Last week was one of those crazy travel ones. I headed to NYC for some client work, and since my wife had never done the tourist route there she came along and I took some time off to show her around. I’m not from NYC, but I’m from the part of Jersey that likes to think we are (technically, I lived closer to Manhattan than some of the other boroughs). After a few days in the city we headed down to Richmond, VA to catch up with my family.

It was a ton of fun- we caught up with a bunch of friends and spent a couple nights staying with Chris Pepper and his wife Amy- who it turns out are pretty exceptional hosts, even when their daughter’s a little sick.

It’s weird going back to post-9/11 New York. Aside from the skyline of my childhood being forever altered, there’s a different vibe in parts of the city. (And why the f* don’t we have any real progress on a new WTC?!? Are politics so bad in this country we can’t get anything done anymore?).

One of those vibes is security- I hadn’t been in the Empire State Building for about 10 years, but the day was clear so we decided to give it a shot. Aside from the dramatically inflated prices and lines (carefully hidden so you can’t see them where you buy your ticket) there was the ever-present x-rays and magnetometers.

Magnetometers de-tuned to such a level that I walked through with my jacket, belt, and watch on- and cellphone and camera in my pocket.

Maybe that thing would have stopped a rifle, but I had more than enough metal for all sorts of badness on me.

Then again, I suppose if it’s all just for show, there’s no reason to actually inconvenience people. No wonder ticket prices are up.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.