Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Have you ever put off doing something, because it just didn't seem important? Well, twenty five years ago or so, I put off changing my name on my social security card. I did get my name legally changed and thought that was enough. My maiden name was still on the card, I just didn't use the last name that I had deleted.
I was able to pay taxes, get a voters registration, get my captain's license, and homeland security background check. Never thought that, by not changing it with the social security administration it would come back to bite me in the ass. I could do just about anything I wanted, except go to school.
I was scheduled to take a test to obtain my G.E.D. today. Yesterday, I went to the school to check the lay of the land. I wanted to find where the class room was located and confirm my testing date. Much to my surprise, I walked into the office and was told that I can not take the test, because there was a problem with my social security card. The problem was that the name didn't match and the card had an error on it. Back in the day, when I got my card, computers were well in the future and my card was hand typed. Looking closely at the card, which I never did, you could see that a number had been corrected and typed over.
Now, I had to go to the Social Security Administration to get a special print-out, so that I could go to school. Went to the S.S.A. twice and finally returned to the school with the paper-work. I had a sigh of relief, until the school rejected the paper-work. I went home again, looking for something that would make them happy. I found a document, a W-2 from the State of Florida Retirement, this seemed to satisfy the school.
That's not all, in the meantime I was removed from the testing list. I have been studying very hard and was excited about continuing my education. Finally, after an hour, we manged to make an adjustment to the schedule, and today is the day that I test. I will be taking the first section of the test at 1:45 today. I also found out that my test results won't come back for 8 to 12 weeks. I am in store for a day of testing that will last approximately 5 hours. I have confidence that I will do well, since I am only required to get a little more that half of the questions correct. In the meantime, while waiting for my test results I can begin my chosen studies. All I can say is Wish me Luck, I will need it.


Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I guess the best thing to say is, "It ended well".
I always plan on getting out of the country for my birthday. A ritual that I have done for years, with the belief that, if I am not here, I will not get older. It doesn't really work, but it is a lot of fun thinking it does. My favorite thing to do is go out on the boat. I can always go out far enough, so that I am no longer in the U.S. and can be in International waters.
Fishing was on the agenda for my big day, any excuse will do. I took the day off work, along with my team, Monica, Jason, Jeff, Kevin, and Buck. Had an early day on Monday, so I thought I would begin getting the boat ready, with an early start in mind. What do they say about finely laid plans, and Murphy's Law? Well, Murphy and his friends were in attendance. I had the boat loaded and checked all the systems, good to go! So, you would think, yet as I was pulling the boat out of the yard, I heard a loud bang! I stopped the truck and looked under the boat to see what the noise was all about. I bent down and noticed that the springs that hold the axle on, were broken. Here it is 7PM, not going to find a store open. I notified the crew and Jason came over to help me locate the parts. Murphy reared his ugly face and made it impossible for us to find the right size in stock anywhere. I was giving up hope, called my boat mechanic, Bob, and he had some ideas, but they would take another day. That would mean that the trip was going to be delayed. My son, Jason, wasn't about to let that happen, nor was the rest of the gang. Monica and Jeff did some brainstorming.
The next morning, Jeff and Monica made the calls to find the parts, again Murphy, you bastard! I called Bob and he said we could get the parts, yet we would have to pick them up and that would be in North Miami. Jason jumped in his car and headed to pick up parts, in the meanwhile Jeff and Monica were on duty taking the old parts off. By the time Jason got back with the parts, it looked like we had a pit crew on site. The team took a short time and we were on the road toward the dock.
One o'clock and we are out the channel, heading toward the beautiful blue ocean. We tried trolling and the winds and moon were not indigenous to dolphin fishing. We, resorted to bottom-fishing. The weather was getting rougher, storm clouds moving in, although we landed quite a few small fish and three nice sharks before the lightning made us move. The tiny ship was tossed, if not for the courage of the fearless crew, the boat would be lost! Just kidding, we headed in, the sun had already set and it wasn't raining too bad, yet the waves were making smooth running, rough. Surrounded by lighting and thunder heads, we proceeded toward home. Then, a surprise, we saw sailfish jumping, that got us going again and the lines were back in the water. We seemed to just ignore the impeding weather conditions. We get a hit on the line, the sailfish, but it shook the hook loose. We continued and brought up a couple of nice mackerel, just when we thought Murphy had gotten the best of us. We arrived home after 10PM, cleaned the boat and fish, what a wonderful day. I can't believe how the crew perceived to make my birthday happen for me. I must be the luckiest person on earth. It makes getting older a pleasure.