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Our cheaper moving solution

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Today is officially my 100th blog post as the Tribal Future, I would love to say that I did that in only 100 days, but I didn’t.  My extended break in the summer put a crimp in that.  I have to say, right at this moment, I am somewhat proud of myself, and I have greatly enjoyed being able to reach so many people.

I suppose an entire post of me patting myself on the back is out of the question, at least for today, so instead I will give you something better.

With our move getting ever closer, we are investigating our possible moving solutions.  I think I know which way we will end up going, but I thought it would be a good time to talk about our experiences with cross country moving, on the off chance it can help any of you out.

Uhaul Truck:

The good news is that there are even more options than ever out there for folks looking to move across country.  Of course your most basic model is probably this.

uhualA big old Uhaul truck of some kind.  Now I would certainly say that for a local move of some kind, that’s the way to go.  It gives you the flexibility to meet your own schedule and make as many trips as you need, which is good.  Where that model breaks down in on your long distance move.

For the sake of demonstration purposes, I used Tucson, AZ to Spokane, WA for all price comparisons.  That falls into the realm of close enough.  To rent a 17′ truck from here to there, which is probably what we would need, is a whooping $1463 before fuel.  Those trucks get what, 8 miles to the gallon?  Then on top of that, I would have to drive that thing up there, and miss getting to see the sights with my wife in the car.  Doable, but not our best option.

A Big Semi truck moving company:

I never really considered this one as an option for me, so I don’t have any relevant feedback or price comparisons on this one.  I don’t like the idea of other people touching my stuff.  I don’t want a piece of equipment where my stuff is shared with someone else’s.  I also might very well end up living in a rural environment which might pose a challenge for a semi to make it.  Unless this was my only option, I would avoid it.

PODS:

pods

This is the option we used when moving out here to Tucson from Pittsburgh.  I have to say, at the time it was great.  They dropped the thing off at our house there, we took a couple days to load it up, then they picked it up and whisked it to Tucson.  during the entire process, the only damage was a lamp shade that melted in the heat at the top of the pod.  Not a big deal to us, but be warned, in the sun they get hot.

I was actually all set to use them again, but I’m not going to.  Why?  Two reasons, they are ungodly expensive now, and their sales process is outdated.

So I decided to get a quote on PODS.  I go to the website and fill out the zip codes and dates of our move.  A smart company would give me a price at this point so I can make a buying decision, but no, not PODS.  I get connected to a call center in Florida, where what sounded like a fat sweaty phone troll read a price off of a computer screen.  Hey PODS, I can save you some money.  If you let the customer see the prices, you don’t have to pay phone trolls.  So what should have been a 30 second quote process, actually took about 45 minutes, since the first time I called in, I had to leave a message.

I could actually live with that unpleasantness, if at least I was getting a deal.  I am not.  To move our POD up to Washington would be about $3000.  I would be more specific, but I don’t want anymore troll talk.  That’s just not gonna work for me.  So while I think they offer a solid surface, I can’t recommend them right now.

Ubox (Uhaul’s Pod option)

Upack

This brings me to the solution we have chosen, at least until we hear something better.  The U-Box from Uhaul.  I have not used these personally yet, although I will give you feedback when I do, but someone I know in the prepper community recently completed his move with these and had a good experience.  They are basically like PODs except cheaper and less frustrating with more flexibility.

So their actual boxes are smaller than pods, but you can order as many as you want.  I am hoping we can squeeze in one if we sell off some stuff, but two is worst case.  Best part is, you can have them drop off two, but if you only fill one, you only pay for one.  Excellent.

To get a quote, I go to their site, I pop in my date and zip codes, bam, I have a price.  To move one box to Spokane is $1356 plus $65 a month for storage.  Two boxes is $1960 plus $130 a month for storage.  To me that’s a no brainer.  It’s everything I love about PODS, with nothing I hate.

So if you are planning a long range move, that’s my feedback for you.  Right now, unless they completely screw the pooch, U-box is the way to go, and believe me, if they screw the pooch, you will all know about it.

 

 

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A good time to evaluate progress

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So today is the last day in January in 2013, the year that wasn’t supposed to happen according to some.  Amazing how all of that Mayan hype sprang up and consumed some people, and now its even dustier than the fake Y2K disaster.  One whole month of the new year has slipped by, and to me it has passed in the blink of an eye.  So much has happened to me since then, and most of it has been awesome.  Hopefully you feel the same way.

When I was a kid, all I can remember was how slow time seemed to pass.  Except of course in the summer when I got to relax and learn what I wanted to.  School seemed to just plod endlessly.  I used to divide up the day into 5 minute blocks and count down how many more of them I had to endure before I was free.  It seemed that life would take forever to get to the good parts.  My parents always used to warn me, enjoy it now, because it will race by when you are older.

HOLY CRAP!  THEY WERE RIGHT!

To me this isn’t a bad thing, because it must mean my life is pretty good, but they really were right.  Life has a nasty habit of slipping past when you aren’t looking.  So it’s good to stop and take a look at it every once in awhile.

We are at the end of the first month of the year.  We are 1/12th of the way through another one.  Have you made progress on your goals?  Have you taken steps to change your life?  What new people have you met?  What books have you read?  What have you done differently to make this year unique?

There is a value in stopping as we go to see how we are doing.  Far too often people get to the end of the year, and realized they have squandered an incredible chunk of their lives.  If we divide it up into smaller chunks to keep ourselves focus, we are less likely to lose all of our time.

There is no such thing as stasis in life.  Life is change.  You are either becoming richer or poorer.  You are healthier or sicker.  Freer or deeper into bondage.  So time lost, is often change for the worse.  Stop now, and see where you are.  Is this year progressing the way you want, or is it time to kick it up a notch?  Better to ask now, than after all your time is gone.

Fear of Moving

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Well, its official.  The gateway homestead is up for sale.  We submitted the workout packet and all of our paperwork to our real estate agent in the middle of Chicken Week, and yesterday they came to install the sign.

Henryforsale

Although we have had this process underway for more than four months now, this is most certainly the endgame of the Tucson phase of our lives.  To me at least, there is an incredible sense of finality  that comes with seeing it installed.  I have the same wonderful mix of excitement, anticipation and nervousness I had when we moved to Tucson.  There will also be the whirlwind packing and house-hunting frenzy, but I will probably just be too tired to care during all of that.  So all in all, its off to a great start.  I am very excited.

Now you all knew I was moving already, so that’s not where I am going with this yet, although I do look forward to sharing all of the adventure as well.

Instead it got me thinking about our last move from Pittsburgh to Tucson.  On both ends of the move, people would ask us as polite conversation “Oh wow, that’s such a long way, why are you moving?”  Our answer was almost always the same, “We hated where we lived so we wanted to change it”.  Most importantly, we meant it.  That was actually why we moved, why would it need to be any more complicated than that?

This was so consistently met with blank looks and outright disbelief.  I could never understand it at the time, and frankly I still can’t.  We have started to get much the same reaction this time here in Tucson, and I wonder if we will see the same reaction on the other end in Idaho.  All my life I have been surrounded by people who don’t particularly like their life circumstances, their job or where they live, yet they seem paralysed and unable to change it.  For me the solution has always been so easy, why is it difficult for so many others?  It feels like two frogs sitting together in a pot that’s on the stove.  One comments that its getting hot, and the other just says “Why jump out, the other pots are going to boil too?”

Why are we all so willing to accept mediocrity in the places that we live?  Taxes are too high.  Gun laws are too strict.  There are no jobs.  It never rains.  It always rains.  I can’t have backyard chickens.  My neighbours play music at 2am.

Its a big, awesome, varied country out there.  If you don’t like where you are, for a couple hundred bucks you can be thousands of miles away in a few hours.  There will be somewhere else with the things you want, if you are only willing to go out and find them.  You might get it wrong at first.  We thought Tucson was going to be our forever home, and instead we lived here five years.  If Idaho isn’t our forever home, there are still 47 more states to check out.

The barriers you place to moving are all in your own mind.  I have a job. Get another one.  I have kids. They will think its an adventure if you tell them it is.  My kids will miss their friends.  For about 10 minutes, trust me, after your kids graduate they aren’t going to talk to them anyway.  I have a mortgage.  Sell it.  I have family here.  There is an airport somewhere nearby.

Life is can either be a grand adventure, or a mind numbing slog.  You are much more likely to find adventure, if you are willing to go look for it.  Both the strongest barriers to our own success, and the easiest to break, are the ones we place on ourselves.  So go find an adventure.

Preparation prevents panic buying

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My wife Jenn and I went to the gun show today, hoping to sell our AR15 to build that moving war-chest.  We didn’t succeed yet, but we had a good day out together anyway.  We did get to see a good example of what happens when people panic though.  Pretty much the entire show was sold out of ammunition.  The similar guns to what we were selling that were still available were priced at almost 4 times what we paid for ours a short 4 years ago.  People are operating under the assumption that something they want is going to be unavailable in the near future, which means they are willing to pay absolutely insane prices for it.  This is caused by people with a desire, failing to plan ahead.

Now I am not writing this to talk about guns, because that’s a short sighted example.  These people waited too long to do something they wanted to do, or they are acting out of fear.  Now what happens if those same type of rules are applied to something we all need.  What happens when there will be no gas or food for a week?

Gas after sandy

This is a gas station after Hurricane Sandy.  Who thinks gas is a luxury?

grocery after sandy

This is a grocery store in New York state right before Hurricane Sandy as well.  What do you think some food sells for in a situation like this?  When someone operates out of fear, they are guaranteed to be making the worst possible decisions at any given time.

So what keeps fear like this at bay?  Preparation.

Its written into our language.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Saving for a rainy day.  We instinctively know that we need to prepare for the unexpected occurrence, and yet so often we don’t.  Just in time inventory, Walmarts, and pizza places have convinced us that food and supplies are always in reach.  Yet we see repeatedly in disaster situations that our support systems can fall away.

Think about what you would do if you were trapped in your house for 24 hours with no electricity.  How would that go?  What about 48 or 72 hours?  These types of disasters happen all the time, and they don’t require a far fetched conspiracy.  Don’t be the person paying $20 for the last loaf of bread, or $2200 for an AR15.  Prepare now, and you will come out ahead later.

Day 49: Final Preps and New Directions

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Well, after tons of work, it seemed like they would never get here, but yesterday was the final day before little goaty homecoming.  I got the house built, sans a single pallet.  I got the feeder constructed, and a nice bale of alfalfa loaded up and ready to go.  After a crap ton of prep work, we got the yard cleaned up for them.  We are almost ready to go.

The only thing I still had to do was remove the last of the damn Oleander tree.  That stupid thing actually began to grow back once I hacked off a big chunk of it.  So despite having a pile of Oleander branches that is about 4 feet tall, I now have vigorous green growth coming up in new green shoots.  Not quite sure how to kill the damn thing and keep it down.  I think tomorrow I am going to have to bury it completely and wait for it to decompose.  In theory, once its covered with dirt, it will start to break down, just like a hugel bed.  It will break down even faster if I plant something on top of it.  So maybe a rose or blackberry bush that will grow quickly just to help add some shade in that corner of the yard.  The first part will be to cover it, and we can plan from there.

Look.  Sawzall.  Good for more than just cutting down my kitchen wall.

I got to sit for about two hours in a car dealership today, watching them try to fix what Tucson Dodge swore wasn’t actually a function of the vehicle.  Its amazing how some people can just straight up lie to you.  We have a GMC Envoy, which has a tail gate that is supposed to both swing open like a normal SUV, and lay flat like a truck.  Well, we took it to Tucson Dodge, who we purchased it from, and they broke it.  Not only did it no longer lay flat, they swore up and down that it wasn’t actually supposed to even do it.  So I don’t know what my range of readership is here, but if you ever have a chance to do business with Tucson Dodge, run away as fast as you can.

On the plus side, while waiting on my vehicle, I managed to roll the dice a little bit.  I can’t really go into specifics, for a variety of reasons, but it is beginning to feel like my life is once again slotting into the perfect groove.  Here is hoping that I am right, but we will see either way.

Paleo Portion:

Breakfast:

Coffee

4 eggs

Jenn was nice enough to get up and going even faster than me today, and had a tasty breakfast waiting for me.  Nice to keep on rolling and not be hungry all the time.

Lunch:

I spent this in the dealership

Dinner:

2 Country Style pork ribs

Squash and Ricotta

Homemade Custard

We made the pork ribs in the toaster oven, and they turned out really nice.  They were even more tender than the last time we made these.  We mixed the squash and ricotta together in the pan, and the ricotta almost melted into a white sauce.  It was actually really good with a little Parmesan sprinkled on top.

Weight: 233.  Looks like I might be headed for a new low.  We shall see.

Day 48: Goat Feeders and Garages

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Yesterday was every bit as exhausting and at some points frustrating as I had been afraid it would be.  I did get some forward progress on my To-Do lists, but not as much as I had hoped.  Even with a major setback, I would still say my project turned out really well.  We also got a chance to check out an awesome local business for the first time.  Its one that we have been saying we need to go see for years, and we finally did it.

So yesterday morning, eventually, we headed out to run our errands.  I dropped off two more boxes of books at goodwill, trimming my remainder pile down even further.  We picked up some puppy pads for the bottom of the chick cage, as well as some new chick food.  We also got a goat water dish for our Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  Its made from recycled tired, which means it should be able to stand up to goat abuse.

Then on the way home, we stopped off at Old Town Feed and Supply.  Its a cute little feed store just off of the road on my commute every day.  They have little bunnies and chickens every spring, and we have been saying we should go for literally the entire time we have lived here in Tucson.  Yesterday, we finally did.  This place was awesome.  Anything you needed for horses, chickens, wild birds or pet dogs, they had there.  On top of that, I now get to kick myself for not stopping sooner, since their prices were amazing.  They had some little baby turkeys in a bin up front, man they are adorable.  We got some chewies for the dogs, a quail block, and a nice bail of alfalfa for the goats.

It would be at this point that the day turned south a little.  Our Envoy has a tailgate that likes to not work ever since the thumb-fingered baboons at Tucson Dodge decided that it didn’t really need to do a function it was supposed to do.  So they took it apart, “repaired it”, charged us lots of money, and it hasn’t worked right since.  So next time you need a car, trust a homeless guy with an AK before you trust these idiots.  So on the way home, with a bale of alfalfa in the back, our tailgate decides it doesn’t want to close.  So we ride the last few miles home with a swinging gate.  We finally patched it closed, and now I get to spend a large part of my day in the waiting area at a car dealership.  I look forward to that joy.  Here is a shot of the ghetto work, just for kicks.

Once I got home though, I was able to build an awesome goat feeder for our Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  Now there is nothing to stop us from bringing them home on Wednesday, assuming we get the tailgate fixed.

This little guy is about 5 feet high, and holds a standard bale of alfalfa hay nicely.  I made it entirely from reclaimed wood from our old garden.  It holds the food up off the ground so it stays dry, also it healthy for the little goats to reach up for their food.  It helps keep them from getting gas, and also from wasting their hay all over the ground.  I can’t wait to see them get into feeder related shenanigans.

Paleo portion:
I really didn’t eat much yesterday, so I won’t waste time on it. I have noticed on days that I do lots of work, I just don’t feel like eating. I did have half of a killer watermelon though. It was tasty.

Day 46: Recharging and Refilling

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Well, today was my first full day home from Florida, where I ran smack dab into the downside of your body acclimating really well to a new time zone.  Combining that with the effects of gluten toxicity purging from my body, and I just felt crappy.  It was amazing to me on one level how quickly all of my efforts were undone.  I hope that it won’t take me as long this time to purge the residue this time, but at least in the short run, its not less violent.  Also, amazing was how quickly I regained a soda addiction.  For the most part, I never really had one, certainly compared to a lot of people.  Yet when you think you don’t have one, go drink pop for a week and tell me how it works out when it comes time to stop.  I barely drank pop before, and I would love to have one now.  So yeah, its addictive.

So although I didn’t get the large number of things done that I wanted to, in fact I spent most of the day watching “Food Network Star” and playing Max Payne 3, I did get to see how far everything has come since I left.  Our little Trovita Orange Tree is coming along nicely.  I am not 100% sure he has put on any new leaves, but he for sure has stretched up to the sun.  The mesquite tree I planted has most certainly sprouted some new leaves, about 10 if we counted correct.  You think of trees taking forever to grow, and sometimes its till amazing that it doesn’t take really that long.  Lastly, my little chickens are much less little now.  They are growing like gangbusters.  I really hope I feel better on Monday, as I will have to build them a coop whether I feel well or not.

Here are the little ladies all playing around in their cage, first thing in the morning.

Here is a baby Welsummer artfully posing for us.  As you can see, they have about tripled in size in the last week or so.

Refilling the Kitchen:

The house was starting to look a little bare, so we went to Market on the Move to refill on veggies, and Sam’s Club for some dairy needs.  The haul from Market was tremendous.  Normally I list off what we got just for reference purposes, but this week I can’t, I am not sure I can count that high.  I know we got some tasty pablano peppers, some yellow banana peppers, tons of green peppers, tons of yellow squash, piles of tomatoes and 4 honeydew.  Essentially, way more product than we can use in a week.  Jenn had the awesome idea to store the peppers.  This will give us some peppers to use in the summer months when there is a market only every two weeks.  We might even end canning some of the small peppers and tomato sauce.

Went to Sam’s club as well for our dairy needs, and got some tasty stuff there.  I bring this up only because, it was the first trip where the only thing we impulsed was a watermelon.  Nuts to you brightly colored displays of useless crap.  We also might have hit on an idea for our chicken coop.  We might be able to use a big 150 gallon deck container instead of building the actual coop.  Will have to see how much the cost is versus the labor involved.

Paleo Portion:

Breakfast

Skipped due to market on the move.  Had some coffee when we got back

Lunch:

We reheated some leftover burgers from the night before.  Very good curry burgers.  If you mix some curry paste in your ground beef with some cumin, its amazing.

Dinner:

For dinner we made some super tasty veggie egg scramble with bacon.  Just cut up 4 strips of bacon and brown with onions.  Cut up 4 tomatoes and 2 pablano peppers, throw those in to cook once onions are brown.  Once those are cooked, mix in about 12 eggs.  The bacon fat keeps it from sticking, and gives it great flavor.  Was very tasty.  Honeydew for dessert.

Weight: 240

I gained 5 pounds in five days.  Damn you Florida.  Two years in a row you make me fat.  At least this year I can fix it.

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