Thursday, April 26, 2012

Magic convention

This weekend in Cork there will be a magic convention Magic UnCorked click here.The Munster magical society put out a great welcome and there are a few tickets left for the gala show as well.
John Lenahan will be there

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blogger I'm stuck !

I found this one ! Well Blogger changed the layout, without my permission may I add. I had written something the other day and saved it, but now I can't go back and retreave it. It won't let me go back to the old layout either. Computers are mad, techies on massive wages brake things that aren't broken and then can't fix them again. A guy told me he was having trouble with a bank a while back. They were threatening to bring him to court no matter what he said it made no difference. His local bank manager phoned them up and was getting the same crap. But he then asked for the supervisor and together they searched through the records using his address as the target. Then the details were exposed, everything was paid up. You would never guess what the problem was? Someone had put a full stop after the name and for some reason it would not come up again without the full stop. Amazing. Winicabs were to launch their fantastic new system and I had their gadget fitted into my taxi around Christmas. They sent me 3 texts which were confusing and lacked any news of their progress. It seems that they are having software problems,which they hope to sort out soon. The problem for them is that Hailo and cab app 2 systems which are similar are ready to go as well. But you know the main problem is that there are just far too many taxis in Dublin and when the person might call you and then just jump into the first cab that comes along, such is life. There is cyclonic wind and rain, loads of broken umbrellas litter the streets. (What goes up the chimney down but won't go down the chimney up?) Ask your grandad if you don't know I went to London for a long weekend to visit our son, he lives there and you know the life of a migrant gets lonesome at times. I once met the great man, but I didn't know what he looked like, I was in his house on Arnott and spent a great 15 minutes looking at his paintings hanging on the walls. I said how lucky they were to have so much of his work as this artist was fantastic. His wife then asked me which of the drawings I liked best, she herself thought I had picked the 2 best ones, then I saw them in the paper the next day. At least I was not critical. Louis leBrocquy died today take a look at his website here. He would be Ireland's best painter of our present time

Blogger I'm Stuck.

Blogger have changed the system they had and I cannot access drafts. I had a post ready to go and it just vanished. So lads get finger out give me a button to go back to old layout !

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

First cruise ship of the season arrives


Just so you get an idea of size, that is a tour bus on the right of picture






From the Dublin Port website.

Arrival of "Grand Princess" marks the launch of Dublin Port's 2012 cruise season

The first grand cruise liner, the 109,000 tonne, 290 metre “Grand Princess” with almost 4,000 passengers and crew sailed into Dublin Port at 7am this morning to launch Dublin Port’s multi-million euro annual cruise season. The ship is the epitome of luxury with a magnificent array of facilities that include swimming pools, whirlpool spas, restaurants, bars and cinemas.

Grand Princess is the first of the grand cruise liners that will form part of the 90 cruise visits that Dublin Port Company has secured for Dublin following its marketing efforts to attract this valuable business. The arrival of these ships will generate a major boost to the city of up to €50 million for the local economy, bringing over 100,000 high-spend passengers to the capital this year along with significant numbers of crew who can experience the city during their shore leave.

The Grand Princess is 17 decks high and 290 metres long, the equivalent in length of three football pitches and carries almost 3,000 passengers and over 1,000 crew members. The $450 million vessel offers the latest in cruise luxury with over 710 staterooms, on-board shopping mall, cinema, a range of restaurant facilities, casino, swimming pools and even a nine hole golf putting course (see notes to editor below).

The cruise sector has become a hugely important part of the city’s tourism product since Dublin Port Company first targeted this trade in the mid 1990s. It is estimated that cruise liners have contributed over €350 million to the city in the last decade alone so Dublin Port Company is pleased to have played its role in attracting this business for the city.

Dublin Port Company recently announced it will invest €110m over the next five years implementing projects under its Masterplan 2012-2040 for future development at Dublin Port. Among the major projects identified in the Masterplan is the construction of a new cruise facility adjacent to the east of the East Link Bridge to accommodate the growing number of passengers and cruise ships coming to Dublin each season, bringing high spending passengers and crew within easy reach of the Luas, city center shops, eateries and attractions.

To progress the project, Dublin Port Company has formed Cruise Dublin, a joint initiative with Dublin City Council and Dublin Chamber of Commerce aimed at further developing the cruise tourism trade in Dublin. A study of the needs of the cruise industry and best practice elsewhere on how a suitable cruise terminal can be provided in Dublin is currently underway. The estimated cost of the development is €30 million. This study will be concluded later this month with a view to having a cruise terminal in place by 2015.



There was I driving along when I stopped to let a pretty girl cross the road.
She smiled waved and then jumped in !
"Any driver who is as courteous as you deserves not to have to wait at the rank" she said.
(Instant Karma)
She is an actress so we headed to the Gate theater where she was to hand in her CV.
A bright girl with a very clear distinct pronunciation. I reckon she will go far, at least I hope so. Amy Flood was her name, so when you scrool back in a few years her name was here first.
Talking about actors.
I picked him up in Booterstown going to Clontarf, we spoke about this and that. His girlfriend had given him the "Dear John" treatment and he was going to straighten things out with her,It turned out he was an actor as well, no no not plays, films.
Now he looked the part. A kind of younger Brad Pitt so I knew he was not bullshitting me. He had just come back from spending some quality time with his friend Colim Farrell in LA.
Colm Farrell is a really nice guy, he has helped him with his career which is something he did not need to do.
I would never push someone to tell me their name, if they tell me that's fine, if not that's their business.
Another story where the taxi driver comes in in the middle and has to leave before the end.

There's always someone much worse off than you she told me.
At the bottom of Clarendon St. she got in going to Sandymount.

I noticed by the way she lifted her leg into the car that she was an amputee.
Being ever so diplomatic I remarked on how well she walked !
A wonderful insight into her life opened between us, she had been involved in an accident with a train while on holiday and lost her leg below the knee.
Everyone deserves a good kick on the arse to sweeten themselves up and learn to appreciate their lives. Every time she has to go to the hospital she sees people who are so much worse off than herself,children, double and even quadruple amputees.

Do you know what? They are getting on with life and living it to its fullest extent.

There was a wonderful RTE radio program on the internet about a doctor from Northern Ireland who has a hospital in Cambodia, it went into the sad history of Cambodia and how the population were settled in mine infested land.
Constantly people are maimed, children and animals as well.
He was a wonderful enthusiastic man who realized that rather than fitting false limbs he would have to teach the people how to make and fit the limbs themselves.
So now he runs the biggest training hospital in that part of the world. Students come from the "Axis of evil" where their populations get bombed and maimed from babies to grandparents. But by being there he can help.

So you see things are not quite that bad, even when they are worse you have to look for the silver lining on the clouds ahead.
So you see things are not quite that bad, even when they are worse you have to look for the silver lining on the clouds ahead.

I spoke of a restaurant in Sandymount to her, she had worked as a restaurant manager in her younger days.
I go there for take away coffee and the guy said 3 sugars, No I said 2 spoons.
Driving down the road I found he had put in 3 spoons of sugars.
So the next day again he said 3 spoons. No only 2 spoons, but he put in 3 again.
A week later I stood at the coffee counter and told him that he has been putting in 3 spoons of sugar when I only want 2.
"If you asked for 2 you would get 2!
End of story".
So driving away I was pleasantly surprised when the coffee was not as sweet as poison.
That is until I swirled the coffee around to get the froth off the sides of the cup.
The fecker hadn't stirred it at all.
So that place is right off my list!

She had brought a friend in there and had had 2 terrible experiences there as regards food.
Being an ex manager she knew what she was talking about, but her protests were badly handled.

I don't think it is all that hard to do things well or right. I also think that if someone has a problem and you resolve that problem that your business will improve as a result.
Ignore complaints and the word will soon get around.



I am away for a short while ....Good luck to you all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Titanic 100 RIP

Yes folks 14 th April 1912 Titanic sank, and if the wind had not changed and blown that cruise ship Costa Concordia ashore the deaths would have been higher than for the Titanic.


Cars disassembled and packed on to trucks to be shipped to Lagos Nigeria,
I wonder?


Above is a photograph of the spot where the cyclist was killed last week.

The road narrows and the bridge has bad lighting underneath.
An accident waiting to happen again.
The best way forward is cycle only routes, none of this ducking in and out of traffic.
I would love to see cyclists given tickets for breaking red lights etc as well.

Its the weekend again, only next Monday the schools are back and the mad study time starts until the exams in May.
One thing I have often said is that education is all very fine,as a tool it helps to open up a career path for many people.There was a multi millionaire in the paper recently who left school at 14 and worked his way up. He said he was more interested in the persons achievements and ability to communicate than his qualifications. His ideas and ambitions rather that his pure academic qualifications.
He also shocked some people by employing people who he felt could be mentored into positions over people who were highly qualified.
Sean Quinn the business man who was the second richest person in Ireland would be a classic example of how far you can go. His main fault was that he was so ambitious that he would not take advice and insisted in doing things his way. He pumped billions into trying to take over a bank which was sinking faster than the Titanic. When it went under it took down his entire empire.

I have the new taxi sticker on the taxi now. All set for another year.
My road tax is next then my income tax, which I hate doing.

Still I am happy and content to know that the money collected is going to be put to good use and not one euro will be wasted !

I heard through the grapevine that this new €100 household tax(Which will be €1.500 next year)this tax was passed by our government. But before they made it into law they exempted government officials from it.
Yes the voted themselves not having to pay.
Surly someone knows someone who can confirm or deny this story.

If true we need to get a lynching party together.

Of people, a girl from Boston going to Fitzwilliam Place instructed me to down along the canal.A lovely way to go if you like to see the swans.
Every taxi driver knows you head for Camden St. Right at the Bleeding horse, into Hatch St over to Adelaide Rd and straight across.

I was heading off to Tango class the other day when I got a text to say it was cancelled.
So seeing as how I was ready I decided to go to a local theater call the Viking theater, its above the Sheds pub at the bottom of Vernon Ave, €10 in.
The play was called Tuesdays with Morrie based on the book.
I have been to expensive plays but this was really great value, acting was superb as well.

The rest of you should read the book, it was very good too.

By the way here my Tango teachers Kristina and Julian.



Pablo Veron is coming to Dublin early in May to give a workshop, Kristina says he will get me up to speed !Its fully booked up with 100 others waiting for a place.




While I on the subject look at this old guy go.


He was just getting into the best bit when the clip ended.

He was one of Julian's teachers back in Argentina.

Ah well its not all Taxi, Its Magic and Tango and lots more besides.



I met this guy in Blackpool. Sit back and enjoy this wonderful Magical presentation.









Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter bunny gone


Queues of people going to the zoo


Clampers, happy in their work.


Another fire in Camden St.


Taxis waiting at the high speed ferry.

Well Easter is over, though the schools and courts are still on holiday.

The big plus in this job is meeting people, from all over the world and from every background, when they talk if you listen they will educate you.

Whatever the reason people are all very different, that's for sure.

On the East Wall Road today I picked up a girl with a really broad Dublin accent.
After a few sentences I still had not heard anything odd in her accent.
As broad a Dub as Imelda May ! AJH! (Ah Jesus Howaya)
She had said quite a lot before I noticed a slight accent.
Wow !what do you know,she was Polish!
On Sunday I picked up a couple with a young boy, she did not say much until near the end of the journey. She was Polish as well.
So now I am beginning to notice that the Polish migrants are deciding to stay on and marry into Irish society.
I had a woman from England in the taxi once and we were talking about the Polish immigrants.
She came from a place in the UK where the RAF had a Polish air division. This group of pilots tipped the balance when it came to the Battle Of Britain.
A total of 145 Polish fighter pilots served in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, making up the largest non-British contribution. By the end of the war, around 19,400 Poles were serving in the RAF.
So without their help we might be all speaking German now, but the buses would run on time.
Polish was spoken in their homes and they all took it as an extra subject for O levels. They got extra points in their exams for the extra subject and so did really well at school.

A lady from Mozambique yesterday told me of an incident with her landlord in Drumcondra.
He used to just knock on the door and walk straight into her apartment on rent day.
Can you believe this?,
He just walked into her bedroom while she was in bed with her friend.
As she is now living in Mountjoy Square I think she should sue him, what a complete asshole he was.

I lost the piece of paper for my PSV licence,without the actual paper I cannot tax the taxi.So I cannot go out at night in case I am checked.
I would have been through all the obstacles and have my papers in order but my NCT failed because one light was too high and I had a leaking gearbox from a worn oil seal.
Boys and girls renew your paperwork early !
If you miss your renewal date it costs an extra €500

I now have 225,000 Kms on the Prius now and she is going like a Swiss watch.
The best car in the world I reckon.
Can your car do this ? My one can, but it only speaks Japanese to me.



On the links over there on the right hand side there is one "Save the Yellow cab"
It is a radio programme starring taxi drivers from New York. I think it is a great show and it still plays. So give it a swing and learn how to get your Hack licence for New York city.

I promise to cull the list soon and take down the ones who have ceased to preform.

In Argentina they did an experiment using Taxi drivers to spread information, see what you think.

Imagine 20 jobs a day.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Eggs Bunnies and Jesus


This is why you must look at the signs when you park.


Portabello





















So happy Easter to you all.

Millions of people on the move,massive traffic jams all over the world.
Holidays make opportunities for taxi drivers IF you are at the right place at the right time.
The problem is finding your sweet spot for success.



The difference between some people is a thing I find totally amazing.

I had a group who wanted to see a few places in the city, on the way past I pointed out the things of interest along the way.
Then I got a phone call to come home.
As they were going to visit something at that time they seemed happy enough to part our ways.
So I stopped the meter, €17.50 on the clock.
The man thanked me and pulled out a pack of mixed notes.
I pulled out €2.50 from my coin holder and waited.
He fumbled around and eventually handed me the €20 and I gave back the change.
"No, you have been very good to us I want to look after you."

So in another minute he had passed on the level of his appreciation,70 cent.

On Monday there was an elderly lady in the taxi and I pointed out the "Shave or Dye" Cancer fundraiser which is going on at present.
She told me of her grand daughter who had a mole on her shoulder, it had been there for a long time, then it changed.
She continued with her accountancy studies and never complained, the mole had turned malignant and the cancer had travelled into the bone.
She completed her studies with flying colours and died a few months later.

She told me about what a wonderful girl she was, she would always make those around her happy even though she herself was dying.

I think there was €6 on the meter and she gave me €12.
I was trying to give her back €6 but she told me to keep it and thanked me for listening to her story.

I am not angry about the first situation, but I am upset that I failed to deal with it properly or to understand the situation.

But the old lady (who was not rich) redeemed my faith in human compassion.

Still, its all Good Karma bad Karma

2 London taxi drivers meet at the shelter for a bit of a natter.
One has had a bad tipper in the cab.

"Where was e goin?" asks the second driver.

"E was goin to see that Agatha Christy murder mystery play the mouse trap"

"Wot did you do when he gave such a mean tip then?"

"Well I told im who did it didn't I"


Do you know Ted?
Here is a talk(click here) on the origins of an idea


A poor unfortunate cyclist was killed last night at 1 am.
I cannot comment on what happened in this case but cyclists are a danger to themselves at the best of time.
I know that at the spot where the cyclist was struck the footpath widens and the street lights do not penetrate under the bridge, the lights in fact cause a big black blind spot.
A stormy windy night. I do not say that the cyclist was not wearing a high viz jacket,
I am not saying that he had no lights on hic bicycle.
I also see cars driving around with only one front headlight.
I do see this all the time.
There was a road safety thing a couple of years ago where chemists were given high viz vests to give out to customers. I got a dozen and when I was going along and saw the black phantom rider, I stopped and gave him a vest.
When I went back to the chemist later he told me he had thrown them out as he was doing renovations.
Its a pity he didn't bring them to the local school.
People on bicycles in Dublin fly down one way streets, zoom through red lights and carry on like there are no laws for them.

I was backing out of my drive a couple of years ago when a cyclist crashed into the back wheel of the car. He started by shouting at me "Why don't you look where you're going"?
I got out and told him that if a child had run out he would be in serious trouble as the footpath is not the place for cycles, but if you do ride on the path you should the outside of the path.There was no damage to the car.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Shave or Dye



This is why some handbags are more expensive than others



Now this is how you bring in customers



The girls from Reflections hair salon in Inchicore had their bra bunting removed by the council workers as they were "a health and safety issue".
For myself I don't think many people would object to having a bra fall on their heads.

Today the bras are back up and the Jame's brass band are there to give them a bit of a blast.

So volunteers will either have their head shaved or their hair dyed and the money goes for cancer research.
Have a look at Ray Darcy's show here
video