Aug 28, 2006

Never, Ever lose your iPod in an airplane toilet

The unbelievable paranoid stupidity of this has to be read to be believed; some young kid loses his iPod in the toilet and all hell breaks lose.

I won't try and do a synopsis, the whole thing is incredible. Have we really come to this?

(thanks to Idleworm for the link; a great site btw)


Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago I sent my aged mother in the U.S. a box of Red Rose tea bags. She and my dad had visited Canada a few times and she had taken a liking to the brand of tea, which she could not buy in the United States. To do this I had to become a registered importer of goods into the U.S.--I think that was the title. To complete the "paperwork" I had to access two web sites simultaneously, then search Google for the mailing address of the tea company, which wasn’t on the box. The information requirements were extremely lengthy, made even more complex by the on-line format. I had to know the national origin of the tea, the weight of the individual bags, all kinds of information about the tea—almost even a chain of custody such as that for legal evidence. The process took about five hours altogether, and involved two phone calls to fairly bored but polite U.S. government telephone spokespeople who gave me enough pointers to finish “filling out the forms.” At the end of the process I had a 7 or 8 digit number that I reported to the Canadian postal clerk who took the package and affixed some type of label to it with the designated number.

After the Christmas season was over I regaled my mother on the telephone with the absurdity of the story and told her I could not go through that again. She would just have to get used to drinking a different kind of tea after she had used up my package. It was quite a large package of tea bags. Her response to me was informative, “What can I tell you, we’re happy to have such good security.”

I sent her an e-mail that reviewed various other types of security, an argument that I think Canadians appreciate more so than Americans, aspects such as having a decent job, a non-polluted environment, access to health care, and to open green space within cities, social justice, wealth redistribution, and so on, saying that these were in the long run more likely to create security than reliance on police to enforce laws, armies in foreign lands, onerous border restrictions, and on forcing foreigners to undergo five hours of information gathering and reporting to send a Christmas gift of a box of tea into the country.

We never really discussed it further after that. She probably recognized some truth in what her Canadian son was saying but, living within the United States moral environment felt compelled to act in harmony with it. She tended to want to not talk about differences of politics and the like, preferring to talk instead about family and things that made her feel like the world was a good place. She had part of the box left when she passed away a year ago. I know for a fact that she did not hoard it with her friends, and that she had taken to reusing the teabags three times.

Anonymous said...

On the other end of the scale, far from frivolities, a friend of mine learned of some certain people.

These people were, and still are, the kind of people that GW is always talking about, and it is not only dangerous to mention their names but also what they were doing.

In certain places these people are quite well known, but no one really wants to admit to knowing them as they are simply too powerful.

Like a good citizen, my friend contacted his Embassy; somewhat light on details as he realized that foreign staff were also there. He received no reply after six months so he contacted Interpol, and after waiting for another six months he contacted the US authorities. After two months he did finally get a reply from the US, which was basically asking him to start all over again.

My friend then realized that continuing with this was probably as dumb as hell. The very people who you would expect to react within seconds, simply did nothing.

So, while the junior authorities are very good on Ipods and tea, the senior ones are often 100% incompetent on the things that really matter; and if you do ever stumble across GW's favorite word, better think twice before you open your mouth; seriously.

People usually overlook the fact that for efficiency the last thing you need are decadent people with $1,000-a-day lifestyles who are more concerned about their next golf game and where to go on vacation than doing their job.

Anonymous said...

This wasn't the main point of blog, but Red Rose is available in the US, not "only in Canada, pity". But the blend is different. A friend of mine (whose Ph.D was on the Japanese Tea Ceremony) could tell the difference, he thought, and so sent samples to a lab to test for content. The US Red Rose has a much higher % of "tea dust" than the Canadian (as I recall). In any case, the US Red Rose is made from poorer quality material. So...a whole new way to elaborate on likes and dislikes. And you can feel "secure" in the quality of Canadain RR.
Sharon in Peterborough