Protecting our Nation's Airspace from the International Girl Scout Threat:
I usually make an effort to be cooperative when someone shows up on my doorstep wearing a
So, once again, I bought a few boxes of Girlscout cookies. In real life, I have definite
anti-sugar leanings, but I'm not so anti-sugar that it'll stop me from feeding Girlscout cookies
to other people. (How's that for a double-standard?)
But, if that doesn't seem irrational enough already, I tend to buy the kinds that I would
eat, if I weren't avoiding sugar: in this case, Do-si-dos and Thin Mints. With luck I'll find some way to
locate a few suitable vict...er...volunteers willing to be subjected to a series of
What makes it more of a challenge is that I'm about to head off to California, and Do-si-dos and
Thin Mints contain peanut butter and chocolate, both substances that are considered a threat
to our national security and current guidelines for air travel instruct you not to
put these substances in your luggage:
Travelers are instructed to forgo packing dense foods (such as cheese, chocolate and peanut butter)
in checked bags. Bomb screening machines may mistakenly flag them as explosives.
So, okay, the cookies have to stay home. (Sorry, guys, I guess it's into the freezer for you.)
As long as I'm working on packing, I figured I'd better check out the rest of the current airline
carry-on luggage restrictions:
- Box Cutters
- Meat Cleavers
- Spear Guns
- Cattle Prods
- Throwing Stars
- Hand Grenades
- Strike-Anywhere Matches
- Tear Gas
- Power Drills
- Pool Cues
- Transformer Toys
- Knitting Needles
(source: US Department of Transportation)
At least that takes care of one dilemma: no matter how I re-arranged its contents,
I could fit either my camera or a meat cleaver into my
carry-on bag, but not both. It looks like the Department of Transportation has made up my mind
for me. The meat cleaver stays home with the girl scout cookies this time.
The worry here, though, is that without so much as a meat cleaver--to say nothing about
going travelling without any hand grenades and cattle prods--I'll have no effective defense,
should my flight be targeted by the Ladies' Knitting Circle and Terrorist Auxiliary, especially
if they've joined forces with a band of corkscrew-wielding Ninja waiters.
That's it. I'm going to stop by the Wal-Mart on the way to the airport to get the fiercest-looking
transformer toy I can find, just for my own protection. Either that, or a small surface-to-air
missile. Those aren't mentioned on either the "permitted" or "not permitted" lists, so it'd probably
be okay...as long as it fits securely under the seat in front of me.
|the Ladies' Knitting Circle and Terrorist Auxiliary, especially
if they've joined forces with a band of corkscrew-wielding Ninja waiters|
I wonder if the Department of Transportation people are going about this all wrong. While the
passenger screening will keep the casual airplane rider from carrying weapons onto the plane,
I have no doubt that a sufficiently clever terrorist could smuggle a few small knives, guns, or even
pool cues past the checkpoints. Sure, they might walk a little funny while they're doing it, but that's not
itself a crime in any state except for Georgia and West Virginia.
On the other hand, if the DoT required all airline passengers to be armed, they
could take advantage of the fact that on nearly all domestic flights, upstanding citizens outnumber
terrorists by at least three-to-one. If everybody was armed, and a fight for control of the aircraft
broke out, the terrorists wouldn't stand a chance.
Plus, as an added bonus, I think people would be more considerate when it comes to sharing the armrests.
Wednesday, February 5th
Another day, another collection of bruises. And that's despite being overly cautious these
days, not wanting to repeat last year's ill-timed accident where I'd broken my foot less than
a week before filming was scheduled to begin on the first of three different film projects.
But I really shouldn't complain. I've had the good luck of getting to work with Sam Del Rio,
who is absolutely one of the best people in the world to work with--and in this particular
case he's the one getting thrown at a car; I'm just doing the throwing. So, no matter what
bruises I'd collected during the process, Sam's either gotten worse ones, or he can add
another miracle to his credit. (Sam, you see, is not affected by gravity the way the rest of
us are, so a few bruise-defying miracles would be small potatoes by comparison.)
Hanging around here today, it's being a busy time for the fax machine: besides the usual stuff, the staff of the
American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) has been dedicated to getting out one or two updates,
reminders, and/or announcements on a typical day, and then there are the letters of intent related to the
productions of "Shadows: the Path of Deception" and "Guild of Assassins" (working title; that one might
end up coming out under another name, still to be determined).
In the meantime, I've been plugging away making DVDs for the upcoming American Film Market
(AFM 2003). With only two weeks to go before the start of the market, I want to get everything that
hasn't been released yet on DVD converted over, which will greatly simplify the presentation of
the films in question.
Being the lazy type, I'm setting up "viewing stations" with DVD changers,
flat-panel displays, and infrared wireless headphones (RF headphones would spill over between
the different stations). This way the buyers can select a movie with a touch of a button and, once
they've queued one up, DVDs are a lot more convenient to navigate than videotape.
But, at least for now, I'm setting up the chapters based on stuff like "plot" and "major scenes" instead
of going through and highlighting all the best stunts. Maybe that'll make it onto the "special edition"
version, along with a whole "stunt performer's commentary" track: "ow! uugh. 'that was cool!' Ouch!"