Archive for January, 2014

During an unfortunate layover in JFK airport (which is, in my experience, the most worthless airport in North America I have yet had the displeasure of transiting), wherein I had to exit security and re-enter in order to change terminals from domestic to an international flight, and had my second TSA handjob of the day, the TSA asshole in charge of staring you down while you wait for your opt-out molestation decided it would be fun to ask me questions about why I didn’t want to go into the cancer scanner.

“Do you know about these new machines?” he asked.

“I don’t care,” I replied. He didn’t like that.

“That’s not what I asked you,” he started in. Oh, so we’re going to play this game.

So I stared back at him, letting the uncomfortable silence and subtle form of my disrespect soak into him.

“I know I don’t have to go into them if I don’t want to,” I answered. He didn’t like that at all.

But he wasn’t the one doing the inspection, so he couldn’t retaliate. Yet. I had about 90 minutes to wait until the boarding call for the flight, so I went looking around for some source of calories that was remotely edible, at midnight, in a frozen-over airport. Not much. McDonalds would have to do.

So I am standing in line, and I notice that there are a few TSA agents sitting at the tables taking a break. TSAsshole must have been one of them because he showed up. But instead of joining his friends, he just came up and stood next to me in line, not looking for food, but just standing there, within the creepy boundary of my personal space limit. And then when he was certain I had noticed, he went to join his friends.

Then, while I was eating, he came up behind where I was sitting and just stood there, facing me, for about 60 seconds. Not doing anything but standing there looking at the back of my head. No checking a phone, no looking around at anyone else, just Helter Skelter bury-bodies-in-the-basement style creepiness. I didn’t turn to look at him, because I didn’t want to validate his weird behavior, but I could see the reflection of the whole horror film scene in the windows.

Nice that we’re paying this fucker to “keep us safe” from “those who wish to terrorize” us.

At least he’s not driving your kids to and from school. But he’s probably wanting to diddle them anyways. And you let him, when you fly.

Since many Argentines have been trying to find good deals on consumer goods over the internet, the Kirchner regime has decided that this thrifty bargain-hunting must stop, and everyone must buy locally overpriced stuff instead. Stuff that Our Dear Leader Cristina has declared are unavailable anyways.

Cristina, who uses an iPhone, which she declared illegal. For everyone else, that is.

In order to enforce these measures, the buyers of international online goods must file papers with AFIP before they can receive their goods.

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My 2014 prediction is that there will be many rich smugglers moving goods to Argentina.

I’ve been stranded in Atlanta on my way to Vegas for a trade show. Because of a malfunctioning airplane doorbell.

While the plane was boarding, the pilot announced that a mechanic would have to come on board in order to fill out some paperwork. The doorbell to the cockpit was not operating.

“We cannot take off until the paperwork is filled out. Don’t worry, they don’t need to fix the doorbell, they just need to fill out the paperwork reporting that it does not work. Then we can take off.”

Why they cannot take off without a doorbell is beyond my understanding. Why the mechanic simply cannot fill out the report on the ground while the plane takes off, is beyond my understanding. This reminds me of a story…

Back in the space race, NASA spent millions of dollars developing a pen that would write in zero-gravity. Prototype after prototype were trashed until finally they figured it out. They even sold them to civilians– you could buy an official NASA Space Pen for $100. Across the pond, the Russians saved their time and money (and launch weight) by simply using pencils.

Anyways, the plane was stuck at the gate for another 40 minutes, until the mechanic showed up, and filled out the paperwork, and left.

When I arrived in Atlanta, I rocketed through the airport in record time, on a kid’s Razor kick scooter, to my connecting gate. I could see my connecting plane at the gate, still connected to the gate walk, but the doors had been shut and they were not letting any of us angry passengers board it.

Yesterday I had two Cortisone shots in my left foot to basically duct-tape an injury long enough to last through the Vegas tradeshow. Gimping through long airport corridors and tradeshow lanes did not appeal to me, so I went to Target and bought a folding scooter. Why I didn’t get one of these long ago, like all things today, is beyond my understanding…

TSA had no problem with it, strangely enough, and I can fly down the halls faster than I could run even if my foot was functional. It takes up very little space and only weighs a few pounds. And every other person I pass, I hear say, “Now that’s a great idea!”

So perhaps I shall build an adult sized one that can carry luggage or strap to your carryon or vice versa, and see how they sell…

But I digress!

So… why, when the airline is not required to repair this frigging doorbell for takeoff, do they need to sit and wait for clearance? Why can’t the airline fill out the paperwork en-route? Why kill production and revenue with asinine regulations? Oh yeah, the government doesn’t give a shit, just do what we say and shut up. We don’t care if we’re killing the economy. Comply, citizen.

And, like the Russian Space Pencils, why can’t they just knock on the door if they need the pilot’s attention? Or call them on the intercom?

You have a superfluous device, which is probably never used (why would you, if you had an intercom?), saddled by a superfluous regulation, mandating superfluous paperwork (why file a repair request for something that does not need to be repaired?) all putting dozens of people out and costing airlines to reseat them and feed them with restaurant vouchers.