Category Archives: Occasional Travel

KC and the Granade Clan

This past week has been c-r-a-z-y! We went to Kansas City to visit Andrew and Joy and we had a great time! Eli and Sam played nonstop from the moment they woke in the mornings until we carted their tired butts to bed. I hatched evil plans to send Eli to Kansas City by himself in another couple of years — I’m sure Andrew and Joy won’t mind.

We got to see and play with the newest Granade. He’s a cutie and already quite the talker.

We also visited the T-Rex Café. We were all a bit overwhelmed by the noise and the sites but Liza learned to roar like a dinosaur while we ate dinner. We took turns taking the boys around the restaurant to see the fish and different mechanized animals.

I wanted a picture of everyone but we got separated and then it started to rain so we headed for home.

On Saturday morning we went to Kindermusik class. All the kids, even the big ones, got into it.

We played games.

We jingled.

The class was a lot of fun and reminded me that I wished our Kindermusik here in Huntsville were better.

While I was packing our suitcases, Liza decided a diaper from the stack would make a great hat.

We had so much fun and we were sad to go but we had to get back home for soccer practice and the first day of school.

Flying Without an ID

Since I just got through flying a bunch, here’s a funny story that lightened my mood. It turns out the TSA has been creating a database of some who have flown without an ID and “adding them to a database of people who violated security laws or were questioned for suspicious behavior”.

You actually can fly without an ID, thanks to Gilmore v. Gonzales. This is a boon to those whose wallets are stolen while they’re traveling, and supports the ability to travel anonymously without being tracked. But according to the USA Today article, TSA chief Kip Hawley confirmed the database, then later told the paper that they were changing their policy and would no longer be keeping records of ID-less people if the TSA screener can determine their identity.

The TSA blog dances happily around the issue. They don’t deny the story, but they are happy to invoke the image of 9/11.

This USA Today story perpetuates exactly the type of misperceptions that damage the credibility of a system designed to protect the traveling public in a post 9/11 world.

Funny thing: their system as it stands has a big gaping hole in it. As any number of people have pointed out, their system of ID checking is an open triangle.

When you buy a ticket and it’s issued to you, your ID is checked against the no-fly list. When you go through security, your ID is checked against the printed ticket. But your ID and printed ticket aren’t checked against the actual records of who’s supposed to be on the flight. And since the airlines and security accept tickets printed out at home, you can create your own fake boarding pass.

Let’s say I’m Phil the Terrorist, and I’m on the no-fly list. The government’s watching me. How can I ever get on a plane again?

I get an accomplice who’s clean to buy a ticket. Then I create a fake boarding pass that matches my actual Phil the Terrorist ID. I go through security with my fake boarding pass, and then swap that for the real ticket my accomplice bought.

So, yeah, tell me again how you’re protecting me in this post-9/11 world while you’re leaving open a security hole that’s been identified for at least three years.