I’ve been avoiding writing a new post for some reason. Life has been a little crazy with the family, work and just life in general, as my Twitter followers may know, but enough is enough. Here is something I found while looking up some pics for my next post. Guess what it is without going to the blog I got it from
Archive for family
I’ve been bringing you guys into my home life more over the last few weeks and here I go with another peek into what it’s like on my days off.
On Friday I normally take time trying to work on the house for a few hours and then rush off to my oldest son’s baseball practice. This normally takes us late into the night. This last Friday we got a day off and planned to enjoy a night free relaxing around the house and catching up on TV. Around 7:45 I noticed that @JohnnyLasVegas (John Quinn, Executive Director of Casino Marketing at the Monte Carlo Las Vegas Resort and Casino) Tweeted
At first I just blew it off and kept going through my Twitter Timeline. It would be fun but The Wife and I have been sick and I didn’t think it would be a good idea. Then I remembered that she has a Bucket List on her blog at Thypolar Life Uncensored. One of the things she wants to do is take our kids to a show one by one. She’s taken our daughter and still needs to take the boys. Our youngest has been a fan of the JabbaWockeez from the second he watched them do their first routine on Americas Best Dance Crew. So I scrolled back and read it to The Wife. I asked if she wanted to run down to see if we could get them and she could take our youngest. She thought about it for a minute and we were off.
We all got dressed and ran out the door. On the way down I made sure he still had the tickets.
I’m coming out of my birthday weekend and the wife was determined to make it a fun one. She spent a lot of time figuring out what we are going to do. She made sure to clear my calendar for Friday night and Saturday. So on Wednesday when I started coming down with a bug I didn’t want to say anything. That night did me in though. We stayed late after our oldest son’s baseball practice so I could pitch to him while he worked on his batting stance. Thursday morning I woke up really not feeling well. I chalked it up to getting old and went on with my day. That night I found myself at the pharmacy getting sinus meds so I could sleep.
Friday morning the wife was nice enough to let me sleep in and god I needed it. I woke up around 11am or so. I can’t remember the last time that happened. On the down side I felt like a Mack truck just ran me over and then backed up for good measures. I stumbled out of the bedroom and downed my pot of coffee with a handful of meds hoping this would help before the night came. I really wanted to go out and enjoy a fun packed night.
After doing the days running around, we came home to get ready. We fed the kids and the wife took me out to sushi. Krazy Sushi has the best selection of gluten-free sushi in town. The owners have been good to us from day one of going there. After the wife wheeled me out, we started toward The Tropicana Hotel. They have been re-doing the entire property and added an exhibit/show. “The Mob Experience” is a very cool walk through tribute to Vegas history and the mob. That’s where we were going.
After getting to the hotel and walking down the steep stair case, we get our mob names. I was the Grim Reaper and the wife was Kid Twist. We had these badges that gave the rooms our info as we went though the first half. Unfortunately, this part was a disaster. It could’ve been awesome with a little more attention to detail. It felt like this was a temporary feature that was set up in a circus tent somewhere. The actors were disorganized and had a hard time interacting with us. The automated parts were not timed properly and started talking before we walked in the rooms. Doors that seemed like they should be closed were left open causing sound from one room to drown out the other room you were trying to listen to. Luckily, I was able to look past all of this and take in all the great info they were showing us.
The second half of the exhibit was spectacular. Like a moment frozen in time, you walk into room after room of amazing artifacts and information galore. If you are a fan of the mob, Hollywood mob movies, or history at all, this is well worth the money. Finishing the experience with a shocking end to it all, I would recommend this to fans. If they work on the first half, they may have a hit for a larger audience.
After The Mob Experience, we walked around the Aria before heading downtown. We jumped in the car and that was the end. I couldn’t go on. I tried, I really tried. I wanted to go down the zipline on Fremont Street so bad but knew I wouldn’t have enjoyed it the way I felt. So despite the urge to want to push forward I threw in the towel.
We were homeward bound and decided drinking at home would help everything. I poured my vodka and grapefruit and drank the sickness to the ground. I woke up Saturday feeling more human and decided it was going to be a birthday sitting in front of the TV and doing nothing else. It was the best birthday ever.
I get a lot of questions as a hack and some of them I just don’t have a simple answer to. The top two questions asked that have the hardest answers are:
1) Where is the best place to eat.
2) What is the best show in town.
I always have to give a long winded multi answer response. As far as food goes it depends on what you like. If you like Italian it’s Battista’s. Steaks? then it’s Golden Steer or THE Steak House at Circus Circus, and so on and so forth. When I respond to the question about the shows it’s a similar response. The only real difference is I have to narrow down the types of shows they like. Every once on a while I get asked what my favorite show is and my reponce has always been a list depending on the type of show. I’m happy to say this is no longer the case. While the food response will still be the same, I now have a favorite show.
The other night the wife and I went out on a much needed date. We saw the adds for a new show at Caesars Palace called Absinthe. New York Times called it “Cirque Channeled Through Rocky Horror.” Well the wife and I love both types of shows and thought it would be fun. I got the tickets and then we watched the trailer online. I don’t know who Absinthe hired to put that together but damn they should be fired. After watching the trailer we had second thoughts about the show. It looked like an amateur variety show and a waste of an evening. But despite that, we went.
The Absinthe Beer Garden opened a few hours before the first show and stayed open through the second. We went to the second show and got there about 15 minutes before it had started. A line was already formed to get in so we got in line. I noticed the bar line was short and went to grab a few drinks for us. The bartender had the heaviest pour I’ve had from a strip bartender. It was hands down the best drinks we’ve had while on the strip. We made our way into a small round tent that had wood floors and folding chair general seating that surrounded a small circular stage. After sitting we found ourselves surrounded by six freaky looking characters perched over each walkway. The lighting was dim and set the mood perfectly. A single table dressed the stage and had a few alcohol based products to put the cherry on top of it all. By the time the show started you had no choice but to be ready for anything.
The first act set the tone with an acrobat performing with chairs that were taken from right under the audiences rear ends. He transitioned us to a fairy who was lowered to the stage from the ceiling to perform a seductive song while disrobing to panties and pasties. It was done very tastefully for a show that was all in all rounchy fun.
After the opening act, “The Gazillionaire Speigeltent”, the host was introduced. Speigeltent was a character beyond words. He brought comic relief to the extreme. If you have any insecurities about yourself, I don’t recommend sitting in the first 6 rows. Otherwise, just enjoy the antics.
Without giving the whole show away, I have compiled a few pictures to give you an idea of what you’ll see.
By the end of Absinthe my sides and face hurt from laughing so hard for over an hour and a half. This show is only $69.00 and well worth every cent. For all you theatre buffs out there like myself, you’ll appreciate the fact they use old fashion rigging with actual flymasters for all of their ariel acts.
So next time you’re in my cab and ask “what’s your favorite show?”, expect me to highly recommend Absinthe in the Caesars Palace courtyard. (that is unless you’re up tight)
There is a lot of things you can say about a hack, but in Vegas you can’t say the industry isn’t diverse. When you talk about a hack in most cities 9 out of 10 times people will think about an Arab man wearing a turban. This is such a common thought that even Hollywood uses this as comedic relief in their movies.
Here in Vegas we have about every region of the world represented and therefor we have all types of religion as well. One nice thing is that with this diversity most everyone gets along. Most ethnicities hang out in the same groups but are always willing to bring anyone into their circles. I love this and wish this was the case around the world.
Even though this is the way of most, we do have a few bad apples. The most common issue we have is against anyone who prays to the east or does any type of religious ritual while working. For some reason people still have issues about things they don’t know much about other than what they’ve seen on FOX News, or “facts” they’ve gotten from a friend. During the day if you drive around any taxi hang out, you will see people on their mats praying. Most of them try to find dark corners to do this but we do have a few who are proud and don’t hide from the public.
Over the years I have seen many of these men get yelled at and have things thrown at them. I hate this and hope the people doing this to these people trying to mind their own business get whats coming to them. Many of these drivers who pray during work have set up their houses as a safe prayer zones and have even got a restaurant to open their doors to them in the early morning to give shelter. I love this but at the same time wish they didn’t have to go find places for them to go. They should be able to stop anywhere and do whatever they need to do to fulfill their religions practices.
To wrap this up I’m just asking for people to stop hating and educate themselves of what they are uncomfortable with. If 8,000 hacks can do it I think anyone out there can. If you don’t feel that you can talk to people to educate yourself then I would like to introduce the world to the Internet. It’s amazing what you can learn.
About two months ago I went out to check the mail. I started going through it and was chucking the bills over my shoulder until I came to it. What the hell is this? I look at the return address and it says it’s from, “Jury Commissioner”. Hhhmmm, who is that? Then I look to the right of that and it reads “Official Jury Summons”. Not knowing what this is all about, I open it carefully. I start reading and find out I have Jury Duty on March 29th. As an upstanding citizen I got pissed off and stormed into the living room to ask the wife what the hell I’m suppose to do. You see I’ve never had jury duty before. I know the basics but have no clue what to expect other than what the wife had to do when she had to serve. So now I will share the adventure of Jury service Vegas style (I’m sure it’s not much different then other places but it sounds cool).
The night before I had to report, I had to call and find out if I even had to really go. I guess some people never even have to go down but I wasn’t one of those. I had to report to the courthouse at 9am. I already took the day off of work and got a good night sleep knowing that I could be there until 5pm at the latest. My alarm goes off at 7:45am and I start getting ready. I hit the road at 8:24am and down my coffee on the way in. I pull into the parking structure that’s four blocks away.
I start the trek through downtown and get to the court-house at 8:54am. The line to get in was a block long so I keep going till I find the end.
A short 15 minutes later I get to the security check point and can’t believe what they have us do know. Last time I was at the court-house we walked through a metal detector and off we went. Now they are having us take our shoes off like if we are going on an airplane but without the free grope option. I get up stairs by 9:19am and it’s just in time. I find a seat and they start the orientation. At the end, we are treated to a fun-filled movie about how a courtroom works and they inform us where everyone sits. It was the best movie of the year.
After the movie we are told that we can get up and go to the lounge or bathrooms and that’s it. Somehow, more than half the room emptied and I know the bathrooms weren’t that big and the lounge could only hold about 50 of the 500 people there. I still have no clue where they went but I just put my ear buds in and continue to listen to my Podcast (“Kevin&Bean” at the time).
At around 10:00am they call the first group into a court room and this is where the entertainment began. The clerk calls the numbers out and asks them to line up in a single file line. She explains very clearly that the Marshals will be walking by and checking badges and if the line is not formed with one person behind the other they will not have room to get by. so everyone starts to line up and with-in 30 seconds I hear her say, “if you are standing next to someone then you are not in a single file line. You need to be looking at the person’s back in front of you and that’s how you’ll know you are in the right kind of line”. I couldn’t help but laugh at this. We are all adults and I know it’s been years since we had to line up at school but come on now. All together this single file line of 100 people took only 20 minutes to form. Maybe they should have shown them a picture of the local 1st grade class to help them figure it out.
After our first break they take the second group into a court room and they don’t do much better. They have to wake up about have of this group and couldn’t even find about another 10. This group takes about 30 minutes to line up and they are led out. The rest of us are told to take lunch. we are given an hour and a half to eat and make it back up stairs. I head down to the sandwich shop and reluctantly buy myself a $10 sandwich! I don’t know what is was made of but I think jury people should at least get a discount since we have to be there and don’t get paid for anything.
After lunch, I head back up to hear that they are going to be calling most of us back for a second day due to the delay of picking jurors. About 10 minutes after that she says they just sent a list of a few people who will be released for good. She starts down the short list and last but not least they decided that they don’t want a Hack in their court room and I’m sent home. I gather my stuff and run out the door. When I get to the bottom of the stairs I turn the corner and run into a stampede of court marshals. I hit the wall and suck in the gut just in time for them to trot by. Determined to get home I just keep walking. When I get out the door A few unmarked cars fly up and head inside. Now I’m wondering whats going on. While I was waiting to cross the street, EMS pulls up and heads in to. Now I really wish I was chosen for that jury. Oh well I guess I’ll just go back to hacking and hope for better luck next time.
Sorry to bore you all with this but I figured if I had to suffer, you all could join in the fun. Thanks for making it through this (hoping you did) I go back to work tomorrow and have many more hack stories in the works. See you on Friday.
Ah just what I needed. A week off of work in sunny Southern California. Yeah, that’s where I’ve been. In beautiful sunny California with my feet propped up by the pool, sipping on cocktails with the wife, and not a worry in the world. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
Oh wait, that’s what I wish really happened. Unfortunately that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I had to leave work last Sunday on a family emergency that started off grim but turned out to be as okay as okay gets. But this post isn’t about my family or why I had to leave work. This is about how sad it is that I can’t leave on a family emergency without people messing up my business.
As a cab driver I have to figure out how to make as much money as possible no matter what’s going on in town. I do this by finding people that need rides regularly and
force them offer to be their personal driver. This is a common practice and by doing this I can count on making the money I need. I call it smart business but I guess not everyone understands that.
When I left this last week, I had to call in a few of my personals (fares that call me direct or have a standing schedule) to the company I work for to make sure that they had rides. I do this for any of my personals who ask. Some just won’t use a cab unless I’m working so luckily I only had to call in a couple of orders. After doing this I felt better and sent text messages to my personals to let them know what was going on. They thanked me and probably felt that all would be well like it normally is.
Later in the week I got a text from one of my personals letting me know that she had to rent a car for the week instead of using my company and that she would tell me what had happened when I got back. Well I’m back and I was going over my pick ups for the day when my phone went off. It was her. She said that she rented the car for another week and would not need me for her regular time this week. I was shocked. I asked what happened and she filled me in on the last weeks events.
I pick her up Monday thru Thursday and set up a pick up for her on Fridays. I guess last Monday the driver she got was late and then took her the long way to work. She paid him and then called to complain about being long hauled. The following day the driver was even later and was smoking in the cab with the windows up. He refused to put it out or roll down the windows. So now she’s been late to work two days in a row and gets warned about how important it is that she’s on time. That night she canceled her cabs for the rest of the week and rented a car to get herself back and forth until I got back. So all was fine until she looked at her calendar for the upcoming week and she saw that I told her I would be missing work again this Tuesday and possibly longer due to jury duty. She said she started to panic and decided that she had to get herself a car and start driving again. I understood after what she went through, but then the bomb hit. She said that she was just going to buy a car and didn’t need my service anymore. She couldn’t rely on my company to pick her up on my days off and she couldn’t risk loosing her job.
I was pissed. Not at her. I don’t blame her, honestly. I was pissed at my company and the other drivers. When I call in I let the company know it’s a personal of mine and they should take note. As a company, they should try and make these people happy. These people are paying good money almost everyday to get a ride. But now that they pissed her off and made her not trust them I lose a fare, a tip, and the company loses money too. Maybe they don’t remember that I only get a percentage of what’s on the meter. They get the rest.
With that said, I’m going back to work and have to find a new fare to fill my 7am time slot. Thanks for looking out.
I thought I would bring my readers into the backstage workings of a Hack in Vegas. I was talking to a buddy of mine that I use to work with at another cab company and he was telling me that he was wanting to leave that company. He really can’t stand how the company has changed and he finds it harder and harder to keep up with the long haul drivers they have. I asked him why he didn’t’ just go somewhere else. He said one of the worst words in the Vegas Hack language. He said that he’s too old to be an “EXTRA” and if he went anywhere that’s what you start off as.
What’s an extra you may be asking. Well as a cab driver being, an extra means you sit and sit, oh and don’t forget you sit some more (we are commission employees so we sit for free). See when you get hired at a cab company in Vegas you are not given a schedule at most companies and are just told to show up at 2:30am and check in. After you check in you are told to have a seat and then you wait. At the company my buddy still works at, you are sitting outside on bleachers. You have a roof over your head but otherwise you are open to all the elements. As you sit there you wonder if you are going to get a cab. You wonder how they decide who goes out and who doesn’t. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you, not everyone gets a cab. Here are the most common situations an extra finds him/herself in.
You show up at 2:30am 7 days a week, check-in and have a seat. About every half hour to an hour they put out a shift. So as the drivers who have a schedule show up, you get less and less hopeful. You learn faces and routines of each “shift diver” (drivers with schedules) and when one of them isn’t there at the normal time you hope to god they are sick or got pulled over on the way in. Why you may ask, well that’s easy. If you’re a shift driver and your shift starts at 3am then you have to be there at 2:45am and not a second later. Otherwise, your shift is given to an extra. As an extra you really look forward to that time for every shift. You find yourself sitting up, slightly leaning in toward the launch supervisor and giving him the biggest googliest eyes you can without freaking him out.
You have freaked him out so much he bumps a shift driver standing right in front of him (whispering “I owe you one”) to give you a cab just so you will leave. You smile, say thank you so much and pat him on the rear proclaiming, “he’s the best” as you skip to the cab.
You sit there trying to figure out if you’ll be missed while you go take a baseball bat to the knees of the last shift driver you hear running from around the corner before returning to take his cab. (hey it’s survival of the fittest)
You have been “booking” (money you make on the cab meter) well on the other days and so when a shity shift driver is close to being late they give you his cab and they tell him, “sorry my watch says you’re late”.
Enough people have called in that you are given a cab right away and off you go to make money.
You sit there waiting as your inner most hopes of making money that day are ripped to shreds and you watch every cab go out and you are told to go home. Not to mention they send you with the parting gift of, “if someone gets sick we’ll call you back in to go out. OK?”. No that’s not OK. But if you don’t come back in if they call, you get put on “the list of drivers who don’t like to work”
Outcome #6 (Save the worst for last)
You sit and wait and wait and it’s now 5:30am and the last driver doesn’t show up. YAY you get a shift right? No not so much. You got up for work at 1:30am to be there by 2:30am, you sat for 3 hours and now they hand you a 12 hour shift. That means you don’t get off the road until 5:30pm and you don’t start heading home until about 6:00pm once your paperwork is done. You get home about 6:30pm and eat some dinner, by now you know if you don’t get to bed you wont even get 6 hours of sleep. You have a wife and or kids to care for so that goes out the window. After only getting maybe 4 hours of sleep you wake up to do it all over and hope for outcome #1
So after my buddy said he didn’t want to be an extra, I simply said, “Come over to my company. We have an enclosed room to sit in and you only have to come in 5 days a week. It’s great! “. He shakes his head and says, “God it’s sad when we consider that to be great”.