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On the Move

On the Move

We’re on our way to Austin. Closed on our Chicago area home last Friday. Sticking around the area this week to tie up loose ends. It’s been a wild, tumultuous process that’s left little room to sit and think, much less write. Might still be a couple more weeks before we’re settled. Haven’t finalized where we’ll be living for the coming year, though we almost certainly won’t be buying a new house in this bonkers market.

A few observations.

How did we fit so much stuff in our little house?

The Post Office is a train-wreck.

I’m in awe of the work that professional movers do.

My wife is the world’s greatest Tetris-packing master.

Moving is hard work.

Sorry for the hiatus. Be back soon, warmer and perhaps a little sunburned.


  1. I just emailed Joe Manchin with the following message:

    Dear Sen. Manchin:

    Find 10 Republican Senators that will publicly pledge to vote with you for at least one bill supporting President Biden’s policy goals. They don’t even have to pledge to vote for the same one.

    Once you’ve secured just 10 little public pledges to maybe support just one policy achievement, go ahead and lecture on bipartisanship.

    Best regards,

    –Aaron Dow

    1. I’ve got zero sympathy, even for the guy who was dying. The TrumpU scam was out there as a warning well before the 2016 election. The willfully ignorant deserve to be scammed IMO. But that doesn’t mean I think the scammers should be absolved for their scummy behavior.

      1. “The political arm of House Republicans is deploying a prechecked box to enroll donors into repeating monthly donations — and using ominous language to warn them of the consequences if they opt out: “If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Trump you’re a DEFECTOR.”

        The language appears to be an effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee to increase its volume of recurring donations, which are highly lucrative, while invoking former President Donald J. Trump’s popularity with the conservative base. Those donors who do not proactively uncheck the box will have their credit cards billed or bank accounts deducted for donations every month.

        The prechecked box is the same tactic and tool that resulted in a surge of refunds and credit card complaints when used by Mr. Trump’s campaign last year, according to an investigation published by The New York Times over the weekend.”

        What was it conservatives complain about progressives? That they’re paternalistic and talk down to you if you don’t do what they say?

  2. Over the course of the last week and change, Amazon was engaging in a campaign to drum up good PR and to fight back against evidence that its delivery drivers had to relieve themselves in bottles or using bags because their delivery quotas and requirements were so abusive. Recode reported that this campaign was done at the behest of Jeff Bezos. All of this comes at a time when an Amazon warehouse in Alabama is voting to unionize.

    I fully support the unionization of Amazon workers, both those in the warehouses and those who are delivery drivers. Megacorps of the likes of Amazon that abuse their workers and then make Twitter accounts to pose as Amazon workers who say that things aren’t so bad? Those are what cyberpunk and general dystopian fiction warned us about.

  3. I don’t know how real this is:

    In the sense of, I don’t know how unusual it is for losing presidential campaigns to fragment into “What do we do next?” units in desperate search of further money and power, and also I don’t know how unusual this behavior is for any run-of-the-mill group of individuals in any way connected to 45’s orbit. I don’t know if this article is just media pitching for schadenfreude, or actually reporting strange happenings from the back alleys of the circus.

    What I do know is that there are two things talked about in this article that shouldn’t exist:

    1) confidential donor lists (should absolutely be required public, name address and phone number at any donation above something like $1000).

    2) These people having any legitimate opportunities in the first place.

  4. Chicago’s my hometown so I’m sad you’re leaving (although I can’t be too upset since I left years ago as well). We Chicagoans have always had a chip on our shoulder re: coastal snobs passing us over as boring flyover country. Now we have to deal with upstarts like Denver and Austin also trying to say they’re destination cities too. Harumph!

    I hope your move has gone well. Far be it from me to give you real estate advice, but as crazy as prices may be now, the hordes of bay area refugees are only growing, so Austin may be one of the few cities that wouldn’t go down if/when the RE bubble pops…

    Also, say hi to Elon Musk for me. He was an inspiring figure for years, but has lately gone off the rails, so I’m not too sad he moved out of California. You Texans can have him (or at least his tax domicile 🙂 I guess he’ll do his bit to keep Austin weird.

  5. “though we almost certainly won’t be buying a new house in this bonkers market.”

    I’m worried that some financial idiot’s idea for real estate NFTs (which already exist) will take off in a big way and the whole “completely empty luxury apartment worth $100million” thing will extend to every creaky-floorboarded destitute dwelling from sea to shining sea. Oh, want a mortgage? Sorry you can’t afford any, all available housing is now just a digital hot potato passed back and forth between a couple hundred billionaires and Blackrock.

    But I make terrible predictions so I’m hoping I’m wrong on this one too.

    “The Post Office is a train-wreck.”

    Co-signed. I’ve been using a lot more of it recently as activity has started back up with my business, and DeJoy really did a number on it.

    Actually just today I learned that he said to the House Oversight Committee, and I quote, “Does it really matter if a letter takes a day longer to arrive?” THIS is the sort of ignorant arrogance that is why people assigned to official supervisory positions should show proof that they’ve had to send out a snail-mail check to pay their bills at least once in their life. Farmers’ chicks have been showing up dead due to delays and this man has the mendacity to ask what anyone’s complaining about?

    My anger about these things are compounded by the fact I could never get the opportunity to look a man like that in the face and even explain to him how cruel that makes him as a person… and that even if I did, his self-protective ego wouldn’t learn a thing.

  6. Welcome back to TX!

    I can relate to the article you posted. The type of people who decide they want to live in a certain a neighborhood because it’s interesting/ exciting/ different/ ethnic/ has culture, and then destroy those things after moving in is a tired old troupe in Houston. I’m thinking of Montrose, which was the bohemian section during my student days. Then the yuppie types moved in and decided that they couldn’t abide fun things like the biannual Westheimer Street Fest. It’s not as fun as it used to be.

    One story I saw a few years ago about people in NOLA trying to fight that sort of trend warmed my heart a little. They would post things-your-realator-may-not-have-told-you fliers near properties for sale. The fliers warned prospective buyers that the neighborhood had a long traditional of live music played outdoors, and if that was a problem, they should not buy in that neighborhood.

    I have zero-sympathy with the Karen-prototype in the article complaining about the low-rider club having their weekend meetups. It’s on you, the buyer, to do your homework on the neighborhoods you consider. Chatting up a few residents before putting her $ down would have clued her in to the regular goings on.

    1. I have a lot of questions for the reporter. There was a single sentence in that piece explaining that lots of tenants had no problem with it. Then we heard nothing more about those folks. Karen got loads of print while no one else got another mention.

      We’ll be out there on our very first Sunday in the place. My son can’t wait to see it. We were really wavering on whether we wanted to live there until I read the story. That’s exactly what I’m looking for, about a million miles from Elmhurst.

    1. Excited for you and your family. New starts and parting with stuff you likely forgot you had is cathartic. I likely will leave my building on W 52nd in a box. I’d miss the snow going over my boots and melting into my socks, the screaming and yelling and being told off in 3 languages. Safe journey and good health.

    2. Speaking of car clubs, I just got word my art car was juried into this year’s substitute for Houston’s annual art car parade, usually about 300 cars.

      This year’s event will be static with fewer vehicles, held at the Orange Show World Headquarters but last for 3 days and 2 nights. I bought a novelty horn for my car to celebrate and look forward to seeing old favorites.

      I’ve only been doing this for a few years, but I have found the art car community to be welcoming and generous with their time.

      Good luck on your move. May it be boring.

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