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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Let's Talk About Security...

Post 9-11 Airport Security to be more precise. I was totally amazed at the security measures during this trip.

My first trip to Israel was 14 years ago and I flew El Al. During that trip security was very through, even pre-9/11. I'm not sure what I expected this time, but it was not what occured.

I wore slip-on leather shoes--leather, to provide "foot protection" (assuming they remained on in an emergency). In case of airplane failure you're also supposed to wear sturdy jeans as opposed to shorts or something flimsy--the weather was cool, so I had no problem wearing jeans. I wore slip on shoes to facilitate the security process. However, because I was prepared for security, the only place I was required to remove my shoes was during the DFW->Philly leg of my journey and the corresponding Philly->DFW return. Philly->DFW was also the only place I was patted down--even though I never once set off the metal detector. In principle don't object to the pat-down. I personally have given more thorough pat-downs as a Psych Nurse. But my thought is: either do it thouroghly or don't do it at all, just don't do it half-way!

Israeli Security was interested in our Associate Pastor who had made two Missions Trips to Iran. When he returns to Iran, they will probably grill him about his reasons for going to Israel. The grilling is not likely to deter him. He has a heart for spreading the Good News to everyone, no matter what their nationality or "deservingness."

On the other hand, Israeli Security barely asked me any questions--coming or going. In fact, on the return trip, Israeli Security at Ben Gurion was rather lax with the agents joking around and flirting with one another. However, on the way to Israel, I felt DWF was overly obsessed with my laptop and can of black-eyed peas. I took the peas, and a box of plastic spoons to share with the group for New-Years-Day-good-luck-eatting. Ben Gurion and Philly Security couldn't have cared less about my black-eyed peas.

While I don't want to be grilled, I do want to feel as if everyone on my plane has been thoroughly screened and is in the air with legitimate, non-terroristic reasons. Maybe the Christmas Underwear Bomber had the US airports on heightened alert status, but honestly, have you ever seen a middle-aged, SWF, armed with a laptop and can of black-eyed peas as a terrorist?! I even left the can opener at home so they wouldn't be alarmed. Didn't work though, DFW was so alarmed they took my carry-on bag, laptop, and can of peas away and inspected them out of my presence. Wes and Aidia Riddle also wielded a can of black-eyed peas; however, nary an eyebrow was raised at their can. I guess I fit some little-known black-eyed-pea-terrorist-profile. Either that or my infamous cooking reputation preceeded me.

Speaking of food, when we finally arrived at our hotel in Caesarea, we were treated to the first of many sumptous buffet meals...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Israel Trip--Day One

For several weeks, maybe even a month or more, I planned my travel wardrobe. I would not let the packing sneak up on me this time. I would pack a complete change of clothes, and the essentials (money/credit card, medications, hair combo-flat/curling iron, make-up, a couple of pieces of jewelry, camera, memory cards, extra batteries, camcorder, laptop, and all the assorted wires/adaptors and converters needed to stay connected to friends and family and record my experience, a can of black-eyed peas and box of plastic spoons--hey, we were going to a Kosher country that did not serve them and we needed our good luck/good fortune for the New Year, a small paperback and book light, gum for popping ear-pressure, a rain poncho for heavy rain and a tiny umbrella for light drizzles, my pony tail holder and one pink curler to put my hair up when I was sleeping--it's a twofer: it gives curl and keeps my hair from tangling--and my sleep mask) in my carry on and purse. I even planned the outfit I would pack--this would be the black pants and black top I would wear with the sequined scarf on New Years Eve. Very Festive.

I would wear slip on leather shoes for ease at security check-ins, my heaviest coat/sweater to conserve space inside my luggage, carry a shawl that could serve as my sleeping blankie on the plane (domestic flights don't provide them and often international flights want them back before the end of the flight). I would be my pleasant, smilling self but I would not attempt to engage Israeli security guards in banter. They don't usually banter.

In my checked luggage I would pack four additional outfits--all interchangeable with each other--all socks, under ware, a second pair of shoes, old washcloths (one for each day of the trip) that could be thrown away--(many international hotels do not provide face towels/wash cloths and do not understand when you ask for them--they bring more hand towels. I keep wash cloths until they are threadbare, so I had plenty to spare), my swimsuit, aqua socks, and a small towel for the dead sea, house slippers, all my liquids, my Bible (essential, but too big for my carry on), notebook, an extra carry on bag for purchases, several scarves to change up outfits as I re-wore them, and some Fabreeze to freshen up shoes/clothes if they could not be washed between wearings.

In each bag I would place a copy of my passport in case mine was lost. Each bag would also be labeled inside and out with my name, mailing (not street--safety first) address, my cell phone number, and a stateside contact persons (usually Mama) cell phone number. This trip I would pack light, yet be prepared for all contingencies. I would be the consummate traveler. I even studied 4 Plinnsler lessons of Hebrew (The CIA uses their tapes) and could say some very important and helpful phrases. I would be ready. "So it was planned. So it would be." (Slight variation on a quote from "The King and I.")

I worked Christmas Eve then drove to Tyler to spend Christmas with the Borums. They sort of adopted me many years ago when Pat and I sang with Chisholm Trail (a local Barber Shop Chorus). When I am unable to go home to Florida to visit family at Christmas I spend it with them. I would leave the pet friendly hotel NLT 3am, drive my "baby" to his groomer who was to babysit him for the duration of the trip, unload my bags at the Church, park my car a block away, walk back to the Church and board the bus that was taking us to DFW. "So it was planned. So it would be."

So what was I doing still packing at midnight? What about all my planning? What about "So it was planned. So it would be."?! Evidently, the king did not get my memo--my esentilas didn't fit in my carry-on luggage, so I was having to re-think my packing. I finally finished packing at 2am. I loaded the car by 2:30am. I took a 30 minute nap and got up at 3am (the time I was supposed to be leaving). I showered, dressed in my traveling clothes and checked out. By 8:30am I had arrived in Harker Heights to drop off Bandit (I had his stuff prepacked--travel pillow, blankie--I took my nap on it to give him my scent--his food, travel dishes for food and water, treats, 2-3 toys that he sometimes plays with, a small suitcase of clothes/bandannas--he's hairless, it's winter, he needs them--his leash and collar, and a typed sheet of information: Vet info, commands he knows but frequently refuses to obey, daily routine, contact information for me in Israel and someone stateside in case of emergency, etc.). Saying goodbye was about as painless and unprotracted as you would expect from an eccentric, middle-aged, single woman who dotes on her Hairless Chinese Crested as if it were her first-born.

"I made it to the Church on time!" Okay, so again it's a paraphrase of a sixties song. But I made it!!!! :~) I pulled into the parking lot as the bus was pulling in. I off-loaded my luggage, parked my car a block or so away at a house, walked back and made it in time for the "before" photo. I slept all the way to Dallas. And I slept on every leg of the journey--awaking only for meals, transfers, and bathroom visits. Remember I told you I sleep with my hair up in a high ponytail with a curler? I even remembered to take the curler out for transfers and trips to the bathroom. So far, so good...