Monday, February 24, 2020

Herring days

The London Cabby is full of wisdom but even there the months of January and February are slack times.
They say that times can be so bad that you can only eat herrings and you won't be able to afford meat.
It is bad all right as we have more taxis in Dublin than in New York at the height of the Yellow Cabs prime.
Gene Solomon who writes the blog Cabs are for kissing has written a really good post on the demise of the Yellow Cab you can find the link on the right hand side of this blog.

We have a taxi hailing app called FreeNow it is very handy for calling up taxis.
Well today a customer left his keys in the car and as the change in the app meant I couldn't  report it.
So I went into their office.
They are very casual in there. Chewing bread and apples, 2 or 3 looking at one computer.
I asked if anyone was working and a guy slouched over and took my phone and I explained about the lost keys.
"We don't give out customers details he said but I will report it"
Even though I said that his number is on the booking information.
Around an hour later I got an email to say that they had contacted the customer.
I got another email later to say that the customer had not been in contact so I should
"Drop it into the nearest Carriage office"

Boys and girls there is only one carriage office in Dublin and they do not handle lost property.

Your nearest Garda station is the place to go to.
So I went home for lunch and I wrote a note for the man.
I knew where I picked him up and went over to his house. I checked the key of his Merc and it worked on the car, so I knew for sure I had the right place.
At 7 pm I got a text to say thank me and NO MyTaxi had not contacted him at all.

On Sunday I picked up a young lady going to Malahide, she had a slight accent as it turned out she was English and I remarked on her clear diction and the timing of her speech.
She had trained as an actress, but the delivery of her words was pure magic.

Of all the class acts I saw in Blackpool this one really was the most impressive.

Take a look yourself at the Evasons

Most acts like this use an earpiece and a third party passing the information to the teller.
Her ears were inspected twice during the act.
Also she read a credit card number without her caller looking at the card.
The other way it is done is using key words.
I have in my hand "something" personal. The word something means watch, I am "holding" is handbag  and so on.

They were brilliant.. I don't care how it was done.
No doubt if I google them I will find out.

I downloaded this by accident and I can't delete it, but its magic

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Great to be back home

Sorry folks the photos are still causing a problem, I will probably have to buy a new laptop.
I was in Blackpool England for the worlds biggest magic festival, thousands of magicians and me pus hundreds of magic dealers selling props DVDs and gimmicks. The traveling was strange.
Try for tickets (Return to Blackpool from Manchester £20)
But the train I was supposed to be on was cancelled.
I am a big boy and I asked "Hop on this train and change at Preston"
Bobs your uncle I landed.
Other people didn't ask and took taxis down at £120 which made the driver very happy.
Going home I arrived on time the platform 4 door was closed with a red tape in front.
3 minutes to go, no announcement then the time changed to 1 1/2 later.
I asked and jumped on to a different train which took me to Manchester where I got another train to the airport the last leg of the journey cost me £3.50.

Ryanair did exactly what I wanted took off and landed even though it was windy.
I wanted to go Aer Lingus but they were more than double the price when I looked.

Here is a tip when you are looking for a flight.
You get a flight for a price and then you go and coming back you decide to go with that.
But when you go back again on the price has gone way up.
Find a computer whizz kid.
Go to cookies, remove cookies then when you go back the site does not know that you have been there before.
Teenagers are useful.

The convention was really bad for me. too many people and they made people queue for ever.
Some people checking in had to wait for an hour and 1/2 in the cold windy weather to enter the venue.

There was a lecture by Mat King and 1/3 of the people would have filled the hall so there was 3 times the capacity there and the fire exits on the left hand side were blocked up.

Irish people know what can go wrong in a crowded venue, the Stardust fire disaster on Valentines night in 1981 where 48 young people died woke us all up to what can happen, so I stayed from the overcrowded venues.
I was very tired and I missed a good few of the acts. But what I saw was really good.
There was talent there in Spades for sure.

The British are strange when it comes to some things.
The Ruskin hotel is the place to go to meet people, one year I met up with a few old acquaintances and suddenly I notice that the place was packed so tightly that you couldnt move and the doors were locked.
When I got home I rang the Police HQ to say my piece.
I was quick enough to note down her name.
"No you must ring ......."
I said Stop right there Constable...and told her about the Stardust adding that now that she knows what might happen she could prevent it. I from overseas was not going to ring around like a fool.
The following years the doors were open.

I will give you a few clips from YouTube.

This guy was there last year

Lance Burton

A fine piece of pattr from John Archer.

 This guy did his act, just like lightning....

There was a hell of a dove act and an incredible mind reading act that beat the devil.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Where to?

Tango classes are held in the round room at the back of the Gate theater

There is a photo exhibition in the National gallery

Did you miss the Turner show, it will be back next January

After you say hello and you get your destination the next question is often
"What do you do for a living yourself?"
The most unusial answer that I have had to date is.

"Me ? I am a fruit stylist"

Yes I herd it right.
If you are photographing fruit for a M&S advertising campaign she would put her magic chemicals over the fruit and it would look 1$ million. She learned her craft in California and there is only one more of her in the country. A photographer told me that he could not enhance a photo to make it look as good.
She was on a fantastic wage a well.

So last week a little lady from Brazil heading for the airport flagged me down and
she trains models how to walk on the catwalk.
I really thought that they walked that way naturally.
She told me that she was Miss runway Brazil when she was 9 years old.

Being a model is a very tough gig, gaining weight, always feeling insecure as you last job could really be  your last as fashions change all the time and trends which are hot today are cold next week.

The insecurity can lead them into taking drugs, the slippery road to hell.

Marketplace in Canada do a great show.
Need to rent a car?
Watch this first
One tip that I tell people is to walk around the car with your mobile turned to video..

Thursday, February 06, 2020

17.5 minutes waisted

This day next week I will be among the best magicians at the worlds biggest festival of magic.

"John, Magic is the most fun you can without taking your clothes off " Paul Daniels.
I still miss him. Not that I met him that often. But he was always fun and never took himself too seriously.

He was giving a talk in Belfast and I sent him an email to say I was looking forward to meeting him again.
"Not half as much as I am" came the reply.
When the day came I went into the Europa hotel and found out where the meeting was to be held.
Paul was on the other side of the room when I came in. He stoped what he was doing, looking over to me he said.
"Gentlemen, here comes a very wealthy man ! As you can see he doesn't waste money on good clothes".
"Or wigs Paul"I said
"Touche"He said back
"No Paul. Toupee"
"Oh come here till I give you a big hug"

He really was a very humble man and in magic there are few better.

I think I am getting old.
But little things which are out of my control annoy me more and more.
My paper license for the taxi has been mislaid and I need it for a simple task.
It is on view on all the portals But not good enough.
I rang the National Transport Authority and asked for a duplicate license.
She went away and came back, You have to contact the Garda carriage office.
No No that is for the driving license, this is your department the taxi license.
She was away for longer and then said.
Now for me to issue you with a duplicate license I need €25.00

That is daylight robbery I said and ended the call after she gave me a reference number for the call.
Another 17.5 minutes of my life wasted.

There are hundreds of rickshaws out every weekend.
No tax, insurance, or vetting procedure
Plus they pay no tax at all.

And here I am being asked for €25 for pressing a button.

This was in London.Thank you to the taxi driver who got involved here


The blind guy doing card tricks  WOW

Monday, February 03, 2020

A tale of absolute horror

As you travel through your daily life some things might annoy you, disgust you or even horrify you.
These things are out of your control and even then you fight to change things.

As your old Granny might say.
"Save your breath to cool your porridge"

So I will relate a story which came to light last week.

Please if you are ill or very emotional please read no further..And I really mean that.

The headline read
"Are Britain's smart motorways death traps?"
In the UK they have a system whereby if the traffic gets congested they open up the hard shoulder as a carriageway.

The problem is if you have to stop where do you go?

In a ward of a Birmingham children's hospital an 8 year old boy called Dev Naran climbed into the bed of his older brother. His older brother Neel had suffered an epileptic fit and the doctors believed that he was dying, Naran was brought to the hospital to say goodbye.
Dev climbed into his brothers bed and told him how much he loved him and that the wanted him to live and come home again.

Neel later rallied and started to recover despite all predictions.

Dev on the way home in a Toyota Yaris driven by his grandfather was killed when their car was struck by a truck from behind.
The grandfather has no recollection of the crash, or why he had stopped.

The hard shoulder was live.

So people in high places make decisions which place peoples lives at risk.
They do not ever accept any blame.

Prison would be too good for them.
Imagine putting lives at risk to save the cost of expanding the road, they will have to make changes anyhow.
I cannot ever change any of this at all.
But if you have received traumatic news NEVER drive, take a taxi and collect your car later.