austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

One key unlocks them both, you know

I'd gone to the Jackson Outlet Malls in theory because of the possibility of buying new pants. I'm not currently short on pants, although I did accidentally step on one pair which was on the laundry room floor in just the right spot to shatter its button. I know that in theory buttons can be repaired, but I've never figured out the trick, and I have to conclude after all this time that buttons in fact cannot be repaired except possibly with Superglue. But I do have really only a minimum of acceptable-for-work slacks to wear, and while I haven't lost enough weight that they're awkwardly loose on me, I have lost enough that I really do need to pay attention to my belt as opposed to treating it as part of the costume.

Mostly, though, I just wanted to get out of the house. It's too easy to end up not doing anything but going to the office and coming back home, with a side trip at the start or end of each week to the library, and I was ready for anything different. So while I did poke my way into the Van Heusen store and find they didn't have anything that I liked, and the Brooks Brothers store to find that they didn't have anything that I liked and they cost a lot for pants, it was still a successful venture up to that point.

While there I stopped in the bathroom and my natural instincts for finding things to baffle me lived up to their reputation. There was the little vending machine for essentials you think of while on the road, of course, with one slot for getting a couple Advil and another for some Tylenol. There was one for a pack of Tic-Tacs, which seems like a less urgent need to me but then I usually drive alone. Another slot was to get a supply of CK One cologne, which is certainly among the five items most needed on the road. And then finally was ... a pack of glow-sticks of assorted colors. No brand name.

And so I was left trying to imagine circumstances which force a driver to say, ``I'm out of glow-in-the-dark sticks! I hope I can make it to the Outlet Mall!''

Trivia: The Franco-British geodesic expedition of 1787-88 used instruments which reduced measurement errors on the large surveying triangles to less than 1.5 seconds of arc; despite this, where British and French measurements overlapped, their angle values differed by as much as 12.7 seconds. Source: The Measure Of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey That Transformed The World, Ken Alder. You know, someday I'm going to have to count how many books I have in stock that talk about the invention, year, expedition, project, food, or other small noun which changed the world.

Currently Reading: Down To Earth: Nature's Role In American History, Ted Steinberg.

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