January 24th, 2007

krazy koati

These funny little words don't really mean a thing

So, odd events going on at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal, where not too long ago I left off my parents, and more recently picked them up. There's parking at the pier, a relatively meager $22 for ten hours, or $25 for all-day parking. At those prices it's worth hanging out into the eleventh hour. The guard says you can park anywhere; when we drove up Mom (who does the driving whenever possible) parked right next to a ``NO PARKING ANYTIME'' sign. She pointed out the guard said park anywhere. He apparently meant that, since the car wasn't towed after all, but I would have put some distance between such a sign and my parking spot.

To shorten the distance between the baggage point and where we were actually parked, Dad flagged down two guys who were driving a golf cart and whom we both assumed worked there, what with their jackets featuring appropriate logos and all. He wanted to know if it was allowed to drive in this little side-``street'', closer to a freight elevator, and use that for loading and unloading. They agreed that there was an elevator there. Dad gave it a few tries to ask his question, but it didn't seem to get anywhere, just in case you think this sort of thing only happens with me and in Singapore.

They noticed my camera -- I'd been taking pictures of Dad by his ship, as well as of midtown -- and warned that No Pictures Were Allowed. Somehow I suppressed laughing. I don't believe that this is part of National Transportation Pretend Security Rules, since the idea of not allowing photography of a site attracting tourists, many of them sending off or receiving loved ones, that's adjacent to the (still stolen) Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, and the DeWitt Clinton Park, and the West Side Highway, just off one of the dock points for the Circle Line Tour, in the name of keeping its appearance out of Terrorist Hands is too silly for even the Transportation Security Agency to propose. I believe it reflects more that people don't really feel satisfied in their jobs unless they get to tell people there's things they can't do, and if you're one of the guys driving golf carts around in the open about the only people you can tell not to do things are the mere public, and saying you can't take photographs is one of the simplest rules to make up. I'll have to get one of my pictures of Dad printed on real photograph paper, and maybe sent to the neighborhood paper.

Trivia: After the United States Mail Steamship Pacific made it from New York City to Liverpool in a record nine days and twenty hours in 1851 the United States Congress raised Edward Knight Collins's annual subsidy from $385,000 to $853,000. Source: Gotham, Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.

Currently Reading: World's Best Science Fiction: 1966, Edited by Donald A Wollheim, Terry Carr. In Joseph Green's ``The Decision Makers,'' human settlers accidentally gave the Civilization Advance of Medicine to a race of telepathic seals, and the protagonist thinks about how humans have corrupted the seals. The seals call him on it: You define ``corruption'' as increased knowledge of the choices open to an intelligent being, and an inclination to make those choices which lead toward greater pleasure in life. Why do you consider this a retrogressive quality? He can't give an answer, and it does give the james_nicoll Nighmare Future Anthology at least one story.