use by foreign drivers because every time we set off on a trip it took me the opposite direction.
Rang the helpline..Enough said.
So back into the box and no try this or try that for me.
It don't work.
Garmin for me in the Autumn sales.
Monday, July 23, 2007
When it comes to photographs I do not consider the photos that I publish as being photographs, if they were they would have taken hours to compose and they would be a different kind of animal. These are snapshots. Real photographs can really knock your socks off and every time you look at them you see more.
I love that first communion shot the young boy surrounded by his bigger sisters.
The lighting and focus in the other portrait are as always superb.
The photographs featured were on display in photographers shops here in Dublin.
Nixon on the Clontarf seafront and the other guy is situated in Dalkey dart station.
Each of them display stunning portraits from time to time. Well worth a detour if you are passing.
Henri Cartier Bresson went off every day with 4 or 5 cameras and boxes of film and snapped all day and surprise surprise, lots of good photographs resulted.He then became the founder of the Magnum photographic agency. When you go to the website take a look at Eve Arnold. Now theres a woman with a good eye for a great shot. Click on Magnum then the name of photographer then to portfolio on the bottom left. Enjoy.
Black and white is still the best medium for photography.
Bavid Baley took some fantastic photographs he probably invented the supremodel. He fell in love with a lot of his models and his divorces cost him a lot.
His photos of Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy are legend.
These two ladies still look great today by the way.
Photoraphers who are not known by name will instantly be known by their work Steve McCurry took this haunting photograph
Dorothea LangeA chance encounter at a side road placed the suffering of the dust bowl migrant people into the minds of the American people.
Though the banks own nearly all the farms now.
Nearly 40 years ago I was in Madrid, it's a very social town and I met many people. Harry Cardonez Santos still sticks in my mind, played cards for a living,started me in magic.
But there was this guy we met who had a penthouse apartment in a good area, with balcony and good furniture."Show John How you got this apartment"
Story was he had taken photos at a Grand Prix.
"It was just by chance, I was walking to a vantage point with my camera in my hand,suddenly Bang! A formula one car came flying into the sky and I just started taking photographs" His photos were syndicated all over the world and were even on the cover of Life magazene.
The funny part is that he MIGHT have had his lens cover on or the settings on the camera may not have been correct. But on this day all his numbers came up it was like winning the Lotto!!!
Thought you would like this, "hats off to photography".
Its been great getting back into the swing of things again, the all nights really fly on at a pace.
You can get from A to B in no time and interesting things happen.
I picked up a girl at 4 am who was looking for a hotel.
Drove her to Bewleys hotel which was full.
The porter told us that all the hotels will be full tonight and it was 4 am.
So I took a chance and brought her home to my place. She protested , but when she herd that my wife and son would be there she relaxed a bit.
There was only a few hours left in the night anyhow, so I went back to work.
My wife nearly dropped dead when I said that there was a girl in my bed !
Still she was a great girl and if my own kids were stuck I would like to think that someone would look after them.
She got on well with my wife and Madeline asked her to stay another night if she wanted, she did not contact us again so I guess she got fixed up.
I reckon that your instinct can tell you whats the right thing to do.
Still you only have to get things wrong once and pick up an axe murderer !!!!
Monday, July 16, 2007
The sun comes out to play for a day. Rose garden festival St.Annes park Clontarf.
A selection of foreign language papers sitting in a shop.
Many are printed in Ireland.
If life gets you down Mrs.Brown.....
Well you know by now its the Galaxy song.Look back in the blog its there.
Boys and girls I hate to be the boil on the backside of life.
But this has got to stop.
There is nothing ..apart from a few things that upsets me more than when people start behaving like lemmings.
The Lemming is an animal that lives in N.England and Scotland that decides to swim to N America every few years.
They jump off the cliffs.
Many many years ago America was close to Scotland and they could swim now they don't make it now.
Suicide is one of my hobby horses.
Then one after the other they come.
OK your wife talks on the phone when you are at home and you have problems.
No one will listen.
Ring the Samaritans
In Irealand its 1850609090
Or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Or better still send them a cheque
113 Marlborough St.
Opposite the Abbey
Throw the TV out the window if you must.
Blow the building society or bank up to get attention.
But don't kill your kids and then jump from the highest bridge.
A son shoots his elderly mother and father then kills himself today.
In New York a man from Ballyjamesduff killed his kids then himself, seems like his wife was giving him a tough divorce.
A wrestler from Canada killed his fam1ly and then himself 2 days later, TV over there goes into the smallest detail.
A mother and infant drowned yesterday in Cork.
I was forced to meet a friend the other day who killed his son on the eve of the child's birthday.
He was having mental problems and when this happened all the alarm bells started to ring.
Before it happened,every effort was made by different people to divert the tragedy.
His wife was contacted but would not pass over the phone to him,with all the calls,she hung up, they rang back many times until the phone was taken off the hook.
His siblings rang the police. They got the call.But they did not go to the house.
They cannot be at every hand bag fight, I accept that.
But you know perhaps they should have been at this one.
He killed the boy and to the day I met him in Dublin I have not spoken to him.
What do you say ?
Now 7 years later he himself still cannot even begin to realize what he did.
I could not speak to him until now.
I can not understand how you can harm your own child.
Our sons were the same age.
I could kill my own kid at times, but not literally.
The emotion left me drained like I had been playing football for 2 hours.
If I seemed distant when you got into my taxi recently this is the reality I was dealing with.
Fuck me this is a long way from BIG BROTHER.
Which occupies most peoples thoughts at present.
One reality for you,the other reality for someone else.
It seems to me that I got on the big dipper at Blackpool.
While you guys got on the Luas.
I was facing 40o inclines.
While I speed down steep slopes withe knuckles bleeding.
You complain of slow trains.
Reality for me and you was different.
Later if you hang on all will become clear.
I picked up a girl one day beside my own house
(I live in a very posh area)
A great looking kid looked 14, no not even great, but fantastic looking.
During the journey to Jamese's st. hospital she opened up to me.
She had tried to slash her wrists and the local doctor had sent her for stitches.
She is a alcoholic and has been since she was 15, she could not get treatment and her parents would not listen to her,they are too busy.
I pulled into the hospital and spent an hour talking to her, I sat on the step of the van so as not to intimidate her.
In the end | wrote to the samaritans and had stickers for taxis and cards printed, the cards to hand to passengers and stickers for taxi windows.
Also to send posters to every doctors waiting room.
Put the stickers up.
Boys and girls go to the NTDU offices and Mr. Tommy Gorman will give you some.
Call into the Samaritans HQ and they will give you the cards.
If you live overseas print out cards with details of your local samaritans on your printer, so that you have them.
Think of UK telecom people who check the phone box at Beachy head 4 times a day to make sure the phone is working. The people who put stickers in the phone boxes in the area.
Even the guys who wait there to pull back the jumpers. The jumpers fight to die.
People are under a lot of pressure now.
Listen a little, as a Taxi driver from N Ireland told me,"she had terminal cancer.She had decided not to tell her family instead she loaded me with all this".
A quote Gareth Owen whose wife and child were buried yesterday.
"When my wife walked into my life I found my sun,moon and my everything".
With the birth of their son their lives were complete".
It is believed that his wife was suffering from post natal depression.
She drowned herself and the baby.
"My sense of loss knows no bounds. My whole world lies before me in a wooden box. Family no more. Its place in the universe snuffed out. My grief and pain has no limit".
Today or tomorrow you could save a life with a few well chosen words.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Irelands first black person
Phil Lynnot of Thin Lizzy. What a rocker .Glad I can share that with you.
Lived fast died young. Statue is beside McDaids bar off Grafton St.
The old Dublin landmark The Five Lamps.
This area was bombed by the Germans by accident to prompt Eamonn Develera not to give access to Irish ports for British navy ships during the world war 2.
Well one thing that sticks in the mind is a lucky guy from Newry whose day changed when he closed the boot of his car at the airport.
Porsche Boxter. Put his bag and jacket into the boot at the airport.
Just as the boot closed it hit him. Keys in jacket!!!!!!!
And the car locked..
Rang his motorists helpline.
The guy could not help,he even brought his tow truck,but because of the height restriction in the multi story car park he could not lift her.
1/2 the world is on holiday.
Taxi to his home in Newry to get the spare key then back e500 the remote on the key would not work.!
Key is coded wrong.
Key will open car but no manual release for the bonnet inside.
Now the trunk(as the Yanks say) is in the front so you just cant pull the seat forward and get at the luggage.
All the hotels were booked up. Rod Stewart and Barbra Streisand are in concert here in Dublin.
He was very good about it all and said that he never frets about what is not within his control,you have to wonder how he got out of it.
Porsche should have a record of the key code, I hope they have.You would need your chasis number ,I hope this is not another trip to Newry!
I hope he is off on his holidays in Sligo as we speak.
Told him this would have to go in the blog,
One of the drivers at the Airport told of a neighbor of his who locked her keys in her car. When one of thieving neighbors herd of her plight ho opened it without damage in one minute.
He had a brick and hit the floor of the car at an exact point and the locks popped open cost her e40. It was a Mazda car.
Steve Guard is the guy I would call in Dublin it would be no harm to put the number of one of these handy guys on your phone now and not be looking for the number when the odds are stacked against you.
My Toyota Avensis does not exist on the Toyota computer. The key can only be replaced in a garage at a cost of e3,000 plus.It involves replacing locks and components deep within the engine.
So if I loose my keys its a new car for me.
Saw a cop in New York pop open the locks in a jeep in 3 seconds flat. Beautiful 6 liter tow truck he had. He told me that he can open any car in under 2 minutes.
They lift 1,000 cars a day so its big business.
Weather so wet but this morning the birds are singing so I hope you get some sunshine for your holidays.
Conrad Black of Hollinger fame has been found guilty of fraud in Chicago.
He was a Millionare with A Billionare lifestyle.
Creative bookkeeping kept him afloat but as in the case of Enron they found a rat who struck a deal to save himself.$86 million I think they reckon he took.
That would be on top of his normal pay.
Suppose he will keep the "Sir" that Maggie Thatcher gave him.
It might be useful when he gets out, that is if he ever goes to jail,
like Paris Hilton.
A fantastic story of greed and power.
Will read all about it when I get my day off.
I am not mentioning anyone in particular when I refer to the e110 million drugs find last week. Some of the finance would have to have come from "legitimate"sources.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Guinness sponsor the hurling league here in Ireland and the advertising agency have been coming up with great posters. Here is one. The eye is a slither (ball used in hurling)If you get a chance to see a game It is the fastest game in the world after shooting and ice hockey.
The second one is of Dun Laoighre (formally known as Queenstown)looking towards Dublin with Joyces Martello tower and the 40 foot bathing place behind me.
When I was a young man I worked in the international telephone exchange, as a night worker. Times were so different then.The bigger towns had direct dial,but the smaller ones had manual exchanges. You rang the "exchange" which would be a room attached to a house. The operator would plug in the connection and twist the handle, or he might say,Is that Alice calling? Your mother is at Mrs Murphys house I will put you through there. No? I want to speak to Peter the voice would say. Ok he is over in Flannerys I will connect you now.
The telephone operators "monitored"all the calls and many operators cashed in on information received.Horses, Greayhounds and loose women.
Aristottle Onnassis suprisingly was one.
But in Greece I hasten to add.
I would love to see a top ten of people who were telephone operators in an earlier life.
So calls were brief and no business discussed.
Hard to believe that people are walking round with phones in their pockets and computers GPS camera and Phone all combined.
I have stat counter on my blog and it has a feature where you can trace the town where the visitors came from.(not their e mails)
Starting in Canada. Surry BC Dodge city TX Round Rock TX Minnesota MINNI Palm Beach FA New York NY Moving east Ireland England Scotland and Wales. On to Madrid SP Roma IT.Over to Africa Benin(Nigeria I think) Then off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Then to Perth, Sydney,Adelaide.
God the world has become so instant.
I am not sure if that is today or over a 2 day period.
If a hen snezes in China half of America shit themselves.
One thing in noticed in the US was how TV was all about this disease, bad food from China, poisoned toothpaste on and on. I would make you sick just listening to the way they ranted on.
I don't know if you got the e mail(dear reader) about the different attatude between the Glasgow Joe public opinion about bombers recently versus the American views of the situation. "Oh my god I thought we were all going to die"(US) "He came out covered in smoke so I kicked him in the bollox(testicles) and finished my pint"Scottish. ETC. (do you want it all?)
Rangers and Celtic supporters. (Catholic and Protestant)Stood side by side and they say they were the best riots that Glasgow has ever had.
My middle son is in Uganda and I just got a text to say he has arrived and its HOT.
Good luck Steven bring back loads of photos.
So we get to meet the world and the world comes to us.
Gionni Versatchi will be 10 years dead this week.
No don't tell me that it seems like only yesterday.
Twice through the Port tunnel today funny cause I had only been through it once since it opened. It saves a lot of time during rush hour.
Its time to take my personal trainer out for her walk.
Why are dogs bad dancers?
Because they have 2 left feet!
Look I came back and I wanted to tell you about this. Imagine e100. The tax man would persecute you to account for it.
Then think of 1 million.
Then wait for it.
e110,000000 Thats 110 Million in drugs found when a boat got wrecked off the Cork coast. The boys in blue (garda) had no information about it.
The boat was bought in Spain.
One woman nearly died of shock when the police came to tell her that her son had been arrested.
HER SON HAD DIED AS AN INFANT. THEY HAD STOLEN HIS IDENTITY AND GOT A PASSPORT.
This is mad stuff.
Look at that great book The Day Of The Jackal.
That was in the 60s
This should NEVER HAPPEN IN MODERN SOCIETY.
If they had employed my good friend from Wexford they would have been home and dry.
(He is a skipper at this moment operating between Malaysia and Australia.
I will tell more later.)
How can you process such an amount of drugs and the money that follows.
Without it coming to the surface somewhere.
"Mary down the road has a new bicycle I wonder how she got tha money for that?"
The whole world is mad.
Or maybe its just me.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Tall ships wait in the rain during the tall ships dockland festival.
A selection of taxi meters at Robbinsons, the meter mans garage.
Well Las Vegas was the place to be on the 7/7/007.
Hundreds of weddings.
Hope they all last.
Take a look at the posting from the Las Vegas cabibie.
This story is becoming a classic in the blogesphere!
More to follow
Sunday, July 08, 2007
A guy takes off from Dollymount strand they have parraschutes which the use to surf at incredable speeds in the sea.
The car is an Edsel, enough said.
Well "Home sweet home and the fire out" As my poor old used to say.
Seems like no time at all since I broke my timing belt ,missing my holiday bonus.
Fortunately the Toyota Avensis engine in my car 2l Petrol in non obstructive, so I did not have to take the head off or get a new engine.
My first time in America,Boston is a great city, not vast good infrastructure metro and overpasses and the place works well.
The buildings fit in well together and old and new sit side by side.
Victorian redbrick houses are splendid on tree lined avenues.You enter the house from a flight of stairs from street level and standing in the hall there 2 floors below you and 3 above. The houses were really dry not like over here where damp would be a constant battle. We stayed in a "Brownstone"building but that did not work out so well, details later.
The"Big Dig" which is their traffic fiasco taking years to finish way over budget and not finished yet.Chunks of concrete falling down and killing people.
Bostonians are well dressed and well educated with Harvard and the MIT turning out lawyers and engineers by the minute.
The emigrants who went to the states got their children well educated and fought for the rights of the people who were coming on behind them. If the system is unjust you have to change the system from within,where you have real power. Not fight it from the Outside where you cannot change it or even undrestand how it works.
2nd and 3rd generation Chinese and Irish were the most confadent I saw, you could see by the way they held themselves that the work done by their parents to send them through the school system had installed a high work ethic into them.
There were a fair share of homeless and nutters going round, sad to see such wealth and poverty. But thats the World.
After a few days we went to New York for 3 nights and 4 days. Stayed at the Wellington hotel right up beside Carnegie Hall. Functional and clean.
David my son ran up a bill of more than $860 talking to his girlfriend in Dublin. "You hang up first" "No you hang up first"
New York is fantastic and I feel a lot safer walking the streets there than here.
The people are friendlier though they are always in the fast lane.
Cop with a tow truck opened a big jeep with his "Slim Jim" in 4 seconds flat they tow away more than 1,000 cars a day. The hum Vee and Ram jeeps take you breath away, with their looks and the heat they leave behind them at the lights.
Empire state was great had a contact and jumped the line! Got great photos, beautiful art deco detail. The workmanship and finish is to die for. Don't eat in the deli across the road, thats where I got food poisoning ! Wish I could tell you the exact name, but we all know meat lying out in trays for hours is a sure way to kill people.
I really thought I was going to die and by 4.30 I got up and dressed and found a 24 hour deli which sold everything. A Korean man had great sympathy for me and sold me Alka Seltzer.After a few hours it worked.
On the way back over to the Hotel I was met by a New Yorker who was a real pet lover.
"Honey would you like to come over to my place to play with my Kitties?"I just waved and then she said, "We could have loads of fun if you brought me back to Ireland"
Sharp girl, cause I never spoke a word and I am sure she was loads of fun too.
The night security porter at the hotel was a big guy. The only time I saw an animal as big he had a ring through his nose and a chain dragging from it. (Agricultural bull show) Any bouncers or bodyguards I met were polite rather than hostile and aggressive attitude that you find here in Dublin.
The journey to and from New York was by train Amtrak The cheapest way to go is by the
Chinese buses which are like a secret service for students and migrants.
The landscape of New England and the scenery changing was like being in a movie. Small towns shops without shutters. Boats at many houses, wooden houses hundreds of them. Like being in the Great Gatsby at times, expected to see Robert Redford walk in and tell me it was time to go down to the back of the train now. Then we saw the landscape of Manhattan in the distance with its steel and glass towers creating canyons in these canyon beds nations of the world move to make dreams come true.
Over in the harbor lady Liberty lifts her lamp of hope.
"Give me your tired and your poor
The huddled masses of you teeming shore"
Its one hell of a town.
Do the 3 hour boat trip around Manhattan it gives you a great overview of the whole place.Our guide was witty and I have photos of Irving Berlins house or was It Hammersteins place, maybe they lived together.
Photos and more to follow. My computer memory is full up with gaming things and I have a lot to do. Oh yes I was on Radio Free Eireann in New York
I was on the 18 th June at the end of the show