"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Whole New Adventure

What a campsite??!!

So one week down at our new job site. It’s been a little bit of a crazy schedule. Tuesday we had orientation and training specific to the building; most of it we already knew but navigation was the main issue. This building is huge, at least twice the size of the one in Campbellsville. They said until just this year it was the largest fulfillment center they have. It’s divided into two sides, East and West. Each has its own pick desk and start up area. You usually stay on one side or the other but occasionally will move if needed. We have been on the west side all week. I only know one work-camper who moved from one side to the other this week. This facility deals mainly with clothes, shoes and jewelry so much different than Campbellsville. However, just like Campbellsville, they are stuffing the bins so full it makes picking a challenge. The differences aside it has been a good move. 
Rollercoaster anyone??

Our “campground” is the Kentucky Exposition Center right next to what used to be Six Flags but now has some other name. So our view is of amusement park rides. We are also in the flight path of the airport which makes it a little noisy, but we are so tired at night that it doesn’t really bother us. We get a bus to take us to and from work and that is nice. It kind of gives you some time to wind down even if it lengthens the day a little. We are working 11 hour shifts now, though we have the option of 10, but that would mean waiting in the break room until the rest have finished their 11 hour shift so you might as well work and get paid. Next week we are going to work a 59.5 hour week as there is $100 gift card incentive and it’s only 4 hours more than we are working now. We would go in on a Monday and just work 4.5 hours, easy-peasy or so John tells me. The idea here is to make as much money as we can in a short period of time. Just 3 more weeks left!
A little more of our parking lot/ campground

We haven’t done much in Louisville just because we are too exhausted to do much. For the next three weeks it will be eat, sleep, work. Because of Cyber Monday our schedule got changed a little. Normally Sunday would be our overtime day and we would have Monday and Tuesday off but this week it’s Sunday off, Monday work, Tuesday off then back to Wednesday to Sunday schedule and next week we will add the Monday half day to get to 59.5 hours. After that it should get easier. I’m tired just thinking about it. The good thing is I know there is a light at the end of this and some sunny Caribbean skies. Hope everyone is well and had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Happy Trails..............

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Snow on the Flamingo

It's amazing how many changes can occur in just a couple weeks. Two big ones here. One’s the weather, like most of the USA we have been sent into the deep freeze (at least for central Kentucky). Today the high was 23 degrees and the low about 12. It is suppose to gradually get better over the week, so that’s some good news. We did get a little snow around the edges but really not much in the way of white stuff. Luckily most of the cold and rain/snow came on our days off.

Now for the bigger change. Last week Amazon made an offer for 100 work-campers to move to Louisville to work in the Jeffersonville, IN (right across the river from downtown Louisville) fulfillment center. This is a center built only 2 years ago and is owned by Amazon. The facility deals mainly with clothes. The unemployment rate in Louisville is pretty low and there are an abundance of seasonal jobs there so they are having trouble getting enough seasonal workers for this peak season. The first offer that came through was an extra $500 bonus. The campground they were going to work with is the Kentucky Exhibition Center which is across the river from the warehouse. Driving in rush hour, pulling up stakes and moving didn’t really make much sense to us for an extra 500 and obviously not to too many others either since only about 30 people signed up. So they sweetened the offer, the bonus went up to $1000 and Amazon would provide shuttle service from the campground to work and back so we wouldn’t have to do the driving. This offer was much more appealing and we accepted the offer along with more than 70 others. So Sunday we will be packing up and moving an hour and a half north of here. We seem to be moving the wrong direction geographically but it’s only for a month. The bonus money will pay for the cruise John and I have planned for when this is all over. 

There are some differences here. We will be working days, which for me will be a challenge since I am not a morning person. However I got up early for years of my work life so I know it’s doable and the good news is it is only for a month. The other change here is they work 11 hour days for peak which will make a 55 hour work week. Because we are Camperforce workers, we are only required to do 10 hour days and 50 hour weeks but the shuttle will only make one trip and it will be after the 11 hour shift so we might as well work it and that makes our overtime weeks 55 hours. I think we are both ok with that. The overtime hours are all at time and a half so it means a better paycheck. 
A cold snowy day for errands.

This will be the third facility we will have worked at for Amazon. Coffeyville, 3 years ago and Campbellsville now. Both of these are older facilities that I believe Amazon leases. John and I are both interested in seeing what a facility they build from the ground up and own will look like. We picked a lot of clothes in Coffeyville and it was ok except for the hanging items so we will also get to compare that to a facility that was built for dealing with clothes.

The Amazon Camperforce has proved itself a great resource for the company, so that is why they have reached out in this direction. I don’t think Campbellsville was happy to loose 100 people they had already trained but the needs of the overall company override that. This will be a new adventure for those of us going. One of the Amazon people that worked the Camperforce program here will be going with us for 3 of the weeks. Kelly will be there to be our liaison and to help this facility know the structure of our program, which is a good thing. Most of us are older workers who work hard and are reliable but may not be as fast as the younger workers they are more familiar with.

So off we go on a new adventure! We will let you know what we think in a couple weeks.
If I don’t get back to the computer for awhile we want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and I hope that you enjoy the time with family and friends.

Happy Trails...................

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Marker's Mark Distillery Tour & a Cruise Planned

We survived our first 10 hour a day week!  Not bad for two old folks. By the end of the day our feet and backs were paying the price but we did notice on day 4 (our Friday) it seemed a little better than the night before. Having done this once before we knew what to expect. The next challenge is mandatory overtime which begins next week. That means an extra 10 hour day and a 50 hour week. My guess is next week will be brutal and then a our bodies adjust it will get better.  So week 3 down, 6 more to go.

This week John and I booked a cruise for January 3rd, so whenever it gets hard I’ll just remember the silver lining at the end of the tunnel. The cruise is to celebrate our 30th anniversary that we achieved last September 1st. We discussed options then but decided to wait until after our work stint and wait for a good price. We found both so we booked it. We will be leaving here and working our way to an Escapees park in Livingston Texas. It is close enough to Houston for us to drive there and board the ship. It also gives us a safe place to park and leave everything plugged in.

For those of you non-RVers. Escapees is a group we belong to that is mainly (but not all) full timers and they have various parks in many of the locations the full time RVers like to go. It is a wonderful supportive organization that is well worth the money. Our cruise will be to Cozumel Mexico, Belize and Honduras. I am so looking forward to it! I may have to shop online for a new bathing suit, oh the wonders.

Vat of sour mash
Last weekend we had four days off due to a change in our shift pattern so now we are Wednesday to Saturday with Tuesday being our mandatory overtime day. Since mandatory overtime begins next week it means we work Tuesday to Saturday until we leave here. The four day weekend gave us an extra day to do a little site seeing. The closest distillery on the bourbon trail is Maker’s Mark so we thought it would be fun to
Set up in the tasting room
check it out. As a bonus the Kentucky hills were in full color. We enjoyed the tour and it is fun seeing the different ways each distillery chooses to do their tours. This one lets you try the sour mash, John did that. I almost had an asthma attack at the last brewery when I put my nose over the fermenting vats I chose to just trust him on this. The tasting room here is done much like a wine tasting room. The samples were already poured and marked. The guide tells you about each one before you taste it. I liked this set up and felt it was very well done. We left there and went back thru Lebanon KY and stopped at an Italian restaurant that I found on Trip Advisor. It was ok, not great. One of the things we found out though was in Kentucky on Voting Day alcohol is not sold until after the polls close at 6pm. That is a new one on us. Interestingly they were able to sell bourbon at Maker’s Mark. Some states have alcohol laws I find a bit archaic, but such is life.

Not much else to talk about but I will let you know I posted another Captain’s Log on Eating with the Flamingo. I am starting to form a couple posts on bread making and cooking in a small kitchen too. I tried out a pumpkin muffin recipe today that turned out well so it along with a scone recipe are also waiting to join the blog posts.

Until next time.. Happy Trails.................................

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Survived week two

Peak color in Campbellsville KY

Just a quick post as not much has happened. We survived our first 2 weeks with 5 hour days. It was fairly painless and all that picking knowledge started to come back pretty quickly. I like the training here and I’ve actually learned more about functions on the scanner that no one ever showed me at Coffeyville so hopefully that will speed me up a little. However, this week we get brand new scanners. The program is suppose to be the same or at least very similar but they are touted to be lighter and more responsive, that would be nice.
Heartland Campground

Tomorrow night we begin our 10 hour days and I am sure there will be some foot pain and exhaustion to follow. I think we will get at least one 40 hour week in before overtime starts but it won’t be long and we will be on 50 hour weeks. Our OT shift will be on Tuesday so our week then will be Tuesday thru Saturday. 
Parked for a couple months

Today we are going to take advantage of our last day off and check out Maker’s Mark Distillery and maybe a couple more. I think we will just wander around a little and see where it takes us. I’ve been cooking a lot this weekend to get ready for the week so today I am abstaining from cooking and told John we are going out to eat. Yea!!
Work is just down the road

I don’t know how much we will be posting in the next couple months but I am committed to trying to post once a week. One place we will be posting is over on Eating with the Flamingo. The Captain (John) has written several posts and I will be posting those this week too, one today and at least one more this week. 

Happy Trails................