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Author Topic: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.  (Read 8644 times)

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Offline Oscar

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  • Posts: 244
  • 20 Years POZ
Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« on: July 21, 2006, 05:29:42 PM »
Now that the Montreal gathering is a month away I had a few questions that need to be answered.

1. Will my Verizon cell phone work in Canada? & does anyone think it would be a good idea to collect cell phone #'s from members in case we need to call someone if a member is held up due to unforseen travel "problems?" ie: delayed flights etc...

2. Where do I get my U.S. $ converted to Canadian currency? Should I carry cash or  use my bank card or purchase a prepaid Visa? I don't like the idea of carrying a large amount of cash on me.

3. What about meds? Do they need to be in the original pill bottle or can I put them in my weekly pill box?

4. Are their buses to go from the airport to the hotel? & where would they be, how much do they cost?

That's all I can think of at the moment. If anyone else has any concerns that they want to express do it here.

Sorry if these sound like silly questions, but I'm not a seasoned air traveller.

Thanks,

Dan

Offline Jody

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2006, 06:29:24 PM »
Hi Dan...I'm not certain about cell phones but I think for many folks it was outside their area, so you might bring a pre-paid calling card of some kind that works in the U.S. and Canada... 

In Toronto they had a store that converted currency...I believe as we speak an American dollar is worth about 1.05 or so Canadian, but I think it is more expensive to convert the money at the airport...It is best to use a credit card and when you get your bill the next month if you paid 100 Canadian dollars for an item it will be converted to U.S. and your bill will be reduced as such...

Always save your prior months meds bottles and if you take just what you need for your stay (and always a few extra pills) keep them in the bottles they came in with all the necessary info like the med names and your name and your doctors name.....

I believe there is a shuttle from the airport to the downtown bus station that Claude says is near our hotel.  It is much less than a cab, probably around 20 dollars and you might be able to purchase a ticket (round-trip if you want) and I would do it on my credit card if possible.

Jody
"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2006, 06:46:29 PM »
I have some remarkably stupid questions.

Are power outlets the same? Do I need adapters?

more to come I am sure :)
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline The Canuck

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  • Posts: 628
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2006, 07:05:53 PM »
Quote
Are power outlets the same? Do I need adapters?

You don't need any adpaters this is the same here as in the USA.


Quote
I believe there is a shuttle from the airport to the downtown bus station that Claude says is near our hotel.  It is much less than a cab, probably around 20 dollars and you might be able to purchase a ticket (round-trip if you want) and I would do it on my credit card if possible.

If you take the shuttle from the aiprort / Berri Bus Station the cost is approx. $14.00 CAD ( $12.00 USD ) and a round trip would be less, something like $18.00 CAD  ( $15.50 USD ) ( not completely certain for the round trip cost as I never used it that way but this is most certainly cheaper than only a one way ticket ).

Indeed you can easily walk from the Berri Station to the hotel as this is very close.

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2006, 07:20:53 PM »
Jonathan,

I forgot..this is correct you don't need an adapter but you do need a translator.  ;D

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline RAB

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  • Posts: 1,895
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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2006, 07:24:00 PM »
Dan

Re: #4

Another option to taking the shuttle might be for some of you to group together and share a taxi.  There are several of you arriving within an hour or so of one another:

Lisa (sweetieweasel) 8/17 10:00am 8/22 1:45pm
Oscar (Dan J.) 8/17 11:45am 8/23 12:25pm
jkinatl2 8/17 12:05pm 8/21 7:00pm
Jody 8/17 12:10pm 8/23 3:30pm
terpie82 8/17 12:29pm 8/21 2:30pm
Lou-ah-vull 8/17 12:49pm 8/22 12:25pm
David NC & Partner 8/17 12:55pm 8/22 9:53am


About the money question:

Jody is right, the last place to exchange your currency is at the airport.  You can usually get a better rate off site.

 What I usually do is get a small amount at the airport (say $30.00) then once I get settled I find a bank ATM and use my bank card to withdraw money that way.  If your bank has a "corresponding relationship" with a bank in Canada, use their ATM's, that way you will avoid any additional bank fees.  (For instance if you are a B of A customer, you will want to use Scotia Bank)  Call your bank or check their web site to see which ATMs you can use for no fee.

The script question:

I always keep my pills in their original bottes with labels.  Some do otherwise, but that's what I do.



JK: 

I'm sorry but I can't resist this:

About your outlet question.  Couldn't you just leave the "industrial powered" one at home and stick with something "battery operated"?  Snicker snicker, giggle giggle.   :D

RAB

Who's packing list so far includes:
1 pair jeans
4 pair shorts
socks/underwear
? # of shirts/tank tops (6?)
1 pair tennis shoes (which will actually be on my feet so won't get packed   :P)


Offline AlanBama

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  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2006, 07:36:39 PM »
Claude,

what's the weather there like right now?  It is 100 degrees or more each day here....just wondered if I am going to get a 'break' when I come to Canada.

I have to find out which ATM I can use (I bank at Regions).

Also, I intend to print out the name and address of the hotel and the phone number, and have it with my passport and other important documents.

Alan's Packing List

Everything I own.  (well almost)
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2006, 07:39:59 PM »
Alan,

Today it was in the high eighties with low humidity level. Last weekend it was closer to 100 with high humidity. A few days before the gathering I'll post the weather forecast expected between August 15th and the 23rd.

Regards,

Claude

Offline Joe K

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  • Member
  • Posts: 3,797
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2006, 08:46:38 PM »
Most US cell phones will not work in Canada, but you can get phone cards everywhere and the rates are cheaper than we pay here.

Definitely do not exchange any more money than necessary at the airport, because they will charge you 5% of your conversion amount, no matter how much or how little.  The bank idea works really well as most American banks, including B of A have a presence in Canada.  But what you really need to know is what networks your bank uses, all of which can be found on the reverse of your bank card.

Those of you who are planning to use credit cards, should check to see if your bank charges a foreign transaction fee.  Some banks do this and if so, bring cash as most places in Montreal will give you a VERY GOOD exchange rate for your cash.

All of your presectiption drugs should be in the original bottles to confirm your right to possess them.  Will they ask, most probably not, but you'd hate to lose your meds, just because they are not labeled.

The transportation question has been answered.

Offline Lou-ah-vull

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2006, 10:52:06 PM »
This is my 8th trip to Montreal.  My Verizon service DID work in Montreal, but you will be paying a roaming fee per minute regardless of the time of day or day of week.  Also, Cingular service works in Montreal...I do  know the roaming rate with Cingular is 69 cents a minute (American) regardless of time of day or day of week.  The prepaid calling card is much better and can be bought everywhere in Montreal. 

DO NOT change money at the airport... highway robbery!  Our hotel has a bank located right in the building and a 24 hr ATM that is on both Cirrus and Plus network...they are all over town.  It is the best way to get money.  You get the most favorable exchange rate this way.  You can also change money during working hours at the bank at the hotel for a small charge.

When I go alone, I always use the round trip shuttle.  It is about $18 American roundtrip and they will take your American credit or debit card...you do not need Canadian money.  The end of the line (Berri-UQUAM/Bus Station) is right at the hotel.  You can't get more convenient than that!  Yes. a cab is more economical once there are at least three or four persons to share...there are some minivans as well and probably equally economical.  The shuttles run every thirty minutes from outside the terminal.  When it come time to go home, they run every 30 mintues at the bus station (right next to the hotel)... again extremely convenient for getting you and your luggage to the airport in under an hour.

I will be happy to go in to town with a group as long as we make the arrangements ahead of time.  The meeting place would need to be in baggage claim because once you exit baggage claim you can't go back in.  The way things work is you exit the plane and take a long walk to clear customs.  You do this before you get your checked baggage.  Then, you get checked baggage and make the final exit into the airport terminal.  The ATM and money exchange (for God sakes avoid the exchange...it really is robbery) is outside the baggage claim area.

Once in the outer terminal, it is a very short walk to either the shuttle or the taxi area.

Other than the signs in French and lots of French speaking people, you will not really feel like you are in a different country. 

I bet all of you will love Montreal as much as I do.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone!

Gary :D
Diagnosed Oct. 2005
10/05:  367 (26.2%), 24556 VL
01/06:  344 (24.6%), 86299 VL
04/06:  374 (22.0%), 87657 VL
05/06:  Began HAART 05/15/06, Combivir/Kaletra
07/06:  361 (27.8%), 1299 VL
10/06:  454 (32.4%), 55 VL
01/07:  499 (38.4%), UD
02/07:  Switched to Atripla 2/8/07
04/07:  566 (37.7%), UD
08/07:  761 (42.3%), UD
06/08:  659 (47.1%), UD
01/09:  613 (43.8%), UD
07/09:  616 (47.4%), UD
01/10:  530 (44.2%), UD
07/10:  636 (48.9%), UD
01/11:  627 (48.2%), UD
07/11:  840 (52.5%), UD
01/12:  920 (51.1%), UD
07/12:  857 (50.4%), 40
10/12:  UD
01/13:  710 (47.3%), UD
07/13:  886 (49.2%), UD
01/14:  985 (46.9%), UD
06/14:  823 (47.2%), UD

Offline livingpositively

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  • Posts: 369
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2006, 12:36:10 AM »
Boy, you're not kidding about that long walk to get to Immigration, Gary.  Feels like you're walking to Toronto.

4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
10/3/06 CD4 500, % 26, VL 18,000
7/6/06   CD4 530, % 29, VL 83,800
4/6/06   CD4 555, % 28, VL 13,000

Offline Moffie65

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  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2006, 07:47:44 AM »
I guess I am just old fashioned.  I always carry my money as American Express Travelers Cheques.  This way, I am covered if my money is lost or stollen.  (has happened twice)

Other than that, I got my wheels, and now I am ready for that walk that nearly killed me in Toronto.

I can't wait, and am really looking forward to this one.

In Love.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline AlanBama

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  • Posts: 3,642
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2006, 09:58:12 PM »
This is great info, thanks everyone.

OK here's probably a stupid question, but I've never been out of the US, so never crossed a border...will I be asked by anyone to "state my business"?   Is the answer to that simply "vacation"?   Is it o.k. to state to Canadian officials the reason for the visit (AMG)?  Or will it not even be asked?

What about returning to the USA?  Any questions then?   

I will take everyone's advice and pack my pill bottles, but I hate doing this, I always carry my meds in the weekly pill divider.   I suppose it's just to be on the safe side, right?  In case anyone needs proof....

Thanks,
Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline The Canuck

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  • Posts: 628
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2006, 10:07:57 PM »
Alan,

Quote
Is the answer to that simply "vacation"?   Is it o.k. to state to Canadian officials the reason for the visit (AMG)?  Or will it not even be asked?


Indeed you can simply tell them you are going for a vacation. They will most likely ask you then how long do you plan to stay in Canada and if this is for business or a vacation? They might ask you if you are a US citizen. Usually this is fairly short and easy for Americans.

When you'll return to the USA you'll have to go through the US Customs so it'll be easy since you are an American citizen.

Alan, I really don't think you must worry about this.

For the meds, this is definitely better to bring the bottles. Actually this is valid when visiting about any countries.

Regards,

The Canuck
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 10:09:56 PM by The Canuck »

Offline david25luvit

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  • Member since March 2005
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 10:53:29 AM »
The old adage about not putting all your eggs in one basket seems particular relevant to me at this juncture.
I intend to bring a little cash, travelers' checks and my Visa card.  Insofar as my cell phone...I'm with T-Mobile and the roaming charge is .49 a minute and the Montreal area is covered.  I did notice when making my arrangements they mentioned passport and visa...Do I need a Visa?  I have a passport.

Also is anyone else arriving in Montreal around 3 PM and if so would you like to share a cab.  Marc and I would be happy to share with one or two others arriving at that time...so we can be dropped off at the front entrance of the hotel.  I don't see me being able to tot my luggage any distance...I'm as weak as a kitten these days.

Also we smokers will need to unite...
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline The Canuck

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  • Posts: 628
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2006, 11:10:05 AM »
David,

Quote
I did notice when making my arrangements they mentioned passport and visa...Do I need a Visa?  I have a passport.

Americans doesn't need a passport or a Visa for entering Canada. Eventually the passport will be required but certainly not a Visa. However the easiest is always when presenting a passport so you are covered with this.

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline DingoBoi

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  • Bailey's Infected Cream™ Served since 2004
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2006, 08:49:55 PM »
i recommend everybody take a basic course in celicius.   I couldn't figure out which way to turn the air conditioner last time in toronto (though even when i figured it out, i don't think it really did anything)

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2006, 09:09:04 PM »
Hi Dingo,

Not really needed. It works the same as Fahrenheit degrees.

OC is very cold....and 30C is very hot.  ;)

Now it happens the AC in hotel room are not graduated in F or C. Last time I was in Montreal the AC was graduated from 0 to 5. In this case 5 was very cold and O not really. The higher number being the coolest but had nothing to do with Celsius or Fahrenheit in terms of graduation.  :)

Regards and keep cool in Montreal,

The Canuck

P.S. If you ever have problems with your AC in Montreal I'll be glad to help you out.

Offline DingoBoi

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  • Bailey's Infected Cream™ Served since 2004
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2006, 09:19:16 PM »
i'll need it.. maybe include the hotels specs in the welcome guide... cuz it was somethign weird like that.. hard to figure out which was 'cold' and which was 'hot'.


Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2006, 09:23:31 PM »
Not a problem..I'll get you COLD.  :D

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2006, 09:36:30 PM »
:)  then i'll just need somebody hawt to warm me up and make me sweaty  ;D

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2006, 09:50:55 PM »
Somehow I knew this one was comin'.... ;D

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline david25luvit

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2006, 11:48:28 PM »
Yeah...and does the hotel offer bed warmers? :P
Inquiring minds want to know.... ::)
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline david25luvit

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  • Member since March 2005
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2006, 12:03:44 PM »
Considering Airport Security these days...Any suggestions about what NOT to put in your luggage or carry-on bag?
It's been a while since I flew but I know certain items are NOT allowed in your carry-on bag.  I'm assuming anything METAL? :P
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2006, 12:13:11 PM »
Hi David,

You probably have all the details on the airport websites and / or Flight company.

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline RAB

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2006, 06:44:02 PM »
EXACTLY how L-O-N-G is this darn hike from the plane to customs you guys keep mentioning?

Do I need to pack a sack lunch or something?    ???

RAB

(Who is an OLD man who shouldn't have to endure such torture!   >:()


Note to Dingo:  To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit this formula works fairly well.

add 16 to the Celsius then double it.  So for instance 0 Celsius would be

(0c + 16) = 16  X 2 = 32 (freezing)

(20c + 16) = 36 X 2 = 72 Fahrenheit

Offline The Canuck

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2006, 06:54:38 PM »
Rab,

How long ? Well about 30 minutes at very fast pace...bring an oxygen tank ole man.  ;)

Regards,

The Canuck

Offline RAB

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2006, 07:01:58 PM »
And another thing!   >:(

Gary said:

Quote
Other than the signs in French and lots of French speaking people,

Could someone please call the airport and let them know when I'm coming in so they can have all the signs changed to English?

I mean really!   ::)

RAB

(Who is not only old but doesn't speak a lick of French!  :-X)

Offline livingpositively

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  • Posts: 369
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2006, 08:08:57 PM »
David,  the safest bet is just don't carry anything sharp in your carry on.  That is not a blanket statement of what's ok to take on the plane, but the easiest certainly. 

The other thing is, since April of 2005 you can not take lighters on a plane...checked baggage or carry on.  Matches are fine, but no lighters.  That said..ahem...I take one every time I fly.  I used to put it in my computer bag and only had it confiscated I think 3 or 4 times out of probably close to 100 times through security.  (TSA at it's finest, you know)  A little side anecdote...one time I had 2 lighters in my computer bag.  They found one, but not the other.  HA...I love to fuck with the TSA.  NOW...I just leave the damn thing in my pocket and it has never been found.  It will not (at least in my experience) set off the metal detector.  I take everything out of my pockets except paper money and my lighter.  NO ISSUES!!!  Now watch, I just jinxed myself.   ;)  I guess it just depends on how much you want to deal with them in a "just in case they find it" situation.  All they can do is take it away from you and say "Lighters are not allowed"  and away you go.  Like I said, I just like to play games with them cuz they are a bunch of do nothing, power tripping assholes who can't do their job...which I've proven MANY times.

But I digress

Shane

Edited to say that my last statement about the TSA excludes any forum members that may be employed by said entity.   ;)  Love ya, mean it.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 08:12:10 PM by livingpositively »
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
10/3/06 CD4 500, % 26, VL 18,000
7/6/06   CD4 530, % 29, VL 83,800
4/6/06   CD4 555, % 28, VL 13,000

Offline DingoBoi

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,355
  • Bailey's Infected Cream™ Served since 2004
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2006, 09:10:29 PM »
i find that if you take a lighter to be 'confiscated' they don't bother looking for another :)


Offline livingpositively

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2006, 09:16:08 PM »
what I can't, for the life of me, figure out is why can't they have a bucket o' lighters there as you leave the secure area.  There's always a TSA agent sitting there with their thumb up their ass, just making sure people don't go past the little sign and then turn around and go back into the secure area.  He could be the "lighter guy."  I mean, seriously, what the hell is the TSA doing with ALL of those lighters that they take from people?  ??? >:( ??? >:( ???  It's asinine.

Just saying

Shane
(who cant remember the little keyboard shortcut to put a cool symbol after a trademarked phrase)  ;)
4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
10/3/06 CD4 500, % 26, VL 18,000
7/6/06   CD4 530, % 29, VL 83,800
4/6/06   CD4 555, % 28, VL 13,000

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2006, 09:41:38 PM »
™   hold ALT and type 0153 then release (for windows)

Offline david25luvit

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  • Member since March 2005
Re: Travel Questions thread... Post your concerns here.
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2006, 01:07:16 PM »
Thanks Shane... :-* :-* :-*

and Claude :-* :-* :-*
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

 


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