austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

If you see me fuss and fret

Ah, now, the Cleveland trip. I ended up spending more time than I expected wandering around the car museum, which included such fascinating-to-me spectacles as an exhibition of Ohio license plates through the ages. I realize this may be the dullest thing I've ever talked about, but given that I have both historical and graphic design interests the evolution of a plate has an irresistible attraction to me. Among other things the proportions and size of license plates weren't standardized in the United States until surprisingly late (to me) in the game --- 1956, after even Ohio got its statehood glitch straightened out --- and things like early, home-made plates have their appeal.

Also in the exhibit was a little reproduction small-town Vaguely 1910 main street, with storefronts designed to look like they ought to appear in silent movies. This again meant shelves stocked full of those wonderful obsolescent package designs and they came complete with poster bills which were either contemporary or looked it. There was also a small sailboat with which, apparently, some Ohioan years ago sailed to Europe despite the occasional shark attack or whatnot. At the end of the day my father bought tickets to a sweepstakes in which, sometime come April, they'll be giving away a mid-70s Cadillac Gigantic. If we actually do win this I can't imagine what will happen to the driveway situation around here. My mother preemptively rolled her eyes.

For lunch we were directed to the Italian district, which would probably have been a good choice except it was a holiday and everything was closed. We finally found a place with a ``Victorian'' theme, by which they meant the dining room had last been lit for the Diamond Jubilee Year and was stuffed full of knicknacks I expected to break something. Also the bathroom was labelled a Water Closet, and was a closet inside a closet. We ate outside and it turned out pretty well, although the abundant statues kept bringing to mind the New Doctor Who episode with the evil statues, so I was mildly distracted.

Trivia: In laying out the plan for the city which would bear his name, Moses Cleaveland set the largest street --- Superior Street --- to be 2,640 feet long and 132 feet broad, with minor streets 99 feet wide. These slightly odd dimensions correspond to 40 by 2 Gunter chains for Superior Street, and one and a half chains for other roads. (Gunter chains were easily available surveying tools.) Source: Measuring America: How The United States Was Shaped By The Greatest Land Sale In History, Andro Linklater.

Currently Reading: Commitment Hour, James Alan Gardner. In a little enclave on Earth kids grow up alternating gender each year until they reach adulthood and must choose. And it's set in the ``League of Peoples'' continuity, so I'm wondering just how the grisly side will show itself.

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