Thursday, July 18, 2013

5 Weeks and 1 Day Later...

Today is five weeks and one day since our moving truck pulled away with our household goods. Today is also the day that we received our final delivery of our household goods. If you count the days that the movers were packing us up, we actually went five weeks and three days before finally receiving all of our stuff. Oh wait. We have some missing things so I guess I should say most of our stuff. To say that I am a dissatisfied customer would be a massive understatement. Let me tell you how today went.

I got up at 7:30 am because we were told the local movers (they called last night to set up a delivery time) would be here between 8 am and noon. No biggie. Then I get a call at 10:36 am (I checked my caller ID thankyouverymuch) from our moving coordinator, Tonya. She's calling to ask how the offload is going. This is part of her job. She calls during packing, loading, and delivery. So I tell her, "It's going great seeing as how nobody is here." Insert awkward pause. "Nobody's there? I'll give the local company a call to see where they're at." Yeah. You do that. I don't bother to tell her we'd already gotten notification of when they'd be here and they weren't late. As a coordinator, she should have already had this information. She calls back a couple minutes later to tell me they'll be here by noon. Yup. I knew that.

So, the local moving company gets here about 15 or 20 minutes after noon. I've already waited over five weeks. Being a little late isn't something that even hits my radar but the driver explained that they went to the wrong house. I actually tell him that I've been waiting for five weeks so don't sweat the extra few minutes. Then he's all, "Is this an overseas move?" Despite the fact that our stuff is in wooden crates (Overseas moves always involve crates. Domestic moves usually don't.) and we've been waiting FIVE FREAKING WEEKS!!!! No, this isn't an overseas move. I don't say that in an all caps tone of voice. This poor schmuck has very little to do with the end results of this move. He just had the misfortune of being the third party company that was called to deliver our overflow. Seriously, our stuff was in storage so long that it had dirt and cobwebs on it. Not.Kidding.  >:|

At this point, we coordinate our lists, go over some paper work, and then the main guy and his helper dude start prying open the crates. We had two with a little over 1,000 pounds total. The first things that get in the house are our two bookcases. Out of all of our furniture and with the exception of the beds, the bookcases were the things that I was looking forward to getting and the things that I missed the most. My books are still in boxes lining the wall of our sitting area. As he unwraps the shelves, I immediately see damage. They're pine bookcases but they have that thin backing on them if you know what I mean. The backing on one has been torn completely off and there's a gigantic gouge on the back. The other has two scuff marks, a huge gouge on the front, and the backing is loosened. They both had drawers that go into the bottom that we use to keep DVDs in. Only one drawer was delivered. The other drawer has a chunk missing out of it too. I don't think the damage that has been done can be repaired. Structurally, the one can't even hold books in the condition that it's currently in. Cosmetically, they both look like crap now. I don't even want them in my living room. I'm so upset. I really loved these book cases.

Zoomed out view of bookcase 1
Up close pic of damage to bookcase 1
More upclose damage to bookcase 1

Damage to bookcase 2

Damage to bookcase 2

This is the same damage to bookcase 2 but how it looks from the inside. It's a hole.
It was really hard to get a good angle for pictures. Just so ya know.
We also had a mystery box delivered. On the inventory, it was listed as "pots and pans". We have the kitchen completely unpacked and couldn't, for the life of us, figure out what was missing that would be in this box. I open it up, and it has a really old griddle pan in be fair. But then the rest of the contents was old soap making stuff:  the stick blender, kelp, rosemary, lavendar, and other colorants and additives. Yeah. Pots and pans. Sheesh.

So far, we're filing claims on two book shelves, the sofa, the Youngest Child's bike (it was delivered today minus a brake line), a broken computer monitor, a scrape on my bed, a box of missing DVDs, some missing bedding, and something else that I can't think of right now. Also thinking that an espresso finish on wooden furniture might be a bad idea if you're a military family. It shows every scratch and scrape. Then again, I don't treat my furniture like crap and it was in perfect condition before Stevens got a hold of it.

I'm happy that I can now turn on a lamp instead of using the overhead ceiling fan lights. They delivered our lamps in the first load but not the shades. But I still can't unpack my books. :(

This move has been a nightmare. NIGHTMARE. And it's not even over because we have to go through the whole claims process. I never want to move again. DO NOT HIRE STEVENS WORLDWIDE VAN LINES. PLEASE!! Not once, not one single time in the last five weeks have we gotten an apology or explanation for anything. It's shameful and I fervently hope they lose their military contract.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Are You Saying?

 If you're reading this, you're obviously online in one way or another. Being online, I'm sure you're familiar with social media such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. I use social media for a variety of reasons. I'll list them cuz bullets are fun. Get ready for some bulletizing!!!

  • News. I hardly ever watch the news on TV and I haven't read an actual newspaper in years. I use Twitter and Facebook, specifically, to keep up with the news. Sometimes, breaking news hits Twitter before reporters can get it out there themselves. 
  • Keeping up with friends and family. It's been about four years or so (I can't really remember) since I have been to Ohio to visit. And that last time was to be there for my dad's open heart surgery, hardly a social event. My nearest relative lives about eight hours away. My nearest friend lives about 12 or 13 hours away. I don't get the opportunity to see people face to face. I use Facebook to send out birthday wishes, peruse pictures of people's babies that I've never gotten the chance to see in person, and keep up with what everyone is doing. It honestly makes me feel connected.
  • Express my opinion. Social media is a great way of saying what you want, when you want, and about whatever you want. For instance, sometimes I get really fed up with what people are saying on Facebook. So, I'll make a blanket statement about the moronic and inappropriate (IMO), things people post on Facebook. I don't direct it at anyone specifically so that nobody really has the right to take it personally, but I feel better having pointed a finger without really having pointed a finger.
  • Research. I use social media to find reviews for restaurants and businesses. I also use it for decorating, crafting, cooking, and DIY ideas, just to name a few. Pinterest and Yelp are lovely resources. 
  • Work. I've used social media many, many times for professional reasons. I found my first client on Twitter which led to business ownership. I continued to use it to find new clients. I also used to it for marketing purposes for my own business as well as in my independent contractor status for other businesses. 
  • Entertainment. Social media is great for keeping up with your favorite TV shows, movies, and celebrities. I especially enjoy using social media for news about my favorite authors and books. 
I'm sure there are other ways that I, and you, use social media. It really has endless possibilities. All that being said, this isn't even the main point of this blog post. My main topic is, do you ever stop to think about what you are saying when you're online? And I don't just mean literally. I'll explain.

When you send a friend request to someone on Facebook and it doesn't get accepted, what do you think? Maybe the person just doesn't immediately notice friend requests. They weren't ignoring you or refusing you, they just didn't see it. I've been guilty of this. I'll be puttering around on Facebook and notice a friend request sitting there and think, "Huh. How long has that been there?" I don't always get e-mail notifications. Still, by not acknowledging a friend request, it can be a gentle way of saying, "I hate you and don't want to be your friend in any capacity. Go away."

Delving further into this subject...

What about when you're friends with Jane who is married to John but you're not friends with John and a friend request hasn't come from either side. What does that say? That you don't like John? That you're not comfortable being online friends with someone else's husband?

And what if your spouse is friends with both John and Jane and as a couple, you know them in real life but you're only friends with Jane? Or maybe you're not online friends with either one of them. Is that sending an unspoken message as well? Does Jane just not like you?  Not being friends with either, that couple must like your spouse but not you?

Would it just be more polite to accept every friend request you get but then select the option that makes their status updates not appear on your FB page. I've done that. Sometimes, I'm just not interested in what certain teenagers have to say or seeing the 1001 "selfies" that they post on a daily basis. Sorry. (Actually I'm not sorry.)

That takes us to what you're saying when you're actually typing something and hitting "send". Social media certainly gives people the needed distance, and thus protection and even anonymity in some cases, they need to speak their minds without regard to how their opinions might offend. Again, freedom of speech does not equal freedom from repercussions. To be totally cliche, words hurt just as much as fists, sometimes, more so. 

A common place for people to stand their ground is that "It's my Facebook (Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.) page and I'll do with it what I want and if you don't like it, you can unfriend me." Thanks for your permission to block your annoying, foul-language-filled, sexually inappropriate, I've-gone-to-the-gym, I'm-at-a-bar-for-the-20th-time-this-week, I'm-a-religious-hypocrite updates. I'll get right on that. Feel free to block me/unfriend me right back. I won't take it personally. I promise.

In the end...
  • I didn't realize being considerate of others meant infringing on your freedom of speech.
  • I only accept FB friend requests from people that I know so if I didn't accept yours, you can assume:
    • I don't know you IRL. I'm getting old, so maybe I don't remember you.
    • I don't like you
  • Trust me when I say that the vast majority of your followers could give two turds about how often you go to the gym. Although, I do like following a weight loss journey...
  • I assume you're irresponsible and most likely an alcoholic when you post 7 days a week about your bar/drinking excursions. 
  • Make sure your freaking pins actually lead somewhere and not just to an image. Grr!
  • Know your audience. If you're friends with my daughters, I will unfriend you for them if I decide that your language, pictures, memes, etc. are inappropriate. The oldest may be 17, but the youngest is 14 and developmentally, she's 11. I don't care if you're family or not. And if you are family, theoretically, you should care more. This is why I feel that the label of "family" means squat but that's for another post.
  • Posting about your sex life online is:
    • In bad taste. Geez. Yeah it is. Stop arguing with me.
    • Not appropriate for younger audiences. It just isn't, no matter what you think.
    • You're in a relationship and getting some? Well, that's just odd. ::sarcasm much?::
  • I love pet pictures. 
  • I love cat memes.
  • I love baby pictures. 
  • When you publicly rant about being allowed to say what you want, when you want, you're also publicly acknowledging that you know you're being offensive in some way. Think about that.
  • When you post your drama online, you're inviting people into your private life and inviting them to express an opinion about your dumb decisions/actions. Yup.
  • Be political. Just don't be political all the time.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Enjoying the Emerald Coast Kinda Life

It's weird, but we settled into beach life almost instantaneously upon arriving in Pensacola/Navarre.

The change from living in San Diego to living in Navarre is pretty extreme. First of all, San Diego has a population of over a million people. Navarre has just under 30,000. In San Diego, we lived in a very densely populated neighborhood where privacy was nonexistent. We could look out the back of our house and see I-15. And hear it for that matter. Where we're located now, you have to drive out on a state route for a ways, then turn off onto a county road before you turn again into our neighborhood which consists of three streets. Heheh. There's a dirt road that runs parallel to the main road in our development. A red dirt road at that. We live near NOTHING. It isn't convenient to bring home takeout for dinner. The nearest Target is something like 20 miles away. The nearest mall is an hour away. And I LOVE IT!!

We go to the beach at least once a week. The beach is only a few miles away. Have you ever been to the Gulf Coast of Florida? I've been to beaches at the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in America and the beaches here are the prettiest out of them all in my opinion. Pure white sand and water that's so clear that you can look down and see your feet and fish and stuff even in water so deep that you can't touch bottom. It's also a pretty blue/green color. Sometimes it's so calm that there are barely any waves at all. And I mean no waves as in, no white caps. The water is also bath water warm. In San Diego, the water is cold even in July and August. Tingly, prickly cold. In all the years I lived there and for all the many, many things I love about San Diego, I was never a fan of the beaches. They're too cold and there is never anywhere to park.

Navarre's motto is "Florida's Best Kept Secret". We definitely have tourists, but there's only a few resort-type hotels on the beach so it's never wall to wall people. If you drive a few miles down the road to Pensacola Beach, you'll find a typical, coastal tourist town with hotels everywhere, a boardwalk, and swarms of people. They can keep it. I love the laid back atmosphere of Navarre.

I know it's early and I'll probably be changing my tune come Christmas shopping time, but I don't even miss the amenities of living in a big city. Here, I get outside all the time to walk the dog, chat with the neighbors (Yes. You read that right. I actually talk with my neighbors and they're super sweet and even invited us to a neighborhood 4th of July party.), poke at the flowers and plants in my yard, or go to the beach. Everywhere else we've lived, getting out of the house always meant going shopping.

Tonight, we drove to the beach after the Mister got home from work. It was after six and most everyone had gone home for the day. We sat in our chairs in the sand while the sun set, gathered everything up and went home for dinner about an hour later. What'd you do tonight??