2013.07.28 Moving Tales

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The RooKian codenames for abodes has been:

  1. The Asylum - where I lived with the Princess and Bubbles upon moving down from Canada.
  2. The Roost - the condominium where I eventually lured S to partner up with me.
  3. The Nest - our first house, where Simon and Violet were born.
    And now,
  4. The Keep - a house more suited for us to stay in long-term.


...to be continued, after I sneak in some sleep...
...and watch the Hungarian F1 race, and the latest episode of Top Gear...
...and ban stupid people on the SoF, and watch S buy house-related shyte on the iPad...
...and go for a bike ride up on Sandy Ridge...
...and a Game Night with Dave...
...and wrangling kids all day then watching The Wolvering...
...and painting the living room...

Yeeesh. Yeah, OK: life is busy.

Relative Complexity

The move from Canuckistan to The Asylum was really, really easy. Partially because I didn't have much, but mostly because the company paid to pack and move all my stuff for me. Bippity boppity boo. I hate to think about how much that probably cost. Everything went, because why not?

The move from the Asylum to the Roost was more painful. Because I'm stubborn. I used S's old Volvo wagon to make about 20 trips from the Asylum to storage - with just S and myself moving everything. It took all day. Then I rented a truck to make 4 trips from storage a few months later, with the help of a few friends. The amount of stuff had increased a tiny bit, and I don't think I threw away any of my junk. I might need it again some day! Yes, even those old microswitches left over from that 3rd-year-university robotics project I kept.

The move from the Roost to the Nest was a lot uglier. By this point, S and I had consolidated "stuff", and it was more. A lot more. Again a rental truck, and ablated friendships in two steps (with storage in the middle again). And, somehow, we jammed it all in there. Incredible, really, for such a small house.

And then kids happened. Oh, the stuff. So much stuff. At one point, before we smothered, we did actually thin our things out a bit. And then when we listed the Nest, we forced ourselves to purge multple Tyrannosaurus loads of stuff. To make the little place look less crowded.

The move from the Nest to the Keep was surreal. We hired a moving company, and did the packing ourselves. They quoted us 3 hours. But what they - and we - hadn't fully appreciated was the fractal-Tetris storage solution we had evolved in the basement. It was like a clown car spewing storage tubs and boxes. 8 hours later, with extra helpers being called in for emergency back-up, they had all the packed stuff moved. And even after that, it still took 5 Tyrannosaurus loads to get the "bits" out.

And that's why RIchthofen is parked in the driveway, instead of tucked into his rightful spot in the garage. Considering how I have trouble finding time to even write about the adventure, it is hard to fathom how I'll find time to deal with the Garage Situation.

The Movers

The cheerful, helpful crew of guys S found were run by the owners of a U-Haul franchise, so we got the truck use pretty cheap. The leader, Christian, showed up a week in advance to gift us a huge pile of boxes to use. And they hustled. So there's no defensible way to complain about them blowing their quoted duration.

What I did quietly grumble about was how their proximity made me feel old and ugly. I'm not small, or weak, but these guys effortlessly juggled things I would have grunted and sweated to shift. And all the while doing so with a charming Liberian accent as they joked with each other about their countries of origin. It caused me some petty speculation about the full spectrum of my wife's priorities for selecting movers.


In the middle of loading up the new garage with our arrayed Scheiß, I spotted a really big fucking spider. Not a "long wispy-legged spider", or a "fat-bodied lumpen spider". But a big fucking spider-shaped-spider. I took a picture, but I was shaking too much for the image to be worth sharing, and there was nothing nearby that gave contextual scale.

I nearly peed myself.

I showed it to the Liberian mover guys. They laughed at me, and refused to put anything else in that portion of the garage.

I showed it to S. She swore at me and departed to other parts of the Keep. Which extra-sucks, because she's the nominal spider-killer on the team.

So, what could I do but name it - Shelob - and just keep the fuck out of its way?

The problem was that Shelob occupied the nexus of our home distribution node - the garage - and so caused recurring emotional trauma every time something else was being unpacked. On the second day I worked up enough courage to try to capture her with a transparent plastic cup. Unfortunately, she knew the garage better than I, and artfully used the nearby plumbing to thwart my attempt. Also, it's possible that I might have pussied out a bit and been distracted by my dubious bladder control.

So a few days went by where I would open the door to the garage, calling to Shelob, asking for permission to enter, and after visually locating her from across the garage would proceed to grab whatever it was I needed and run out. Which sucked on the day I lost track of Shelob. How do you lose a 4-kilo spider anyway?

Finally, there came a day when Shelob was in mid-wall when I ventured into the garage - well away from useful cover. So I grabbed the plastic cup, and holding it like a lance I charged across the room screaming like a little kid on fire. Shelob was angry. Mostly because she didn't FIT in the fucking cup, and had to pull her legs painfully in the main volume with her, ending up in a fist-like angry configuration. This spider was bigger up close, with a leg span very similar to my hand. With terrified fumbling one-handed strength, I ripped a flap of cardboard off of one of the boxes nearby, and used that to trap Shelob in the cup.

I took my prisoner up into the kitchen and used a book to keep the lid in place. I called to S in the bedroom if she wanted to come see Shelob. She uttered some not-very-kind commentary, and demanded the removal of the creature from our premises. So I carried Shelob out into the back yard, and shot-putted her over the fence into the neighbours yard.

Why didn't I just kill Shelob? In all seriousness - because I was too scared. Which isn't to say that I couldn't have killed her. Just that doing so would have triggered my arachnophobia much worse, and I had a non-trivial chance of botching it. Also: I've seen the Jaws movies. If you kill the monster, its even-larger mate comes to exact revenge.

Neighbour Upgrade

The neighbours we had at the Nest suited the place: sweet, cute, and quirky. The lovely and helpful old couple next door with regular grandkids visiting, and the adorable guy next door that let us borrow his cats. And so on.

Our first day at the Keep, the neighbours across the street invited us over for a barbecue dinner. And then he proceeded to show me all the tools I could borrow, as well as the classic Mini he was building in his garage. And his lovely wife and S proceeded to bond in a profound way, while his awesome kids played with Simon and Violet.


We like the new place.