The weather provoked my first mistake. It was winter in Michigan when we were flying out, and flying back. I didn't want to wear my rubber boots, comfortable as they are, on the plane flight, never mind in Mexico City where it was not nearly so wintery. So I brought my regular canvas sneakers (and light jacket) in the car. When we got to the Detroit airport I shed the heavy coat and boots, trusting that I could put up with my feet and body being chilly for the couple minutes it took to get indoors. And the same when we came back. Fine unless when we got back it was 10 below and the door wouldn't unlock. This did not happen.
What did happen: when we got back my car reeked. Just awful. We feared we'd left some food in the car to rot over the course of a week. Maybe coffee. No; it was my boots. My car smelled intensely of feet. On the drive home there wasn't anything to do but deal with it. We had some warm weather letting me leave the moon roof open. After a week of this I got to the store and bought some air freshener. Next time she rode in it, bunny_hugger observed how now may car smelled of feet and Febreeze. It's improving, but still. You can tell what happened. But what was I to do, drive out with snow-covered canvas sneakers? Or wear rubber boots in central Mexico?
We had to our surprise an adequate time in Detroit. For a wonder there weren't any stupid issues with the security theater people complaining that bunny_hugger had worn jeans or something dumb like that. Our connection was in Dallas. Dallas/Fort Worth, an airport we'd only picked up and dropped a friend off at last year, but still, our second time in Dallas after two lives spent not figuring we'd ever have reason to be there. This connection was tighter. There's four terminals at Dallas's airport and we were of course two terminals away by monorail from what we needed. And the escalator was broken so we were shuffling our way up an awful lot of steps to get to the monorail level. We made it, but it was closer than we wanted.
We arrived in Mexico City shortly before rush hour was supposed to begin. Or to reach its peak, really. bunny_hugger had heard of how clearing customs could take more than an hour, and then getting through rush hour traffic might go on for several hours. This could make us miss the convention's registration desk and evening cocktail, if it took more than about two hours to get through all this. But there weren't enough choices for flights; the alternatives would have demanded insane things like leaving home for Detroit airport before 5 am. Still, gads, anything could happen.
As the plane descended to Mexico City we got worried because the flight attendants hadn't passed out customs forms. It turned out we didn't need them. They had some nice, slick computer stations with touch-screen menus to take everything we needed and prepare a thermal-paper printout for each of us. We got a form that had a stern warning not to lose this under penalty of some fearsomely large fine (since, I didn't realize, Mexico uses $ to denote pesos, which run about 20 to the US dollar; it'd take a couple days for every price to not inspire a fearsome that much? reaction). And we were through with Singapore-class speed. There was that moment of not really having any idea whether we should submit our suitcase to inspection, but since we didn't think we had anything to declare and nobody was asking for it we stepped, full of self-doubts, past the security corridor and nobody yelled at us. So that was a good customs experience.
Trivia: Sears, Roebuck first went public in 1906, the same year it opened a $5 million mail-order plant in Chicago, at the time the largest business building in the world. Source: The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, John Mickelthwait, Adrian Wooldridge.
Currently Reading: Superman: The Golden Age Dailies, 1942 - 1944, Jerry Siegel, Whitney Ellsworth, Joe Shuster, Wayne Boring, et al. (Book) Editor Dean Mullaney. And for December 1942 they have an imaginary story (not quite called that, but still) in which the Axis captures Santa Claus, providing (a) a whole bunch of hilarious panels to rip from context sometime and (b) finally the motivation for Supes to leave the contiguous United States. (I mean, they drop some lines about how the war will be won by the Ordinary Free Man, and Superman's reserved for tasks that support the Ordinary Free Man, but still.)
PS: And closing out the VFW!
Oh yeah, remember when this movie was on every basic cable channel any given afternoon when nobody really cared what they were showing? Yeah, me too. And while this might look like another Zaccaria table --- it's certainly European-y --- it's actually, at least officially, the lone table by maker Apple Time, which is why that logo is in the lower left corner.
I had a really, really good game on this Zaccaria 1981 Locomotion, setting the high score (look at Player 2's score, and the Highest Score there). And rolled the score over! Which the table handled in a brilliant way; the final digit --- which on most non-electromechanical games is always zero --- turned into a flashing 1, so I could decode my score as 1,256,110. It's a great way of making it take ten times as long to truly exceed the table's ability to report a score.
We close out the night! bunny_hugger gets in a last game on I think Judge Dredd (she was getting tips on a game that had crushed her during Pinball At The Zoo) while friends stand lookout for oncoming staff.