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Tuesday, July 31, 2007



On Sunday, I feel asleep about 9:30a. Totally exhausted. Then very faintly, I can hear Bear, my kitty, just screaming at me. Started to move and the nerves in the middle of my back pinched. Spasms radiating to my fingers and toes. Not ending either. Just wave upon wave of greater pain. Couldn't breath. The diaphram was spasming. Slugged myself in the gut and the spasms stopped but not the onflow of ever more pain. Staggered to the shower, and set it for as hot as I could stand. Just stood in the stinging needles of delicious heat. The pain didn't stop but it did ebb slightly. Stood almost motionless for nearly 20 minutes. When It was just barely less than unbearable torture, I crawled back into bed. Swallowed 2 aspirin along the way. Less than 1/2 hour later I was back in the shower. This time it wasn't helping. Diaphram was acting up again also. Kept coughing up thick phlem from my lungs.

It was approaching 4p and I was totally racked in pain. I seriously considered calling 9-1-1. Maybe this was some weird form of a heart attack.. Instead, I called the owner of the cab company and panted and gasped to him that he needed to revert to "Plan-B". There was no way that I was going to be able to dispatch. Finally, it reached its worst. I went to my landlords backdoor. His wife took one glance at me and called for her husband. I didn't know until the instant he appeared that he had taken massage therapy classes. For the next 2 hours, he rubbed, prodded, poked and squeezed every muscle in my body. It hurt so good!

Every muscle had that bruised feeling but was functioning. Albeit slowly and with great protest. Made it in my front door and collapsed on the sofa. My next memory was my co-worker, Kimo, standing over me. Wanting to know if I was okay. I must have told him yes. The next time I touched consciousness, I was alone.

Sometime after that, I must have crawled off to bed. Woke up about 2 hours ago. Close to 40 hours of sleep. I am now just sore all over. A couple of more days and I should be back to what I consider normal.

Turns out that the cab owner had tried to call me back multiple times and I hadn't answered the phone. He even e-mailed me.

Its really nice to know that if something tragic happened, I wouldn't become Bear's dinner.

I wonder what caused him to wake me in the beginning? He was scared and he was right in my face.


Those of you old enough to remember small towns before corporate America put up there "Golden Arches". Those little wide spots in the road with one Main Street and a business district never more than 2 blocks long. Tucked somewhere in those 2 short blocks was usually a little hamburger stand. No sit down service. No parking lot. Just a very small white painted structure, seldom more than 100 feet by 100 feet. Commonly called "Sno-White" or similar. The owner/cook wore white work pants, white t-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled into one sleeve. Often called "Sarge". Window service was a prime job opportunity for the prettier of the town's high school girls.

It was the early 70's. I was working our northeast beat. It was Christmas Eve. Actually, it was well into the pre-dawn hours of Christmas Day. The other 2 beats on our side of the county were as quiet as I was. Our go home times were staggered, so the "west side" was never without at least one patrol car available. That could be a bit tasking, since the "west side" encompassed almost 400 square miles.

Beat three got a domestic and the burglary suppression car filled with him. Beat 2 dispatched to another call . Both of these were at the far south of our area. Adjoining the next county. I was as far north as you could get.

The radio crackled:
"Zebra-1 10-63 (prepare to copy assignment). Be advised, no unit for cover (I was going in alone)."
'Zebra-1. Go."
"Zebra-1. 459-silent (silent burglar alarm). 123 Main Street. Sno-White Drive-Inn. Alarm service unable to contact subscriber."
"Zebra-1. 10-4."
I was about three miles away. Lit up the reds but stayed silent on the siren. I didn't even know that this shanty had an alarm system. Back then, motion detectors and infrared light beams were not commonly used. Just door and window contact switches. I had checked the building earlier in the shift and all was okay then. Main Street had a slight curve in it and if I entered the street from the north, no one could see me from the drive-in, which had a small driveway next to the side door for deliveries. Killed the redheads, the other lights and activated the brakelight cut out switch. I was in total stealth mode. Grabbed the shotgun from its locked rack and slithered along the storefronts. Listening, I could have heard a flea fart, and watching. A flash of muted light. A beam from a flash light hit the building across the street from the drive-in. No voices. But the sound of someone working hard. Lifting lugging dragging. I made it to the edge of the drive-in. Waited. Watched. I had my portable turned off, so as not to expose myself. I needed to know how many people there were inside and knowing that it could just as easily be "Sarge" himself.

It wasn't. A solo male. A wanna-be "pimp-mobile" stuffed as far back in the shadows of the drive as was possible.

Ducked under the front and glanced into the interior of the vehicle. Empty.

Hid in the shadows. Waiting for him to cart out his next load of goodies. Boxes of frozen meat stacked as high as he could pile it. Totally obscuring his vision.

I stepped into his path, on his blind side, racked a 12-guage double-aught shell into the chamber, which makes a VERY loud sound in the still of the night.
"FREEZE!! (thats one thing TV got right about cops. we do yell "Freeze") YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!"
He froze. Peeked around the side of the boxes at me. His eyes went bigger than a dinner plate. He turned pale, something not easy for a black man to do, and fainted.

I had him in cuffs before his eyes began to flutter open. Before he could reach the point of cognitive thought I had him in the caged rear seat of my patrol car.

"hey man. What caused you to faint?"
"That trash can you had pointed at me."
"Trash can?"
"Your shotgun man. It has a hole in it bigger than any trash can I have ever seen. I knew I was dead."
This got me 6 hours O/T, booking, reports, etc. and I didn't get to see the look in my son's eyes when he trundled downstairs to find what Santa had brought.

Missed a lot of those moments.

I am headed back to bed. More aspirin and hopefully less pain when I awake.

Talk to you tomorrow.




Waikiki Beach
Keokeo Beach
Big Island
Big Beach

"Let's all be careful out there!"

Sunday, July 29, 2007



The rising and setting full moon were beautiful last night but it was just an average night, taxi-wise.

Never left town and none of my fares exceeded $22. When I checked in there were no pending reservations, so everything was strictly "on request" or "flag".

My 3rd ride was this wonderful foursome. The second night I had them as passengers. Colm, Claire, Peter and Sarah are from Dublin, Ireland. Enjoying their summer holiday (vacation to us Yanks). Sadly they'll depart over my days off. Took them to Sansei and brought them back to their condo, my 9th fare, at 1a. Now, belying my early statement, these sons and daughters of Eire tipped me very handsomely. They were lots of fun. I wish all fares were like them.

Bar close was a bitch. Hardin was on the west-side, doing a return. TMR was on an extended run way out towards La Perouse Bay. That left just me. "Triangle" security had closed all but one access point to the property. That opening didn't allow access to the north-end where Tiki, Kahale's, Dog & Duck and Ambrosia are. Had a bigger than normal riot outside of Bada Bings at pushout. That when the phone went crazy. People calling, demanding a cab instantly because the police were making them leave. I had over 30 minutes of requests already pending. That wasn't satisfactory, they want their cab NOW!

7 calls like this in a span of 5 minutes told me that I wasn't going anywhere near the "Triangle" for a long time. If they're that belligerent, I don't want nor need them with me.

If you ever need to find a cop in Kihei around midnight, just drop by the Azeka-Mauka parking lot, in front of Panda Express.

The SUV on the left is the Sarge's. The 5 Crown Vics are our 5 beat units.
As one old timer told me, never congregate in groups. One hand grenade could take out the whole shift.

Made sense then. These guys don't work in an area where you are always a target.

Speaking of the Police. MPD has initiated a new tactic, for them, in speed enforcement.

Had one "genius" phone call on the dog-watch.
Smarter than my average "Kihei" responder when asked where he was at. Sadly, just one "baby step" smarter. This one knew what street he was on, just couldn't seem to grasp the concept that I needed a house number to wed to that street name. Finally figured out that he was at "3584". Alas, that street only has 3-digit numbering, not 4.

13 fares / 112 miles / 3rd quarter $100 bracket
If any of the above doesn't make any sense. I am exhausted and will re-read and edit later.


If you live left of the "Dateline", I regret to inform you that it is Monday.

Those on the right side, enjoy your Sunday.




Tropical Sky
Another Rainbow
Low Tide
Waikiki Beach


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Saturday, July 28, 2007



I CAN'T be that fucking old?!?

Happy Birthday, son. I love you very much.

pant, pant, gasp pant.

Give me a moment to catch my breath, okay?

Whew! Thanks. This is the first time I've stopped moving all night. My 8p "special" was ready to go at 7:15p. Renaissance to OGG. A sweet couple from Wales, UK. Starting their very long trek back home. They let me keep the dime in change as my tip. That was only 5 pence to them. Feces Occurs.

In fact, only one of my first four runs tipped me more than the coins and he was a "local"..

From 7p to 12m (5 hours), I generated 36% of the night's meter. 12m to 2a (2 hours) added the next 26% and the final 38% came during the dog-watch (2-1/2 hours).

These three angels have graced my cab for two nights in a row. There were four of them on Thursday.
Sarah, Katie and Dominique are all from the San Francisco, CA, USA, Bay Area.
They taught me that it is possible for four ladies to carry on three separate conversations at the same time. All I can tell you is that it loud. Very, very loud. Since they had just left the karaoke at Sansei, we sang The Gambler on the way back. I had lead and they did the backup/chorus.

At 1:11a, I am pulling into the bus-stop at the FoodLand lot. A guy is standing there, waving at me.
"How much to take me to Wailuku?"

"Its a $50 deposit, up-front. If it costs more,
you'll owe more. If it costs less, I'll give you back your change"
He retrieves his wallet and rumages.
"Wow! I just have $50."
I stick out my hand and he passes over 2 twenties and a ten. And off we went on a pleasant $44 trip. Gave me a $2 tip.

Started heading back and was diverted to OGG. A late arriving flight from El Lay. They had called their hotel, who called us to greet them and transport. I was there in 15 minutes. Illegally picked them up at the baggage claim curbside But have you ever tried to give directions to a strange location to someone who has been traveling for over 25 hours? Can't be done..

The Maui Airport Taxi (which has an exclusive contract with the Hawai'i State Department of Transportation for unscheduled out-bound pick-up) drivers kept screaming at me that I couldn't do what I was doing and had to go to "Pick Up #3".

They were absolutely correct. And I still just kept loading my people and their luggage. This was a serendipity run. I was just in the right place at the right time.

16 fares / 184 miles / 1st quarter $300 bracket

Everyone enjoy your weekend.

See ya soon.




Paradise Epitomized
Waimanalo Beach O'ahu
Waipio Coast Big Island
Big Island


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Friday, July 27, 2007



Another great shift. "Crazy" Brian called off sick, leaving just TMR and me to cover last night's business. Mau'i Jim hung with us until 12:30a. I don't think he really wanted to but he is a trouper and, as long as the goose was laying golden eggs, he was in the game.

Got the first fare after 55 minutes, then a second one a half hour later. That covered the first 2 hours. 2 more the 3rd hour. Everything broke loose at 10p. 5 really decent trips. The 11p "doldrums" coughed up 1 and I was bewitched with 4 midnight jobs. Bar close was just 2 short hops. Dog-watch added 2 more, including a 4:30a, Wailea/OGG.

Made it home just before 6a. Fed Bear. Today is "trash" day, so I took care of that chore.

19 fares / 145 miles / 3rd quarter $200 bracket

My first fare also scheduled a pick-up, "special", with me from their resort at 8p tonight. Taking them to OGG.

Last night was the "way" it is supposed to be. The way it has been until this year. The way I wish it remains.

I have my doubts though. The minor (yes, minor - only 2.26% yesterday) correction in the NYSE these past couple of days are an indication there is instability in the economy. Look for major economic problems sometime in November. I don't know, just a gut feeling. If it happens, a lot of people, who "Christmas" here, might not come. Thats the BUSIEST time of the year.

Until then, I hope to keep rolling the cash in.

Until tomorrow,




Secret Tropical Hideaway
Artist Credit:
James Coleman

Burning The Field...
...To Harvest The Sugar Cane


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Thursday, July 26, 2007



75 minutes after logging on, I get my first run. A $5.90 hotel/hotel fare. An hour after that was #2, from north-central Kihei down to Mulligans on the Blue. An hour later, #3 got me a short bar-rush fare. 45 minute later (Do you see a pitiful pattern here?) #4 took me from the "Triangle" back to Wailea. At 11:30p I went home for a bit. I was 4th up and there had been no dispatches since 11p (the doldrums). Another night that I was going to have to write off as a "learning experience".

Back at 1a and things had just started poppin'. Immediately given a 2-pax from Mulligans to central Kihei. Then we had 20 people at Mulligans, headed to Kihei. Every one of them were Irish. I love to listen to the lilt in an Irish accent. Especially the rising inflection of the final word in a sentence. The only problem I have with natives of Ireland is that they just don't "tip". Were absolutely stunned when I told them that I don't carry coins (quarters, dimes, nickles, pennies) for change. The combined "tip" for the two Mulligans fares was 50-cents.

I made my money on the dog-watch. Just a pu-pu shortly after 2a. Followed by a "10-13". Compiled all of today's reservations and e-mailed them to the owner. We were in deep shit. Up to 7a there were 8 runs scheduled from 4:30a and only 2 scheduled cabs to cover them. ONE-NINE and #5 (Wally). None of these were "shorties", either.

I covered the 4:30a from Wailea to OGG. A couple from Melbourne, Australia. I gave up trying to converse with them when I couldn't understand one word out of their mouth. I've heard our friend DB's voice. Easily understood. I have heard the voice of 3yo "Doctor Holly Muppet" and her Mum. Clear as a bell. I don't think the folks this morning ever opened their mouths or moved their lips when speaking. Other than that, they were very nice and tipped handsomely.

Compared to ourselves, English speaking people have very noticeable accents, whether the speaker be from the UK, US, AU, or any of the other English speaking areas of the world. Usually I can understand them.

This increased my meter for the night by about 50%. Prim (#07) checked in at 5a and Flor (#21) at 5:15a, and were both immediately given assignments. Wally asked me to hang around and cover Wailea until someone cleared. No problem.
A typo on a reservation sheet that I compile every morning had shown a pick up at 5:30p. It should have been an "a" instead of a "p". I am there and they are ready to go. To Lahaina Harbor! That adjusted my meter upwards by, again, 50% from the prior total. Made arrangements for Wally to cover the return at 3:30p. Then I got the cherry added to my sundae. As I am clearing Lahaina Harbor, a couple approaches and asks to be taken to the Hyatt in Ka'anapali. From Kuril Island, Russia. They sounded exactly like TMR and their English was easily understood. Finally cleared at 6:22a (ugh! the sun is rising!). The owner allowed me to just bring ONE-NINE home and I walked in my front door about a quarter past 7a. Exhausted! Thats why todays post is so late.

Going to grab a bite, and crawl off to bed, smiling, as soon as I hit "publish".

10 fares / 163 miles / 3rd quarter $200 bracket

Have a great day!




I Am Holding This Spot For You
Near La Perouse Bay
Typical Tropical Scene
Riding The Big'uns
The Sky Is Treetop Tall


"Let's all be careful out there!"