Good News Travel Comrades: We’re (Almost) Free to Fly Unmolested

My first post of 2013, and it is on the perfect subject.

As Nysee mentioned a few posts back: this is the time to get back on track, or continue with our goals. Travel is a big part of that! I feel deprived not being able to leave for domestic and international destinations because of all the idiocy at the airports.

Although I still want the TSA a.k.a. “Those Stupid A$$h@!#s” and HS a.k.a. “Homeland (In)security” to be disbanded and eliminated sometime in the immediate future, this bit of *Rape-i-scan news will have to do. For now. The fight to bring society back to an unbowed and non-sheep-like existence, along with the eradication of this police state atmosphere, or totalitarian regime, is a lifetime affair.

And, no, I don’t believe I’m exaggerating. There’s a real limit as to how many stupefying hassles, inconveniences and degradations I’m required to endure just to get on a damn airplane. None of that security theater nonsense ever had, or ever will, make me feel “safe” and “secure”. We got the message years ago: if someone acts up on a plane, everybody will beat him into submission and duct tape his ass to a seat.

Finally, The Good News

According to the BBC:

“The US aviation security agency will stop screening travellers with scanners that show travellers’ naked images, amid widespread privacy complaints.”

“Separately to the privacy concerns, some health officials feared the *Rape-i-scan 1000SP scanner, which uses low-level X-rays to generate the image viewed by screeners, might expose passengers to unsafe levels of radiation.”

“The *Rape-i-scan machines will be replaced by scanners that use radio waves to detect suspicious objects hidden underneath clothes. Those display warnings on an avatar rather than show a naked image of the passenger.”

Our Congress made them stop.

Let us not forget that those people in government, every single one of them, work for us: we are not their subjects, servants, slaves or sheep.

And they could give two s#!&s about health risks. These people were worried about liability: the increasing possibility of someone, or a group of people in a class action, winning a massively huge! huge! lawsuit. Regardless of the BS you hear when you buy an airline ticket, that does not entitle this government to try and (slowly) kill you in order to get from point A to point B in the name of “We No Longer Call It The War on Terror”.

You get enough exposure to radiation from flying alone.

On the other hand, this might lead to an increase in the number of TSA stealing from, fondling and sexually abusing vulnerable passengers, since so many criminal-minded authoritarian control freaks and sexual perverts are attracted to the job (especially those at the top of these agencies).

Money always talks.

While I believe complaints from consumers reached the ears of our dimwitted representatives, and lent some weight to the removal of the *Rape-i-scan, I don’t think that’s the whole story. We need to remember that some of the most powerful lobbyists down in Washington, D.C. belong to the airlines.

So, I bet they ran the numbers and realized that a lot of people, like myself, were not FLYING because of those machines and government employee nut jobs. If you multiply that by a few hundred thousand Americans, especially business people who usually pay the full “weight” or fare, and other international flyers, the TSA was – and is – strangling the travel industry.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if they are also single-handedly responsible for the sluggish condition of the global economy. It’s a domino affect. If we aren’t travelling domestically or overseas spending our money – that’s a big loss. That well oiled machine is seizing up.

The government would like to think that the removal of the *Rape-i-scan is a lasting sole solution, or a sufficient move to appease folks, but to me – it’s just the beginning….

Note: *Yes, I deliberately misspelled the name of that despicable product. I apologize for the profanity, but this topic leaves me heated.

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Update: This may be the only recourse. Everyday a passenger should sue the TSA.

Wired.com: Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest

 

 

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Black Women: My Pursuit of Happiness

I love myself. I am relaxed about it. I am mostly cheerful, generous, vain, conceited, selfish, don’t suffer pangs of guilt, and I like women who are this way too. In men, this is a no-no.

I love being a woman. If I could be reincarnated, I wouldn’t hesitate with my choice: same person, same looks, same everything.

I love my family. I love them. I never went around wishing for other folks to be related to.

I love my friends. I love them and their ways. I adore quirky people.

I love to travel. Oh, if I had the money to fly, drive, cruise, sail, and go wherever and whenever I want. If I could travel freely, I would be away from home 6 out of 12 months a year.

I love sunny beaches. Why am I not living in Hawaii, Florida or California? I don’t know. New Jersey has beaches, I suppose that’s good enough.

I love fresh snow, until the next day and the next day and the next day. Cabin fever is getting to me!

I love babies, kittens, puppies and new born things. So adorable….

I love a brand new day. I get another start. I get to start anew. Each day is a gift.

I love to anticipate the good.

I love to think positive.

I love being an optimist.

I love rooting for the underdog.

I love America. I do. No matter where I travel to, I’m overwhelmingly happy to come home. This country is my home. I could easily learn to would love living anywhere else, since I am not an absolutist, but I’m happy here. For now.

Happiness is a deliberate emotion. Happiness is a decision you make each and every day.

I love men. Okay, I love most of them. I don’t blog about the ones I have no interest in. Doesn’t make sense to.

I love self-confident people. I love people who are attractive in spirit and that has nothing to do with perfect features or their external appearance.

I love learning.

I love my curiosity.

I have to remind myself that what I love is much more than what I could possibly hate. I don’t hate that many things, and for those things that I do, it is a very short list. My list of annoyances can be very, very, very long though.

I love life.

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Hair: travel style, observations, and conditioner concoction

Returning to Normalcy (Yawn) and Travel Observations

In September, I was away for nearly three (3) weeks, and honestly, it was a downer to return. I never used to feel that way. I used to be so happy to be back in America it wasn’t funny. This was the first time I realized I could have stayed away indefinitely.

I could leave tomorrow, and not look back.

These feelings are not helped by how spoiled I was by my German friend. Talk about a man looking after you! I was truly taken care of. He’s so wonderful, my sweetheart is. And look-out! German men got some incredible legs on them!

What a delight that trip was; I’m truly sorry it had to end!

Listen up! It is not like the grass was greener in the places I went. I simply liked the way people around me behaved. Black women who travel overseas might know what I mean. I would never assume everywhere would be as satisfying as where I went.

The thought that occurred to me on my travels was: why didn’t I come here sooner?

Travel Hair Style

My bed time hair style. I often switch-up.
Ponytails give me a headache.
Looks like yarn, but it’s all mine.

I had blow dried my hair, my Mom parted it for me, before I put it into two-strand twists. I wore this style for three weeks without washing my hair. Eww, I know. I couldn’t risk a head cold, not on an airplane ride back! I’ve had that experience before, and never wanted to repeat it. I thought it was going to be difficult to deal with, but I’d simply wet ‘n wipe, and re-twist my hair after saturating it with my conditioner concoction (see below).

My Mom continues to ask me how people reacted to my hair. (Picture me with my eyebrows raised.) She knows how I am. If I loved Afros on me, and I don’t because of hair knotting, I would have rocked that style daily. My reaction is usually: I could give a rat’s behind what anyone thought. I don’t care what anyone thinks in America; I certainly did not in Europe. I could not care less, and apparently no one else did either.

She thought it looked good. I guess she wondered if anyone was going to compliment me. I was thankful that they liked to mind their own business. I could eat in any restaurant, and not get the stink-eye. The staff was almost always courteous, polite, and nice. I know I do get that here in the USA. Yet, if folks there are watching you eat, they certainly aren’t as obvious as the morons here.

My Mom once said, “Why are they in my mouth watching me take every bite?” Sigh. We’re not even talking high-end: this is in places like Chili’s.

My Hair Concoctions

I love mixing stuff together now. I still can’t wear straight conditioner in my hair, and why would I want to? But the options I gain from mixing is nice. I feel I get an extra ump out of doing this.

I mix Africa’s Best Herbal Oil (with lots of good stuff) with White Rain Conditioner (Coconut). It not only smells good, but leaves my hair feeling really nice. I also used my pure / raw Shea Butter + Aloe Vera + Vitamin E + Castor Oil + Lavender + Ylang Ylang mixture. Both concoctions put moisture into my hair and doesn’t shrink it significantly.

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In search of …

Gettin’ Outta Here

Oh, I cannot wait until I leave this country!

I look forward to detoxing from the Internet, being around different people (instead of the same ol’ same), and just enjoying myself. I promise myself, when I return I will read very few blogs – like a handful, nothing political, or outside of natural hair content.

I will stick to researching topics that interest me. I always have a number of questions that I require answers to. I don’t feel as though my searching abilities are as good as they should be. Also, I am going to cleaning up my Delicious account by removing a lot of links. I am becoming overwhelmed.

My travel plans are coming together. I am so excited!

Sprucing Up

I might get a pedicure and manicure, before I leave. I usually don’t paint my toes or fingernails. I do keep them filed, neat, and short. They are very soft, and breaks easily, like my hair; my skin is very soft too.

I don’t paint my nails, because I have an aversion to the odor of any (possibly) toxic chemical. I have an acute sense of smell (sometimes). I limit my use of powerful – will knock you unconscious – smelling bathroom cleaners. I try to use milder, innocuous, “natural” products.

Gadgets

I’m tempted to buy a netbook, mini-laptop, PDA, or another cell phone. I am leaving my laptop behind, and make do with what I have. I need to send my Palm Zire away for a new battery. I love that old device. I’ve yet to find anything to replace it.

A new toy?

I still have yet to find a reasonable replacement all-in-one device. Hewlett Packard has the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger. It’s close to what I want, but not exactly. It doesn’t have to be a cell phone. I want a PDA-type device that has: calendar, world clock, very loud alerts, camera, Internet browsing, plays music, word processing, e-book readable (PDF files), read/write SD cards, and GPS. My Zire does all except for GPS, which isn’t necessary for now.

Interesting Sin(s)

My older brother has no love for Las Vegas. This fellow is truly a remarkable, stable, family man. He doesn’t drive fast, curse, gamble, or drink: He goes to church every week and prays. He’s my exact opposite! And that’s why I love him so much.

As for me, each week, I aim for every one of the deadly sins, and feel bad when I miss a couple.

You could not pay me (enough) to go to church. I left that institution at around 11/12 years old. The only times I have been back is for weddings, and the holidays, which mercifully, have been few and far between. I have my reasons for not praying.

I’d go back yearly if I could, to Las Vegas, that is. I don’t think I’ve seen enough to be bored with yet. I like to go, because the place is very, very amusing. It makes me laugh. It’s getting harder to do that now-a-days. I don’t gamble either, although I would like to know how to play poker. I still drink, but I can’t handle it like I used to. (Said with much regret.)

It’s strange, I find Vodka easier to manage than Champagne or wine. I remember at a vineyard a host saying that a lot companies put cheap chemicals in the batches to “fix” a bad crop yield, or speed up the curing process. I believe it. I’ve had experienced enough bad drinks.

Language Tricks

I have no language skills, but I’m wondering if brushing up on a few words wouldn’t hurt. Where’s the bathroom? Are the most important words I need to know.

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On the Horizon: School and Travel Plans for the Fall

Recommended Reading: Goals, Planning, and Execution

I’ve finished one set of classes. This month I have to make some preparations. I’m great at planning; it’s the follow-through that’s harsh.

I’ve finally decided do some moderately serious non-fiction reading. I’ve acquired (via the library) a list of books to read by Barbara Sher. It was recommended by a classmate. Ms. Sher tells you how to follow through on your battle plan(s).

Books by Barbara Sher

I have another class coming up in August. Come September, I will take a break.

Travel Break

I am thinking (deeply, as usual) about visiting Europe in late September. I want to stay for a couple of weeks. I’d visit, but I’ve never stayed with family before. I might this time. Also, I think most of the tourists from the US are gone by then.

I’ve always visited Europe in the summer, which in retrospect is a big mistake. I am a laid back, easy going woman. I really am. I am extremely polite. However, the worst thing is to sit next to a very inquisitive middle-aged American white woman who seems confused as to how, and why, a person, namely me!, could be heading to, or touring, the same European country.

You’d think some of them would know better by now. Oh, well. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice women. It’s just that I am not the kind of person who immediately spills her guts to a complete stranger.

It’s also interesting how white men know how to carry on a conversation without working your last nerve. Frankly, I’d rather sit next to them than anyone else when I travel. In future, and when I remember to, I will write why they are my preference.

I will make my plans, and aim to go when the tourist season starts to ebb, but before flu season starts. Is that even possible?

Travel Research

I never leave for any country without conducting research. My first stop is the CIA web site. I may look at the country via Google Earth. I try to check: crime rates, news of recent rioting, how the people feel about their government, weather, exchange rates, and if there is any kind of (widespread) backlash against African, Arab, and Latin American immigrants, etc.

Although when I was Spain, everyone knew right away I was American before I said a word. Not sure how they knew. I’m still scratching my head over that.

A Bit of Travel Prep

I’ve been walking up to 90 minutes per day, because traveling is exhausting. I will have to increase my weightlifting routine as well. I’m giving myself roughly 12 weeks to get into super-duper-shape; to get ready for the tourist-triathlon.

I still haven’t decided where I may go, so I’ll have to start with the where-to? list first.

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To Pack It All Up and Move Away

I want to run away from this life.

Right now, more than ever, I’ve this intense urge to sell my crap; junk the stuff cluttering up my life.

Let go of my issues. Just leave.

My problem: I love my home.

It’s the first, and only one, I’ve bought. The neighborhood is s’okay; crime is nearly nonexistent. There’s a steep price to pay for living here: New Jersey is one, if not the most expensive state in the country. It also feels like the most depressing, isolating, and socially stagnant places in the world.

It’s weird how much I miss Brooklyn, when I could not wait to leave that place!

My current home is my comfort zone.

This is where I hide from everyone. I don’t believe I should need someplace that makes me reluctant to let go of. I don’t think it’s healthy. I should be able to adapt to any environment; enjoy myself. At some point, in the future, I know I will move.

My other issue: I wouldn’t know where to go.

I used to want to a second home in Florida. I used to want to work in Nevada. I used to want to return to England. I used to want to find a home in Canada. I used to want to relocate to Australia or New Zealand. I used to want to hang out in Spain. I used to want to chill down in the Bahamas, Barbados, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I have the “grass is greener” syndrome.

I take this feeling to mean that I need to take a trip. I read about people who backpack around the world. I feel no envy. I’d rather go somewhere, hang out for a couple of days and return to my home.

There are places I’d still like to visit: Australia, Italy, Germany, B.C. Vancouver, the Netherlands, maybe India or Japan. I need to make plans, or I’m going to go crazy.

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