One thing about driving a taxi is that it gives you a chance to think between jobs.
What would it be like if I won the lotto?
What will I do next when I have to give up the taxi business?
Will it rain today?
Whats going to happen next?
All big things to ponder on, but here is a situation that no one should find themselves in.
She got into the taxi with a washed out expression, she had reached the wall of exhaustion and now was on autopilot.
She gave me an address and an area. I told her I didn't know the street, she said it was OK.
50 yards was all we covered when she started talking.
Some people talk to be sociable.
But this was an escape of emotion fear and grief.
You may know that we have had a spate of murder suicides lately.
Really horrific killings. No I don't know why it is happening now, but perhaps it is all the doom and gloom going on with no end in sight. Plus the fact that those people who caused this avalanche of finances have not been brought to justice, nor will they because our elected representatives have their dirty hands in the till.
"I am so tired I could sleep for a month"
She went on to ask me if I had heard of that shooting in the midlands where the man shot the girl and then shot himself?
"Well he did that in my car"
She took me through the whole situation and "then when he didn't come back to the house I walked down to where he said he was going. I saw the car and walked up to it, I knocked on the window, I thought he had fallen asleep, then I opened the door and he flopped over, I knew he was dead straight away, he had shot himself.
I found out later that he had shot his girl as well"
So all the screaming for help and the police arriving, she was suspect number one for the murder. Her phone was taken away to study her calls. After a few sessions of questions she was set free, without phone or car.
She managed to arrange a session with a therapist and after 10 minutes the police came banging on the door for another session with them in the Garda station.
If she had money the Garda would have to produce a warrent, they couldn't just badger her like they were doing.
The poor woman was a wreck !
She happened to mention to one of her kids that she would have to get another car.
"You needn't ask us for any money" was the answer she got.
She let rip with her tongue.
"All the things I have done for you lot and when I was stranded down there none of you thought that I might have needed someone to get me cigarettes or a bottle of lemonade.
I have done a really bad job on rearing you lot"
Whe we arrived close to her road she drew a blank.
"I can't believe it. I can't remember where I live"
Now I can understand that perfectly well. So I pulled over and opened the windowas and asked her to close her eyes and count slowly up to 10. Sure enough her head had re booted and we finished our journey €12 on the meter. "Just give me €10" I said.
I knew by her face that that was the first bit of kindness she had recieved for a few days.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
A "Gay pride" flag flies from the Blackpool tower
The famous "Comedy carpet"
Ornamental lights which displays patterns at night.
So you need a ventriloquists doll? No problem
Magic dealers stalls, your illusions become a reality.
FISM the world championships of magic, coming to Blackpool this Summer.
Creating publicity for Showzam !
The party's over, the makeup is off.
Christian Faria Loading up the truck and van to drive back to Holland.
Showiz is not that easy either.
Ah well back in Dublin after attending the 60th Blackpool magicians festival of magic.
I must say it is quite an intense experience.
First of all there is the dealers who sell wonderful magical tricks. Things which will work in the palm of your hand up to and including bespoke illusions for your stage act.
There was around 120 dealers in all.
Then there are lectures from world famous magic lecturers, though these people are largely unknown outside magical circles.
Then there was the magic shows,
Magic from the Orient a big contingent from Korea filled the bill.
Great manipulation,show closed by Yu Ho Jin
There was quick changing by Yuji Yasuda
Magic from America, a wonderful mind reading act
You have to love Dirk Losander
Jason Latimer seen here with his glass cups and balls. What a finish!
Charlie Fry was fantastic performer, great entertainer and nice guy.
Then on Sunday Europe took to the stage.
Gean Garin did you ever see anything as clever as this?
Christian Farler did the Olympics of magic with one grand illusion after the next endidng whih and escape and substitution from a water chamber.
Then wonders beyond belief Amethyst produced a live tiger in a cage right there in front of 3,000 people.
In the discussions later it transpired that "health and safety" were also kept in the dark for many reasons. WOW
The white hats are good. A black light act, but this camera here keeps cutting away.
President of the Blackpool magicians club is the one and only Ken Dodd OBE.
Now 200 years old.!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Down around Dollymount strand.
I must say I am still stunned today after reading an article in the Sunday Times on last Sunday week.
Toyota motor corporation have told their dealers in the UK the following.
"If a customer comes in for a service while the car is under warranty you are not to fix faulty things unless the customer brings it to your notice, you must not tell them about the fault".
So there might be "nothing" needs fixing this week (car is under warranty).
Next week (no warranty) you get a list of 12 things which need fixing at your expense.
In one part of the article a guy in the UK had sold 3 dealerships rather than implement their dodgy policy.
"I, more than anyone, wish for Toyota's cars to be safe, and for our customers to feel safe when they use our vehicles"
Akio Toyoda, Toyota president
That quote is only 2 years old.
I for one person would be more than happy to be the one who made the best cars in the world !
Even if I never made any profit at all.
But I would be very upset if I destroyed the trust my loyal customers and ruined the prestige of the Toyota name by shafting them just for a few dollars profit.
Need a used car? look here.
Hooray for the taxi regulator enforcers.
They pounced on St. Stephens green and went thought the paperwork of all the taxis they had hemmed in.
I wonder what they found?
On this St Valentines day I hope some magic comes your way.
Speaking of romance, did you hear the one about the lady that suggested to the Dublin taxi driver that they have sex in lieu of payment for the taxi fare?
Well says the driver.
Its been so long since I had sex that I can't remember which one of us has to get tied up first.
And they say romance is dead!
Not long until Blackpool magicians convention this weekend.
Blackpool has loads of live shows on through the Summer and into the Autumn so there are loads of dance groups around the area.This is the Hounds Hill shopping center.
Dancing in Dublin
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Saturday night party dresses
inside Clonliffe college
2 Garda cars on a breakdown truck.
Did you ever buy one at auction?
Big tower inside Guinness
Here is one worth running past you.
It sort of shows you how the human mind works and yet it makes no logical sense.
A taxi is at the rank at Heuston station and 2 guys walk up to it and ask "Do you know where The Dublin industrial estate is? Are you sure you know? How much will it be?"
On hearing of a ball park figure they got in.
The driver asked them why they were so hesitant.
"Well yesterday we got a foreign driver who drove off and he was getting directions from someone over his mobile phone, he drove us all over the city and we were very late getting there."
The ride had cost them €35, but they gave him €40 because they felt sorry for him, they didn't get a receipt because his printer was not working either.
So the other taxi pulls up with at their destination in 1/2 the time, €16 on the meter, they get a receipt and €4 change and off they go.
So they reward bad service, such is life.
A Chef from Donegal hopped in. Her boyfriend was ill all night long and she had been acting as nursemaid. The taxis are needed when people are late.
She told me a tale about when she was younger. She had an awful stomach pain and went to Letterkenny hospital. They took a Scan and the "doctor"gave some stomach powders and suggested indigestion.
No matter how much her father protested it made no difference.She even drew a stomach full of gas, just to illustrate her point.
No second opinion was offered so he grabbed the scan and scoped her up and drove to a hospital in Derry where the operated straight away.
The scan clearly showed an obstruction in the Bowell and her intestine was about to burst.
So I asked her if she had sued the hospital?
"Well no" she said
She went on to explain that she had been told that it might take up to 10 years to come to court. She also felt that money gained that way was not lucky.
I told her that had her dad not been so strong willed that she would have died.
Insurance is paid so that if the doctor is not fit to do their job the patient gets some compensation. Also by not taking her to court she stands in incapable doctor impostor who is making life and death decisions.
If she felt that the money would be unlucky for her she could give it to charity.
Remember a doctor was suspended from Letterkenny hospital when it was discovered that she did not know how to take a patients pulse and she did not where the pulse could be found.
Like the rogue taxi driver she does nothing about it so they can just do it again.
From a strictly legal point of view.
"A missed diagnoses is no indication of neglectful or careless behavior. Therefore strictly speaking you would not have a case in law."
So Last Monday week I got a lady going to a clinic for the Mater hospital off Upper. Drumcondra Rd.
Right from the first minute I got the war cry "You're going the wrong way, turn around" etc.
I knew the actual place she was going to and I also knew that Upper Drumcondra is at the bottom of the hill and higher up at the canal end is Lower Drumcondra Rd.
In the end I pulled into the little street she was going to and stopped outside the clinic door.
"Why did you stop? I'm going to be late."
"Look at the street sign ! Look at the name on the door, just pay me and get out."
So she did just that saying "I never would have made it here on my own"
Your right there I thought to myself driving off.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Docklands, part of the new Dublin
Hatch St, steel and glass.
Ireland on the move!
The movers are emptying the office of the taxi regulator.
I wonder how many millions of Euro that office has wasted.
"Herring days"an expression from the London people who when times were hard they had to eat fish as there was no money to buy meat.
How was it for you?
Well the rugby was a classic example of what happens if you don't play right to the very end of the game.
Ireland were ahead and the Welsh slammed in a try in the dying minutes to win.
The economy still has me beaten though.
I heard today that the management style of Brussels is of the "Seagull style" They swoop in from nowhere, flap around all over the place,do nothing, then go away again leaving shit and feathers all over the place.
Brother believe me when I say this to you.
The Greeks can't pay and the Greeks won't pay.
Followed by the Portuguese, Spanish Irish and the Italians.
Try to find out what happened in Argentina when the money collapsed, and Iceland not long ago.
One thing for sure is that if I am asked to pay back a debt which some multi Billionaire who lived in Dublin 4 ran up.
I totally refuse to do it.
Even though Government ministers and other politicians were totally involved in the scams which brought us here, is all the more reason not to pay.
It is not my personal debt, so why should you or I be asked to pay ?.
Have a look at the content here.
There is content here which will point you in a somewhat different direction.
There was a thing in the paper which shows how low the quality levels of journalism have now fallen to here in Ireland.
A Polish girl living here wrote an article for a Polish newspaper in which she spoke about living on the dole and the beauty of Ireland and what a delight it was to live in Doneagal beside the seaside where she could walk for miles along deserted beaches at dawn and so on.
Well an article appeared in the Irish Independent newspaper which was supposed to be a translation of the piece. There was sections where she was calling Ireland a "Shit hole" and all very negative stuff.
Then the Polish ambassador came on and translated vast sections of her article which told of her love for this fantastic country and its friendly people.
The Polish girl herself came on and spoke about her article.
Polish girls article bore no resemblance to the article written by the Irish Independent journalist whatsoever.
I do wish that the reporter who "made up"the story was brought was in to explain her racist slanderous article.
Years ago in the year 2000 at the height of the boom Manchester United signed a lease for the MU shop.
The rent was €507,000 per year and the shop and "Reds" bar closed 16 months later.
But the lease was for 15 years and the bar which now operates on the site is paying €340,000 in rent leaving €167,000 loss to the football club until 2015.
It will take a lot of football jumpers to pay for that mistake.
Still they were a bit silly to think that Irish people would pay €15 for a mug or €50 for a clock.
One of my first people today was a guy from Kansas city working with Yahoo. With Google,Facebook, Microsoft,Ebay,Intel and Paypall we are world leaders at the coal face of Internet technology.
But be warned we are only in the lead because we offer these companies a better tax rate than they can get elsewhere in Europe.One thing for sure is that Europe would love to make an level playing field for business within Europe, increasing our corprate tax level would do it and it will be a very bad day for us if that happens.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Today the Welsh dragon flag is flying all over Dublin.
A Welsh Male voice choir.
A nice bit of a brass band and you're home with Cathrine Zeta Jones and her grandfather Tom!
I will admit that the pride the Welsh have for language and country has to be admired.
Just one more thing to share with you.
My friend and neighbour Mabel has a landmark birthday today
102 and going strong.
Friday, February 03, 2012
Lir, our college of the preforming arts.
A fine vintage Merc with a ladys shoe abandoned beside it..
1880, so its been there a long time. Where is it ?
Smithfield viewing chimney.
A Cinderella carriage for hire on your wedding day.
A paper was published for discussion last week.
Among the proposals was a ban on renting taxis, or making the renter be responsible for knowing who is driving his car.
Credit cards in all taxis.
Income tax cross checks to be made of drivers.
Then wonders will never cease.
A swift clamp down in Westmorland St caught 6 illegal taxis in less than an hour.
On Friday things were working out for me fer sure. For the previous three days I was not well but thanks to our government incentive scheme I was able to work for a few hours in the morning. Then home again and back to bed.
If you are self employed over here you get no benefit if you are off sick, so your incentive is to work or to starve.
I had come home when I got a phone call from an insurance assessor I know.
A fire on Camden St. Could you bring me over?
There is nothing like a fire to gather the trades together.
So when I dropped him off he told me he was going to call me for a run to Malahide later.
Both together cost €60.
When you look after your customers your business should look after itself.
Around 5.30 I was rattling down Pearse St when I saw 2 girls with cases. I turned off the roof light and they hopped in.
Some people will drop you a subtle hint that they are a bit odd !
For her destination she gave a "### Terrace" as her destination, no hint as to where it might be.
But just then her phone rang.
"What do you mean? You've arrived? I'm in the taxi!"
Well I got a broadside from her tongue, things like. "You knew we were booked and you swooped in in front of the other taxi to steal his fare!"
And a lot worse.
"I was driving along with my light on, you hailed me and I turned it off."
I will not go into it but to say that I told her that she could pay me now and get out, then ask the other taxi to drive along and pick them up. But that my entire fare would be little more than what is on the meter now.
(In most country's there is a minimum charge which covers the first kilometer)
I also told her that she should have asked if I was the "speedy Cabs taxi" we booked?
And also look to see if it had their company logos all over the taxi.
An Arctic silence descended for a while, then she started giving the other girl a guided tour of our fair city. She was a visitor from Portland the USA.
I spotted that she had forgotten St.Patricks Cathedral and our Huguenot heritage.
So we arrived and I was getting out of the taxi I was taking the bags from the boot.
There was €10.50 on the meter, she put €10 into my hand and said she had no more money.
Perhaps I should have asked her guest if she had any money as her host was leaving me short.
Well I do believe that you make your own luck, the person who is up above dishing out good fortune will not smile on her actions today.
Some people might have said say something like.
"I hope your bead and breakfast arrangements are in order tax wise?,
no one is above the law when the tax man calls"
Ah well for every toxic person you meet there will be 100 positive well behaved people.
A long time ago I had a nasty piece of work who refused to pay me when I brought him home past Sandymount, he called me names, but I had the doors locked. When the idiot made a swing at me I spun the car around and he was back outside the Card Club on Merrion Square again in double quick time.
He still refused to get out of the car and the rain was coming down in sheets.
I pulled over to the Natural history meusm (dead zoo)where a garda came over.
He listned to us both, then told him to pay £6, I had only asked for £5.
Then he told him to get out of the taxi and if he could get another one he was to behave himself and pay to pay up when requested. I blew into the base at Metro via radio and told the dispatcher that the fare had refused to pay and tried to assault me. "Thanks for that 86, he's barred again"
You have to respect yourself a bit and not take bad manners.
This was the best advice I ever got from a customer one day.
"You respect your customers and are polite to them.
Accept nothing less from them"
I stopped the tsxi on 3 occasions to vacate the seats since then.
It works wonders, a big wake up call for some ignorant people who think that they can go through life bullying people.
I must be slipping about not noticeing that places are closing down all over the city.
William Searsons pub on Baggott St has closed..Then I was told that it closed before Christmas
Next thing was that I was told that the rent was too dear €8,000 per week !
You would have to serve a good few pints before you could pay for stock staff and other costs before you could show €8000 clear profit to pay the rent.
As establishments go this one was run in a "tricky" manner.
The prices crept up all night long. The tills were programmed to change every hour, you could be paying 80% extra at midnight on the price you paid at mid day.
It was being run as part of the Thomas Reid group who are in rapid decline.
For any pub to survive like they were trading the economy has to be out of control for them to survive.
Take the chain Wetherspoons in the UK for contrast. Cheap food cheap beer and a good standard of pub.
I know he buys food and beer with a short shelf life, but then again it is not long in stock until it is sold on.
We are all counting the pennies now for sure.