Friday, October 29, 2010

On Traveling

Okay, still no Trav-O-Rama pics from when I'm on the road. This is less because I'm doing high-speed stuff that requires OPSEC than from the fact that I temporarily misplaced my cheap-o camera's recharge/download cable.

Shoes- So, going through the (always full of ass-pain) security lines, as I came out of the metal detector and and was replacing my three gray bins full of stuff into their rightful places before grabbing my shoes and belt and moving to somewhere out of the traffic to put them back on, some uber-traveler wearing plimsole flip-flops and nylon shorts goes waltzing by me with a very superior look on his face. Kinda like "I've got this dicked and you still haven't figured it out." Uh-huh. Check it out, my little shower-shoe wearing Twinkle Toes: those shoes do you no good in anything but getting through security. If anything bad happens, your shoes are a big, fat liability.
Bad Thing 1: Terrorist /random nut job on the plane. Your shoes are zero protection, and you have zero chance of using them (still attached to your feet) as a field expedient weapon. Foot stomp? Shin kick? Shin rake? Knee-buckler? Place-kick to the jewels? Nope.
Bad Thing 2: In-flight emergency/crash landing. Your shoes won't protect your feet from debris, twisted metal, other people's shoes as they run over your ass to get to the emergency exit.
Bad Thing 3: Post emergency survival situation. So let's say you survive the crash and the ensuing fireball, and you're on the ground wherever Mr. Newton's gravity says the plane will land. How good are your flip flops in triple canopy? A swamp? A mountainside? Yeah, I thought not.
Anyway, suck up the extra five minutes it takes you at the security point and wear a decent, reliable pair of brogans when you travel.

-Fitness on the Road: So, being tired of having my PT regimen limited to the quality of the gym at whatever hotel I'm in, and bored with push-ups, flutter kicks, and Hindu squats in the room, I started traveling with a kettlebell (hey, I'm authorized excess baggage, why not take advantage of it?). So, my first trip out with the kettlebell, I leave the room at the ass-crack of dawn to get a workout in. I'm feeling very smug and superior--kind of a fitness version of Mr. Twinkle Toes above--and head for the elevator to go outside and find a grassy knoll on which to kick my own ass. Waiting for the elevator, I run into another dude--carrying a kettlebell! How weird is that? Guess I'm not as original and kettlebells aren't as esoteric as I thought.

-Fall to your knees and give thanks: ...for the 2nd Amendment. I'm currently in what will be for me the third country in a row which the State Department ranks "critical" for violent crime. The Force Protection brief I received upon getting in-country is enough to make one want to spend the trip huddled under the hotel bed in the fetal position, thumb sucking. The bad guys are armed to the teeth, the good guys are outgunned, and the general populace are victims. It sucks. That whole spiel about how when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns is a cliche for a reason. That reason being that it's farkin' true.

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