austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I've been bumming around this old town for way too long

After the weekend I had another two days in the office and they went without a lot of interesting stuff going on. The woman who kept insisting we needed to have a serious talk about reorganizing my project kept putting it off to tomorrow. There were rumors that the boss was in town, but there were also rumors he was in Florida instead. I thought I did see his car in the parking lot once as I was going out to lunch, but it wasn't there when I got back, and I never did see him. Now and then we talk on the phone, when he promises we need to catch up and get on the same page of everything.

I flew back on Wednesday, from Newark airport, not Trenton. Renting a car one-way from Portland, Maine, to Trenton, New Jersey, costs slightly more than building a factory to make a car. But a one-way trip from Portland to Newark is actually not much more than renting it from and returning it to Newark. It's all about where they need cars.

For a change I didn't fly back to Detroit or Lansing. We had pinball league that night in Grand Rapids, and there's an airport in Grand Rapids. I figured if I got the flight arriving at 4 pm, then I could arrive, get luggage, get something to eat, and be ready in time for the 7 pm start of the league. Even a minor delay would give us the chance to do so. I was right about the time calculations and there weren't any delays in the flight. bunny_hugger found me right about where she'd figured to find me.

We did have trouble finding somewhere to eat. We figured, we're near the airport, there's plenty of coffee shops around. We picked one out of the satellite navigator's choices. It brought us to a shop that yes, properly speaking, sold coffee. But the place was really about selling beans and grounds and coffee implements and all that. They had some cookies and coffees and teas for immediate drinking, and a handful of tables. But it was clear their hearts weren't in it.

Still, we made league night, and I had a pretty good night --- one first-place, one second-place, and three third-place finishes against an honestly better set of players than I am. (We had missed the previous league night, for the tour, and a substitute player --- one better than me --- filled in.) I'd drop from sixth place to eleventh in that league, which is closer to where I actually belonged. And finally we got mercifully back home together.

Trivia: Following the Second Opium War (1856 - 58) and the Sack of Peking (1860) not just the British but also France, Russia, and the United States received concessions from China. Source: The Age of Capital, 1848 - 1875, Eric Hobsbawm.

Currently Reading: The Mapmakers, John Noble Wilford.

Tags: new england parks tour, pinball
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