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What I Learned in my Move

Wow, 24 hours in a car… I made it to Texas safe and sound. There were a few interesting things that happened that are strangely enough interesting to security. First the actual packing. I hired a company to do the packing and storage of my stuff until I’m ready to bring it out. They wouldn’t take my guns or alcohol or anything in liquid so I had to drive. Annoying, but manageable. Anyway, the packing guys did an amazing job. They packed up my entire place and got it into the truck in 6 hours, and I have a lot of annoying stuff to pack. They had four guys working on it, but I realized that even if I had all the right packing stuff, there’s no way I could have done what they had done in 48 or more hours, let alone 24 man hours.

It’s not because I’m lacking the skill, or the strength or even in the interest. In fact, I’m more interested than anyone. The moving company has no interest in my stuff whatsoever. Granted, they don’t want it broken, because they don’t want to get sued, but short of that, they couldn’t care less about any of the individual items in my apartment. So for them to move my stuff is an emotionless event for them. For me, I would have take every individual item, inspected it, thought about what it meant to me, where I bought it, what condition it is, where I want it to end up in the new place, and sorted it accordingly. All without really thinking about it, but each item would have taken me 2-10 times as long to pack depending on what it was.

The moral of the story? I think the same is true when you are talking about assessments. I remember back when I was a lowly programmer and we did code reviews. The person coding it would spend days or weeks programming something and we would tear it apart in a few minutes. They were lacking the distance to know better. They were thinking about the classes and sub classes and data structures. No one on earth knew the code better than they did, yet they lacked the distance to be able to assess it quickly. Since we didn’t care we could to so efficiently. It’s not that they were lacking the skill, far from it. They were lacking the self distance. Obviously, sometimes people are purely lacking the skill (like how to lift a box into a truck without hurting yourself) and that would make the results even more dramatic.

The second interesting part of the story was when I got pulled over. The border patrol was pulling every one over near the border between Texas and Mexico. I thought at this point the deal was over. For sure they were going to arrest me. I was bringing cases of alcohol, firearms, hacking stuff, liquids that could easily make some sort of chemical nightmare (cleaning supplies) not to mention the various foods that I’m sure you’re probably not allowed to take across state lines. I was prepared to turn myself in for a lenient conviction. Alas, they asked me only one question. Here is the sum total of that conversation:

Officer: “Goodmorning.” RSnake: “Goodmorning.” Officer: “Are you a citizen?” RSnake: “Uh, yes?” Officer: “Have a good day.” RSnake: “You too!”

So it occurred to me as I was pulling away from the checkpoint, that is a pretty damned easy test for me to pass, and I wasn’t even good in school or anything. How many thousands of dollars a day does it cost to run that thing and what exactly does it stop? I could have had 5 mexican guys and an Al Queda member under the boxes in the back. Maybe they were scanning my truck with x-rays looking for human passengers, or using geiger counters looking for radioactive materials who knows? Anyway, it was worth a laugh. It would have been hard to fail that test, unless I accidentally blurted out, “Si!”

14 Responses to “What I Learned in my Move”

  1. christ1an Says:

    I was in a very similar situation several years ago and the result was the same. They didn’t notice anything and I’m still not sure why.

    Just as you said, worth a laugh.

  2. yawnmoth Says:

    Given that I thought you lived in California, I have to wonder why you would have to go through Mexico to get to Texas? I mean, sure, if you were going from San Diego, CA to Brownsville, TX, I guess it might make sense, but Brownsville has never struck me as a “hub of technology”, or whatever.

  3. RSnake Says:

    I used to live in California. I moved to Texas. I didn’t have to go through Mexico though, just nearby on I10. It was inside Texas somewhere between white sands and San Antonio (not sure where exactly as I was 18-20 hours into my drive at the time and pretty out of it from exhaustion). Remind me to not pack a car full of stuff, stand in the hot sun for several hours waiting for people to pack a house, then clean said house and then proceed to drive 24 hours again. Yah, that was tiring.

  4. id Says:

    There is a stop right outside of El Paso like that, I think they are just there to scare illegals, not to do much else.

  5. yawnmoth Says:

    If you don’t mind my asking… where in Texas are you now living, anyway? Not that I expect anyone to care, but I’m living in Austin, TX…

  6. Mightyseek Says:

    Pretty funny. We had joked about you getting pulled over on the way… guess you felt like you may b close to having our jests become a reality.

    Ok, so we are all glad you are to your new home and safe, but what we really want is to have you start posting again ;)

  7. RSnake Says:

    yawnmoth - so let’s grab a beer - drop me an email off thread.

    Mightyseek - oh I will once I get a little more situated… as you can imagine I got nearly flooded off the net with emails I missed over the last few days. It will take me a day to catch up.

  8. Awesome AnDrEw Says:

    A prime example of your tax money at work. Every time I have a run in with the police no matter what it is I give them a “I don’t really care that you’re bothering me” kind of attitude, throw out a few ambigious comments and leave. As long as you play it cool they won’t think anything of it. I’ve done it many times to get out of tickets, having my car towed because my registration was 6 months over-due, and some other things.

  9. Todd Towles Says:

    Welcome to TX….you are going to love this town…

  10. Joe Says:

    Similar thing happened to me on a trip to Microsoft the other day. The security guard stopped my cab and said, “Where are you going?” in a stern voice. I said, “uhh… building 2?” He smiled and very politely said, “Oh, ok, yeah that’s right over there”…

    That was a good laugh.

  11. Andrew Says:

    Maybe they were just looking for people acting hinky.

  12. thrill Says:

    Glad you made it safe. Glad that the moonshine made it safely as well.


  13. drew Says:

    Texas is fun — not to mention that HDM and Pedram happen to live there too.

  14. kite Says:

    There actually was a similar border patrol traffic stop in the middle of Vermont on I91, just outside of White River Junction. IT wasn’t a big deal for anyone who was white, but they seriously harrassed anyone who had an accent or looked like they might be middle eastern. The whole thing seemed like an ugly exercise in racial profiling to me.