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Thursday, August 10, 2006



Like the prior shift, last night was very genial. I didn't have one passenger who even approached being obnoxious. That's rare. Also, no fights at any of the bars that I am aware of. That's even rarer. This change in personality may be do to the fact that we are back in our normal Tradewind weather. Moderate temps and lower humidity. At bar close (2:00am), the outside temp was 73of (23.8oc), which is a drastic change from the high 70's and low 80's that were common last month.

The only driver who had a rough night was Kimo. Kimo has been with Royal Cab for about 12 years, or so, and is THE senior driver. He is 72 and is very healty and as strong as an ox. His age is showing by the hearing loss he is experiencing. By his own admission, he is totally deaf in his left ear and probably has 50% use of his right ear. When he is using to cell phone to take calls, he can't hear the radio and misses a lot of radio traffic. You usually have to call him on the radio 3 or 4 times before you get an acknowledgement. When we are busy, this can really put a damper on the pace of the shift. He also starts getting a bit "fuzzy" after 11:30pm and keeps forgetting what the lineup of cabs is or that he has already dispatched one for a run.

He knows that his days as a cabbie are numbered and I will really miss him when he parks his van for the last time. I tried about a year ago to make things easier for him by realigning the dispatch duties among the other drivers but "Crazy Brian" bitched about having the phone two nights a week and the owner ordered Kimo to take it on Wednesdays. Lets face it, all of us serve at the whim and whimsy of the owner and are subject to termination at any time, for any or no reason at all. Feces occurs.

Speaking of termination, "Drunk Don" involuntarily ended his tenure with Royal yesterday. He did a "meet & greet" at the airport and at the end of the run, to The Grand, he demanded a tip from his fare. The run was on a voucher being paid by the hotel, for a VIP. The VIP was the son of the General Manager of The Grand. The son told his father what had happened and Art, Royals owner, got the call from the GM stating that he didn't want "Drunk Don" ever having contact with any of The Grand's guests in the future. Art went ballistic when he heard what had happened. Basically, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out".

I mentioned before that "The Jerk" is now driving ONE-NINE a few days a week. Well, last night I noticed that the transmission was developing a jerky action when I was just cruising down the highway at 45mph. I have had this happen before on cars with 200-300,000 miles on the odometer. It is the overdrive failing to make contact properly with the engine. This is caused by excessive wear to the transmission. The trouble is that ONE-NINE only has 41,500 miles on the ticker. The only way this could happen would be that the vehicle was doing drag race type starts from a dead stop. Multiple drivers have observed "The Jerk" do this, in ONE-NINE and cab #7, the Lincoln, on multiple occassions. They reported this abuse of company property to the owner and were basically ignored. One commenter here asked if "The Jerk" was related to the owner. The answer is no. And none of the rest of us can figure out why he is still driving. I have seen many drivers let go for far less.

"Mexican Mary" called me at 3:51am this morning, saying she was ready to come in and take over ONE-NINE from me. I had four runs pending and there wasn't a snowballs chance in hell that I was going to give any of them up. Hooked up with her later and explained about my shift hours. She and I have known each other for about 10 years, way before either of us started driving cab, and she was very understanding. We settled on an arrangement for the future that will benefit both of us.

Like I said, it was a very genial night


General seascapes

Have you ever seen the Painted Desert in Arizona?
How about the Painted Desert in Australia?
As evidenced here, the crater in Haleakala is easily their peer


"Let's all be careful out there!"