October 22nd, 2011

krazy koati

I like my football on a Saturday

Two weeks ago I flew out to bunny_hugger again, for one of those trips that's never long or frequent enough. This was a slightly unusual one in that I didn't take the day off in order to spend more of it with her; instead, I went in to work, even though I left an hour early in order to get an evening flight. There are somewhat practical matters behind this; with the shift to my new work schedule (allowing me to teach two days a week) the need to conserve days off suddenly grew more urgent.

I had figured on driving up to my brother's and his wife's and taking the train in, which would take me more time but require the involvement of fewer people. My father wanted to drive me to the airport himself, and I yielded to that (even if it left me doing more driving; he wanted to rest on the way up and I tried not thinking too hard about what his drive back would be like, particularly as it was in my car).

Anyway. United has had some rotten luck trying to fly me around the past couple times, but this time went smoothly. The flights took off on time, and all the better landed on time, and my only nuisance was that the Chicago-to-Lansing flight took off from a gate far at the end of the terminal, in one of those sub-gates where the number gets a lettered suffix, although all the flights used the same set of doors. In fact, they had the Lansing flight and another plane to somewhere in Wisconsin --- I want to say Eau Claire --- at the same time, through the same doors, raising the question of why have all the sub-gates after all.

But I got there safe and sound, and on time, with bunny_hugger pulling up exactly as I got out of the airport. Her house was relatively quiet --- she'd left her rabbit off with her parents for safekeeping --- but she was there, and that's the important thing.

Trivia: When Joseph-Jérôme Lefrançis de Lalande was named head of the Collège de France in 1791, he opened all classes to women, ended the announcement of prizes in Latin, and attempted to get the professors to teach their own courses. Source: The Measure Of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey That Transformed The World, Ken Alder.

Currently Reading: The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of America's Great Department Stores, Robert Hendrickson. So for the last couple chapters it turns into a roster of The Great Department Stores and their history up to their present state of superlativeness, and then I distract myself by looking up to see if any of them are still in business under their own name, even if not as independent stores, anymore. Peck's of Lewiston, Maine, nope; William Filene's Sons, Boston, nope; J L Hudson of Detroit, no; Spiegel of Chicago, well, they're at least still in catalogue sales; Wieboldt Stores, Chicago, nope; J W Robinson's of Los Angeles, nope; Miller and Rhoads of Richmond, Virginia, gone; J B Ivery and Company, Charlotte, North Carolina, no; ah, mercifully, Sears, Roebuck, there to make the south end anchor store of every mall depressing; Myers Brothers, Springfield, Illinois, nope; Hennessy's of Butte, Montana, gone; Glass Block of Duluth, Minnesota, nope; Jones Store of Kansas City, Missouri, no; People's of Tacoma, Washington, nope; Roobins of Cordele, Georgia, seems to be so gone it hasn't left traces on the Internet; Sage-Allen of Hartford, Connecticut, I know better than to think there's department stores in Connecticut; Lazarus of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, gone; Aldens of Chicago, so gone Wikipedia's ``defunct department stores of the United States'' doesn't list it; Henri Bendel of New York City, oh at last, another one that still exists. Joseph Magnin of San Francisco, gone. Bon Marche of Seattle, gone. This is morosely fascinating.

PS: Bases for comparison, and I get a little overboard with something that amused me as a bright math-oriented kid in elementary school.