Friday, June 30, 2006

Bear Story

Received a call from a friend - "Go home and unplug the computer from the surge protector and plug straight into the wall." Well, I already tested the surge protector and it said it was working, but what the heck - might as well give it a try. Sizzle, pop! The computer came on line with a spark, as good as ever, except the sound card is a gonner. Well, better than the mother board!

In the meantime, at work I'm handed a photo of a bear strolling about the cemetery which is close to the middle of town. All we could figure is the fellow was hungry for berries and thirsty for water because it is so dry here. He was properly tranquilized and taken to Serenity Canyon. I hope there are berries for the bear there.

I remember as a child hearing my parents talk about people who told "bear stories," which was a synonym for lying. I suppose it was because bear encounters are a bit unusual so a rousting story of a "bear encounter" could have been a fib - here and there.

Anyway, I'm glad my computer is up, and I'm glad I wasn't in the cemetery this morning hunting for owls! But I sure would like to have had a closeup of this guy. I like bears.
(scroll down this archive for a bear encounter of another kind!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Eyes Open

Welcome to Baggs, part of the Little Snake River Valley. I found myself in Baggs as part of a community needs assessment team. I have historical interest. My grandma came out here in a covered wagon and settled outside of Baggs on the Snake River. (Me, I would have enjoyed the scenery and then moved on to more lush surroundings.)

Baggs was a ranching community, now a combination of ranching and and those who are "stayin' alive." The "Boom" is hurting/sometimes helping, most Wyomingites (unless your name is the V.P.) ya know what/who I mean. Haliburton trucks roar down the dirt roads to the rigs, giving the residents respiratory illnesses because of the dirt and dust. Rents in this little town have gone up to $1,000 a month for a small two bedroom - "Nope, no pool, no rec area, no cable, no....." Infrastructures groan in agony. People pray for a grant for a new Water Treatment Plant. Salaries are high, but so is everything else.

Town Hall houses crowded offices trying to keep up with the workers coming to the oil fields. Down the road 20 miles are two huge "man camps" housing oil field workers who work, eat, sleep, work. (I ran into a young boy from Milton today at the working in the fields. He was already injured.) I have a question, what are our kids and grandkids going to do when the fuel is all gone?

The bright side is a beautiful valley rimmed by tall jagged mountains in the mist, green valleys and a wild Platte River and for the most part, sincere, sensible people. Silence, community ties, and a fabulous family-owned Mexican Restaurant, Del Rio are some nice things along with Sopapillas filled with mountains of whipped cream and fresh strawberries!

The town feels isolated from the rest of the County. Services are hard to come by, and many can't afford the money it takes to drive to the County seat for services, food, meager shopping. Wyoming has the distinction of being the first on the list of States that have early childhood drinking. Baggs is no exception, or is child and spousal abuse. Isolation is sweet, but often turns sour and takes its toll. They need services. Jobs are often miles and miles away. Medical care is miles and miles away. I look wistfully at the small community, and think, "Yet, it is a charming community."

The pix is the outside of the Del Rio. The kitchen at the Del Rio has become part of my new series that I don't know what the title is yet.....but a series of kitchens. Maybe ethnic kitchens? Unique kitchens? We shall see what evolves.

(Drat, blogger image function quit working. No kitchen photo, sorry.)


The votes on the painting won out to "leave it alone." Maybe a floating artichoke leaf. Thanks to all who gave suggestions. I took the painting to Adobe Photoshop and cut and pasted and tried all the was grand fun, and maybe I should do a series on those suggestions too, using the same painting, different ideas. FUN!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Art - e - chokes

Somethin's missin' here. (Besides part of the bottom of the painting). I don't think I should have off-sided it. Any suggestions from all you wonderful creative arty people out there? I think I might paint a design on the bowl. But the empty left corner is what pulls the eye in, rather than the artichokes. Hmmmm?

And the art endorphines work fine every time! I highly recommend it!

Art Block!

Time for another dark doll - a moroseness is trying to overtake me. (She is done with charcoal, and then a photo overlaying that. My grandma's bowls are in the painting, coffee makers from other countries, my favorite book, and a silver box representing promises.)

I've hid out from church today. The weather looks superb - its a balmy 66 degrees this a.m. Poor kitty I think is sick, she has just been lying in her bed since returning from boarding. Tomorrow will take her to the vet.

Sent my grandson's girlfriend some acrylic paints for her birthday - at least I can mentor her that much. She is talented.
I miss my "crew" today, deeply, painfully. I remember all the craft & painting projects with the grandkids. I check the calendar and make out my bills, "OH, when, oh, when can I go back to Florida?" My husband says, "Come on" but has always told me everything will be fine even when its definitely, obviously not. (That only fooled me a few times too many....sorry, honey.) I can't face looking for work again down there. Yoiks, even master's degree jobs advertise out at $24,000. I've almost paid off the awful dental bill he said he would pay off. No, I must keep on until out of debt, retirement income is set as high as possible, and then..........................I will go back and convert the dining room family is currently using for storage to my studio and daybed place.
Guess I'll go get out the oil paints and work on my innocuous bowl of artichokes...somehow I am stuck in art, can't get to it, when I do its fairly uninspired and I feel blah about that too and hate it! Husband knows these art moods - nervous discontendedness, the start of the painting - "Wow its gorgeous, then the middle "it looks like crap," the struggle to finish, and then "hey, it looks purty good!" Well, here goes, I am going to absolutely tank up on caffeine, find some inspiring music and pull out the paint cart! AND, I'm proud of being a masterful colorist - I will produce an awesome bowl of art-i-chokes. The adrenaline will pump, the endorphines too from creating, and I'll be a new person by this afternoon.
Woo hoo.

Friday, June 23, 2006

For All Those Hurtin' Hearts

Two of my "linkies" are hurtin' bad tonight becaue of suicide. This drawing and poem were done by my son, Rod of God, 1963 to - well, he lived 27 years. Here we go, I hope these word send some comfort.

John 12:1

I see you sitting there with tears of sadness in your eyes.
I share your broken heart, I hear your many cries.
I know the haunting pain that pierces you through
When I walked on this earth, I felt it too
Yes, this life is hard, but hear what I have to say
You do not have to hang your head at the end of the day.

It grieves my Spirit when you keep your hurt to yourself.
It tears me right in two when you put my love on a shelf.
Please take my hand, you know that I love you very much.
I long to hold you in my arms and to feel your gentle touch.

I knew you, my child, before you were even born,
For you my Spirit was broken, for you my flesh was torn.
I love you just the same, no matter if you win or fail
Seeing your wonderful face helped me to bear the pounding nail

I didn't give up then when they did those bad things to me
And I won't give up now, I'm going to set you free.
So take hold of my hand, and believe me for the best,
I will always pull you through and give you your rest.

I ask you to hold on, hold on to the very end.
Know that you make me smile, and know that I'm your friend.

(FYI - the Bible reference Rod used is as follows:
"Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.")

Thursday, June 22, 2006

God's Present

Coming back from Elk Mountain last night, a sunset like I'd never seen in my lifetime unfolded before our eyes.

Rain-laden clouds of apricot, oranges, cerulean blue, grayish purple, white puffs and twirls melting, pulled downward by fresh summer rain into the horizon as a golden ball sank lower and lower.

The mountains in the background were silent witnesses as well as participants in God's lavish evening painting. Wow!

I attempted a digital re-creation as I did not have my camera with me. From now on, where I go, the camera goes.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Buddy & Prince

These are my friends, Buddy and Prince. Begging from me. Their owner lives off of cereal, cigs, and diet pepsi. They know well this plump granny COOKS. They are waiting while I cook. They will get their own dishes of my finished product.

Next, I want to apologize if I offended all dog lovers by my blog on not wanting to Dine with Doggie. It's just my opinion. You can take your dog to any restaurant you want, I just won't be there. It's not that I dislike dogs, my personal preference is that dogs should be dogs and not humans. It is an establishment owner's choice whether to allow dogs to dine, or smokers to smoke. I just know I won't sit down and eat with a bunch of dogs schlupping away at the table next to me anymore than I would sit down next to someone smoking. Just a personal thing here.
I feel I have to explain myself. I have been in European village restaurants while a dignified dog lays quietly at his/her owner's feet. No problem, in fact its quite charming. My main problem is undisciplined dogs and I have never met a housebroken dog. I'm sure some are, I've just never met one. Well, maybe Buddy and Prince are pretty close.

Someone compared dogs to cell phones and said humans do all the things I did not want to think about while eating. I thought that over. My cell phone does not sniff crotches, pee when & where the urge hits, fart in public, etc. If you know humans that are doing the same thing, I would say, change your friends! Unless you're into that sort of thing. Again, its personal preference. And, cell phones are another blog, although cell phones are close to one's ear, completely within one's own body space. We pick up voices, sounds from all around. It's up to us whether we decide to listen to other's conversations or not. Now, I'm for discouraging cell use while driving! The same as I would discourage putting your doggy in a vehicle unrestrained. (I always put Meowi in carrier and seat belt carrier in car.) Safety reasons for people and dogs. Again, more personal preference. We all got 'em.

Then, I'm also a germ freak (watching "Monk" makes me nervous). The latest story from my mother about worms that were hanging out of her dog's butt, her pulling them out, and then a blow by blow description of the worms which she put down the garbage disposal cements my feelings on dining with dogs. No thanks, not in my plate, not close to my plate. Watching doggy licking butt, and then licking food off spoons & plates gave me the desire to run out to buy (or steal from her cupboard) a round of worm meds for myself after a visit to her house.

In contrast to the American view of dogs of elevating the dogs to human status or above, look at other countries! Doggie stew in Asia (no, they are not served doggie stew, they are in it) and extreme neglect in others. I have been known to be the Pied Piper of stray dogs in Costa Rica, skinny dogs with bulging rib bones, sad eyed, desperate dogs who hang around in the street curbs by cafes and grocery stores and who are chased off sidewalks by proprietors because folks in C.R. are put off by begging dogs in public places. My daughter and I and the kids made a trip to the meat market for doggie food which we couldn't find so we settled on bags of crisp, deep fried, warm, pig ears and gathered up the poor mutts which we led away to be fed under a tree, which actions resulted in the scorn and ire of proprietors and the accusation of being crazy Yankee mammas.

Then, we can't get all the people out of New Orleans, but the news is full of stories of plans to get all the pets out. Can't we do both? There are opposites - dogs who are treated like babies, and dogs who are tied to trees out in the yard, come rain, snow, or shine. Owners who spend fortunes on their dogs, while children starve in America and around the world, and owners who refuse to even feed their dogs.

Again, Cat is sitting here by my side, asking me why she isn't even considered in the Dine with the Doggies legislation. "I don't know," I tell her. It's ok for parents to admit they don't know. Cat walks through her litter box and then tries to jump on the table. I grab for the antiseptic wipes as I speak cat language, hissing for her to GET DOWN. A blogland friend has a wonderful idea - set a separate table where the pets dine with each other!!! Splendid idea. Civilize our little critter friends, make a separate area for them where they can enjoy their food and fellowship with one another!

I guess that is one feature of these fuzzy friends of ours that God gave us, they want to do EVERYTHING with us (hmmm, I wonder if married couples were as close to each other as they were to their pets, if less divorces would be the result?). I find that many times when Cat weasels a morsel of human food from me, she doesn't even want it, but hides it away somewhere. She just wants to proved she can have what I have.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Rox Rock for Pup

Independence Rock - along the Oregon Trail, aka The REALLY BIG ROCK

You can climb it from the back side - it is signed all over the rock by people coming by in covered wagon days.....

The wind was blowing a bit hard that day.


Just came home from work. FRIDAY!!!!! Whooooooo, huh, huh, huh! Put on jammie pants, a warm sweater -oh my Florida friends be envious. I have 4 movies to watch, a fire-baked spinach and mushroom pizza to eat, Elix-r tonics to drink, my Tassimo is ready to go for Latte or Cappuchino.

Busy week. Shaking in my boots anticipating next week and presenting the PRESCRIPTION PLAN to the Commissioners. But that is on Planet Politico and I don't have to deal with that until next week. (Their idea in the first place, so why are they so cranky, but trying to present to a Commissioner who keeps talking over the top of you is tough. Yah, he IS rude.) And not funny, not outrageously, wonderfully, wackily, talented rude like others I might know and appreciate, but ornery rude.

Came to blog first thing after work, I am being blessed by an eclectic bunch of blog friends. 4dinners, you are brilliant - we have made a major discovery for science here - about how rocks are made. And I very nearly caught them in the act itself. Verrrrrrrrrrry interesting. And pupp-aaaaaaaaaa......what a poet and arteest! My cousin is soon joining Blogland to add an even more eclectic mix! Then there is beautiful Hattigrace, and our brilliant PHd striving student.......I will do my best to add all of you to my menu, hopefully menu won't go to the bottom again to join Sponge Bob for several weeks.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

From Cheyenne to "Home" & Back to the Prairie Again

W'allllllll partner, this was the parking lot where I met my friend who was kind enough to take me to the bus at 6:00 a.m. to begin my trip. Can ya imagine a horse pulling up next to you at the Winn Dixie parking lot?

The bus ride involved two hours, two busses, and lots of bumps on into DIA. Made it through screening there easily. They even smiled as they waved me through. Apparently at this airport my key ring and film tool were not weapons worthy of making me a detainee.

The next time I saw Cheyenne, my friend picked me up again, and we decided to have crab (all my husband's fault - he spotted a bargain and spoiled me and little grandson with piles of crab. ) So I treated my friend for all her picking me up. (Yum, wish I had some now.)

Next, I left Cheyenne and drove the back roads to "home." These back roads run on the back of a mountain through a national recreation area.

When perusing my photos, I found this rock pile, that when run through a slide show looked comically obscene - and I hope folks you aren't disappointed in me, but I thought it was so funny.

Find the hidden symbolism............................

Tee Hee.

Ya start seein' things when ya been away too long.

Enough said.

Night folks.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Owls Discovered

I found them, I found them!!!!! Three baby owls out of the four. Mamma was apparently hiding somewhere. The little fellows are painted by nature to blend exactly into their environment.

Shot quite a few pictures and talked to them.

"Yoo babies, you so sweeeeeeeeet and so koot, look so soft and fluffy, yoo sech sweeeeeeeeet babies."

(I'm the sort of person who picks up animals and then gets the heck bit out of them or infections from scratches. I never learn!)

Blink one eye. Slightly adjust head which appears to be on a large ball bearing to peer down at the crazy lady. Blink other eye. The other two babies sit on a branch across about 10 tombstones down.

Aren't they just too cute?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stalking Owls

What do the ravens have to do with owls? MMMMmmmmm, they are birds, they fly, they have beaks.

Night two of my Owl Stalk. Mamma and four babies are not in the big dead tree by the crypt in the cemetery. Maybe its because of the wind and coming rain. Even the deer and other smaller critters seem to be hiding away from the rain. Except the oversized squirrel who hangs out at the Courthouse and eats crackers from our hands. Those carbs will do it to ya!

Going to make a pin out of these fellows on the left. On "Someday Isle."

Above right is another raven holding a tree of life medallion. I'm thinking of having him tatooed somewhere - butt not sure where. Oh, Hattigrace, will this be part of your anointing, to help us decorate our bodies? By the way, I thought you always dress pretty artsy and fine - I remember in our wonderful classes where God showed up, you wore mesh black socks and big Goth crosses, so I knew you were a great gal to know! Ah, if I had your figr I would be soooooooooooooooo broke - you can wear anything and everything and look great.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Waves of Heat, Sounds of Honey

Well, just trying to get my mind off TSA! I won't talk about it! This suitcase is unpacked!

Apartment is HOT. Probably will get hotter, its only June. Last June this time, my daugher & grandson & I were freezing tootsies off, and the wind was blowing so hard, little guy couldn't even open the car door.

Went to the cemetery tonight as I had reports of an owl sighting - a huge mamma, with four little babes that sit in a row on a dead tree limb, conveniently after my work is done. Well, after much cruising of the cemetery which yielded only 3 squirrels, blackbirds, and two wonderfully rich looking young buck deer with "velvet" still on their horns, (there were reports today also of a new fawn) I had a PERFECT close up shot ready to go of one young buck, and the battery was shot.

I guess I can lurk in the cemetery stalking widlife for photos in the evenings until winter? Tomorrow is "Music in the Park" with some good regional musicians lined up. That will take care of the heat tomorrow night. (Wendy Woo is scheduled sometime - if you want a treat and like a folk/jazz mix, go visit her website.)

I just bought a tropical bed in a bag set - my bedroom looks "hot." Good "hot." I have to now paint a large hibiscus for the wall behind the bed. By golly, if the outside surrounding area is brown blowing dust, with no green, I will create an oasis in here! Night, dear friends & sister!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Continuation of "Tips for Flying in America"

1. NEVER take any personal information in your suitcases. My package with my bills is missing. Two hours on the telephone with TSA whose screeners surely are reading off the same script issued to all of them to blindly read no matter what the circumstance, yielded nothing. (Maybe they are not real people, but robots!) Some of my keys are missing, including my house key and car key. These guys have my address and house & car key? God help me.

2. NEVER dispute any item labeled as a weapon to be anything other than a weapon. This appears to move one over into the "lets take an hour and dump out all the contents of any bag this person might be carrying, over and over and then "lose" stuff," and also move you one step closer to criminal prosecution.

3. Don't bother wasting your time trying to recover any "confiscated" items, no matter what it says on the TSA website.

4. Don't call the confiscated items, "confiscated." That REALLY makes them mad. Their robot eyes glare red! Things disappear "accidentally." Sort of like accidentally attempting to carry a key ring and film developing gear onto a plane, only the shoe is on the other foot.

This was all so reminiscent of crossing the border from Albania into Macedonia. The police made us drive our vehicle across through a bath of disinfectant. Then we were ordered to get out of the car and walk back through the murky pool and back across the border again. We were searched, our cameras were seized and our film ripped out. (Mine was x-rayed 4 times durnig this trip, same difference.) My shoulders went to the same defensive posture as at the Pensacola airport with the same goose bump fear that death or injury was not far off. When TSA starts offering us a "shower" before we got on the plane, don't go, but run, run, run, run, remember the concentration camp "showers."

5. Last but not least, do not have a stunning haircut - it just draws attention! If you must have dazzling hair, drive, not fly.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gestapo Tactics in the US of A or Travel Tips in America

Well, never did I think I would be writing as radically as I intend to write in this letter. I had a WONDERFUL time in Florida, which I'll write about later. This particular blog is about right and wrong and a cry and protest and alarm in regard to what is happening in our country.

I have read our citizens' worry papers about our loss of freedom as American Citizens. I didn't think much about it. I have gladly supplied many TSA agents with months worth of fingernail clippers, writing pens, lapel pins, stiff paper nail files (I don't use metal ones) and have even submitted to having my breasts patted down because my underwires apparently set off an alarm. But, I figured this was minor compared to being blown up in the air by foreigners who were in the US without proper visas, and who apparently waltz through security easily. (But wait a minute, on June 1, did I look particularly middle eastern? All six foot two of my plump 61 year old grandma self?) Was the stuffed animal goodbye present from my tearful grandson suspected of being full of methamphetimine to pay for my elder care? Or what?

I did swear that the breast pat down was one insult I would not submit to ever again. Picture the ramifications of making old ladies board airplanes without underwire bras on - their boobs drop and suddenly turn into deadly weapons, possibly even WMD!!!!!! Or, old lady surrepticiously takes stitches out of underwire bra, extracts same underwire and pokes a stewardess. Heavens! Off with her head! (Or breast.) Hey, how about on-board masectomy for the elderly?

As I went through clearance at the Pensacola airport on Thursday, June 1, 2006, my camera bag and my purse were taken from me and dug through and emptied, not once, not twice, but thrice. An inch and one-half metal rounded dark room tool that opens film cannisters so you can develop the film was taken from my camera bag by a Gestapo agent in the guise of a security agent and I was informed that I had a knife. Not only a knife, but a "concealed weapon." "Ok, no problem, keep the thing if you want it, but PUHLEESE quit going through my bags - my credit cards were tumbled about, my PDA, my memory card, my personal items were in jumbles, phone cords tangled - PUHLEESE, I am getting close to boarding, I need to get on the plane, I want to hold my credit and bank cards while you do this." "I want to see a supervisor." A bald, fat, redneck informed me he WAS the supervisor. "Uh oh." Then they spied my key ring - an old horse blanket pin about 3 inches long with a dull end that won't even poke through cloth anymore upon which multitudes of keys hung. They took my keys off, threw them on the counter and sneering, proudly displayed another "concealed weapon." I am starting to think that any moment I will wake up to find that I had been stuck into an Orwellian dream. The horse blanket pin would only open wide enough to slide a cloth through or a key onto - in no way could it penetrate flesh (or cloth anymore) and it was much too thin to contain a bomb, unless there are some real skinny bombs out there I don't know about.

I informed Baldy that the key ring was a gift from my grandma who was now deceased and truly was not a covert arms dealer. No, I really did not say anything about arms dealing, but ohhhhh, I wanted to. I explained this recycled key ring, having been in the family for several generations was a good luck thing for me, an ardent key loser, and my family awaited me (being alarmed over the amount of time transpiring, and growing circle of Gestapo and shocked onlookers, as I endured harrassment) and they would CERTAINLY be glad to take the pin/key ring and offending inch and one-half metal film tool home. And if Baldy really wanted the film tool, since he was very agressive and was able to think up some interesting uses for it - like violence - (no I didn't say that part either) it was his, but the key ring was my property and I wanted it. Baldy started squeaking about calling the "po-leece." "Please do," I begged, thinking "Is this not America?" "Yes, it is, and the police will protect me because I have done nothing wrong." WRONG. Baldy told the police I had a knife and a concealed weapon that I was trying to take them onto a plane. The police were not real City of Pensacola Police, they would not even look at the items. They were also Gestapo and began to join in the fun! I thought maybe I would not have to go to the dentist anymore - that they would begin extracting teeth on the spot looking for spy transmitters.

Now, you have to picture this: a 61 year old plump grandma, with a great Hattigrace haircut, being harrassed by 3 security officers, plus the two "police" which were not real "police," but part of the Gestapo, and actually had the power to jail me on criminal charges. A crowd had also gathered to watch very tall, plump 61 year old severely harrassed grandma looking down on Baldy Redneck who was going from red to purple. I decided to stand my ground and demanded that said "concealed weapon" be delivered to my family, which family was freaking out by now and that "knife" and "concealed weapon" be shown to the phony "police" to prove these items were harmless to begin with. All camera equipment is on the "allowed" list. And the dull ended safety pin/key ring is not - but other definitely sharp and longer objects are, so what was going on? I needed help translating that.

I was getting mad and was prepared to be jailed. I figured, even though my family is Conservative Christian, they, just for me, might call the ACLU for help. All these things going through my mind when all I wanted to do was fly home and go back to work, finish growing older and retire. THE SHOCKING PART OF THIS IS - ACCORDING TO THE GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES, IT IS COMPLETELY UP TO THE GESTAPO TSA AGENTS AS TO WHETHER ANY ITEM YOU MIGHT HAVE ON YOU IS A "WEAPON" - OR NOT! ANY ITEM! ENTIRELY ARBITRARY. (See below copied exerpt from the TSA website.) THEY CAN JAIL YOU, PROSECUTE YOU AS A CRIMINAL, AND YOU ARE HELPLESS.

The "police" refused to give me my tickets - although Baldy did finally walk the items over to my family after what seemed to me hours of harrassment. The clock said it was only 1/2 hour to boarding, and I was shaking and sweating and doing my best not to burst into tears and give Baldy & the rest of the Gestapo their kicks for the day. I appealed to a woman Gestapo, but true to form, as true as Hitler's true love, she coldly said they had a right to do anything they wanted to me. I again demanded of the "police" that they give me my tickets or I would sue their asses off. Yeppers, I DID say that. I finally was really, really, really, really mad. The jerk held the tickets out but would not let go. I finally wrestled them from him, tearing the jacket in half and he and his fellow Nazi told me to have a good day. I held my shoulders tight, wondering if I would be shot as I turned my back. Fear made me have goose bumps.

Yes, this story is going to the Pensacola News Journal, to the Wyoming and Florida State Reps and Senators, and to the President of the U.S. as well as a complaint to the TSA for whatever good it will do me. I am a United States Citizen. This is a government for the people, by the people, and of the people. I even have a right to bear arms if I want to as long as I don't hurt people. But I don't want to, I have no stores to rob, no crimes to commit, why would I want a weapon? So why do I not have a right to just mere courtesy at a check point? Are we profiling the elderly now? Or was it because I am a woman? There are always those who will kill the weak just because they can. Many questions go through my mind as I consider the scenario. Mainly, WHY? I escaped becoming a criminal narrowly - some of my keys are missing along with a packet of personal information with all my credit card numbers and banking information. Where are these items?

Know this folks and beware: (from TSA website) Prohibited items are weapons, explosives, incendiaries, and include items that are seemingly harmless but may be used as weapons – the so-called “dual use” items. You may not bring these items to or through security checkpoints without authorization.

If you bring a prohibited item to the checkpoint, you may be criminally and/or civilly prosecuted or, at the least, asked to rid yourself of the item. A transportation security officer (TSO – formerly a screener) and/or law enforcement officer will make this determination, depending on what the item is and the circumstances. Bringing a prohibited item to a security checkpoint – even accidentally – is illegal. (Get the accidentally!!!!!!!!!!!!! That gives them unrestrained authority for harrassment if they come to work in a bad mood!) (And the GESTAPO gets to choose what will be the illegal item of the hour.)

Your prohibited item may be detained for use in an investigation and, if necessary, as evidence in your criminal and/or civil prosecution. If permitted by the TSO or law enforcement officer, you may be allowed to: consult with the airlines for possible assistance in placing the prohibited item in checked baggage; withdraw with the item from the screening checkpoint at that time; make other arrangements for the item, such as taking it to your car or mailing it to yourself; or, voluntarily abandon the item.
(I was not offered any options for my confiscated belongings.) Items that are voluntarily abandoned or confiscated by a law enforcement officer cannot be recovered and will not be returned to you. Property claims for these items will also be denied by TSA.

The following chart outlines items that are permitted and items that are prohibited in your carry-on or checked baggage. You should note that some items are allowed in your checked baggage, but not your carry-on. Also pay careful attention to the “Notes” included at the bottom of each section – they contain important information about restrictions and exceptions.

The prohibited and permitted items chart is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary.
To ensure everyone’s security, the TSO may determine that an item not on the prohibited items chart is prohibited. In addition, the TSO may also determine that an item on the permitted chart is dangerous and therefore may not be brought through the security checkpoint. (HUH????????)

The chart applies to flights originating within the United States.
(Oh great! A foreigner can bring in to the United States whatever they want? Well, obviously, yes. Is this rather ironic, turning innocent U.S. Citizens who want to travel on a domestic plane into criminals by arbitary decisions made by underpaid, disgruntled, possibly power mad jerks?) Please check with your airline or travel agent for restrictions at destinations outside of the United States.

For updates and for more information, call our Consumer Response Center toll-free at 1-866-289-9673 or E-mail