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Archive for September, 2010

Flying with Firearms – A Guest Post By Mike

Posted by Lissa on September 17, 2010

When I told Lissa about a recent airport experience while traveling with firearms, she asked that I write up a little bit about it because her impression is that most people don’t realize how easy it really is.  Until I had done it myself, I didn’t either!

I found a great resource that has a lot of great tips (some is pretty basic, like don’t walk up and announce loudly, “I have a gun,” but it is very useful overall): http://deviating.net/firearms/packing/

My first time was a pretty nerve-wracking experience.  I had an early AM flight out of Boston and took a taxi far earlier than normal because I really didn’t know what to expect at the airport and I wanted to allow plenty of time for secondary screening and the like.   When I arrived at the ticket counter, I mumbled that I needed the form to declare a firearm.  At the next counter over, a state trooper was berating some poor chap who’d left his luggage unattended, while I was maybe six feet away talking about guns and signing the bright orange form that’s quite hard to mistake once you’ve seen one.  He never looked up.

Once I’d checked in—they count a gun case as a checked bag, so you may have to pay, depending on your situation—an airline baggage handler escorted me to a table off to the side of the security lines and ducked through a door to fetch someone from TSA.  She came out, looked in the case—including under the foam to make sure I didn’t have any contraband—and pronounced it fine.  I locked it with regular combination locks—NOT TSA LOCKS*—and she took it off into the back to have it find its way aboard my plane.

At the other end, because the bright orange tag I’d signed saying my guns were unloaded was affixed to the case, I had to claim it at the baggage office and show a photo ID.  It turns out this isn’t supposed to be how it works, but the nice TSA lady put the tag there, so it wound up getting special handling.  Federal law (http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/31-delivery-common-contract-carrier-19675270) says there shouldn’t be any identifying labels when guns are being transported this way.  Sure, gun cases may look like gun cases, but most people won’t make you because they don’t expect guns in airports.

I have since traveled with firearms multiple additional times and they’ve all gone smoother than the first.  It’s interesting that the TSA people all handle things a little differently.  One guy didn’t even look inside the case because he figured that he’d find…a gun (and they were going to x-ray it anyway).  The most recent time, I got a TSA person who must be a bit of a firearms enthusiast.  He saw my M&P45 and said, “That’s really nice.  Is it a .45?”  He also took by far the longest to search the case (he took me into the back room to do this) because he was busy admiring the gun.  Perhaps not coincidentally, he was the only one who, without any prompting, knew that the bright orange declaration goes INSIDE the case or else it becomes an illegal identifying label.

The moral of the story is that, if I can travel with guns in Boston’s airport, it’s really not that big a deal as long as you play by the rules (both TSA’s and your airline’s).  I’ve never even been asked for my Massachusetts LTC, perhaps because only an idiot would take guns he can’t legally own onto an airplane and announce this fact to the federal authorities.

* TSA regulations require that only YOU have the key or combination to open your firearm case.  Regular TSA locks on a gun case are an invitation for theft.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1666.shtm

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What, exactly, are we supposed to take away from this?

Posted by Lissa on September 16, 2010

You know, when I was younger I was sooooooo trendy and cutting edge and funky.  The older I get, the more I go for a nice v-neck shirt, an A-line skirt and stilettos.  But even in my most tweener years, I don’t think I would have understood this:

A moderately attractive woman with a very toned body is wearing slabs of meat as a fashion statement.  Wha??

P.S. Jay rolled over one million hits today; Breda beat him by six days.  Go wish them both a hearty congrats!

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Workout Wednesday: Outdoors edition

Posted by Lissa on September 15, 2010

Good morning everyone!  Soooooo, Mike and I started running outside this month.  Hooray!  Mind you, we only did it after he promised me

1) We could go as slow as I wanted

2) I could take a break whenever I wanted

3) He wouldn’t complain about 1) or 2)

He was also nice enough to let me lead the whole time (except for up the two hills; he took over there because I tend to wimp out halfway).  I run so much faster and better when I’m leading someone than when I’m following someone.  I’m the same way in hiking.  Isn’t that funny?

We have a nice 2.6 mile course laid out by the Kitty Den and I’ve run it six times so far. Running outdoors is SOOOO MUCH NICER than a treadmill!!!  There are things to look at, and a breeze, and cars, and lakes, and geese!  (And hills.  I hate hills.  They kick my ass.)

I thought treadmill running was easier than outdoor running — a set pace, lower impact to your feet, and a/c — but I was wrong.  It’s so easy for me to quit halfway through a treadmill run: “I’m booooooored.  I’m tiiiiiiiiiired.  I ran for fifteen minutes already.  I wanna go eat breakfast!” Etc., etc.  Whereas running outside . . . well, if I quit halfway, I’m still gonna have to WALK the second half in order to get home.  This has a lovely effect on my mental hardiness.

I also recommend the iMapMyFitness app.  You have to start it up before you leave the house — if you don’t start with wifi access it doesn’t work so well — but it maps out the roads you jogged, how far it was, how long it took you, and — this is key — your elevation during the run.  Eventually I’ll crop out one of those elevation maps and show you exactly where I die every run.  Twice.

Strap on those shoes!  Get outside!  There’s a pretty and interesting world that wants you to jog by it!!

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Preparing to move. A.K.A. THROW AWAY ALL YOUR &@#%

Posted by Lissa on September 14, 2010

I’m HUGELY grateful that Mike’s company will do our packing for us.  It’s the only reason I’m not a gibbering hysterical wreck right now.  That being said, there’s still a bunch of work to be done on our part.  The movers can’t pack up that random stuff under the spare room bed, which includes cat toys, hair ties, a pair of shoes, random batteries and a pair of flip flops, y’know?

So this past weekend I tackled the big cupboard underneath my bathroom sink.

I was ruthless. I was merciless.  I pictured myself as the Genghis Khan of bathroom paraphernalia.  I dispatched toiletries like Michael Moore dispatches doughnuts.

Half-full bottle of hairspray last used one year ago? Toss!

Bright cranberry lipstick received as a gift and never worn in public? Toss!

New bottle of Clinique black mascara . . . hmmm . . . Oh, received as a Christmas gift two or three years ago? Toss!

Sunblock left over from 2008? Toss!

Sample bottles of Renu that I no longer need?  (Hooray!!!!)  Toss!

The hairdryer I bought back in college and last used a year ago? Toss!

Any bottle of nail polish older than twelve months? Toss!

I threw away TWO GARBAGE BAGS FULL of junk.  I don’t know how it was physically possible for that much crap to live under my sink.

Next up: The Closet!

P.S. Mike has kindly agreed to do a guest post for me in the next few days; keep an eye out!

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Black and blocky was the Glocky* . . .

Posted by Lissa on September 13, 2010

LISSA:  *hic* *hic* *hic*

MIKE: “I shoot you with the bluegun!  PEW PEW PEW!”

MIKE: “Did it work?”

LISSA: *hic* *hic* “No!” *hic* “Try the Glock!”

MIKE: “Okay!  PEW PEW!”

What?

It looks just like a Glock, doesn’t it?

*Title is a reference to the silly gun poem of yore

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For the fallen

Posted by Lissa on September 11, 2010

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Kyrie eleison;
Christe eleison;
Kyrie eleison

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Lissa is having naughty thoughts

Posted by Lissa on September 10, 2010

What can I say??  It’s getting to be that time of year . . .

Oh yessssssssssssssssssss . . .

Happy Friday, everyone!!

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Puff Puff Vote

Posted by Lissa on September 9, 2010

I suddenly foresee a great push for the legalization of marijuana!

A senior aide for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was arrested Tuesday for attempting to bring marijuana into the Hart Senate Office Building, according to U.S. Capitol Police reports.

Marcus Stanley, who served as a senior economic adviser and at one time worked on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — chaired by Boxer — was stopped by a police officer Tuesday morning when he allegedly tried to “remove and conceal” a leafy green substance from his pocket during a security screening at the Constitution Avenue door of the Hart building around noon, according to a Capitol Police report.

[snip]

This is not the first time a member of Boxer’s senior staff has been arrested. Senior policy adviser Jeffrey Rosato, who also worked on the EPW committee, was fired in 2008 after he was arrested and charged with the receipt and distribution of child pornography. 

Ladies and gentlemen, our political betters!!

Senior economic advisor . . . smoking pot . . .

Man, suddenly everything makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?

(h/t Hot Air)

I’m wondering if Castro isn’t smoking a little medicinal marijuana these days . . .

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It smells like Bigfoot’s . . . unmentionables*

Posted by Lissa on September 8, 2010

Comment from yesterday’s harness post:

Sarah said

There’s a cat I wouldn’t be turning my back on for a while. :)

Funny you should say that . . .

***************************************************************

“Nine o’clock, Rajah.  Time to Skype your daddy!”

I scoop Rajah into my arms, sit down with him in my lap, and dial up Mike on the computer.  His picture pops up, I wave the cat’s paws at him, and we chat for all-of-ten-seconds before I smell . . . IT.

The pungent, nostril-curling reek wafts upwards in Waves of Stink.  It smells like a dead body marinated in vinegar and eaten — then pooped — by weasels. It smells like limburger cheese that has been out in the sun for ten days and then blended with Popov and kimchi.

Suspicious and full of dread, I lift Rajah’s hindquarter’s closer to my nose and sniff. The hair on the inside of my nostrils crumbles into ash.

“Auuuggghhhhh.  Love . . . he . . . ”

Mike has, of course, been watching the nose-twitching, the facial grimacing and The Fatal Sniff.

“Did he pee on himself?”

“Yep.”

I try to pay attention but The Smell isn’t going away.  In fact . . . I hesitatingly lift a forearm and gingerly sniff it.

“Auuuuggghhhh.  Love, it’s ON me. My forearm smells like cat pee.”

Isn’t that how your romantic conversations go?

*****************************************************************

We exchange I-love-you’s and hang up. I chase Rajah into the bathroom post-haste. Five minutes later his butt, tail and hind legs have been sink-scrubbed and towel-dried, my clothes are in the wash, my arms are soapy-clean and catnip has been medicinally administered. We live to fight another day!!

Rajah . . . . sweetie . . . please stop peeing on your feet.

KTHXBYE.

*It’s an Anchorman quote. Only the real line is a bit more obscene.

UPDATE: LOL, he didn’t actually pee *on* me.  He peed in the litter box. But he’s really dumb and sometimes he manages to pee on his own feet, or step in it while burying it, or whatever.  You don’t smell it until you pick him up and then it hits you over the head like a sledgehammer.

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Happy Caturday: Harness Edition

Posted by Lissa on September 7, 2010

But Lissa, say you, it’s no longer Caturday! You have to work today!

Well sure, say I, but the whole point of a Caturday long weekend was that I didn’t do any work!

But Lissa, say you, do you really consider posting kitty stuff to be WORK?

Oh shut up, say I, and just watch the bloody video.

Good morning y’all! It’s less than a month until Rajah’s big flight to Orlando, so we practiced with the harness this weekend:

And no, I don’t feel the LEAST little bit bad about torturing him that way.  You wanna know why?

Yeah.  That’s why.

Have a good day, everyone!

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