I have often seen the orange Coast Guard patrol boats out
at Crissy Field, either bringing windsurfers in, or out
looking for them. For example, once I saw a guy who had
called in the CG when he lost his wife out there (the wind
turned on particularly suddenly that day and she was not
ready for it). And I do often see them just cruising
around at the end of the day, just in case they're needed.
I'm glad to hear from Andy Wolfsberg's post that they are
very friendly and helpful, which is kind of surprinsing in
light of this joke I just read in rec.humor.funny:
This has been circulated around the Coast Guard. Perhaps
you've seen it:
HOW TO SIMULATE COAST GUARD SHIPBOARD LIFE IN YOUR HOME
1. When commencing this simulation, remember to lock all
friends and family outside, communicating only with letters
that your neighbor will hold for a month before delivering,
losing one out of every five.
2. Surround yourself with 150 people you would not choose
to be with Q people who chain smoke, fart loudly and often,
snore like a steam locomotive on an uphill grade. People
who use expletives in speech like children use sugar on
cereal are good candidates.
3. Unplug all radios and televisions to cut yourself off
completely from the outside world, but have a neighbor
bring you last month's issues of Time, Newsweek, The
Retired Officer, and Playboy (with all the photos cut out).
4. Monitor all operating home appliances hourly, recording
vital parameters (plugged in, light comes on as door is
opened, etc.). If not in use, log as "SECURED." Make line
drawing of all piping and electrical circuits.
5. Do not flush toilets for the first three days to
simulate the smell of forty people using it. After that,
flush and overflow once daily. At least every five days,
post a sign stating "The Sewage System is Secured Until
Further Notice." It is OK to forget to remove this sign.
Take a shower using only a gallon of water to simulate
underway sea showers.
6. Wear only proper uniform attire or approved coveralls in
designated areas. No special T-shirts or other clothing.
Once a month, weather not withstanding, clean and press one
uniform, go outside, and stand for one half hour, after
which you may change back into your proper uniform.
7. Cut your hair weekly, making it shorter each time, until
you are bald or you look as though you have tangled with a
8. Work in 18-hour cycles, sleeping only four hours at a
time to ensure your body doesn't know or care it it's
daytime or night. At random intervals, announce that you
will either add or subtract an hour from the apparent time.
9. Listen to your favorite cassette six time a day for two
weeks., then play music that causes nausea until you are
glad to get back to your "favorite" cassette.
10. Cut a single bed in half lengthwise, and enclose three
sides. Add a roof that prevents you from sitting in any
position (18" is a good height). Replace the mattress with
a steel plate and cover it with three inches of foam to
duplicate a shipboard bunk. Place a dead animal under your
bed to simulate the smell of your cubemate's sheets.
11. Set your alarm clock to go off at the "snooze" setting
interval for the first hour of sleep to simulate the
various alarms of watchstanders going off at odd times.
Place your bed on a rocking table to ensure that you're
tossed from side to side for the remaining three hours.
12. Prepare all food while blindfolded, using all the
spices that you can grope for, to simulate shipboard food.
Add salt. Remove the blindfold and eat as fast as is
humanly possible. Add more salt. If the food does not stick
to an inverted plate when served cold, add more lard. Add
more salt. If the food contains at least one part per
thousand of fiber, dispose of it. Add more salt. Beat you
plate enthusiastically against the side of the trash can
when disposing of your leftovers.
13. Periodically shut off power at the main breaker and run
around screaming "Fire in the engine room! Fire in the
engine room!" until you sweat profusely or lose your voice,
then restore power.
14. Buy a gas mask and scrub the faceplate with steel wool
until you can't see out of it. Wear it for two hours every
15. Study the owners manual for all appliances in the
dwelling. At regular intervals, take each one apart and put
it back together again, then test operate it at the extreme
limit of its tolerances.
16. Remove all plants, pictures, and decorations. Paint all
furnishings Navaho while, brown, or hospital green. Stencil
everything with numbers.
17. To ensure a clean and happy environment, clean every
day from top to bottom. Whenever possible, repeat your
efforts. when finished, inspect your work, criticizing as
much as possible. Never be satisfied with a good, solid
18. Once a day, plug in your TV to watch a movie that you
walked out on two years ago. Then watch "That's Incredible"
for two hours.
19. Since you have no doctor, stock up on as many antacids,
aspirin, Band-Aids, ***s, Robitussin, and suppositories
as possible. These will cure any disease known to Mankind.
20. Prepare yourself for an emergency that will force you
to leave the dwelling, knowing that if you leave, the biker
gang you hired will simulate sharks and cut off your arms
and legs. Study "First Aid for bleeding," and the first
extinguisher owner's manual until you can quote them
21. Every three weeks or so, go outside directly to the
city slums, wearing your best clothes. Enter the raunchiest
bar you can find and order their expensive beer. Drink as
many as you can pour down in four hours, then hire a cab to
return you by the longest route he can find. Tip the driver
even though he doubled your fare. Lock yourself back in
your dwelling for three more weeks.
22. This simulation must run at least 90 days to be
effective. The exact date of the end of the simulation will
be changed no fewer than seven times without your
knowledge. This is done to keep you guessing as to when you
can hope to resume a normal life, and in the hopes that it
will***up any plans you might like to make.
This guide was designed to assist those who would like to,
but haven't had the opportunity or privilege to enjoy an
extended period of time aboard a Coast Guard cutter.
Stanford Aerospace Robotics Lab
Mistral Energy, Hi-Tech 8'6", WindWings, and Coast Guard Cutter ... NOT