Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Airport Security

The infamous 9/11 attacks had horrid results; loss of lives, devastation to the airline industry, and shaking our sense of national comfort. But about the only tangible trickle-down effect on me (other than having to work harder for photos) occurs in the security check at airports.

Here was the procedure I went through on my recent trip to Tampa. (Not that I'm unique...I'm just trying to make a point.) I've got a couple of dozen folks behind me when I reach the conveyor belt. I take off my shoes and put them in a bucket. I take off my belt, keys, key-clip, and phone and put them in a tray. I remove my laptop from my carry-on suitcase and put it in a tray. I also remove the toiletries (all under 3 oz. per the law) which are in a 1 quart baggie and place them in a tray. I put the suitcase on the conveyor. I put my camera bag on the conveyor.

Sound simple? It ain't, because the early trays get ahead of you and start to mix with the stuff of the people just ahead of you. It is impossible to do so many acts smoothly, and yet you're trying to hurry because of the folks behind you. Getting flustered is easy. The TSA personnel are nice enough, usually, but they seem to expect everyone to be an old pro at the routine, and some people don't fly enough to have the routine down pat.

And this is if all goes well. What if there is something suspicious in your bag? Or your back? I've had the metal rods in my back set off the metal detector. On my first trip after 9/11, the titanium knee brace I wear set it off. I had to step behind a screen and drop my drawers to prove I wasn't a first sergeant in the Taliban. There I shoes, no slacks, no belt, no dignity anymore...being checked out by a Middle Eastern TSA agent. Wow.

I believe the solution lies with the dogs of America. I would much rather be sniffed in dark places by a smiling bloodhound that is trained to detect dangerous contraband. That pooch should be able to ascertain my political leanings in 10 seconds, given the nature of their nostrils.

I'm serious. Let's start the movement!


Heather said...

Guess what Tim, I made the plunge and ordered my Canon Rebel EOS 8.1 DSLR camera. Should arrive on Monday. I also picked up the Canon EOS for dummies book at half price books today. We'll see how it does on our trip to CO, next week.

Tim Perkins said...

Fantastic! Wanna trade?

Feel free to email me at if any questions pop up.

Heather said...

cool, thanks Tim. I'll probably need your help from time to time. I'm use to this old Sony Cybershot 3 mpixel point and shoot.

Brooke said...

I would rather have a dog check me out but there are people that are terrified of dogs. Those people may never travel again if they knew they had to go through dogs.

Lynn said...

Saw on Brooks blog that it is your and Carols Anniversary! Happy Anniversary! 35 years is a great reason to celebrate. Hope ya'll were able to do it in a special way. Thanks for your prayers for my workshop, it went well today and hopefully will be God blessed tomorrow as well. Blessings!