Category Archives: Family

why I won’t fly

I don’t fly. Since the TSA put its latest set of security-theater rules in effect, I just can’t do it (or ask my family to) in good conscience.

It comes down to this: I know too many people who would be traumatized by the kind of treatment the TSA has made mandatory. I can think of too many cases where either the backscatter machines or the invasive patdowns would cause lasting damage, the kind no flight is worth:

You get the idea. Privacy is important. For some people, it’s vitally important. And it’s relevant, because I have not committed a crime. Getting on an airplane is not probable cause to believe I will.

Yes, I realize that not all these cases apply to me. I also know that my family won’t necessarily be subjected to the backscatter or the patdown. The point—and to me it’s the only important point—is that no one deserves to be treated this way, and I refuse to support a system that does so.

Each time I choose not to fly, I’ll send a letter to the airline I would have used, the airports I would have gone through, and the TSA to let them know why. I hope that eventually they’ll see reason and do away with these crazy searches. Until then, I won’t fly.

For reasons to stay angry, follow the ongoing news on Reddit’s Flying With Dignity group or get a stream of images from The Daily Patdown.

the rule of telling children anything

I had to post this in response to the flurry of rumors around NASA’s announcement that this Thursday they will “discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.”

The rule is simple: When you tell a child anything, they will ignore most of it and leave only the words that benefit them.

Toddler version:

No, don’t run into the street.

Blah blah run into the street.

Young child version:

We’ll go to the zoo if there’s time after the store and lunch.

We’ll go to the zoo blah blah blah.

Older child version:

If you clean your room, you can borrow the car on Saturday afternoon.

Blah blah you can borrow the car blah blah.

Journalist version:

NASA will hold a news conference to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

NASA will blah blah discuss blah finding blah evidence of extraterrestrial life.

…and there you go. Good luck on Thursday, guys.

the new broom

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to teach your child to tell time.


KAREN and CHRIS are asleep in bed. They open their eyes to find the GEEKLET standing over them, sighing loudly to catch their attention.



Hi, sweetie. What time is it?


It’s 9:10.


OK, we’ll be up in a minute.


All right. I’ll come back and tell you when it’s 9:11.

…and yes, it’s occurred to us that he acts a lot like Sheldon Cooper. The difference is that Sheldon is an adult, and hopefully the Geeklet will grow out of this. Hopefully.