June 2nd, 2013

krazy koati

And leave the driving to us

The Michigan Flyer normally loads passengers from just outside a hotel, nice and convenient and easy to locate. Unfortunately, that spot was closed for an art festival the day I was leaving. They were loading at another spot --- not far from that, actually, it turns out --- but we left extra, extra early because all of mid-Michigan is torn up for construction. You will suspect me of exaggerating. I am not, I promise you. Getting to East Lansing --- and we are on the east side of Lansing, where it's barely a ten minute walk to the East Lansing city limits --- is pretty much impossible, because every route we might take is either closed or severely limited or impassable due to backed up traffic. But we got there with a comfortable ten-minute margin before the bus left.

There was a longer margin between my getting at the Detroit airport and my flight leaving, as the Flyer runs every two hours and of course it'll be just a little bit out of synch with perfect timing. I can't seriously complain, but shall.

One of Frontier Air's gimmicks, besides being so cheap to fly between Detroit and Trenton that it's worth doing, is that their planes have animals painted on the tail and winglets. When I checked in online their system thought I'd be flying the Fox; in fact, it was the Penguins (a quartet whose names were given by the pilot a couple times, and which I missed every time).

The Trenton airport is tiny, something I mentioned in the humor blog but will come back to because when I arrived I only saw it in nighttime. I've flown often into or out of airports small enough you walk on the tarmac instead of through a jetway, but this ... well, the baggage carousel was small enough to fit in our living room, and rather than hide the unloading and such behind a wall or underground or whatnot, they just opened up the door and the guys lugged bags off the cart and onto the carousel. I was delighted by the tininess of it.

I was more delighted by the rental counter, not nearly so big as a mall food court counter. The guy explained that the car would probably be in parking space number six, or if it wasn't, it'd be somewhere near there (it was near there), and yes, technically, the rental car counter would be closed when I returned it the next Sunday but they had a drop box for the keys and I should just leave it somewhere in the parking lot. In the agency's reserved spots, ``if you can'', but if I had to leave it somewhere else it was all right, ``we'll find it''. He did ask that I write down directions if I had to leave the car somewhere odd, though.

If you're not smiling at this, then, you're not getting into the spirit of the wonderfully tiny airport.

Trivia: Among the products exhibited at the Napier Tercentary Celebration, 24-27 July 1914, were the Archimedes, by Glashutter; Colt's Calculator, by Teetzmann; the Comptometer, by Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company; the Hamann's ``Mercedes-Eukid'' Arithmometer, by O Sust, Kgl Landmesser; and the ``Millionaire'' Calculating Machine made by O Steiger. Source: Before The Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created, James W Cortada.

Currently Reading: Tudor Historical Thought, F J Levy.

PS: How Big Is This Number? in case you'd like a quick little mental-math puzzle.