Wednesday, August 05, 2009

For Want of a Nail

For whatever reason, a lot of things were broken on our move to Winnipeg. If not broken, then lost or misplaced. We suspect it's because our belongings were loaded onto a truck in Kentucky, driven south to Nashville, warehoused until they found a driver going to Canada, and then loaded on a new truck. That shifting might allow for more damage. While I wish this could have been avoided, there just aren't alot of people moving their belongings from Kentucky to Winnipeg, and therefore, it took a while to find a mover that would move us and even to find a truck driving in the right direction. (three households of belongings were on that truck, and their destinations were Calgary & Lethbridge, Alberta, and Winnipeg...)

That said, we try not to dwell on the downside of much as possible. I've made the damage claims with the mover. We're waiting for the assessor to arrive. Mistakes happen, and these are all just things. Not people, and not live beings, so we're lucky. However, the most frustrating things are the little ones.

For instance, the futon and hardwood frame which normally sits in my office. It usually needs to be disassembled for any move. The movers somehow managed to move it out of our house in Kentucky without taking it apart. (this was done by slight of hand and mirrors, this thing is enormous!) Then, it was taken apart at the warehouse. Then? Somewhere in the move, we lost this:

(For those who care, that's called a "futon glide" or "futon roller." The metal thing is called a clevis pin. You need four of these jobbies for our futon frame, and one is missing.)

Sadly, futon hardware is not standardized. It isn't easily purchased at a hardware store, either. We know because the professor tried to find one at Home Depot yesterday. They suggested calling a futon store instead.

The first futon store was actually very helpful. The person identified the kind of frame she thought we had. (it's 12 years old, I bought it for the professor's bachelor pad the year before we were married.) She then suggested another competing store that might have the part. I call store #2.

"Oh, no problem," they say. "Bring the part in and we'll try to help." So, after dinner, we hop in the car and go to store #2. They don't have any spare hardware parts, but they're very helpful and send us across town to their warehouse.

At this point, I insist on a stop at a mall to buy some other essentials, like Body Shop sunscreen and a book. The book, Fingerweaving Untangled by Carol James, is very well done, and I've just met the author...but I digress. (take note, this was one of the few successes of the evening...)

OK, so off we go to the next store. At this point, I've given up on using the map and we're letting the GPS talk us through a drive across town. We arrive at store #2's other branch and warehouse. The people there are extraordinarily friendly. However, the warehouse manager is new and doesn't want to cannibalize a whole futon frame/set without permission from his boss. Totally understandable, as these frames are pricey... maybe $500 average.

He asks to borrow our sample piece (that would be part #3, since we took one off the futon to find a matching one) and I just about melt down.

"No!" I say, "I can't give you this. What if you lose it!? Then we'll be missing two of these!?"

The man is used to complete hysterics and is calm in the face of impending disaster. He whips out his phone, takes a photo of the piece, and hands it back to the professor. He promises to call us tomorrow. (that would be today.)

As we leave the store, we have an entirely congenial conversation with the salesmen. They do everything they can to help. I explain that unless the futon is set up in my office, I can't unpack the rest of the office. Without the futon, the dogs have nowhere to sleep...and then they bark. They do their jobs (helping me work) best when the futon is there. I like sitting on the futon too. We are lost. Bereft. Without the darn futon. I am completely aware of how crazy this sounds. Bear with me.

We promise the guys that we'll likely buy our next futon at Best Sleep Centre. I announce my need to drown my sorrows in a gelato. Preferably a big one. We leave.

The professor, meanwhile, has been a charming and patient companion through all this. He is easygoing and pleasant. We're enjoying a cool evening on the prairies. All is well. Then, we're driving back towards home...

And the GPS points us towards Gertrude Street. Gertrude Street is a 2 way street with parking on it. It has only about 1.5 lanes open at any time, and it clearly has not been resurfaced for the last 30 winters or so. While it may be the most direct way to go, no person in his/her right mind would choose this road as a good shortcut across town. (*Bump. bump bump. Dodge car. Dodge pothole big enough to swallow us whole. Bump. Dodge pedestrian. Try to cross insanely busy road with 4 lanes of traffic, rep from *.)

This is where the professor loses it. He becomes frustrated and deranged. He is fixated on gelato. He wants to hit the GPS, and settles for shutting it off. He is agitated in a way I cannot soothe.

Meanwhile, we note that the whole city smells like poop. Like manure has just been spread everywhere. No idea why. We are new here. We have broken stuff. And--we took Gertrude Street because of GPS directions.

We share a large waffle cone with "cream of chestnut" and "chocolate cheesecake" at our amazing local gelato place. We agree that all is not lost--if the futon place can't locate us this part, we can order it online from the United States. The parts will cost around $25 US plus shipping. That would be maybe $40 US, plus all that time, mentioned above.

I have now filed another damage claim with the moving company for a stupid piece of plastic. This is only ONE of the several smaller broken things we are trying to cope with. (the piano is a big fix and is entirely out of our purview) About the little stuff, we mean--not fix perfectly, and not replace, but just--you know--set up. Make do. Put our house in order.

This cruddy plastic stuff is getting in the way of our enjoyment of Folklorama, a citywide amazing festival. We are peeved. Tonight, we're dropping everything--but not breaking it--and going out to at least a couple of pavilions.

And yes, we know this would be very funny if it weren't so danged frustrating. After the gelato, the professor insisted I tell you all about this on the blog. He suggested, nay, demanded, that I call it For Want of a Nail.

Commiseration welcome in the comments. Oh, and if you just happen to have one of these thingees laying around, please, let me know!

UPDATE: Best Sleep Centre's warehouse has the piece! Oh! Hurray! Now we'll just drive across town one more time...and we'll be able to put up the futon. Life is good.

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Blogger Melanie said...

So glad you are getting the missing piece after all! Have you found out why the city smells like...ahem...poop? Good luck setting up the new house! Moving is such a pain....

August 5, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

You have done much better with locating the part that you needed for your futon than we did. When we moved to Maine, our futon "lost" one of it's crucial pieces (and I also depend upon this futon in my studio). I called LLBean (the source of the futon many years before) and they couldn't help me... we went to a bajillion sleep centers and futon stores. Sales people gave us pieces, none of which worked. Then one winter day we stopped at LL Bean in person and the parts guy said, hey I have a few of those in my junk box! And gave them to us. You guys are scoring well. Our futon find took over a year! I am very impressed that you have a great gelato place nearby, also :*)

August 5, 2009 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

The trials & tribulations of moving. Can I say some day you'll back on this & have a story you can laugh about? At least chuckle? I must say, the professor is a pretty good sport....there would have been no stopping for a book or a gelato for me while on the trail of a futon roller.

Pgh C

August 5, 2009 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger ilana said...

so glad they found it. it seems Winnipegers are a congenial sort even in the face of a futon part fueled frenzy. also cream of chestnut sounds really really yummy. can;t wait to visit you and try it- do you think it is open in winter?

August 5, 2009 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Ottawa Fiber said...

Make sure to make it to The better half lived in Winnipeg for a while. According to Troy "the forks is probably the nicest place in Winnipeg."
Glad your futon issue was solved.
The "poop" smell may be due to the slaughter houses on really hot days when the wind is blowing the wrong way...or maybe farmers were spreading manure...

August 5, 2009 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Oh so much to say!

The poop smell usually comes from the University of Manitoba in the summer time. They have a pretty big agricultural program out there and actually have herds of cattle and such from what I understand. On a really warm day, with the right wind conditions, you find that it tends to give the entire city a faint smell of barn/animal manure. I always figure it could be worse and smell like human sewage... Trying to look on the bright side I suppose?

Glad to hear that you're taking in some Folklorama! I've been so busy getting ready for my brother's wedding this weekend that I haven't managed to hit up a pavillion yet, but I'm hoping to next week. Let us know which ones you go to and how they were please!

And the Winnipeg pothole situation... Now that's a fun one, and there's not much we like to complain about more than that! (Unless it's the weather...) Because of the rather drastic difference in temperatures here from winter to summer, the roads shift and heave a lot, and we get tons of potholes. Sometimes you have to be careful not to lose your car, specially on the side streets.

And lastly, Gelato! Can I recommend trying Nucci's? It's at 643 Corydon, between Hugo and Daly. They've got some really nice fruit flavors, that are all natural fruits not nasty flavors, and they've got my all time favorite, tartufo (chocolate and hazelnut!)! I've not been to Eva's so I can't say if it's better or not, but that tartufo is to die for...

August 6, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

i so empathize! we're still dealing with the painter, also known as 'dip'. it's been 83 days and he is not done yet. thank goodness the payment isn't by the time but by contract as to when done, no time stated. however, dh will today give dip a deadline because although we are patient people, our patience is frayed and at times broken.

August 6, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

HEY! I thought Pennsylvania was notorious for the absolute worst potholes in the world. Maybe it's just in the US since Winnipeg seems to have some doosies.

Nothing beats mango gelato. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Sounds like Kristy is going to be a wonderful resource for you. How nice to have a go-to person in a new place.


August 6, 2009 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Yay! They had it!

And it's okay for him to be human too. Actually, it's charming. We've all been there, more or less, we're all human.

August 10, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

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