I figure what I'll do is pick up the card, then decide whether I want to install it myself or have them do it (because installation is free with the purchase). My Mini is at home, so first I'll pick up the card right after work and decide what to do later.
5:30 pm: Leave work, head down to the Apple store.
5:40 pm: Hit stop-and-go traffic on Mopac southbound.
6:00 pm: Arrive at the Apple store right on time. "So, do you have your Mini with you?" Well no, I just came from work and was planning to just pick up the card. However, apparently they can't sell it without installing it, so I'll need to bring in my Mini. Okay fine, I tell them I'll see them in about an hour and a half.
6:40 pm: Arrive home. Shut down Mini, toss it in the car and head back down south.
6:58 pm to 7:05 pm: Wait through two full cycles of a left hand turn light at Brushy Creek Road to get on to 183 southbound.
7:30 pm: Arrive back at the Apple store. Apple employees look at me skeptically when I say I'm here to pick up my Airport card, "Aren't you a little late for 6pm?" (yes, different people than last time). With restraint, explain the events of the last two hours. They've still got the Airport card held for me, so great.
Now apparently, not only are the insides of the Mac Mini not (officially) accessible to end users, but it also requires the services of a particular kind of Genius at an Apple store in order to open one up. The problem is, at 7:30 pm there is only one such Genius working in the store, and he's booked up until closing time. "Well, at 6pm we had three of them." Sure, but I was here at 6 and you wouldn't sell me the card. And at that point I would have been quite happy to install it myself.
The end result is that I left my Mini with the folks at the Apple store so they could install the Airport card tomorrow. I'll pick it up late tomorrow or sunday.
7:45 pm: Since I was on that side of town already, I headed down to the outlet mall in San Marcos to pick up a couple of things.
9:00 pm: Leave the outlet mall, head back home.
9:50 pm: Discover that the Sonic near my place has installed a card reader/keypad at each drive-in stall, so you can pay for your food after ordering and before they bring it out. The neat thing is, the display tells you when they've finished preparing the food and are about to bring it out to you.
9:55 pm: Back home. Total distance driven today: 195.9 miles; 59.9 miles per gallon.