Monday, January 31, 2011

The "Pat down"

I opted out of the full body scan today. The line at SeaTac at 8 AM was surprisingly nonexistent as I was the only person in the ID line prior to the X-Ray machines.

For those of you unaware of the layout at SeaTac main security check point allow a brief overview. Two conveyor belts converge on one traditional walk through X-Ray. The type that has been around for many years. Something was different today, I could feel it.

Today was my first encounter with the much debated full body X-Ray machines. I chose the shortest conveyor line not noticing that my destination was the full body machine. However, the line to my left was heading towards the traditional walk-thru. I almost switched lanes, but figured I would just chance it. I also assumed that since both were going, if you opt out of the full body, they would just have you take the walk thru. I could not have been more wrong.

Once I informed the female TSA employee I was opting out, she read me a small paragraph of how the next 5-7 minutes of my life would transpire. Of course, leaving out the key point that it would take an additional 5-7 minutes. As I am waiting on the outside of both X-Ray machines as the words "male assist" are echoed throughout the security point I took note of how other travelers were directed. I notice only one person being put through the full body, while others are still able to use the walk thru. What gives? I meant to ask but was uncertain if that would draw more attention. Hell, even the women running the other bag scanning X-ray machine was laughing at the term "male assist"...or I think that is what she was laughing at.

A friendly TSA gentleman escorted me to an unattended point in the security point to perform the dreaded "pat down". He offered me the option for a private room pat down, but I stuck with my choice of having this performed in-front of everyone. The humorous part of this journey for me was the TSA employee had to carry all of my stuff. It was not a lot as this was a day trip, but it did consist of a backpack, stinky shoes, and 2 bins of assorted electronics. I am not sure if he did this out of kindness or that I could take my stuff and run.

As he applied his rubber gloves to his hands, he informs of me of how the procedure is going to unfold. He talks of how he is going to check me for airline contraband and the manner to which is hands will be used. This is all fine and dandy.

Small talk was prevalent during this 1-2 minute process. Questions like "Where are you going today?" was the common theme. It quickly turned to a topic of stock options with Microsoft, from the early years, and if we would be working today. (Not sure how we got on that topic, I was distracted. Perhaps because I said I work in software and he jumped to Microsoft. It is almost as bad as when you tell someone you are from Montana and they ask "Do you know John?") But I digress. There was no groping or grabbing of ones junk. However, I will say they are not shy about the inner thigh region. They do get right up in there where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. After the encounter, pleasantries were exchanged and I was allowed to gather me things and be on my way.

If the line was long and/or I was running late for my pre-flight coffee prior to my flight, I probably would have just gone ahead with scan. However, I do feel that I am blasted with enough cancer causing rays in my day so I am not in a hurry to add anymore. It was not a miserable experience, the worst part was probably waiting for someone to come get me so I could go on about my day.

For my next trip I plan on starting in the walk thru line, regardless of length, to see if I am chosen at random for the full body. I will be sure to provide a detailed blog of that exciting event.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fountain Lady

I normally don't comment on this since it only stresses what the person is trying to accomplish, publicity; however, I am going to make an exception.

If you have not seen the footage, here is a link. (I believe this video is of the security company laughing at her.) I heard she is suing. At first, I thought she was suing the mall for "improper fountain location". However, she is suing the security company for releasing the video.

Suing is not answer. I understand her frustration that security personnel took it upon themselves to release this video. My guess, this is a clear violation of the company ethics code, or at least it should be. I feel that suing is a bit much and the security company should take the initiative and fire/reprimand the employee that released the video. Perhaps, to add to this, perform the reprimand in a public setting. Perhaps with some nifty press release that states the employees name. I truly wish our society was not be setup in a manner where legal action is the first move. Rather, just address the security company and ask them to make a formal apology and take of the employees responsible.

I find it ironic that someone who is clearly embarrassed by this, goes on a program like Good Morning America. You knew they were going to show the video, so why go on a morning program, watched by many, and express how upset you are about the release of the video. My only thought is that she is making the most of her 15 minutes. Perhaps she too can be a guest DJ on next years "New Years Rockin' Eve".

What I want to see most from here is a smile. You have to admit, this is hysterical and she deserves a bit of laughter at her expense. I heard there is a second video ready to surface where she falls down a manhole while attempting to chew bubble gum.

To aid those too lazy to click the link above, I have provided an embedded copy of the video.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Testing with Blogo

Another random post, this time with Blogo. MarsEdit was not great with the copy and paste from Word. The reason I am testing that is because of my poor grammar. I would like to blame instant messaging or texting to the demise of my English language. But I feel it is safe to say, it was never stellar to begin with.

Blogo deals with the copy and paste from Word nicely. MarsEdit showed a need to pull in some of the extra formatting that is normally hidden behind the scenes. Blogo also pulled down my categories so those do not need to be recreated, something that MarsEdit did as well.

In doing some more digging, Blogo does have a grammar check that I just enabled. I will see how this works out as I may have a new front runner for a blog program. The overall look and feel of the interface is not ideal, but will get the job the done. Another strike against blogo, is the lack of font choice, or I may not have looked hard enough.

I will keep plugging away, but so far Blogo is my choice.


Testing with MarsEdit

One of the blog applications I am considering is MarsEdit.  This post will have little meaning as I am playing with how it works with the template that I use when I post.  It also has a history of my posts for easy reference on the computer.

Nothing exciting here, just random text about an Mac application

My first MacBook!

Attending sales conferences does have an upside.  Last week, I attended my company’s sales conference to which approximately 20 Apple MacBook Air’s and 30 iPad’s were “tossed” into the crowd of attendees.  Reasons being for random drawings or correct answers to pop quiz questions.  I was one of the lucky recipients of an Air.

I have been debating about the use of a laptop as my primary machine for some time.  Primarily, I have no need for a robust desktop machine draining power from the world for the potential to play Duke Nukem or Quake or whatever the top FPS reigns supreme of the PC gaming world.  My primary use is browsing, iTunes, Office products and TurboTax.  None of these applications are defined as graphically intense.  Plus, I now have a Kinect/Xbox to take out my gaming needs, I still love Maddens.


The “Air”, in my opinion, is not equipped to be a primary machine but I am going to give it the ole college try.  It is nice and quick; however does require connectivity to take advantage of the lack of options the device itself offers.  The flash memory allows for quick boot and quick operation.  Mine is the base model, so I would recommend a 4 GB RAM upgrade if you are considering this way of life.  I will say, the 2 GB has not been a problem yet.  And, thanks to the technology my company offers, this device can be used in a corporate world.  I use my virtual Windows desktop on a regular basis.

Another reason I was considering a laptop was for mobile blogging.  The Live suite of free apps from Microsoft is a rather nice addition to my Windows 7 machine.  I used the Live Writer for all blog work in 2010.  Now, my machine is going to be a copy and paste from Word to the Blogger website, not ideal but something I can live with.  There are blog programs that tie nicely into the Blogger site; however, they are pay for applications that I am still trying out the free trials.

I am doing what I can to make this small, lightweight and quick MacBook as my primary machine.  So far so good, but uncertain as to what I should do with my iTunes library that currently sits on my Win7 machine.  I will do some random posts throughout the year as to how this device is treating me from a permanent standpoint.

I am enjoying the ride on the Air!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Who Dat?

That was one hell of a game for the Hawks.  Being a typical Seattle fan, I entered the game with low expectations but aware that the Hawks would compete and keep it close.  Little did I know they would out play the champs.

The NBC broadcast was like a broken record beating a dead horse.  They mentioned the “losing” regular season about 78 times during the telecast.  But, entering that game yesterday, both teams were 0-0.  As they say, any given Sunday…or Saturday.

I am not sure who we draw for round 2, however, I feel we will still keep it a competitive game.  We have nothing to lose, no one is expecting nor predicting success from the Seahawks, including most of the locals.

Most of the talk on the radio this season has centered around who should play Quarterback.  Yesterday was perhaps Hasselback’s best game in the last 3 years.  He looked like the 12 year veteran (12 years, I think I heard that only once during the broadcast) and leader that he is for this team.  There will always be doubters in any given fan base, but Matt rose to the challenge and put the team on his shoulders.  Say what you want, but Matt is a competitor.  Of course he throws interceptions from time to time, but he is also someone trying to make a tackle too.  I wonder how many other QB’s out there hustle after their own mistakes.  Or even sometimes try to beat running backs to the end zone for a celebration. 

The run my Marshawn Lynch was, in a word, awesome!  I honestly have nothing else to say.  I was speechless during the run, speechless now as well. 

I don’t want to jinx anything, but yesterday’s game provided the level of excitement similar to that from the 1983 run to the AFC championship game.  In that year, the Hawks jumped all over the Denver Broncos to win 31-7 in the wild card game.  The next game, Seattle traveled to Miami to take on the Dolphins  and defeated Marino and cast 20-27.  The last game, took us to LA to face a team the Hawks had defeated twice during the regular season.  Sadly, Seattle’s first ever playoff run ended at the hands of Marcus Allen 30-14.  I hope the outcome is different this year should we make the NFC championship game.  However, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, we still need a solid victory next week.

Good luck in round 2!