Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Christmas

Well I suppose it is really time to kick off the season

A sight that taxi drivers know so well...

And those who are abroad, a bit of nostalgia

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Injun Mike

You would never guess where this blog goes around the world.

One guy who contacted me a long time ago was Mike.

He is a real live Native American Injun, an elder of his tribe.

For a few months now his voice has been silent and I fear the worse.

His tribe are not the stereotype of what you might expect.

His tribe believed in education, doctors, pilots and the military.

Through the few short years we swapped emails..A really wise guy.

Then the emails stopped. I fear for the worse. 

If you have gone to the "Happy hunting ground" God bless!

This is a post he put on his blog.




.....arrived one winter day in March of my 11th year. It was a Saturday and my Uncle 'F' and his wife had gone to the small city on an 'errand'. Rather an unusual occurrence in winter, especially on the sketchy backwoods roads of Maine in the 1950s. Around two in the afternoon I heard his old Studebaker straining and spinning its way up into Uncle 'Rs' barnyard. Going out to see why he'd come here rather than his farm across the road, I saw a tall (to me) willowy slip of a young lady climb from the back seat.
   Being of the tender prepubescent age of eleven, I was immediately fascinated by this slender, but well shaped young woman. Breaking my through hypnotic reverie, F's wife was introducing this vision of wonder to me, me! I managed to awake from my stupor in time to hear that her name was Elise Cote and she was F's wife's cousin from France. The reason for her coming wasn't revealed then and I actually learned the details later from my aunt E. In those times you were thought, and rightly so, to be rude to inquire after such personal information. In many ways I miss things being that way, but in many other ways I relish the openness that has forced 'family problems' into the open. If you read the first few posts of this blog you'll find my reason for feeling so strongly about this issue.
    As the winter morphed into a gorgeous spring, I learned a deal more about our quiet guest. She spoke English with a smooth and lilting French accent, made all the more sensuous to my young self by the mellow, soft tones of her voice. She was nineteen and would be twenty in mid-summer, she read every chance she got. Aunt 'E' placed her in the room at the top of the rear stairs beside the 'dry' bathroom with the lime toilet. She decorated her room strangely in my opinion, simply a collection of mismatched dolls, stuffed animals, crinkled photos of groups of children, and other odd mementos of things from her past.
   As summer burst forth she and my, quite smitten, young self started to venture for walks in late afternoon before supper and evening chores. Our steps seemed to always draw us to a spot beside where the small brook emptied into our farm pond. There was a large flat rock and we'd just lie there in mutual silence watching clouds or sit observing the fish in the clear pond water. I didn't dare ask many questions, like why she always wore a headscarf that covered her face starting just behind her beautiful blue eyes. The scarves invariably were worn in the same manner and she never was seen (by me) without one on. Her features were near perfection and her hair was very dark brown and slightly wavy. She helped around the house and taking care of the elderly folks in residence at the time during the day and evening. Then she'd retreat to her room where I'd have been dispatched several times carrying buckets of hot water. I wondered if she bathed herself with the scarf on. One of life's mysteries.
    Another mystery was why a doctor from Canada came to visit her once a month and always entrusted my aunt E with a package when he departed. As a former nurse she kept a locked medicine cabinet where the packages invariably were deposited. Elise also seemed to shy away from fireplaces, stoves, direct sunlight, etc. At our rock she'd always remark how nice it was that somebody planted a huge oak tree so it allowed a great view of the sky while shading us from the sun's rays. Some days she'd even wade into the pond in pants and blouse, but never allowing her head to get wet. Another thing that worried me was that she'd often awaken screaming at night, but only my aunt had the key to her room. Sometimes she'd go down to her sewing room and come back with little packets, sometimes I could hear only E's voice calming her back to sleep. I knew something wasn't quite right, but also knew enough to refrain from watching and prying.
   Elise stayed through the next winter and into the summer. That summer she was noticeably paler and distracted. Toward the end of the summer she started to go to our rock earlier and I'd find here there after my chores were done. One afternoon was so different that it turned my world upside down for months and still remains in my memory as though it were yesterday.
    Elise had gone off earlier than usual according to aunt E, and she noticed she'd seemed especially troubled. That was also the only time she'd ever told me to leave my chores for others and go to check on our young guest. I hurried down to the rock and was relieved to see Elise laying in her usual manner, but when I drew closer I noticed something was amiss. It was too quiet, no happy greeting. I climbed to her side and my world shattered. She was cold to the touch and her eyes were staring into the skies unseeing. I don't recall running back to the house, but I do remember not being able to tell my aunt what was wrong, just took her hand and half-dragged her to the rock and Elise. As she got closer, she bent over and scooped up a tin that I recognized as medicine for the horses, especially the oldest workhorse who was lame.
    In the next few days my aunt paid special attention to me as I did little but grieve for my friend. Finally, she took me into the parlor where Elise lay and pulled back the colorful scarf for me to see. After I settled back down, I could understand the scarves. Her left ear was gone, as was much of the hair on that side of her head. In their place were terrible scars from deep burns. Her upper arms and back were badly scarred as well. My aunt explained that the Dr that came each month was a burn specialist and the packets were morphine vials and syringes so E could administer the drug when needed. Elise also suffered from horrible nightmares, what today would be known as PTSD. 
    On graduating from school at sixteen, Elise had gone to work at an orphanage where she mostly cared for the younger children. One night the place was hit by lightning in the barn area attached at the back. By the time the fire was discovered it'd spread throughout the rear upper level where the young children and Elise slept. Elise had carried children from the burning rooms by twos and threes and led older ones. After many trips she was overcome by smoke and exhaustion and collapsed just inside the rear area. A fireman found her there and carried her out to safety. After several operations and recovering some of her lung function, they could do no more. Today they'd be able to do far more, but things weren't advanced as much in 1954.
     The nightmares were filled with the screams of the frightened children and pain was mainly from nerve endings that had become heat sensitive or scar tissue that pulled the tissue too much. Aunt E explained what I'd already figured out, the pain and memories had become too much for Elise to bear and she'd taken the animal pain medications to end her suffering at a place she loved. Uncles R and F and the local minister buried her between the oak and the rock where the sun shone through in bright speckled dances.
     Later a man from the big city came and created a smooth spot on the rock above her head and inscribed: 
                                     Elise Cote
                              Her pain is gone and 
                             the screams are stilled.
                              She joined those she
                                  could not save. 
   Not a sad memory for me, she gave me two magical summers of afternoons learning how to lay on a rock and quietly enjoy life's many treasures. I only wish it had been the 1990s or later so she could have found the relief she needed. At least a little of it. Until next time, take care and be well.  

God bless you on your travels.

Much Loved

I was passing Mark Nixons photographic studio when I snapped this.
I went inside and spoke to Mark and he told me that the exhibition had gone viral.

So pop in and take a look Click here
Take a look at the blog page to see how his fame has gone far and wide.

My day had a funny start. I turned on my HailO app on the phone and walked out to see my car pure white with frost. As I turned to go back in to get some WARM water to deice the windscreen a call came in on the system and I accepted it, I filled the plastic jug and threw it over the windscreen and then I couldn't find my car keys....Panic...searched good, so I rang to explain. No problem take a couple of minutes you are only round the corner.
Then I found them in my jacket pocket, when you book a taxi on the HailO system you can see where the taxi is, so he knew I was coming.
On arrival He ushered me through the gates where his BMW was ready for me with jump leads attached !
Problem number 2.
Because the Prius hybrid system uses a tiny battery there is no way it could jump start anything. But I have a booster pack at home, so we dropped his kid to the creche and then to my house and back to his place, 5 minutes later he was running. Then I said "I suppose that's me finished then" and so it was.
Its a good job I hadn't a conventional car or I would have had no run at all for my money.(Or visa versa)
I had only driven 50 yards when I got another HailO job this time as far as Mount St.

If you are reading this from abroad you might not have been following the case of a judge who has gone to prison.
As a solicitor she drew up a will for a client who was a friend. Time passed she became a barrister and progressed to judge. When you become a judge your legal practice is passed over to another firm of solicitors. They duly went over all the papers and found that she had named her 2 children as beneficiary in the mans will.
When questioned about it she that it must have been an error by the typist.
On digging a good bit further she was put on trial and found guilty of fraud, lost her job and got something like 4 years in Sing Sing.

It is very important for everyone to make a will, you might be killed tomorrow crossing the road and your affairs could be held up for years.
Oh yes ! and read the papers before you sign.
In our case the will had to be re printed twice.

The solicitor we used happened to be struck off later, not for that though

The gent whose will it was must be feeling sore, he was a friend of hers.

"It is easier to forgive your enemy for doing you wrong than it is to forgive a friend for doing you wrong.".
How very true.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ying Yang

            Band on the run

    All the crap from the garage the a secret location.

Well it has come to pass !
Have I been naughty
Have I been nice !

If only life were so simple.
You are good and good things happen to you.
Then if you are naughty...You get a big boil on your arse!

Life is not so simple though, the bad are rewarded and even children suffer from the evils of the world..

I have stepped back and stopped looking at the big table of my quota of good VS bad deeds.
I reckon I could do more good.
I could do a hell of a lot more bad, that's for sure.

Today I seemed to have entered a state of Limbo.
That's where Christians go when they are neither in Heaven or Hell.

My orbit as planet John travells through space is being pulled in a different direction.
I don't know whether it is for the good or bad.
One thing for sure is that I don't plan on being a Jessie James or s super saint.
But there is a change in the air..

I am relying on people I know to keep me going, renovation work is going on in my house, so the contents have been moved from room to room.
It is amazing to see how much absolute crap you gather if you do not throw stuff away on a daily basis.

This is a job which should be done in January/ Feb.

Not for the bizzy month which is upon us! (Not)

So I am just saying I am still here.

taxi tale!!

The other day I picked up a lady going to Dublin Castle.
She was Mute, deaf and dumb.
En route she took out a laptop and she was doing sign language.

Oh I said to myself , "she is talking to herself, rehersing a speech perhaps ?"

Then it hit me. She was using Skype to talk to her friend in Sign language!
There's one for the book for sure.
We are wonderful species how we find methods to communicate

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A day at the "White House"

Some famous Hollywood actress once said.
"Good girls go to heaven,
Bad girls go everywhere"

So with taxi drivers 

Today I spent a few hours in our White House, the home of our president !
It was a visit to honor the Huguenots click here to learn more Chris De Burgh. Desbard also is a Huguenot name.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Still cruising along

            Go on tell me how many religions did you know?
          People waiting for taxis at Victoria station

Well the weather has improved and yesterday I had a walk on Dollymount strand. 
Imagine a beach around 2 miles from the city center.

On the taxi front I brought a Saudi man to the airport yesterday and we spoke of people who live among vast wealth and become arrogant and completely hateful

So I told him about the guy from the embassy who was in the car a few weeks ago.

The call came to me via HailO just after the skys opened and the streets filled with rain.
When I arrived he was annoyed. "Why are you so long coming? I wait a long time!"

So after a quick lesson of please and thank you and most important of all!!!! That he could get out of the car if he wished and I would be well within my rights to request that he got out as bad manners and lack of respect from King to Pauper will never be tolerated..

His anger rose to boiling point. But he was checkmated, so then as we set off.
 I pointed  to the soaked commuters waving for taxis.
"To stop for any of these people I would be treated like a hero." I said.

Then he said it 

"I'm sorry"
"Good man now we will get on fine"

Strange to say that we did get on very well, so well that in the end he shook my hand and asked for my phone number.
I told him to just use the HailO system as taking private bookings often breaks the rythem of my day. You know you can't take a job 1/2 an hour before a booked pick up and I really couldn't risk becoming a manservant of a pup like that.   We would have many journeys where each would be trying to get the upper hand against the other, I just couldn't be arsed..

Anyhow back to the other guy who was off to the airport, very well educated really good manners.
Many Arab people are very wealthy, not millionare status but billionare status and they live with much poverty around them. As you can immagine if you have billions of dollars your children can have anything and they expect everything. The danger then is that they have no ambition, they don't have a job or the need to work so you get massive problems.

This is what I mean, loads of money DARE YOU TO...........
Just put in Saudi drifting on you tube to see what a problem too much money can be for parents.

An amusing aside to the strict dress code in Saudi Arabia  a customer told me that a lot of Saudis go to a distant country to let off steam and relax.(Can't recall the name of the place)
 "You know the Saudi girls, they have the very shortest skirts"

So dropping him off at the airport I looked over at the taxi pick up area. One taxi !
Back at the holding area where cars were backed up on to the road. 3 to 3 1/2 hours queing to make it to the terminal for a job

I know that most guys will not take the bonus that taxi driving will give them.
Discussions about how we live in comparison to other nations all around the world,
I get a lot of education from my taxi  

To everyone open your minds

Would you miss the opertunity to talk to an Eskimo? 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Magical interlude

 By the time you read this I will be among some of my magical friends.
Simon Drake will be there and the really mad Juan Tamariz plus the very mad me.

Simon Drake explained his shadow act as well.

I am just back from London, this was supposed to go live last Saturday.

My son lives in London and this convention is one of the very best in the world.
3 great days of magic and the full Juan Tameriz show, what an astonishing gent..

More to follow

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A brand new week

 Is this the best magic trick ever ?

Car commercials are great too.

Now how did they do that ?

With great effort, that's how

This is for everyone who drives a diesel car.

Never leave the car keys out !

omething a bit different to start your week..

Oh Yes HailO is starting in Cork..

Tight squeeze

         The entrance was so tight that she kept saying"You won't get in" Here I am going out
        A bit of splendor in the Westbury Hotel
 New art display at Solomons fine art gallery
    Gills pub beside Croke Park
            Those bloody reindeer again

Ah yes the C word and special offers arrive every day.
Click here for a really good day out.
If you are coming from Dublin go to Donnington park which is beside East Midland airport.
Donnington Park also has a fantastic motor meusium.

When I tried to book my session at Silverstone race track the lady told me that seeing I didn't have an EU driving liscence I couldn't take part !
I explained the Ireland was in the EU.
No not the south part, only Northern Ireland.
When I asked her to check she told me there would be no need to check as she knew she was right.
 The guys from the racing school got a great laugh out of that as the knew her, as thick as a short plank..

The taxi meters will have to be updated very soon.
Then they have to be checked and sealed.
To program the meter will cost around €65 which takes 2 minutes.
Then off to some God forsaken place to have it calibrated probably around €120

The guts of 2 days wasted....and for what?

Well talk is of changing things to bring taxi fares down, a bit more business you know.

Here is something from "Price of travel .com" Very good advice too.

ome » Global » World taxi prices: What a 3-kilometer ride costs in 72 big cities

World taxi prices: What a 3-kilometer ride costs in 72 big cities

03 Nov, 2010  |  Comments Comments (37)  |  Comments Add a comment
Here at Price of Travel we are now tracking travel prices in over 100 different cities around the world, hoping to help travelers make an accurate budget as well as pick places where their money goes furthest. Not surprisingly, transportation prices can vary dramatically, so we are tracking the cost of getting to and from the airport and getting around town, using taxis as well as public transportation.
In general, taxi prices can be very confusing in any given city, so trying to compare all the cities together was complicated. To do this we decided to track a typical price range of a 3-kilometer (about 2 mile) trip in each destination. We use price ranges instead of “average” prices because many cities have different prices with each company, or different price structures at night or on weekends.
So the prices below run from cheapest to most expensive, and some of the results are surprising. With the exception of the junker taxis used in India and the Mercedes taxis used in parts of Europe, the cars themselves tend to be very similar. For example, taxis in Bangkok are almost all late-model Toyota Camrys with air-conditioning, and yet the ride costs almost nothing compared to the most expensive cities.
Also, check out our public transportation prices in 80 worldwide cities comparison as well.
NOTE: All exchange rates were updated as of April, 2011, shifting things around a bit.

Cost of a 3-kilometer ride in April, 2011

*All prices converted into US dollars on April 16, 2011
The left price reflects little to no waiting in traffic, the right price reflects high-traffic situations plus night or weekend surcharges.
$0.90 – $1.58 Delhi, India
$0.97 – $1.29 Mumbai, India
$1.01 – $1.68 Cairo, Egypt
$1.15 – $1.73 La Paz, Bolivia
$1.16 – $1.85 Manila, Philippines
$1.25 – $3.00 Panama City, Panama
$1.27 – $1.73 Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
$1.28 – $1.91 Fez, Morocco
$1.29 – $2.14 Mexico City, Mexico
$1.32 – $1.98 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
$1.43 – $1.91 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
$1.53 – $3.06 Beijing, China
$1.53 – $1.91 Hanoi, Vietnam
$1.66 – $2.32 Bangkok, Thailand
$1.69 – $3.38 Kathmandu, Nepal
$1.84 – $2.76 Shanghai, China
$1.91 – $3.19 Marrakech, Morocco
$2.00 – $4.00 Quito, Ecuador
$2.06 – $2.94 Sofia, Bulgaria
$2.11 – $3.69 Montevideo, Uruguay
$2.13 – $3.19 Lima, Peru
$2.46 – $2.95 Buenos Aires, Argentina
$2.72 – $3.27 Dubai, UAE
$2.82 – $4.23 Amman, Jordan
$2.84 – $4.27 St. Petersburg, Russia
$2.94 – $5.51 Seoul, South Korea
$3.23 – $6.45 Singapore, Singapore
$3.35 – $5.16 Hong Kong, China
$3.80 – $6.33 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
$3.84 – $6.52 Athens, Greece
$4.09 – $6.04 Moscow, Russia
$4.24 – $5.93 Santiago, Chile
$4.39 – $8.77 Tel Aviv, Israel
$4.64 – $6.22 Istanbul, Turkey
$5.47 – $9.12 Krakow, Poland
$5.33 – $7.99 Beirut, Lebanon
$5.73 – $8.33 Vancouver, Canada
$5.80 – $8.70 Lisbon, Portugal
$5.80 – $9.42 Tallinn, Estonia
$5.70 – $8.29 Budapest, Hungary
$5.75 – $7.90 Cape Town, South Africa
$5.95 – $8.33 Prague, Czech Republic
$6.20 – $8.26 Taipei, Taiwan
$6.52 – $10.14 Barcelona, Spain
$6.56 – $9.84 Edinburgh, Scotland
$7.00 – $12.00 New York City, USA
$7.25 – $10.14 Madrid, Spain
$7.50 – $10.00 Los Angeles, USA
$7.95 – $13.26 Reykjavik, Iceland
$8.41 – $14.49 Rome, Italy
$8.70 – $14.49 Brussels, Belgium
$8.70 – $14.49 Paris, France
$9.38 – $12.50 Toronto, Canada
$9.38 – $12.50 Montreal, Canada
$9.47 – $12.63 Melbourne, Australia
$9.60 – $12.00 Auckland, New Zealand
$9.80 – $15.69 Zagreb, Croatia
$10.14 – $14.49 Vienna, Austria
$10.53 – $13.68 Sydney, Australia
$11.22 – $14.12 Copenhagen, Denmark
$11.48 – $14.75 London, England
$11.59 – $15.94 Berlin, Germany
$11.59 – $17.39 Munich, Germany
$11.59 – $17.39 Dublin, Ireland
$12.64 – $15.66 Tokyo, Japan
$12.92 – $16.16 Stockholm, Sweden
$13.04 – $17.39 Nice, France
$14.06 – $20.29 Helsinki, Finland
$14.49 – $14.49 Amsterdam, Netherlands
$15.94 – $20.29 Monaco, Monaco
$18.62 – $24.21 Oslo, Norway
$20.22 – $26.97 Zurich, Switzerland

Notes about world taxi prices

  • The prices above reflect metered prices, although in some cities each company charges its own rates.
  • Generally, if you are obviously a tourist, the cheaper the normal price the greater chance that the meter will be “broken” or unavailable.
  • These figures are for in-the-city rides, many airports add an additional surcharge in one or both directions.
  • Typical airport-to-city price ranges can be found on each of the main city pages, along with public transportation prices.
  • Some cities charge more at night or on weekends, so the overall range tends to be greater in those cases.
  • Prices for waiting/standing still and typical traffic conditions vary from city to city, and this also increases the price range.
Being honest, even when all companies in a city use a fixed price scheme it can still be difficult to research them because many taxi drivers make a better living by the public not knowing what they should really expect to pay. On the other hand, we are confident that all of these are at least very close, although if you have new information we’d love to hear from you so we can update our records.
The worst confusion almost always involves airport taxi scams, so it’s worth being aware of those before you arrive anywhere.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Drugs and prison

                 That's what I call an engine
                   God bless Ayrton Senna.

Up on Dorset St. the other day I was flagged down by a girl who was frantically looking for a taxi.
Right mister 2 stops Pierce st and the courts, quick.  No ! stop me fella has to come as well.
He was locking the door to the apartment.
Hurry up ! leave the fecking thing we'l be late !
So eventually he hops in and off we shoot to the methadone clinic.

He was buzzin full of the joys of life, high as a kite.
Jezis mister I haven't slept for 3 days.
We arrive at the side entrance of the clinic, she goes in and he starts chatting to everyone going in and coming out. I thought you were locked up says one.
No I'm being sentenced today.
Ya might be let off.
Ya I might and pigs might fly.
Then one familiar face came along with his partner(street drug dealers) and my trusted friend buys a card of downers (Tranquilisers)
Then he started taking them 1,2,3,4 woa I say how many are you going to take?
The whole fucking card, I can't carry on like this I need to come down.

What if you can't waken up in the court.

That doesn't matter I'm fucked anyhow.
Then one of his mates gets in for a bit of a chat and borrows his phone. 1235578990 Hello baby I'll be dere in a few minutes, arright, now don't go buyin of anyone else. I'm your number one and only dealer.

Then at last the girl arrived and we headed off for the courts dropping the third person off at O'Connell bridge.

The girl it turned out was a lap dancer from Newcastle (England)
Only we're in a bit of a hurry I'd get her to do you a quick turn for ya.

You won't be getting much lap dances where you're going, that's for sure she said.

So amid all the banter we arrived at the courts and he started paying me. 1,3,5,7,8,8.50, 10 all the while people were shouting for him to hurry up. Then a fellow drug dealer ran out of the courts complex.
17.50 .
Your brief is going mad, you' ve been called.
So he departed.

Once more peace descended into the car and apart from the smell of Jim Beam rum and cigarettes and cheap perfume nothing remained except the €17.50 of my €20 taxi fare.

You would never believe how boring the next person was.

Thank God

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Rules by Ryanair

So this lady had a poster and a book which she had not put in her luggage.
Police were called and she was TAKEN off the plane.

Boys and girls.

I would hope that you would have the balls to stand up and refuse to sit down until she was put back on the plane.

Bullies are everywhere

Wow how stupid can a huge company be!

Thursday, November 01, 2012


         Dunlop tyre factory upper Stephen Street, the first in the world

                           DELUXE INTERIOR Mercedies 

              Beautiful trim and finish     

                                      Garda on Segways.


That's what you are supposed to say on the first of the month.

Life is so precious,
in an instant your whole world can be turned upside down.
Thousands of people had their homes wrecked in the worst storm ever in the USA, lives lost everything changed.

Last week here in Ireland a father took his 2 young kids for an early morning walk, a car careered across the road killing the 2 children and pinning him against the wall. The driver had passed out and knew nothing about what happened.
From what I heard the driver had just had the all clear to drive again after suffering blackouts.

Then there is the 14 year old girl bullied on the internet who took her own life.
She had tried everything to make the bullies leave her alone,they went to the police and they said that unless they were hitting her physically there was nothing they could do.
We need to talk to the kids more.

Bullying is an awful thing, the more the bully terrorizes the victim the stronger they become.
"Bully in sight" by Tim Field is a very good book I bet there are others which can help 

So folks while you think of that.
Seize the moment.
Put purpose and meaning into your day.