As of today, TSA has again changed the rules (let’s call it a refinement) about what you can and cannot bring on an airplane:

You can now bring 4 oz of a non-prescription, liquid medicine, presumably children’s advil or motrin or tylenol. But children’s teething toys that are filled with liquid or gel are banned, as are any other children’s toys filled with liquid or gel.

Yesterday, we went through security at O’Hare airport. We got there more than 2 hours ahead of our flight. It took about 5 minutes to check ourselves in. We then wheeled our bag to X-ray, only to be informed that baggage handlers were organizing luggage by time of departure. We put our bags in the 12pm line and hoped that the several thousand bags scheduled to be screened before ours wouldn’t make ours miss the flight. (All of our bags arrived in Colorado Springs without incident.)

We removed our shoes (this is no longer “strongly suggested” but required) and then went through security without hassle. Our hand luggage wasn’t checked at the gate.

One interesting thing about security: I had in my backpack two empty plastic water bottles. They weren’t questioned. But a kid who went through the line in front of me, had his bag opened, and his tubes of legos and other toys were examined.

We got through security in about another 5 minutes, which meant we had about 2 + hours to kill before the flight. We sat on a sunny bench and took naps, visited McDonald’s (for our kids) and had an uneventful flight.

At least at O’Hare, everyone was calm, and we really didn’t see lines anywhere. In 10 days, I’ll be heading out on another trip, so it’ll be interesting to see how a Saturday afternoon compares with one of my classic early-morning business trip flights.

Aug. 13, 2006.