403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden

Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Zeno’s Moving Party » Zeno’s Moving Party

Zeno’s Moving Party

Guest - October 21, 2005

Submitted by ARJ

Note that I started writing this entry on 8/23/05.  I finished on 10/21/05.  So some of the relative times might be a mess.  In any case I promised to post after I moved to document whether I went nuts again.  I think I handled it well, but I leave it to the reader to determine if I am nuts.  Or even real.

Given the recent contemplation of "eternal" that has taken place here it seems appropriate to bring up a similar subject, which is the paradox of Zeno’s dichotomy.  It is a mental experiment in which you consider an object moving to a destination.  It will take the object a certain amount of time to reach the destination after it has started.  Now consider the object after half this time has elapsed.  It is halfway to the destination  But what if we do a mini-reset of the experiment at this point we can say that it has a certain distance to travel to the destination.  Now after half of <i>that</i> time has elapsed it is halfway to the destination   You can of course repeat this process an infinite number of times, and the object always has half of the previous distance left to travel, and you can argue that the arrow never reaches the destination.

Now obviously the objects do reach their destinations, and you can resolve the paradox by summing an infinite series.

"So what John?" is what those patient enough to read this far are surely saying.

Now for a apparent digression!

Two weeks ago I began packing all our earthly belongings to move across the country.  Well, in a way I had started earlier by purchasing a large number of plastic containers at Home Depot after waiting for them to go on sale.  I also bought a moving kit from Costco.  This included an assortment of large, medium, and small boxes as well as bubble wrap, newsprint, and tape.  The only downside to this pack is that it is heavy.  At least it was very hard for my out of shape self to get out of the car and up the stairs.  But when I did start packing I figured I would pack for about a week and then move boxes around for about a week.  After a week passed I had packed a lot of stuff and got some help to move boxes down the stairs.  This week seemed to last forever.

During the next few days I spent my time on occasional conference calls for work, but mostly going through the apartment and finding things that weren’t in boxes, putting them in boxes, labeling them, taping them carefully, and then taking them downstairs to the first floor.  This was pretty much a solo effort given that my wife was 8 1/2 months pregnant.  Again, these few days seemed to last forever.

Then I spent time taking various items to the Goodwill.  Oh to have a truck!

The night before the move I got two guys from the ward to come over and help.  If you’ll allow a digression within a digression, let me say that there is no such thing as karma when it comes to EQ move jobs.  I was in the EQ presidency almost the whole time we were in Boston and organized and participated in more moves than I could count.  I even brought pizza (at my own expense) to moves of those that I thought wouldn’t get enough help otherwise.  I could only find two people to help me and that was the night before rather than for the actual move.  My faith in the EQ was shaken.

I am grateful though to those that did show up because they treated our stuff with respect and got nearly all the large pieces of furniture down the stairs, including our impossible couches that had to be rotated just so to go down the stairs.  However at the end of their efforts it still seemed that there was a ton of stuff left upstairs to clean up.

My perception of time started to get funny at this point.  Maybe a large event like moving is a black hole that distorts time for those close to it.  Or maybe I was just exhausted.  In any case the cleanup that night and the next morning seemed to last forever.  The truck showed up and then the movers showed up and the experience was traumatic enough that I don’t want to discuss it in detail.  This despite all my preparation.  It must have been the easiest move they’ve ever done since nearly everything was within thirty feet of the truck.

I am pretty sure that I spent the next day taking things down to the trash and battling raccoons that were after our trash.  Luckily I had leftover boxes so I could at least put trash in boxes and tape them up to protect them from pests.  The size of the pile of trash made me feel bad, since it was going to fall on our landlords to take it out to the curb when they got back from vacation.

This is getting long, which is sort of the point, but I’ll try to make the rest brief.  That Sunday we boarded an airplane to Salt Lake City.  There was no way to drive with my wife about to give birth so we sold the car the day before.  Our son has flown cross country probably ten times in his short life and has always been good.  In order to help him be good this time we gave him a bit of benadryl.  It totally backfired and we had the longest plane ride of our lives.

Eventually of course the object reaches its destination despite the paradox and we of course arrived in Utah and moved in to the house we are renting.  Time has passed normally for the past few weeks, and it has been a relief.  Then we got a bit anxious about interest rates and housing prices so we went out and made an offer on a house.  It was accepted yesterday.  We move again in a month!

Oh, and it appears that I have the dichotomy backwards.  I should have used Achilles and the tortoise.


  1. Einstein gets credit for saying someting to the effect: “Time is relative, one second is far too long when sitting on a hot stove and far too short when kissing your lover.” Obvious the seconds are the same length in time, but like your move time can seem to change depending on what we do.

    Glad it’s you moving and not me!

    Comment by don — October 21, 2005 @ 1:28 pm

  2. Einstein, Twain, Churchill, and Shaw always get credit for the best quotes, even if they didn’t say them!

    Comment by a random John — October 21, 2005 @ 1:41 pm

  3. ARJ,
    Oh to make an offer on a house and move in a month later… that’s the high life. Welcome to everywhere but NYC.

    It’s nice to hear things are better. Moving always sucks. So what takes you to Utah?

    Comment by Rusty — October 21, 2005 @ 2:01 pm

  4. Rusty,

    My wife got her dream job out here. Plus it is close to family and all of my co-workers.

    Comment by a random John — October 21, 2005 @ 3:39 pm

  5. Oh my. Utah!

    Glad to see you safe in Zion. Er . . .

    Comment by fMhLisa — October 22, 2005 @ 12:23 am

  6. They let your 8 1/2 momths pregnant wife get on an airplane?

    Comment by marta — October 22, 2005 @ 8:55 pm

  7. Marta,

    Would you rather that she drove across the country?

    She checked it out with her OB and the OB approved it. We were surprised that the airline didn’t ask for a note from the doctor.

    Comment by a random John — October 22, 2005 @ 10:48 pm

  8. I really hate moving and the last 2 major moves I was also 8 1/2 months pregnant. In fact the last move we did the same thing, moved out of state to a rental houe, then 3 months later moved into our real house. It was brutal, my mom saved us, she did all the work and more that I would have done in a non-pregnant state.

    Make that family that you’re moving closer to lend a hand!

    Comment by kristen j — October 23, 2005 @ 12:59 pm

  9. Both sides of the family have been wonderful, especially once we arrived in Utah. I have zero complaints. This second move is going to be much easier. Most of it we can do ourselves and the parts that we can’t will just take a one day Rider Truck rental and a few eager teenagers that think that $10 an hour to move furniture is a small fortune.

    Comment by a random John — October 23, 2005 @ 4:56 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.