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while leaving seattle this week and stripping down for the usual false sense of security check at the airport, i noticed a clever bit of advertising from a store that i frequent online.  you see everyone is asked to put their shoes in a bin now...here's what my bin looked like:

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clever.  "place shoes here.  buy shoes here."  kudos to zappos for finding an opportunity here!  they are a great store and their 'piece o' cake' return policy is exactly just that.

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from the geniuses who determined that only a one quart bag full of 3.5 oz liquids is permitted, comes new rules about bringing lithium-ion batteries in united states travel.

what seems odd to me is that the restriction is on checked baggage and not carry-on luggage per se.  from the site, it indicates that a spare battery is something not installed on the device.  and if you wanted to bring a spare lithium ion battery along, you have to put it in your carry-on luggage as putting it in your checked luggage is forbidden.  what?!

what concerns me (as i don't believe this will affect my day-to-day travel...i don't travel with spare batteries that much.  but i've recently gotten some camera equipment that has a lot of batteries: 2 for the camera, one huge li-ion for the light equipment.  and the bummer is that all of it won't fit in a case that is carry-on size...so it has to be checked.

so now the question becomes...what happens when you leave your luggage with TSA to be processed and you walk to your gate...do they make a discovery of a battery and then decide not to send your luggage?  take out the battery and replace it with a note "sorry, we have your battery now"?

brilliant.

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while traveling on my way to railsconf and the portland code camp, i headed to the airport (again).  from march-may i've redefined myself as a frequent traveler...mastering the security lines, figuring out what is and is not required, etc.

as a part of code camp, i'm bringing a zune to give away.  i should note that when i travel i bring my zune with me in my backpack.  the zune i was also carrying was on a carry-on and was brand new (in the packaging, etc.).  well, going through the security line...my backpack...made it fine.  suitcase...stopped.  they needed to look.

fine, no problem.  took me aside, opened the bag.  he proceeds to pick up the brand new zune packaging and opens it.  what?!  this is supposed to be a prize.  oh well, i guess you don't mess with the man...so he proceeds to break all the seals on the new packaging (sorry to whomever receives it).  he opens the zune and wipes the little handy wipe thing to scan for bomb residue, etc.  puts it in the machine...alarm.  loud noises.  weird.  a brand new zune made the hazardous material alarm trigger. 

great.

this leads to a full re-search of my body, my backpack, and then an unpacking of my entire suitcase.  as he is unpacking my backpack, i laugh at the irony as he is taking out my zune from my backpack and does nothing about it especially after a new one just alarmed.

sigh, god bless america.