Like, Comment, Share
Image: – – Macho Spouse
Carpe Diem is the Latin term for seize the day. I've seen on social media, and the news, some folks complaining about the “would've/could've” aspect of their life. Far too often people talk about things they wish they could have or should have done. Being married to the military, I find myself slipping into that trap more and more often because my wife's Navy career can keep me from pursuing certain passions.
From under-ways and deployments to the duty days where my wife can't travel more than 20 minutes away from base; at times, my wife's career has stopped me from doing things I want to do. It's been tough learning how to adapt to this type of lifestyle because up until a stressful duty assignment at NAS Lemoore (2008), my wife and I really didn't have to deal with duty-days, deployments, and other hindrances. I understand many other families have it worse than we do, but that still doesn't make it easier. Dealing with the Lemoore assignment, however difficult it was, helped me understand a valuable life lesson...Carpe Diem!
In 2008 we were stationed at NAS Lemoore. That whole time there was very trying on the nerves of this family. We were very limited in our travels because my wife was one of two respiratory therapists at the Naval Hospital in Lemoore. So two people divided duty and pager duties. When one person left, all the duties were left to one person. So this greatly limited what time we had away from the base and even those times away had to be scheduled a month or so in advance.
In 2011 my wife received a blessing in her orders and we PCS'd to Florida. She is going to school to become a commissioned Navy Officer. I'm pretty proud of that! But the road here has been tough with many ups and downs. One of the downs was my having to give up on a hobby I truly love, marching music. Between my wife's career, our family and location, there wasn't really an opportune time or place for my music. Did I say I love marching music? I enjoy everything from marching bands to drum and bugle corps. I even like to see an occasional winter guard show...maybe even a winter drum line show too. Earlier this year an opportunity to march with a group from Inverness, Florida came up and that's when some problems arose. You see, if I wanted to pursue this passion, it would come at a cost of alienating the delicate balance of time and commitment I have with my family. I had to come to the realization that my time here in Florida is about supporting my wife, not playing tuba.
So here's where the Carpe Diem fits in. I could've just sat around and got mad about the situation, or I could try and make it work. I chose and am focusing on the later. I'm happy to report that I've been able to connect with some really great musicians who turned into great friends. I think this is the most I've ever been connected to a community outside my home state of California. And ever since I got myself plugged in to this local community, I'm now able to take advantage of musical opportunities that pop up every now and then; just as long as they don't interfere too much with my wife's study time. I'm ok with that. In fact, an opportunity to join a group from Orlando for a parade in Winter Park just popped up and I grabbed it. They were looking for another marching tuba and I was able to connect with a Florida friend to make that gig happen. I've also been able to perform with two groups here in the Jacksonville area on a limited-time basis. So instead of succumbing to a negative situation and NOT playing at all, I embraced my reality and have found groups that understand my crazy Navy lifestyle. It isn't perfect, but I'm ok with that. I've had to miss some rehearsals here and there, but that's OK because I would rather have the opportunity to play a little rather than not at all.
What I'm trying to say is, we've got to try and change our mindset. Don't give up when things seem hopeless. Look for what can be done instead of what can't...then do it. Don't have “would've, could've”regrets. Flexibility, family teamwork and some understanding can go a long way with the pursuits of what make us happy. Carpe Diem!
(About the author: Everett is a male military spouse, stay-at-home-dad, and Macho Spouse contributor. His wife is active-duty Navy currently stationed out of Jacksonville, FL.)
If 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
- 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.