“Some will go, others just stay and stay,” might be a line sung by Lindsey Buckingham on the soundtrack of National Lampoon’s Vacation, but it seems to sum up what many people in California grapple with. Well, we made it to Tennessee and it did not require me strapping grandma to the top of our car or buying a gun and forcing a security guard to open Wally World for us. However, it does not mean there were not any touch and go moments. Most were centered around me and Peanut trying to grapple over who was in charge of the car ride.
This moving process has finally made me realize I am no longer a young man. I may not be old, but I would be fooling myself to think at my age I can still do the work I once did decades ago. I spent four weeks working six hour days packing and organizing stuff for the move or hauling years of crap out to a dumpster. I’d start early and would tap out by one in the afternoon. Then, after a shower and two hour nap, I’d have an early dinner and be dead by 7pm.
I am not a math teacher, but even I know two hours of sleep for every hour of work is not the sign of a man in his youthful prime.
Whoever invented the dolly should have buildings in every city named after him.
Scotch brand packaging tape is a joke. Do yourself a favor and buy a cheaper brand. The expectations you have of a five dollar roll of tape are not the same as a three pack from a dollar store. However, it is reasonable to expect the name brand to work a little better.
Milk crates are a blessing. They hold heavier items than cardboard boxes and they stack nicely. It makes me glad I helped myself to a dozen. Of course, I originally used them in place of a box spring for the bed in my office despite my wife’s misgivings. I already have plans on how to use them in Tennessee.
The twenty-eight foot moving trailer was more than enough, especially when we were estimated to only need two-thirds of it. It was longer than our driveway but no one noticed thanks to the dumpster I had blocking its view.
I figured we filled up three dumpsters full of stuff, but when it came to having ours hauled off after a month, there was less than a full one. Some days, someone would ask if he could pull out stuff and I was happy to let him do so. However, at night, people just climbed over and into it and would gut it. All they had to do was knock on my door and I would have let them clear out my home to save my body a lot of discomfort.
We could not have asked for a better buyer than who bought our home. Besides an all cash offer well above our asking price, they tossed in letting us remain rent free for two weeks following the close of escrow.
Our dogs acted strange and could tell something was up as the house emptied. Seeing things boxed up or tossed out and strangers showing up was about all they could handle. However, their nerves subsided when the air mattresses came out and beds were made on the family room floor. They were even willing to share them with my wife and I at night, which is nice since they were supposed to be for us.
With all my weights but a pair of eight pound dumbbells and two rubber resistance tubes on a moving truck, I managed to enjoy coming up with some interesting workouts while we waited for our moving day. A propane gas tank and a crate filled with tools made great substitutes to my weight set.
There was no point changing the clock in my car to reflect daylight savings when we were in the midst of changing time zones every day.
The world keeps turning, but from Flagstaff through Texas it is one dry and gigantic space that makes me wonder what the hell did we see when we stole the land from Mexico. It sure was not water. Without water, there is no life and there is not much to see other than the occasional place to stop for gas and snacks.
Driving through this land makes me realize just how much the white man screwed Native Americans. The natives somehow found a way to live in harmony with Mother Earth while hundreds of years later, all we can do is place convenience stores and gas stations every one hundred miles apart. Oh, and also remind us of the nut jobs who think this empty land is where aliens landed. All I can surmise is it serves as a gigantic and open space to prevent any enemy from ever wanting to invade us, something our paranoid leaders actually worry about.
Texas needs to get over itself. It is not a matter of their politics, although that doesn’t help. It’s the fact they love to flaunt their sense of independence with their Lone Star markings. My favorite was this gigantic concrete wall with the large Lone Star hole meant to block the wind for all the truckers who pull in to sleep.
When you enter Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee, you are met with wonderful visitor centers staffed with friendly workers, huge bathrooms, and a unique history of their state. Free coffee is served with gorgeous sitting rooms to rest up and relax in. Dogs are allowed inside the Oklahoma and Arkansas stops while in Tennessee, the Memphis one has wonderful statues of Elvis and B.B. King with a great history of its influence on American Music.
Two blocks away from the Memphis riverfront is an entirely different world, one that most white Americans don’t want to think exists. You are smack in the middle of a black ghetto, which is where we stopping for gas, I could not help but wonder what kind of shit has gone down in the area. There was a sense that at any moment something could happen.
There is more than one America and if you look you can understand why there is such discord. You can argue until the cows come home as to why it is the way it is, but at the end of the day, until there is a sense of hope and mutual respect for the many cultures here, there will always be an us against them battle. Personally, I believe the Biden approach of building upward is a far better approach. Trickling downward is the reason our infrastructure was ignored for so long as well as killing the means for the less fortunate to have a reason to work hard to improve their lives.
Trickle down was designed to accomplish two things. It allowed the rich to get wealthier while ensuring we maintained a poorer working class. The data backs it up when you examine the rate of growth of corporate earnings to that of the working class since the Reagan administration when trickle down screwing began. Now that we have a diminished middle class, the wealthy are looking for ways to make Americans work more years before they can enjoy a shorter retirement.
World Turning II. When you remain disconnected from the world for a week, you realize life moves on with or without you. It makes you understand just how insignificant we are in the larger sense. However, when you travel, you also realize how significant you can be on a smaller scale. Stopping to talk to curious clerks about where you are from and where you are headed breaks up their boring shifts. When a lone black couple stops you and asks if you will snap some photos of them, it reinforces to each other the idea that most of us are good and only a select and loud few are not.
Last thoughts on moving. 1. Air mattresses are great if you fill them up good and firm, but boy do they get cold under you at night. Make sure you insulate between you and the mattress or prepare to sleep in a down sleeping bag. 2. Don’t save stuff thinking someday you may want it again. Come time to pack up, you are just going to toss the stuff out. 3. Make sure your pets are used to traveling. Ours were not which meant needing to medicate them. There was no amount of medication for Peanut that kept him from going nuts every time we started up or pulled off the road for a break. 4.Take your time if you can. We had very long days because of our dogs. Shorter drives and a few more stays in motels allows you to see more of the country. 5. Moving across the country is physically exhausting and emotionally very stressful. Don’t take it lightly.
The battle drags on. No, not the war in Ukraine, but the war of distraction by the GOP. Here is a political party that thinks it can distract voters by speaking out on their perceived danger of drag queens while insisting owning guns is more important than protecting kids in school. It keeps them from having to defend their desire to gut Social Security, and even gets them to not have to defend a real freak, George Santos.
Have you noticed our most lethal military weapons are always shaped like a penis? Just like penises, these weapons come in all sorts of length and girth and when they fail to detonate, it’s always embarrassing.
Once a super power develops a new weapon, it seems other super powers suffer from penis envy.
Raising the retirement age rather than increasing the taxes of the wealthy shows why the GOP is in cahoots with the rich. To ask more of people with little left to give when there is a bunch of fat cats that can solve our needs with an increase in taxes is the GOP way of spitting on the common person.
Spring training is here so I figured I would share this clip of the great George Brett. The language is a bit salty, but put yourself in the cleats of the poor guy stuck listening to George giving him a bit too much info.
For the life of me, I do not get the World Baseball Classic. Maybe it is just a way for MLB players to get a break from spring training while other nations like Italy or Mexico get to make the big boys look bad.
Do the New York Jets actually think Aaron Rodgers will be any different with them than he was for the Green Bay Packers? Rodgers is all about himself. As soon as there is a bad stretch of games or another disappointing postseason, he publicly turns on the organization rather than shutting up and preparing for the following season. Talk about the privileged and their whining.
I am betting that Vladimir Putin enjoyed a good laugh over the arrest warrant issued for him for war crimes. Once he stopped, he probably ordered his generals to get to work on another attack on innocent Ukrainian citizens trying to get by while a war wages on.
Several rock stars over the years have not held back their feelings about the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, often calling it a joke. Let’s face it, it is if the requirement is to actually be a rock musician. However, many inducted have nothing to do with rock music. Imagine the pro football hall of fame inducting the likes of Lebron James because he played high school football or The Rock because he played college ball. This is what you now have in Cleveland where the rock hall is located.
The feuding among the members of Journey or those of what once was Pink Floyd has grown old. In the case of Journey, all they care about is money. When the two band members who own the band name are filing lawsuits against each other while touring together, you know they are just using the public to pad their bank accounts.
Finally, I now live at the western end of the eastern time zone. This means the sun rises late here. It will be close to 8 a.m. before I see its rays which will then begin to melt the 24 degree temperature outside. I had to force myself to remain in bed until five today.
Until next time,
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.