Spent Christmas Eve evening with Judy. Then I came back Christmas Day and we fixed a fabulous turkey dinner, with ALL the fixin's. Brought my notebook pc, which has the free version of Skype on it and Judy was able to talk to her daughter and grandkids for as long as she wanted, for FREE. Like a lot of people now-a-days, neither one of us have a "land-line" phone anymore. She gave me some new shirts and I bought her a sexy (but NOT risque) top and a denim mini-skirt. Even in her mid-50's she still has a cute figure, wears a size-"1".
*** *** ***I must apologize about all the images I posted this past week. Usually I run them through my INFANVIEW program to resize them before uploading. This way you can get a larger image when you "click" through them. I actually loaded all the photos for last week into each day's file folder almost two weeks ago and then forgot to go back and do the resizing. Duh! Talk about dumb operator. And on all of yesterday's post I just left the images the size they came out of the camera, which is pretty big.
*** *** ***Lets see, over the past week I successfully broke a rib on my right side. Suggestion: if you are a short, fat, old fart, like me, don't try leaning over the side edge of your vehicle's trunk (boot) to reach sumptin' on the floorboard. Using your rib cage as the fulcrum is really stupid. It doesn't hurt too much. Only when I lift luggage, laugh, breathe, stand up, sit down, lay in bed, walk, etc. The Docs don't tape up ribs anymore, so it is just a matter of waiting for the edges to meld back together.
Business-wise, it was our worst case scenario. People arrived on Wednesday, but didn't leave the hotel. Last Tuesday I metered $45 for the shift. Wednesday was just a bit better at $65. Thursday rang up $130. Thats very pitiful. Friday and Saturday were very good. Saturday's big bucks was mostly due to a canceled flight. Yup, America West blew it again. They really have a poor track record here on Mau'i. But their failures means some big bucks for me. It took almost 6 hours to get everyone moved from the airport to a hotel. The biggest problem was finding a hotel, it was Christmas weekend. Somehow the America West station staff was able to accomplish that. We got the first call for this around 1:30am Sunday morning and all the 12 cabs that were working the graveyard shift on the island just kept doing round-robins until everyone was taken care of. Even three of our day drivers were able to participate. One of my trips was from the airport all the way to the Ritz-Carlton, in Kapalua. With the exception of a trip to Hana, thats the longest possible fare that a cabbie could get. More than $100! The airline even ran out of vouchers to give to people. Not really an efficient operation, IMHO.
This late surge in business indicates that our country's economic picture is not as rosy as the government would have us believe. This was the softest Christmas I have seen in the (almost) 13 years I have lived here. Rather than staying a week or 10 days, most tourists are just here for 2 or 3 days. That is a major shift in priorities. I think this coming week will be profitable. At least I hope so. I need the cash to meet my monthly obligations on the 1st. Also, the first four months of the year will determine if I get to do my roadtrip with the grandkids this summer.
Think positive, Wil. Think positive.
Hopefully, also, my visitor count will go back up to normal levels. The holidays caused a major drop in activity. The daily counts dropped by over 50% for the past week. At least I hope it was the holidays that caused this.
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I am at a loss as to why some of you are having problems accessing the Haloscan comments link. Everytime I check it, everything seems "hunky-dory". You may have also noticed that I have begun responding to "comments". Philosophical change on my part.
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As might be expected, the amount of physical violence, in and around the bars, dramatically increased this past weekend. That is not uncommon. While Hawai'i is THE 50th State in the Union, in reality it is the richest "third world" nation. Our local government acts like a "third world" country. The local people's mindset is that of a "third world" country. Hawai'i is the definitive example of "Haves" and "Have Nots". It causes problems.
*** *** ***About 8:00pm, last night, I got a call from Kimo, our most senior driver. There were only two cabs working. The other driver was headed to the "West-Side" and he was left alone. He wanted me to come out and work. I had to turn him down, since I had consumed a couple of glasses of wine and I was in that lethargic period we all get into after a HUGE turkey dinner. I was having trouble keeping my eyes open as Judy and I watched TV. Apparently, the other three drivers were "no-shows". Flakes!
This was my first time to have Christmas/Christmas Eve off since I moved to Mau'i. I wasn't giving up that for anything. I haven't yet decided whether I'll work New Years Eve. It is our busiest night of the year. If I absolutely need the money to meet my debts, I'll do it. Otherwise, I plan on enjoying my first New Years Eve off in over 13 years. While New Years Eve is BIG BUCKS, it is also a major pain in the ass. Amateur drinkers, who don't know their capacity for alcohol and a lot of pukers. Our "Bill Of Fare" doesn't include a "fouling fee" so they can blow chunks over everything and just walk away with no obligatory compensation to the driver. Leaving the cabbie to go "out of service" for a couple of hours to clean the mess up. And as every cabbie out there knows, no matter how good you clean your vehicle, the smell will linger for days.
The tips are usually pretty good on that night, People just shove money at you. But sometimes the gain is just not worth the pain.
Talk to y'all tomorrow.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
North Shore - Haweiwa Ali'i Beach Park
"Let's all be careful out there!"