Moving Day

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 21, 2013

Filed under: Personal 72 comments

My blogger-sense is tingling, telling me that I’m very close to getting a salvo of comments about how all I do is post Spoiler Warning videos. This always happens when I slack off from writing, because people get tired of seeing tons of posts appear in their feed that are just embedded videos. So I’m going to head off the herd with this post and let you know that yes, this is a thing and I know about it. Here is what’s going on:


We’re in the process of moving. This should be a low-key move. We have a good three weeks of time between the new place being available and the old place passing on, and we’re only moving a few miles. Still, the project is eating my time and breaking my writing rhythms. Which is why I haven’t made you any words.

If all goes well then we should have a podcast later today and an Experienced Points column on Friday. But if you’re looking for instances where I have a lot of words next to each other here on the blog, then now might be a great time to go digging in the archives. I’ve got seven and a half years of words stored up, so that might hold you over until my life settles down again. If you only ever read the front page, then here is a great place to start.

I’ll let you know how it went once the dust settles.


From The Archives:

72 thoughts on “Moving Day

  1. Zanfib says:

    You need more books.

    1. Dave B. says:

      Forget that! Clearly, I need more books!

  2. Nytzschy says:

    Shamus Young has admitted to stockpiling words, a weapon long acknowledged as one of humanity’s deadliest. He even flaunts pictures of his stockpile and brags that his stockpile is mobile and ready to use. When will the international community put a stop to this alarming, dangersome, deadly, jeopardous, malignant, menacing, nasty, perilous, portentous, precarious, risky, thorny, threatening, treacherous, unsafe, unstable, viperous, wicked practice?


    1. DGM says:

      They’re too terrified to move against him. If the stack of boxes fell over while they were trying to seize them, the damage would be catastrophic.

    2. Mari says:

      I’m just busy stockpiling my own words in a linguistic arms race that will end with mutually assured destruction.

      1. TMTVL says:

        I thought it’d end with Zombies.

        1. Duneyrr says:

          Only if you sort them alphabetically.

          1. krellen says:

            I wish I could favourite comments like I do Tweets.

      2. Jace911 says:

        We can ill afford such a literary gap.

    3. That’s a lot of synonyms.
      Who are you, the Duke of Definition, the Minister of Meaning, the Earl of Essence, the Count of Connotation and the Undersecretary of Understanding?

  3. Matt says:

    I can completely understand not posting new material for various personal issues. You’re a blogger and you have no obligation to us. But as a reader, I find it kind of annoying to have to click past a bunch of reposts every time. Don’t just post for the sake of posting, post because you have something to say.

  4. X2-Eliah says:

    You need to digitise all those books. It would only be two boxes of hdds/flashdrives then.

    1. Fang says:

      But it doesn’t have the same feel man! It takes more than lines on a screen to truely equal a book!

      [/I like my books]

    2. Burn the heretic! Burn!
      . . . You can have my books when you pry them from my illiterate, Alzheimered hands. Even then you better be feeling lucky.

      1. Trix says:

        I love my books up until the point where I have to move crates of them around…

        1. Doug Sundseth says:

          I still love them even after that. I just don’t like them very much for a while.

  5. anaphysik says:

    I don’t understand. I love seeing Spoiler Warning vids when I come here. I love seeing Spoiler Warning so much that /obviously/ the only reason I got folks together to make our Spoiler Warning fan spinoff (we finally got week 2 recorded & mostly posted, btw) is so that I can fool myself into thinking more Spoiler Warning has been released. In fact, I think you should read your future text-y posts aloud during the recording of future Spoiler Warning episodes, so that I can get those and Spoiler Warning at the same time, plus I can here Rutskarn punning on your words too.


  6. Deadfast says:

    Oh no, was it the snow plow man? Did he make you leave? Did you disclose the fact he exists to the new owners?

  7. GragSmash says:

    That’s about what all of my moves looked like, except we very rarely had such pristine, unmarked cardboard.

    Moving pro-tip #1
    Liquor stores always have a lot of boxes they will happily give you.

    Moving pro-tip #2
    There’s no way to get past the fear that you look like a raging alcoholic to your neighbors.

    1. Benjamin says:

      Moving Pro-tip #3, if you go in on the right day, a movie theater will have a lot of boxes they’d probably be willing to spare.

    2. We have lots of boxes– our local grocery store gives away great boxes every Thursday. Big thick, well made boxes. Turns out banana boxes and egg boxes make excellent moving boxes. And Amazon boxes are excellent for books, books, and more books. Also, we don’t actually have a lot of stuff. We prefer minimalist living– I even wrote a real, honest to goodness book on how to get rid of all the extra stuff that is just making clutter part of your life and stealing your energy. Also, much of our stuff is already packed and ready to go. We are more in the logistics stage of the whole project. Getting stuff turned on. Getting stuff turned on. Figuring out what will go where and when it will go there.

      1. Duneyrr says:

        You said you wrote a book and didn’t link it in the comment! Where can we get it?

        1. krellen says:

          Here. Please note you can also go to the sidebar and get an Amazon link if you want it that way.

      2. GragSmash says:

        The problem with boxes from places that sell food, in my experience, is that they will be directly tainted with grease or whatnot, or have been in a pile with tainted cardboard.

        How many long-lost toys have the kids found while packing?

      3. Jabrwock says:

        Having moved textbooks and tons of novels by myself, tomato boxes from fast food joints worked the best for me.

        Sturdy (double thick), with lids, handles, easily stackable, and they are small enough that I couldn’t load too many in a box, as opposed to my friend who tried to move a ton of textbooks in a box that couldn’t handle them.

        And the I moved with professional movers, and they packed everything up, so the boxes became fort-building material.

    3. You might try milk crates. I needed a couple for a scooter I bought (and haven’t driven much since we had a kid, oh well) and the sandwich shop I went to asked if I wanted more than just the two. Apparently, their milk guy wasn’t all that bothered with picking up the empties and so they had a ton they wanted gone.

      They make you feel like a college student again, and whatever plastic they make them out of will probably outlast the human race (as opposed to the crappy “milk crates” you can buy in office supply/boutique stores).

  8. swenson says:

    Your family may beat my family at books. That is somewhat impressive, seeing as we’ve got enough to fill a small library. We counted once when I was a kid… pretty sure it was over a thousand, and we’ve gotten a lot more since then. I’ve got a bookshelf full plus several stacks on my desk and on the floor next to the desk (seeing as I ran out of room on the desk), and that’s not counting my comics or digital books…

    I really like books is what I’m trying to get across here. :) Sadly, thanks to how much time I spend online these days, I’ve been reading fewer and fewer.

  9. Shamus says:

    At the risk of ruining the joke: The boxes above are a joke. I photoshopped it not because we actually have that many books, but because it often FEELS like we have that many books when we move.

    We’ve been cleaning out and getting rid of stuff (the new place will be smaller) so I’m expecting to carry out less books than I carried into the house 12 years ago.

    1. GragSmash says:

      Permit me to introduce you to our room full of bookshelves sometime.

      I think everyone understood that this was hyperbole, Shamus. At least, I hope they did.

      Also, I think we can agree that boxes full of books are UNREASONABLY heavy. Seriously even a small box of paperbacks may as well be depleted uranium.

      1. Mephane says:

        Enter the eBook reader. Sometimes I love this future we’re in.

        1. Owning Kindles has saved us much book shelf space– especially with all those falling apart but out of print books now available in e-book format.

      2. Well, they looked photoshopped, but I assumed that was for convenience and a more amusing set of captions, not hyperbole. My last move looked more or less like this and I’ve certainly accumulated more books since then.

      3. Draxom says:

        Here is the problem…

        Books contain knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power is Energy. Energy = Mass x Speed of light 2 (E=MC2). Thus M=E/C2. This causes books to have more mass than a stack of empty pages of the same size. The extra weight in a single book caused by the knowledge stored inside is rarely noticeable. However, if you get many books together(in a box, for example) then they start to create their own gravity. The box of books will try to pull other things towards it and will eventually grab the earth itself.

        So, the reason the box seems so much heavier to lift than it should be is because what your actually doing is pushing the earth back down, away from the box.

      4. Kayle says:

        When I moved from California to the east coast, I ended up shipping my books via USPS… about 30 boxes worth! It made quite a wall when stacked.

      5. Cuthalion says:

        Unreasonably heavy indeed! Why do they have to be so heavy? It not like they’re made of trees.

    2. RTBones says:

      Respectfully, I disagree. You’ll likely carry OUT *MORE* books than you carried in 12 years ago. They just may not all make the move, so you’ll IN *LESS* than you did 12 years ago.

      The thing is, it almost feels like some sort of torture. There’s that bright white light in your face making your eyes hurt, and with it, the gruff, disembodied voice from behind the light that says, “So, you want to move, huh?” Then, to some unseen entity off to the side, the gruff voice says, “Book him, Danno! See how he likes his move then!”

      And yes, I went a looooong way for that one.

    3. DGM says:

      You almost had me fooled, until I noticed the box at the bottom asserting that you had pets to pack up. Honestly, Shamus, if you want to pull a prank like this you need to avoid dead giveaways. :P

      1. krellen says:

        Pet rocks are still pets!

      2. But, but, but…. we DO have pets– we have pet ants. Really. In an awesome blue glowy ant farm thing that, once the ants are all dead and gone, is gonna be an awesome night light.

    4. anaphysik says:

      Awwww, and here I was going to ask you about where you bought your featureless white room. I’ve been in the market for one of those.

    5. Katesickle says:

      It could be worse–a friend of mine is moving right now, and he and his wife are both geologists. Which means they’re basically moving a small quarry’s worth of rocks.

      1. BenD says:

        But for the grace of marrying a teacher, there go I. O_O Alas, teachers come with a lot of books. Thus, we will never move.

    6. Hitchmeister says:

      I don’t get it. I looked at that picture and thought, “He must’ve already moved half the books, because that’s not enough.”

    7. Urs says:

      a bit too consistent handwriting here. Most of it Bradley Hand ITC ;)
      The thing about books is that boxes full of them may be a good picture for ‘Moving’, but actually they are quite incapable of representing the kind of noisy mess that moving really is.

    8. Factoid says:

      I understand your pain. Boxes of books are by far the worst thing to move. You’d think it would be the enormous heavy furniture, but it’s always the unassuming brown box that breaks your spine when you try to pick it up.

    9. Jason says:

      Are you sure you don’t really have 20 boxes of books for you, your wife, and your kids over the course of 12 years? Because frankly, that sounds entirely reasonable to me.

      1. We did. In fact, last summer we got rid of over 28 boxes of books and the rest are currently stored at a family members house on shelves so we can get at them during the move.

    10. Asimech says:

      A wild Opportunity appears!

      Man, I once thought I would never get a chance to link that one. Not entirely sure why, but at least that’s one irrational fear put to rest.

    11. Alan says:

      The sad part is that I have recently moved house, and I filled a large transit van with books + book cases, and it really did look like that. I currently have 8 full bookshelves in my one room.

      To the ebookers: Most of them are out of print and I can’t get them electronically.

      1. We happen to be blessed with the fact that the books I own that were/are out of print ARE all available via Project Gutenburg so I no longer need to hold onto all the fall-y apart copies I scavenged. We used to have over 8 book shelves of books, and more in piles, but now are down to 3 or so.

    12. Duneyrr says:

      I have four packed full boxes of books in the garage and four more packed full boxes sitting next to my packed full floor-to-ceiling bookcase.
      And I feel like I don’t even read that much compared to my friends, I could easily see this happening.

    13. Mersadeon says:

      You are a brave man, Shamus. I could never throw books away. Not even horrible ones. Like the “Oracle-Book” and the “100 Golden Rules for Happiness!” book that someone gave me. I just… can’t throw books away. It makes my head hurt a little just imagining it. I am weird in that regard.

      Anyway, what about actual book cases? I know that my cupboards and closets and stuff like that don’t tend to survive more than one move. So, do you have a lot of new furniture to buy?

      (There is a German proverb: “Zweimal umgezogen ist wie einmal abgebrannt”, “moving twice is like burned down once”.)

  10. Dai Panda says:

    I don’t really comment a whole lot, so I’ll just say: Good luck with the move!
    I did it myself a few months ago, and it’s amazing how it seems to eat way more time and energy than you originally thought it would. It’s a nice feeling once it’s over though and you can relax with a nice cup of tea and a good book though.
    So good luck and may the move go smoothly.

  11. RTBones says:

    Moving is never fun. Your new abode may be fun. You may enjoy life better after the move. The move may solve a problem. You may even be glad to be out of the old abode. But the physical act of moving your *schtuff* from one domicile to another is a pain in the ever-loving kiester. It doesn’t matter if the move is a few hundred feet or a few thousand miles. As someone who has done this approximately eleventy billion times and change during his brief tenure on this mortal coil, including recently over State lines, I feel your pain.

    Can’t speak for the rest of the room, but I’ve actually enjoyed this foray into Spoiler Warnings Past. Catch your breath, take care of that ‘real life’ thing we all have to do now and again, and rest easy. We’ll be here when you’re sorted – and we know you’ll have plenty to say once home and household are re-established in the new location.

  12. krellen says:

    I’m glad you (collective) found a new place, Shamus. Reading Heather’s half of the story had me worried a little.

    1. Meh. Worry-schmurry. We knew it would work out, just now how or when. And it has. Really well in fact, thus far. Will be cool to see how it all falls together.

      1. krellen says:

        Well, you have your faith to support you. We faithless have to rely on our worries instead! :)

  13. Andrew_C says:

    Good luck with the move. I hope it isn’t too stressful.

  14. Fang says:

    I’m not moving(because I am too young to live on my own legally), but I have to help move my Uncle from his home(a good long ways away, up a flight of steps, AND he has heavy furtinture such as couches, dressers, etc), to near my own house and I’m not looking forward to it, mostly because I already helped him move THAT stuff into the house he lives in now, and because moving furtinture up and downstairs is a pain and a-half.

    So I know your pain, I feel it coming nearer to me also, I hope you can get it done quickly and speedily, and hope you meet the minimal ammount of stairs needed for this journey.

    EDIT: Also the ad up at the top is an ad for moving companies. I just found this most apt for the post.

  15. houser2112 says:

    We moved about a year ago, and what has been a lifesaver is keeping very accurate records. Make a spreadsheet with columns for box#, intended location, and contents.

    It’s a lot of work, but it pays off tenfold later.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Totally. We recently moved across town, and made an exhaustive list of all the “stuff we don’t use all the time” and which box it’s in. Really handy for finding “where did we put the cotton string?”. And, since you’re handling all the stuff anyway, may as well take the extra five seconds for each item and type up a little description, measure its dimensions, etc. It’s been a life-saver several times. And as a bonus, you never have to un-pack again! Keep all the books in boxes, and search for them in the spreadsheet when you want to read one!
      Of course, my wife un-packed anyway, but there’s still a lot of stuff we’re just storing in labeled boxes all over the house.

    2. The very IDEA of spreadsheets and lists makes me panic, whereas moving and unpacking doesn’t in the least. Of course having a nearly photographic memory and knowing where everything has been packed and what the boxes look like and what was written on them makes it much easier. We have had things packed at my inlaws for a year now and I still know where everything there is. We don’t actually have much left to pack and those things should be getting moved gradually so should be a non-issue anyway. I prefer less stuff to keeping lists any day. :)

  16. Falcon02 says:

    I’m curious how the kids handling the move?

    I know it can be quite traumatic for kids, I remember last time my parents moved my Brother and I we made them promise they couldn’t move again until we had graduated college.

    We’ve both moved out, and my parents still live there and keep doing renovations, so they did keep their promise…

    1. Shamus says:

      They’re too young to remember our previous moves, so this is new to them. Issac (11) – being a lot like me – hates and fears change and is extremely skeptical that New Things can possibly result in good. Esther (13) is quiet and reads all the time and doesn’t seem to care as long as she ends up sitting on something comfortable with a book in her hand. Rachel (15) is eager and enthusiastic like her mother, and loves spending time talking about where we will put all the things. In fact, this move is making Rachel even MORE determined to move out. It’s not that she’s unhappy with us, she just has this independent streak. (She’s mad that child labor laws don’t allow her to get a job for another year. She’s in an incredible hurry to be self-sufficient.)

      1. Nataline says:

        > Nataline [Adept Bookworm] appears
        > Esther [Apprentice Bookworm] Reads [x3 Concentration]
        > Nataline is Charmed
        > Esther receives +150 Respect
        > Nataline disappears

        (> Shamus [Master Bookworm/Engineer] builds Barb-Wire Fence [+250 vs Creepy Internet Strangers])?

  17. Stephen says:

    This is great, I was looking for an excuse to read Seven Springs again. Congrats Shamus!

  18. Jace911 says:

    I hate moving. Really, I just hate it.

    The one time I had to do it I was nine and we were moving to a bigger house just a few miles away, but there was a three month gap between us selling our house and the family in our new one moving out, so we ended up having to stay with my mom’s parents a city away for most of the summer. I don’t have anything against my grandparents, I love them to death, but for a nine year old being stuck in a neighborhood thirty minutes away from home all of my friends might as well have been on another planet.

    Of course it wasn’t much better when we actually moved in and I didn’t know a single soul on the block, but I managed to make friends fairly quickly. Hopefully your kids won’t have to deal with anything like that!

  19. ccesarano says:

    Good luck with the move! Just went through that process myself, and my apartment almost looks like home.

    By the way: your state does driver’s licenses, tags, registration and inspections in the most inefficient way possible. It makes New Jersey’s DMV look convenient.

    But the water doesn’t taste radioactive, so there’s that.

  20. Oleyo says:

    Never underestimate the power of a move to make piles of crap appear from The Ether or to consume WAY more trips and time than estimated.

    Also, it will make you feel like a Hoarder. I always try to use moves as a great cleansing, and try to get to the new place with 75% of the Stuff I had originally.

    1. Andrew_C says:

      That’s so true! I’ve just helped my brother and his family move. He borrowed a flatbed truck from work to use for the move, and we took 6 truckloads to the dump before and then another 3 while they were unpacking at the new place.

  21. StashAugustine says:

    On the subject of books: My family has a about 10 bookcases full of books. We haven’t moved in a decade, but moving stuff out to paint a room was a real pain.

  22. Cuthalion says:

    I was fortunate in that the last time my family moved, I was already in a dorm at college. So all I had to do to get my stuff packed was talk to my brother on the phone to keep him from throwing away my stuff. (I am a pack rat. He is not.)

    Still had to help unload everything though. :/

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