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Friday, November 16, 2018

1/2 and 1/2

4:16 am - Friday - November 16th - Campbellsville, KY - 30º F (feels like 26º), 92% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the southwest.......cloudy now, sunny later with a forecast high for today of 49º F.  There is still snow on the ground this morning......


....it's still quite dark, but you can see the snow on the artificial turf.

TLE and I had different shifts Thursday as I wrote previously.  She worked the 6:30 am to 11:30 am half day shift and I worked the 12 pm to 5 pm shift.  If I am going to work a 1/2 day I, along with most, prefer to work the first half, otherwise you are just sitting around waiting for time to go to work.....it kind of kills the day.  

It had stopped raining about 8 am, but about 30 minutes before I began getting dressed (10:30 am) it began to snow, and it was snowing as I walked down the long hill to the concrete bunker in my winter jacket, gloves, watch cap and shorts.  TLE passed me on her way home in the VW.  My 5 hour shift went quickly, and so did the picking.  I averaged close to 250 picks per quarter, and ended up around 500 for the 5 hour session.....not too bad.

By the time I exited the bunker it was still snowing lightly, but it was oh so cold.  I was wishing I had asked TLE to pick me up from work.  Nonetheless, I made it home unscathed, and changed into my pajamas and slippers.  Within minutes my legs were once again warm.

As is our habit, we were in bed by 8 pm getting our rest before the beginning of our real work week (Friday to Monday).

I forgot to mention that just after I got dressed I remembered I had not dumped the black tank, and I had meant to do that earlier before it began snowing.  I managed to get it dumped and flushed in about 15 minutes, and still had a few minutes to spare before I had to walk to work.  Not fun doing the deed in the snow, however.  

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Deluxe.....

5:10 am - Thursday - November 15th - Campbellsville, KY - 34º F (feels like 31º F), 97% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the east.....heavy cloud cover today with rain/possible snow and a forecast high of only 38º F.  Began raining around 7 pm Wednesday and continued without interruption through the night and is still raining as I write.  Snow may be coming mid morning......we shall see.

Our second day of our 'weekend' began much like the first day of our weekend with us doing little to nothing.  The temp was 30º F when we got up, and barely made it to 37º late afternoon.  That rascally wind was making it seem much colder than it was.  

We lazed around until after 11 am when we finally got dressed and drove into Campbellsville to have coffee at Harden Coffee......our hangout place........



.....I used the opportunity to wear my Peacoat which I bought last February in Flagstaff at the Savers Thrift Store.  It was in rough shape when I bought it ($11.99) and needed to be dry cleaned, but I could tell it was a quality piece, and just needed a little TLC.  The dry cleaning was done in April just before we left to make our one month journey to Maine.  The dry cleaning took all the wrinkles out of it, and removed the stains, and lint.  I put it away in my back closet and, frankly, forgot about it until a few days ago.  Well, Wednesday was the perfect day to break it out and inaugurate it, so I did.  TLE has had a Peacoat for years, and I always loved the 'look'.  She broke hers out too and we looked kind of like 'Bobbsey Twins' at the coffee shop.  We chose to sit at the front of the coffee shop looking out upon the local scenery and weather sipping our coffees and reading for about an hour.  

From Harden's we motivated over to Walmart to pick up a few necessities before heading back home by 1:30 pm, and that was our day in a nutshell.  Much time spent elevating legs and feet, napping, and just generally enjoying not walking around the concrete bunker across the street.

TLE made anchovie pizza for dinner......what a treat!  She buys a 'Red Baron Special Deluxe' pizza as her base and then adds anchovies, olives, mushrooms, and more cheese.  It tastes like she made it from scratch, and can she make a pizza from scratch? You bet!  Anyway, that pizza made my day, and now I have a few pieces left over to eat cold on Thursday......nothing better than cold anchovie pizza!

We watched a few of our recorded TV episodes before hitting the rack shortly after 8 pm.  TLE volunteered to work the 5 hour morning shift (6:30 am to 11:30 am) at Amazon Thursday, and I will be working the 5 hour afternoon shift (12 pm to 5 pm).  On Friday we will resume our regular programming with four more 10 hour shifts......wash, rinse, dry, repeat.

Thanks for stopping by!


When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wind chill......

7:06 am - Wednesday - November 14th - Campbellsville, KY - 30º F, 84% humidity, wind 9 mph out of the north by northeast (a little windchill factor).....partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 39º F.  Each day the Weather.com site gives the actual temperature and then what it 'feels like'......according to them it 'feels like' 21º F right now.....with that 9 mph wind blowing I would have to agree!

It never got our of the 30's Tuesday, and we had all four heaters rockin' all day and into the evening to keep it comfortable inside the Newell.  The front portable fireplace was never off even at night while we were sleeping.  It was the perfect day for staying inside and catching up on some of our recorded shows which were, and are beginning to mount in numbers.  

When we are moving on a regular basis like the 5+ weeks we spent traveling to Campbellsville, it is difficult to order stuff that will be delivered before we move again, so there was a rather large pent up demand when we arrived to work at Amazon.  We had placed a rather large order with Amazon the other day (Sunday) and were expecting everything to be delivered Tuesday, so throughout the morning and into mid afternoon we were continually receiving text messages updating us on the delivery of the items.  In all 5 separate boxes arrived with a variety of things, and when the final box had arrived we walked over to the Heartland Campground office to retrieve them.  There were a couple of things which TLE had ordered, but most of the things had to do with the care, and upkeep of our Newell......3 half gallons of Howe's Diesel Treatment, Valterra 'Pure Power Blue' black tank treatment, 2 Camco inline water filters, a 'Radiator Genie' which will make it easier to clean our massive rear facing radiator, 'Strikehold' (cleaner, lubricant, and protectant for all metals), and a new heavy duty 'Gadsden Don't Tread on Me' flag.  I used the last of my previous Howe's supply on our last diesel fill in Lebanon, KY just prior to our arrival here, my last inline water filter when we arrived at Campbellsville, and am down to 1 bottle of the Pure Power Blue, so time to resupply.  My prior Gadsden flag was destroyed in a wind storm when we were still at the Grand Canyon, which is why I ordered a 'heavy duty' one this time.

Our walk over to the office to retrieve our Amazon booty was the only time I stepped outside the Newell all day long.  On top of being bitter cold it was also windy which just intensifies the cold.  It is that windchill factor that makes it feel like 21º F when it is really 30º F.

Around 5:15 pm TLE ran into town to get her second Peak Season massage since we arrived in Campbellsville.  She has found a cool little salon/day spa (Green Room) on Main Street (not that far from Harden's) to get her massages, and likes them a lot.  I'm sure she'll use them for her future hair styling and pedicures.  She was home by 6:45 looking quite relaxed, and ready for another week of the concrete bunker across the street.

We had pollo asado tacos courtesy TLE who used her handy dandy indoor trill to cook the meat.  We watched a 'live' episode of NCIS at 8 pm, and were in bed by 9 pm.  It was a perfect day of relaxation and recuperation.......just what we needed.

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pitter-Patter

6:32 am - Tuesday - November 13th - Campbellsville, KY - 36º F, 95% humidity, wind 10 mph out of the north......heavy cloud cover, rain, with a chance of snow at 8 am today.  Forecast high is 39º F.....it's going to be a chilly, wet one today!  Low tonight will be 27º F.

Monday was our 'Friday'.....only four days of work this week.  As I wrote earlier, we opted not to accept VET (Voluntary Extra Time) for Tuesday.  Frankly, I don't know if I could have done five 10 hour day again this week.  Monday, however, was a much better day for me physically.  I don't know what was going on Sunday, but I felt much better at the beginning of my shift than I thought I would, and I felt pretty good through the first three quarters of the day, but by the beginning of the fourth quarter (2:45 pm to 5 pm) I was dragging.  When the chimes went off at 4:50 pm telling us it was time to begin to put our totes on the conveyor belt, and begin walking to the front of the building to punch the clock I could not have been more relieved and happy.

So, we have 3 weeks of work in the books, and will be beginning our 4th week on Friday.  By this time next week we will have reached the halfway point and have just 4 weeks to go before we are released and head south to warmer climes.

We have a nice group of people we hang out with during breaks and lunch, and we spend a lot of time laughing.  I always wonder if we will form the same type of friendships we have in the past, and although each year is different, with a different mixture of people, it is that for which I hoped.  The last time in Fernley, NV we formed friendships with a mostly younger group of people.  The first time here in Campbellsville it was 100% people in our age range, and that is how it is coming down this year.  We seem to attract, or are attracted to (a chicken,  or egg proposition) happy, energetic people and Charmaine, Howard, Diane, Don, Leonard, Darlene, Fred, Dick, Steve and Karen are all of that.....in spades.  Not only do these relationships during breaks and lunch make Amazon more bearable, but when we see each other on the floor walking from one pick to another, or one area to another we stop and chat for a second, and laugh about something almost every time......there is nothing like shared suffering with people who have a sense of humor!

As you get used to the particular Amazon FC in which you are working you develop likes and dislikes about certain Pick Mods.  I like P-2-C as there have not been stowers up there in a long, long time, and it is very easy to find that for which you are hunting.  P-1-C and P-1-E, P-2-E, P-3-E, and P-4-E are exactly the opposite.....the stowers have been working those Mods for a couple of weeks, and all the bins seem to be at 110% capacity making it quite difficult to find anything in a short amount of time.  Often I have to remove everything from the bin to find the item on my scanner.  I like P-1-Q for the same reason, and P-1-J, P-1-N, P-1-K, P-3-k and P-4-K for the same reason.  As with any job you must take the good with the bad.  If I am working in a Mod that is easy to 'pick' I can average about 110 picks an hour.  If I am in one of the Mods with heavy stower action my average slips down to about 60 per hour.

Some pictures for your viewing pleasure to illustrate some of the terms I use each day.....'stower', 'picker', 'tote', 'conveyors'........


These are 'stowers'....they put merchandise in the bins so we 'pickers' can pick it (above and below)



This is a 'picker'.....notice the Motorola scanner in her hand as she looks into the box to find the item on her scanner screen, which has probably been ordered by someone within the last few minutes


There are literally miles, and miles of conveyors.....you can see both types in this picture (the conveyor going uphill is a belt driven conveyor, and the one in the foreground is roller driven) all running at full speed all of the time.  Those yellow boxes are what we call 'totes'

A 'picker' pushing a 'pick cart' down a lonely aisle looking for the next pick

The 1/4 mile uphill walk home is always sweeter on your 'Friday', and this one was no different.  Even though we were both tired to the bone we giggled, and laughed all the way home knowing we would not be re-entering the concrete bunker on Tuesday, or Wednesday.  We will each be working a 5 hour shift on Thursday.....TLE the morning half from 6:30 am to 11:30 am, and me from 12 pm to 5 pm.  We can do those 5 hour shifts standing on our heads......not that we would want to, right?

We watched the series finale of 'Last Ship', and then the entire English Premier soccer match between Tottenham and Chelsea......it was a great match right to the end, and was won by our favorite, Tottenham 1-NIL.  We finished off the evening watching another recorded episode of NCIS: Los Angeles.

By 12 am it was raining, and it rained the rest of the evening, and is still raining as I write.  Listening to the rain pitter-patter on the aluminum roof just makes everything in the world seem right for just a little while.

Thanks for stopping by!


When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fire?

4:17 am - Monday - November 12th - Campbellsville, KY - 39º F, 82% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the west by northwest.....cloudy today with a forecast high of 46º F and rain beginning around 10 am.....we'll be in the concrete bunker then.

Sunday was just another day like all the other days inside the concrete bunker except for one thing.....around 3:40 pm the fire alarm went off and we all proceeded to evacuate the bunker as we had been previously instructed using the nearest exit door.  I was working in P-1-C at the time (Building 'A') so I parked my cart, and joined the exiting throngs.  Fortunately the sun was peaking out from behind the clouds and it wasn't too cold....remember, I am dressed in a t-shirt and shorts....not exactly fall/winter wear here in central Kentucky.  As it turned out it was a drill and within 30 minutes we were back inside finishing the last 40 minutes of our shift.

Unlike Saturday when I finished the day feeling pretty good physically, Sunday I felt quite tired, and my legs were really tired.  We had planned to drive to work Sunday morning, but there was a heavy layer of frost (no kidding) on the windshield due to the sub freezing temps all night, and I didn't want to deal with it so we walked to work.  That meant we had to walk home, and I really could have used a ride.....oh well.

Amazon continues to introduce a new group of workers each week, and they will continue to do so until early in December as Peak Season reaches a fever pitch.  It wasn't too many days ago I was in that category, and learning my way around the labyrinth that is Amazon.  Now, after 20 some odd days I feel like a veteran once again....have we already been working that long?  We are almost to mid November with about 5 weeks to go in our 8 week marathon.

We will only be working 4 days in a row this week.....not MET, or VET on Tuesday, so we've got that working for us.  Looking forward to being off work for 3 consecutive days!  For dinner TLE served some vegetable soup she had made a few days ago, and it was perfect.  Reminded me more of minestrone than vegetable., and I love minestrone....yumm!  Well, that's it for Sunday....wish I had more for you, but its difficult writing about our day when every work day is remarkably similar.

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Out of hell.....

4:18 am - Sunday - November 11th - Campbellsville, KY - 23º F, 77% humidity, wind mph out of the north.......clear today with a forecast high of 50º F.   23º F is as cold as it will get overnight.  Our water did NOT freeze last night, and it was in the 20's from about 9 pm on last night.

Saturday was a good day in the 'picker' world.....TLE was finally released from Building 'C', and specifically Pick Mod E.....'picking hell' as she termed it.........she got all the way to Building 'A' like the rest of us.  It has been 3 work days since I have seen Building 'C', and I do not miss it one whit.  I spent a lot of time picking in P-1-A, P-1-C, P-2-C, P-K-3 High and Low, and even got to pick for a few minutes in Pick Mod DMG.....wphat is DMG?  It is where items which have some damage to packaging, but are otherwise deemed okay and functional for their intended purpose are stored, and eventually sold at discounted pricing.

It was so bitter cold, and breezy when we exited the Newell at 6 am to walk down to the concrete bunker that we decided it was a VW day.  We had the seat warmers on '4' for maximum benefit for the 3 minute drive down the hill.  We snagged a beneficial parking spot into which we backed our Beetle in anticipation of a quick escape at 5 pm.

The day seemed to pass more quickly than others, and I cannot put my finger on the 'why'.  I guess the 'why' is not too important....I'll just enjoy the fact that it did and not over analyse it like am I wont to do.  Most importantly we spent time during our breaks and lunch laughing and talking with our friends, and that is the most important thing.  It is the people with whom we bond each time at Amazon that make the job bearable.  It's funny, every comment I read about Amazon on the Facebook Amazon page is about the 'mind numbing' nature of the work, no matter what job you have....it is really a matter of the degree to which each is mind numbing.  We all agree that ICQA is the most boring of all the repetitive task jobs at Amazon.  ICQA is essentially auditing bins throughout the facility to verify what is in them compared to what the computer says is in them.  You must pull everything out of the bin and count how many of each type of item and then enter that number into your scanner....yup, I'll agree.....it must be the most boring job at Amazon.  Repetitive task jobs are indeed mind numbing, and that is why I have so much admiration for those who work this gig 365 days a year, year in and year out.  For the most part they all seem happy.....at least those with whom I am able to speak with during the day......and thankful to have a job in an area of Kentucky where decent paying jobs are scarce.

We were home by 5:10 pm turning on the rest of the heaters....we left the portable fireplace heater on while we were working as it was soooo cold when we came home Friday evening.....we had left all the heaters off while we were at work Friday, and it took a good hour to take the chill off the Newell interior.  I have a feeling that at least one of our heaters will be running 24/7 for the foreseeable future.

I watched the finish of a couple of NCAA college games, and then a recorded episode of 'Gold Rush' before heading for bead once again at 8 pm.  My body is slowly adjusting to going to bed so early. 

Thanks for stopping by!


When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

That made my day!

4:24 am - Saturday - November 10th - Campbellvsille, KY - 31º F, 77% humidity, wind 7 mph out of the west......partly cloudy today with a forecast high of 38º F.  The low for the overnight has not yet arrived.....it will get down to 25º F by 8 am and then it will begin to warm to the high today of 38º F.

Friday was our second payday since beginning our 8 week stint here at Amazon.  As it turns out we are getting paid about $15.75/hour and with weekend differential (we work every Saturday and Sunday) it gets over $16/hour.  And there is more!  If we complete our contract by working until our release date somewhere around December 22nd or 23rd we will get an additional $1.00/hour for every hour worked while we are here.  On top of that Kentucky takes out about $40 per check on each of our check in taxes, which we will get back when we file our taxes.....that will come to another $640+.  On top of that we will get all, or most all of our Federal taxes withheld for another $800+.

Now that I have finished my math class for the day what did we do on Friday.....well, we each walked around 9-10 miles as we do virtually every day.....sometimes more, sometimes a little less.  I continued to 'pick' in Building 'B', which I am loving.  There is so much variety, and I get moved around through all the Pick Mods on a regular basis, so I never get totally bored.  TLE, on the other hand, is still stuck in what she calls 'Pick Mod E Hell' in Building 'C'.

We had our second 'Holiday' meal on Friday, and another extended lunch from 11:15 am to 12 pm, with 15 minutes paid.  The day seemed to pass quickly, and even though we all know that 10.5 hours is 10.5 hours all day and all night, it is the perception in your mind that makes it feel like just 10.5 hours, and not 21 hours.

One important note.....well, not so important in the overall scheme of things, but important to note that we drove the VW to work Friday morning as it was raining quite hard.  There was no way we would be able to make the 1/4 mile walk to work without getting drenched.  As it turned out we were able to get out of the parking lot pretty quickly.....less than 5 minutes, and were home shortly thereafter.

The first day back at work after a couple of days off work there is always a readjustment to the endless walking, and noise of 1,000 fans moving air throughout the concrete bunker.  Sometimes you forget how loud it is until you get into an area of the building where there are very few fans blowing, and that is a small section of Building 'A' where I spent the last two hours of Friday 'picking'.  It was so quiet!

For dinner I finished off the rest of the spare ribs from Brothers BBQ. TLE heated them up with the leftover french fries to the perfect temperature, and they tasted just as good as they did two nights ago!  That made my day!

As is our custom we were in bed by 8 pm, but with the front heater still running.  98% of the time we turn all the heaters off at night, but it was supposed to get into the low 30's Friday night/Saturday morning and that would mean it would get down to the 50's inside without the heater.  We managed to keep it a comfortable 61º F in the bedroom with the aid of the front heater....perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.