Movers - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

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Movers - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

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Image: – – Macho Spouse


Winegar_2.jpgIn the 13 years my wife and I have been married, my wife has also been in the Army. We have moved a total of eight times. As I post this topic, we are in the process of moving again. Our next stop will be Fort Knox, Kentucky. We are excited about this new location and have heard many good things about Fort Knox. But, we will certainly miss the friends we have made here at Fort Hood. As with any PCS (Permanent Change of Station), we currently have movers packing all our items. Moving is always interesting when dealing with the movers, and this time is no exception. Before I begin talking about our current PCS, however, I need to tell you all about a few previous moves. I would also love to hear your stories...the good, bad, and ugly.

During our second PCS, a short distance from El Paso, Texas to Sierra Vista, Arizona, we learned our driver actually hit something on the side of the road while our goods were in transit and did significant damage to his truck. All the items actually had to be downloaded from his truck to another one. When our items were delivered, the movers gave us a disclaimer before unloading anything. As we braced for the worst, we were relieved that only a few framed-art items and knick-knacks didn't survive. However, to add to our anxiety, my wife was still on maternity leave from delivering our first child, our daughter. She had a c-section, and that meant I did all the unpacking while she told me where she wanted everything to go.

Our next move was overseas to Germany, where we needed two shipments. The first shipment is small and is supposed to arrive quickly to help you get by until your second, much larger shipment arrives. I remember that when the movers delivered our items, a very large German man demanded I sign my name on a blank sheet of paper with none of their information filled out. In broken English, he told me “You must sign, this is how it is done.” Although I have to admit I was a little bit intimidated by his aggressive stature, I told him no, I cannot sign until he completes his portion of the document, and downloads our goods. He argued with me for a bit, but finally gave in. I can't remember if we called our transportation representative or not. But, this was our third move, so I was somewhat of a seasoned pro at this point, and knew that I should never, ever sign a blank document - you never know what they're trying to get over on you! Then we received our vehicle…oh, boy. While in transit, the driver side window was broken. Someone decided it would be prudent to cover the window with a trash bag, and they used duct tape to secure it. When the bag was removed, the car's paint came off with the tape. And of course, no documentation accompanied the truck to identify where in transit this occurred. Oh, did I mention there was also water damage inside the cargo area?

So anyway, back to the present. This move is already entertaining and frustrating. The moving company sent out three movers to pack our items. Two of them are doing a great job. The third is a little different. She likes to disassemble things and place them in multiple boxes. My wife first noticed this when she completely disassembled our 4 year old son's pirate ship that he just received for his birthday. She wrapped the various pieces, and placed them at the top of 3 different boxes. We know it will all get there, but it is going to be fun trying to find all the pieces and rebuild on the other end. She also keeps missing stuff to be packed. For instance, she left a few items of clothes in one of my daughter's bottom drawers. When we double-checked her work and pulled them out, her response was “Oh, your taking that?” She also didn't pack the small air purifier in our daughter's room. When we pointed this out, she again responded with “Oh, your taking that?” This has happened at least 5 times in 2 days. We told her multiple times that we have completely separated everything we are keeping, so all items in her area should be packed...nothing should be left out. Well, she still doesn't seem to get it. We also took painstaking efforts to separate the kid's toys by type. For instance, one basket contains all Barbies, while another are My Little Pony, Matchbox Cars, etc. This was a painstakingly tedious process that took us longer than expected, but it was all going to be worth it when we got to Fort Knox. But, as I'm sure you've probably already guessed, the movers took our separate baskets and dumped them all in the same box, so we get to separate them all over again in Kentucky! I guess the bright side is that at least we don't have Barbie's in four or five different boxes. We have always tried to roam between rooms, and not sit and stare down the movers, but this packer, is having us re-work our plan. And to think, the fun is just starting!!

Even as I write this blog, my wife and I know everything will work out. Even though some stuff may get broken or lost, most will make it. And what doesn't make it, can be replaced. It may take us 2 weeks to unpack, but it won't take long for us to make our new, empty house our warm, loving home. And before I go, one bit of advice. When possible, we try to move all of our sentimental items ourselves for added insurance. In fact, before this move, we invested in a small trailer so we can take more personal photos, kid's art projects, etc. ourselves...not going to trust the movers with this stuff. And, no matter what gets broken or lost, what's most important is that we are together, healthy, and happy. I would love to hear your stories as well, and hopefully there are some good ones out there.

About the author: Max Winegar is a male military spouse and stay at home dad to a nine year old girl and three year old boy.  Max has been married to an Army officer for nearly 13 years and has recently started his own FaceBook page, "Freedom and Fatherhood."

See also...

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Video - Importance of Communication Part 2 - What We Talk About

The second segment of a multi-part series examining the importance of communication within the military family.

The first video helped define WHY it's important to communicate with our spouses, so this video examines WHAT we should talk about. EVERYTHING!

image for How To Nitre Blue Gunmetal Without Nitre Salts

How To Nitre Blue Gunmetal Without Nitre Salts

NBlue.jpgIf you are a gun enthusiast who enjoys light gunsmithing projects, you will be interested to know that you can nitre blue gun metal without using salts. To use nitre salts, you have to heat the solution, slowly dip the parts in and hope that they come out looking even. It is definitely a process that requires multiple practice runs before attempting to nitre any actual gun parts. However, there is a much simpler solution if you want to nitre blue your gun metal. Simply do it with heat and without tedious salts.

How Can I Nitre Blue Gun Metal Without Nitre Salts?

The process is easier and quicker than using salts. If you heat the metal evenly for a long enough time period, it oxidizes and changes colors. Do not expect a vibrant royal blue. This process will bring a nice subtle but darker blue color, which creates an attractive and sleek look on a gun. As you heat the metal, you will see the color change. Use a screw to practice first so you can see how easy this is.

What You Will Need

  • Metal screw
  • Propane torch
  • Vice grips
  • Striker
  • Personal protective gear

Steps To Nitre Blue Gun Metal Without Nitre Salts

If you are new to gunsmithing or using a propane torch, it is a good idea to wear protective gear. Wear gloves and goggles. When working with a torch, make sure you do not have baggy clothing or sleeves.

1. Grip The Screw

Place the threaded part of the screw in the vice grips. Tighten it enough that the screw is held in snugly but the threads will not be damaged. When using handheld vice grips, make sure the handles are in good condition to avoid burns.

2. Heat The Screw

Use the striker to ignite the propane torch. Hold it so the tip of the torch's flame touches the screw's head. Move the torch around in circles on the screw's head slowly.

3. Watch For Color Changes

As the screw's temperature changes with prolonged flame exposure, it will start to change color. It will start with a light but dull color change. Heat it evenly around the head for a continuous color. When the head of the screw turns purple, be sure to watch it closely. The next color change will be blue.

That is all it takes to nitre blue gun metal. Perhaps you have an old pistol that looks rough and needs a makeover, or you just like blue gun metal. This is a great project for any gunsmithing enthusiast. Check out SDI's YouTube Channel for additional gunsmithing tips. They also have some gunsmithing programs that qualify for the military spouse MyCAA scholarship program. For more information about gunsmithing as a career for male military spouses, visit SDI's School of Firearms Technology.



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