The decor in this hotel room has an arrangement of floral photos that are colorful and interesting...
But at 3:30 AM the pictures become a angry visage, glaring at me as I blearily look around the room trying to find out 1) where I am, and 2) why I'm up at 3:30.
(The answer to #2, is because I can sense I'm being stared at, obviously.)
The housekeeping staff is going to wonder why these pictures are going to be found in the minibar tomorrow morning when they come in to clean the room.
Well... I know it's been a quiet week here at the old 'blog.
I've been busy...sorry.
On Monday I had to do a little equipment install down in Tampa, so I took advantage of the weather and rode my bike down...
On the way down I had the pleasure of driving through this little slice of heaven...
Both Waldo and Lawtey FL are speed trap city, as anyone going from Jacksonville to Gainesville for a Florida Football game will tell you...
Having traveled this road a couple hundred times in the last 30 years I know not to tempt fate...
I did my thing in the St. Pete Times Forum and then got a bite-
The Woman and the Perfect Child suggested a place that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives- Danny's All American...
I had their Mojo Cuban sandwich- marinated cuban pork- tasty!
I headed back north- staying off the interstates as much as possible...
I made my way through some nice canopy roads in central and north Florida...
On Tuesday I was back on the road, or more precisely, back at the airport...
I have been following the tales of The Mighty Skunk and his fortunes with the Trusted Traveler / NEXUS system...
I started my paperwork back in September and finally got tentative approval in November, only needing to have my in-person interview somewhere in or near Canada to get my NEXUS card...
When I was in Detroit a couple weeks ago I was able to schedule some time for my interview and finally cleared the last hurdle...
It was touch and go for a bit... They want to know the details on all your youthful shenanigans... And I have had more than my share of hijinks when I was a young'un. And some when I was not such a young'un... And they have access to everything- even stuff that is expunged and had records sealed. Scary, really.
Customs Guy: "So, Mr. Young, tell me about this charge in 1985 - assaulting a law enforcement officer."
TBG: "W-w-w-what? That charge was dropped!"
CG: "Not from OUR records."
Note to would-be applicants for the Trusted Traveler/Global Entry Program-
No prevarication... They know everything.
So I got my NEXUS card in the mail and was looking forward to using it, to see if I would be able to clear the fast entry line at JAX...
It did get me into the preferred traveler line, but the TSO at the primary checkpoint declined it as a form of ID.
Not only did she decline it, I was treated with such rudeness that it bordered on abuse-
You'd have thought I was trying to use my Costco card for ID...
She chastised me soundly... I took it stoically- making note of her name and some of her choice phrases, planning on speaking to her supervisor.
Which I did...
And her supervisor was also ignorant of the DHS's rules, telling me that this card was not acceptable- that it wasn't even issued by our government...
(Because there is french terminology on it, I guess.)
Dumbassery on parade- I guess the TSA agents spend their time learning how to cup a guy's testicles correctly, rather than know their own guidelines.
(Notice the change in terminology- no more Concealed Carry Permit)
She made quite a show of inspecting my card, then making a photocopy of it and writing several notes on it...
Good thing too, since I spent the next two hours on the TSA website filing a carefully worded complaint about the attitude and knowledge level of the TSA screeners. I wonder how long it will take for my complaint to filter down, if it ever does.
Hopefully my next TSA experience will be more pleasant...but I doubt it.
The next few days were a whirlwind-
I flew into Philly Tuesday AM- went to Wells Fargo Arena, drove through Manhattan up to Long Island, loaded my SUV with equipment Wednesday morning,
drove back to Manhattan, picked up JR, drove to Newark and visited the Prudential Arena.
It's a new facility, and the guys that work there have a sense of humor-
A little juvenile, but a sense of humor none the less.
We went on from there- we headed down to DC to install equipment in the Verizon Center... I haven't worked in that arena since December of 1997.
Thursday and Friday we did the install, and I headed to the next location-
Just outside of DC the temp went from 50 to the low 20s very quickly.
Then the snow started...
Fortunately the SUV has all-wheel drive...
I got into Pittsburgh with a minimum of problems.
We start installing our gear here tomorrow. 6:00 departure time from the hotel.
The old Mellon arena is across the street from the hotel...
What's left of it, anyway...
Spent a good amount of time in there...
It was a pretty unique arena.
On my way downstairs in the elevator at 6:15 this AM, the car stopped on the 5th floor.
A woman got in and jabbed the Lobby button.
"Don't. Ask." She said in a commanding tone.
She was barefoot, wearing only white panties and a t-shirt...
She stood there looking at her feet, muttering to herself.
Not relishing the thought of an angry snap-kick in the cojones, I kept my questions and quips to myself, thankewberrymuch.
She purposefully strode to the front desk and as I walked by I could hear the quite obvious explanation...
"I've locked myself out of my goddam room..." she told the girl at the desk, who listened without a snicker or smirk.
TBG, off to the arena... What city is this?
...or maybe it's not so subtle.
I was perusing the magazine (not clip) rack at Logan this AM to conclude a not-very-scientific study on behavior modification.
In the airport in Jax, Raleigh-Durham, Columbus, and in fair Beantowne, you can't find a firearm-oriented magazine (not clip) on any newsstand. No Field & Stream, no Guns & Ammo, nothing with potential to make the sheep uncomfortable...
(You can get all manner of porn, of course- Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, People, Food & Wine... But all that is politically correct.)
Is it by the TSA's urging? After all, I'm sure the "if you see something, say something" busybodies have a field day when they see someone like me reading a periodical on full-auto revolvers, survivalist/miltia fashion options, and color-coordinating your reloading bench.
I guess you can't have a gun, anything that looks like a gun, or even have a picture of a gun at an airport these days.
I did find some firearm-related items- a gaming fanzine with a first person shooter character on the cover (dual wielding a pair of Desert Eagles, forsooth) and several "opinion" rags with ominous articles - "Handgun in the House? WTF is wrong with you?" kinda stuff.
Of course, a sampling of article teases on the covers of the remaining mags (not clips) are just an exercise in puzzlement...
"Look better naked"
"Sexy abs and butt"
"Look fabulous for less"
...and these are from GQ, Mens Health, Esquire and Newsweek.
I'm embarassed to tell you the hilighted articles on the cover of Cosmo, Vogue, Vanity Fair & Glamour.
TBG, Gate 32, singing the JetBlue Blues.
...with Barney Fife here on patrol.
I think he has the ersatz Segway because it makes him taller.
Even with him riding his scooter I'm still taller than he is...
I'm no behavioral psychologist (but I play one on teh Intarwebz) but from the personal interactions I have seen from this guy, he has a tiny penis and/or a huge Napoleon complex.
He rides his scooter to gates where flights are boarding and positions himself to observe, or more precisely, BE observed in his role as Protector of the Homeland.
The most distressing interaction was him dressing down an older woman whose bag was a little too far (in his opinion) into the open space as she waited to board her flight and was in the way as he maneuvered his electronic stallion.
I didn't catch the whole exchange, but I did hear the terms "unsafe conditions", "fire escape hazard", and I think "improper control" of her baggage.
Doesn't this jerkwad know that it's the TSA's job to inconvenience and humiliate the traveling public, not the Airport Police?
FTMF. Hard. Twice.
TBG, trying to find a monkey wrench for this asshat.
Do you have a firearm that you have purchased for home protection, but are not comfortable with your ability to safely maintain, load and fire it?
Uncle Jay would be glad to help.
If you've never shot a firearm or would like an introduction into shooting sports, just let me know.
I can arrange range time and can give you practical assistance in learning about guns, or help you with your personal protection firearm.
Always remember the 5 rules:
1. Always treat a firearms as if it is loaded.
2. Never point a firearm at anyone or anything that you do not intend to kill or destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4. Know your target and what is beyond the target.
5. Don't be a dick.
You can violate one of the rules and you might survive; If you break two of the rules, someone could be hurt or killed.
Violate the 5th rule and the person hurt or killed will probably be you.
Always remember: You are personally responsible for anything that happens while a gun is in your hands.
People who should have better judgement than to be following a subversive bastard like Yours Truly