Thursday, June 29, 2006

Soldiers Angles (Germany) Needs a Hand

(This post will remain at top, see below for regular postings).

Dear Soldiers Angels,

We are in the midst of our fourth deployment, and I know you are all tired,
you have been restlessly trying to get supplies to our wounded in
The Mid east and Germany and we have been able to help many heroes.
Unfortunately we still have many wounded coming in daily and
Willie in Germany truly needs your help. Please consider once again
gathering all your energy and get needed items to our heroes.

We need T-shirts large sizes
microwave food
letters of encouragement
entertainment items
blankets of hope
gifts for the families

ship to:
21st TSC, Medical Transient Detachment

ATTN: Soldiers' Angels
UNIT 23203
APO AE 09263

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Missing Soldiers Found

Thankfully Pfc Thomas Tucker & Pfc Kristian Menchaca will be coming home. Not how I could have liked them to but they will be coming home. I have only kind thoughts for their families.

I hope the filth that did what they did burn in hell for it.

I can only pray that Spc Maupin will be brought home too.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Domani, Domani, Domani

Our move is finished and I had a few minutes at work today to write a line or two.

For the love of Mike, don't ever use Three Stars Moving. Book your moves as early as possible so that you don't end up with them. We thought we booked early but still got these idiots. I will file an official written complaint to help out as many as we can. Believe me I will file an official complaint.

They had to be threatened by transportation before they would actually make a pre-inspection appointment. The rest just went downhill from there....

Day 1: They showed at 0945 left one man & picked him up at 1630 after spending 15 minutes talking about the Italy World Cup game that night. He only completed 1/3 of the basement.

Day 2: They showed at 1000 (Yes I called quality control & their office erupted in laughter after finding out who our movers were). This time we got two men but they came and got the second man at 1300 to work at another job to finish them out. They came and our guy at 1630 & promised 4 men for the next day. Our lone man only spoke Italian & I gave him the pet name of Bruno (we think his name was Nunzio, but wasn't sure). Miss T & I had a field day listening and responding in the Italian we remember ( I took it in college, her family is from Sicily). The basement, the kitchen and most of the first floor was completed.

Day 3: They showed at 1100 & apologized as the Autobahn was closed due to an accident and he didn't have a map to figure out where to go. The foreman (Premil) brought two others & the driver. One was named Nico & the other I named Smartmouth. Smartmouth started by carrying an antique tri cornered table in its bubblewrap like it was a shopping bag. This puts stress on the corners as well as the possibility of it dropping onto a corner and breaking. I asked that he please not carry it that way. He told me he wouldn't break it. I snapped that I didn't care that wouldn't break it and to not carry it like that. He ignored me and started to keep walking & the spouse barked that "my wife said not to carry it like that, now carry one thing at a time!" He put it down and came back for it after placing the box on his shoulders outside.

I got to chase Nico all over telling him in Italian to not carry stuff outside without the inventory sticker. At least 20 things had gotten outside without being on the manifest. I shoved the foreman outside and made him inventory it all before it got loaded on the truck. They only had one trailer so only 7 crates could be loaded at a time. They attempted to take off without putting the seals on the backsides of the crates. They claimed that the curtain on that side of the truck was broken. The spouse said he didn't care and climbed right up into the truck & watched them place the back seals on there.

Unfortunately they left us with Nico & Smartmouth to finish packing while they took the crates to their warehouse an hour away. I sat upstairs and watched them pack. At one point I see Smartie putting board games into a suitcase and started to wrap the case. I stopped him and asked politely that he put those in a box. He started to argue again. Finally I told him that if he continued to argue with me I would kick him out of my house. Magically he said it was a misunderstanding and if I wanted them in a box that's where'd they go. I then asked about another suitcase that weighed a ton - "what's in here?" He ignored me and went down to grab a box for the games. When he came back, I asked again and was told that they were pictures. I made him unwrap it so I could see what was there. It was photographs which I guess was okay. Well later on he was talking to Nico and proceeded to make fun of me while I sat there in Italian about making him open the suitcase. Its not that hard to figure it out. I just wanted my HHG shipped so I bit my cheek and went downstairs to make the spouse sit there for a while. He made him upwrap things too and place them in boxes versus stuffing them inbetween shelves of a bookcase.

Finally at 2000 the truck returns (They left at 1530). I had to follow these kids around making them pack crap they kept leaving because they wanted to take the entertainment schrank apart. I sent them away from it everytime. It took from 2000 until 2300 for them to finish loading the trucks. The idiot twins broke a bookcase before it even got on a truck. They placed it on uneven ground & one of them bumped it. It wobbled, I yelled out the window just in time for Nico to turn and just watch it fall. It landed on metal patio furniture and busted right up the side. I think something along the lines of "You frickin' num-nuts." Here comes Smartie with what's wrong. He broke the bookcase I say. Who's bookcase he asks. I answered "duh, MY bookcase." (Not realizing it was a translation error he meant where). The driver gets out of the truck and starts yelling at them something to the effect of don't piss her off anymore than you already have. The Driver apologized but not the idiot twins.

They had to bring a special crate for the E schrank & couldn't get the top to fit. Again Smartie starts telling us how they will build a special crate tomorrow at the warehouse - I said no. He assured us it would be okay, they do it all the time - again I said no. He tried a third time as a plea to my husband and I told him, "The Army has rules and the rules say no, therefore this discussion is over and done with - No!" I hear the drive in Italian ask why they couldn't take it and crate it later and I answered in English that the Army won't allow us to. So he climbs into the crate and acts like a little spreader to push against the wall of the crate and the schrank to make room on the side for the top. It fits. He asks if she thinks that's okay and I answered, " Va bene, mil grazie Signore!" His mouth drops & he asks me how much Italian I speak. I told him 'some' & shot a nasty look to Smartie in the hopes that he'd figure out that I understood his joke he made earlier at my expense.

I can't stress enough that if you are military and you get a mover like this that you file a complaint to both transportation offices! Usually people skip it, but obviously by the quality control office bursting out in laughter they know this company is the pits, but if no one makes an official complaint nothing will happen. So PLEASE complain in WRITING.

Finally our goods are on the way, but not without a nightmare of a week. We are almost home & we're looking forward to it!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Happy Trails

Our moving crew is due tomorrow (lets hope they actually show). Either way I will be out of the blog loop until we hit stateside at the end of June.

Keep safe, play nice and help each other. See ya soon.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Last days to Travel - London

With the stress of the move taking a toll on my stomach our weekend trip to London was well timed. The city is awesome, nice people, great food but horribly expensive (even for a DINK family like ourselves). After the second day we stopped converting to dollars because it was killing us to pay $30 for a basic breakfast.

On our first day we hit Piccadilly Circus which is a pretty cool intersection, Trafalgar Square (Nelson was being cleaned and had scaffolding on the statue) and then went to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace. We didn’t get to see the whole thing as I well, our little group of people at the barrier were great. We didn’t squish; we let people’s kids in front of us at the barricade, etc. A few kids went over the barricade which was okay too since they were short. One teenager even took your camera put it through the fence took a few photos and passed it back – cool folks in general. Then these two bits of Euro Trash wandered behind the barricade and stood there. One man says in Italian that he’d been standing there for three hours and they needed to move. They were Italian as well looked at him shrugged and turned back around. She turned around halfway through and looked in my direction. I also stated we had been waiting for 1 ½ hours and they were now blocking me. She said “No comprendo.” Um okay well first off that’s Spanish, they are Italian. So my knee jerk reaction? Told her screw you in Italian. Her eyes widened and she said “thank you” in perfect English. I went off in Spanish, made fun of her hair what ever I could think of and she again said “No comprendo.” Again I said screw you in Italian, her and her spouse started talking in Italian something to the extent that she thought it was funny I could say that. My spouse is pinching my arm asking me to stop so I stopped short of calling her several nasty local Sicilian dialect names. We left shortly after since they refused to move. They were trash, they wouldn’t even move for fellow Italians or for the kids that they were blocking – it was all about them. Our little section was great, kind to others etc and then they had to ruin it all.

The rest of the trip was great. We had Sushi at one of those sushi bars that have the little conveyer belt going round and the most wonderful Indian food I have ever had in my whole life. DK travel books have really good restaurant recommendations if you ever use their book. Of course we saw West Minster Abbey, Big Ben, House of Parliament, The Tower & Tower Bridge. We also went to the Imperial War Museum which was really cool and the British Museum. Yep, we saw the Rosetta stone.

So other than it costing half my salary to pay for food and the idiots at Buckingham, it was a super trip!