August 14th, 2006

Did not go to Spokane

But I. came out to visit Saturday afternoon - Monday early morning, so that worked out well. We went to the Science Center on Saturday (bubbles!); we got further into the toddler play space this time. We risked a drive and went to Remlinger Farm in Carnation. This was a moderate success. Food was really hard for me (I got to eat the third thing I tried to order), so when we go again, I'll definitely bring a lunch with the intention of eating it, rather than bringing back up emergency food. The rides are definitely intended for kids 2 and up. Teddy can do a few, but honestly, he's really still too young for rides. He'd rather run on paths, chew on rocks and pick at drains and so forth.

Today, Teddy and I went to the zoo. I was aiming for the petting zoo, since he enjoyed the petting zoo at Remlinger. However, we did not make it there; we spent an hour in Zoomazium and then a half hour or so wandering the paths in the jaguar rainforest. He finally (finally!) climbed the rock pile (the small one) in Zoomazium. Again and again and again. He still won't go through the log tunnel (altho he went through two tunnels in the hay maze at Remlinger, quite cheerfully). He mostly tolerated the egg, but was more interested in other kids playing with it.

The jaguar rainforest paths have a lot of shade, so that's a winner. Parking by the west entrance is definitely the good choice. I let him get too tired, tho, and he flipped out on the ride home and never settled enough for second nap. On the good side, he went to bed early. On the down side, he went to bed early so I'd better go sleep now, too.

TSA is slowly beginning to pull its collective head out of wherever it shoved it (probably someone else's ass, since they can't seem to find their own). Liquid meds (<4 ozs) and "baby food" are now allowed. And contact lens solution, which is funny, because that's the bottle used to blow up the guy on the Philippines flight. Whatever. Hopefully they'll eventually see fit to let us have our water bottles back, where eventually is defined as before September 9.

I think whoever put that policy together had this idea that no one carried expensive liquid/gel/etc. items (never shopped at duty free? never gets presents? does not practice personal grooming?), everyone who required corrective lenses had glasses even if they usually wore contact lenses, and very few people depended upon liquid medication/food/etc. That would suggest a fairly dimwitted, antisocial, nonparent (or really clueless, uninvolved parent), no sense of style and doesn't make/have much money, and has no capacity to imagine what life is like for anyone who isn't a lot like themselves. Hmmmm. I could believe those are the people working at TSA (aka the dimmer end of political appointees). After all, the policy as initially promulgated made flying essentially impossible for anyone with diabetes (couldn't bring sugar gels), only wears contact lenses (no contact lens solution), has an infant or toddler who requires medications of any sort (they are all liquid for that age range), or is sickly/elderly (requires adult formula equivalents because can't digest regular food). It made flying awfully bad for anyone who requires lotion (like, a baby with diaper rash, or anyone dealing with skin problems and so forth). And it was a very expensive trip through security for anyone carrying expensive perfume, cologne, cosmetics, etc. A lot of the summary quotes were about "$10 worth of sunscreen" and saying how foolish people were to put that up against Our Safety. Bullshit. This isn't about safety (that guy was blown up 10 years ago; the terrorists in question hadn't even bought tickets yet, and some of them didn't even have passports); it's a particularly ridiculous reaction to a potential threat being exploited for cheap political thrills. I'm not sure if there are any actual tools out there, or just journalists whoring for media conglomerates in bed with our fear-mongering leaders. Probably a little of both.

Having spent a couple of days thinking about this whole thing, however, I have concluded that since TSA is not protecting us, we should take matters into our own hands. TSA seems to believe the threat will be walking through security. Doubtful. No reason they can't walk in on the tarmac, or through the maze behind stage, access the planes (masquerading as maintenance or cleaning crew) and do who knows what. So here's the deal. The next time you are on a plane, as you are settling in to your seat, take a moment to collect all the trash and so forth from under your seat, under the seat in front of you, in the pocket in front of you, wedged into your seat cushion (aka flotation device), in the luggage bin up top. Make sure that trash makes it to a flight attendant, and if it's anything other than innocent looking fluff (wrappers from an energy bar or whatever they're supplying in the way of "food" during flights these days, maybe a drink straw or something), maybe you can get them to unload it onto the jetway so it doesn't take the flight with you. (Especially if it's a live snake. ;-) Guaranteed to reduce clutter, litter, etc., and if someone has done something naughty, an increased chance that it'll be caught before anyone gets hurt.

I got a jury duty summons for Sept 20. We're moving on the 9th, but can you even imagine me trying to do jury duty and keep breastfeeding? WA state doesn't have an explicit exemption, but I hope they make an exception for mothers who request it. I'm assuming it doesn't matter, since we won't live here on the date of the summons, but I sent a request for exception. They let you do that via e-mail, and if you don't get a response, you can assume you got the exception. Which makes me nervous, so I figure I'll check in 10 working days to make sure all is well.