Saturday, December 22, 2012

Elvis has left "the building".....

Every great show must come to an end, and you always hope there will be a standing ovation, and encore.   Well, at the beginning of our last "show" (the "start-up meeting") we all gave ourselves a standing ovation for a job well done, and for completing our contract.......BUT there will be no least not Friday, or any other day in the near future.  This was an 11 week stand, and sometimes it seemed as if we might miss a "show" due to exhaustion, but we prevailed, endured, and finished with a strong performance.  Here are our numbers for our 11 week performance:

As you can see, moi picked 35,563 items over the 11 week stand, averaging 100.7 picks an hour.....that's 1.68 picks per minute, every minute for over 355 hours.  Now, I know these are impressive numbers, but move your focus to the next line and see what TLE did over 11 weeks.....41,318 picks, averaging 124.2 picks an hour, or 2.07 pick per minute......she picks like she types......FAST, and she has the numerous Kroger $5 gift cards to prove it!!!  So, combined, we picked 76,881 individual items, some of which may have made it directly into your hands.   Combined TLE and I walked close to 1,100 miles over 11 weeks to fulfill your Christmas wish lists.   Next to each of our names you will see the name Matthew Garcia.  Matthew is a recent graduate of Texas A & M (the school of Johnny "Football", the Heisman Trophy winner this year), and our boss for the duration of our stay at  He is a very personable, accommodating young man, and we were pleased to be able to work for him.   Every time I wore my Texas Longhorn t-shirt he had a "fit" a playful sort of way, of course.  

I noticed yesterday afternoon while taking my daily pre-Amazon shower that I no longer have calluses on my feet.  All those calluses I have built up over the year of wearing flip flops are gone from wearing shoes 11-12 hours a day for the last 11 weeks.  Today I will take a shower and wash off the last remaining vestiges of, and begin the healing process of cleansing my mind of number more P-1-A-23-A-48.  No more swollen, stiff hands in the morning, no more tired feet, and very little shoe wearing for the next month.

Before we did our last "show" the gang met at Happy Days American Grill and Ice Cream Bar around 2:30 pm.  We had a great lunch over the span of 90 minutes, and laughed until we cried.  Liz and Mike (Mike is the one wearing the Siberian fur hat) told us some great stories.....there is nothing like funny story told with a New Jersey accent.

The "picking" gang

Our last shift ended at 10:15 pm......all the CamperForce, D shift people congregated in a large outdoor tent (heated against the 28 degree temperatures) for our exit paperwork, and debriefing.  Afterwards we all convened again at the local Huddle House for an early breakfast.....Huddle House is kind of like Denny's, only not quite as good.  Again we laughed, and giggled for a couple of hours.

It was so cold yesterday, and last night that our water hose froze for the first time.....even with the insulation I put on it, which served well until this latest weather front came through.  Fortunately we have an on board water source and a water pump, so we just switched over to that for the night.

Saturday I will pull off the two remaining trailer wheels with the separating tread and get new shoes put on, and then begin to install the new brake assemblies in preparation for our departure the morning of December 26th.  The campground is emptying out fast, but fortunately our good friends will be here with us until the 26th.  We'll all be going over to Lebannon, KY for Christmas Eve dinner.

Right now as I sit here at 7:19 am typing I have three inside heaters going full blast...the outside temperature is 23 right now.  The water bay heater has been running all night to keep our fresh and waste water tanks from is definitely time to head south and catch up with the geese who showed better sense than us humans, and left a few weeks ago.

It has been a great ride, and it will take a few weeks for us to gain a little perspective on our experience.  It was considerably more difficult, at the beginning, than we expected, and we were expecting it to be hard, but we were just not prepared for the initial level of difficulty.  Our bodies adapted over a few weeks to the 10-12 hour grind, but it took our minds twice as long to adapt to the level of boredom, and the desire to constantly look at the clock.  The old saying "a watched pot never boils" is true......just change it slightly to "a watched clock never moves" and you get the idea.  We both remarked yesterday that finally, within the past couple of weeks, our minds had made the adjustment, and the time was passing more quickly.  We both lost weight....TLE finally dropped beneath a threshold she hadn't seen for over a year, and I am getting close to mine.  Ultimately, though, we have both lost inches around our waistlines and that it the most important thing.  And there is no doubt we are both physically in the best shape we have been in a long time.

The sun will be rising in a few minutes, and it will be time to finish preparations for lift off next Wednesday.  

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I have been following your blog for awhile now.

    Thanks so much for sharing your Amazon experience. I enjoyed your honest review of your time there.

  2. Clarke, you have succeeded in making this segment of your blog, about daily work, interesting! It is a treat to check in with you each day. Thnx again for sharing your thoughts, feelings and life with all of us. Scott Smith

  3. Thank you both for your encouraging commments. Scott, TLE says the same thing....."you make nothing sound interesting".....we'll be in Dallas again this coming September and hope to catch up with you and Debbie.


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