The above photos courtesy of Danny Ponomar at

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend Randoms

Most decorated house I have seen in Lethbridge (8th Avenue North and Stafford Drive).

This weekend was pretty crazy for house parties and the bars were packed last night. I saw a lot of cool costumes and was a little disgruntled because I would have rather been partying than working. I remember one party on Friday night, I heard so many calls going out to the place and had been there a couple of times myself. So instead of going to flag at a bar I went to the house party to flag. I had a couple of flags out of the place on Mcgill Boulevard.

Tonight there were house parties all over the West side. Some of the places included Harvard Crescent X 2, Jerry Potts, Red Crow, Cayuga Place, Columbia Blvd, Peigan Court, just to name a few.

The XXXXXX was as busy as it gets on Friday night and the line was thick all the way down the stairs and into the lobby. Saturday night XXXXXX was lined up to the corner past the entrance to the XXXXXX Hotel. Most major bars were packed tonight with the exception of XXXXXX (at least from when I was there). I think XXXXXX has suffered the most since XXXXXX opened. I can't remember the last time I actually picked anyone up from XXXXXX, which is very unusual for a once busy nightclub. I dropped off a few people there tonight but did not pick up there once.

I think from about 1:00 to 3:00am I did not even make it to any of the bars along First Avenue because I was busy elsewhere, it would have been nice to at least check it out once during this time but that did not happen.


Wednesday night I picked up a band from a local bar and took them back to their tour bus. They told me who they were and said they were off to Calgary then Edmonton but the bus driver had to stop because the fog was so thick. I said that I had heard of them and foolishly said "I think you guys were before my time", I think I might have offended these "has been" rockers who are approaching their 50's. I was definitely mistaken, when I came home I Googled them and found they were quite popular in the 80's and 90's and still continue to produce new music. They have sold over 30 million records in the United States alone, so they were a little more popular then I thought.

So later I picked up two others from the band and they were pretty cool, they said they were "dry" after crossing the boarder only a couple of hours earlier and someone helped them out. They offered to have me put on their list to come see them in Calgary or Edmonton this weekend but I had to work. The weird thing is I tried to find tickets for their concert and could not, but I do not doubt the legitimacy of who they were because the pictures on their website were them.

The two of them wanted me to come into their bus to get high but I flat out refused. (B.M. of P with T and R)


A taxi was stolen from a local company on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning, apparently the thief had the spare keys some how. The car was recovered the next day (Thursday) on the North side with damage to the radio and radio antennae.


When this guy got in tonight with his sister and friend I thought the blood and the black eye was part of his costume, apparantly not. He started going off about the "White Natives" on the Southside and how he encountered some random people on the street that were much younger then him and they got in a fight. He mentioned to the effect "I am glad that I am helping the future generations by cleaning up the pavement with my face".... he definately got beat up and was in such a great mood, I enjoyed his conversation (or ranting) very much. Likely the most memorable trip of my night.


So I finally got my ticket in the mail for a parking violation at the University in September. My court date has been set for April.

I am also expecting a photo radar ticket from Wednesday night at the intersection of 5th Avenue South and Mayor Magrath Drive. I will show up in court and fight this ticket vigorously and with every resource I have. I was well aware of this speed trap for months prior to getting this ticket and must have driven through this intersection 1000 times. I am always careful to check my speed (so careful in fact I become distracted by watching my speed so intently instead of the potential pedestrians I might hit) because at night this camera is like a strobe light having caught literally thousands of speeding motorists since its inception a few months back.

I believe that I was going approximately 55-56km/hr in a 50km/hr zone. The radar has a +/- accuracy of approximately 1km/hr and due to the heavy fog that evening the weather could have potentially contributed to the inaccuracy of the system. Also a semi trailer was going through the intersection at the same time and speed as I was travelling and the light did flash twice. I plan to claim that the semi was the vehicle speeding and I was caught in the middle. Depending on whether the system is laser radar or Doppler radar, or another type this could have an effect on the case. I plan on asking the Crown Prosecutor for full disclosure of their case and the exact type of radar that was used to catch me. Assuming I was going 56km/hr in a 50 zone no police officer would ever have pulled me over for that speed and I feel like I, as well as many other citizens are being wrongfully persecuted and I feel personally violated by this system.

I have not yet received the ticket but I am pretty sure it is in the mail. Lets assume I lose the case (I give it a 50/50 chance, although I likely only have a 5 percent chance of beating the ticket) I plan on exhausting as much of the court systems resources as I can in order to defend myself. By the time I potentially have to pay the $100 ticket who has come out on top? Lets say the trial lasts 15 minutes (not unreasonable); estimated costs to the court system...

Judge $25
Crown Prosecutor $18
Court Typist $7.50
Guy who operated the radar system (the person I have the pleasure to cross-examine) $7.75
Other miscellaneous costs (including security, disclosure, heating, lights, etc) $45 
Total estimated cost to try me $103.25

I plan on also submitting some sort of scientific evidence and even a graphical representation of the scene as evidence so it would not be unreasonable for the trial to last 30 minutes...... $103.25 X 2 = $206.50


As a side note related to the above.... had the city installed the ISD radar devices at every intersection in Lethbridge I would estimate that I had driven through maybe 500 controlled intersections tonight X $100 per ticket =$50,000.

Serenity now, serenity now....

I so wanted to dump some appliances here after seeing this sign.

Saturday night was pretty much comparable to New Years Eve as far as business goes. The night started off slow, I did not get a trip until 1 hour after I started my shift and quit an hour early but still had a nice total at the end of my shift. I think the odometer in the car I was driving was out of whack because I know I did not drive 800km's. $53 in gas tonight.

Have a safe and happy Halloween.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should know that the camera doesn't use any of the methods you talked about. It uses 2 Electromagnetic induction plates under the road to get your speed. Each lane on southbound mayor and 5th are independently measures simultaneously.
Have a look
-Another Lethbridge Cab Driver.

taxiguy said...

I believe that you are correct.

I have seen where they have placed this system underneith the pavement. It almost looks like the type of system that a person would install as an "underfloor" heating system of some sort.

I am sure I am screwed either way but it is within my right to defend myself and I will do just that.

Anonymous said...

Just a small note.
You could run the red light camera if you are in the left turning light if you need too... There are no electromagnetic induction plates, there.

taxiguy said...

Well I do not plan on running any red lights, EVER, so thanks for your comment.

Alex H said...

$53 in gas is reasonable for 800km city driving. It is easy to underestimate how far things are from one another when you're driving a car.

taxiguy said...

To the third above comment:

I guess you can run the red light going Southbound in the far right lane as well.

I was recently stopped at the light on a red when the van beside me blatently ran the red after he/she was stopped beside me and the light did not flash.

taxiguy said...

Alex, from my experience driving as a cab driver I rarely break the 400km mark with "in city driving".

I wish I could drive 800km's on 50 litres gas on the highway, in the city with a gas guzzling clunker taxi I am sure I did not fare that well, especially considering all the stops I make, and all of the additional accelerations.

Like I said I am sure I did not drive anywhere close to 800km that night, It was more likely around half of that, at best.

Dawn said...

That sign is hilarious. I'd have gone back to my house, gotten the busted up computer monitor that my previous upstairs neighbour decided to leave behind our shed in the alley, and dropped it off. (;
Hope the ticket fighting went well. 5 above is bullshit, for the record. I constantly see cars racing each other through my residential street. Why? No idea. Wish they'd piss off, there's too many youngin's that live on my street, and far too many kitties.


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