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Once a Cardis, Always a Cardis

I made an unexpected trip over to Cambridge Saturday. My destination was the soon-to-be-thoroughly-renovated offices of Improbable Research. The purpose of my trip was to pick up extra issues of the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), the magazine I've been the designer for since the beginning of 2008. Yowser, 6 years already. Neat.

Anyway, I have Intentions of sharing the treasure trove with fans at Boskone, Detcon1 (where I'm running the fanzine lounge), and FenCon XI (where I'm the Fen GoH this year – w00t!). I'm confident we can put the back issues to a multitude of improbable uses.

Chief AIRhead Marc Abrahams has seen the Cardis several times over the past 6 years, but he's never seen it in action, never witnessed how it earned its name. Marc gingerly loaded a few boxes into the car, then a few more. He was doubtful that the boxes he'd moved from the 3rd floor down near the front porch would all fit. They are heavy, but less so than the 6,000 Noreascon 4 Progress Reports I picked up in Worcester and took over to Boston back in 2004, a mere 160,000 miles ago. And far less so than the load Spike, James Bacon, and I tucked into every nook and cranny around our bodies when doing a party supply run in Montreal. Now that was the time I was most glad to only be driving a few miles; I'm not sure the suspension would have lasted for many more!

Back to today. After the boxes on the stairs were tucked into the Cardis, I told Marc I'd be happy to also the few boxes that remained up on the 3rd floor. "Are you sure?" he asked dubiously. No doubts here. After most of 12 years and 189,600+ miles, I know my Matrix.

I enjoyed a cup of tea with Marc and Milo (and his and Robin's dog). And I, being who I am and all, picked up a few more things. Books from the giveaway shelf out on the sidewalk, 3 Improbable Research carry bags going back 30 years and more, including one Marc bought in Shanghai. You know, the durable extra bags you pick up while traveling after accumulating more than will fit in your luggage. I regularly give such things away to people who need them, and so their usefulness continues.

Those of you who have seen the Cardis when fully loaded, or have followed my previous tales here about it, know there's got to be more to the story. Simply putting several heavy boxes of magazines is so SOP that it hardly merits mention, let alone any build up. But as I said, it's new to Marc. He cautioned me several times to drive carefully, allow extra braking room and such. And when he reads this, I'm confident he will shake his head in that bemused way of his as he learns what happened next.

I headed over to the NESFA Clubhouse where a pre-Boskone worksession was going on. Before I pitched in at the end of the badge lamination session or helped confirm the ribbon order was complete, I rearranged a few of the boxes in the Cardis, then added the big cooler that accidentally stayed at Deb & Mike's for the year before Rick Kovalcik took it to Arisia so James Bacon and crew could use it during the Loncon 3 and Dublin in 2019 parties. It was back at the NESFA Clubhouse, waiting for me to take it home. That wasn't all, of course. There was an 18 gallon Rubbermaid bin, and a 14 gallon one, too, both filled with Loncon 3 supplies plus kettles, trays, and more I'd loaned to James from the overflowing party closet here at Toad Woods.

Of course all 3 large items fit in the Cardis. No worries.

As I was leaving the Clubhouse, I called Deb & Mike. We've been aiming to get together for the last couple weeks, and I'd left a message on my way into town, but we hadn't connected yet. My timing was fortuitous, much as that wasn't apparent at the start of our brief conversation. "Can I call you back?" Deb asked. "We're cooking."

"Uh, sure. I'm just leaving the NESFA Clubhouse..." I'm pretty sure I paused long enough to hear things click at Deb's end before continuing "...what'cha cooking and who's coming to dinner?"

"Truly evil Welsh rarebit and asparagus" and, yes, there'd be enough for 3. With no hesitation, I said I was on my way. I might have even said that before Deb mentioned there was enough to share. Delicious food, excellent company. What's not to jump at?

After our yummy dinner and catching up a bit, I headed for home. I would have arrived shortly after 11pm if I hadn't remembered that Wegman's is open until midnight...and just how empty my own refrigerator was.

The Cardis swallowed 3 bags of groceries and 3 12-packs of soda without pause. I resisted the opportunity to go back in and by 2 more bags of groceries. There was easily room for them in the back seat....

I love my car.

Now if I only had a house of equal capacity.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
Geri, you are a dear but if you had a house with twice the capacity it would not take you long to fill it. The world has too many neglected treasures for you to leave all of them alone and homeless.
Feb. 9th, 2014 11:45 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. So says the woman who has Will Shetterly's childhood sand pail (mentioned in Dogland) on her desk. Where it serves a functional purpose as well as a happy-making one, she says in her defense.
Feb. 9th, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
Amazing as always:)
Feb. 9th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the AIR issues - when I worked for an academic publishing house back in the 80s, I used to have a subscription to The Journal of Irreproducible Results.
Feb. 9th, 2014 11:45 pm (UTC)
Neat. I'll try to bring a wide selection to Boskone. We're up to volume 20, which makes for rather a lot to choose from.

Edited at 2014-02-09 11:48 pm (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2014 05:04 pm (UTC)
You know ---- if you moved into Cardis, you would have a house of equal capacity
Feb. 10th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC)
I saw a physics academic paper that might ought to be considered for an award .... http://phys.org/news/2014-02-mathematicians-ways.html#jCp
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Geri 2014
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