Thursday, September 26, 2013

Y'all Haul, Not Just “U”; Russian Coverage

A blog commenter asked “what about Uhaul?” in response to my recent complaints about moving services and the difficulties of finding an affordable one.  The problem there is twofold. First, I consulted their website, and though the base rate for the rental of a truck is very low, the per-mile fee (which does not include fuel, another hefty charge) is such that for the slightly more than 600 miles between Alexandria, VA, and Evans, GA, the cost for the vehicle itself would run around $1000.  Second, there would be no one available to drive my car down, or to drive the truck if I were to take my car.  I do not have the ability to drive a truck with the car trailered behind [moreover, if I did have the skill to drive that configuration, according to my research I would probably then be liable for interstate taxes levied at the weigh stations between here and my home state, because the tonnage would exceed the “private vehicle” limit (additional cost!)].  Uhaul and its ilk are really geared to appeal to couples—you need two people for a move involving anything more than van-size, where there’s a car involved.  And there are hidden extra fees!—I remember when Aaron and Leah gave me some bookcases years ago, I rented a “$25” in-town van to move them.  It ended up costing about $75 with the taxes and whatnot for just four hours’ use.  If an interstate move’s going to set me back $1200, I want someone else to be behind the wheel of the truck for the 10-hour trip south, if not hired help to load and unload on both ends!

It’s 3 AM and I’m pontificating about relocating.  Maybe I’ll be able to sleep at lower latitudes.
The Russians have arrived!  According to the stats on my blog dashboard, I’m now getting regular readers from the Russian Federation, which is cool.  Some of my old St. Petersburg posts from the summer of 2009 have attracted attention, as well as last week’s Strike story.  I should have remarked in the latter that—as a military friend of mine confirmed—as there is a lot of electronic surveillance gear in the embassy near the public area where I was entertained, I should not have just assumed that the folks there would be concerned about incoming snooping devices (when allowing mobile phones inside) so much as they may well have been looking at the influx as an opportunity for frequency-tapping.  Though anyone who listens in on my telephone conversations will learn more about the estate sale business than he or she ever really wanted to know, I am sure that on the odd chance that someone who’s connected to someone important was so naïve as to bring in his or her iPhone or Blackberry, that would indeed have provided useful surveillance data.  I admit, the first thing I had thought when I saw the large sculptured wood replica of the Faberge egg outside the theater was, “That would be an excellent hiding place for listening devices!” Back in the 1950s or 1960s, a “group of Soviet schoolchildren” presented a large and lovely carving of our national bird to their local American ambassador, who proudly hung it behind his office desk, thereby permitting the electronic bugs imbedded therein to eavesdrop on classified conversations.  Of course, I imagine that were the egg thus unsurprisingly filled, most of the material it recorded would be along the lines of my comments: “Oh, how cute. Do you mind taking a picture of me with it?”  Which isn’t exactly national security-level stuff.  But there must be a few gems of intelligence dropped for all the thousands of “Look at the pretties!” inanities that ordinary people like me produce by the ton.

3:30 AM. Gack. I have 28 boxfuls of leftover Phi Alpha Theta-collected books to get from Georgetown tomorrow (to process for resale or take to the Arlington Library).  Several carloads' worth, provided I first unload my overstuffed little Honda (long may it run!).  And then I need to make more jewelry.  Maybe after the physical and creative labor, I’ll be able to get a decent night’s sleep--it's clearly not happening tonight.


Anonymous said...

Get Gnutron et al to help. I can vouch for his moving bona fides in the setting of Uhaul.

Lenise said...

I hope you've been sleeping better!!