Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday night rides

It has been a slow night, with only a few locals and tourists.

Transition Assistance Program

I drove a young man and a young woman, picked up at a bar, going to another bar. They are both stationed on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, the largest aircraft carrier in the world, which is currently parked at the Navy base out on Coronado Island. I asked if the ship would be leaving soon, since I've seen it in port for almost six months now. The guy said he wasn't really supposed to say, but it was a safe bet it would be making a trip before long.

The guy said the girl would be making a voyage on the Reagan, but he was getting out of the Navy in a few months, so he wouldn't be deploying. He had put in his six years.

Him: I'm even in TAP.

Me: Tap?

Him: Transition Assistance Program. It's a class you take when you're getting ready to leave the Navy.

Me: Is that like the classes convicts take when they're going to be released from prison?

Him: Exactly! Mainly they're training us to not say 'fuck' so much.

Me: That must be hard...

Him: Fuckin' right.

Mars getting close to Earth

I picked up a man and woman on vacation, going from a restaurant back to their hotel. En route the guy told his girl that on Aug. 28 the planet Mars was supposed to be closer to Earth than it has been for 3,000 years. "It will look as big as the moon," he told her.

Generally I don't interrupt when I hear pure bullshit coming from the back seat, but I couldn't let this one go. I told them Mars would look the same as it always does. Just because the thing will be closer than usual doesn't mean it will be "close." The guy wouldn't believe me, but he'll find out in a few days.

I don't know what it is about Mars. The last time the thing came "close" to Earth, my roommate went on and on about it, even saying he was going up to Palomar (huge, university telescope in the northern suburbs) to see it. He didn't know that Mars would not be close to Earth, and somehow didn't know that members of the public can't walk up to a mammoth telescope and take a look. It's a question of knowledge, not necessarily intelligence. Still, I'm continually surprised at how little the average person knows about the world around them.

British invasion

It seems every British and Irish person is vacationing in San Diego. Tonight I asked a couple from the Midlands if visiting the USA was like visiting a third world country, considering the pound is 2:1 against the dollar. "Yes," the guy said, "except the plumbing works."

An impressive party

I drove a businessman from a hotel to the Greystone steakhouse in the Gaslamp Quarter. We talked about all sorts of things on the trip, which was nice and long ($45). He is based out of Sacramento, Calif., and is in San Diego looking at some real estate opportunities for his employer. I asked if he had ever seen Schwarzeneggar around town. He had, saying the Governator eats lunch at the same restaurant most days. He said he met Schwarzeneggar at a party a while back, and also met Michael Bloomberg and Spanos (owner of the San Diego Chargers football team) at the same party.


Cabbie X said...

I've received 6 emails in the last few weeks from friends reminding me to get outside and watch this once-in-a-lifetime Mars event! Just like the last one a few years back. And the time a few years before that. I wish people would learn to recognize email urban legends.

Ted Martin said...

Exactly. I didn't mean to say everyone is dumb as a rock, but...

If you don't know Mars is going to look like a tiny point of light even when it's "close", you're not paying attention.

madretz said...

Really enjoy reading your blog, I've been lurking for about a week or so, found you through one of the weekly photo challenges. San Diego is one of my favorite cities in California, the only place I'd move back to S. CA, and we have family down there so we're there about once a year. I've been in a cab less than 6x in my life, so it's awesome to get your perspective and know how I can be a better rider, too. It's fun reading about your customer encounters...imagine what the Martian customers would be like when they come on the 28th since they'll be able to leap right onto our planet. :)

Ted Martin said...

Thank you very much for dropping by, and for your kind words. I didn't know what to expect from viewers/readers when I began this blog. I still don't, really, but I like knowing somebody out there enjoys it.

I'll check our your blog(s) soon.