Monthly Archives: December 2009

US Airways Flight 1549, A Metaphor for 2009

A Metaphor for 2009: Hit in both engines by a bunch of heavy, big flying objects minutes after take off, attempts to restart engines result in an emergency landing, cool headed pilot & co-pilot make safe landing in an unusual runway, ferries come quickly to rescue, all humans on board come out alive including the baby & the elderly, and then plane and luggage get more than a bit soggy or lost.
Here we are, at the end of 2009, shaken to the bone, wet, shivering, and standing on the wing of the plane waiting to get climb up on to the ferry and get to where it is warm.

Cities, 2009

Here is the yearly meme list of cities I visited in 2009:
A wide variety of cities in the greater LA metro area, including:
Los Angeles, Santa Monica, The Valley, various places in OC and the SVG.
San Diego, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Bishop, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Parker, AZ
Quartzsite, AZ
Austin, TX
Honolulu, HI
San Francsco, CA (and surrounds, the Silicon Valley, Marin, and Peninsula surrounds)
Aalen & Oberkochen, Germany
Stuttgart, Germany
London, UK
Oxford, UK
Ojai, CA
Brighton, UK
Seattle, WA
2008, 2007, and 2006.

Time to Change Our Approach to Airport Security

Bruce Schneier asks Is aviation security mostly for show? on
Yes, yes it is. My experience traveling the last eight years is that airport security measures to go beyond the border of ridiculous and over into the 2000’s version of Theatre of the Absurd.
Once I smiled at a TSA agent and asked to anyone who didn’t listen, “Doesn’t this evoke a sense of the Dada Theatre, circa 1922?”
Lucky for me, the only thing required of me was to put my shoes in the bin and the bin on the conveyor belt. I felt that I should be chanting nonsense syllables as I walked through metal detector.
Now, I don’t ask culturally relevant art historical rhetorical questions, I just put my shoes in the bin, the bin on the belt, and smile a nice big smile as I go through the metal detector.
Cathal Kelly writes in The Star about the huge difference between Israeli and US airport security in The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother:

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.
“But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America,” Sela said.
“First, it’s fast — there’s almost no line. That’s because they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you,” said Sela. “Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.”
That’s the process — six layers, four hard, two soft. The goal at Ben-Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in a maximum of 25 minutes.

25 minutes from parking lot to airport lounge at Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv! Now that is how to do it.
TSA, pull your head out of your ass. Time for intelligent prevention and not the mindless, droid-like bureaucratic theatre of the absurd of the last eight years.

The Last Monday of 2009

Extra high tide this morning Breach in the Seal Beach winter berm brings the high tide and sand to Seal Way 2 Hours after High Tide and it is still very high Flooding - Knee High to a Grown Man Claudia Callis waves Midafternoon meet up with Alex & Diego Hernandez Jackie and Baby Diego - who is 3 months old as of yesterday Beautiful Sky near Sunset Sun is setting Amazing sunset draws folks to watch Sun dips behind the clouds Sun goes down, as Tractor reinforces the sand berm at the Seal Beach Pier

Photos taken by ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.

Mon 12.28.09 – The last Monday of 2009 was an eventful day in Seal Beach, as the early morning high tide was really high and flooded the south end of Seal Beach as well as Seal Way near the pier. My morning walk route with the dogs was a bit interrupted by the water, but the wonder of it all was amazing. Most of the home owners were in good spirits as the water did not come up to their doors, but only to the first step or so.