anthropology

Delays ironed over

Recyclers our street

Our street is pedestrian-friendly with only hyper-local and delivery traffic. And scooters.

Real Roman street life happens here. Dogs pee. Garbage/recycling is collected. The sun shines.

If one noted the unusual in these opening hours of our trip and called them an omen, we’re wracking up some strange ones. First, we got all boarded on our flight, then the pilot asked for our patience while they sorted something out. Full flight, but it wasn’t that. Then he came back on perhaps fifteen minutes later to say that there was a security situation (“someone made a mistake”), and we would have to return to the terminal with ALL our belongings, and be rechecked in using our boarding passes and passports. We sat some more. Eventually, they took the people needing help off first (?), then the rest of us got off. Fortunately, they let us cross the concourse to the restrooms. Lots of TSA folks lined up around us, but their faces didn’t look menacing—more ho-hum. Strange comfort in that. So we sat and stood around near our gate. Personnel went in and out the loading door. After at least a half-hour Deltoids set out some water, M&Ms, cheese crackers, and Coke products for us to nosh on. They closed the loading door. The pilot spoke to us, and said the TSA people were checking the passenger compartment. Sometime later the door opened and we were told they were almost ready to re-board us and we could see the helpful screen said our flight would leave at 6pm; I took that as a mythical round number. It was; we waited. Eventually they said to form a single line and present paperwork for rechecking, to then be returned to our seats. Sometime after that they had us back on the plane. At least four TSA people were checking hand-carried luggage, but I thought rather cursorily. Not sure the reason for all that, or what the exact problem had been. Meanwhile the line of planes ready to take off that had been held-up for the exit of the President’s plane (ah, yes, another wrinkle) diminished, and we lined up for take-off we were number five. That’s good! We took off three hours late. Despite projections by non-pilots that we would make up time, we didn’t. That meant our plan for getting through emigration, baggage, customs, and to the train was set back. And that had a ripple effect regarding us connecting with the apartment manager to get our key, not worth detailing, but gaining us another omen check-mark.

Anyway, by 4pm, everything was straightened out, we were in our apartment and off our tired feet. Does that reverse the negative omens?

Weather that had been predicted to be partly cloudy was the sunny kind of partly cloudy. After getting some cheese and bread (rolls like Mexican bolillos) from the almost-next door Carrefour Express (French grocery chain) and chowing down on them in our apartment, we began to feel better, and headed on a short walking loop to look at some brow-wrinkling sunshine (to help with jet lag) and some old buildings. And the river!

Now I’m almost on local time, JCB is napping, and I’ll have to late-post this tomorrow. Yes, despite the omens and the lack of internet in the apartment (we THOUGHT it had wifi; stay tuned…), it was a buon viaggio.

Checking bookings

Two in one seat

By David Sipress in The New Yorker (4 Aug 2014).

Flyer’s nightmare…soooo glad the sign doesn’t read “Delta.”

“Night Moves” slowly

Night work

We noted a red stripe on our route about 50 miles before we got to it. There was a way around, but it’d take longer than waiting through the red, if it diminished. And it did. We stayed with the highway and got to see the red-creating conditions. Repaving. Under bright artificial lights, as the moon, bright as it was, wouldn’t have illuminated the aborning asphalt.

Festival for workers

Bolt industrial night

So, Labor Day in the US of A dates back to the 1880s. Today, the gains in labor conditions and workers’ rights during the interim seem…like a given; they actually represent a huge shift in top-down attitudes and governmental policy. Still, I’ve worked several Labor Days, but not this one—not punched-in work, anyway.

We got wild and opened the PAMA this evening to celebrate…. It’s too yummy to just keep around, though….

Complexity: floral, bureaucratic

Queen annes lace CU

I love the laciness of Queen Anne’s lace. Perfect name.

I loved spending a half-hour this afternoon floating and bobbing in the lake. It’s warm. Shallow lakes do that….

I really love that our good friends from NE (as in, New England) arrived today. Soooo great to see them.

Our travelers opted to short-cut through Canada instead of looping down around Lake Erie, and with whatever (bombing? Ebola? Friday-ness? Latin American immigration problems?) they waited one hour to do the border thing and cross into Canada, and TWO hours of waiting in line to cross back into the USofA. And all of a minute for them face-to-face with the customs/immigration folks in both cases (if I have it right). Sheesh.

Local economics

Manistique lighthouse

Hey, a Great Lake! This is Lake Michigan, near the northern shore; the other end laps on Chicago’s toenails. I like this limestone bed that I’m standing on—it acts rather like a shelf along this section of the shoreline. That lighthouse is modest; it’s on the pier off Manistique aiding navigation into and out of the small port. Mostly it’s used by pleasure boaters these days, although the park where I was standing to take this is named after a ship that went down in the late 1950s, about 23 miles offshore. Twenty-foot waves are tough on marine craft.

Two summers ago, if I remember right, it looked like the paper? mill in town would close—a huge blow to this community, which otherwise is managing to hold on with a high school, small harbor, and I think a small clinic. Turned out that at the last minute it was sold, and continued in operation.

Meanwhile, over in Gulliver, the yard seems to have the largest stockpile of logs we’ve ever seen there. Acres. Not sure if it ships into Manistique, or farther west. Pretty sure, though, that the logs leave 1) by rail, and 2) towards the setting sun.

Civic doooo-teeee

GA voter sticker upside

We civic-duty’d this afternoon. At our precinct, we had three offices to vote for. Run-off election…actually, seems amazing that three three three slates weren’t settled in the primary.

Connections

Architectural space hallway

Did a wee (and I mean wee) bit of thinking about the power of the Internet in connecting people who otherwise would not encounter one another. Not ground-breaking, that thought, but worth contemplating for several reasons. I was considering how/whether it makes for a significantly different dynamic when considering how civilizations and societies function.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, is this broad, empty hallway in a busy well-populated office building this size mostly to satisfy fire regulations? That’s a lot of square footage that can never be rented….

Traditional southern fare

Oregon grape bud

Some days I face this page and draw a blank. It’s not that I can’t remember what I did, it’s that it seems too mundane.

We DID dine at the Colonnade*, though. Guess that was pretty darned special. My first time.

Many people describe the Colonnade as a restaurant “that time forgot”—what I was first introduced to as a “meat and three” place—that is, three sides—with rolls and butter delivered right away. Now, they’re mostly like the Colonnade, and they’re “meat and two” places (in rural areas, the coffee/iced tea is usually included). Anyway, not sure if they’re checking to see if anyone is actually reading their website when they note: “The chef adds nighlty specials which may feature kangaroo, fresh fish, or a special twist on our southern features.” (Yes, that’s the spelling.)

That’s more southern than I usually think of as “southern fare”….

* Cash or check only; no credit cards. Soooo traditional.

And the logic is…

Bike caboose

Seems like a workable combo, until you consider that the train-management probably wouldn’t like a bike tethered to the railing—insurance worries, I’m guessing.

The secret is that this caboose is parked, and seemed to be the office of a bike-messenger business.

BTW, that cream-colored canister is for spent butts.