Monday, December 20, 2010

In one week


I'll be in Ulan Baatar with Erdene and lad, no longer known as the Pumpkin. Erdene showed him a picture of his cousins in the pumpkin patch and he decided that he would prefer to be known by his name, Alan Amara. Go figure.
Anyway, I'll be flying through Beijing for obvious reasons and hoping for good weather at the airport. UB gets some fierce cross winds.

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Advice


Back when I was a kid, it was pretty well accepted that "duck and cover" wouldn't allow you to survive nuclear war. Not a bad idea, as nuclear war at that time involved hundreds of megaton warheads. Thankfully, not so many in a bunch of different areas these days, now we are concerned with the likely arrival of just one delivered a container port near you The NYThas even joined the choir. For once, I believe the NYT has removed their collective heads from the sand, so I'm sharing the advice. Make a note of it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In Remembrance

When I read of Leslie Neilson passing last night, I thought of Glenn D and his story of meeting the man, told with typical Glen hilarity. So, in honor of two men who always bring a smile to my face, here is Glenn's story.

801- DID YOU JUST FART?.. FLASHBACK 11
I JUST DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT

Here is a rather humorous story about a weekend in Maui, a celebrity and a couple of bodacious farts.
The scenario:
I was working on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii when my boss told me I should go to Maui for a Golf Course Builders Association convention. He explained that many people in the golf industry would be there and since we would be working and meeting a lot of these members during the course of our work I should go to meet and get acquainted with them. So I went. The place was the Westin Maui Hotel and Resort, the kind of place people save for years to go to on vacation.
So off I went:
I was only planning to stay for that day so I didn't pack any extra clothing or even plan to spend the night. Just to go there and fly back that same day. It was kinda like going to Guam for a day and returning the same day, no big deal. There were architects, suppliers, builders, and lots of golf related people there, just as he said. But the thing that surprised me the most was there were hundreds of movie stars, celebrities and famous people there and they were everywhere you looked. It turned to be a celebrity golf tournament for the John Wayne Cancer Society, a fund raising drive for cancer.. Everybody there was there..
Returning to Maui:
I flew home that evening and grabbed a buddy, packed some bags and flew back for the weekend. We were gonna rub elbows with the rich and famous. Now this story could get really long so I'll get to the main gist of it now.
At the pool bar:
I was sitting at the pool bar beside Leslie Nielson (The Naked Gun Movies, see photo), his wife and another lady. Kirk Douglas, Lloyd Bridges, his sons Beau and Jeff along with Heather Locklear, were at the pool also. Harvey Korman (Carol Burnett show) getting ready to go play his round of golf was there too. Quiet a bunch for us 'regular' dudes.
Soon Leslie struck up a conversation with me about things like, What do you do, where are you from, small chat, friendly stuff, when all of a sudden he FARTED, yes, a long loud fart, but he never missed a beat in his conversation, like it never happened. I didn't know whether to laugh, act surprised or ignore it like it never happened, too, so I did the latter, just choked back my laugh and ignored it, then he FARTED again. Now what's a guy to do, this was funny stuff, before I could react to the second fart he FARTED again. Now these weren't little squeakers these were loud and long, it was undeniable that they were happening.
Well this was all a set-up to see how I'd react and for him to get a few laughs on me. His wife now seeing my puzzled look leaned over and said, "He's got a whoopee cushion and he likes to see the reactions of people when he does that, so never mind its just a joke." Now I must say that broke the ice, or should I say 'cut the wind', and we had a grand time sipping a few drinks together that afternoon. What a fun guy, made my day.
What a great weekend it was, everyone was so gracious and friendly, another fond memory...
.....GED.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carnival Spam

I'm feeling a bit better. I can laugh at the silliness of the world and Erdene and the lad are well, so here goes.
Most of the world is aware of my prediliction for that tasty processed meat product known as Spam and those with tv or internet access are also aware of the trials of the passengers on that foreign flagged and operated Carnival cruise ship which lost power off the coast of Baja Mexico this past week. I just wanted to get on my soap box and rebut the slander spread by Carnival cruise line as reported here. To wit, we didn't serve Spam to our passengers set adrift on the high seas. Like there is something wrong with Spam? and this after USN went to all the trouble to divert an aircraft carrier. I wouldn't have let them dock in any US port until all the spam was gone. They had croissants for heavens sakes. Many is the day, I would have loved to lay my sweet Spam slice on a croissant rather than a slice of doubtful sliced bread. Shame on you Carnival. Enforce the Jones Act. Employ US mariners on cruise ships which dock in the US. We in the merchant marine were never too proud to enjoy a can of Spam and we made damn sure the ice machine was on a working buss feed. How could any post devoted to Spam not include this or maybe this.Labels: merchant marine, Spam draft

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I might phrase this headline differently

Four of the most advanced submarines built, converted to cruise missile launchers could be sitting off your coast waiting to shoot 612 missiles with thousand pound plus cruise missiles payloads. Now if that isn't deploy able deterrence, I don't know what is. . with all the bad news this past week, this is heartening.
The subs in question are excess Ohio class strategic missile submarines converted to carry tomahawk ground attack missiles in place of the Trident D-5 ICBM. The leaders of Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea can sleep a bit less soundly knowing these ships are at sea.
People are writing here, but seem to be missing the point of how useful a weapon is, that can be used, vs one that, while valuable from a deterrent standpoint is also totally politically unacceptable these days. Unless of course someone identifiable nukes us first and I'll be on board for the conventional destruction of Qom way before that day happens.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For Glen D

I grabbed the following from the lioness of Luzon. I'm still chuckling. Erdene and the lad are well, but still in MN. I'm thinking about posting again, but just not that into it. Depression avoidance, I suppose, but as the day draws nearer, I feel the need. The need to laugh and share. Anyway,

Humor for the day
These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are
things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now
published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these
exchanges were actually taking place.

______________________________
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you
forgot?
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, "isn't it true that when a person dies in his
sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?"
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
______________________________ ______
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's twenty, much like your IQ.
______________________________ _____________
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney.
Can I get a new attorney?
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about 20, medium height, and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.
______________________________ _______
ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead
people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
______________________________ ___________
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK?
What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral.
______________________________ ___________
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And, Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
______________________________ ______________
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?
______________________________ ________
And the best for last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a
pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you
began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No .
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive,
nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
practicing law.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My brother is so mean


I think he hasn't forgotten me running him down with the mower, as he dragged J's into his photo gallery of his anniversary visit to Portland. Happy days you two. This is without a doubt my mostest favoritest resteraunt to date. They have changed the interior and added to the menu, but if I can't have five meals there without dissapointment, I would be surprised. If you should ever have reason to visit in the state of Maine, I wouldn't miss a visit.

Starters


Raw Scallop Cocktail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Lobster Claw Cocktail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.50
Shrimp Cocktail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Steamed Mussels pan steamed in a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
savory garlic sauce

Combo Cocktail crab, lobster, shrimp, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
raw scallops & raw oysters

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms topped w/ bacon . . . . . . . . . 10.50
& parmesan cheese



Oysters
Half Dozen (Raw) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.50
Bakers Dozen (Raw) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
served w/ lemon, cocktail sauce, horseradish & crackers

Baked Stuffed Oysters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 for 7.50
with lobster stuffing

Oysters Rockefeller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 for 7.50
spinach, cheese and bacon

Oysters Mornay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 for 7.50
swiss cheese topping

Oyster Sampler (one of each: raw, baked . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.50
stuffed, rockefeller & mornay)



Odds and Ends
Garlic Bread . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.50
Mac & Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Coleslaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.50
Potato Salad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.50
Pasta w/ marinara or garlic sauce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50



From our Steamers

Steamers (steamed clams) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sm . . . 11.50 Med. .15.50
Lg. . . 18.50



Salads
Garden Salad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.50
Chef's Salad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Tuna Salad Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Crab Salad Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50
Lobster Salad Plate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.50
salad plates served with cole slaw & potato salad
Dressings: Bleu Cheese, Lite Italian, Ranch, Thousand Island, Parmesan Peppercorn OR Oil & Vinegar



Soups

New England Clam Chowder . . . . . . . . Cup 5.25 .... Bowl 6.50
Fish Chowder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cup 5.25 .... Bowl 6.50
Oyster Stew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cup 6.50 .... Bowl 8.50
Lobster Stew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cup 9.00 .. Bowl 13.00
Soup of the Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Prices May Vary



Sandwiches
all sandwiches served w/ chips & a pickle

Haddock Filet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.50
Grilled Chicken Breast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50
Chicken Teriyaki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50
Reuben . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.50
Pastrami & Swiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.50
B. L. T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.50
Ham & Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Grilled Ham & Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Tuna Melt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.50
Hamburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.50
Cheeseburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.00
Bacon Cheeseburger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.50
Hot Dog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.50
Grilled Cheese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.50
Tuna Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.50
Lobster Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.50
Crab Roll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.50



Entrees

Broiled Haddock Filet served over rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.50
Scallops with Lemon & Dill over Angel Hair . . . . . . . . . . 19.00
J's Scallops En Casserole broiled w/ honey & butter . . . . 18.00

"Crabby Janice" crab en casserole w/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.50
spinach, morney & crumb topping

Shrimp Scampi over Angel Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.50
Shrimp Marinara over Linguini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.50
Mussels Marinara (in the shell) over Linguini . . . . . . . . . . . 15.95
Seafood Bouillabaisse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.50
Lobster Pernod over Linguini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.50
Lobster Scampi over Angel Hair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.50
J's Seafood Casserole . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.50
Seafood Stir Fry over Wild Rice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.95
Chicken Special available daily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.50
Steamed Lobster with clams & corn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MARKET
Alaskan King Crab Legs with clams & corn . . . . . . . . . . MARKET



Dessert

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Glad we aren't depending on gov't or industry to save us from an inbound astroid.

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Saturday that authorities would pursue all "responsible" ways to plug a leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico now that it was clear that BP's (BP.L) "top kill" attempt had not worked.

"While we initially received optimistic reports about the (top kill) procedure, it is now clear that it has not worked," Obama said in a statement. "Rear Admiral Mary Landry today directed BP to launch a new procedure whereby the riser pipe will be cut and a containment structure fitted over the leak."

He said the new attempt to stop the flow of oil and gas from the sea floor would be difficult and take several days and that it was not activated until now because it posed risks and had never been attempted before at the depth of the BP spill.

"We will continue to pursue any and all responsible means of stopping this leak until the completion of the two relief wells currently being drilled," said Obama, who has been working to counteract public doubts about his administration's handling of the oil spill.

The relief wells could take several months to complete.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

going out with glory

I see Thad Allen the commandant of the United States Coast Guard is retiring soon. Hell of a guy and able to speak his mind in plain fashion. I really hope he isn't the last. I still owe pictures from Capt Tom in Haiti. Very striking and will make all the travelers of Beach Road a bit more contented. My old class of ships didn't make it to Haiti, but we are prepared to unload in the stream off Inchon, should the short fellow in the ill fitting suit stay the course. Miss you all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sox win the first, pictures from Haiti, and an Earthquake.

My friend Captain Tom of Saipan US Bonneyman fame, recently returned from a gig on a ship which supported the relief effort in Haiti. Two and a half months anchored a couple miles off, while the supplies and equipment went ashore. No email, no cell phone, and no beer. He sent me some pictures, which I'm hoping I can post. Mainly because these pics were taken by people I trust, as opposed to newspeople and that says a lot about my state of mind. In other news, survived my most serious earth tremor to date. Too bad, I thought the wind had picked up beyond all rational explanation. And did I mention the Red Sox beat the wretched new york yankees in the season opener. Had some drama back home in Maine, but that is a post in itself.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Courage, Courage. All I want is a little courage.

Borrow some from this lady. She may not have any to spare at this point, but her strength has been rolling though my mind all weekend. If any one believes that the cost of freedom is cheap, then you need to read this. If anyone thinks their life is tough and can't see the way out, than read this example of a very brave and articulate woman.
I'm ashamed that there is nothing I can say to her. All I can do is pass the message along, with respect for her soulmate and prayers for their daughter. I'm glad at some level, that they had the chance to know each other. No doubt, their time together was of a very special nature.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Is this rocket science?

Controller complacency could jeopardize air safety
By JOAN LOWY (AP) – 35 minutes ago

WASHINGTON — For the third time in seven months, the judgment of those who operate the nation's air traffic control system has been called into question and raised concerns that the system may not be as safe as officials claim.

While major air crashes have declined sharply over the last decade, thanks largely to improved technology, aviation safety experts say they are seeing signs that complacency may be causing controllers and their supervisors to bend rules and relax their vigilance.

The latest incident was reported this week: A controller twice brought a child to work at the control tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, one of the nation's busiest airports, and allowed the child to radio instructions to pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday the controller and his supervisor have been suspended pending an investigation of the incident last month.

I listened to the tapes and the lads seemed to have things under control, which to me, begs the question. A seven year old can do the job under proper supervision, so why are supervisors needed? To keep seven year olds away from the mike? More of a comment on the tremdously huge layers of fat in government. Roll on, Jet Blue number seven heavy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Erdene and the lad

Mongolian New Year passed last weekend and part of the festivities involves giving large amounts of sweets to everyone you might know. Erdene and the Pumpkin were on their way home from the usual outing in the playground, when they were gifted. Pumpkin has a bit of a sweet tooth, which doesn't accompany his somewhat fragile baby teeth. Erdene dispensed one chocolate with the promise of another at a later date, however the lad disagreed. I happened to call while he was argueing his side and reccomended YaYa. Mongolian, for a stern talking to, followed by a fervent beating of the bottom. Erdene disagreed, as she sees a direct causal relationship, between crying and lapses in baby health. As is my usual, I agreed with her approach and wished her luck. I checked back in a few hours later to find the situation resolved. The lad continued his screeching for more chocolate, however, he made a fatal mistake to his cause, by crying to his aunt in the next room. Erdene took advantage of his absence and emptied the box into a convenient container. Pumpkin's next visit to the kitchen was met by an extremely frustrated mother who told him that if he continued crying, then the chocolates would go out the window. He cried and out the box went. Pumpkin is not easily discouraged and despite parental advice regarding stray chocolates and stray dogs (hunger, thereof) he felt compelled to investigate the box on his next visit outdoors. No Chocolate and I do think the lad may have learned a valuable lesson when the word no is involved, although he will not like dogs very much when his sweets are involved.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fat stew

Every once in a while I screw up in the kitchen. A fascintion with liquid smoke comes to mind and using Bells Seasoning on an entire roast turkey dinner come to mind. In this case, I just went a bit too far with my fats. I decided to return to Oyster Stew after a long layoff and a chance sighting of two six ounce jars of Willipia inlet oysters in the Food for Less WareHouse. I lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for nearly fifteen years and cream of crab soup or Oyster Stew were big favorites. Oysters and crabs were so plentiful in various seasons, that not cooking a hearty milk stew was just a shame. So, it isn't as if this was my first rodeo. I didn't saute the onions and celery in bacon fat, just butter. I did overdo the half and half proportions, plus the butter slices were a bit thick, and the addition of crisp yet slightly fatty bacon was just a bit much. Oh was it good though. I knew I was in trouble when big white globs of milk fat started swimming around on the surface, but when the sweet streams of golden butter made their appearance, the situation became desperate. Then came the odd chunk of bacon popped up for a breath of air. I was nodding off in my chair after the second bowl.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why taxes are worth paying, The coast guard takes care of all

This is an incredible story of people doing their job in the worst possible circumstances with a high degree of professionalism and compassion combined with good sense
. Guardians Report In: HS1 Larry Berman
By clagan ⋅ January 17, 2010 ⋅ Post a comment
Filed Under baby, CGC Mohawk, CGC Tahoma, DC2 Schrewsbury, earthquake, ETC Frownfelter, haiti, HS1 Larry Berman, HS2 Elias Gomez, LCDR Fisher, LT Sanzo, medical clinic, navy, OS1 Sweetman, USS Carl Vinson, YN1 Winslow
The following account comes from Health Services Technician First Class (HS1) Larry Berman. HS1 Berman serves as “ship’s doc” aboard the CGC Tahoma and was one of the first medical responders to the Haiti earthquake. The words that follow are his and we’ve included Coast Guard photos to try and help tell the story. As Guardians continue to report in from Haiti, we will do our best to bring you their stories here at Coast Guard Compass.


HS1 Larry Berman reviews medical supplies for the make-shift Haitian Coast Guard Medical Clinic. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Today (Saturday) was day three that the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma and Mohawk manned up the small Haitian Coast Guard Medical Clinic. All three days, we have treated the local Haitian people for broken bones, lacerations, huge open wounds, etc. The outer court yard is filled with desperate people wanting medical attention.

Myself and HS2 Elias Gomez have taken the lead on who gets treated and who has to wait. Both boats are helping in some capacity or another, medical treatment, security, supply room, small boating Coast Guardsmen back and forth from the ships. So, many people from the two boats are helping. Some have to man the daily operations of the two boats, but everyone is eager to volunteer to come ashore and lend a hand.

HS2 Gomez and I, and a couple of people with EMT experience, have training on mass casualty scenarios, but in that situation there are helos and ambulances to take people to hospitals. Not so here. Until today, we have treated the people and they stay. Their homes are wrecked, the streets are clogged, and there have not been any medevacs.

Today, day three, was the first day that we got a few people out; I think the count was 10. The primary goal each day has been to treat and evac those needing amputations. My happiest moment came this morning as one man with a left crushed arm, 30 medical staples and sutures to the face, and a scalp wound was evaced to a hospital. The first day, as triage goes, we thought he was near death so we deferred to stronger amputations who were a mess, but much alive. The following day, when we saw that he was still alive, HS2 Gomez and I decided that he would be our priority. That was yesterday. I scrubbed what was his arm with Betadine, tourniqueted the arm and wrapped it in a red contamination bag. HS2 stapled a huge facial wound with the medical staples and sutures. HS2 Elias Gomez was a master, caring for the patient. I cleaned maggots from his scalp wound and sutured that up. We also hit him up with antibiotics. As I said, today he flew to a hospital. That my friends was an outstanding moment for HS2 and myself.

We have treated more patients than we can count, then they go out to sit in the outer court yard.

The scene includes about 30-40 Coast Guardsmen and about 20 Haitian volunteers with various experience. A couple of Haitian nurses and doctors have joined us, but the leadership of the clinic has been HS2 and myself. I believe that the Haitians have recognized the discipline and order that the Tahoma and Mohawk have demonstrated. OS1 Sweetman, YN1 Winslow and ETC Frownfelter have lead the security for the compound. They keep order. The Mohawk has taken leadership over the supply room. I wish that I could tell you their names, but there is one Chief that has done a great job with the stock room.

Both Mohawk and Tahoma crewmen are willing to do anything. I have seen our Engineering Officer LT Sanzo out in the courtyard bandaging people. I saw our Executive Officer LCDR Fisher hold the hand of a little girl while her wounds were being painfully scrubbed. I was able to come and administer a small amount of morphine to the little girl which made the XO’s job easier.

Today was the first day also that the decision was made to use morphine. The compound fractures and skin ripped off some of their bodies warranted it as we had to clean the infected wounds. Morphine is mercy.

For the past 3 days, Tahoma and Mohawk have had to make hundreds of decisions on how to help these people. We are all exhausted. We are all running on adrenalin. We are working in the heat, sweating. No one goes to the bathroom until be get back to the ship from 0830 to 1715 Hrs. Both Gomez and I have been ordered to take breaks. It is non-stop. Today, I had to ask what day it was. I had no idea. Thank God we are starting to get a few people out. Tomorrow we hope to get at least 12 of the worst out.


A baby is born to a young Haitian woman on the deck of the CGC Tahoma. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Today at about 1430 I finally obeyed our XO and YN1 Winslow to take a break and eat. Then after about 15 minutes I was called on the radio to get back to the clinic. Someone was going to have a baby! I ran from the pier to the courtyard, about 200 yards to see a 21 year old Haitian woman sitting and looking weak with people holding her hand.

She told me that the baby had not moved since that morning. I felt her abdomen and could not feel the baby move. She appeared to be full term. Gomez, who from here on out I will call by his first name, Elias, brought her into the clinic and got her up on a table. We examined her to see if she was crowning which she was not. We could not feel the baby move at all. We both placed stethoscopes on her and could not hear a sound from the baby. As best as we could we were beginning to think the worst, so after we were told that there would not be any more flights out, the command listened to us and got her and one more amputee to the Tahoma for medevac.

A short time later, I was shouted to by OS1 Sweetman to get to the small boat back to the Tahoma, a baby boy was born on the flight deck! What?

As I got in the small boat, a Lieutenant who I had never seen before was in the boat next to me. After 3 days of prayers God sent us a Flight Surgeon. Elias and I and many of our church members have been praying for a surgeon to help us. I apologize, as I write this at 2339 Hrs, after a long day, I can not recall his name.

The crew of the Tahoma delivered the baby. I know that OSC Watkins and DC2 Schrewsbury and about 15 others had parts in the delivery. The Flight Surgeon and I got there and assessed the health of the mother and baby boy. I took the vitals and listened to the baby’s heart. It was making sounds now Elias! Pink, warm and well. The flight Surgeon lead the delivery of the placenta on the flight deck and several of us cleaned the baby after its first BM. Then they were medevaced off the hospital.

To my great joy, the Navy arrived. Two surgeons from the USS Carl Vinson and 3 Medical Corpsmen came to join us. Help has arrived. Tomorrow fresh minds will lead the clinic. To be honest with you, Elias and I could run the clinic for a 4th day, but we are slowing, just a bit, after making all the decisions at the camp involving medical care. I do not think I could pull a day 5.

Tomorrow, Elias and I will be able to perform the way we prefer. The Medical Officers make the tough calls and we follow their lead. Tomorrow we will get a break, I think, and take lesser roles. However, we are told that we are starting earlier. Rather than leave for the clinic at 0830, tomorrow, which comes in 7 minutes, we leave at 0730.

I am writing this to wind down. Everyone on the CGC Tahoma and CGC Mohawk has a story to tell. There are dozens and dozens of stories of brave acts from the crew and the Haitian people. Oh, we all felt the earth shake today. It was a small but noticeable shake.

HS1 Larry J Berman
Independent Health Services Technician
“Ship’s Doc”
USCGC TAHOMA (WMEC-908)
United States Coast Guard\

As a father who has dealt with the third world medical system, I'm so happy for the mother and child. Haiti is certainly a failed country, but the politics of the third world doesn't make a baby less worth saving than my son should he have been in similar circumstances. Lets hope the new century gives him as good of chance of sucess as the circumstances of his birth provided for his survival.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where Erdene nearly gets away


Erdene has been planning a trip to Ulan Baatar for a month now, but snow storms, a dad with bad wheels, and the lad have interfered. She nearly made it to the train yesterday, but older brother Ankha' wife came down with a serious complication to her pregnancy. Let's hope for the best and the family is rallying around and Erdene' tooth cavity repair and camera fixing will have to wait. Think the medical care on Saipan is dodgy, well, experience Mongolia. She is in hospital and hopefully will recover from what seems to be a reaction to a bad penicillan perscription. We really hope she and the baby come through this ok, but happy to wait and offer prayers and kind thoughts.
Pumpkin is planning to enter day school next week, assuming he passes his communicable disease tests. This will be a huge step for the lad and his mom. His vocal abilities have developed to where he is understood, but he really needs to hang with kids his own age. Winter and the h1n1 have hindered his formal introduction to society. Erdene hopes to spend time with her sewing and a couple of computer classes while he is in school, plus the time away, would sever his un necessary reliance on the breasts which bring so much happpiness to him and pain to his mom. Well, obviously some of his social skills need work.
We both are feeling very sad for Ankha's bride, but strength should prevail, if the bad doctor is taken out of the equation. Imagine, being not only prescribed the wrong medicine, but one which is probably inferior and possibly dangerously below standards as well. Ankha is a wonderful person, a fine uncle, and more than likely to be a perfect dad for his child, so cut them a little slack on this one, please.
UPDATE; Barangbohlt is doing much better in hospital. Swelling is down and the little one with three months to go is in no distress. No idea where the problem started or what if anything made it worse, but looking good.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I have a bad habit,

well several actually, but the one which comes to mind today, is swearing at the on line headlines. I mean really, does the AP really pay people to write this crap? Do they actually read the stories, they are attaching the headlines to? Today, US shuts Yeman embassy. Actually, don't have much to say about this one, other than, State Department in a rather bold excursion from Cloud Cuckoo land, runs away bravely. Next up "amenities of keys motel made for perfect hideout" OK, I'll buy that. Florida is best known for harboring the most criminals on a per capita basis, so they should have decent housing. Note to Florida attorney general, IMPOSE the death penalty much more often. And here is a classic "US believes Iran working on design of nuclear weapon" Do you think so?, Maybe?. Say hello to my little friend, the D5 submarine launched intercontinental ballastic missle. Could save us some trouble down the road and it isn't like our reputation is all that good with the mullahs. Sea of glass, comes to mind, we'll just wait until more of the oil is used up. That is it for now.
UPDATE Iran plans large scale war games. Well, that is good news. Come out and play and meet my little friend. Florida man blames family for ignoring him, so in true Floridian fashion, he killed them. That will teach you. Pass the biscuits please, mom. Florida girl 12, sets mother on fire. Police department spokesperson, describes it as "just a typical case of teenage angst" Really? What is an atypical case of teenage angst in florida? Yikes..