‘Move the Friggin’ Airport’, Outrageous ER Bills, and the Pinging of Jars

by on October 2, 2018 · 27 comments

in Ocean Beach

Musing From the Old Broad

Move the Friggin’ Airport!

As another Saturday passes by and I am woken up by the incessant noise of airplanes taking off, I again wonder many things:  Is the flight pattern different on Saturdays? I NEVER hear as many planes passing overhead on the weekdays as I do on Saturday.  It is a continual noise that leaves me irritated, frustrated, pissed off, and angry.

When I purchased my house in 1966 the planes did not take off over my house. For those of you that say that the airport “was there first” that is not quite true.  If it had of been I would not have purchased the house. That was one of the stipulations we had when looking at homes in Pt. Loma.  The largest plane taking off was from the PSA fleet, and they always took off over the San Diego River, and seldom veered our way unless a President – Nixon – stayed at the Bahia and the planes were diverted south for “security purposes.”

I look at my 14 fruit trees; the windows on the house; the pool cover over the pool, and the black soot that emanates from these airplanes is all over these items.  It must be in my lungs too.  Why is that not being addressed?

I have objected to making Lindbergh Field a gourmet establishment. Why does all that money have to go to make expensive food available for people that are leaving the area?  You can’t go to the airport for a meal unless you have a ticket to get out of here.  Why isn’t that money being spent on an airport away from the city; away from the crowded area; in an area that is safer than where it is currently located?

It is impossible to try to go to sleep before 11:30pm each and every night because the planes take off until that time.  I am a very light sleeper and if I fall asleep before 11:30pm I am woken by a plane taking off – incorrectly most of the time – and cannot go back to sleep. Enough is enough.  Move the frigging airport!!!

My Outrageous Hospital Bills

Five weeks ago I fell over my dog while cooking breakfast for 8 people. Of course I did it in front of all of them because they were all in the kitchen “helping” me prepare the meal.  I did not realize that Shadow had come into the kitchen also, and when I turned around to retrieve the chorizo, I fell over him.  This is not asking for your sympathy, although if you have never broken ribs you cannot imagine the pain every time you take a breath.  (The doctor said I would heal much faster if I just stopped breathing!  A comedian, no less!)

No. This is about my hospital experience that I did report.

The waiting room restroom was filthy; the sink in the emergency room behind my bed did not work; the dust on the light the doctor used to see where to put the stitches in my face was so thick that one could have drawn pictures on the lamp; the tech could not find my room after having an MRI; and bathroom in the ER still had toothpaste, soap residue, and water all over the floor from the last patient.

And today I received the bill:  $23,382.00.  My radiology bill was $18,552.

Yes, I have insurance, and the actual amount that I paid out of my pocket was $100 but I can’t help but feel that this bill for 2 hours in the ER was outrageous.  What do people do that do not have insurance?  I presume that the $4077 charge for “Emergency Care Services” was for the 10 stitches I had; and the $753 was for the blood tests I had.  (Even that amount seems to be a hell of a lot for blood tests.)  Wonder who is gouging whom?

Funny Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Market

And finally just a funny – now – experience I had last week.  I am a “jammer.”  I have 14 fruit trees and make my own jam. Last week I ran out of jars and knew that Ralphs was having a sale on them, so I drove over to pick some up.  I have to preface this by saying that this was one day following the “active shooter confrontation” that my daughter was involved with.

I purchased three cases of jars; took them out of the air conditioned market and placed them in my trunk.  I then proceeded to drive home. On the way home I heard a “Ping”!  “Ping”!  “Ping”! sound. I wondered if someone was shooting at me.  I didn’t know whether to pull over; speed up; or just get the hell out of there.  I decided to head for home and hope that I was not injured.

When I pulled into my garage and began to open the trunk, I realized that the sound I was hearing was the jam jars “sealing” themselves. I imagine that the change in temperature caused the seal to take place, but I have never had that experience before and I have bought jars forever. I realized that the thought that I was being shot at came from my daughter’s experience, but none-the-less is was unnerving.  At least next time when I purchase jars I will not worry all the way home.


I had already submitted my column for the week to my “Editordude”, but I received three messages this weekend that I would like to address.

Before I do that, however, I want to say that no one, ever, has to read what I write.  If you agree with me, fine; if you don’t, that is ok too.  I have three daughters; one I discuss politics with; the other two I don’t because I know that we are not on the same page.  My “Bestie” and I disagree about politics but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love her and respect her decisions.  (Even though I think she is wrong!)

I received this message on Saturday.

“Do you always complain about everything?”

My answer to him, which appeared on “Next Door” stated:

“No. Only about those things that screw around with the environment: do an awful injustice to others; create hardships for others; alter the quality of life for others.  I seldom complain about neighbors that act like 5 year olds.”

Then I received this message later in the day:

“That was ANOTHER good column, Judi. I saw in the Reader that Don Bauder is retiring this week. His ticker is bad. Another light in the sea of San Diego darkness going out. Please, keep up with your column.”

I thanked him for his comment, and told him that Don would be missed.

And then I received this message:

“You whine a lot. I dread every time your names comes up on a thread and I have to see you whine and complain. Try being a little positive! Cheers!”

This is how I answered him:

“If I annoy you block me. You don’t have to read anything I write. You will be much happier- and so will I.”

I do not expect to change the way I write;  what I write; or how I write it.  It is ok for you to tell me that you disagree with me; dissension frequently brings on change, and that is what I am looking for when I write about the airport, the oaf in the White House, the Midway project, Lime bikes and scooters, etc.  My restaurant reviews are based on many years of running culinary arts schools; writing cookbooks, and using the old “taste test.”  I’m too old to “sugar coat” my feelings now.  Using the old adage, “I write it as I see it.”

We may not agree, but it is all right to disagree.  And with that, I will continue as I have been, for as long as I can.

Have a good week!


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Candy Ruthven October 2, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Judi, Thank you for another good interesting column. I’m so sorry that you fell, got hurt, & had a bad ER experience. Candy


PL Mike October 2, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Are you ever happy?


judi curry October 2, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Sure I am – particularly when I get my readers dandruff up!


judi curry October 2, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Thanks, Candy. Doing fine now.


Val October 2, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Keep up the good work, ya old bird. I love your restaurant reviews! Thank you for including GF stuff if the place has it. BTW. I’m old too ; )


Judi October 3, 2018 at 12:42 am

Were not old. Experienced!


tia October 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Judy, hope you will just keep on keeping on. You always write from the heart – a very good thing IMO. When I’m in the mood, I read. When I’m not, I skip your column till later. So far no one has showed up in my house to force me to read your column (or anything else). Ain’t it great?


judi curry October 2, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Thanks, Tia. Now that I have my “reading fence” back up – started by my late husband 8 years ago, I am meeting many neighbors. Someone told me today she comes by when she’s feeling depressed. Let me know when you are forced to read my columns please. Otherwise – enjoy when you want to!


Tyler October 3, 2018 at 10:59 am

You bought a house in OB in 1966. Consider yourself lucky. Almost anyone across this country that purchased a property 50 years ago has incurred changes they did not expect. I’m a light sleeper and live directly under the main flight path. I purchased a white-noise machine for $40 on amazon and haven’t had a single issue with planes and sleep since.

I’m quite befuddled about your gourmet eatery comment? The airport has done a fantastic job of getting actually good food into the new terminal, and not at insanely high margins that most airports have. There’s been no feasible solution to move the airport, as evidenced by the study done a decade ago.


judi curry October 3, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Hi Tyler. Let me clarify my gourmet eating establishment. When I am going to fly out of San Diego, or even in to San Diego from other airports, I am not really interested in buying gourmet food while waiting for the plane. What I want to do is get checked in and fly out. The monies that was spent on making Lindbergh an “eating establishment” is, in my mind, a complete waste of the public’s money. I don’t have to eat a Hodad’s at LF; I can eat a Hodad’s in OB, or downtown, or????. And I do not want to pay the price that the airport charges. What I am saying is that I wish that money had been spent on another airport; rapid transportation to that new airport, etc. That study done so many decades ago was greatly flawed by the NIMBY’s; Miramar would have been perfect before they put in the housing. It seems to me that our “leaders” have never been able to look into the future unless it benefited them. Just saying….


Tyler October 4, 2018 at 9:55 am

I don’t disagree that Miramar would have been a better long-term solution akin to what Austin did over a decade ago. Alas it is not meant to be.

But I still have to disagree regarding the food options. Every popular, highly rated airport these days tries to capture the spirit of the metro area it serves. Whether that’s here, Austin, SF, Dallas, Seattle, Charlotte, etc. While you may want to go check-in and fly out, others want to be able to enjoy a meal before or during a layover. I fly out early all the time and I LOVE that I can now get a burrito from Qdoba for $7 rather than spending $15 on a bad breakfast sandwich from those generic places. I love that I can get some BBQ before my midday flights out rather than scrambling to eat prior to getting to the airport. And for those who are visiting, it’s a great way to enjoy certain food that you don’t get a chance to do while in town. The Salt Lick BBQ is one of my favorite places in Austin, but it’s a 45 min drive each way to even go when I am in town visiting family. Instead I just opt to eat at the airport location before flying home.

Different strokes….


Amanda October 3, 2018 at 11:09 am

As a realist, SD is never going to move the airport (as ill planned and dangerous to maneuver as it is). However a city the size of SD (and always growing!!) absolutely needs at least one additional sister airport. Period.


Tyler October 3, 2018 at 12:09 pm

We do. It’s called TJ’s airport.


ZZ October 3, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Carlsbad airport also has commercial flights.

Tijuana airport now has its own border crossing only for people crossing from the USA to go to the airport. I haven’t done it yet, but seems like a good option if you are traveling to Mexico. You can take a non-stop flight to China from TJ, which I don’t think is an option from San Diego.


Chris October 5, 2018 at 11:22 pm

That’s great if you’re going to fly from TJ to somewhere else in Mexico or even to another country, but not much help if your destination is somewhere in the continental U.S. Just sayin. That being said, another airport in SD is unlikely and unfortunately this may be unfixable problem.


triggerfinger October 3, 2018 at 11:57 am

The last plane I ever hear take off is around 9:30pm or so. I’ve rarely been woken up by anything later. When it does happen it’s usually a late reverse arrival on a foggy or windy night.


judi curry October 3, 2018 at 7:54 pm

You are lucky. I hear planes all night long; some taking off and being fined for it; many landing after 11:30, which is legal.


Vern October 3, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Point Loma/OB is just a loud area. A noise ghetto.
Increasing low, loud departures (and aborted landings) out of “Lindbergh”, police helicopters, military, sirens (when stable geniuses stumble off the cliffs).

Now when the “new” Terminal One is completed, fully expect the curfew to be modified. The morning alarm clock will be 5am, last call will be 1:30am.

Lock yourselves indoors, seal all doors and windows, turn on your white noise machines and enjoy a sunset screensaver.


Lori Saldaña October 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I teach near the flight path (at the SDCCD West City Campus), so I understand a little about the airport noise you describe.

Thank you for speaking up.

My family bought a home in North Clairemont around the same time your bought yours in Pt. Loma, and I live there now. The military hardware flying overhead is noisy at times- but tolerable. However, we recently have had problems with odors from the city’s Miramar landfill- also around since the 60s.

I have filed- and encouraged neighbors to file- odor complaints with the County Air Resources Control Board. To their credit- they have inspected, ID’d the sources of the odors, and are working with the city to solve the problem via administrative actions.

It’s too bad a similar remedy does not exist for airport noise.

I write this because of the “you knew about the problem when you bought the house” attitudes & comments.

Yes- it’s possible to know about “problems” (airplane noise, air quality violations). But they should not get worse over time and/or become a violation of the law, which also may change. And no one gives up their right to complain or “petition the government for redress of grievances”- as the First Amendment allows- because we have lived in the same place for half a century.

Finally, re:ER bills- my grandmother (then age 95) tripped on her walker and wound up in the ER, requiring a CAT scan. This found a problem that lead to urgent surgery. She miraculously survived the fall, surgery and a stay in the hospital.

When her bill arrived it was for over $220,000.
Had she not been covered by Medicare/SSI etc., we would have been bankrupted.

I don’t know the condition of the bathrooms etc. at the hospital, and she survived to age 97, so we had no complaints about the quality her care. Just shock at the costs.

Thanks again.


judi curry October 3, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Thanks for your comments Lori. Noise pollution just seems to be getting worse; not just at the airport, but all over. The new restaurants are a perfect example of noise pollution. I have been on airport committees since 1965; as you know there has been little, if any progress since then.

IF medicare is reduced; IF social security is reduced; IF Obama care is reduced, etc. there will be many more of us fitting the label “homeless.” Sad state of affairs.


MiDo October 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Speedy recovery Judi and keep going strong – especially the writing – I love reading your columns and NextDoor threads.

And your right – I don’t always agree with them but still respect the writer.! :-)


judi curry October 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, MiDo. Sometimes the comments are daunting!


sealintheSelkirks October 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm

I was run over from behind while snowboarding at my local hill by a 10 yr old skier that dropped me face-first into a shoulder plant in Dec 2008.

In the St. Joseph’s Catholic Charity hospital in Chewelah’s emergency room at the bottom of the hill I walked around for two hours holding my arm up after having four xrays taken. It took two hours for a doctor to make the diagnosis: acromyoclavicular separation of the right clavicle Grade 2 tear. I already knew the clavicle was torn off. I could turn my head and see it!

Knowing that I had no ‘family doctor’ (it was written on the paperwork) they sold me the WRONG SLING for $20 (I found that out months later after it set wrong), and then was asked what drugs I wanted. I told them I don’t use Big Pharma chemicals. They insisted by telling me that it was going to hurt worse later. I already knew that, too. I grow my own pain reliever. I politely refused the prescriptions.

I got a bill for $2,500 two weeks later. I guess I should consider myself lucky compared to your monster bill but then, after paying $10-15 a month (sometimes more since there were 6 different billings for the one visit) for over a year I started getting pink slips and phone calls saying that I ‘needed to pay more.’ Low income senior can’t pay more I told them. I continued to pay what I could, and actually paid off two of the bills. Then I didn’t notice but they did not send a bill one month so I missed a payment. I’ve had a collection agency after me for the last 8 1/2 years.

Such is the state of insanity called for-profit health care. Or should it be re-named something like ‘for profit anti-health care?’ You decide!



Judi October 5, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Gee ObKid. I thought that restaurants were for people that wanted eats. Silly me. Didn’t realize that was what an airport was for


Judi October 5, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Little did you realize when they said it was going to hurt they meant in the pocketbook. Did the clavicle heal correctly eventually?


sealintheSelkirks October 12, 2018 at 7:41 pm

No Judi, it didn’t. And by the time I was told by a retired nurse friend that it was the wrong sling, it had been too long to be able to do anything about it other than surgery. Which isn’t an option.

But the scar tissue that had formed finally tore under stress about 18 months later while lifeguarding a friend’s very young nephew & nieces out tubing in a local lake (two summers later). It hurt like the dickens, tore itself loose over a couple week period, but I regained much of the lost rotation and motion afterwards. I’m back to being a wake surfing goofyfoot using my right arm again, can swim overhand stroke again, and swing a maul on firewood. Never be the same of course, but being back to this functional is a good thing.

And don’t worry about OBkid continuing caustic comments showing up in the Rag. He seems to have a problem with the concept and/or implementation of empathy for those not in his income bracket which is something that seems quite prevalent in this society…sad to say.



OBKID October 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Judy – move already! must be nice to have a house, with a pool, with fruit trees…in OB!!

As for the airport, its perfect – locaton and size – its a top ten USA airport…and the food is not really for you – its for visitors and tourists who want some SD eats.

also everyone is required by law to have health insurance – you know Obama-Care.

now that i had my weekly dose of sad people living in san diego – cant wait for the weekend in OB – all good vibes!


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