This just in via certified mail, my TSA claim is denied. Apparently they carefully evaluated all of the evidence and determined that there are no legally sustainable grounds upon which a finding of liability can be based on the part of the TSA.

Blah blah blah.

I will translate this mumbo jumbo for you:

We stole your stuff, you can’t really prove it, so there’s nothing you can do about it. Thanks for the Nintendo Wii.

The Transportation Security Administration is a giant disappointment to the country. I jumped through all the hoops and filed my claim. I got nothing and now they advise that I can file suit if I am dissatisfied.

The TSA, the baggage handlers, whoever, are allowed to steal whatever they like from anybody’s luggage and face no consequences.

By on March 17, 2008 · Comments ( 6 )

Rock on: an office power ballad

I feel the need to add a note to the beginning of my review regarding how I consumed this book. It was an audiobook that I downloaded for my trip to the west a couple weeks ago. I have a hard time out and out declaring that I read this book. The audio version was read by the author and was unabridged. Did I really read it, though?

Either way, it was really enjoyable. Much of my airplane time flew by (ha!) while listening to this one and I did indeed laugh out loud a few times. The story is about Dan Kennedy’s time working for a record label, but a lot of the humor is the kind of stuff any office worker can relate to. There are a enough insights into the music industry sprinkled in to make it feel like I picked up some insider’s knowledge.

By on March 15, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

Chipotle party yams

For the recent Mexican based party, in honor of Katie’s 30th birthday, I made some yams (sweet potatoes?  what’s the difference?).  At any rate, the produce was labeled as yams and I made a big old batch (4 batches, actually) that turned out to be amazingly delicious.  My guess is the smoky spicy chipotle cut the sweet potatoes (yams?) enough so that they are unstoppable.

  • 2 lbs. yams, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 splash milk (1/4 cup?)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper with adobo sauce

Boil the yams until quite soft, very fork tender.  Mash up with the remaining ingredients.  The chipotle peppers come in a little can with adobo sauce.  I food processed a pepper with some of the sauce and used a spoonful, but they can also be chopped by hand.  Use more or less depending on your threshold for spice.

By on March 13, 2008 · Comments ( 2 )

The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur

I wish that more of Daoud Hari would have come through in this memoir. The parts of the book that really highlighted his great personality and really got to the heart of his story were the most enjoyable, but those parts did not make up the majority of the book.

His story is amazing and the situation in Darfur deserves much attention. This book didn’t do justice to either.

This is another book I got from LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I wrote this review for the site.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers

By on March 11, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

Happy 30th birthday to Katie

We had a few friends over on Saturday night for a birthday party.

We had a bit of cake to celebrate with.

Some champagne.

A little Mexican inspired food.

Check out the rest of the scene if you weren’t able to make it in person.

By on March 10, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

Search for the Wild Oliver

In today’s episode of the urban explorer, your host Benito Cain searches the jungles of Ballard for the elusive Wild Oliver…

By on March 9, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

More Ollie action

Oliver likes to hang out upside down.

By on March 8, 2008 · Comments ( 1 )

Stolen Wii update

I did in fact submit a claim to TSA for Mom’s stolen Christmas present Wii. At the end of January I got a letter from TSA confirming that they received my claim.

Last week a claims investigator called me up to ask a few questions about how the incident went down. She then passed the claim on to a Delegated Authority Official. That person will do one of the following:

  1. Approve my claim in full;
  2. Offer me a settlement for other than the full amount or;
  3. Deny my claim.

TSA has a new blog called Evolution of Security. There are a zillion comments on it detailing incidents very similar to mine.

What do you think? Will the TSA DAO actually approve my claim? I would really like Mom to have her Wii.

By on March 6, 2008 · Comments ( 4 )

Visit with Oliver

Two months after his arrival, I finally got to go see my little nephew again. He is the sweetest, cutest, most best baby I have ever known.

I got some good Ollie time in, holding and jiggling and bopping his nose.

It was hard to leave and I miss him already. Hello tiny sport!

By on March 3, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )

Jackie and Matthieu get hitched

As the sun set over a sunny Des Moines day in February, uh, wait, I don’t actually write like that.

Jackie and Matthieu are married! Whoo hoo!

The wedding was fantastic. The weather in Des Moines was great. I was bundled up, but I think the 20-30 degree temps were balmy for the locals as most were wearing what I would consider a spring jacket. Also, the pizza at Centro was amazing.

May Jackie and Matthieu enjoy many many years of happiness. There are a few more pictures over at my Picasa album.

By on February 25, 2008 · Comments ( 0 )