Fun For Friday

 Business, Culture, Entertainment  Comments Off on Fun For Friday
Aug 272010

So, I haven’t been posting very much lately. Work has been very busy, but as the boss says, “it’s better than the alternative.” I was in Washington, D.C. three days this week. Yesterday involved a meeting at the Pentagon. This is my first time visiting there, and it was very interesting. We had to go through three different sign-in’s, and then lock our cell phones and electronics in a safe before finally going into the conference room for the meeting.

The United flight I was planning to take home used to leave at like 6:50pm. Fortunately I looked at the itinerary in time to realize the time was rolled-back to 5:40. I made it to the gate with no problem, but was a little more rushed than I wanted to be. Of course, we didn’t leave on time. Oh we were boarded and pushed back right on schedule. Then, sitting out on the tarmac in a baking hot plane with no AC, they spent an hour trying to a get the engines started. When they gave that up, they said we’d have to be towed back to the gate, and for some reason it took over 20 minutes to get the tug out and hooked up. At least they had it repaired in about 30 minutes.

So, with all that said, here’s something to make your Friday a little more fun. I find the folks able to do this amazing, and I admit to the sin of coveting their skill. I wish I could do it.


A Rambling Blog

 Election, Featured, Politics, Technology, Travel  Comments Off on A Rambling Blog
Jun 142008

I don’t get a ton of traffic on this site, and have always been disappointed with the lack of comments. I get a few, but I know I have opinionated friends, and would expect a little more from them. I suspect one of the reasons is that this blog is so far ranging in the topics I write about.

I’ve read some good articles lately on blogging, and most say to narrow the focus of your blog. The people writing these articles do have very widely read blogs, so one must give them their props. I can’t say I disagree with them, but one of the things I notice is that most of them maintain multiple blogs, and each blog is for a different topic. So, like me, they write on a wide range of topics, but do so on a multitude of blogs.     Continue reading »

Airport Security Follies

 Crime, Culture, Society, Travel  Comments Off on Airport Security Follies
Dec 302007

The New York Times has a great Op-Ed about the foolishness of the TSA security screenings at airports. It points out, as most thinking people have to come realize that this is mostly feel-good theater that does no actual good at preventing another terrorist attack.

They point out the fallacy of our fearless leaders’ claims that the planes of 9/11 were hijacked “using box cutters.” I’ve said all along, as does the article, that the hijackers took advantage of the hijacking template created in the past, where passive resistance was the approach to end a hijacking, and the pointy objects they used as weapons really didn’t matter. Today’s hijackers would face a very different sort of reaction from the passengers and crew.

The article addresses the silliness of the 3 oz. container rule.

The folly is much the same with respect to the liquids and gels restrictions, introduced two summers ago following the breakup of a London-based cabal that was planning to blow up jetliners using liquid explosives. Allegations surrounding the conspiracy were revealed to substantially embellished. In an August, 2006 article in the New York Times, British officials admitted that public statements made following the arrests were overcooked, inaccurate and “unfortunate.” The plot’s leaders were still in the process of recruiting and radicalizing would-be bombers. They lacked passports, airline tickets and, most critical of all, they had been unsuccessful in actually producing liquid explosives. Investigators later described the widely parroted report that up to ten U.S airliners had been targeted as “speculative” and “exaggerated.”

You see, the point is that terrorism needs to be handled by law enforcement and intelligence activities (as it was in the London case). As the authors note, once a terrorist has reached the airport, it’s usually too late. Not only have most of us inadvertently passed through security with “banned” items, but a deadly sharp point can be fashioned from any number of things available once one is on the plane. (Just watch one of these prison documentaries on MSNBC sometime.)

Unfortunately, the government has crafted the system to protect itself and be self-perpetuating. If one protests, you are usually marked for questioning and additional screening, and could wind up on the no-fly list…so no one protests. Recently, they’ve announced silly rules relative to taking along spare batteries. Who knows when the stupidity will end.