A Moving Experience 2: The Aftermath

Does that wound like a movie title or what? Anyway, I took the day off Friday so we could spend the day moving boxes. It went well, aside from losing a box in the middle of an intersection (I still haven't checked to see if that DVD player is broken). It got a lot of the clutter out of the way to facilitate the furniture moving on Saturday.

Saturday morning I went to pick up the U-Haul. That was quite the experience. I have never driven anything even close to the size of that 26-foot monster. I only ended up running over one curb, though. Then it took me 15 minutes to back it into our driveway correctly (I hate having to rely on mirrors).

We had about 10 guys from the ward show up to help, so the furniture was moved within about 15 minutes. Then they started picking up whatever was loose and moving it, much to our dismay (no, don't put our snake in the back of the moving truck). Anyway, we ended up with quite a bit of extra space in the truck, since we moved around 100 boxes the day before, but I suppose extra space is better than not enough.

I took the truck over to the new place while Katie did some cleaning. My sister and her boyfriend were there, and the 3 of us had the truck almost all unloaded before anyone else showed up. We had contacted the new ward to see if a few guys could help, but I didn't give them an early enough time. So 5 or 6 guys came when there were only 2 things left to unload. But it was nice to meet them anyway.

In the end, our possessions survived intact. Now it's just a matter of finding where they all are. Oh, and if anybody needs boxes, I think I could come up with a couple.

A Moving Experience

Well, for those of you I haven't been chattering to for the last couple of months, we're moving this weekend. My former roommate and good friend Jer has purchased a house with an apartment added on to it, and he's renting us the house portion for a couple years. My wife has been so excited that she started packing a month ago, when we had no idea if it would work out at all. Fortunately, it appears that it wasn't a waste of time. So tomorrow we'll be taking carloads of boxes over, provided we have the keys by then, and on Saturday we'll load up a U-Haul with the furniture.

Incidentally, for those of you who have never had a piano moved, consider yourselves lucky. It costs twice as much as getting the truck for everything else. (And yes, I'm aware that moving it ourselves would be really hard and could potentially ruin it. So for the sake of John, the true owner of the piano, we're having it done professionally.)

Assuming no horrific injuries occur, I'll let you know next week how everything goes.

Oh, who am I kidding? Even if there are injuries, I'll post about it.

Comb Over

My wife, bless her heart, tries diligently to make sure things around our house stay as clean as possible. She washes things I would never think to wash. One such item is my comb.

I occasionally wake up in the morning, take a shower, and attempt to comb my hair, only to realize that the comb is missing from the sink. Rather than go downstairs and retrieve it from the dishwasher (the perfect way to wash small items), I just use my fingers to comb my hair. Today is one such day, so be kind and at least wait until I'm out of the room before snickering at me.

Squish

For those of you who don't live around here, last week was beautiful. It was sunny and warm and, as usual, the plants were all fooled into thinking it was really spring. So yesterday it snowed most of the day, and the buds on the tree in our front yard were all frozen off. When I went outside this morning, all the buds were underfoot on the sidewalk, and I felt like I was walking on hundreds of bugs. Gross.

Holy Cheese!

I was never too big a fan of swiss cheese while growing up. It was okay, but I considered myself a cheddar kind of guy. There was always something about the taste of swiss that reminded me of the stuff you use to numb a sore throat (seriously).
Recently, however, I have been converted to the delights of this lovely cheese. My brother made some incredible cheesy potatoes with it, I found a great chicken cordon bleu recipe, and making ham and swiss melts has been delightful. So I think swiss cheese has found a permanent place in my heart and pantry.
(Incidentally, feta still doesn't stand a chance. Yerg!)

No Diving

My wife and I occasionally discuss how most couples seem to "look" right together. That is, they are each at approximately the same level of attractiveness. But every once in a while there are two people who don't look like they match up very well, and it's hard not to wonder what the story there is. In situations like that I like to think that there's something extra involved—money.
Okay, okay, it also might show that there really are people out there who are less shallow than the majority of us are. Have you ever wondered about this?

Presta!

So I found this in the cuff of my pants just a few minutes ago:



A cut-off end piece, that is, rather than the whole valve. (Kudos to Amy for the ID; otherwise I would have no idea what it is.) This is especially funny because a) it's my work slacks, which I don't exactly go biking in, and b) I don't go biking at all. I haven't been near any bikes in recent memory. How did this happen?

Sensory Ghosts

I have heard that when people lose a limb they will continue to feel as though it is there, and that people who lose a sense continue to feel as thought they are receiving input, such as deaf people "hearing" a noise. From what I understand, our nerves don't like it when things get too quiet, so if need be they'll make something up, like a war correspondent who gets bored.
Well, I haven't had a sense of smell for about 4 weeks now, and I think my brain is making up smells. I keep asking people if there's a strange smell in the room, and they have no idea what I'm talking about. (Insert olfactory joke at my expense here.)
Does this sound at all plausible, or do my problems go far deeper than a stuffy nose?

The Eyes Have It

My wife claims I have blue eyes, but I think they're green. What say you?I also like how you can see the reflection of the camera in the image.

A New Way to Post

I'm testing a new (for me) feature in Blogger, by sending an email to a top-secret address that directly posts it to my blog. Did it work?

New Personal Best

I've come down with 3 colds in 3 weeks. Pretty impressive, eh?

Time Keeps on Slippin

Growing up I often heard from older people that time went really fast for them. I never paid much attention to that since, as a kid, every day seemed long and a whole year seemed like forever. But then when I hit 25 or so I started noticing that it really seemed time was speeding up slightly, and for the last few years it has continued. So now I can imagine that it will only increase.

I once heard an interesting explanation for this phenomenon, in a church meeting of all places. Whoever it was said that when you're 5, a year is 20% of your life, so it seems like forever. But when you're 50, it's just 2%, so the longer you've lived the shorter a given period of time takes. That seems like a fairly logical explanation.

Will somebody please get out there and conduct a scientific study on this?

My Finicky Brain

There are certain times when someone will bring up a topic of conversation that somehow causes my brain to shut down. I don’t know if it’s just boredom, some weird reflex, or a fear of somehow losing a portion of my intelligence as a result of the discussion, but I am somehow unable to hear a word the other person says. It can be embarrassing, especially if it’s my wife doing the talking (fortunately, that’s a rare occurrence). Topics that cause this sporadic deafness include American Idol (or pretty much any reality-type show with contestants), crafts or scrap-booking, and professional baseball.

Do you experience this? What are your topics?

Tummy Tuck

Last week I came down with the most unbelievably horrid cold I have ever experienced. And part of that has been a bad cough, the kind that makes your stomach sore. So with the diet/exercise industry always in search of a quick way to slim yourself down, why not market bronchitis-causing bacteria to strengthen your abs? The main difference between this and those battery-powered belts is that this would actually work.

Ready or Not...

Playing hide and seek with a three-year-old is really fun, if somewhat different. Sam instructs me where to hide, counts to ten, and then finds me. Then I count to ten and start "looking," even though he tells me where he's going to hide. If I start looking in the wrong places and say something like, "I wonder if he's in the closet," he'll laugh and say, "No, I'm behind the curtain." So, while the principle remains somewhat elusive to him, it's still pretty fun.

Bad (insert your name here)!

One of the most difficult aspects of parenthood, at least for us, is figuring out how to discipline your child. I mean, parents spend most of their time trying to keep their kids from screaming, and discipline usually induces it. So I spent a long time thinking about it (I had nothing better to do while in time out), and I finally realized something. It’s not so much the punishment itself that matters, it’s the attitude behind it. I decided that the only way to properly punish your child is to remain calm and kind, but firm about it. That keeps the kids from thinking you hate them (more than they do already) but shows that they have to accept the consequences of their actions.

Obviously, it’s not always easy to remain calm when your child is deliberately pushing your buttons, but by and large I find that Sam reacts better to punishment when we do it this way. (By the way, our particular method of discipline is to put him in time out on the stairs, rather than sending him to his room. There are no toys on the stairs, and he also won’t come to associate his room with being punished.)

I don’t really remember what my parents did to punish me as a kid. I remember being grounded a few times, and getting a number of lectures. Frankly, I think my parents were kind of at a loss as to how to get me to behave.

What did your parents do to punish you? And what do you (or will you) do to discipline your kids?

Getting to Know You

I was thinking about effort vs. reward after a conversation with my wife. Someone had sent her a CD, and she listened to it once and decided she didn't care for it, even though it was the solo work of a singer she enjoyed in a previous band. Her point is that there's already so much entertainment out there that anything that doesn't immediately seem great isn't worth spending time on.

She has a point there. But then I started thinking about my own experiences, particularly with music. I would buy a CD and listen to it 4 or 5 times within a few days, and each song would successively become familiar and enjoyable to me, until I really felt a connection with the album. I felt like putting in the effort to know something helped me get more out of it in the end.

It's similar with works of literature. Many classics are pretty dry and boring until you study the history behind them and look at the literary tools that were used to construct them. And suddenly you discover new meaning, and reap the reward of putting some effort into consuming the media.

This is not to say that every creative work has merit, of course, but I think you're more likely to find the beauty in things when you take the time to get to know them better.

Am I totally wrong here? Maybe you just need to read the post a couple more times...

His & Hers

Five books on our bookshelf that belong to Katie:

Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomerey

The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman

No Doubt About It, by Sheri Dew

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee



Five books that belong to me:

Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

The Complete Far Side, by Gary Larson

The Puppet Masters, by Robert A. Heinlein

What's the Worst That Could Happen?, by Donald E. Westlake

Crossroads of Twilight, by Robert Jordan


As you can see, my wife is the "cultured" one.