Sunday, August 24, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

LAX Security Incident

Welcome Facebookers.. I'm happy to have piqued your curiosity!

Short story long..

LAX is a crazy place, being as its huge, busy, and confusing, forcing me to be a little on edge constantly making sure I don't do anything unintentionally stupid. If you know me well you'll know sometimes stupid happens to me in crazy ways, even after attempting to mitigate all angles of it.

This story is no exception to that law which seems to plague me where ever I seem to go. I don't question it anymore, but rather revel in it's insolubility. It's not bad luck, it's entertainment.

I return my rental car, take a shuttle to terminal two of LAX and check in my bag with WestJet counter. They send me to another place where I have to leave my tagged bag into a special bag pre-screening xray, I am asked for my boarding pass there, I show it. I then leave with my carry on (laptop bag) and head for the gates.

Before arriving at security, I am pre-screened for boarding pass again at the elevators leading up to security. At the top of the elevators I am checked again for my boarding pass and told which line to stand in. While in line I pass a table where again I am checked AGAIN for my boarding pass and asked the "fluid" question, to which I reply no.. no fluids. Ok.. very good carry on. I am now putting my metals in the bin, laptop removed and shoes off. I leave my boarding pass IN MY BAG thinking.. there is no way they need to CHECK IT AGAIN.. IS THERE? Apparently I was incorrect in that line of thinking, as my bag was going through the guy asks me for my boarding pass, I mention that it was in my bag in the xray. He lets out a big sigh and shouts "ATTENTION LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR BOARDING PASSES READY FOR INSPECTION AND DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN YOUR BAGS" Then he mentions something about "NO BOARDING PASS ON LANE SIX.. CODE (blah blah blah)" Now I'm on edge. He tells me to wait behind the red line, so I do, but that's it no more instructions, so I wait while others behind me proceed. Nothing seems to be happening and my bag, shoes, laptop and boarding pass are still on the otherside of the warzone, piling up on the end with the others. What happens next happens very fast.. and I almost got shot.

A very friendly old man who was behind me had some sympathy for my case and decided to take it upon HIMSELF to mitigate the security checkpoint to RETRIEVE my boarding pass. He goes through security, goes back to collect his goods and then points to my bag and looks at me with a question on his face like to say 'Is this your bag?' I had no idea what he was about to do, but I thought that if I shook my head, he would just continue to point at bags, so I nod. Mistake. He grabs the bag and walks towards me. Now you have to understand, the security at LAX is like a fortress, nothing like what you find in Canada. If you don't exactly what your asked you go to jail. So enter slow motion. This old guy who already cleared security is reversing back and coming towards me with MY BAG in his hands. It was a miracle he made it as far as he did. He made it all the way to the six foot high plexiglass wall which separated unsecure zone (me) and secure zone (him) and then tried to PASS ME MY BAG OVER THE GLASS. I am holding up my hands in a NOOOOOOOOO expression, but I think he understood it as HURRY THROW ME THE BAG BEFORE THEY SEE.. Holy shit. Enter super slow motion. Someone somewhere hits a big red button (I didn't see the button, but i'm pretty sure it's big.. and bright red.) an alarm starts whooping, and an obviously well rehearsed sequence of events begins to unfold before my eyes. All eyes on me, my bag, and an old guy, The bag is exactly on the top of the glass and I am TRYING to push it back towards him in a DON'T GIVE ME THE BAG kind of way, but he is confused.. thinking, WHY DON'T YOU WANT YOUR BAG?? So now. it looks like that I am HANDING AN OLD GUY A BAG THAT HASN'T BEEN SECURED. Before I could say anything there was a guy on me, a guy on the old guy and two guys on my bag. All security belts stopped all people stopped. We are all stop. As I was waiting for the tazer to nail me in the back the old guy throws me under the bus.. "ITS NOT MY BAG!!!" He says in a freak out kind of way as he is being led to a secure room. I go to a little special place as well, and my bag comes in a few minutes later. I ask the guard to make sure my MacBook is still on the belt, he checks and retrieves it for me, and my shoes come as well. He mentions that the video was reviewed and I'm good to go, bu warning warning blah blah blah. I leave and walk past a room where old guy is being blasted by guards. I do not know what came of him. I waited a while for him to show up to thank him for his good intentions, but he never came out. I think it might be better that way. For all I know he's still there. He just wanted to give me my boarding pass. ;-) Kudos to the old guy, but holy hanna.. don't screw with LAX security. ;-)

That's my story.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Expert Series - Introduction

Welcome all you fellow addicted netzians, welcome. This post is for you! 

For the last couple of years I have always wanted to do a series of posts called "Expert Series". Each post would focus on an area of the Internet and how to use it effectively, bettering your Internet experience and delivering the 7th degree black belt training and certification you deserve on topics such as "Going a Googlin" or "Wiki is your Friend Indeed" or "How to Download Using Torrent Client" and a whole lot more. 

Yes, I am the expert, self proclaimed and publicly acclaimed. I have been working with the Internet both professionally and personally since it's public availability back in 1989, most of which is credit to my dad who always seemed to be willing to upgrade our home computer system to allow for such study, and ever since seeing the "You are now connected" BBS message appear on my screen following the loud squawks of the 1200 baud modem, I knew I was hooked. Kudos to the Pops! Upon moving out in 1994, Leona always put up with the need to indulge with the latest and greatest when it came to computers and internet subscriptions, so she too.. helped me out in this regard. Kudos to her as well. 

Nineteen years later, I have amassed an incredible amount of know-how, wisdoms and well I just know how to do a lot of cool stuff on the net while avoiding the bad* stuff.  I'd love to share with you my experiences, so.. stick around, keep an eye out for the Expert Series,  written in plain and simple english (the only kind I know) and guaranteed to add 8 points to your IQ. Seriously. 

*"Bad" is subjective of course, what is "bad" to some is "good" to others. What I mean here is dangerous and damaging content.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yo, Loud Truck Guy..

What is it about your anatomy is so under developed that you wish to compensate with your loud ass truck? Could please take your lack of respect attitude, roll it up and shove it up your pipe sideways? Please? And I don't mean your piece of crap exhaust pipe although it be great to see something stuck up there as well, the people that raised you.

You all know this guy. You see him in his big american truck, 24" lift kit, big knobby wheels, light bar, bush bar.. no freaking exhaust, nailing the gas pedal at every opportunity to show off how BIG he is, the louder the better, the more smoke the better, the more annoyed faces around him the better, seemingly being fueled by it. This guy is built to annoy, there is no there better explanation I can think of, and I'm pretty damn logical guy (who drives a civic with stock exhaust)

Mr Loud Truck Guy is also very stereotypical. He (being I have never seen a "she" exhibiting this behaviour) is most likely to be:
1. White
2. Short Shaved Hair (with or without a handkerchief on head)
3. Tattoo of some bad ass subject matter on his back extending from shoulder to shoulder
4. No shirt (or wifebeater with mustard stains)
5. Pants are Mandatory (being as they secure the endowment socks)
6. Facial Hair of some sort
7. No Smile
8. Left Arm resting on open window

I swear to you I found this video after writing the above description

I thought about it, I thought there MUST be an explanation for such behaviour, short of criminal, although I'm sure there is some aspect of criminality to it, so I went a googlin'.. a googlin' I went. (For all you who think I'm smart.. here's my secret, I'm an idiot that just knows how to google.)

First a little science on "Modified Mufflers" (taken from here)

Most of the vehicles on the road use combustion engines. Fuel explodes in cylinders 1000 times/min (for 4-stroke, 2-cylinder engines at 1,000 rpm) creating sound with 16.7 Hz fundamental frequency and many harmonics. Without an engine block/enclosure and muffler these explosions will be very noisy (194 dB at close distance) and deadly. No wonder that vehicles with modified mufflers or straight pipes can produce sound levels which are deafening (up to 120 dB at 15.2 m distance) and are up to 40 dB louder than vehicles equipped with stock mufflers, which meet Canadian Standards (about 80 dB at 15.2 m distance - Transport Canada Regulations, Standard # 1106) To illustrate this: a modified vehicle which produces a 10 dB louder sound is as loud as 10 standard vehicles , 20 dB louder => 100 vehicles, 30 dB louder => 1000 vehicles, 40 dB louder => 10,000 vehicles. As can be seen from this example these vehicles can significantly increase the noise levels in the city.

Lets try and find a few psychological reasons for this behaviour. Yes, lets.

For Attention. (National Youth Network) 

"It has been found in a number of youth and those older, a certain need for attention is necessary in order for them to feel loved, this born from a lack for love and attention in the earlier years of life from the parents, siblings and/or guardians. Unfortunately, this attention seeking will usually manifest itself in misbehaviors ranging from misdemeanors to crimes of a more serious nature. If this lack of attention is combined with a small penis, cheap beer and a wifebeater, the result is a unabated desire to remove the shirt from your back, the muffler from your truck, the logic from logical, and for the love of everything sacred.. remove the respect for your fellow man. The result is none other than Loud Truck Guy."

My Pledge:
I will find out where you live LTG, and when I do I will figure out some way (and I will too.. I'll figure it out, most likely by going a googlin') to pound your house with the sound of 10,000 ravens/crows/magpies at oh.. I dunno.. around 4:30 in the morning. (ok I just googled 10,000 crows.. this came up) Then you'll come a runnin, you'll come a runnin' out of your mobile home with the look of murder upon your unattentioned ass, but you'll be good and drunk at about this time of the morning, and won't get past your plastic fence. 

Need I say more? Need I? I think not. Loud Truck Guy, at a small town near you.  

Please comment if you are willing to help me out with the pledge. 

Yours so very truly.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why I Hope Obama Wins

It's not really characteristic of myself to post about american politics, or anything political, or american for that matter, so.. this is rare. I thought I would whip up a quick post on why I hope Obama wins the big erection.

1. McCain is a double talking puppet with no spine.

2. Obama as president would make for some good TV, not that I watch much, but a guy that is smart enough to write his own speeches might actually be smart enough to fix a few problems.

3. Don't you think the old war dudes are becoming cliche? OOOooo I spent time in a PoW camp, vote for me vote for me.. I'm a survivor.

Also.. while we're on the topic, let's talk about Iraq. At first, way back in the day, I was sold on the invasion of Iraq, but then after really thinking about it, I think I just liked watching things blow up on TV in green nightvision.. that was kind of cool. Now I just see it as a pointless war fueled by fuel and justified by religion..meh, I'm happy canadians chose not to go, actually no.. I'm damn happy and proud of it.

And a note to all those (and I'm always surprised by actually HOW MANY americans say this, and mean it) who say, "Well how can you vote someone who's name sounds like Osama and who's middle name is Hussien"?? Whaaaaat? This is true.. people actually think this. I can't even imagine why, I simply can't understand the mentality of this.. it's like saying "McCain is like frozen pizza.. I cannot think of anything else but frozen pizza when I say McCain. How can I vote for a frozen pizza? This is crazy!! AAAHHHHGG I can't VOTE FOR A PIZZA!! WHAT AM I GONNA DO??" I am completely at a loss of understanding.