Cuss a screener & you're on mad fliers list

Airport anger can get you on THE list

Throw a fit in the airport or just get mildly ticked off, and your name may go into a Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration watch list. They already have one for terrorists and other murderous nutcases, but now they’re starting a list of air travelers who aren’t quite as dangerous, but still need watching.

You can qualify for the throw-a-snit list by arguing loudly with a screener, angrily tossing bags and stuff around or just threatening to punch the TSA guy in the nose. Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t that include just about everyone who flies today?

If you make the list, unless you’ve done something really violent, you won’t be barred from boarding your next flight. However, you can be sure the screener will get back at you for your alleged bad behavior on previous inspections. Expect him to grin knowingly at you and spend a lot more time going through your carry-on stuff.

AAA gives legendary Beverly Hills Hotel its Five Diamond Rating PDF Print E-mail

Three Los Angeles area hotels, just a short half-hour (not during drive time) from each other were honored with the American Automobile Association’s Five Diamonds, its highest honors for excellence. In addition to the Beverly Hills are the Montage in Laguna Beach and the Four Seasons Westlake Village.

Others in the U.S. earning the honors for the first time are the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, the Four Seasons in St. Louis, Missouri, and the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia.

Why it took the AAA so long to recognize the posh Beverly Hills Hotel, which opened in 1912, is a mystery. The hotel has consistently kept up its extremely high quality, including lavishly decorous rooms, tropical landscaping and luxury bungalows surrounding its pool.

Remember when: A whole lotta shakin' goin' on PDF Print E-mail

John Houghtaling, 92, recently passed away. In case you don’t recognize the name, John invented the motel miracle called Magic Fingers. Remember when you drove cross-country in the 1950s and 1960s, and needed to bed down for the night? When you checked in, tired and achy from hours on the road, that’s when John’s invention offered solace.

Next to your motel bed was a metal box with a 25-cent coin slot on top. That coin would make your bed shake for about 15 minutes, presumably to help lull you to sleep. Of course, stand-up comics made jokes about how the devices could be used for more devious means at so-called no-tell motels.

You gotta be kidding: spend my summer working for free? PDF Print E-mail

Uncle Sam


Heard recently from a friend: “Community service trip? You telling me to sign up for a vacation that isn't a vacation, but just a tough job helping other people? I've worked hard this year and deserve to get away for relaxation.”

“Doggone it! I'm entitled to bask at the shore, toss dice in Vegas, sip vino in Tuscany or dine at an outdoor Paris cafe. Who knows? With the economy the way it is, maybe it'll be my last chance for years to enjoy a vacation.”

If that's the way you feel about signing up for a community service trip, maybe you're not really familiar with them. Actually, all you have to do is make a slight change in one of your future travel plans. You can do something as enjoyable and satisfying as a fun vacation, while at the same time earn the great satisfaction of knowing you're doing something of meaningful service to others.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: Haunt of live and departed stars PDF Print E-mail

Marilyn Monroe

Just after Navy service in the Korean War, I worked on an afternoon newspaper called the Beverly Hills Citizen, now long gone. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, about two miles from my office, was the place to be for movie stars to be seen, meet, dine, drink, book rooms and fool around ever since it was first built in 1927.

The general belief in tourist minds today is that glamorous stars, agents, moguls and hangers-on still haunt the Hollywood Roosevelt, and evenings can be fun times for autograph hounds, paparazzi and cell-phone photo freaks. The hotel is right across the street from the city's most famous tourist trap, Grauman's Chinese Theater (now the Mann Theater), so the walk-in traffic is always heavy.However, after 80 years, today both the hotel and theater are a bit threadbare. This era’s really A-list stars and their snooty companions rarely visit seedy Hollywood Boulevard, and do most of their living and playing in the hills of Beverly, Holmby, Malibu and in other posh communities west to the ocean.

Destination: Gettysburg in July PDF Print E-mail

Gettysburg cemetery 

In July, the historic town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, will mark the 146th anniversary of the most critical battle of the Civil War. Often called the high watermark of the Rebel cause, General Lee’s retreat after the bloody four-day July battle indicated the beginning of the end of the Confederacy.

If you’re planning to visit the battlefields and other historic Gettysburg sites, we recommend you book a bed and breakfast to get the real feeling for the historic town. Many are in buildings that pre-date the battle, and owners have kept the furniture, artifacts, decor and mood of the mid-19th Century country home. Here are several suggestions

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