Friday, August 20, 2010

Wired Before Noon

Man, it's only 12:00 and I've gotten a ton of stuff done today! I can't believe how productive I've been. (And those of you who know me really well would truly be amazed). I can probably attribute it to the fact that I finally got some sleep. Like I said yesterday, the stress has evaporated from my body.

Out of 24 hours on Thursday, I slept 19 of them. And last night, I went back to bed at 8:30 at night, and didn't move until 6:30 this morning. It's incredible how much it affected me, and now it's like my system is totally catching up. No more worries for me--I feel like a million bucks!

Since I didn't really do a damn thing yesterday except mess up my house--yeah, I was actually doing stuff, but it looks like all I did was trash the place--I got up early this morning and got moving right away. Since it was still relatively cool outside, the first thing I did was take the truck down to the local Terrible Herbst outpost and gave it a good scrub down and vacuum, in anticipation of the upcoming road trip. It's funny how your vehicle runs so much better when it's clean. I also cleaned out the interior and took a few measurements, trying to figure out what's gonna fit in the cab next week.

After that little chore was done, I headed over to WalMart and bought about $50 worth of Rubbermaid storage totes (the kind with the clip-lock tops), and a few other doo-dads. I brought all that home and then did a bit of address changing and such on the computer. Then I got hold of Southwest Airlines and changed my plane tickets for the cruise. Luckily, on the first leg of my journey back to Vegas at the end of the trip, I was changing planes in Nashville anyways, so the cancellation/rebooking process wasn't as complicated as it could've been. And, good news, once all that was done, I have about a hundred bucks in flight credit on account with them. Hmmm.... March Madness, maybe?

As it turned out, I was able to get on the same plane as the rest of the gang when we head down to the Sunshine State, so that will be a rather enjoyable flight. Well, maybe not for everyone else on the plane, but I'm sure my crew will have a good time.

Once I took care of everything on the computer that I could, I put my shoes back on and headed across the freeway to the huge U-Haul depot here in Henderson (seriously, it's not even a mile from my house). I've been sweating the expense of renting a trailer--their online system was quoting me ridiculous prices--but I thought it would be better to go and talk to somebody face-to-face.

I'm glad I did. It turns out that my truck has a 2,000 lb. capacity bumper, so I don't need to get an expensive frame-mounted hitch put on. So that means I don't have to haul one of those huge 6 x 12 dual-axle trailers that costs about $750 bucks, either. Basically, all I had to do was get a ball hitch attached to my bumper and get a wiring harness installed. And Dodge, being smarter than GM, had a snap-in junction box already built in to the rear-end of my truck, so I saved the expense and time of a complicated wiring harness.

It turns out that my truck can easily pull a single-axle 5 x 8 trailer, no oil cooler needed, no fancy hitch needed to be bolted on the frame. And my transmission has a towing setting, too. There will be no Ghetto Sled-style mechanical drama this time around. So I had them install a ball hitch and do the wiring, and while I was there I bought a new road atlas and a padlock for the trailer. With labor, everything cost me a hundred bucks this morning. And I have a reservation to pick up the trailer next Sunday morning--instead of damn near $800, I'm gonna get away with paying just south of $500. Not too bad. And I've got a week to get from here to Nashville and drop it off.

So my plan is to spend Sunday loading the truck, then I'll catch a few hours of sleep, and then I'll take off at oh-dark-thirty on Monday morning. There will be no traffic on Hoover Dam at that hour (and they'll let me cross with a U-Haul trailer), and my plan is to make it as far as Oklahoma the first day. Of course, it'll be a whole lot less fun this time around--no Eddie B and no Amy, my usual road-trip compadres. This time, I'm making the drive all by myself, with nothing but the iPod and CD player to keep me company. At least this time there will be no blinding snowstorms, and hopefully I won't see any tornadoes, either.

So that takes care of today's to-do list, although I'm going to spend the balance of the afternoon filling up those storage totes. At some point I'll have to make a few treks out to the dumpster to get rid of all the trash I'm creating as I pare down the contents of my nest, too.

Oh, and since I've gotten so good at it, I might also take a nap!


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