Gadling Gear Review: Solid Moisturizer From SkinFare

Can I get a show of hands from people who are still irritated by the need to game their packing to deal with the TSA’s three-ounce requirements? I thought so. There are still a lot of us out there. I’m both aggravated and pleased that there are new brands making solid cosmetics that I can get past the screeners. There’s a new-to-me brand out there called SkinFare; they’re making solid moisturizer sticks that give you more room for shampoo and sunscreen in your carry-on luggage.

There are a bunch of things I like about this product line. The moisturizers smell delicious – there are five different scents and one is sure to work for you. They come in recyclable cardboard packaging so there’s no plastic to throw away (take that, tiny hotel bottles of shampoo!). The moisturizer itself is made from organic stuff so you’re not putting toxic chemistry on your skin. It’s all good stuff. And yes, travel friendly, so you can carry a stick on the plane and use it as an all purpose moisturizer in the dry zone at 20,000 feet.

I find the product itself a little heavy, a little waxy, on application. I really like it as a lip balm or for my chapped and/or sunburned nose. But it doesn’t quite work for me – your mileage may vary – as an overall skin moisturizer. It’s easy enough to apply, you just rub it on your skin., but I want it to melt a little bit more on contact so it gets absorbed.

It’s worth a try, though. Everyone has different skin, so it might work really well for you. And I find that while it doesn’t suit my needs as an overall moisturizer, I’m putting the little container in my coat pocket instead of Carmex, and using it on my face and hands where I don’t have anything else on hand. And it’s perfect for on the plane – not just because of the solid product, but because the refreshing natural scents are nice for clearing that airplane funk out of your head.

SkinFare is $9.99 per stick. Give it a try or get some for your nearest traveler.

[Image by SkinFare]

Desperate TSA looking for new colleagues at gas stations – promises free X-Ray vision and benefits

After advertising on pizza boxes, the TSA at Reagan National Airport have now resorted to advertising at D.C. area gas stations. In their ad for part time security officers, they promise a career where “x-ray vision and federal benefits come standard”. Perhaps I’m overreacting, but using x-ray screening equipment as a job perk seems rather tacky.

I’m also surprised that four months after the pizza box ads, the TSA is still having a hard time filling positions in a country where unemployment is such a hot issue.

On the official government jobs site, 100′s of positions are listed with the TSA – but the entry level position of Transportation Security Officer is listed at $29,131.00 – $43,697.00 /year – and that starting salary may have something to do with the trouble finding enough candidates. Still, if you are out of work and you fit the requirements, the TSA would love you to come and help them enjoy their x-ray perk!

Pocketknife found on plane causes major security drama at Dallas airport

The discovery of a pocket knife on an American Eagle plane at Dallas Fort Worth airport triggered an aircraft evacuation, passenger rescreening and a two hour delay.

The knife was found by a passenger between two seats, and while common sense tells us that someone probably found it in their pocket after simply forgetting to remove it, the TSA treats these incidents as a major breach of security.

Of course, the stupid knife should never have made it through the checkpoint in the first place, but items making it past the checkpoint is barely news any longer.

I fully understand asking the TSA to come pick up the knife, but to force everyone off the plane is just stupid – and reinforces the idea that they are not doing their job correctly. If the TSA had faith in what it does to protect us, they should have taken the knife, apologized to all the passengers, and let the plane depart on time.

TSA fails to detect gun at Montana airport – may be replaced by private firm

Stories of poor TSA security screenings are not new – several days ago we wrote about a man who passed through a Milwaukee checkpoint with shotgun shells. In this “TSA screw-up of the day”, we head to Gallatin Field, serving Bozeman, Montana.

This may be a fairly small airport, but that should not be an excuse for the TSA to miss a firearm in a carry-on bag. The gun belonged to an “unidentified man”, who was honest enough to notify the cabin crew when he noticed his error. As is normally the case, the plane returned to the gate, and was delayed for over an hour while the TSA did their job (again).

Now, I understand how our constant “TSA bashing” be be getting a little boring, but this story suddenly gets really interesting. Airport director Brian Sprenger is so fed up with the government screeners, that he is seriously considering replacing them with an outside security firm.

Of course, a local union leader is “strongly opposed”, claiming for-profit security firms are a bad idea, because they’ll need to make a profit, while working with the same budget offered to the TSA. But to be honest, I don’t see how a private firm could be any worse than the government workers in place right now.

Failing to detect a gun is the kind of mistake that could cost the lives of everyone on the plane. Too much emphasis is placed on items like water bottles and false no-fly list passengers, that you sometimes get the feeling they forget to keep a close eye on the most obvious issues.

There are no immediate plans to replace the TSA at Bozeman just yet – but the airport is in the exploratory phase, which on its own should set off some alarm bells within government.

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Man forgets ammo in carry-on bag — turns himself in

It is becoming obvious that the TSA isn’t asking for new technology because of smart terrorists — they need all these new machines because they are incapable of doing their job.

A passenger boarded a plane at Milwaukee General Mitchell airport, but realized he had left some shotgun shells in his bag. Being a good citizen, he reported this to the flight attendant, who informed the pilot.

The plane then returned to the gate so the passenger could turn the ammo into the local police. The man was re-screened, and allowed back on the plane.

After the failed terror attempt on Christmas day, one would expect TSA agents to be extra vigilant. The agency has been asking for more money to invest in full body scanners, and other detection equipment. But at the end of the day, even the most impressive piece of equipment in the world becomes another useless gadget when staffed by idiots.
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Check out these other stories from the airport checkpoint!