Notes On Getting My TSA Known Traveler Number + Chitchat About Where I’ve Been

Let’s heAR it for Ms. Bean

This summer, after yabbling about doing this for years, I finally enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program.

The online application was easy.  The total cost was $85.00 for five years.  But it did require an interview with a real person at a TSA-approved IdentoGO office that happened to be nowhere close to where I live.

My interview appointment time, the soonest I could get, was 4 weeks from when I sent in my enrollment– and then it was 10 days after that before I got my official TSA Known Traveler Number [KTN].

For me this was not a fast process

Do I need this TSA PreCheck status?  I dunno.  But after some of my air travel experiences, most notably standing in the Las Vegas TSA line for 1 hour 45 minutes, I’ll do anything that *might* make the process less painful.

[Click HERE to read an article that helped me to better understand the program.]

And on that note, having talked about the practical side of travel, I’ll share the following fun and pretty stuff.

I created these images using the Visited Countries Project on Douwe Osinga’s website. You may already know about this because it’s been around for a long time.

Nonetheless here is where I’ve been
I’ve been to 9 countries which amounts to 4% of the world.

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I’ve been to 34 US states which amounts to 68% of the country.

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I’ve been to 3 Canadian provinces which amounts to 23% of the country.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Are you in the TSA PreCheck program? If so, how has that worked out for you?

Where did you go for your favorite vacation ever? Where did you go for your worst vacation ever?  

Got any travel plans for the rest of this year?

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One-Liner Wednesday: Shopping With He Who Knows Me Best

Zen-Den and I were shopping at a large outlet mall, an outside one on about an acre of land.

Lots of walking. Lots of people.

Good deals everywhere.

As we were moseying along, me staring in all the store windows, him guiding me along so that I didn’t bump into anyone or anything, I got grumbly with him.

He kept telling me where the stores were.  The stores had large signs that I could read but he kept calling out their names like a disembodied voice on a subway line.

Finally I asked him why he was doing this.  He said:

“It’s my job to point out the stores to you.  It’s your job to judge them harshly.  That’s how it works with us.”

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

The HOA Is Asking Us To Decide Something Morally Murky

Seeing clearly? Antique lenses used by eye doctor to determine the prescription for your spectacles.

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When I saw the lawyer’s return address on the letter in our mailbox I knew something was up with the Home Owners Association [HOA].

I opened the envelope and began to read the letter + the attachments, written in legalese, describing what the HOA wants us, the homeowners, to decide about changing our by-laws.

I like our HOA.  The people on it do a good job of informing us in a timely manner about break-ins and coyotes and streets under repair and pool closures. Things like that, plus they do a great job of keeping the entrances looking spiffy.

They earn their keep;  however I find this proposed addition to the by-laws to be a dicey issue.

We are being asked as a group to decide if a registered sex offender [in any state] can buy or rent a house in this large subdivision.

I don’t know if there’s a right or wrong answer to this proposed addition to the by-laws because while it may be legal, this is a morally murky area.

I mean, if someone has done their time for their crime do we have the right to not let him or her live here? Or is this a high-handed way to snoop inside the lives of other people?

And further, what about domestic violence perpetrators with a police record? Or drunk drivers with multiple arrests?  Do we refuse to allow them to live here?  They worry me as much as, if not more than, registered sex offenders.

Like I said, no clear answer here– but a great topic of conversation. What say you to this? Comments are open below.

Plugging In: A Short Story Of Computer Angst & Good Intentions Gone Bad

AS YOU MAY RECALL when last we met I was distraught about what I believed to be the demise of my precious desktop computer, Cora.

However, I was wrong about Cora.  Allow me to explain.

You see, Zen-Den decided to help me by unplugging my phone charger from my computer and instead plugging it into the surge protector strip that is on the floor behind the desk on which Cora sits.

He did this so that the round phone charger could sit on the desktop farther away from the round stone coaster on which I put my beverage whilst typing on Cora. There was concern, well-founded, that I’d accidentally, absent-mindedly use the round phone charger as my coaster, thereby ruining the charger.

Nice thought, good intentions.

• • •

THEN Z-D AMSCRAYED OFF to Colorado where he did Important Work Things leaving me with what seemed to be a dead computer sitting on the top of my desk.  I, of course, did all the requisite things one does when one’s computer appears to have given up the ghost.

I double-checked that everything was plugged in.  I banged on the keyboard.  I checked the mouse battery.  I turned the surge protector strip on and off.

I swore. I begged. I prayed.

And I texted Zen-Den who told me to do that which I’d already done, and that he’d look at Cora when he got back home at the end of the week.

Which he did.

But here’s the thing, when Z-D had added the phone charger plug to the surge protector strip, he moved all the plugs around on the strip to make them fit, not knowing there was a defective outlet on the strip.

Thus he inadvertently plugged Cora into an outlet that sent no electricity to her, so she did not work for me.  However, when he repositioned her plug on the surge protector strip, she came to life.  Like a miracle.

And there was joy in the land.

Huzzah, huzzah.

All of which brings me to the fact that I’m back to blogging, properly plugged in, happily engaging with Cora, and ready to share my own brand of flapdoodle & twaddle here.

Again.

Please Stand By

We are experiencing technical difficulties here at Chez Bean.  My desktop computer, Cora, has stopped working & I’m writing this post on a laptop that I believe does not have my best interests at heart.

Thus, instead of fighting with a machine that makes me snarly, I’m going to bug out of the blogosphere [again], returning in a few weeks when I have a new desktop computer.

[Don’t judge.  Desktop is my preferred style of machine.  Yes, I know it’s old school, but so be it.]

In the meantime may I suggest that you take a gander at my blogroll and go visit some of those fine folks.  They have good things to say.  In fact while you’re there be sure to tell them that I say “hi!”

Honestly, if it’s not one thing around here it’s another… 

Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo: Home Maintenance Happens, For A Price

I’m back, waving hello. 

My late spring blogging hiatus is over.  Because of the almost constant rain I [we?] didn’t accomplish everything I [we?] wanted to do, but I’ve researched that which has not been done and made plans about how to do it.

For me, a solutions girl, that’s a big deal.

So here’s what did happen: we got a new roof put on the house. And kids, that’s a noisy and messy thing to have happen.  This is the third time in my life that I’ve had the pleasure of living in a house as a new roof is installed.

*bang, bang, bang*

Next time, should there be one, I’m going to a hotel for the duration.  The 30 hours of noise involved in tearing off an old roof and then putting on a new roof made me anxious.

[Consider that the understatement of all time.]

• • •

But wait, there’s more.

Try to contain your excitement has I tell you about a few other homeowner things we did whilst I was not here.

  • Z-D and I rebuilt a stone wall around the base of a huge tree that is terrace-adjacent;
  • he painted the inside of the screened-in porch and got the screens replaced;  and
  • we chatted with various sales wonks, then ordered new windows for the front of the house because the current wooden ones are rotting.

In other words, not to put too fine a point on it, we spent a boatload of money on necessary home maintenance projects that will improve our lives, but said projects do not immediately bring joy to my heart.  

Like a long vacay in Hawaii would. Or a first class excursion to London. Or a train trip across Canada.

[All expensive, potentially joyful, adventures that I long to do.]

But that’s what happens when you have a house you consider your home– and you are responsible adults who lack a fairy godmother to magically, in an instant, transform and repair your house with the flick of her wand.

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Question of the Day

So what’s new in your life? Anything magical? Tell me about it in the comments below. I feel so out of touch with everyone.

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The Sound Of NOT Silence Thanks To A Water Drip In The Chimney, Again

Photo of light reflected through paperweight then filtered to look snazzy so that I have an image to include on this post. Think of it as water dripping or my mind frazzling. The choice is yours.

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I LOVE OWNING a house in this suburb.  I’m not being facetious here.  Really, I do.

We are extremely lucky to live in a home built for us by a builder who was a pain in the ass to work with, but in the end he built a good solid house.

Comfortable and inviting. Most of the time.

However, last week after a huge spring thunderstorm our chimney started leaking water… again.

It’s been twenty years since we had this house built and this is not the first time this has happened. Nor is the first time I’ve been DISPLEASED about the drip… drip… drip… sound coming from rainwater as it runs down the inside of the chimney and drops onto the top of the metal chimney insert in the fireplace in the family room.

Drip… drip… drip…

MOST IRRITATING.

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WE HAD THE chimney cap replaced about ten years ago and that took care of the drippy sounds back then.  But there was large hail during this recent thunderstorm and I’m guessing that it damaged the chimney cap in such a way as to allow the water to drip… drip… drip… as water is wont to do.

In two weeks we’ll be meeting with a representative from the company that made the chimney cap and he’ll take a look at it.  And also he’s going to give us an estimate about how much it’ll cost to have the roof replaced on the house because it’s getting close to the time to do that, too.

Oh joy.

THAT BEING SAID FACETIOUSLY.

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NOW YOU ARE in the loop about what’s going on here in Chez Bean.  As a loyal and true personal blogger I had to tell you, my gentle readers, because like they say, write about what you know.

And I know that you’re EITHER thinking to yourself thank goodness we don’t own a house OR you’re thinking to yourself about that sad time in your life when you had to shell out the big bucks for roofing repair &/or replacement.

Thus I shall end this post in which I’ve talked about the realities of life by telling you that when it is raining outside and I’m at home, I’m hiding in the rooms farthest away from the family room wherein the drip… drip… drip… is the loudest.

Because woman on the edge here.

NOT ALTOGETHER HAPPY.