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Showing posts from August 6, 2006

Supercell madness

Wow! That was quite the storm this afternoon. A supercell parked itself over Sugarhouse and dumped 19mm of rain in 45 minutes along with very large, very damaging hail. Our poor cat had managed to get as far as under the deck before the heavy stuff so I had to go out with an umbrella and look for her. She was crying really loudly and totally waterlogged. I managed to convince her to come out and run the last couple of steps to jump up to the porch and run inside. She hid under the bed for the rest of the afternoon, and frankly having seen the storm, heard the thunder and watching the hail, I'm not surprised.

Only a few more steps to the totalitarian regime.

A clarification was issued today - videocameras, digital cameras, laptops, portable video games and MP3 players and cellphones must now all be in checked luggage. Better still, all the insurance companies have rapidly issues ammendments to their policies saying they won't cover anything lost or damaged in hold luggage now. Better yet, the airlines are forcing passengers to pay excess baggage for all the extra stuff put in the hold AND they're not guaranteeing it will get there on the same flight as you.
I'm sorry but this is absolute bollocks. This is clearly not about a terror threat or anything like it. This is a scheme for someone to make money. Either by forcing passengers to pay excess for hold luggage, or to attempt to speedup turnaround on the ground by preventing any carryons. The more I read about this, the less I'm convinced that this is anything other than a device to strip travellers of the few remaining dignities and rights that they had. I believe the TSA …

"Potential" = "Unlikely"

I call bullshit on this whole terror plot thing. When you read the news stories carefully, they all say "potential" terror plot.
More interesting is the chemistry involved in what was supposedly going to happen.
The bombs were supposedly going to be made using a mixture of acetone and hydrogen peroxide. Hmm. That isn't going to do anything unless you add a third chemical - some sort of acid. And even then, it needs to be mixed with precise measures of water, and the whole thing would need to be kept chilled - really chilled - to stop any chemical reaction until necessary. So basically, a full-blown chemistry set would need to have been broken out on board, with chemicals removed from refridgerated bags or coolers, then mixed carefully and in precise amounts.
As for the Al Qaeda link - everyone's reporting it, but nobody has the evidence.

So in a word : bollocks. There's no way this could have happened.

This smells more and more like fear tactics. It's frightening…

Racketeering at the airport

There's another part of yesterday's saga which is worth recounting.
So the security screeners are taking everyone's drinks off them coming through security. Inside the "secure area", there are shops and stalls, so I went and bought a new bottle of water.
Get this.
At the gate, as we entered the jetbridge, there was another TSA pinhead taking people's drinks off them again.

So let me get this straight : if he's taking people's drinks off them, that by default they must have bought after coming through security, the implication is that either:
(a) the "secure area" is a total waste of time
(b) the security check is a total waste of time
(c) the vendors in the "secure area" are all supplying us with bomb-making materials

This is totally out of control. And I don't think it's any coincidence that this has happened as we're getting closer to the mid-term elections here in America. Keep people scared.

Beatdown with the TSA

Omaha was a blast - we did pretty well I think. The real story, of course, was today's terrorism of America by the American media. You all know the story so far - homegrown idiots in England wanted to use incendiary devices on flights to America.
So on CNN this morning, we had the story evolving from "21 people pulled off flights with bombs" to "4 people arrested at home with bombs" to "21 people arrested at home on suspicion of wanting to bomb aircraft." Despite having no story at the time, and no evidence, CNN were quick to blame Al Qaeda - I think it took them all of 20 seconds to get that in.
But on to the meat and bones of this blog entry : flying back home. Well America has gone fucking crazy. The TSA have wigged out completely and banned all "liquids" from carryons. I get to the security checkpoint and the guy hand-searches my only bag, and pulls out my toothpaste, shaving gel and aerosol deodorant. The conversation then went pretty muc…

Yay. Nebraska.

Be still my beating heart. I'm off to Nebraska tomorrow with a work colleague to once again bail out one of our so-called salesmen. Fortunately it's only a short trip.

Oh come ON!

A brief list of my day:
- had to use internet exploder today on a site that didn't like Firefox. Because of that piece of shit software, the laptop got infected with a ton of spyware that took me three hours to clean off.
- was backing up both PCs on to an external hard drive when the power went out - had to start again.
- was nearly killed by some Asian woman on her cellphone, driving her SUV. Apparently red lights didn't mean anything to her.
- wasted nearly 2 hours of my life watching Dukes of Hazzard. Oh. My. God. I was glued to it because I didn't believe it could be that bad - it HAD to get better. Eventually it did - things improved when the screen went black and the credits rolled.
- finally got to backing up my PC and the power supply failed, had to buy a new one and pay the "late night idiot" price.

Someone tell me why I got out of bed this morning....