Adjusting my risk level: a serious entry

2004-07-20 - 12:07 p.m.

we interrupt our usually fluffy and entertaining entries for a serious topic. Don't worry though, TAR5 is on tonight and I promise to bring you more useless fluff later!

So my husband is a huge blog reader. But unlike my infertility/mommy/knitting reads, he's into serious stuff, mostely related to politics, namely the situation in the middle east and american politics (we're Canadians, but are fascinated with what happens south of the border). He often tries to get me interested in stuff he reads, but I ususally stay well clear of his recommendations because it leads to arguments. I'm a staunch liberal who thinks Bush stole the election and is out to repell women's rights, he thinks Bush did the right thing with the war, so we agree to disagree.

But last week, he told me about a story he had read that made him stop dead in his tracks. At first, I was sceptical, but eventually, I read Terror in The Skies for myself. And frankly, I was scared shitless.

While I will agree with some of the sceptics that as a professional writer and journalist, the extreme amount of details in her story are a bit much and probably are mental-filling-ins, I totally believe her account and agree with her that this was a dry run of some sort.

I believe her so much, that after reading the story, my husband and I had a serious conversation and agreed that if we ever noticed something like this, we would get off the plane immediately if we were still on the ground (in her story, she points out that she noticed some of the behaviour before the plane took off). We are parents now and there is no more kidding around as far as responsibilities go.

Since reading the story last Friday, I have been searching the net for more. Either other passenger's accounts, people's opinions on the piece, etc. LAst night, they were on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, which I do not get in Canada, but I read the transcript. While it doesn't give any more information, I am still convinced that this is true. I wish someone could tell me what band this supposedly was, what instruments they played, what gig it was. Surely some low level producer at any tv news show should be able to come up with this info.

I'm mentioned before that before I quit the rat race and opened the store, I used to write and edit technical documentation in the airline industry, at a fairly high international level. I actually worked on the documentation relating to the transport of dangerous goods. While this was in pre-9/11 days and my documents were related to general cargo transport of chemicals, I sat in on many meetings regarding safety and security. We used to worry about flight manifests being available, ie if someone knew there was a shipment of fertilizer or nitrogen on a plane, and they could somehow get a spark going in the cargo hold.

But now, I'm more worried about a few guys bringing on innocuous stuff on the actual plane: a cell phone, a battery, a bottle of liquid explosives (really, how hard is it to resceal a bottle or 7-up to make it look like it wasn't opened?) and then building the bomb on the plane. I think Annie Jacobsen got it right when she asks: if they could learn to fly planes directly into buildings, who hard would it be to learn an instrument? Seriously. Are they gonna be asked at security: could you please play a sonata on your tuba? OF course not!

OK, that's enough speculating for now. I'm sorry this is so far of the regular mark as far as my entries go, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about this since I read her article. Maybe it's motherhood. I've never been scared of traveling, even post 9/11, but that story has caused me to pause and reflect on the risk ratio I am now comfortable with as a parent.

Anything to add? 4

that's one ball, not two

2004-07-18 - 11:06 p.m.

my husband always uses funny words or sentences to describe things, especially when he talks to the baby. Case in point: Dumpling has a finger puppet mit that covers your whole hand and offers 5 circus-themed puppets: a lion, an elephant, an orange-haired clown, I forget #4 and finally, a monkey with a pointy hat and a blue ponpon on the tip.

While playing with my daughter the other day, my husband referred to two of the fingers as : the lion with the fershteenee on his head (fershteenee being my husband's favorite word to describe a thing he has no name for) and he named the monkey with the pointy hat and blue ponpon: Mr. Blue Ball.

Yes, that 's right. He was sitting on the bed going "And the lion with the fershteenee said good morning Mr. Blue Ball..." And it was Mr. Blue Ball this and Mr. Blue Ball that... I couldn't stop laughing. All he could say was "well, I said ball, not balls!"

So if you are a horny man or woman who got here searching for something else, that would be ball singular, not plural!

Anything to add? 1

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