Monday, August 18, 2014

New car at last

 Workers from Yahoo do a team building thing.Picking up litter on Dollymount strand
At long last I found a replacement car
                       Just when you thought you had seen it all...This peels oranges.
                              A 1960's bus going yo "Craggy Island"
                                      My Grandsons sandals beside mine,soon they will be bigger than mine

Monday morning and here I am waiting for my son to finish breakfast so that I can put him on the ferry back to England. He has been home for around a month.
Over the last week my middle son and his wife went to a wedding and we babysat for them.
My grandson who is 2 behaved really well and a good time was had by all.
Then on Saturday we went down to Tipperary to another wedding, this time of my nephew.
It is a sign of the times when people were welcomed home from Australia, USA, Canada, Dubai and even Dublin...I wonder if the wedding planners had worked out that it would be a good time to get the people home for the Hurling semi finals.
Tipperary won.

Anyhow I had been looking for a replacement car for months. I looked on the web for weeks.I even went to London where the Prius car rules supreme. No luck there either.
Then we had seen a car for sale in Templemore so we went a short step out of our way for a look.
The City car dealers will not talk my kind of money,not much discount for a straight sale,
My man in Tipp had the sale done and the money in the bank in 20 minutes, no messing.
One Prius in Dublin I had made an offer on a month  ago is still sitting in the showroom.
Still I should thank him my car has full dealer history,one lady owner and 75000Kms I would do that in1 year..
Q   What is the maximum amount you can do in a cash transaction without filling in a form with regard            to money laundering?

A Would you believe e 2,000? It is a very small sum.

I found that out when I tried to pass over a "brown envelope"It is the last day with the old HailO app and I dread to see it go.
I never fix things that are not working HailO is all about change.

So time will tell.     It has served me well in the past.

I met a guy going from Loughlinstown hospital to Tallagh we were talking about main dealers and "Service"
He told me he had a company a few years ago fitting car windscreens, a Land Rover Discovery came in and they fitted a new windscreen e460 a few weeks later they got a call that some water was coming in,so they asked him to drop in to the HQ.
My man spoke to him and he was saying that his insurance had no windscreen cover as it was commercial and he had been stunned by the cost of e1240 for the replacement.
He told me that he only would deal with the customer directly after that.

Now he also has a quick fuel change business 24/7.
You put in petrol and he sucks it out.
A real go getter you have to admire them.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Irish freedom fighter

Quite a while ago I wrote about Sam, he wrote a book  called "Soldier for a Summer"
He was heading off to London to meet a movie maker who wanted to make a film about his exploits.

He had fought against Gaddafi in Libya. More than that his exploits were filmed and made into a documentary that film won awards for its action and realty.

Well Sams  pal has been elected as the Mayor of Tripoli ! click here

As I say time after time, you never know who is getting into your taxi next.

Having said all that. One of my customers who works in the aircraft business told me that everyone over there has their work cut out for them.
"Libya was a tribal country and now those tribes are all having a quick push for power.
There are scores of grudges to be settled.
Tripoli airport has planes which have bullet holes in them. Imagine there are teams of men with brush handles looking for exit holes from the bullets, then trying to work out if it might have hit some vital  component on its way past. You cannot fly an airplane with a hole in it anyhow."
Still I am sure that a man from Tallagh might be able to sort something out.

Summer ending.

Its been a while since I last looked in, what happened?
The bullying Dublin horse show came and went.Bruce Springsteins daughter took part in the show jumping and the "Boss"came over to see it happen as well.

The leaving cert results came out, leaving students happy and very sad.

The court case taken to the high court by taxi drivers about the manner in which deregulation took place is coming to a conclusion. It could cost the country €400 million.
Before deregulation taxi plates were valued at £90,000. (More than €110,000)
If you were getting a divorce the old judge would give the wife the house and you would have the taxi plate, an asset of equal value. The that plate became worth around £2,500 overnight. While the house price went through the roof. Plus the new entrants flooded the market without any limit.. There were 2,500 plates in the Dublin area, this increased to 5,000 in less than 3 years then up to 11,500 today.
Rank space has decreased as well.
I won't go on a rant but in reality we have complete mayhem on the streets.
Loads of unlicensed taxi drivers working away.
The Garda say it is not their job and the regulator enforcers shrug their shoulders and look the other way.
At the port of Dublin yesterday an un registered driver sat for 25 minutes with no ID on his dashboard while the relevant people in power were informed.
No one came and he picked up and drove away.

We wait for the judgement from the judges..

Just in case you thought all the robbing drivers were in Dublin.

Poor old Robin Williams died.
The latest news is that he had the onset of Alzheimer's and couldn't face the future.
His daughter is besieged by Trolls hurling abuse at her when she published a poem her dad wrote for her.
Facebook and Twitter responded to say that they will have to come up with some way of dealing with this online bullying. Hundreds of young people around the world have been bullied to death by people who hunt down and destroy lives on the internet.It is well past time to deal with them
Facebook is a playground for pedophiles and little is done about it.
The Netherlands has a special task force who pretend to be 12 year old girls looking for friends, they catch quite a few people too.

I had a few early mornings which were very good. HailO providing the much needed customers

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A bump on the road

                     The old reliable HailO app
             The herbaceous border In St.Annes park Clontarf
              This was once the main drive for the Guinness family heading off to work St.Annes Park)

By the way I have started to allow the comments again !
Lets hope the spammers keep away.

I hit a bump on the  road of life.

I have been working too hard.
For 3 days I have been getting up at 5.30 am to bring my son into work, then I work on.
I had not taken a day off for a couple of months.
I did the trip to London and back in less than 24 hours and then I went straight back to work without a break.

Then the other day I was picking up a HailO job when I clipped the edge of the footpath which was submerged under water BANG my front tyre is cut to shreds.So after explaining to my customer that I couldn't take her to work I set to work changing my wheel.
The rain was lashing down, each drop a spoonful.
As John Lennon said "You never felt the rain my friend until you felt it running down your back"
It is awful to feel rain running down the inside of your shirt.

So I had got the wheel off when this guy pulled up.
"Excuse me my friend. I wonder can you help me?
I have an electrical instrument which has stopped working and I am wondering if you could help me?
It is very important to me, I am a medical doctor,"
So I wiped the rain from my eyes while he started to search for his instrument In the boot of his car. He had loads of crap. The biggest collection of things I have ever saw.
Including photos of Pope John Paul, a book about his visit to Ireland and photographs of Islamic leaders and other important people I did not recognize..
"Man you are backing every side there".
So, as he was still looking I went back to my wheel.
I had it on the studs and the burst one put away when he found his instrument, it was for stimulating muscle movement with voltage. He had the transformer in his hand...I could see no fuse but I noticed that it was capable of holding batteries, so it should work..But to look for a reset button.
We went our separate ways
Then I tightened my nuts and drove home and went to bed.

The very next day I drove up Talbot St. and saw a guy rummaging in the back of his car 5.45 am.
Guess what!
It was him again
Seamus the Doctor. Then I dropped off my lad and drove around to talk to him.
Talk about an interesting guy he is bursting with life and ideas,
"John call to my surgery and I will give you a complete health check free, I mean it"
I thought he was Iranian but his people come from India /Pakistan region as I say he is a man of great wisdom and insight.
Today he needs someone with a circuit tester.

Did you ever hear the saying
Well I hope so.

HailO have brought in a new App. Gone are the Jobs Burst! The closed roads and traffic alerts.
Now you cannot calculate how much you are making per shift or per hour.
When you get a job the "Map of location" is total crap.
This is what happens when you have guys who work in the office and never speak to the guys who work the system.
I had the new app a while ago and took it off, but the powers that be refused to change it and they are now stopping the old system that worked so well...This is not progress.

Anyhow to give some people something to look forward to International magic in London sent me the running order for their convention in November.
Here is one name that is on the list.

This is great.

Henry Evans from Argentina will be there too.

Monday, August 04, 2014

A story goes full circle

                                                    The office of our president
                                             Map of Dublin for Dublin bikes!

                                              Duffys circus in Clontarf.

Wow its another bank holiday and it is WET !
I am not working or going anywhere  it makes no difference to me.
My grandson has come to visit so it is time for me to get some really big hugs.

I worked a bit after they went home again. What a difference a bit of rain makes, hands were high looking. for taxis.

The other morning I got a run to the airport and as I waited I noticed that he had forgotten his keys in the front door. I got out and knocked on the door..."Looking for these?"
So after another few minutes he came out and we were off to the airport.
We spoke of this and that and I asked if he was a golfer. "I play a bit but I am a sports writer"
So I told him how I had Rory McElroy in my taxi on the day he turned professional, then I told him what advice I had given him.
Keep your old friends, they know you and want nothing from you.
People will try to latch on to your fame to enrich themselves.
At the top level it is a 4 inch put ! the distance between your ears.

Thank your public and be humble.

So when we arrived at the airport Shane O'Donaghue took my photograph and he will have shown it to the world champion of golf today .Rory is a real nice guy as good as any of my customers.
He sure came a long way since I met him..

Assaults against taxi drivers are on the increase, thank God for in car video.
A taxi going to Tallagh on the M50, 4 very drunk and lively girls on board.
Then suddenly the girl directly behind the driver throws her jacket over his head and pulls it tight by the sleeves..The driver didn't panic but turned his wheel to the left until he heard the rumble of the last white line on the motorway and stopped.
He threw them all out on the side of the motorway and drove away.
But it gets better,
The local Garda ring him to come in as there has been a complaint gf a sexual assault against him.
So he goes in and before they say any more he brings a Garda out to his taxi, in the boot of the car is a monitor, he shows the footage of what happened.
The Garda brings out the girls to see the footage and they begin to scream and cry.
The Garda told them that they would likely be facing jail time for assault and false accusation.

Now the next part beggars belief.
The taxi driver said he would not be pressing charges as he felt that they had learned their lesson.
Without that footage where would he be?
Supposing he had been killed in a crash, Who would feed his wife and kids?
That driver was wrong on many levels for sure, nail them just as they would have stuffed him.. 
The taxi driver did not want his name brought up in court linked to a sexual assault.

Mind yourselves out there

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sand Sculptures Dublin Castle

                              Good old Molly Malone is back in town

I dropped into the (Dublin) castle yard and saw that the construction of the sand sculptures is progressing nicely..
Go in and take a look it is free as well.
I spotted Molly Malones statue the other day, some feminist asshole threw red paint over her to make a point perhaps they were jealous of her assets.

A school teacher going to Foxrock from Drumcondra for a job interview, yes indeed and the shops are full of back to school bargains.
151 shopping days until Christmas That website will also break it down to Hours Minutes and seconds

Business is good,drivers are on holiday and Dublin is full of tourists,cruise ships are coming is 2 or 3 a week.
The weather has been brilliant.
While I passed through England on the train you could see that the hearvest is well advanced.

I see that Ireland abstained  in a vote on Gaza! Who do theese assholes represent?
Thousands of Irish people have protested on this matter and our leaders abstain.

Traffic is hectic with the Luas cross city work look at the map here

To really make a differance they should bring a rail link to the airport !
A simple spur line on the Luas near Malahide,cross country work, zip into town every 20 minutes.
This would free up hundreds of Taxis at the airport.

One of my mates was caught in a smash a few months ago.Going along the Quays at the SamBeckett bridge a guy went through the red light and wrote off his car,he then complained of whiplash as well..Telling my mate he had brokn the red light ! Police were called and just as they arrived my mate got a tap on the shoulder from another taxi driver who was driving behind the real guy who broke the lights.
''Here is my number bud and my passingers number as well. I have it all on video from my dash cam''.

Faced with this evedence his whiplash got better and he was convicted for dangerous driving..

I bought one myself it is in my sons house in Northern Ireland (Free delivery no customs charges)
I should have footage soon.
I don't know if you have ever listened to this guy,he is great and very deep,

You need to have high standards for taxi drivers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quick trip to London

        A beautiful dawn on Dublin bay

      12 Stephenson way, home to the Magic circle..Beside Euston
                              Euston station, London to Dublin by train and boat.

                                        George Stephenson inventor of the first steam engine..

       In Holyhead. Metal chairs wait for weary passengers going to the boat, they will break your back!

                                 Heading from the port to the town of Holyhead

Today I returned to Dublin from London. I flew over in the morning and came back on the boat.
God it was hot over there.
I went to London to look at second hand Toyota Prius cars, the spec in the UK is much better than the cars here. I had phone numbers but nothing clicked for me.
So I headed into the city center to Victoria and onward to Euston station via London in a black cab...3 1/2 years it took our driver to do the knowledge,

 and then we talked about the big row with HailO which is now called FadeO as the drivers have removed the stickers and deleted the apps click here.
Next big problem will be Uber.
But London has a much lower level of taxis so there is more work to  go around..But you should have seen the cabs ranked back by as much as 200 yards at Euston.

On the ferry there were loads of Polish lorry drivers in a big gang, all talking shop and preparing for the day ahead.
There was a guy on the train with a black tie on, he had it outside the back of his shirt.
"Funeral? " I said, yes me dad he died at 3 o'clock today . So I said a few words.

You know no one can afford what you have to pay for a last minute flight.
This poor boy, going home alone linked up with a few guys on the crossing who put him on the bus and train home.
You would hope that he would find some peace when he gets home.

I had a huge row with a taxi driver in Dublin port about over charging, I will not be told my job so the asshole was left standing at the rank while I went home in a different car.
The honest driver even got a €3.20 tip.
More about that later.

Another time

She was very quiet getting in.....................Something on her mind.
We were passing McDonalds and I said to my Russian passenger that Old McDonald is doing really well since he sold his farm.

"I don't understand"

So I sang a few verses.She never knew the song. She made some of the noises and I earned a €5 tip.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Nelsons Birthday

It really doesn't matter where my customer comes from as long as I know where they are going. But it can often be a good opener to a conversation when you find out their nationality as well. A few weeks ago there was an African day in Farmleagh house. It was a very wet day but the African people were all dressed up to enjoy the day..We learned a little bit about all the many countries that make up the vast African continent.
If you ask a Nigerian where they are from they often become very aggressive (Perhaps its like asking what is their religion). Anyhoo the African lady who got in yesterday was from South Africa and she told me that it was Nelson Mandelas birthday on Friday if he was alive.The lady told me that she became an Irish citizen on the 4th of July which was the latest conferring ceremony. She was a lively thing laughing all the way, I think she said that she was a nurse, She should cheer up her patients for sure.
Not too many people outside Ireland know that a few workers in Dunnes stores moved apartheid to the front boiling ring of the cooker. Some workers refused to handle South African goods and were sacked, this lead to a long strike, it moved the rights violations suffered by the black majority to the front page of the papers. When Nelson Mandela came to Dublin he met with them and they were later flown to South Africa for his funeral.Take a look here
Mary Manning one of the girls involved in the strike has a street named after her in Johannesburg.

I don't know if I told you but Nelson Mandela when he went somewhere always brought his driver inside with him. "Excuse me I am not alone" and he would usher in his driver.

South African Rand, with Nelson on them all, different animals on the back.

If you keep your ears open you can learn a lot driving a taxi, many drivers do, others put money on horses.

I met a chef who had to come home for a funeral £200 sterling is what the airlines charge for a next day flight, £45 by boat and train.. He told me he went to Brussels for a weekend and went to a celebrated restaurant for a special meal..He ordered fillet steak and he got a tough rump steak.
He called the waiter to complain and was told that it was indeed fillet steak. So the chef was called out.
It almost came to the point where the steak would be brought away for an outside opinion.
It was not eaten.Yet the steak appeared on the bill which had the chef brought back in again.and it was taken off the bill.  Imagine the Irish chefs surprise when the Belgian chef gave him his business card, as if he could ever be recommended to anyone.Such a stupid man.
How to complain properly is a question I would like to know, without jumping up on the table.
I must ask Gordon Ramsey.
                                                 This was around 12 ft high

Good news the sand has arrived in the courtyard of Dublin Castle and the wonderful sand sculptures will be taking shape...well worth a visit and its free.

   The Dublin bike scheme is expanding at great speed.
 The Spire from Talbot St

    Paddy Power ready for the World cup

An interesting Italian girl here 8 years. When I asked her what she did for a living she said that she was a "Drug Addict"!  That made me sit up and take notice..No she said she really was a tourist guide.
Through the conversation she told me that she had been to Cuba and the poverty of the ordinary people is desperate.Its crawling with beggars and prostitutes, it seems like the Castro boys are a bad lot, with all his prisons through the island.