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Almost Three Months in Las Vegas

Again I need to apologize to all my visitors for being lax in updating but I have been busy. First I have been working the long 12 hour shifts. Originally I worked Saturday and Sundays on the North-North shift and then Monday through Wednesday on “Extra Board.” Extra Board is where you are not assigned to a shift and you wait to see if someone who called in sick, quit or had a day off and you work their shift for the day.

A few weeks ago they had their bi-yearly shift bid. This process is done twice a year where you bid on the sifts you want to work. The drivers bid based on seniority and being low on seniority most of the good shifts and days off are already taken. I was able to keep my days off of Thursdays and Fridays and Geographically Restricted medallion Saturday and Sunday, North-North on Monday and Unrestricted Tuesday. Even though North-North was good for me on weekends where you get the long runs to the airport or the Strip and with only paying 22% of the fuel you do not mind the ride back to the area without a customer. Mondays you get mostly grocery store runs which are short and low tips. You also spend time just waiting or driving around the areas looking for customers at shopping centers.

To earn extra money I try to work six or even seven days a week. Today, a Thursday as I am writing, is my day off. I do though plan to work tomorrow. With the days and hours I work, it does not leave much time for a life, but right now income is more important than play. During a typical day I get up at 1:30am, pour my coffee and chat with Elena on Skype. I then shower, dress and get to the taxi yard by 3-3:15am for my shift. I am home by 3:30-4pm, make a light dinner, chat with Elena again and in bed by 6-7, This does not even leave me time to watch tv, my old favorite pastime.

Because of some problem with the new shift change they had another shift bid process again. This time I was able to drop my North-North and now have Geographically Restricted Sunday and Monday and Unrestricted Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. All my shift times except Saturday start at 3:30am and have to be back in the yard by 3:00pm. Saturday I start at 5:30am and return by 5:00pm.

Without telling too much, it was clear to me I needed to get out and get my own apartment. Since I am no longer a young adult, I had some needs I wanted in an Apartment especially since Elena will be here in the future. I wanted a place in a nice apartment complex that is well maintained.  With me driving a scooter and Elena at first will need to use the busses I wanted a location closer to work and with easy access to the bus system.

I spent a good part of a Thursday visiting many apartment complexes and finally made my decision. It is on Tropicana west of the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd). There is a bus stop just outside the gate for both east and west running busses. The apartment is on the second floor which is also the top floor. This way I get the added security and also do not have to worry about footsteps over head. The Facility also offers a pool, spa, exercise room with many machines, gated and because many residents work different shifts at different hours, there is a noise restriction 24 hours a day which keeps families with kids discouraged on living there.

Once deciding on an apartment, I then needed to look for furniture. I do not have a lot of money, but wanted to be comfortable. One driver I have been friendly with told me about a furniture liquidator that has the used furniture from the hotels.  The bedroom furniture I decided on came with  a king size headboard, two nightstands, two lamps, two pieces of artwork, large armoire, wall mirror and also a service cabinet with the service refrigerator. I was able to trade the service cabinet for a round table and four chairs to have as my dinette set. With the mattress, box spring and frame plus deliverer I was able to get this all for under $800. I then went to a furniture store and got a good deal on a sofa, loveseat, coffee table, two end tables and a three lamp set for around $1000 including delivery. Once all set up, I will publish some photos.

With my application for Elena’s Visa I am being told about five months for it to clear USCIS and it looks like the Senators cannot rush this process so we just have to be patient.

Next I will write more about my life and experiences as a taxi driver.

31 Responses to “Almost Three Months in Las Vegas”

  1. Ben says:

    Happy to hear things are improving for you. I certainly hope everything continues to get better for you and Elena. God bless. Ben

    • Bruce says:

      I am falling into the routine of working again. It is still taking a while to get used to starting at 3:30am and getting up early and then not having much free time before sleep since I work 12 hour days.

  2. John in Austria says:

    Hi Bruce, Good to hear from you. I don’t envy your working hours, but nice to hear how you are doing. Always look forward to your postings. Take care!

  3. Tom says:

    Glad to hear you were able to get your own place. Sounds like a good basic setup so you should be ready to roll.

    • Bruce says:

      It is getting there. Waiting on a desk for the computer and then I will have all my furniture and just need to organize and decorate a little. I will then show some photos.

  4. don m. says:

    good to have an update. Glad to hear you are ajusting as such. Five months is a long time but in ones life it goes by fast. You will need a vacation by then! Best from don and mercy. I went back to dial up to save money. We are saving as much as we can in our plan to go the other way (to the Philippines.)

    • Bruce says:

      IT is hard to keep up my writings and answer comments but will try my best. Save as much as you can, Once there the money goes out fast, especially when your first setting up.

  5. Dave LaBarr says:

    Dear Bruce,

    I am happy to see that you are surviving and well. Things are tough here in the U.S. and will continue to be into the future.

    For your information: The area where I live, near Towanda, PA is starting to boom due to the development of the Marcellus Shale gas deposits and horizontal drilling and fracking. Chesapeape alone has poured 2 billion dollars in our area just in one year!!
    This is one of the largest gas deposits in the world and beneath it lies the Utica Shale deposit said to be equally as large. Beneath that is oil said to rival that of Texas. Anyway, these gas companies cannot get enough help. One thing they need is drivers to haul tank trucks with water to the well sits for the fracking process. This requires 1 to 5 million gallons of water per well. All you need is a CDL license and you are in business. The hours are long (12 hours / day) but you are already doing that. You might want to research this on the internet. There is no emergency if you might want to consider this because this is so big that it will go on for decades.

    God Bless,

    Dave L.

  6. *lynne* says:

    Glad to read your update. It’s a tough phase in yr life, but looks like you’re weathering it well! All the best to you!

    btw about the USCIS and processing the paperwork: based on my experience wrt the fiancee visa, so long you’ve submitted everything they specify, things move along pretty well. I hope yours goes along without any hiccups. I hate paperwork and red tape! :p

  7. Vanessa says:

    Hey, i’m glad things are working out better now. Yah i don’t blame you for getting an apartment soon. Seems like you are heading on a right direction my friend. When i come back to Vegas next year, i hope Ate Elena will be there already.

  8. Marvin says:

    Five months will go by fast, your smart to get prepared for Elena now. Thank goodness for those folks who welcomed you into their home. Stay healthy and safe Bruce.

    • Bruce says:

      The folks who let me stay did give me a chance to return and restart my life. But now it is much better being out of their house and on my own.

  9. Tom Martin says:

    Glad to hear things are going reasonably well. Five months will pass before you know it. It is good you got your own place. I do not care how nice things are when you are living in someone elses home you are still not in your own place and that makes a world of difference.

    I saw a comment on Leon’s site that some guys could not get through to your site any longer and they thought you had removed it. I was getting ready to delete it from my favorites and just happen to try before I did and it came right up. I am glad I did not delete it.

    I finally got 1000 on my blog in July. I normally ran about 500. The blog is what keeps my mind working.

    You take care, miss you.

    • jeff says:

      I had problems accessing this site too for a bit but might of been a glitch in the system.

      Bruce, Glad to hear you are doing well. I know it is tough and a uncomfortable feeling living with someone you don’t know real well. It was tough when my wife and I moved into my folks house for 6 months while we had our home built. No privacy. If you don’t mind me asking with the housing market being so depressed in Vegas what kind of rent are they charging for apartments? I know homes are still down nearly 50% in value.

  10. maria says:

    thanks for the update. yes, those hotel furnitures are a good deal.

  11. Julius says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Just touching based with you from Guam. Wish you and Elena the best on your future endeavors.


  12. Evelyn says:

    glad to hear you are doing well in vegas..
    thank you for continuing to write and make us happy..
    be well and i’ll continue to pray for you and elena..

  13. Joe says:

    Bruce, Sounds like things are going well for you. Myself and Lily received our 2 NOA it took just over two months, so its going faster then the 5 months stated. Working all these 12 hours days are you missing the phils yet ? Hope you get your second noa soon. Good Luck.

  14. roy says:

    I’m glad things are doing great for you Bruce!

  15. Austin says:

    Hey Bruce, nice to find you here back in the US, but surprised you are in Vegas.

    Glad to hear that you are keeping busy, I was there in Vegas a year ago for a convention and I saw 1st hand how badly things had been hit economically.

    I met this guy who was an investor or a broker who showed me this brand new Luxury Condo Tower right in the heart of the strip. He told me that it is a great time to buy: that the Condos were priced, and a few had even been sold at well over a Million Dollars, but he went on to tell me, they would be auctioning them the next day for well under 100K! That is a huge drop in value especially for a Brand New Luxury building in a good location.

    So it is good to hear that you are keeping busy and back on your feet, in the sense that you are earning.

    You are doing better on that front than me. I was working here in DC with Long & Foster Commercial Real Estate Brokerage, and they let me go very early on because even in the DC area, where the Commercial Scene was the least adversely affected, we had been very slow because of lack of liquidity.

    I am looking carefully for another Brokerage, and also working on a TV Production. Jessica has been trying to encourage me to think about going back to the Philippines.

    • Bruce says:

      Good to hear from you. I hope you Jessica and the kids are doing well. If making minimum wage plus tips is better, I will pray for you.

      I hope once Elena is here, you and Jessica will come visit.

  16. Jim says:

    Hi Bruce- I see you now have your apartment furnished and you are independent at last.Hope all goes well with Elena’s visa by the time she arrives you will be just about ready for a good home cooked meal.
    Take care.

    • Bruce says:


      Yes, I have my new apartment furnished but still buying all the small things I realize I need. I would cook a good meal if I had the time and energy but look forward to the loving care Elena has taking care of me.

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