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so close

Sigh

"In the wake of the terrorist bombing in Boston last week ... now is not the time to weaken transportation security," said Sara Nelson, international vice president of the Association of Flight Attendants. "Flight attendants are breathing a sigh of relief that the weapons that led to the deadliest attack on U.S. soil in our nation's history will not be allowed in the aircraft cabin this week."
Seriously.

I was very happy to hear that the TSA was going to allow me to start carrying a small swiss army knife in my bag again. But no, the flying cocktail servers are scared and using illogical reasoning. B/c two guys used pressure cookers to bomb a public event in Boston you can't carry a small knife. 

And, to directly address the quote - the 911 attackers used box cutters, which would have remained forbidden.
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Meanwhile, a few weeks back I was waiting for a plane to be de-iced and then we felt a big BUMP.  Oops. The de-icing truck hit the wing. Few hours later they replaced the tip (that's the guy on the ladder) and off we flew.

 

 

The color drains from Security Theatre

Um, hate to be a spoiler, but the stars are past the moon.  Unless they're saying 'if your aim is awful you'll go flying by the moon's orbit to slowly drift ever further from the Earth, eventually heading out of our solar system'.

Proxima Centauri is the nearest star.  It's 4.2 light years away and is a red dwarf.

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The Deparment of Homeland Security, producers of the long running 'Security Theatre' program have decided to remove all color from their production. 

You know, that five color system (green, blue, yellow, orange, red) that vaguely told us how imminent a terrorist attack was.  Yeah, they're doing away with it.  Turns out, it isn't useful and does not mean anything to anyone.  

Link

Do it yourself, or pay the price

This is not my car.While on the road for a two week stretch I gave in and sent my shirts out for laundry.  Normally I wash them myself.  The reason I do this is, I treat my shirts better than the laundry.  Sure enough, missing buttons are my reward for letting someone else do it.

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iOS4.2 brings folders to the iPad.  That is great and I can't believe they offered that on the iPhone a long time ago, but only now on the iPad.

However, they took away the Screen Lock function and turned the switch into a mute button.  I don't want that as a mute button.  I want Screen Lock.  Please Apple, give it back.

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More TSA fun.

Security Theatre of the Day

SpiceSafar  Great coffee shop in Toronto.  Great atmosphere, great service... Highly Recommended.

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Are you aware of the fact that the politicians who vote for things like, the TSA, do not have to abide by the rules they set?  Yeah, they don't get the 'cough and tickle' treatment at the airport.

But, they do get something...search around for articles on the lobbying associated with body scanners.  Here's a sample link.

 

Toronto seems nice

I like Toronto.  Or at least the downtown area.  Plenty of things to do.  Can't say I have enough experience to really make an informed decision but it's a city I can say I don't mind going to.

I found a cool little cigar factory smack dab in the middle of the city.

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The new TSA fondling process is fantastic...got introduced to it the other day.  Was wondering if I was supposed to tip the agent when they were done.

 

Consequences

I was on my typical Monday morning flight, which means 'shuttle bus to a turbo prop out on the runway'.  Today was particularly bad.  Every person had a least one large bag...which they proceeded to pile up in the front of the small bus until there was a mountain and the last few people had to struggle to climb over the bags to get to a seat.

The driver got on, quite irritated and began chucking bags in all directions and he clambered over the luggage to get to his seat.

Meanwhile, the baggage handlers have to deal with all these bags.  Instead of using a cart to haul them all, they shuttled 2 or 3 bags at a time to the hold.  That can not be as efficient or healthy as using a cart.

I checked my bag, one of only two bags checked on that flight.  It's a commuter plane and my bag won't fit inside and I'm going to a one carousel airport.   Why didn't anyone else check bags?  The fee.  I don't have to pay it because I fly a lot but most people do.

Airlines are reporting record fees from baggage.  Perhaps true.  But, there are a record number of bags being hauled along to pile up and slow down the process.  I am curious to see how this works out, although I don't hold out much hope for improvements.  I think we may have reached the pinnacle of our civilization and be well into our decline.  I hold the TSA out as a prime example of this.

Wanna buy a dog?


20090302-4
Originally uploaded by kryn13

A while back the WSJ had an article on the 'Mackerel Economy' found in prison.  Seems inmates purchase cans of Mackerel and use them as currency. 

Well, I've been travelling on Southwest airlines for the past couple of months and when you travel Business Select with them you get a free drink coupon...good for an adult beverage of your choice.  As it is not always the most appropriate of times to use those, I have gathered a stash of them.

The other day I overheard one of my coworkers offering to pay a third person in drink coupons to get them to do something for them.

Southwest drink coupons as the prison currency of the road warrior?

Busy

 

Been busy, tired, and not finding a lot of down time. 

 

Not good.

 I did eat at two decent restaurants this past week.  The Monday Room in NYC.  The highlights for me were a Tokaji Furmint, a dry Tokaji...first non-sweet one I've ever had.  And the Dachi custard with lobster and lime.

 Then, ate at Bravo in Jackson, MS ... had a nice wine from Australia Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles.  It was Granache, Mataro and Shiraz.  I'd never heard of Mataro before.  Turns out, it's Mourvedre.

 

Thought of the Day - Lots of little papers

75802-944776-thumbnail.jpgIn Japan a lot of the temples and shrines charge a nominal entry fee of a couple dollars.  They give you a little entrance ticket.  Here's a bunch of the more colorful ones I picked up.

In Kyoto alone there are over 2,600 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.   I think the City of Kyoto ought to offer a 'Temples and Shrines' passport.  Visit them all, and get a free t-shirt or something.  Considering tourism is Kyoto's biggest industry I think this is a good idea for them to encourage more visits.  Kinda like the 'Round the World Tour' you can do with the 110 beers on tap at Old Chicago's pizza restaurant.

Thought of the Day - Bizness Class

75802-937920-thumbnail.jpgI traveled to Australia last year and was fortunate enough to go business class on the way there.  Quantas has a pod style business class seat that almost goes flat. They also have a lot of media on demand and pretty good food and wine.  Even better, each seat has a normal plug for your laptop, no adapter required.

I just got back from Japan where I flew United business class.  What a difference, and not for the better.  The seats are much smaller, more cramped, lack on demand entertainment, and require that you use a $120 adapter if you want to plug in your laptop.  The food was mediocre and the wine selection was much weaker than Quantas offered. 

 Apparently United knows it's service is weak and is upgrading it's planes link, I just went too early.

 Meanwhile, Japan was a great experience and I have a lot to share from that trip.

Life improvement toys

speakers.jpgI've been hauling a set of these around for a few months
and I LOVE THEM.  They are SO much better than the built in speakers on my laptop.  I use them in my hotel room to play music (and movies).  USB powered (or 2 AA's)
 
My favorite travel toys:
  • Shure headphones (can't hear the world)
  • MP3 Player (something I can hear)
  • My speakers.
  • Boosteroo (headphone amp)
Lusting after a video iPod (or it's windows based cousin).  Now...I'm also looking for a way to reduce the paper notes I haul around.