The pedicab drivers in the first photograph met and fell in love while operating their pedicabs in downtown San Diego. When I took their picture, I told them their story would make a good romantic comedy on Lifetime Television, which brought out the smiles in the photo. Actually, the wife was the only female pedicab driver I saw during the entire four days of our conference there. Believe me, I looked, because it is more fun to snap a woman's picture than a man's picture. The pedicab drivers form a line at a certain point along the harbor walk. The first driver is allowed to "hawk" his services to the passing tourists. Once the first driver gets a fare, the line moves up and the new pedicab driver at the front of the line gets to do the "hawking." That was how the custom was explained to me by the wife, who was earlier trying to act like she didn't notice getting her picture taken from a distance, as the following photos show:
I have some more pictures from San Diego, including a couple of an actual pelican fishing. The pelican pictures were hampered by lack of a telephoto lens. If I have to choose between photographing buildings and photographing people, I prefer the people. There are no photos of the largest contingent of panhandlers in San Diego, the SEAGULLS. Those birds beg food from tourists all day. Walking with a co-worker for lunch, I saw a seagull begging in front of a pizza joint. "What the hell are you doing?" I asked the bird. "You don't eat PIZZA! You're a seagull, damn it!"
I left for a red eye flight through LAX airport a few nights later. We had to walk out on the tarmac and walk up those removable steps into an ancient looking propellor plane. I felt like an extra in Band of Brothers. When they landed, I called out to the passengers, "Stand up! Hook up! Equipment check! Stand in the door!" the typical commands of an airborne jumpmaster. There was only one former paratrooper on board to get the joke. I spent Saturday morning in Detroit's airport before flying across Lake Erie to get to Cleveland Hopkins airport. Still had a 120 miles to drive home through Amish country.
Last winter I was commuting across the state. We found ourselves shorthanded, so I was reassigned to the kind of operations I used to do before graduating to the high tech stuff I'm doing now. Stuck just outside Philadelphia, pouring through low-tech paper files, the e-mail made the Blackberry vibrate. An old "client" from a few years ago was wondering if I could help with a crisis. This manager had lost contact with an investment broker who was late with the payments of interest on investments and a redemption check. I could have said it was not possible to do very much, but it was winter anyway and nothing to do in the hotel at night, and this manager had a lot of faith in me. I hadn't been on that particular audit in over two years, but she called out to me for help. The manager gave me some background information on the character, and I promised to make a probe before referring the matter higher up. The broker had opened another business, so my theory was he used the investments as collateral on loans for the new business. The investments still existed, we just had to get them back, but the theory had to be tested. A reconaissance of the situation would have to be done by Internet searches and by the telephone. I was almost sure my theory was correct, but "recons" can sometimes result in unpleasant surprises, and the surprise we received was not unlike another recon depicted in the link below. The broker was a small-time Bernie Madoff. "Small time" if you deal in billions. Big time if you deal in millions.