As we got packing to fly back home my mother had two special requests: could I set up the cable box in the guest room so it actually works (this involved plugging it in), and did I want to take all these 8-millimeter film reels? I didn't, because when I'd last looked at them a dozen years or so ago it seemed to be home prints of ordinary short films, Three Stooges and the like. My mother said my father would be heartbroken since they were family home movies. Somehow I'd missed the family home movies in the mix, and that of course changes everything drastically. Since we didn't have time to deal with them, I promised to do something about them next time I visited.
The horrible news my father had delivered the previous night was true, though: the Regent Diner had had a fire, and was closed. This fire --- it happened back in February, apparently --- broke our streak of returning to the first place we ate together each time we were together in New Jersey. We can only hope it reopens someday.
I did later tell my parents that my father was right. My mother's comment was that there must be something going around burning down diners in central New Jersey. I didn't find any news items about the Golden Bell being on fire.
So we had lunch at a Jersey Mike's instead, and drove to the Trenton airport which is delightfully cute by day, too. Less delightful is that our suitcase turned out to be overweight. I have a luggage scale for just this sort of contingency, but had left it in the guest room and now it's who knows where in the house. So we started shuffling stuff from the suitcase to our carry-ons, which causes weight to magically disappear from flights, and got in under the suitcase weight limit. This created problems at the screening, because I'd moved my toiletries from the suitcase to carry-on, and of course, I had a tube of toothpaste, the deadliest substance known to air-travelling mankind in it.
After the security theater folks explained in their passive-aggressive way that a tube of Crest can't just be flown somewhere unless it's in checked baggage, and I was trying to bring it on a carry-on they finally allowed me to throw it out already. This left my carry-on stuff --- books, laptop, lots of wires, surviving toiletries --- in a mess, and one of the agents told me I could use the table they have for extra screening to put it back in order. There's no other space inside the quarantined area, which is about the size of a Vanagon interior. While I worked another agent told me that I can't use the table for extra screening to put things back in order. I pointed out that I had to put things back in order and the other agent had told me to use the table. She explained again that I could not use the table to put things back in order. I repeated my explanation, without suggesting that maybe the agents should sometimes talk with one another, while putting stuff back and because I have got this compulsive orderly personality was able to get things in tolerable shape before she went around to explaining again.
So, we flew home, and we got to the our car without trouble and drove home just fine and collapsed exhausted from it all.
A footnote. When I said I bought multiple bolts from the Casino Pier wild mouse, I was being a bit vague. I'd bought four, and gave bunny_hugger two of them, figuring that I could keep the other two for a surprise later gift. I'd left them in the suitcase and didn't think of them. She ran across them while unpacking, though, and wasn't sure how our little bolt supply had grown. So I explained my plan, and she was sorry to have spoiled the surprise.
Of course, it was a surprise after all, and that was what's most important.
Trivia: About 75 Apollo Guidance Computers were built, of which a third flew in space. Source: A History Of Modern Computing, Paul E Ceruzzi.
Currently Reading: Astounding Days, Arthur C Clarke.