austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

If I make it till tomorrow I'll be surprised

Also over the weekend my parents' holiday ended, to the great relief of the cats, who were going through fits of separation anxiety of a level previously undemonstrated by them. I think their natural anxiety --- they get antsy as soon as they see luggage --- may have been worsened by my locker-cleaning, sicne that meant lots of boxes of unfamiliar origin coming into the house, changing contents, and disappearing again. My main part in this was to pick them up at the airport, at a scheduled 11 pm. Incidentally my sister --- who'd driven them up two weeks and two days earlier --- had finally returned their car, with just enough gas that the ``low tank'' warning light didn't come on until I had driven almost to the development's front gate (about half a mile). So next time they want my sister to drive them somewhere, they've got to remember not to fill up the tank, so I can get the car back. Me, I return a borrowed car with the gas topped off, at least as long as it's a longer trip than, say, picking up the pizza order (3.8 miles round-trip).

Saturday night with Google Maps estimating travel time at one hour eight minutes I checked about 9:30 to see how their flight was progressing, since it seemed liable to run late given that we were getting all the rain in the world pouring down at once. Naturally, it was running by Newark Airport's estimate some 36 minutes ahead of schedule. I figured that couldn't possibly last, but I should set out right now, and got off to a slower-than-expected start complicated by the cats feeling very strongly that they must not let me out of their sight. They really need to learn how to handle separations better.

Nevertheless, I got up there in ... just under an hour and a half, exactly on the dot for their scheduled arrival time. I'd brought my father's cell phone with me and even had it turned on, so I expected to be called when they were ready and I felt pretty good when I got into the terminal without hearing from them. When I finally found the right baggage claim, well, it turned out they had arrived a half-hour before and didn't call because they figured I would be there for the scheduled time and couldn't be expected to do anything about their plane's steady tailwind. Driving back, I missed the turn for the Turnpike and we ended up driving the whole way on Route 1-9, then Route 9, with the traffic signals that make long-distance driving so irritating to a person like me who, if he's got to drive, wants to just set the cruise control and steer since we can't quite turn that over to the car just yet.

Back home the cats were happier than they've been since my sister took her dogs, which she had brought with the U-Haul trailer, away.

Trivia: The safety deposit vault of the Knickerbocker Bank on 34th Street, Manhattan, the failure of which set off the Panic of 1907, contained 2,000 boxes, with an outer vault door weighing nearly nine tons, and hinges alone weighing 3,700 pounds. Source: The Panic Of 1907: Lessons Learned From The Market's Perfect Storm, Robert F Bruner, Sean D Carr.

Currently Reading: Wizard: The Life And Times Of Nikola Tesla, Marc J Seifer. The problem with a biography of Tesla is any lunatic thing you want to say about him, somebody has tried to say with a straight face. Or to be precise, if you want me to accept for a moment the suggestion that maybe Tesla accidentally invented the laser I want to see original notes, lavish explanations, and maybe let's have Adam and Jamie rebuild the thing to his specifications. A footnote pointing where other people suggested it first doesn't cut it.


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