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November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008 - Shooting Photos

For now another photo posting.  This is a photo of the Chicago skyline shot from the John G. Shedd Aquarium.  More on the taxi company soon...  For more photos visit my photo blog at -

Chicago Daytime - Shot for the John G. Shedd Aquarium
Chicago Daytime - Shot for the John G. Shedd Aquarium (Desaturated)
San Diego Nighttime - Shot from the Coronado Ferry Landing
Joshua Tree National Park (Dusk, Desaturated)

These were all simply cropped from a larger image.  There was no stitching used.  More about that on the photo blog.

November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008 - Photoshopping

       These were some images that I borrowed from a friends blog.  It's conservative political humor for those who are interested.  These are just a few of my favorites.

 Barry Bonds Steroid Abuser
 Allen Iverson Criminal
 Mel Gibson Drunk Racist Jew Hater
 Greta Van Susteren The Wackjob
 Al Gore The Fat Global Warming Liar
Ted Kennedy The Drunk The Killed Mary Jo Kopechne
Funny Cheerios Parody 

November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008 – More From Stanley

             As I stroll in to the office I see all the familiar faces.  Stanley, our accountant is eating soup.  I suppose soup is a pretty safe thing to eat.  There he sits in the corner, dribbling on his faded button up shirt, which appears to be as much of antique as he is.  A string of drool hangs motionless from his bottom lip.   He doesn’t collect the cab leases anymore.  I’m not sure why.  My guess is that the drivers have become impatient with him as I had long ago.

             I go straight to “Victoria”, our effeminate bookkeeper.  I don’t often deal with people who are so old that their age consists of a three-digit number.  Perhaps I have some room to grow.  I smile, nod, and slowly continue to the back office.  Stanley is a nice man, I don’t wish him any ill will. 

            Victoria is the morale booster of the office, always trying to put a positive spin on things.  I’m not able to do that anymore, but I keep my peace, and focus on the matter at hand – paying my lease.  Victoria and I are on the same page with the operation of the company, and it’s malfeasance, but he keeps quiet.   I can see the reaffirmation of my snide comments in his eyes.  There’s an understanding here.  Albeit a unspoken one…

            Catherine is here too.  We make small talk, sharing strained smiles.  We have an understanding as well, although not one that is acknowledged.  Our encounter is brief.

            On the way out I pass Lupita in her lopsided office chair, which has become warped by years of strain by Julie and Bertha.  It’s resilience is astounding.  Lupita’s despondency is evident, with her glistening forehead, greasy hair, and sad face. It seems as if years of working at the company are beginning to show their age.  She has the good book to keep her company, as do the other office workers.

            Lupita and I are on good terms.  She likes me.  As I leave I pick up oil for the taxi and business cards that I offer as receipts since the company has decided that something more official isn’t necessary.  I’m expected to stamp the back of them with a generic template for the customers to fill out with any pertinent information from their trip.  I am much too busy for that.  As I am walking out I’m asked how many business cards I took.  I tell Lupita what she wants to hear.  I tell her that I only have 40.

            Catherine has been instructing the dispatchers to monitor how many business cards (which simply have the company name and phone number on them) that the drivers leave with.  I can only begin to speculate the reason for this.  Catherine has a reason for everything.  Reasons that she understands.

            And for the oil, when I do check it, which is done rather infrequently, it often needs several quarts.  But usually I don’t check it at all, I just dump in a few quarts – there’s always room.  I am expected to fill out a log specifying how much I take.   The rule is two.  I grab six and go on my way.

November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008 – Cadaver Cab

            Today I heard several funny stories about “Jorge.”   You may remember Jorge as the driver who pees in a milk carton in his van and stuffs it under the seat for his cab partner to find.

            Lets be blunt - Jorge is an asshole, and isn’t very inviting towards the passengers either.  Often he’s downright mean.  Well today it came to bite him.  I don’t know exactly what happened but it turns out that one of the local bar owner’s son punched Jorge right in the side of the head and then ran off. 

            The driver I spoke to said that Jorge was almost crying, yelling into the radio for help.  If only he had taken the time to learn even halfway decent English, one of us could likely have helped him.  Jorge was ok, he just left with hurt feelings.

            I was also told a story about how Jorge was stealing urinal cakes down from the Loews Coronado Hotel, over on Coronado Island,  to “freshen” his cab with.  Personally that one seems too good to be true, but more and more I see things equally ridiculous happening here on a weekly basis, so who really knows.

            One thing that I do know for sure is that Jorge is no longer allowed at the Glorietta Bay Inn, or any of the daytime cab drivers for that matter, because of what he did in the hotel’s bathroom.  I don’t know what exactly was done, but they brought out caution tape, yes, yellow CAUTION TAPE to close it off.  Like the stuff you would see at a crime scene.  The employees at the Glorietta Bay were not pleased.

November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 – Repeat Offender Traffic School

           Today I went to traffic school, again…

            I get to go again tomorrow for an additional 8 hours.  I’m not your typical traffic offender.  I’m a “Repeat Offender”.  The class is twice as long as the traditional traffic school (8 hrs) but it costs 3 times as much.  Surely a punitive measure.  It seems silly to me to have a bunch of grown ups circled around a table playing trivia games related to California’s “Rules of the Road.”  Like were back in high school, in drivers ed.  Most of the people in here knew exactly what they were doing, they just weren’t worried enough about getting a ticket to not do it.  Me, well I was just following the flow of traffic.  Unintentionally speeding.

            I was pretty angry about the whole thing.  I had a fare in the car, my speedometer wasn’t calibrated, and the light on the dash that illuminates all of my gauges was burnt out.  I actually thought that I may have been going too fast and had started slowing down.  The offices solution – well it was to put a sticker underneath the dial for the speedometer stating “Car goes faster than speedometer states.”  Nice fix.   No expense spared here.  I pointed this out to the officer – he didn’t care.  I don’t much care for the California Highway Patrol. 

My dash lights.  The check engine light is always on. 

November 14, 2008

November 14, 2008 – Getting Back At The Liveries


            It is not often that I am able to stick it to the man, or woman in this case – Catherine.  But today I did.

            For years now Catherine has been STEALING rides with her competing charter/livery vehicles, rides that rightfully belong to us.  Every once in a while we get our revenge.

            Today I heard the dispatch frantically calling one of the livery vehicles requesting them to come back to Cortez to pick up a passenger.  These are more often than not good rides, and unfortunately they are more often that not our rides.  I knew that I was only a few minutes from the Marriot, and would be able to arrive much quicker than the livery. 

            As I drove up I saw a couple with luggage that needed a ride to the airport.  They seemed surprised and admitted that they had thought a van was coming (all of our livery vehicles are Chevy Astro van’s).  In this sense they were correct.  They didn’t mind.  Then they informed me that they were told that the ride would only be $20.  I told them that would be fine.  I would have picked them up for $5 and taken a loss just to keep that money out of Catherine’s greedy little soiled pockets in her grubby men’s sized jeans.

            They were a nice couple, going back to Phoenix.  They gave a nice tip - $10, and were on their way.  I could have radioed the office and let them know that there had been a mistake and I had “accidentally” picked up a party that had called for a livery, but what fun would that be.  I let the livery drive all the way from the airport and fumble around at the hotel looking for the customers in vain.  A small victory for me, although it doesn’t even begin to make up for the years of thievery that Catherine has participated in.

            Shame on you Catherine, you little troll, shame on you.

November 13, 2008

November 13, 2008 - Shooting Photos

        I'd love to write another post about the company, but alas, once again I find myself not having the time, as I am also currently working on a photography blog of mine.  So, for now I will leave you with a picture.  More updates on that circus of a cab outfit that I work on soon...

         This is shot of the Hotel Del Coronado at dusk.  For more details on this and other photos of mine please click the above link.

November 12, 2008

November 12, 2008 - My Photo Blog

I recently started a Photo Blog.  Some of this will be on the cab blog as well, but in a different format.  This one will be strictly photography.

November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008 – Loaner Car

          Since my taxi once again broke down they gave me a loaner car.  As dilapidated as my regular taxi is, it looks like a Cadillac compared to the spare that I am now driving.  This thing is absolutely REDICLIOUS.  Perhaps it should be called “Chimney Cab.“  The guy who usually drives this smokes those little cigars in here.  CIGARS!!!  You remember Randy don’t you?

There she is on the lift.

That never stopped Randy.

I actually cant take credit for this picture.  I borrowed it from a friend who also works for the company. Were on the same page when it comes to what we think of the cars.  Catherine, not so much.  If you really want to get her all worked up just point out to her how shitty her cars are.  She's in denial, I just can't understand it.  You be the judge, pictures speak louder than words...

November 9, 2008

November 9, 2008 - Shooting Photos

I took a flight not too long ago.  Here's a photo that I shot from the airplane.  I like it.  Airplanes make some people nervous, but I find them relaxing.

November 6, 2008

November 6, 2008 – Geppetto

           Every once in a while one of our drivers gets into an accident.  I can’t say the same for “Geppetto,” he gets into them like they are going out of style.

            Suffice it to say “Geppetto” is his nickname, based on the fact that he looks like the old man from the Disney children’s classic “Pinocchio.”  Hopefully everyone’s familiar with Pinocchio.  Geppetto is a sixty something Polish guy.  At least I think he’s Polish, he has claimed several different nationalities.  One thing's for sure, he drives like a madman.  Tonight he crashed into a car, hopped a curb, and rolled to a stop just inches from the town’s police department.  The taxi was pretty banged up, as was the other car.  It’s probably safe to say that they were both totaled.

            It was quite a scene – fire trucks, ambulances, and squad cars.  Thankfully Geppetto was ok.  Strange thing though, the airbags didn’t go off.  Well, strange from a casual observers viewpoint.  Doesn’t seem all that strange to me, but then there’s things that I know about Cortez Cab that most people don’t.  Like the fact that Catherine doesn’t change the airbags once they deploy.  Why? Because that’s too expensive.  With that being said (by Catherine) it’s safe to say that the drivers lives are worth somewhere less than the $500 or so that it would cost to have the airbags replaced.

            All joking aside I find that rather disturbing.  For an outfit that “employs” drivers to utilize company vehicles doing official business, I would think that this would be a priority – the safety of it’s (the company’s) workers.  Air bags shouldn’t be expendable.   The city probably had to twist her arm just to provide seat belts and mirrors.

            Although airbags might not be enough to ensure Geppetto’s safety.  Perhaps a roll-bar too?  Maybe nearly emptying the gas tank and chaining the doors shut would better suit him.  You know, like cars in demolition derbies.  And for those of you who don’t know what demolition derbies are, well my friends, you are missing out.

November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008 – Business In The Front, Party In The Back

           I was talking to Seamus, one of our brighter foreign drivers.  He’s from Poland.  We were joking about another one of our drivers, one who isn’t quite so bright – Randy.  You probably remember Randy from my previous posts – the drunken redneck that had [the] “Good Year,” on his hooker and booze binge.


            Randy has this ridiculous haircut.  It’s a variation of the “Mullet”, a popular 80’s haircut which featured a shorter, more styled look in front that was long and wavy in the back.  Later came along a hybrid version of this – the rat tail, typical of the haircuts of Wal-Mart shoppers in the Southern States.

"The Rat Tail"

            To add a little pizzazz Randy accessorizes with a variety of different colored beads.  Seamus calls Randy the “CC Rider” or the “Cherokee Chief.”

            Another one if Randy’s trademarks are his mispronunciations.  These are a few of them.  Although pronouncing things when you are drunk must sure be difficult, especially when you are busy concentrating on driving the taxi…

            Peohe’s (A Restaurant) – Peeole’s
            Lowes (A Hotel/Resort Chain) – Lowell’s
            Costa Azul (A restaurant) – Costal Azul
            Clive Cussler – (An Author) – Cleve Clusser
            Laura Dern (An Actress) – Laura Dean

            One day one of the fellow drivers tried to correct Randy.

            Randy: I like that movie with Laura Dean.
            Jefferson: Yeah, she’s a good actress, I think she’ married to Bruce Dern.  (Providing added enunciation on Dern)
            Randy: Yeah, that’s her Laura “Dean.”