Thursday, April 10, 2008

Still Talking To Myself....Still No Answers

For some strange reason I've been reflecting on my past, and pondering my future lately, a little more than usual..not exactly sure why. Too much time on my hands, or is it an age thing? I really don't know why.

The things I seem to be reflecting on in my past is...Son (myself), Friends, Husband, Fatherhood, and being a Grandfather. I guess I've been asking myself if I've been good at any of them. I guess the only problem with this kind of analysis is that it's one sided...MY SIDE!

As a son I have tried to be honest with myself, and stood back to look at my memories, and I feel I was a pretty good one, and maybe I'm judging myself by today's that a fair assessment? I was never arrested for committing a crime. I can say I truly helped my parents out around the house by doing my chores: cut lawn, cleaned bedroom, washed cars, cleaned pool, did my own laundry(at the age I was taught..around 15yrs) Now I'm not trying to paint a picture of myself of being a saint because I wasn't, but I wasn't all that bad of a son (my opinion) heck I still visit my parents regularly, and never forget Fathers Day, Mothers Day, or their birthdays.

Friends....well I've had, and still have plenty. I think in this sense I've been really blessed. Like most relationships being close to someone for a long time takes a lot of work, but when it's meant to's meant to be. I do not in any way shape or form mean to minimize the friendships that I now have, but there is one friendship I hold close to my heart above all, and that's with my life long friend Joe. We met when I was eight years old, he was my best man, and now that I'm forty nine we're still inseparable. I truly think of him as my third brother. I honestly can't count the amount of times we go to call each other, and right away we both have said I was just reaching for the phone to call you...(kinda like twins sixth sense.)

Husband... again, I'm trying to be honest with myself, and this is the one title I'm not proud of...why? because my marriage failed. I've been separated now for 12 years, and yes I think time has healed my wounds. Like all relationships we put our good foot forward in the beginning, and as time passes we slip into our true selves (you have had to be in a relationship to understand this one.)

Looking back in retrospect I ask myself what could I have done to improve myself as a husband...well the answers to that question would take to long (I'm sure my ex would agree), but I also have heard a lot of other couples complain about the things their spouses did throughout their marriages, and I don't find myself in their league.

The truth is... that a marriage takes a lot work, and I'm not proud at all that mine didn't last.

Fatherhood... this is a work still in progress, and will be till the day I die. Man!! I can't find the words to describe what it's like to become a parent. Today we have people dedicated to helping us all become better at this task, but the truth in my experience is there's just no perfect answers. I guess the saying we are a product of our parents is some what true. I mean all we have to go on is what we were taught before us by our own parents, and does this make all our decisions right...hell no! not by a long shot.

The lines of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" "Regrets...I've had a few"...when it comes to parenting...what an understatement. Any parent in their right mind will always find reasons to beat themselves up over not doing, or saying, or being there for all those special moments in their children's lives that can never be repeated, and for the ones I missed... I am truly sorry.

Grandfather... first thing I want say on this subject is I'm waaaaay to young to be one ;-) , but I truly wouldn't want to miss out on it. Perhaps it's still the father in me being stubborn, and not easily accepting the fact that I'm a Grandfather, or my baby girl is a mother, but that's a whole other can of worms, and I'm not going to open it..:-)

When I have the pleasure of having my grand daughter over for visits, and sleep overs, I can't begin to express the joy this brings me. I'm trying to decide if I can't help but to remember the short time I got to spend with my grandparents as a child, or if in the back of my mind I know she's not staying forever...LOL Honestly, I think it's because I feel as though I've been there with my own kids, and I feel like I'm better equipped to handle her needs. I think I've learned from my mistakes as a parent, and this really helps in the spoiling department as a grandparent.

I'm truly blessed that their all healthy, and I don't say that lightly.

As far as the future goes I really don't stress myself out about it, because the truth of the matter is there's just not much you can do about it. I mean what ever happens...happens.....right?

Damn more to think about......DOE!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

As Homer Would Say......Boring!!!!!!!!!

The Durham Police in Oshawa recently made a sweep of the downtown streets, and arrested 15-20 hookers on crack cocaine related charges. I'm sure the businesses there are happy to see the clean up, but what's a cabbie to do? I spend alot of time hanging around idle on those streets, and without my eye candy it just won't feel the same.

I guess the only ray of light is I'm sure they will be back on familiar turf in no time. This isn't the first story of this kind to make headlines in our town, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Would downtown streets in any major city feel the same without our ladies of the streets? I think not, and where else can you go and see a free fashion show on the real cat walks?

Fish net stockings, and thigh high boots... do they ever really go out of style?
Pic 1 The big blue meanies doing their job
Pic 2 The bare streets of the Schwaa

Thursday, February 28, 2008

All In A Days Work

I've been driving cab now for five months in my home town of Oshawa, and although it still doesn't pay much.. I love it! I guess it's the variety of people I meet, and see each day that keeps it interesting. It takes time like any job to learn some of the tricks to making it more enjoyable. I'm learning what type of weather people will and won't tolerate. Rain, or snow doesn't mean it will be busy because under those circumstances it usually means warmer temperature, and people will tolerate that rather than spend their hard earned money on a cab, but add wind, and voila watch the money roll in. Windy days, and cold temps are a cabby's dream come true because you just can't hide from the wind, and umbrellas are useless against it.

Learning what day's the government cheques come out will give you a heads up on what type of day you'll be having. Very busy! On those day's usually towards the end of the month there will be an increase in fares going grocery shopping, liquor and beer stores, and more people in general using cabs why? because it's pay day!!!

Learning the turf, or the areas that produce higher volume of calls is still the toughest part of the job to predict, but the longer I've been doing it the more I'm learning. Downtown is the place to be simply because it is the "zone" that backs up the majority of other zones. If there are no cabs in a certain zone and a call comes in for that zone than chances are the downtown zone will receive that call and send a car to it. Certain zones do not have as many back up zones, so you may sit longer in a certain zone than if you are in the downtown zone..follow? However, this does not guarantee you'll be busy because most of the drivers hang out downtown, so it's not uncommon to be 8th, or 9th in the ques when in the downtown zone. What am I getting at?? it's totally unpredictable, and honestly that's what makes it fair. Like in any game may the best man win!

Scooping is a term used when you happen to be in the right place at the right time, and there is a fare standing there waiting..what do you do?? (A) Take the fair immediately? (B) Ask if they called ahead for another cab company? (C) Asked if they called ahead for your company? (D) Never leave a customer waiting? Answer: (C) If the fare called ahead for a cab from your own company than politely reply I'm sure it will be hear any minute. Taking another mans fare means stealing his earnings and that's not tolerated...unless it's for another cab company then by all means, but don't get caught!

Everyone knows cabby's have some great stories to tell, and the only reason for that is because of the variety of people we meet, and see each day. I think most people who deal with the public have stories to tell, but I must admit I've had some people tell me things they probably have never told anyone they know their little secrets, and why us? why not? cabby's have the reputation of being crazier than most of our fares...right?

I have no idea how long I'll stay at this job, probably till I simply can't afford to do it anymore, and that may not be to long away, but until something better comes along I think I'll stay put because I do love to be entertained, and trust me...this job is ever bit that..
Here are just a few pics of the interesting people that add colour to the downtown scene...
Pic 1: A lady of the street keeps walking to stay warm
Pic 2: A shot of the downtown taxi stand next to the bus terminal
Pic 3: I'm not sure why, but this guy likes to wear big pink bunny ears
Pic 4: This guy likes to wear pink womens clothes...just lovely...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Beating the Winter Blahs

Ontario just had it's worst winter storm of the year today, and I must admit it reminded me of the winters we use to get when I was a kid. Remember the stories of how your parents had to walk to school in snow up to their knees? well it's true! Back before we had all this global warming effect we use to have white Christmas's regularly none of this one or two storms a season we seem to get now.

I took full advantage of it , and created a great day for myself. We had lots of notice it was coming, so I decided to take the day off work. Instead of getting up at my usual 5:30am I rolled out of bed at 8:30 am, and sashayed into the kitchen to have a cup of coffee. Opened the drapes to see the snow storm in full force, and sat on the couch and sipped my coffee and smiled. Turned on the TV to hear the news of the day, and couldn't help but wish I had a better TV because the picture on my set is getting a little blurry. Hmmm I thought to myself I could go and do a little shopping I'm sure the stores won't be busy, so that's exactly what I did. I found a new Sony flat screen HDTV on sale and bought it. Nothing like pampering yourself to beat the winter blahs.

In no time at all I was enjoying a nice clear picture on my new set, and had to have a cold beer to celebrate...I know it's winter out, but I'm Canadian eh..

I basically spent the day on the couch in front of my new set kicking back and chillin what else are snow days for? Typically I would cook something hardy that would require an all day simmering like a chilly, or stew, but instead decided on pizza...mmmmm the perfect meal for a perfect day...oh and lets not forget strawberry cheese cake for dessert.

The snow was still coming down as it had all day long, but I notice the wind had died down, and so I decided to go for a walk down by the lake. It was sooo peaceful not a sole down there other than yours truly. Unfortunately, the snow didn't make for good pictures because I just couldn't get a pic of the lake at night, but trust me the waves where at least 8-10 feet high, and just thunder est sounding as they hit the shore. The snow was becoming more wet like rain mixed in so, I decided to head back to the car, but not before taking a pic of standing in snow up to my knees. (just like the good old days)

After completing this blog I will return to my new set with a glass of wine, and maybe my pipe, and enjoy my thoughts of my perfect day....winter blahs?...not today.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Man does time fly or what? Here it is another year gone by, and another year older..wiser?? jury's still out on that one. I always look forward to a new year because I always make resolutions to myself hopefully to better my life, and my families, but it's not always easy to achieve. I always keep them to myself incase I don't achieve any, then I'm the only one who knows it. Who needs more " I told you so."?

My resolutions are not overly demanding either. What's the sense in adding more stress to life I find it stressful enough.

2007 ended with a very cool meeting of old friends I hadn't seen in 32 years (school friends.) I ended the year by celebrating with familiar friends, and can only hope 2008 has more cool things instore for me.

This years party was hosted again by my dear friends Bernie and Tina. We ate, drank, played music, with a small group of friends, and only three out of four members of Kurb Appeal, but I think we were all merry, and no party complete without a half naked Johnny "O". Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

Here's hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas, or what ever your celebration is that you spent it with the ones you love...I did

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Will "The Song Remains The Same"?

With the much anticipated reunion of Led Zeppelin's Dec 10th concert in England the only real question is will they still sound the same as they did without Bonzo?. When Zeppelin started to really make it big in the late 60's early 70's I was very young, but very receptive to "rock and roll." I was interested in music, and already working on my chops as a drummer. I would bang on everything I could lay my hands on, and had already learned "Wipe Out" the drum solo to be measured by back then.

I always zeroed in on the rhythm section of a song, and always used that to measure whether it was worth listening to. If it made me bob my head, or start banging my hands in rhythm to it than it was my kind of song.

When Led Zeppelin hit the air waves it was like an awakening. I couldn't believe my ears the songs this band was playing, and again I wasn't much interested in the lyrics, but the rhythm of the songs, the back bone that made you move to them either physically, or emotionally was provided by John "Bonzo" Bonham, and John Paul Jones.

I won't bother going into to much detail about the band because you can simply Google it, or tune into any rock radio station, and I'm sure you will be bombarded with info about the group because of the up and coming reunion.

One thing I am very happy about was the bands decision to let Jason Bonham(son of late John) fill in on drums. Rather fitting I think.

Jason is a great drummer in his own right, and I think he knows every Zeppelin song inside and out, but the solo of "Moby Dick" no matter who tries to emulate it, will always belong to Bonzo.

Even though in the early years the remaining members unanimously agreed they could never go on without John I'm glad time has healed their wounds, and I hope they can still make "The Song's Remain The Same."