wrench rant

returning from a road trip to LA, i had some time to kill, so i stopped into a hardware store for some inspiration on a design problem (doesn’t everyone?)…lightning didn’t strike but i found a set of small (1/4, 3/16 & 3/8") wrenches which i couldn’t resist…paid $15 to the clerk and dropped the tiny jewels into my laptop case…hopped into my rented ragtop (it was a beautiful sunny day) and headed for the airport… when i got to the obligatory security screening the que was long and growing fast…‘no worries’ i thought, i got an hour before my flight will be called…45 minutes later i was nose to nose with a tsa inspector who hissed “i need to inspect your laptop bag, step over here please”…“knock yourself out” i replied as i struggled a bit to step back into my shoes…she then reached into my kit …pulled out the itty-bitty wrench set…gave me the once over and growled, “these are not allowed”…a quick check of my left hemisphere and the logic of this statement just didn’t compute and as i was about to unleash a snappy right hemisphere reply i reminded myself that this is the tsa i am dealing with here (humorless and incontrol of my very existance)…so i hit reset and croaked, “wrenches?”…“the rule is no tools”, came the automated reply…a quick glance at my wrist told me; i had no time to leave security to check my bag even if i was inclined (which i was not) to surrender a $3000 laptop, plus uncalculated $ in software and files to the baggage check gorillas and suffer her processing once again…“keep 'em and torques for your vigilance” i said softly as i waved a fare thee well to my ‘lethal implements’ and tripped off to my departure gate…it is sad when humanoids cease to use what separates them from the other beasts for a minimum wage…thanks for listening to my rant.

get lost freak.

been there. a couple of years ago i was flying around on interviews. One of the items i was carrying was a wooden dowel with 7 or 8 watches i had designed. On one of my whirlwind trips i had been through 8 airports in three days. Boarding for my last flight (through security mind you, 2 feet from the gate door) I was selected for an extra screening. Three TSA butnuts consulted over why I would need so many watches. They decided I only needed two watches. I explained to them that I am a designer, interviewing, and that I had allready been through half a dozen airports. More consulting. This time I could take the watches but had to leave the dowel, which could be a weapon at about 14 inches long. To demonstrate the apparent lead Agent slamed the dowel against the table at which point it separates into two (it was actually two dowels that had been pegged together with a smaller press fit dowel, that I didn’t have time to glue up). The 14incher was no good, but two 7" dowels where fine apparently. I ran back to the gate just before they closed the door.

i was sharing my rant with an associate yesterday and on one of her trips she had purchased a 16oz plumb-bob (which looks like the business end of an armor piercing rpg round)…when she told the tsa guy what it was, he was clueless so he called his supervisor over and she took a quick look and said, “oh, nice plumb-bob” and let my associate pass with her one pound projectile…i guess a 5" wrench is a tool, but a plumb-bob is an instrument.