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Saturday, October 21, 2006



First, I didn't get the phone until after 10:30pm. I'll explain about that in a couple of moments.

Second, we were busy. VERY busy.

Third, it quit raining just before I started my shift.

Fourth, it was Art's (the owner) birthday.

Our fleet is down to just 9 cabs at the moment. #18's alternator died. Thats an easy fix, but our mechanic is in the Phillipines for the next three weeks. Art has to find a substitute one next week. #7 (the Lincoln Towncar) was going through deep water during the windless monsoon on Monday and the engine died. Murph has been having problems with slow speed idle. Since the exhaust pipe was below water level, when the engine quit the vacuum in the pipe sucked water all the way back into the engine. Thats going to cost around $5,000 to fix. I don't think the Kelly Blue Book on that car is that high. I suggested to Art that he just swap engines with my old #19 and #7. They are exactly the same engine (Ford 4.2L V-8) and would probably only cost around $500 to get done. He didn't realize they were the same powerplant and is pondering this new set of facts. #17 was totaled in a traffic collision last night. Jungle Jim was enroute to Mama's Fish House and was about 1/4 mile south of the Maui Humane Society's building on the Mokulele Highway, when a southbound pickup truck veered over the centerline. Jim swerved to the left to avoid a head-on collision and impacted on the right side of his cab. No one in the cab was injured. The other vehicle flipped over and both people in the truck were wearing seatbelts. The passenger was okay and the driver was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center for possible internal injuries.

We had a cab just clearing at the airport (#11) and that driver picked up the passengers and completed their trip to Mama's. Since Jim was dispatching, he also passed on the phone to #11. Now #11 is one of those dayshift drivers that I have spoken of before. He likes to stay over late but refuses to share the workload by doing some of the dispatching. Last night he was not given a choice. He HAD to do it. He opted to stay in Pa'ia after he made his drop. He would stay there until his fare was ready to return to Wailea. He had to handle all the dispatching. He was way out of his league. All of the night drivers treated him gently and tried to make the experience as painless as possible. We don't have to do that for each other.

I would rate his efforts as a generous "C". When I took the phone from him, he was visibly exhausted. He left shortly afterwards.

We had 4 cars working the southside and it was busy. I think I was the only one to not get a OGG run. Luck of the draw. Drove 105 miles, matered $1.97 per mile and had 19 paid fares, 3 "10-13s" and one "kickout".

The "kick-out" was a walkup at FoodLand. He wanted to try and find some people at some different places. A variation on the"drunkards walk". I had just pulled out of the parking lot and was waiting at a traffic light by LAB to go south on Kihei Road. Then the smell of model airplane glue overwhelmed me. I challenged him about it and he got aggressive and said it was the lei that he was wearing. That wasn't any lei I was smelling. The light changed and I made my turn and pulled to the curb. Booted him out right there.

Surprisingly, I hauled few tourists last night. Almost everyone was kama'aina (non-"local" residents).

It rained a good portion of yesterday. Stopped about the time I awoke. As I was getting ready for work and for the first hour of the night, we had a fantastic light show from the Hana side of Haleakala. Distant thunder but massive electrical discharges just below the eastern horizon.

When the brain became aware of the thunder, I pulled up the weather radar for my area and saw a string of storm cells headed towards Mau'i. As far out as the radar could see. The storm track shifted slightly to the east during the evening and most of the bad weather was in the channel between Mau'i and the Big Island.

Art turned 67 on Friday. I think I am the only driver who knew this. He can be a real pain-in-the-ass, but I truly like the guy. Age is having an effect on his health and that makes him very grumpy and harsh at times. Considering how much this week will cost him in vehicle repairs and replacements next week, he was in a good mood. Nothing was going to spoil his "Day".


Looking back to the past

A long time ago, this was the only way to get around the island.
Some 1980's images of when OGG first opened
It was a lot smaller back then and the runway was a lot shorter

"Let's all be careful out there!"