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Newark Airport Security Breach

I think this story is funny – and sad – in many ways.
So somebody simply walks up the ‘exit only’ lane next to security at the airports and nobody stops him. Security see it in a video clip and goes nuts. Airport is shut down for hours.

So, the media is all over this story and how it happened – and whats needs to be done to prevent it in the future.
How it happened is simple – the person simply walked up the ‘exit only’ side of security. Somebody was (apparently) supposed to be watching the ‘exit only’ lane but they weren’t.
Apparently now that ‘bad people’ know that can be done its a huge security concern.

How do they fix it in the future?
This is where it gets comical in my opinion.
-The politicians and media will go nuts over the security guards in question that need to manually sit and observe the exit lanes. The “Lets hire even more people to sit and look at people walking by” – while never actually eliminating the possibility that it will occur again (Any individual can drop the ball eventually so to speak).

-Or, how about the implement a solution that has used since long before I was born:

Problem solved!
No person can ever be counted upon to be 100% effective; we’ll all fail at some point. That’s why error-proofed solution almost always remove the human element. If the airports installed these types of gates on the ‘exit lane’ it would be impossible for this type of an event to occur in the future – and it won’t cost the taxpayer far less in the long run than hiring additional people.

Seems like a no-brainer to me!

Toilet Adventure

Sunday – 9:30PM.
Angie notices the toilet has water around the bottom of it. Tells me.
I clean it up, go to basement and discover more water. I cut off the water supply and determine that every time we flush water leaks.
Root cause: Assumed that the wax seal is compromised, toilet is off limits until it’s fixed.

Monday – 6:30am.
We’ve been thinking about replacing that evil toilet (It’s evil, I have other stories) for over a year. We have to take the toilet completely off anyhow… why not replace it?
Decision made, we’re getting a new toilet tonight

Monday – 4:50pm
Toilet purchased. Hopes are high

Monday – 6pm
Old toilet is removed, bolt holding old toilet in place snaps off when I used my HAND to unscrew the nut. This is going to be a cake walk.

Monday – 6:30pm
Water supply line from the wall is dead center with the toilet’s hole. The new toilet hits the value coming out of the wall. I turn off the water to the house and remove the valve, toilet fits with 1in to spare. I need an elbow to turn the pipe 90 degress immediately out of the wall from the store.

Monday – 6:45 – first trip to the store.
Monday – 7:00 – Second trip
Monday – 8:00pm – after the third trip to the store I finally have the parts required. Water to the house is finally back on. Toilet install is going forward.

Monday – 8:30pm – Toilet (minus seat) is installed (That was cake to do). Turn on the water. No leaks we’re looking good.

Monday – 8:45pm – First flush. water leaks from the base again. The wax seal is not working. turning the water to the toliet off and calling it a day. Will attempt a fix tomorrow…

Car shopping – Round 2

I never wrote about Round 1, but to sum it up in a single sentence: “it ended when it was discovered that the vehicle in question had a salvaged title”.

Anyhow – Here’s the story about ‘serious attempt #2’.

Angie found a great looking vehicle in North Milwaukee. She took care of everything and even talked the guy down a substantial amount over the phone. If we liked it we’d hand you a check and we’d be gone. Quick and simple.

So as soon as I get out of work we head for Milwaukee, about an hour and a half’s drive. We finally get to the dealership about and immediately get lost in the apparent sea of disorganization of partner dealership and incredibly stupid layouts of cars and roads.
After 2 wrong buildings we finally find the one where our potential vehicle is sitting out in front of, and here’s the first lesson of the day:

Auto Salesman Tip #1: When you want to sell a car its a good idea to actually wash the thing first.

The car was dirty, not too bad – but it hadn’t been washed in a while. Anyhow, we go for a test drive without the salesman. It sounded fine and ran great. We pulled onto a side road to get a better look at the thing without the salesman watching our every move.

Auto Salesman Tip #2: When you want to sell a car its a good idea to clean the inside thoroughly.

We found all sorts of crud under the seats, in the nooks and crannies. Pieces of candy, sticky gunk… It was gross. Not to mention the large stains on some of the fabric. So the inside wasn’t in great shape, lets keep looking-

Auto Salesman Tip #3: When you want to sell a car its a good idea wax it.

The body was littered with very small scratches and dings. 90% of them would disappear with a fresh wax job, but it allows us, as the potential buyer, to see it without any attempt at hiding it.  Anyhow, in addition to the small scratches the paint was chipped off the mirrors on both sides of the car and the passenger side mirror was noticeably damaged and needed to be replaced.  It also had a lot of small pot marks, caused by tailgating a dump truck on a gravel road I think, that were beginning to turn a dark brown/red color…. Not cool.

The end result was that this car was for sale and being offered to us – but the dealer ship hadn’t even clean the car for a sale. Did the salesman actually look at the thing? It told us a little bit about the dealership that made it all feel uneasy. And it made sure we wouldn’t buy the car.

So empty handed we drove back to Appleton, arriving in our drive way at about 10:30pm…

I think we’ll stick to local dealerships now.

Merry Christmas!

Well, for christmas I recieved an iPod touch – and this blog post is being written on it! This little gozmo if far more than a simple mp3 player. I can control my pc’s music from anywhere with a wireless network connection and a ton of other things, like live weather forcasts and videos from the Internet. Anyhow – Merry Christmas everyone!

Another holiday, another headache

Today is Memorial Day – and thanks you to all the veterans that we hold in our memories today.

But onto the main topic… Holidays and my parents.
For the last 2 weeks or so my wife’s family has been making plans for the holiday as they normally do. Renting/reserving out a park pavilion, figuring out who is bringing what, etc – all sort of planning with over a weeks notice.

Yesterday (Sunday) we had plans to go out in the boat with my parents. Never mind that we would have had to skip church to do that. Anyhow the weather was bad so nothing happened. My wife and I had a great day relaxing around the house and just being able to sit down finally with everything else going on.

Fast forward to this morning-
I get a phone call from my mom at 11:03am. Seems we’re having a family get together at my parents house at 3pm. They want us to come. Spectacular notice isn’t it?

I tell my mom we’re going to be going to my wife’s family’s event which is at the same time.
I get an earful about how her family takes precedence and my mom is notably displeased.
Anyhow I pretty much get hung-up on.

How in the world does this work?

Her family has been preparing/planning and notifying for 2 weeks. They’ve reserved a park. We’ve even already made food to bring to the party.
My parents call and give us 4 hours notice – then try to make me feel bad by telling me that “her family takes precedence”, and to top it off, tell me that we haven’t seen X-Y-Z family members since Christmas.
My parents seem to believe that we have nothing else to do in our lives and that they can call us up and tell us to be anywhere they want in a few hours, or on whatever night of the week.

My wife and I have a life – and schedules and lives.
I’m sorry – but when somebody else has been planning a holiday event for 2 weeks a phone call the day of (and a few hours before an event) is not going to trump the planned event.

…Anyhow, now I’m all worked up and angry. Need to go relax.