The Federal Government is asking travelers to leave their checked luggage unlocked when traveling byairplane.  It seems that the government's agents will be pawing throughchecked luggage and the agents find the locks inconvenient.  What's tokeep others from pawing through your luggage?  That's right. Nothing.  And how will you be compensated for items stolen out of yourchecked luggage:> "Complaints of pilferage will be handled 'on a case-by-casebasis' by the airline, the [Transportation Security Agency] and the airportworking together..." Now that sounds like as much fun as a barrel full of flaming,greased, rabid monkeys.  Can you imagine trying to get any of thefollowing to pay for something stoles out of your luggage? 1. A large, governmental agency with "national security" concerns 2. A large, impersonal airline 3. A governmental agency that is run by either a city, county, or regionalgovernment

Good luck!  Such a futile experience would certainly deter me fromever packing anything of even marginal value in my checked luggage.

Yesterday, we got a little taste of California-style winter: fifty-plus degrees and rain.