Sunday, January 26, 2020

The passionate liberator

 I picked up this guy on Camden St.
Quick get me to the airport and stop at an internet shop till I print my boarding pass.
My flight leaves in an hour.
I told him to forget the internet shop, you can't check in on line inside 2 hours before take off.
He then tried to stop me taking the port tunnel.
I said to let me do my job and you can do yours.
He had missed that flight for sure.
But there would be other flights to London that day.

I asked him why he was going to London and he told me that they were going to make a movie about a book he had written called "Soldier for a summer"
He told me 
"I gathered and led a foreign militia to overthrow Muammar Gaddaf in Libya. My truck was the first one into his compound"

Call me Sam

I was listening and he seemed genuine enough, but I could check on him later.

The way my mind works was to tell him simply to be careful,
This is your book and your life story,
These people could depict you as a fool or a drug addict and because you gave your total permission you would have no control over your work.

Get a theatrical solicitor to help you.

We arrived and he departed.

Sam was the real thing all right, his brother in law from Tallagh was the Lord mayor of Tripoli for a while.
I was talking to some of his friends today, he is still alive with his Irish wife.

Depending on where you stand Sam was a really brave man.

You never know ho you might meet next.



75 years since the liberation of Belsen and Auschwitz death camps

It is 75 years ago since the extermination camps in Poland were liberated.
It is important to remember these things, the horror is that mankind can do unspeakable evil on other human beings. Many Germans to this day will tell you that it never happened.
On my journeys I met a man whose father rounded the people in surrounding villages and marched them through the camps where the bodies lay.

Even then faced with what they saw they denied that they knew anything.

It is said that even today the birds do not sing around Auschwitz

I also met a man who had been through the Japanese work camp where they built the bridge over the river Quai. 
When he was liberated he was only 5 stone weight even though he was over 6 foot tall.

"My ambition was to live, I never held bitterness in my heart. I LIVED my life from then on."

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Psychology at work

This is the second strike day against FreeNow taxi app.
They are putting up their commission to 15%, that will be their take on every job if they have their way,

 My son is giving up his car, he won't need it when he starts driving the taxi, that is when he passes the knowledge.

To sell a car you might put an ad on the internet and have loads of time wasters ringing you, promising to buy then letting you down. I couldn't put a value on the car as it is 06 Prius and the public have a great fear that the battery will fail and the replacement battery costs €3,000.

Well not quite. The traction battery consists of 28 separate cells eash giving out around 15 volts Bolted together tou get 15+15+15+ which over i5 times gives you 225 volts If one cell fails you very carefully take it out and replace it. I got one for £20 on Ebay and that car was retired at 470,000Kms

So in the heel of the hunt I took it down to Merlyn car auctions near Naas and it was sold for €400, dirt cheap for what it was. You take what you can get on the day and thats that.

I had a young singer heading for rehersals, the address he gave me was Wood Quay where it should have been Denore Ave I told him to tell the gang that the stupid taxi driver got lost.

I am doing a bit and I pulled into Google where an Indian lady got in and told me which way to go.
I didn't follow her exact instructions and when we were near the end she said that she only had €10 though at that point the meter €11.20, "If you had taken the route I told you it would have been only€10"
She went on to say that she had no other change.
I have a credit card machine, after all you will need more change to get back into town..
Then I said if I was €2 short at the grocer, or in the coffee shop what would they say?
Or if I told my kids that there was no ice cream because someone short changed me.

She paid with the card and went off.

I know that the Merrion gates are always much slower.

Later in the day I had the pleasure of meeting a makeup artist from Los Angles, a really happy and beautiful lady, she had dumped her boyfriend and now she has gone to see the world
She wiped all the thoughts of the Indian lady from my mind.

You take the road as it comes, rain,hail or sunny weather no point in moaning about it.
You must learn to let things go.

I don't mind giving a discount €50.60 Just 50 is fine.

Look at this. 
Then go to YouTube and they tell you how it was made

Were you ever in court accused of something?

Look at how this guy defends himself....BOOM

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The living dead

I dropped off a customer at the Westbury hotel near Grafton St. the other day.
There were 4 taxis waiting so I headed off again.
On the way over to Auinger St. I saw what was once a really beautiful girl coming across the street. I stopped to let her pass and it was then that I looked at her face and into her eyes.
I swear to God if I had had a gun I would have blown her brains out.
She was a heroin addict, skin and bones looking into her eyes said it all.
The eyes are the window to the soul they say. The desperate emptiness in her eyes still scares me.
This once really beautiful kid was a walking skeleton with an empty desperate look of pain on her face.

There is no solution to this problem.
The top drugs barons rake in millions, the dealers further down make a profit, while at the bottom of the pile kids as young as 14 are becoming drug addicts.

25 years ago or so I got a radio call from Metro cabs and I was directed to a job and my customer was a drug dealer, he had a big mobile phone (A brick) and we went off to houses around Killiney, Foxrock where all the "quality" folk live.

Each deal was made 2 moves ahead, they would meet him at the gate and then he set the next deal in motion.It took a couple of hours in all.

Then he turned to face me "Don't judge me, I didn't ask them to take drugs, all I do is to provide a service and I cannot do this kind of work in my own car"
So in his own mind he justified his work.
One thing I will always blame him for was giving drugs to 2 young kids aged 12 to 14..
"No those are only Smarties, nothing stronger"
I know he will have something stronger when they are ready.
All these rich people living where we would all love to be

The wheel turns and the demand and supply grows by the day.

The book is coming on and there is quite a chapter on drugs.

Passing drug dealers on the Quays one day I said to my passenger how I would love to find a way to cure this problem. He gave me his business card and told me to ring him and he would arrange a world tour to explain how to beat the drugs problem to the world leaders.

A Dubliner called Bram Stoker wrote a book called Dracula, he wrote about vampires who suck the blood from people in the night. Then once you have been bitten a couple of times you become a vampire as well.

You join the living dead
Sound familiar? 

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Herring days

The days after Christmas have been christened as The Herring Days.
Things are so bad that you cannot eat meat.
It is not quite that bad, but it is tough.

A little bit of history.
In times gone by you walked to a taxi rank or held up your hand to hail a taxi.
If you needed a taxi and you lived on a quiet road you would ring a taxi company of which there were quite a few. The drivers who worked for those dispatch companies paid a weekly fee plus a % of account work.
The odd bottle of whiskey or the odd pack of fags into the dispatch kept things rosy.

Then came the APP as in Hailo. One tap and your taxi was there, you could see his progress and it took off.
It started off at 5  % commission paid to Hailo,
Then it went up, and up again to 12%
The name changed along the way to the really stupid title FreeNow
Now in the next few weeks it is going up again to something like 15%
While in Germany I hear that the c omission is only 7%                                             

Well there is a new app ready to download called TAXY and they promise to charge the taxi driver less commission. By the way the revenue which is being generated through the app is being used to advertise.
Go to Spain and the advertisements are all over the airport.
This does not come cheap.

But if the motor is broken... they are missing out.

Another funny thing is they keep sending out thees surveys.

How are we doing?
Just a few minutes of your valuable time.

The surveys seem to imply that FreenNow is the best thing since the sliced pan.
Do you agree?
Strongly agree?
 Etc etc. 

Anyhoo as they say in Canada time will tell.

I started Monday with a lovely lady from Brazil, she was just back here after Christmas and her body clock had not adjusted back to Irish time.
She was late for work.

Really guys we are so lucky to have such wonderful people living among us 
The Polish workers  pulled us through the last recession and now so many who have stayed are putting down roots.
A lot of the migrants are very well qualified, architects, vets, computer whizz kids.

The future is dot com 

Friday, January 03, 2020

2019 finally out the door

So I reflect on things that happened and things yet to come.
Strange one this. I bought 2 electric kettles and nether of them worked !
They came to simmer and then cut off.
I was going to a wedding in Spain so I did not rush back to the shop.
Power City always had a system where they record you on the computer, so you don't have to worry about receipts. Which is good.Or should I say was good.
When I went back I was told that if I did not have a receipt that they would not take the goods back.
I bought 2 replacement kettles in Aldi Tower brand with 4 years free warranty.
Then I looked up the consumer rights and found that if I had a credit card transaction it counts as a receipt.
So back to Power City Coolock and at first they said NO.
So I told the staff member what I had found on the internet..
There was a lot of shuffling around and all in all it took them 45 minutes to refund the card.

So I told them that there never bought electrical goods in any other store for the last 15 years or more.
But from now we are finished completely.
I look after all the white goods for 3 houses, kettles,hoovers, cookers etc.
So our business was good.
Last month I bought a modern tumbler dryer it cost €680 or so, still they do not care.
Surely for the cost of 2 kettles which came to less than €50 it would have been worth their while, after all they were broken, now their business with me is broken as well.

I am driving to Belfast tomorrow to a special birthday party for Timothy Hearte aged13.
A few cousins birthdays have been moved around to have one big celebration.

Timothy has Leukemia and they have done 2 bone marrow transplants which failed.
Now there is nothing more that they can do.
He knows all about it.
He is the son of a clergyman and is very up front in his beliefs.
"Look I believe in God and I will ask him for a miracle, (He can do miracles you know)
So there is nothing to worry about,"
Would your faith be stronger?

So we will all fill the rest of his life with happy thoughts and best wishes.