Thursday, June 14, 2007

What if ?

What if we believed that there is nothing new to discover?

Now that would be a strange world.

When Mr Hamilton was out walking with his wife it came to him in a flash. "Yes! why could I not see this before?"
So he got a stone and scratched the formula on the bridge in case he forgot it before he got home.Rowan Hamilton is so famous that if you Google him you get the biggest amount of hits than anyone else.
Well this therim is a crucial to higher mathamatics as addition is to lower sums.
Man would have never walked on the moon and space would never have been discovered without his formula.
I had a girl in the car the other day and she knew all about it."Its so simple really" Quantam psyics (Dizzy already)

Broom bridge in Cabra..

I crossed the bridge a 1000 times But now I stopped to take this photo of the inscription. Funny thing I always thought he wrote the formula on a Southside bridge.

Not one in Cabra.

So keep thinking that next idea might just be yours and could make you a millionare.
The lotto here in NY last week was $.90 mill.
I must go and check my ticket.

Oh yes they are still making the movie in Dublin.
The trip to America is nearly 1/2 over, We went from Boston to New York by train and explored the canyons of glass and steel that they call Manhattan. I was on Radio free Eireann telling the good people there how there is in in excess of 15,000 taxis operating in Dublin. New York for a population of 18 Million? has 12,250 yellow cabs.

Cab drivers in the Big Apple mostly rent their cabs for $108 a day plus gas. and at 12 mpg you could on a bad day, work all day and finish with less money than you started your day with!

So in 10 or so days I will give you loads of photos of America and new adventures from the mean streets of Dublin.

Nearly gone

The tall ships from the other side of the river last week.
I feel that a few of these ships should be bought to help young offenders to teach them comradeship and teamwork instead of locking them all up.It would not help them all but it would be cheaper than building more prisons all the time.
The lighthouse is on the Southside of the city, she looks like something that would be built off the coast of Maine.
The bull wall and the south wall hold out the big waves and the silt from the port and the rush of water scours out the shipping channel when the tide turns this keeps if reasonably clear. One of the first people who were involved in its construction was Captain Blythe who went on to take charge of the Bounty. The mutaney on the Bounty followed.

Getting into the swing of things when I was just beside Shanahans restaurant on the green when my timing belt broke.
I recalled that this restaurant has John F Kennedys rocking chair in the basement, must go in to look at it.

Under EU rules you cannot tow with a rope so I had to get a tow truck.

For those not in the know. Modern cars have a rubber belt which joins the top of the engine to the bottom. The top opens valves at the exact time that they should open or close. When the belt breaks the piston on the way up collides with the open valve(which should be closed) Thus bending the valve and sometimes damaging the piston.Sometimes cheaper to buy a new engine,or even a new car!
Now that timing belt only had 40,000 miles on it,so I am flabbergasted.
The garage is letting me down easily...Naw we had a few in and there was no damage done...I will put in a new water pump, tensioners and pulleys then I will do a compression test on her. Let you know tomorrow.
When I worked for a taxi company they would replace clutches in 3 hours and engine replacement took a shift. The company paid extra and the cars were rolling 24/7
They went through some cars in a year. Some radio companies have fleets of over 800 cars, mostly owner drivers, so now with more cars owner driven there are less cars doing the all night.
My friend John Ryan took his taxi to the long term car park at the airport for 2 weeks as he didn't want to leave it at his apartment complex, so its sitting there unloved and not working.

Sods law. What might go wrong will go wrong.

I know someone who deals in taxis so he will fix me up for the weekend.

That takes me back to the 70s in the UK when the barber would say
"Something for the weekend sir?"
Durex/ pack of 3. Not by the dozen as it is now.

On looking for acomadation in New York we found what was a beautiful clean hotel, cheap as well. So I said we will book it.

Look said my wife lets see what the guests comments are like.
We clicked on the comments.
The noise of the mice eating my food in the kitchen kept me awake all night!
The mice were only outnumbered by the cockroaches.
The lifts didn't work and there was a big rag stuffed into the gap where the window didn't close.
The best comment came from someone in Mexico. Don't stay here you may get killed by a snake!

So there is another place I will not be staying.

Still the photos of the hotel were lovely.
I won't tell you the name of it but we found it on expedia.

One of the New York taxi drivers is going to check out a place for us.

Good news on the repair front. The taxi is fixed the piston did not collide with the valves. Now I feel as lucky as a cut cat!
Back to work and to bed for a while....

Thanks John

I won't post again for 3 weeks.
Good luck to you all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Going to America

At present they are making a film set in the time of Charles Dickens.I took the photo just as the carriage was passing and was deligthed to see the kids "Scudding" on the back like their grandparents did..

The other is a giant head from the government of Chilie. It represents one of the figures on Easter island.

What are you doing in the big smoke ? was the casual question, the answer brought home how vulnerable we all are. A friend of ours lost his 15 month old baby, so we are here to give any support we can. The child was perfect going to the creche next minute they were trying to get it to breathe. SIDS who knows? We are here to lend support,a lot of official paperwork and searching to be done, friendship was needed and they had come to offer their help.

Strange to say the lads were joking before I brought up the reason for their visit. "Gallows humour."

My own cousin by marriage has had a triple bypass and my aunt who is in her 90s has had to get a leg amputated above the knee after she neglected a scalded foot.
But they are doing well now.

Worked the weekend through the nights again and I must say I am converted. The work is there and you can put in the miles as there is no traffic outside the city limits.
It is a pleasure to sneak through the red lights at 4 am as you head back to town at 50 MPH. Instead of shufelling around bumper to bumper and your passenger cursing you for bringing him this route.

Met a girl from Chile. Irish grandfather, Spanish mother and Italian father.
She got the green eyes from her Irish grandfather, you would think the brown eyes would be the stronger gene!
The world comes to me yet I am going to travel.

Off to the USA Boston and New York.2 weeks and 2 days to take in the 4th July.
Looking forward to it, so I had better get my ass back into the driving seat now.
Never been to the states.And with the dollar falling it makes sense to go now.

Stevie Wonder came to Ireland because he wanted to count his money by himself.

(American notes are the same size)

I put a thing called Stat Counter on my blog and it gathers information about visitors to the site. One thing is the global aspect of the visitors to the blog.
New York. Washington,San Francisco, Canada, Scotland, Britain Wales, France, Italy.Spain,Hawaii and Australia.

Good day to you all.

I will post again before I go.

Friday, June 08, 2007

back on nights

I hope the photo of the boats off Clontarf came out well. 5.45 early morning mist they looked good anyhow.Click on the photo to enlarge it, its OK.

Last weekend the spire was cleaned. the cost? e100,000.
All this for a structure that is supposed to be self cleaning. AND it will have to be cleaned every 18 months from now on. Wow what a waste of money.
Think of the prisons you could build with that money. Or the drugs treatment unit you could set up.Or even the homes you could build.
It has come up with a matt greay finish anyhow.
I am not happy but no one cares.

What else is new?.
I have started working the all nights again. Thought I would loose the temper picking up the drunken headbangers, but no. Perhaps I have mellowed or maybe I can spot the troublemakers a bit better.
Still the money is better and you are not stuck in traffic with someone screaming "my plane is in 20 mins".
One cure for that kind of hysteria is to pull in and turf them out.
"Health and safety, the unions would'nt let me drive under such pressure"
Works a treat.

Last weekend the town was hopping thought the weather was bad in Dublin.
East coast bad /rest of Ireland SUNNY.

We had the Docklands festival and tall ships came in from all over. The rain was awful though and the people who rented stalls must have lost a fortune.
Still rain makes money for taxis.

Dublin played Meath in the football which meant that 1/2 the taxi fleet took the day off so with the Nightlink buses not running on the bank holiday and more than 1/2 the taxis off the road it was great. I will not boast but a few more good nights like that and I will take a week off.

One fare I got was over e60 into the heart of Wicklow, the scenery was stunning at and I took the old back roads a good bit of the way back to the city.
Wicklow is known as the garden of Ireland.

I met a diplomat from Eritrea, interesting man. Told me of the history of the country,16 years old,broke away from Ethopia.
They do not accept foreign aid because such aid comes with strings attached. "How can you tell a farmer to grow food if someone brings free food into the country?"
We produce 90% of our own food. Next year we may have food to export.
My usual line on Africa concentrates on the famines and the madness that is going on in Zimbabwie and Mugabie. "John, I concentrate on what I can fix. Not what is beyond my boundaries.Africa is full of great people and corrupt people. The good must win, or there is no hope for humanity. You must believe this"

On good days perhaps, I hope the good guys always win.

The other guy I met yesterday evening. Outside the Egyptian embassy.
Turkish or Egyptian? I said (The embasseys are together) Egyptian, a great guy an optemist! The glass is half full. Not half empty.

He was the biggest cattle exporter in Ireland.
"Then BANG mad cow disease.
I was wiped out, in a day!
Can you imagine this?"
What do you do now?
"Fitted Kitchens"
Well at least they don't shit! said I.

It is a pleasure to be in the company of such people, a pure education.
Learn how to live!

On Baggott St.last night the ladies of the night were being given a hard time by the Garda.
They want us all off the streets said one.
Tough shit.
Most of these vice girls are heroin addicts or they would not be out on the streets in the first instance. You would thing that the Garda were trying to curb a bad habit like smoking or picking your nose in public.
A lot of thought will have to be put into this problem, but it is said to be the worlds oldest trade.
Sad to say a lot of them are HIV positive as well.
So you have one problem within another one.

Locking them up or moving them on is not the answer.

There was one girl who told me how the cops used to collect them to entertain them at parties, then one day in a spiteful rage he arrested them and banged them up.
They can do what they want and they do just that.
Some taxi drivers hold their money when they are working. Joe public often think that the taxi drivers are selling drugs to the girls, nothing could be further from the truth.

The foreign girls are brought in to Ireland by their owners and operate from apartments through the city. The internet are the new "streets" where they ply their trade.I don't know if bribes are changing hands but this old trade with its new spin is very sinister to me.
I carry links to sites which try to explain it better than I can(on the right) and believe me
"The truth isn't sexy"

Something to watch for.
A meteor storm coming on 13th August between midnight and 4 am. Mark the calender and go away from the city lights.
This is supposed to be a great display.
I don't know if it will be visible in the southern hemisphere

So go "Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Drugs & more drugs

This is the Luas(Speed)tram a Connely station, from here it heads out to Tallagh via the Red cow.
The other is a statue of Jesus which stood at the taxi rank on O'Connell St.
When they were re modeling the street they took it away.
We as taxi drivers feel that it should be put back. The city fathers we believe don't want it back. Perhaps they feel that it might injure the feelings of the non Christian among us.
I don't know If I was in Saudi Arabia or in Asia I would just have to accept the fact I am living in a country with different beleifs, therefore I find it hard that we must change to accomidate them.
Time will tell.
One day while standing near the statue a big fat American kid came running over." Look Dad a man wearing a dress" Dad said " Well what da ya know"

Guess that says it all.

He was a big lad,got into the taxi and asked for Sean Mac Dermot St.
One the way there I told him a few good jokes and we were best of mates when he got out.
He paid me,then he had second thoughts. Could you wait for a few minutes?
I just want to get something from a girl here and then we are off to Edenmore.
Ok I said and parked the car.
When I looked over again he had taken a bad fall onto the broad of his back.
He had been talking on the mobile and had taken a few steps backwards and had fallen over a very low wall. His fase was ashen, I held his arm and told him to sit down before he hurt himself again."Could you get me a bottle of water from my bag in the car?"
3 Minutes later his contact appears. "Jesus I can't get notin, I lost me fone and all the numbers in it." So we head off up around Buckingham St to see what we can get.
She goes off and I ask my new best frend if this is the place where the bomb was thrown into the back yard of the house? Yes indeed 10 people in the house and all the windows blown out, no one injured, hows that for luck?
Theres three seperate gang wars going on at the moment (6 gangs), each gang is out to kill the other and they have the guns and bombs. The Garda are delighted, they want to let them at it.
The girl comes back, she has a very low cut top and leans over to explain the situation again. Then she gets into the back and I notice something shiney fall onto the floor. So I grabs her by the ankle, Jaysis mister don't be takin a cheap feel.
Then I pick up what turns out to be her ear ring. Fair play to ya, you can feel me ankle any time as long as ya keep giving me diamond ear rings.
Great laughs, so it is then decided that he will meet her later and she will fix him up with something.
Ok Bank of Ireland Raheny.On the way he explains that he has been in England (code for Prison) and had forgotten his prescription s he would get something from her to keep him going. He had worked in the Irish Glass Bottle company after it closed down the workers got paid off, but they were screwed when it came to devide assets to which the workers had a share. He had not worked since. Looking at the state of his teeth he was on Psyceptone, a heroin substatute. His skin colour even before he fell was bad, sickley allmost green.
When he came out of the bank in Raheny he said Edenmore now, Look theres a credit card on the floor, its yours john. God your very careless,you'd want to mind that.
Time was I would have taken that. But that part of my life is behind me now.
Here we are whats the damage? There was €21 on the meter. Its €20 Damien.
Look its not, your doing yourself take €25 and take care of yourself.
As he walked away I thought of the tragic path his life had taken and what might lie ahead for him in the future.
We are all only 2 wage packets away from being homeless.
Some tragedy in the future may trip a switch in the head which causes us humans to career off course.
Its the ones who pass through the fire and come out the other side we should admire.
Not the footballers,Film stars,Models or the cast of Big brother.

In my time I have been lucky enough to meet survivors of drug and other abuses.

You know its the guy in the suit who will pocket the mobile phone or purse he finds lying on the back seat. He is also the one who will not tip.
Just because a guy is badly dressed dosen't mean he is out to rob you..Though he might jus be out to do just that or He could just be sick.
Remember a young lad in a wolly hat I picked up. He had been waiting for hours, I have been having Khemo, Jesus its cold out there.
I had nearly driven past him too!

And now for something completely different.

Well If you know the song sing along.

The Galaxy Song
From the film "Monty Python's Meaning of Life"
Words by Eric Idle
Music by Eric Idle & John Du Perez

Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite enough...

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving,
And revolving at nine thousand miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see,
Are moving at a million miles a day,
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the Galaxy we call the Milky Way.

Our Galaxy itself contains 100 billion stars
It's 100,000 light-years side to side,
It bulges in the middle, 16,000 light years thick
But out by us it's just 3,000 light years wide
We're 30,000 light years from galactic central point,
We go round every 200 million years
And our Galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding Universe.

The Universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light you know,
12 million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
Because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

Nicked from "The Fairly Incomplete And Rather Badly Illustrated
Monty Python Song Book" and transcribed by John G. Wright