Our former Connecticut home had a lot of storage space. I had under the eaves closets that were cool year round and were about 60 feet by four feet. There were two walk in closets in the fourth bedroom that served as a playroom. We had a room full of bookcases and two rooms had built-in bookshelves. Those are where I stored my books. That is how I was able to collect over 8000 books and have it seem like I really didn't own that many. When things are stashed here and there you don't always realize how much you actually own.
I kept some books logged at Libratything.com and others I had in an Excel spreadsheet. I had received about 1300 books free of charge when a parochial school closed and was going to throw their books in a dumpster headed for a landfill. Others I got free at a local transfer station who ran a free book shed service. I bought others for 10, 25, or 50 cents, and some for a whopping one dollar. I got books from Paperbackswap.com and bought used books for up to 90% off full retail at homeschool curriculum used book sales. Others I bought new, of course. I collected rare and out of print books over several year's time.
When we moved from Connecticut to Texas on short notice I put my hands on every single book and the process overwhelmed me. I donated over 4000 books to charity. I had no time to resell them other than paying a friend 20% commission to take 20 boxes to a used curriculum sale, they did not all sell either, even priced at 25 cents, 50 cents or one dollar.
The moving expenses were paid by us, not my husband's new employer. There was a base fee plus 60 cents a pound. The entire move cost us $25K. Ouch. Based on the box count and box weight of 40-50 pounds each, I estimated the cost to move the remaining books here was $3500. I did not know what we'd wind up moving into since we had rented a small home temporarily, I didn't know what storage I'd have but I felt these books were keepers at least for now. We wound up purchasing a home with a full wall of windows facing the backyard, so that is a lot of wall and shelf space that does not exist here. The other rooms are open floor plan as most new Texas homes are. My windows start six inches off the floor so again there is little room for even a low bookcase let alone tall bookcases. I still own too many books than I can shelve in the new home. But I'm off on a tangent. Back to Connecticut and the moving story.
The move was so fast and I was alone with my kids since my husband had already moved to start his new job. I hired someone to help me pack. I sorted everything, chose what to throw away, donate, or to move, and marked the box as to whether it was going to the rental unit or into the storage unit. The hired friend packed my books meticulously so that the books would not be damaged in route by having spines broken or covers crushed. We painstakingly labeled the boxes to show what subject and type of books it contained. This was necessary since I'd not yet chosen materials for the upcoming homeschool academic year. I needed the boxes labeled "homeschool English, homeschool biology, homeschool nature guides, homeschool math, homeschool high school history", so forth and so on.
I found out about how professional movers work after signing the contract. Despite interviewing the local moving agent I found out that the truck owners are independent contractors and who you get to move you cannot be predicted in the future, they use whoever is close by who is contracted with that franchise company (i.e. Atlas, Allied). Our local mover seemed great but on moving day we were assigned a guy from Georgia who is contracted through the national franchise who has no direct relationship with the local mover agent.
Moving day was to begin at eight in the morning. A vehicle showed up with three local movers from the local agent's office. They informed me that the tractor trailer truck with the driver/owner/foreman and his assistant mover was delayed for five more hours and that they could not load that truck until after one in the afternoon. They didn't quite know what to do with themselves and asked if they could begin loading boxes outdoors for faster loading when the truck arrived. It was August and it was hot and sunny and I was so busy that I didn't know the local weather forecast. I told them it was fine so long as there was no danger of rain since I did not know the forecast. They said there was no danger of any rain and I believed them. They moved boxes of my books onto the newly mulched (and bush free) garden beds which were in the process of being redone. We were also in the middle of having a new roof put on and there were no gutters on the house yet. We were in the middle of renovations from an ice dam winter storm problem the previous season which the insurance had been hassling us about paying on the large claim (another major headache I was dealing with besides the unemployment and then the sudden move).
The moving truck finally arrived and the movers were now under the direction of the owner-operator who acts as job foreman. They had left the boxes outside and were told to work on furniture moving instead. All at once the clouds blew in and the thunderstorm hit and the rain was pouring down onto over a hundred cardboard boxes of my books. The rain on my v-shaped roof was pouring off in sheets (due to lack of gutters) directly on top of my books. I nearly had a heart attack. A lot of the books I had kept and decided to move with me were out of print or rare books. We kicked a fit and the movers started moving them onto the truck and threw a tarp over it. Now the mulch was wet and the moisture started wetting the boxes from the bottom up.
I had a major concern about what would happen to wet cardboard and wet books while on a weeklong journey in over a hundred degree heat coming down to Texas. I worried that the soaking wet boxes would leach water into the books as time went on, even as the minutes ticked by, and worried that later the mildew or water damage would occur. If we could get the books out of the wet boxes quickly, it would prevent worse damage, I thought. I could imagine books growing mold and mildew and being ruined over the course of the move. Wet paper with no air circulation and hot temperatures is a bad combination.
I demanded that the books be repacked immediately. The driver said I had to supply the boxes. I had no extra boxes on hand as my packing was done. I didn't have 50 or 100 new boxes at my disposal. I started having an anxiety attack and hyperventilating. It was the mover's fault that this happened so I felt the mover's should give me free boxes. The driver said he had nothing to do with the boxes being outdoors as that was done by the local movers under their own direction, so he was not financially responsible for their actions. (I later learned that once he arrives on the scene the job is under his direction but whatever happens before he technically was not responsible for.)
As I freaked out, the moving men thought I was being hysterical. First my husband stepped in and dealt with them while I went and id deep breathing in a quiet area of the house. Later the movers started making fun of me, right in front of me and also behind my back in front of my kids. My younger son was upset to hear them making fun of me. You see we'd gotten rid of our four old non-HD, non-flat screen TVs since they do not insure them because they often break in a move. The movers, with their ignorant manner of speech and with their (only) high school educations had already made fun of us for owning so many books. Who needs this many books, they asked. Who reads so much? No one, they said. "Usually people prize their TVs the most but you don't even own any! That's weird!" I tried explaining that we homeschool, not that I had to justify myself to them, but it fell on deaf ears. They thought I was some kind of book nut packrat. Not only was I afraid the books would be ruined and that they'd need to be replaced at my expense, but I did not want to pay 60 cents a pound to move ruined books or to have the ruined wet books infect good books and make more of a problem than we already had on our hands.
My husband I had to escalate the situation by calling the staf, then the manager, then the owner of the local mover. He agreed to drive boxes to my house to give us boxes free of charge. When the boxes arrived (an hour later) we began repacking (inside the truck). I handled wet books and wiped the covers and painstakingly repacked them with care so they'd not break in transit when stacked ten feet high in the truck with other heavy stuff on top of them. Then the driver said the insurance did not cover us being on his truck and we had to leave while his workers repacked them by themselves. I didn't trust them at this point but what could we do? They basically threw the books in the boxes any which way. The books were mixed up and topics were combined. For example homeschool curriculum was now mixed with cookbooks and adult nonfiction, and nothing was labeled. This would present a challenge later when I needed to get my hands on my books.
The thunderstorm passed and the sun came back out again. My garden thermomemeter that registers high and low temperatures showed that during the move the maxmium temperature in the tractor trailer truck had reached 155 degrees. The temperatures during the move on the Texas end was 105 degrees.
All the books that were wet were ones slotted to go to the (temperature controled) storage facility. Due to the way the moving process unfolded it was impossible for me to check those books for damage when the boxes arrived in Texas. The boxes were put into the unit and the stuff was stacked about ten feet high solid, going back 30 feet. The insurance claim deadline for damage to items going to a storage unit was 48 hours. This meant that most of our possessions could not be checked in time and no claim could be put in. Those boxes remained in storage for a year, at which point we had sold the old house, bought a new one, and paid the movers to bring all that stuff to the new home.
This weekend I finished putting my hands on all my books by going through the last boxes that the movers had repacked. Those boxes were labeled with the local mover's logo so they were easy to detect. I found a fair number of broken spines, bent covers, or books completely bent in half or warped severely, and about thirty books warped and had pages ruined from water damage from that thunderstorm. None had new mold or mildew. I had feared that if some grew mildew they would spread it to the other books in that same box, that did not happen.
For anyone who loves books and collects books and uses books frequently, I am sure you can understand the emotions I was put through that moving day. That to me was a true moving horror story. We had other damage done and even fraud done to us so this book nightmare was just one of the anxiety causing things that happened. I am relieved today to finally know the full extent of the damage. I am happy to know that our demand to change the boxes before the water full seeped into the books worked to save over 95% of the books.
San Bernardino Sheriff Spokesperson Cindy Bachman told reporters that they will not enter the structure until it is safe to do so.
Law enforcement sources said sometime within the last few days, Dorner broke into an cabin off Route 38, on the mountain resort area where days ago his truck was found burning. Two women were held there until Tuesday morning, when Dorner left in a white pickup believed to belong to one of the women, who he left bound inside. One managed to escape and call authorities around 12:50 p.m. local time.
As the forces surrounding the cabin mounted, the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department shut down Highway 38 to create a choke point, sources told Fox News. Four area schools were on lockdown.
The shootout came after a day of searching and speculation, with authorities continuing their door-to-door search in the rural Southern California community, even as sources guessed Dorner, 33, may have made it over the border and into Mexico.
The hulking suspect, who claimed in a rambling manifesto posted online that he was booted from his job unfairly after official determined he falsely accused his partner of assaulting a suspect, vowed to being "asymmetrical warfare" to the department, using his police and military training, and named 40 "targets." Police have guarded the homes of the targets even as they conducted what may be the biggest manhunt in state history.
Siri Hustvedt and you live in the Twin Cities area, you're in luck. The Northfield, Minnesota native will return to her hometown for a series of events at St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges next week. Hustvedt will be traveling with her husband, Paul Auster. In addition to conducting faculty seminars, the couple will participate in three events for the public.
- Wed., Feb. 20, 4:30–6 p.m.: Joint reading by Hustvedt and Auster, followed by a book signing and reception in the Great Hall of Carleton College.
- Thurs., Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m. Guided interview with Hustvedt and Auster, conducted by St. Olaf writer-in-residence Benjamin Percy in Viking Theater at St. Olaf College.
- Fri., Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m. Convocation by Hustvedt in Skinner Memorial Chapel at Carleton. The talk, "Reflections on Creativity," will be followed by a book signing.
Hustvedt's work, which includes five novels, two books of essays, a book of poetry and a work of non-fiction, has been translated into more than thirty languages. She also lectures and publishes regularly on the intersection of philosophy, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Want to learn more? To read a Viking interview with Hustvedt, check out our May 2011 issue.
Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.
Dorner may have been aided by an associate identified as "JY" in the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last week after the former police officer evaded authorities.
Federal authorities told The Times late Monday that the court papers reflected their thinking at the time, but they stressed that Dorner could be anywhere.
Authorities have obtained a no-bail arrest warrant, which allows Dorner to be apprehended anywhere, Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said.
"Just read his manifesto and look at his actions," Zellerbach said. "He's trying to send a message, and it would be my belief that his message is not completed yet."
The manhunt for Dorner began last Wednesday when he was identified as the suspect in the Orange County murders of a former Los Angeles police captain's daughter and her fiance the previous weekend. Hours after police announced they were looking for him, Dorner fired at two LAPD officers then ambushed the Riverside officers.
"By both his words and conduct, he has made very clear to us that every law enforcement officer in Southern California is in danger of being shot and killed," Zellerbach said at a news conference that was guarded by four officers armed with rifles.
Police say Dorner wrote a lengthy manifesto that was posted to Facebook after the double murder. He vowed deadly revenge on those in the LAPD responsible for his firing years earlier, and their families. Police now are providing protection for some 50 families believed to be targets.
The search for Dorner had previously been focused in the mountains near Big Bear Lake about 80 miles east of Los Angeles after his burned-out truck was found there. Authorities are searching more than 30 square miles day and night in the ski resort area and checking on roughly 600 cabins.
Police and city officials believe a $1 million reward, raised from public and private sources, will encourage citizens to stay vigilant. More than 700 tips had come in since the reward was announced.
"Now it's like the game show 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,'" said Anthony Burke, supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals regional fugitive task force. "Instead of one contestant, we've got 100,000, and there's only one question you have to answer. All they have to answer is where he's at, and we can take it from there."
How could it be, Gal-on asked, that “prisoners held under assumed names commit suicide and nobody knows about then?
Even Israel’s most sensitive security hierarchies, this report concluded, have proven not to be immune to espionage.
Shortly afterwards, all reference to the Australian report vanished from Israeli news sites—including Haaretz itself.
Funeral notices from Australia show that Zygier’s body was flown back to Melbourne at the end of December 2010 for burial.
Ray Tarasovic, who had previously served as Richmond's assistant chief, was talked out of retirement and elevated to Norwood’s old job.
“We’ve reached, however, a mutual agreement, at this time, that his time as Richmond police chief has come to an end,” Jones said of Norwood. “We certainly wish Chief Norwood much luck in his endeavors going forward.”
Richmond police allegedly signed off on Brown’s claims that he picked up trash in that city, on days when the recording artist was partying across the globe, LA prosecutors said.
Brown’s beating victim, Rihanna, has since made up her attacker. She accompanied him to court and sat next to his mom in LA court last week.
The San Remo festival, founded in 1951, is a combination song festival and song competition mixing concert performances with a competition for best new song. The five-day festival, broadcast on state-run RAI TV, begins Tuesday.
“Left, right, hip back, swivel, swivel, point your fingers in the air…. Keep those knees bent,” Siegel calls out as Songz rocks on: “I don’t want to be a player no more [beat, beat]. Every night in the club [beat] tricking with a different girl.”
The women, focused, in sync, and slowly letting loose, are swiveling as if there were no tomorrow. “Swivel, Swivel, hips, hips, halt….” Siegel is yelling. “Go, now take it from the top, girls: One and two and three and four.”
“What, you think Orthodox girls don’t want to hip-hop?” Siegel asks later, rhetorically, as she sits down for a quick chat before zooming off on her moped to make dinner for her husband, Levy, a Russian immigrant she married just a few months ago.
Born and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, in a Modern Orthodox family, Siegel says dancing was always what she was about. And we are not talking about the folk dancing behind the mehiza (partition) at Orthodox Jewish weddings kind of dance. We are talking serious Michael Jackson-style moves.
She started out alone, watching music videos and imitating Britney Spears down in her family’s basement. Later, at Frisch, the Modern Orthodox yeshiva high school in New Jersey she attended, she tried out and joined the dance team.
“I was the girl always walking around the hallways with a boom box doing the moonwalk,” she relays. “People would yell out: ‘Yo! Raquella, dance for us!’”
Benedict XVI has been a true follower, in word and deed, of John Paul II regarding the Church's relationship with the Jews. In fact, in many ways he consolidated the latter's steps.
One might have considered John Paul II's visit to the synagogue in Rome or his pilgrimage to Israel, paying respects to the state's highest elected political and religious leaders, to be the atypical actions of a pope who had had a unique personal connection with Jews since childhood.
The fact that Benedict did the same confirmed these gestures as belonging to the Church as much as to individuals, and potentially made them a template for his successors.
Benedict XVI was the first pope to ever invite Jewish leaders both to the funeral of a pope and, even more significantly, to the celebration of his own ascension.
Little more than a month later, he received a delegation of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, the body that represents the principal Jewish advocacy organizations as well as the major streams of contemporary Judaism.
Notably, he received this Jewish delegation before delegations from representative bodies of other branches of Christianity, let alone other religions.
At this meeting he declared his commitment to continuing the path of his predecessor in deepening relations with the Jewish people.
And this is a troubling — even unthinkable — development to many leaders in the local Jewish community.
The timing was significant. The test in an underground tunnel came hours before President Barack Obama was scheduled to give his State of the Union speech, a major, nationally televised address.
Obama said in a statement Tuesday that the test is "a highly provocative act" and promised to "continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies."
The test also comes only days before the Saturday birthday of Kim Jong Un's father, late leader Kim Jong Il, whose memory North Korean propaganda has repeatedly linked to the country's nuclear ambitions. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, and in late February South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye will be inaugurated.
North Korea is estimated to have enough weaponized plutonium for four to eight bombs, according to American nuclear scientist Siegfried Hecker.
If the test was indeed successful, as claimed, it would take North Korean scientists a step closer to building a warhead small enough to be mounted on a long-range missile that can reach U.S. shores —seen as the ultimate goal of North Korea's nuclear program.
Still, it wasn't immediately clear to outside experts whether the device exploded Tuesday was small enough to fit on a missile, and whether it was fueled by plutonium or highly enriched uranium.
In 2006, and 2009, North Korea is believed to have tested devices made of plutonium. But in 2010, Pyongyang revealed a program to enrich uranium, which would give the country a second source of bomb-making materials — a worrying development for the U.S. and its allies.
Plutonium facilities are large and produce detectable radiation, making it easier for outsiders to find and monitor. However, uranium centrifuges can be hidden from satellites, drones and nuclear inspectors in caves, tunnels and other hard-to-reach places. Highly enriched uranium also is easier than plutonium to engineer into a weapon.
The nuclear test is North Korea's first since Kim Jong Un took power of a country long estranged from the West. The test will likely be portrayed in North Korea as a strong move to defend the nation against foreign aggression, particularly from the U.S., North Korea's longtime enemy.
North Korea's rocket launches and nuclear tests largely are seen by analysts as threats designed to force the United States to confront the issue of military tensions between the foes.
The test is a product of North Korea's military-first, or songun, policy, and shows Kim Jong Un is running the country much as his father did, said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based expert on North Korea with the International Crisis Group think tank.
The test also shows North Korea is "more confident in their military technology and their military power," he said. "Now they will be emboldened as they focus on other goals."
The decision to push ahead with a test will be a challenge to the U.N. Security Council, which recently punished Pyongyang for launching the December long-range rocket. In condemning that launch and imposing more sanctions on Pyongyang, the council had demanded a stop to future launches and ordered North Koreato respect a ban on nuclear activity — or face "significant action" by the U.N.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon condemned Tuesday's nuclear test in a statement.
The test will likely draw more sanctions from the United States and other countries at a time when North Korea is trying to rebuild its moribund economy and expand its engagement with the outside world.
China expressed firm opposition to the test but called for a calm response by all sides.
North Korea cites the U.S. military threat in the region as a key reason behind its drive to build nuclear weapons. The two countries fought on opposite sides of the Korean War, which ended after three years with an armistice signed on July 27, 1953, not a peace treaty. The U.S. stations more than 28,000 troops in South Korea to protect the ally.
Whatever scientific advancements the North can gain from its third nuclear test, there's also an important political angle. Many analysts believe the North uses nuclear and missile tests to win greater concessions in stalled nuclear disarmament-for-aid talks.
"A third test increases uncertainty about the North's intentions and calculations," Robert Carlin, a former U.S. State Department official who has made dozens of trips to North Korea, said in a Stanford University website posting last year.
The other part of a credible North Korean nuclear deterrent is its missile program. While it has capable short and medium range missiles, it has struggled in tests of technology for long-range missiles needed to carry bombs to the United States.
North Korea isn't close to having a nuclear bomb it can use on the United States or its allies. Instead, Hecker said in the Stanford web posting, "it wants to hold U.S. interests at risk of a nuclear attack to deter us from regime change and to create international leverage and diplomatic maneuvering room."
The North Korean nuclear program has long been a worry for Washington and Pyongyang's neighbors. A nuclear crisis in the early 1990s was followed by another standoff during the early 2000s during the George W. Bush administration.
Starting in 2003, negotiators from five nations — China, Russia, Japan, the U.S. and South Korea — tried to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs with offers of aid in return.
North Korea walked away from those talks after being punished by the U.N. Security Council for an April 2009 rocket launch.