It has been a hectic couple of days. Turns out the driving 1605 miles was the relaxing calm part.
Since I have taken up residency as a Coloradan once again there has been a lot to do.
Let's go over a quick list (in no particular order):
1- Got the dog vaccinated
2- Got the dog groomed
3- Bought a new mattress set & had it delivered
4- Set up an account at a local credit union
5- Finalized Aspen's registration at her school
6- Made multiple trips to the grocery store and Walmart for food and school essentials
7- Convinced the apartment mgmt that the new pad needed new carpet (being installed Friday)
8- Turned in the U-haul trailer
9- Unpacked and got situated the items that arrived in tow with me
10- Soaked in the hot tub while soaking in an unobstructed view of the most famous mtn in the U.S.
11- Went to REI and bought a book on the mtn biking trails in the Colorado Springs area (I expect some good laughs in the comments regarding the potential of this topic)
12- Got Aspen signed up for cross-country and choir (both at her suggestion)
13- Got Dish Network set up (yeah! NFL ticket!)
14- Got the phone changed over to a local number
Tomorrow is Aspen's first day of school. Her school is about a 3rd the size of her previous one. Her teacher seems outstanding! Her classmates gave her a warm welcome when she was introduced to the class the other day. Aspen has gone from nervous to excited as we spent quite a bit of time just hanging around the library and the school over the last 2 days. What's more, tomorrow is picture day.
Now I gotta work getting her hair done nicely. We'll see.
For now... I'm off to the hot tub!



Thursday. 5pm. After having a farewell lunch for Aspen and me there was a lengthy and tearful goodbye round of hugs from the men in Aspen's life (pic). Her grandfather, her brother and her step-father could not contain themselves. Neither could Aspen. Never had I felt like such a bad guy. I tried to reason with myself as I scrambled to finish packing the trailer. Mom and Aspen were being taken to the airport by her grandfather. I too get on the road. I keep driving till 1am and make it to Cookeville, TN.

Friday. 5am. I am off. My goal for the day is St Louis. I make it without incident by 1pm and finally find a halfway not entirely repulsive motel that takes dogs by the airport. I have time to take a shower and give the dog a bath (not at the same time) before Kalani and I finally meet! We hang out until 1:30am before she has to head back to her digs. She is camera shy (what!?!) (pic) and dog-hair-oil-phobic and gets up at least a dozen times to wash her hands after every time the dog gets up and moves in her corner. I tried to get her to stay but she had work in the morning (always the poster child for responsibility)..

Saturday. 9am. After a complimentary breakfast I am bound for KC to catch up with Pablo, an old Peace Corps buddy. I run into remnants of Fay, some of the most bizarre weather I have ever encountered (pic). It is on this leg of the journey that I remember I have cruise control. What a dolt! I pop it on and instantly the muscles in my right leg relax. Even though I watch the mpg meter drop from 17 to 14, I keep it on. I get to KC a bit early and find a movie theatre near Pablo's casa so I stop in and catch The Clone Wars then grab a bite. I arrive at his place at 4pm. We spend the evening catching up. I meet his wife (also a PC vol) and his 4 month old boy as well as his 14 yr old dog and 2 cats. Sooo nice to have a real room and shower to utilize, not to mention the home cooked veggie meal his wife made.

Sunday. 8am. I am once again off. This time on the longest leg of the journey. Not an hour into it the dreaded 'check engine' lite goes on. I monitor pressure and temp and sounds carefully for a good while and conclude that it is the damn O2 sensors acting up again. No big deal but it does drop the mpg down even more. They've been giving me problems for months. I make it to the state of my destination (pic). I finally arrive in Colorado Springs with absolutely no more roaming minutes. I, Sean and his son and my mom & Aspen all get to the apartment at the exact same time. 6:15. We spend the next hour unpacking the U-Haul and getting settled. Everyone leaves a few hours later as I stay at the new place with the dog. I konk out about 11pm.

Monday. 6am. I awake, take the dog for a walk, check out the view of Pikes Peak from my balcony (pic) and post. Now the dog has to get her shots, the U-Haul has to be dropped off, the phone has to be switched over and a trip to the grocery store made.



Arrived at 6:15 pm Sunday. No break down. No 'incidents'. No more moving. Ever!
Update with pics (that means you Kalani!) tomorrow. Must sleep.



What a frickin day!
Ed came over at 9am with his buddy. We packed that damn P.O.D. until 3:30pm. Spirits were high in the beginning then the heat and humidity set in. We got everything in there except the mattresses and boxsprings along with a few boxes, a chair and all our clothes.
So I headed over to the U-Haul and rented a 5x5x8 trailer. There is more than enough room in that for whats left. I stressed big time last night because I was sure after doing the math again and again that even that was not going to be enough and I was going to have to leave some serious stuff behind. Fortunately that wasn't the case.
I will leave tomorrow after the P.O.D. is picked up and I drop mom and Aspen off at the airport. I will take four casual days to get there. First night I will bed down in Cookesville, TN. The next day I get to St. Louis early and will hang out with Kalani for a spell (Femi, I don't know how to get a hold of you. If you're reading this and want to meet up sometime Friday night let me know!). The next day I have a short jaunt to KC where I will stay with Pablo, a friend of mine and Miguel's from the Peace Corps. Sunday will be a helluva long drive to Colorado Springs.

Enjoy the pics. I'm exhausted. Even though my minions did most of the work.



And it's crunch time. Now the real stress begins to take hold.
The P.O.D. came today. Pretty damn small on the inside. Maria takes up alot of that space! Just like a woman, always taking up all the space for herself!
At this point I have no idea if the thing is big enough. If it all fits it will be tight. If it doesn't there may be one box of crap leftover... there may be 20. If that's the case then a whole new problem presents itself. Do I get another 1/2 size P.O.D.? Do I rent a tow behind U-Haul trailer? If so, how many days does that set me back on leaving? I was toying with the idea of leaving Thursday night rather than the long planned Friday morning cast off. I have blogger peeps wanting to meet me along the way who need to make arrangements. I have no idea what to tell them.
I am not likely to get alot of sleep tonight. I can see myself tossing and turning all night trying to fit all the furninture and boxes of crap together in a tight space like a life size Tetris game. I will know alot more come Wednesday at noon. That's when about half the crap should be loaded in.
Today, Aspen hung out with her best friend. The P.O.D. came at 9am. I spent a couple of hours loading it loosely just to save some time tomorrow. Then someone came down to buy the wrought iron chairs I listed on Craig's list.
Come 3:30 I picked Aspen up and we went to her meet-the-teacher event at her 'old' school so she could say goodbye to everyone. Then Miguel came down to have dinner with us and Ed. Now I am mentally fatigued. I need to get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be the stressful day.
To those who want to meet up on my voyage. I hope it will work out. I dont mean to be wishy washy. I just need 14 more hours to see if I need more space.



Yesterday, Sunday, I packed. Then I packed more. Then I wondered how I had accumulated so much crap over the years. Then I packed some of that crap. Then I wondered if all my crap would fit in this one 8x8x16 POD.
I have come to two conclusions: 1- Yes, I think all the crap will fit in the POD. And 2- I have too much crap.
Before all the packing of the crap began I picked up Aspen at her friend's place and dropped her off at her step-father's place. So I got to spend some quality minutes in the car with her at least.
David dropped her back off around bedtime.
And that was day 5.
Today was a bit more hectic. Her grandfather came down at 8:15 in the AM to pick her up for the day. She was still asleep when he got here. So I was jipped out of more time with her.
Then I packed and dismantled more crap for 3 hours. Then I took a break and went to see Tropic Thunder (I recommend it). Then I went into work to finish up some loose ends. Then I picked up Aspen and came home. Finally I took the bike rack off the Jeep. I will transport that in the POD and get better mileage and a quieter ride on the way without it.
Keep an eye on Hurricane Fay. Her rains might be playing havoc with my packing the POD on Wed & Thur or at least with the first half of the day while driving on Friday.



Day 8: After getting the Jeep back the day before from being being inspected and fixed up to make the cross country trip, she broke down on me Thursday night on the highway. Clanking, smoking, general signs of dissaray from under the hood. I immediately pulled over and popped the hood. A broken serpentine belt! In a Jeep that usually means a busted water pump too. Towing to my service station ran $95. To fix the belt, the water pump and a faulty tension pully (the source of the problem) ran $500.
Day 7: Non-stop packing and organizing. Last day of work. A sending off party of sorts was thrown for me. Sold off the remaining goods I had around the workplace to the suckers who still dwell there for money day in and day out. In the evening a close co-worker stopped by to hang out for a few hours. I found out too late that Smashing Pumpkins are in town. How did I not see this anywhere?! Miguel hadn't either. The show sold out shortly before we decided to try and go. Oh well. Jeep still not ready for pick up.
Day 6: And Aspen returns!! Or at least, someone who looks like her. She grew an inch at least! She looks like more and more like a woman these days. Won't be long until I'll be scowling at every male who looks her way when we are out and about. "You can look the other way punk or do I need to help you?!"Her co-founding girlscout troop members took her out to tea and scones only 30 minutes after she got here. After that, her best friend came to pick her up to stay over for the night. I can't believe she isn't even going to stay one night at home first. The Jeep is supposed to be ready shortly. Ed is taking me to pick it up. Then, more packing.


COUNTDOWN TO MOVE: 9 DAYS ('cause i can't count)

Seems I have trouble counting how many days till I move if the number of days is more than the fingers I have (10 last time I counted with the assistance of an abacus). So it is actually 9 days left. I am able to deduce that now that we got below 11. I didn't post yesterday because I spent the day double and triple checking my numbers just to be sure.
Anyhoo... still working on getting everything with Aspen's new school settled. We should know for sure Monday if she was able to get into our first choice school. According to administrators there are plenty of 4th grade spaces left. So it shouldn't be an issue.
Got a date/time set up with the satellite dish network at the new place for the day after I get out there.
Tomorrow the washer/dryer are being picked up as well as the blue kayak... sniff. The yellow kayak as well as the kayak rack is being dropped off to their new owner on Thursday.
Miguel and I took the kayaks out this evening for the last time. Damn shame.
We go biking for the last time on Saturday. I will be going back to the trail that fucked me up good 3 months ago. It's going to be soooo sorry!!
Two days left of work! The boss' granddaughter is taking over my spot. She's been gone for a week. She has yet to be informed that she will have a 6 day work week now that things are being changed up due to my departure. I wish I could be there tomorrow to see her face when she gets the news. And she's gotta work late on Fridays! Ha!



Packing, packing and more packing was the name of the game today. I know I'm way ahead of the game at this. I will have 5 days of next to nothing to do after my last day of work on Friday (boy howdy it sounds good to say that! {I know I typed it there but I dictate to myself when I post... keeps me company, so technically I said it too}) to get all the little things done, but I can't sit around on a day off and not use the time wisely as days get smaller in number.

Were up to 46 of those plastic tubs now. See how each one has been meticulously stacked in an out of the way corner after having been thoroughly circumambulated (howd I do there Sis?) in shrink wrap to ensure safe passage? In accordance with that demonstrated anal retentiveness, each box has also been labeled in sharpie in the upper right corner with a room name and a general description of the contents. Furthermore, a rating of 1-4 has been written on each so as to indicate it's weight and whether it should be toward the top of a stack (the lighter ones - Aspen's Webkinz collection) or at the bottom (the heavier ones - my gold).
Moving on... today began my start of registering Aspen in her new school district. I have the immunization records, county issued birth certificate and court papers giving me full custody. All of which will be needed. Still need to get the proof of residency from the apartments.
The pictures show just how far the packing is coming (looks like Q-Berts ecosystem right?! Anyone? Anyone? Who's a product of the early 80's video games?).
And a pic by Sean of the next complex we shall be calling home.
On a lighter note, I did take some time to myself today as Ed and I went to see Pineapple Express. Very good movie! Seth Rogan with a big budget is kinda bizarre. Him and Kevin Smith need to team up on a project.



As stipulated by the new complex, I have to have renter's insurance along with a 100K liability policy before moving in (liability for what exactly I'm not too sure... if I burn the place down my insurance pays for it?).
Got that done today and management will have the proof sitting in their fax when they come in Monday morning.
Got some more packing done. I'm beginning to have my doubts if the 16' P.O.D. I'm renting will be big enough. May have to end up renting a U-Haul trailer to tow with the Jeep at the last minute.
Work is winding down. Starting to pass off alot of my regular paperwork to the other guys as I won't be around to see it all through to completion.
Aspen comes back Friday, my last day. Should have plenty of time to get packed up at that point.
Ed and I are spending some time together tomorrow. Gonna see Pineapple Express then go kayaking. Gonna try to take a complete day off from the move and just relax. This shit is stressful. And it will only get worse after the move and the UNpacking begins.



I forgot to mention on the '16 DAYS' post that I took the jeep (Black Jack) in for a thorough inspection to make sure she was ready for a cross country jaunt.
She needs new front rotors, new plugs and cables, oil change and a fuel system cleaning. That translates to $379. Not bad. Could be alot worse!
Today I scheduled the dates with P.O.D.S. for the drop-off and pick-up. I am not mentioning to management that there will be a huge storage container in my parking spot for 3 days. They are pretty strict about those things (which as a resident I am thankful for... keeps all the dregs in line). Once it's here they won't really be able to do anything. They already gave a glowing reference to the new complex.
I'm gonna be at the new place for 4 days before my stuff gets there. Those are gonna be some fun hours for sure. At least Sean's son will be available on that Saturday to help lug the washer & dryer & couch & dressers & mattresses up to the 3rd floor when the van finally arrives.
I was psyched to learn I have a storage area. That means I wouldn't have to store the mtn bike in my place all the way up on the 3rd floor... until it was revealed the storage place is on the 3rd floor. Oh well, at least it's not in the apartment.
I wonder, are there any readers/fans/foes of The Nut who live in close proximity to my route (I-24) near Louisville and/or (I-70) near Kansas City that would be honored/disgruntled to host a not-so-famous blogger for a Friday or Saturday night?
Speak up! If I find out after the fact that you're out there and you didn't say something...
I'm blocking your IP!



Yesterday was about as stressful as a day without death, fire or severe hemorrhoids can get. Just when an answer looked like it had presented itself as to how I could secure the aforementioned apartment with a better view that wasn't available for 2 weeks after we arrived, a larger problem presented itself.
Seems my credit was not adequate to allow me into the community, period (that's a story about my ex and her selfishness best left to another day).
Everything came to a grinding halt. Was this going to be an unfixable problem no matter where I sought residence?
Fortunately no.
Today, my application was accepted at an even swankier dig (according to friend Sean who has been helping scout out potential places).
All parts fit: close to Aspen's grandmother, still in the best school district in the city, available at the right time, for the right price, they accept pets and have garages available.
Granted, the location is not as close to a park as the previous pad but it will do.
Yesterday the decision was made to go with P.O.D.S. as my moving service rather than Budget who I was scheduled to use.
If you add in gas, they were essentially the same price yet I don't have to drive a 24' semi for 3 days. Not bad. And with P.O.D.S. I have a month to unpack rather than 1 day.
Did a bit more of the breaking down and packing of stuff yesterday too. House is starting to look emptyish.
Finally, the computer got a serious virus and I gotta up and reformat the whole thing.
Fucking cyber pricks! I'll kill them all!



Yesterday: Not alot was accomplished move wise. Continued to be in touch with the apartment complex in Colorado. Began to consider a different apartment (same complex) with a better view. Thing is: It won't be ready for 2 weeks till after I get there. Don' t know if there is an easy solution to storing all our stuff somewheres till the new place is ready.
Also spent the evening using up the rest of those 18 gallon plastic tubs (that's each tub is 18 gallons; not 18 one gallon tubs) with the packing.
Finally, thanks to Craig's List, I sold my washer & dryer, one of the kayaks, and my microwave.

Today: On Craig's List, I list my Black Crowes tix and Indigo Girls tix for sale (seeing that we won't be here when they come around), as well as a few other items I don't want to lug off to God's Country.
I buy 10 more of those plastic tubs and continue the packing (which I am way ahead of schedule on seeing that I will have a full week with nothing to do after I quit work and before we set sail).
I stop by the utilities offices and post office to cancel my accounts and pick up the change of address forms.
And this morning (not related to the move) I have my blood work done to see how my cholesterol and triglyceride levels have changed since my diet.
While there, I shall fill out the forms to get copies of our complete records to take with us.
Then I stop by our dentist and get those records.
Finally, I stop by Aspen's step-dad's. He was pretty distraught when I told him about our move and has talked about cancelling his birthday party which was to be held on the day before Aspen flies out. I shall write him a letter of thanks for all he has done for her over the years.



I DID go biking yesterday (maybe for the last time in NC and with Miguel). I did NOT rehurt my arm (sorry Tiff) and I was in much better cardio shape than I thought I would be. Let that be a testament to the workout value of jumping rope (jump roping?)!
After the ride I checked out the truck rental place. I was wondering if I would be able to get by with the 17' van but I definately need the 24'er. At least that mystery is put to rest.
Talked to the doctor's office about getting mine and Aspen's records. Did the same with her school but they only release that to other schools.
What if I was going to home school her? What then huh?!
Applied for an apartment in the best school district in town. Should hear back from them in 72 hours.
And that's all that was done today.
Aside from work... I pretty much checked outta there already. Run.ouy.the.clock.situation.



Only recently having gotten back most of the range in my shoulder, elbow and wrist from being stoopid on a mtn bike, today was the first day of 'packing' (BTW: later this afternoon will be the first time I get back on a trail again too. How funny would it be on a scale of 1-3 that I re-injure my arm so as to inhibit me from being able to pack?!)
This morning, before it got to be 95 degrees with a mugginess index of 'fuck me!', I went to the garage to start an inventory of what, if anything, could be thrown away or given to someone who wants junk. I found a couple of unused large plastic tubs (the kind you see in target for $7), dusted them off, brought them in and began packing books and cd's. Now I'm off to by more of said tubs to keep the pace going (I know they're more costly than cardboard boxes but damn if they're not a million times easier to work with and carry).
My last day of work is the 15th. I pull up anchor and cast off on the 22nd (Even though there is no lake within infinity of where I will be living, I think I'll hang on to the boating metaphors if you scalawags don't mind).
I have informed most of the kinfolk hereabouts of the pending venture. Told Miguel Friday night. He knew it was coming at some point so there was only a mild reaction from him that it was happening when it was (BTW: Once the move is complete you will see the name Sean popping up frequently. Like a brother, he and I have known each other, worked with each other and worked for each other for 25 years).
Anyhoo, the next few weeks are going to see The Nut serve as a journal for the move.
Enjoy and learn with me about what not to do when preparing for a new chapter of your life.



Every post you have ever read here at The Nut was typed up in this very room (thus I can legitimately say "Here's where the magic happens").
I have resided at this same residence for six years... me... a bachelor... anyone want to clean under the couch or behind the fridge?
I have had the same job for eight years to the month.
I have resided in the greater Charlotte area for ten years to the month.
Yesterday, all that changed... or began to change anyway.
The move to Colorado Springs has been expedited (spell check there please Sissy).
I mean super expedited. Day of departure is in 3 weeks.
That's alot of shit to take care of in that time. From lining up a new place to securing C.O.B.R.A.
From getting Aspen registered at a new school (the international school blocks from where we live has a 4th grade opening!) to selling off a bunch of crap (including VIP tix to Indigo Girls and Black Crowes! sniff).
Oh yeah, and finding a new job. Almost forgot that part.
The decision was made just over 24 hours ago.
I gave my 2 weeks notice yesterday (I'm too nice! With the shit I have put up with I was more than justified to give 5 minutes notice. And I still would have gotten a recommendation from the owner who likes me).
The rest of the team was bummed, knowing full well that I am the rock of the group and that the B.S. will only get worse and less bearable with me gone.
I warned the boss that the store needs to not replace me for the sake of the team and let them absorb my duties. Unfortunately, he ignored my advice and made the immediate decision to move up a shady character from warehouse. A terrible decision that will come back on him exponentially (think I'm going to stay in email and text contact with the others for a play by play analysis of how things disintegrate in my absence? Hell yeah!)
Yesterday also consisted of me talking to Aspen's mother (who is bringing Aspen back in 2 weeks from Phoenix). Always the poster child for reason and sound judgement, my ex tried to suggest that it would be an easier transition period for Aspen if she went to school this next year in Phoenix while I get settled in Colorado. Then Aspen can move to Colorado Springs the next year and go to school there.
Please, if anyone... anyone sees the logic in her philosophy of a child having an easier transition by going to 3 different schools in 3 different states in 3 years (being uprooted twice within a year) rather than just doing one move and only changing schools once I beg for you to say something and point out where her thinking is right and mine is wrong.
Yesterday also consisted of working down the price on a moving van, telling Aspen's family out here of the plans (including her brother), making a time line and checklist and basically not sleeping a wink after the decision was made.
Aspen will be told today.
The hardest times in my life were changing schools. I did not integrate well. I wish I could have worked the timing so Aspen was present for the first day of school. Alas, she will end up missing the 1st week. I'm not a praying man but I will try any tactic in an effort to make this as easy as possible for her.
That includes taking on the responsibility of her dog 'Faith' who has always resided at her step-father's. Months ago when I told her there would be a move to Colorado at some point, she said that would be fine as long as we took Faith.
Well, there it is. The biggest news to be announced here at The Nut in Quite.Some.Time.