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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Major storm today. Power failure at 0945. Expect restore about midnight. Using cell to post. Major flooding. I am OK .



^Just 3 houses from mine^

We actually had some sunlight yesterday, I know, I saw it. By the time I left for work, it was raining elephants and hippos. The wind was blowing a steady 35+ mph with gusts over 55 mph. The rain was falling horizontal. Palm fronds were blown from trees, and branches from dem dat have dat. Roadways cluttered with debris. The 1000 block of Kihei Road had a full tree come down across the road. We had to drive over limbs, big ones, because there was no other way to get through. I didn't find any damage on ONE-NINE but we took some hard knocks during the shift.

When I started, my driver's side low beam was kaput but, luckily, I got a trip to OGG and picked up a replacement at Wal-Mart, in Kahului. The only place to get auto parts after 5p.

Remember when all you needed was a screwdriver and about 5 minutes of time to change out a bulb? Not so anymore with modern cars. Open the hood, remove the cowling that covers the area in front of the radiator, squeeze your hand into a very small space to remove a tightning ring around the halogen bulb. Work the bulb out of its hole and remove it from its connector. Now insert the new bulb, reinsert into light assembly. Where the "Frak" did the tightning ring get to? Oh, it slid all the way down its cord, almost beyond reach. Work it back into position and....
Now this is the hardest part...
Try to reattach the goddamn ring.

Add in these following factors:
  • There is no adequately illuminated area to do this in
  • There is also no sheltered area to accomplish this task and the wind and rain are beating you, with occassional objects flying through the air.
I managed to get everything back together but couldn't get that damn ring to thread up properly. End result was that I had a working light, pointed about three feet in front of the car.

I can only surmise that automakers don't want us fixing anything ourselves anymore.

In metro areas, rain means business for cabbies. It actually reduces our biz on Mau'i. People would rather stay in their resort than brave the conditions. I did have a pretty decent night, in spite of everything. Actually made money.

We have a festering revolt brewing among some of the night drivers regarding our evening dispatcher. They feel that he is feeding the good runs to the day drivers in the early evening. I haven't seen evidence of that. I will agree that his "Command & Control" procedures are lax but I don't think he is intentionally doing anything wrong. What is happening is that this is the slow season and every driver is grasping for any type of fare and are paranoid when the good ones don't come their way. I am the only night guy who doesn't share this concern. It is also one of the reasons that I hate to talk shop with the others. No matter what the shift is like, they're never satisfied. Like crazed sports fanatics, they replay every dispatch in their mind and rationalize why the good ones should have been theirs if only....

You get the picture.

Dispatching, even from a fixed base, isn't easy and a dispatcher gets the brunt of it from both the drivers and clients.

Looking over my trip sheet, I just realized that I never had any locals as a fare. Every run was a tourist. Well, that made the tips bigger. Even the Canadians, from Alberta west, were tipping.

When I got off a little past 5 this morning the rain had stopped but the winds were still blowing like crazy. As I sit typing this, there are brief blips in the electricity.

I better close this out while I have the chance.

10 fares / 109 miles / 4th quarter $100 bracket

Spotted a bumper sticker last night:
Eat Sleep
Go Beach
Seeja manana. Have a great day.




The Whales Are Back


"Let's all be careful out there!"