Started the night with gale force winds, gusting to over 50mph (80kph) at times, and wind driven squalls. Good for business, right? WRONG! Everybody just stayed in their hotels & condos. Didn't get my first run until 8:20pm. The next two runs were at 10:12pm and 10:26pm. One run in the 11 o'clock hour. Two after 1 o'clock. 3 after 2:00am, when I was alone and finally a special at 5:15am to finish off the shift. That's it. 10 runs in 10-1/2 hours and the final one allowed me to crack the $100 mark on the meter. All the bars were closed by 1 o'clock except LAB and they were empty from 1:300am until they shut the doors and extinguished the lights at 2:00am. Half my fares were over $10 but no trip reached $19. It was even worse than Tuesday night, which was shitty.
THE Big Box Hotel got caught flat-footed this past weekend when a "group" canceled at the last minute, leaving their occupancy rate at less than 50% and another of the Big Boxes is undergoing renovations , leaving a large portion of their rooms unavailable for use.
The one interesting run of the shift was a call to get some people from a residence in far north Kihei, going near Safeway. I was about 1/2 mile from the house, on a very dark and isolated street that parallels the highway in that area, when I was surprised to see an early 20's Japanese lady walking along the edge of the road, dressed in dark clothing. She didn't attempt to "flag" me so I continued on to my destination. Pulled in front of the residence and a guy opens the right front passenger door, saying,
"Hey, man, I am sorry but the chick we called the cab for has disappeared and we can't find her."
"What did she look like?" I responded.
"An asian girl."
Okay, the bells started going off in my head.
"I just passed an asian girl up by the highway. What was your girl wearing?"
"I don't remember." He turns to another male and asks him what the girls was wearing.
"I don't know." was #2's heavily accented (eastern european) response.
"She has the money and we left her car at my house. I can't even pay for you to try and find her."
WHAT THE HELL is my thought. This is basically a dead run (10-13) anyway and I am going to have to go back that direction, so I offer him a ride to see what we can locate. As with most new people on the island, he had no idea of where he lived but that it was south of Safeway. I backtracked and she was gone from the last location. I decided to try the highway, figuring that she might be trying to hitchhike and "sho-e-nuff" there she was, about 200 yards south of the intersection. Trudging along and turning to stick out her thumb when a car overtook her. I pulled over and she hopped in the back seat and was surprised to see her boyfriend(?) seated in the front. His place was actually in the same area where I live and was about 6 miles from where I picked her up. They never spoke the entire trip but I could feel her icy disdain from where I sat. She paid me when we arrived and just walked to her car without a word to him. I don't think they had a long history and they definitely didn't have a future. Que sera, sera.
With all the recent heavy rain, the fire on Haleakala is extinquished with a loss of about 2,300 acres. MFD actually brought in some National Forestry Service firefighters, from the Big Island, who were trained in fighting forest fires on the mainland. Took them long enough.
It looks like we are in for a couple of weeks of unsettled weather. The storms in the Gulf of Alaska are backed up into Siberia, which is normal for this time of year. Their trailing cold fronts are extending all the way to the ITCZ and are forecast to hit the State about three days apart for the next two or three weeks. When these fronts tap into the ITCZ, they just suck up massive amounts of tropical moisture, some of which impacts Hawai'i and a lot of which hits the Pacific coast of the States. These storms then progress across the "lower 48", so all you mainlanders might start getting prepared. It may be rain or snow or ice but its coming and its coming hard.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
THE BIG ISLAND
"Let's all be careful out there!"