border patrol

Went fishing yesterday with a new acquaintance from Sebastian, FL.  He’s got a go-fast off shore boat, and we went about 25 miles out looking for dolphin and kingfish.   Didn’t find any, and while hightailing it back to the inlet, we were pulled over, boarded and searched by federal agents with the Dept. of Homeland Security.   I was totally on edge because I forgot to bring my fishing license, but these guys didn’t care.  They were looking for drugs or weapons.    After calling in our ID’s and finding smelly bait on board, they gave us a cursory lookover and bid us on our way.  We saw them later in the day checking other boats, so it wasn’t just us.

Their vessel was an incredibly hot chase boat with 4 large mercury outboards mounted on the stern.   I asked permission to take pictures, and they said ok to take photos of the boat, but not of the agents.

Border Patrol

Here’s the agent who asked not to take photos of his face:
Border Patrol 2

Here’s a photo-worthy shark we caught later in the inlet:
0707091442a copy

airfare$

I totally get “non-refundable” airfares. A boon for consumers. But when it comes to the “change fees” and post-911 non-transferable rules, the airlines are heartless pirate bastards.  Here’s some of the bullshit I got when trying over the weekend to change our vacation plans.

“No sir, you don’t have to use your credits within 12 months, you only have to BOOK your future travel within 12 months, the travel itself can be for several months later”.

“Sir, it is impossible for us to waive the change fees. Since you booked your travel through an agent (expedia.com), I suggest you appeal to them. …. yes sir, we will charge the change fees to expedia.”

“No sir, you are not left with only $70 for future travel. The entire amount of $220 is credited to your name and can be booked within 12 months. The $150 change fee that is assessed at the time of rebooking is completely separate”.

“Sir, all my calls are recorded, and I have advised you what we can do, and there is no one else you can talk to. I am now advising you that I will disconnect this call”. [click]