From:         Patrick Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 05 Dec 2006 - Carry-On Rules / Test Prep


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, the city that took a hat- trick in their second Test match, at Lord's in 1960, but was no-balled repeatedly for throwing in the same match and in the exhibition match that followed it, and never played Test cricket again.

On with the show...

TSA's New Carry-On Rules Audience: All airline passengers in the US

If you have been reading recently -- and if you haven't, SHAME ON YOU! -- you know that the United States' Transportation Security Administration [TSA] is waging both a war on terror and, more importantly, a global war on moisture. There are some new carry-on rules you need to read if you plan to take a flight within the United States this holiday season and plan on carrying pretty much anything onto the airplane, especially liquids.

Under TSA's new rules,

  • All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or
  • smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.

  • All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single,
  • quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip- top, clear plastic bag.

  • Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top
  • bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening [along with their shoes, laptop computers, and camcorders]. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.

    Check out for more infor.

    Number 2 Audience: All college admission test takers

    With the college entrance exams just around the corner for millions of students [including me -- I am going to sit for the GRE in January in the quixotic hope of getting into the Ed. D. program at USC], let me put in a plug for, a free, online test preparation site that will help you prepare for the ACT, SAT, and, yes, even the GRE. You can find at offers an in-depth vocabulary builder that remembers the words you missed, tutorials for each subject area covered on the test, adaptive quizzes whose questions get more difficult the better you do, and extensive tips and strategies that will help you perform [or guess] better on the test. I've been impressed with what I've seen so far, as was Consumer Reports who wrote in their September 2006 issue that

    Testers thought, a free site with no time limit, was as helpful as Kaplan and Princeton Review (not affiliated with the university), which charge $399 for limited-time access. Source:

    If using a free online test prep site doesn't feel right to you [and you live in California], let me put in a plug for the face-to-face courses taught by Bowbrow Test Preparation Services at

    Bowbrow's courses are between one-half and one-third of the cost of other test prep courses, and the GRE course I'm currently taking on the weekends is team taught by the testing director for the Los Angeles Unified School District ... so, yeah, she knows a little about standardized testing.

    Keep checking back over the next couple of months and I'll let you know how I did on the GRE and what happens with USC.

    Meet the New Bear, Same as the Old Bear Audience: College football fans

    [The following is an admittedly sarcastic editorial from Patrick Crispen, a 1998 graduate of the University of Alabama.]

    Alabama fans, true Alabama fans, firmly believe in the "Bryant Conjecture." We believe that Paul W. "Bear" Bryant was so special, so exceptional, that he wasn't just one in a million or even one in a billion. He was on in three. Maybe four. Alabama fans, true Alabama fans, believe that just by being in the presence of the Bear one actually became Bear-like, an exact replica of his greatness without ever having to exert the Herculean effort it took Coach Bryant to personally transform himself from a mediocre University of Maryland football coach into a coaching legend.

    Any true Alabama fan can tell you: There wasn't just one, unique Bear Bryant. There are millions. They're everywhere. It didn't matter if you coached for the Bear, played for him, or passed him on the street. Alabama fans, true Alabama fans, believe that Bear Bryant was coaching carbon paper -- he copied himself onto everyone he encountered, however tangentially. That sick kid Bryant visited in Children's Hospital before the Iron Bowl? He's a coaching legend, just like the Bear. Of course, the kid's never actually touched a football, let alone called a play. But that doesn't matter. He's Bear-like. Bryant's barber? Bear-like. The state trooper who stood by Coach Bryant every Saturday afternoon? Bear-like. Attend an Alabama game in the 50s, 60s, 70s, or early 80s? You're Bear-like too, ready to take the sidelines and coach the Tide to another winning season ... just like the Bear.

    As the University administration looks for a replacement for Coach Shula, Alabama fans, true Alabama fans, should remember the Bryant Conjecture. Only then will you understand why the University has fired Coach Shula and hired Ellie Mae from the Faunsdale Bar and Grill. What makes her qualified to coach the University of Alabama Crimson Tide? Well, she once served the Bear a patty melt.

    The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
    Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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