Travel is The Best Classroom!

Travel Is The Best Classroom
What are you waiting for?!

I believe that travel is the best classroom.  Find any excuse to go on an excursion to various parts of the globe.  Anywhere different will expand your knowledge of the world, it’s people, and most importantly… You!  My biased opinion says come visit Kona, Hawai’i, but travel in and of itself will prove to be an enriching experience.

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Click, and take a look around.  Take an adventure!

If you do make it to Kona and need a ride, don’t hesitate to book with me.  It will be great to see you! Holla!




Great deals on Car Rentals from CheapAir!

Is UBER a Worthwhile Alternative To a Taxi, In Kona?

The name UBER has some taxi drivers all over the world shaking in their boots. The Kona market is no exception. Viewed as a threat by some, UBER entered the Kona transportation market as a lower cost, ride-share option for customers, one year ago.

In March of 2017 UBER began offering its service on Hawai’i Island.  Having informational meetings in Hilo as well as Kona, their search was on to find drivers to fill the anticipated demand.   They seemed to be successful in their recruitment efforts, as evidenced by the fact that there ARE UBER drivers!
UBER vs. Taxi

I have a few friends that are UBER drivers, and I’m constantly asking them about the process and their experience(s).  The responses are varied.  Some really enjoy it.  Some like and dislike aspects of it.  And there are those that hate that they are driving for UBER.  The ones that enjoy driving for UBER speak of how cool many of the UBER users are.  They also appreciate the fact that there is a great deal of freedom associated with making the additional income.  The ones that have mixed reviews also speak of the interesting customers they pick up, however, they’re not too fond of the compensation scheme.   The ones that did not like the UBER driver experience state that in addition to the low pay, “…you have to be tethered to your phone and if you’re not quick enough on accepting an assignment you could lose it.”  I gather, it’s a great side gig for some but not so great for others.  The most pleased with the service has been, by far,  the frugal traveler.

At the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole, you may see people walking up Airport road, in the direction of Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, dragging along their luggage.  After seeing this more and more, thinking it’s not too safe, I decided to stop and ask a couple why they were walking up the road.  They told me that they are heading to the highway to wait for their UBER ride. I remember thinking “Wow! UBER must be offering  quite the deal, for people to want to walk that half a mile with their stuff and risk being struck by a car.”  I get it. You gotta do what you gotta do.  As of today, the airport does not allow UBER drivers to pick up customers from the airport.  Taking a walk up the hill has been their solution, thus far.

For the passengers, as I see it, here are the pros and cons.
Pros:

  • Lower costs transportation
  • Cash-free transactions
  • A network of regular people (This could be “good” or “bad”)

Cons:

  • No airport pickup,
  • Prices are not state regulated,
  • Not always available,
  • Dependent on access to mobile signal (a challenge for some areas of the Big Island)

Things change.  Industries change.  As in all business, innovations that will keep your service or product relevant is a must for survival.  The creators of UBER have done just that.  They have taken a general need- transportation, and with the aid of some software technology and  “regular” people and their vehicles, and reimagined how a person could get from point A to point B in a cost-effective manner.  I think it was a  bold and creative innovation, but far from the panacea of taxi alternative transportation.

Instead of taxi drivers thinking how can they stop UBER, they should be coming together to think of innovative ways to make their service more appealing to potential customers.  This business of moving people from one place to the next is not complex.  What differentiates one driving service from the next is price, reliability, and quality of service.  Taxi drivers will not be able to compete with UBER in the area of costs but they CAN compete in the area of reliability and quality of service and that is where the customers will sort themselves out.  Some will focus solely on price point, and go with UBER while others will consider convenience and reliability and go with a reputable taxi service.  This is not to say that UBER drivers are not reliable or do not provide quality service, I am suggesting that the seasoned professionals that have been state-regulated should have a leg up in the department of quality of service.  They should, anyway.  What has been your experience with UBER and Taxis on the Kona-Kohala Coast?

Friend Requests From Sexy Women… Or Are They?

As Mark Zuckerberg faces the questions of lawmakers, Tuesday, April 10th, concerning Facebook’s role in The promotion of “fake news”, the Russians use of FB to influence the presidential election,  privacy and data issues and the whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco; I am going to speak about the fallacious FaceBook profiles of… Hot Women!
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With my “Dee Driver” Facebook profile, I will accept pretty much any “friend” request I receive.  Why? Because this page is linked to a service I provide.  Many people visit Kona, Hawaii.  Having a Facebook page allows me to connect with people from around the world, that may, at some point, come to visit.  I enjoy sharing about this beautiful rock in the Pacific Ocean.  It’s also a great way to keep in touch with the good people I meet, while driving my vehicles- Airport Taxi; Luxury SUV; and 12 Passenger Van.  There are, however, an increasing amount of fake Facebook accounts.

When I first started receiving requests from these attractive women, I did not think much about it.   I accepted the requests.  Then, when the volume and sexual nature of some of the profile pics increased, it caused me to pause.  I mean, I know I’m a handsome dude but damn! Lol.  So I would check out some of these profiles, and there were a few indicators that revealed to me that these accounts were bogus.

Here are some common signs I’ve noticed:

One Profile Picture.  Just having one profile picture is not proof of a fake account, but could be an indicator.  There are some people that are extremely selective about the photos of themselves that they share on social media.  (By the way, I find that many of those types of people hardly ever look like that one photo that they love.). Not sure where these perpetrators are snatching the photos of these women, but I venture to guess it is without their permission.

No Cover Photo.  Like having one profile picture, having no cover photo, in and of itself is not enough to determine its fake.  Some may not know how to post a cover photo.  Some just may not care.  I imagine the fake ones don’t have a cover photo because they only have one pic of the unsuspecting girl that they are using to create the site.  I also think it may be about creating many of these accounts and spending the least amount of time, building them, as possible.

Newly Opened Account.
Again, this in and of itself does not mean that it’s a phony profile.  There are many people that close one account and open a new one just to get away from certain people.  These accounts tend to get flagged, and FB will shut them down.  So that forces them to keep creating profiles.  I find it hard to believe that they find enough people to make money off of to make this lucrative enough to keep doing it.  But they must be making some loot!

A Bunch of Thirsty-looking Guys.
In their sparse “friends” list, you’ll see that most, if not all, are men.
Seriously, these poor guys really believe that the woman, in the picture, has a genuine interest in them.  They leave posts of flowers, and words of thanks for accepting them.

No Interaction With the “profile owner”.                                                                          When these guys post how beautiful she is or thank her for the friend request, there is no response.

And finally, the kicker!

A Plug for the Website.                                                                                                   They will typically have an invitation to their xxx site with a message like: “You want to meet with me, I will come to the site ❤️  Watch my latest Videos *insert porn link here*. ”  I have never clicked on one of these links- they could lead to infecting your commuter with a virus, or collect your data- but I imagine that it leads to a porn site, where you will need some sort of payment device.

Have you ever received any of these phony “friend” requests?   I imagine there are different kinds.

If any of these are photos of someone you know, please alert them to how their image is being used and the profile name it’s under (although, I’ve seen the same pictures being used with different profile names.)
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Lava Lava!

Yesterday, I transported two fun groups to the Hamakua Coast.  One young lady asked me some questions about the distinction between the two lava types and why do they form so differently…  She gave me the idea for this weeks blog 😀

When exiting the Ellison Onizuka Kona International  Airport At Keahole, heading North, you’ll see amazing fields of black and brown lava rock. These rocks are the result of the two main types of lava flows;  Pāhoehoe  (pronounced ‘paw-hoey-hoey”) and A’a  (pronounced “ah-ah”).

Both names are from the Hawai’ian language (they have no meaning other than the lava types) and adopted by the scientific community as the “official” names of these lava flows and their molten rock.

To me, Pāhoehoe looks like a pan of brownies that have stayed in the oven a little too long.  With cracks and crevices atop of a smooth or “ropy” surface.  A’a  (pronounced “ah-ah”) looks like taco meat crumbles. Typically brown or reddish-brown in color, A’a is much rougher in comparison to Pāhoehoe.

Lava Rock
Pahoehoe lava field

 Pahoehoe forms when lava flows more slowly. Under these circumstances, a well-developed skin can form which inhibits heat loss. When a tear in the skin does form, it is readily healed.

Pāhoehoe Lava in Hawai'i
Pāhoehoe’s Distinctive “Rope-Like” Patterns Being formed.

A’a forms when lava flows rapidly. When this happens, the heat escapes quickly resulting in an increase in viscosity. When the surface crust breaks by differential flow, the lava that is below is unable to move fast enough to seal the break. The crust then forms chunks.

A'a lava
The surface of the A’a flow consists of free chunks of very angular pieces of lava
a'a lava
Step on a’a barefoot, and you’re to remember its name. Lol

It’s all about the flow dynamics that will determine the type of lava that will form.  Think: slow-flowing lava= Pāhoehoe, and for quick-lava= A’a.

There is a third type of flow that takes place on the ocean floor.  It’s called Pillow Lava due to the pillow like shape that forms from cooling off so quickly underwater.

Lava on the ocean floor
Pillow Lava on The Ocean Floor

If you catch a ride with me from the airport, ask me to point out the different lava rocks.  Unfortunately, without scuba gear, I’ll be unable to show you the Pillow Lava:)