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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Shall I Put Your Meal in the Microwave Again?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's almost old news that BA has had to contact 33,000 passsengers about potential exposure to Polonium 210 on some of its flights.

I've seen the MSM pontificate that only a state actor could have produced such a dangerous material, so this proves that the Russians were involved. As usual, the MSM has it wrong. Information Week is running a story that says that Polonium 210, the radioactive material used to poison former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is not so hard to get.

Polonium-210, which experts say is many times more deadly than cyanide, can be bought legally through United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, a mail-order company that sells through the Web. Chemical companies sell the Polonium-210 legally for industrial use such as removing static electricity from machinery. United Nuclear claims that the material is "currently the only legal Alpha source available without a license."

I'm just waiting for someone over on FT to point out that Polonium-210 is only dangerous if ingested, so there's no reason for BA to do anything.


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Cranberry Relish

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ok, so this is a little off topic, but...

What is it about mothers and cranberry relish? For years, my mother made a cranberry relish each Thanksgiving from a recipe passed down through the generations. Horrible. Disgusting. Nasty. As kids, we all had to take a bite. Finally, when I was about 30, I put my foot down and refused to eat it. "You don't like my relish?" "Mom, you're a great cook, but this is vile. " "It must not be to your taste then." "No Mom, it's not me. Nobody can stand it." "Really? " as she looked around the table.

I spoke up "Ok people, this is your chance! Tell the truth. Does anyone like this?" Everybody reluctantly started to shake their head. Even my father, who had been eating it for 35 years, said "It's not very good."

So I thought it was just my family. I few years later we had Thanksgiving dinner with a friend's family, and out came the relish. I tried a little. I didn't think it was possible, but my Mom's cranberry relish was actually pretty good compared to this.

A while back I was listening to NPR and they had a piece on cranberry relish. Another mother had inflicted cranberry relish on a party, which was described as the color and consistency of Pepto Bismol, but without the good taste.

So at this time of year it's standard to reflect on what you're thankful for. I'm thankful that I won't be eating cranberry relish this Thanksgiving.


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Some People CAN Mouth Off to the TSA

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

While FlyerTalkers seem to be getting arrested at an alarming rate for loosing their cool with the TSA officers, a family member of mine proved that you can dress down the guy with the wand and get away with it.

He's a mid-to-high ranking officer in the US military. Last week he was on his way via commercial air to Kuwait, after which he'd catch a military transport into the sandbox. It seems he was running a bit late for his flight and as he passed through the metal detector was asked to step aside.

"Are you kidding me! What the F is going on? Why are you searching me? I've got a plane to catch!" He gave the TSA guy a dressing down like only a grizzled old combat vet can give. The TSA supervisor was brought over. "Is there a problem here?" "You bet there's a #$a%^ problem, I'm late for my flight and this #$#*&^$ wants to search me."

The supervisor, who acted as if he was ex-military, looked at his boarding pass and said "I'm very sorry Sir, they made a mistake when they issued your boarding pass. If you see this code, just tell them it doesn't apply to active duty, uniformed military traveling with military id. Here, let me help you get your bags."

And on he went to the plane. I'm guessing the TSA guys were glad he didn't make them do pushups.

Now while I generally think it's a bad idea to confront authority on their own turf, I guess there are some things you can get away with if you have the right amount of fruit salad on your chest.


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