Have any married female readers (or anyone else who’s changed their name) had trouble getting through airport security with an airline ticket showing their maiden name, a photo ID showing their married name, and a marriage certificate? (Or the reverse, I suppose.) I ask because, although Becky changed her name with Social Security quite awhile ago, she only got it changed on her photo ID earlier this month, when she got her Tennessee license — and as a result, I’d gotten into the habit of buying plane tickets with her maiden name, so her ticket for our trip to Denver next month will say “Rebecca Zak.” But now, finally, her ID says “Rebecca Loy,” so this presents a problem. I just called Southwest Airlines, and was told they can’t change the name, but that we should be fine if we bring the marriage certificate to the airport. I’m just wondering if anyone has personal experience with doing that, and whether it actually works.
As an aside, why the heck won’t airlines change the name on your ticket in this situation? It can’t plausibly be a security measure, because there is no security protocol implicated by typing your name into a text field when you purchase a ticket online — it’s not as if you have to show ID or something — so changing it after-the-fact wouldn’t somehow breach security. If it were a last-minute change, perhaps that would be different, but this is for a flight that’s more than three weeks away. I understand why they won’t let you change to an entirely different name, because that would open the door to an aftermarket of airline ticket resellers — scalpers, essentially. But how much of a black market could there be if name changes were limited to switching from Firstname X to Firstname Y? It would take an awfully elaborate scalping operation, with extremely well-targeted ads (”Is your name John? We have a ticket for you!”), to turn a profit doing that. So yeah, I don’t get it. What’s the rationale? Is it just blind adherence to policy? Are airline employees just pricks?
If anything like this ever happens at Superstition Mountain, my blog had better get the scoop. :)
And by “little things,” I mean fancy, comfy, expensive queen-size mattresses.
But let me start at the beginning. For most of our time in Arizona and Indiana, Becky and I slept on a luxurious queen-size bed that Becky inherited from her parents in the summer of 2003, when they sold their house in Buffalo and she bought her house in Mesa. We loved that bed. But alas, the mattress was getting old, and a few months ago, we finally declared it “shot” and threw it out. We disassembled the queen bed frame and moved our full-size bed, which had previously served as a guest bed, into the master bedroom in South Bend.
This had several immediate consequences, most of them relating to the fact that the full-size bed is much lower to the ground than the queen-size bed was — so, for instance, Robbie can now put his head on the bed and poke us with his cold nose in the morning, if he so chooses. Also, it’s less convenient to put a drink or snack on the tall dresser while studying or watching TV in bed, because you have to reach really high up to get it. Things like that. But the smaller size of the bed itself didn’t really bother us at first.
Then Becky got pregnant.
She’s only three months along, so you wouldn’t think this would be a big deal yet. You’d be wrong. For whatever reason, starting as soon as we arrived here in Knoxville, we started having problems sleeping on the full-size bed. It seems something about being pregnant causes Becky to toss and turn more during the night — she says she loses circulation in her legs, or something, and so has to move around — and thus to effectively “claim” more of the bed as her own. And who am I to argue? If the democratic process is followed, Becky has two votes; I only have one. :) Besides, consider this hypothetical sample conversation. Brendan: “But honey, your ‘half’ of the bed is actually like 60 percent.” Becky: “Oh yeah, well, I’M PREGNANT, so shut it. When you start dry-heaving from morning sickness, and having to pee every 45 minutes, then maybe you can have half of the bed.” As you can see, I lose that argument every time.
There’s a chance I might be going to the Apple Store with Jay on Friday, if he ends up buying an iPhone. If so, I will of course have blog coverage. If nothing else, I’ll probably head over before 6:00 PM to take pictures of the line. :)
Incidentally, you may or may not have noticed that my left-hand sidebar was counting down to the wrong day (tomorrow instead of Friday). I just fixed it.
P.S. A question occurs to me. Some airlines have policies that forbid the use of cell phones, even in “airplane mode,” which I presume is because otherwise it’s pretty much impossible for flight attendants to effectively enforce the rule against cell phone use in flight. (I remember once chafing at the factual inaccuracy of a pre-flight announcement stating, “There is no such thing as airplane mode.”) Well, with Steve Jobs calling the iPhone “the best iPod we’ve ever made,” I wonder if those airlines will start changing their tunes now. (The iPhone does have airplane mode, in case you were wondering.) If the airlines don’t allow people to use their iPhones in flight for listening to music and watching movies, they are going to have some seriously ticked-off passengers on their hands. If I paid $600 for the “best iPod ever” and then couldn’t use it on a flight, especially a lengthy one, I’d be one unhappy camper. In fact, if I were an iPhone owner, this would almost certainly become a consideration in which airline I fly.
Drudge is reporting a large power outage in New York City… at least 30 blocks out, trains stalled.
UPDATE: The power is back on. A lightning strike reportedly caused the outage, which at its peak left nearly 375,000 homes and businesses without power, cut subway service and forced the evacuation of the Met.
I think Yahoo! Movies is a little confused:
Heh. (Hat tip: Becky.)
Fiddle in the middle and I can’t catch Josie
Fiddle in the middle and I can’t get around.
Fiddle in the middle and I can’t catch Josie
Hello Gordon Brown!
(Does anyone get that reference without Googling it? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)
Unrest in Tehran.
Former Tennessee great and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning hung out with the USC Trojans on Tuesday, treating John David Booty to a 90-minute, one-on-one workout. Peyton (or “Mr. Manning,” as the USC players called him) was at the Coliseum to shoot a TV commercial, and he wanted somebody to practice with afterward. The Trojans were, of course, happy to oblige. (Hat tip: Andrew.)
Dr. Jeff Masters has an excellent post on today’s 50th anniversary of Hurricane Audrey, a Category 4 storm which killed approximately 550 people in southwestern Louisiana, making it “America’s deadliest hurricane disaster between the time of the New England Hurricane of 1938 (682 killed) and Hurricane Katrina of 2005 (1833 killed).”
Audrey hit much the same area that Hurricane Rita did two years ago, with similar force. But Rita only killed one person in southwest Louisiana. Why?
The answer is preparedness. Rita was a massive Category 5 hurricane several days before landfall, giving people plenty of time to receive the warnings and evacuate. Warning systems are much better now than in 1957, and Cameron was deserted when Rita hit. But Audrey did something hurricane forecasters still fear could cause a high death toll in the future, despite our better warning systems–rapid intensification with a sudden forward speed increase overnight, bringing a much stronger hurricane to the coast far earlier than expected. If this nightmare scenario happens to one of our major cities in the future, another Audrey-like death toll could easily result.
Of particular interest, and concern, is the rationale people used to stay put: “Many residents had heeded calls to evacuate from Audrey’s 100 mph winds and predicted 5-9 foot storm surge that afternoon. But the old timers, familiar with how the surrounding dunes had protected Cameron in the past, stayed put. It was, after all, June, and severe hurricanes in June were almost unheard of. Besides, the storm was not expected to hit until the following afternoon, so there was still time to evacuate in the morning if things looked bad.” Of course, that turned out not to be the case, and many of those “old timers” died. Alas, even with better forecasting technology and warning systems, you still hear that sort of thing today.
Luckily, we’ve got nothing to worry about in the Atlantic at the moment. Margie Kieper writes: “Large amounts of dust continue to sweep off the coast of Africa with the waves of SAL that have accompanied each tropical wave. This pattern shows no sign of changing. The large amount of stable dry air will likely prevent anything from getting started in the Atlantic for quite awhile.”
That said, I really find the headline on this LiveScience article, “Where are All the Hurricanes?,” offensively stupid. The article itself is ultimately fairly accurate, pointing out that it’s only June, but the headline — echoed by InstaPundit, and by others no doubt — and the lead paragraph (”with just two storms to date, and neither one a hurricane, you might wonder where all the action is”) are just completely ridiculous. A website called “LiveScience” shouldn’t be misinforming the public in this way. Not to put too fine a point on it, but anyone who “might wonder where all the action is” is completely ignorant of the climatological reality. (And yes, the article says “Be patient, history suggests” in the second paragraph — but that weak rebuttal doesn’t make up for premising the whole article on a faulty, scientifically invalid question!)
Two tropical storms, and no hurricanes, as of June 27, makes for an unusually active season so far, not an unusually inactive one! (On average, there is approximately one tropical storm every two years prior to June 30.) That’s not to say it won’t ultimately be a below-average season — there are some indications that might well be true, as I wrote on Sunday — but “Where are All the Hurricanes?” is, at this point, completely and utterly the wrong question. It would be like asking, on November 1 in New England, after two small October snowstorms, “Where are All the Blizzards?” It just makes no damn sense.
P.S. If you think I’m overreacting to a mere headline, and a lead paragraph that’s sorta kinda corrected/clarified by the rest of the article, look at how other some bloggers are responding to the story (via Technorati and Google Blog Search):
Irrational Optimism: “Live Science reports that the season is, so far, off to a late start.”
Yeah, Right, Whatever: “Wasn’t this supposed to be another global warming-induced high hurricane year?”
Patrick: “[The media] must be pretty sad. How can we push Global Warming if the planet won’t work with us?”
Misstuned: “Scientists predicted a big hurricane season this year. So where are they?”
Dogwood Pundit: “Where Are All Of The Hurricanes? We’re waiting.”
Moonage SpaceDream: “Andrea and Barry…fell apart pretty quick and no harm was done. But, the weird thing is, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been it. Since late May, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had none. No warnings, no false alarms, nothing. I thought I was the only person noticing this, but Livescience finally had to ask what happened to all those storms.”
Tiscendorf: “this is year three that hurricane predictions have been the worst ever and have fizzled. Must be all that damn global warming…you know…causing bad science…not bad weather.”
This is all despite the fact that it’s totally inaccurate to suggest that the “lack” of hurricanes through June 27 is in any way unusual, or somehow suggestive of a slow season to come. (Again, it may ultimately be a slow season, but the fact that we’ve had “only” two tropical storms and no hurricanes so far is not evidence to support that position!)
Incidentally, this article was, of course, pushed by that clear-headed, unbiased science expert, Matt Drudge. And he too echoed the headline — “Where Are All The Hurricanes?” To which I answer, Nowhere, yet! Just like you’d expect, if you knew what the hell you were talking about! ARGH!!