Monday, August 18, 2008

HMS Surprise

For those familar with Patrick O'Brian's series of Aubery-Marturin adventures this is no surprise but those who have not read them the H.M.S. Surprise is the name of the third book in the series. 'No, I told them the Surprise was a capital ship, and that all was well.' 'So it is too, as long as the foretopsail holds. She is the bravest ship that ever swam.' (page 175)

Captain Aubrey commands many ships and Saturday I was able to board the Surprise in San Pedro as she was part of the Festival of Sail. The ship was at Berth: SP-73 across from the local fishing fleet.Admission was free and there were fifteen vessels participating. The HMS Surprise was designed to replicate a 24-gun frigate of Admiral Nelson's Royal Navy. It was used for thirty years for sail training and in 2002 was purchased and modified to appear in the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The Maritime Museum of San Diego purchased the ship in 2004.

Length: 179'

Beam: 30'

Draft 13'

The tall ships will continue to San Diego

And will also go to Dana Point.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finding Time

We used to have a working laptop that number one mutant used when he was in the hospital for an extended visit about the time New Orleans became under water and George Bush demonstrated his inability to do anything other than screw up. But the laptop developed problems and no one was willing to work on it for hire other than my self so it sits on a table broken like so many other things, easier to replace than repair. This makes for a lack of editing or blogging when I am away from the PC. If the surf is good, no blogging, if mutant is at the fair performing, no blogging, if the boat needs attention, no blogging.

My son spent a couple of days at the Orange County Fair performing at the Big Air BMX Triples riding stunts and I hung out there for a couple of long days and evenings. The picture on the left shows the drop-in that has a vertical drop of about 25 feet. He has removed all the brakes from his bike and rides and jumps brakeless.

What was cool was my grandson was able to see his Uncle Dylan fly through the air on his bicycle.

The time to read three more of Patrick O'Brian Aubery-Maturin series takes time away from blogging and the time spent looking up new words in the dictionary also account for less blogging but again we don't have a television connected at home or any on the boat.

Cleaning, sanding and varnishing, waxing, sail repair and after a year finally reinstalling a winch on the lower mast, adding a bow roller for the anchor chain and chasing down hardware and taps also eliminate blogging time. Plus the time preparing the boat to leave the slip, getting blown apart in the gultch, watching my son finally getting seasick, cleaning the boat again, sail folding and kayaking. Somewhere back I sold an extra bicycle and took the funds and bought a yellow sea going kayak.

Early I mentioned Bush the idiot and a couple of weeks ago he made a statement about health care: "The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America," he said. "After all, you just go to an emergency room."

My son and I have health insurance and he has been to ER three times this year and myself once last week. His first visit this year was to our own provider, took a couple of hours in waiting and resulted in a cast after x-rays, the second trip was too late for our provider and Kasier sent us to the Irvine Medical Center and their ER room. He had a split lip and was bleeding but it was not life threatening, so after three hours of waiting in a ER filled with crying children and sick people vomiting into the trash can we walked out, went to Ralph's for some butterfly band aids and did the repair himself. In his most recent trip he was transported by ambulance to Mission Viejo Hospital and was looked at instantly. When I arrived it was difficult to get into ER because the sheriff's department has blocked off the entrance because someone has dumped a shooting victim off in the loading zone in front of the sliding glass doors. We were told earlier during the Irvine Hospital visit that arrival by ambulance results in quicker attention and a shorter wait but this ride in an ambulance cost $1300.00. So if you can't afford the insurance or the ambulance ride just shoot who ever needs medical attention and leave them in the ER driveway. My son spent three hours there oxygen, IVs, x-rays and scans checking to see if anything was wrong with him. After this checking the doctor advised that Dylan spend the night in the hospital for observation but we declined that as apparently the only thing wrong was that he needed to pee after laying there for three hours, he put his pants back on, climbed off the bed and we went to a gas station down the street to pee. He was on his trampoline the next day doing flips where he was less likely to get shot at.

The hospital sent the bills to the AAA towing service as he has a card in his wallet along with his Kasier insurance card and the AAA then sent me a letter informing me that his towing coverage did not cover ER. Today (August 13, 2008) Children Hospital at Mission send me an invoice for $23868.86. When asked what the charges were for I was given no explanation.

My visit last week for a leg injury at my own providers urgent care started at 6:00 PM and I left after nine that evening, They told me there would be a three hour wait due to the fact there was only one doctor on duty so after they checked my vitals I went back home for a couple of hours then returned at nine to see the doctor. Also read in the paper it was noted (via the Internet) that Irvine Medical is closing the hospital and will be reopened later by another hospital. Maybe Bush's plan foresaw that problem, the full waiting rooms, the other closing hospitals in his personal view of the world that ignores reality. If you ever have the experience of visiting a ER and wonder where all those people came from, find a registered voter if you can, for half of those voted for George twice.