Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fuchsia Flatworm (Pseudoceros ferrugineus) - Wooohooo, my business is certified terrorist free!!!!

OK, so that's a weird title. The first part is obvious... it's a picture of a fuchsia flatworm that Pat took a while back. These usually top out at about two inches in length and we're always thrilled to see them... the second part is not so obvious unless you are a Captain...

A while back the TSA put in new regulations that basically stated any Coast Guard Captain or worker that had to enter a secure port has to go through a Homeland Security background check. The Coast Guard decided that read "any Coast Guard Captain, or any worker that had to enter a secure port" and now requires all Captains to go through the background check whether they ever need to go into a secure port or not. Funny thing is, we all have to go through a Homeland Security background check just to get the original or renewed Captain's license anyway, so it's a redundant background check.

So now Bob, Cathy and I have these fancy new digital ID chip embedded security cards we have to carry around for basically no reason. Technically, if the local Guard wants to enforce it, if we're not carrying them and they board us we can lose our licenses. The sad thing is, it's strictly a TSA ID card, and isn't acceptable as ID proof of being a Captain if we get boarded by the Coast Guard so we've still got to haul around our jumbo licenses every time we're on a boat. It'll be curious if we'll ever need to show them... they don't even have date of birth on them so they're useless as proof of age ID (you never know, we're all over 50 and maybe qualify for some sort of senior discount somewhere).



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