Happy Thanksgiving

We hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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This afternoon we are going out for a Thanksgiving dinner with a group of our neighbors at the campground who also work at Amazon. We are looking forward to a good meal and great conversations. Hopefully the Packers can get a win today…? Unfortunately we won’t be able to watch the game today, but at least we should be able to stream the audio.

Tomorrow begins the official start of the Christmas shopping season, and all shifts will be working at Amazon.  Should be an interesting day.  We may, depending on the volume of orders, start mandatory overtime next week.  We are hoping for it.  We have  already had 3 voluntary overtime days so far this season.  We could potentially have mandatory plus voluntary overtime for 2 weeks, which would mean 60 hour weeks ( we may need to buy another pair of tennis shoes!)

This week the managers handed out fresh fruit during our afternoon break, which was a pleasant surprise.  I guess they will be providing occasional treats for us.

They have also been having picking contests one day a week.  Dan has won both times now!!  The first time he won two tokens which can be used in the vending machines.  This week he won $10 in “Campbellsville cash”.  The ‘cash’ can be used to purchase Amazon branded items such as t-shirts, chip clips, glassware, etc.

Quote for the day –  “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  Oprah Winfrey

4 more Saturdays!

The end is near, as we only have to get up early on Saturdays for 4 more weeks!  The volume is picking up at work, and there are so many people in the building now.  When we started on September 30, you could pick for several hours without seeing anyone.  Now there are people all over, and another group of 20 or so temporary employees started today in picking.  We had over 130 pickers this morning.  When we started, there was about 30 in the morning.

The last 2 Saturdays Dan and I, along with a few other pickers, have volunteered to work in ICQA, which is the inventory control/quality assurance department.  With this job, we take our scanner, go to the bin on the scanner, count all the items in the bin, enter it on the scanner, and move on to the next bin it assigns us to.  Unlike picking, there is very little walking around.  It is a pretty easy job, although you have a lot of bending/squatting to look into the bins closer to the ground.  And there is no time required to do this job.  With picking, your scanner tells you what item to get, and where it is located, and it will have a little timer telling you that you how many seconds you have to pick that item.  ICQA is very laid back, and you get to browse more at the merchandise.  But we both prefer picking, as we like to keep moving.

We only get one tv channel here, the CW, which plays endless episodes of The Peoples Court.  But they are constantly running commercials advertising the live broadcast on NBC of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood on December 5.  Today I noticed a bin full of the audio CD’s of the “music from the live event”.  So I’m not sure how live it is!  It is available now as a pre- order.

I also had time today to look at the Susan Boyle “Home for Christmas” CD.  I have picked a lot of these, and it looks like a pretty good Christmas album.

Originally, we were to have off next Tuesday, and work Black Friday instead.  That way, Amazon didn’t have to pay is overtime.  But now they are offering voluntary overtime on Tuesday, so we signed up for that.  In December, we will have mandatory overtime on Fridays.  There are 2 weeks that we may be able to get additional overtime, so we could be doing six 10 hour days each week….ka-ching!!$$$

Quote for the Day:  “The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today” – Elbert Hubbard

I’m back… :)

Hello everyone, I thought I would take over the blog again.

Things have been going well for me.  There is a nice couple, Jim and Gayle, that let me out when my parents are working.  It’s not as nice as my walks with Grandpa Stu, but it will do for now.

My parents signed up for voluntary overtime this week.  I’m not sure why, something about making money so we don’t have to live where it snows.  While I don’t mind the snow, I would rather be out playing on the grass, in warmer weather.  One year we were playing in the snow, it was so deep my football landed in the snow bank and we couldn’t find it.  It was a crisis of epic proportions.  We had to wait until the snow melted before we found the ball again.

Makena blizzard 008

I did try to make a new friend recently.  I woke my mom up at 3:00 am to go outside.  She was mumbling, something about it being 3 am, and she had to get up for work at 5 am.  She mumbles a lot when she is sleepy.  I was outside and noticed something really cute by the RV next to us, and started to go over there.  My mom was mumbling that the lady didn’t have any pets, so she made me stay while she went to see what was under the camper.

Next thing I know, she is picking me up and running back into our camper, mumbling ‘that’s a skunk, that’s a skunk’!  Well, I don’t know what a skunk is, but it sure looked really cute and friendly.  I guess another dog in the park tried to make friends with the skunk, and ended up getting 3 baths in one day.

It’s getting dark earlier, so my parents are not playing football with me as much outside.  But I taught them a lesson.  If I can’t do this:

Makena and football

Then I do this:

I need to play

I need to play

So now they are making an effort to get me outside more.  They don’t want to keep buying me new toys, which I promptly shred.

After we leave here, we will work our way down to Florida.  My mom previously mentioned they will stay in Cedar Key for January.  Now they tell me we will be in Orange City for February.  I guess it is somewhere near where a giant mouse lives.  They haven’t told me where we will be for the rest of the year yet.  I’ll keep you posted.

Quote for the day:  “Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”   ―  Milan Kundera

Quote for the day:

A need for speed

We visited the National Corvette Museum, as well as the assembly plant for the corvette, both in Bowling Green, KY.  Tours for the GM plant just re-opened this fall.  The 2014 Corvette is a completely new design, and is considered to be the 7th Generation of the Corvette.  The engine is still built in Detroit, although they are developing an area of the plant that will include engine assembly next year.  The underbody is aluminum instead of steel, and the hood is a carbon fiber material, which reduces the weight of the car. It has 505 horsepower with speeds up to 200 MPH.  It will get 29 MPG on the highway, making it the most fuel-efficient of the sports cars. And the biggest change, it no longer has the “bubble” rear window that corvettes were known for.

2014 Corvette

2014 Corvette

Bowling Green Assembly Plant

Bowling Green Assembly Plant

The plant tour costs $7.00, and no cameras are allowed inside.  Robots assemble the underbody of the car, and everything else is done by humans.  They can produce about 170 cars per day.  It was a very interesting process watching a car being assembled.  Corvette has many quality assurance checks during the process.  We were both impressed by the tour, and would highly recommend it if you are in the area.

If you purchase a Corvette, you do have the option of picking it up at the museum.  I would recommend that, as there are some perks the new owner receives.  They are given a “baby book” of photos of the car as it travels through the assembly plant.  And, the owner can go right on to  the line at the end, and start their vehicle.  They just can’t drive it out of the factory.  After the factory tour, we headed down the road to the museum.

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The museum costs $10.00 per person, but they had given us half-price coupons in our Amazon employee welcome package, so it was only $10 for both of us.  The museum starts out with displays on Corvette’s early history, and has a Mobil service station display with early Corvette’s.  There are areas devoted to the racing teams, design and engineering.  Another section has a large display of various models of Corvettes, including the only remaining Corvette that was built in 1983.  There is also an exhibit hall where they have special exhibits.  Currently, it is on motorcycles.

will they notice it missing?

will they notice it missing?

This is one of the first Corvette’s ever built, in 1953.  It has a MSRP of $3,400.00.  You could add a radio for $150!

1953 Corvette - 1st year

1953 Corvette – 1st year

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1957 Corvette

1957 Corvette

Mobil Gas station with 1960’s Corvettes.

gas was 25 cents!

gas was 25 cents!

1960 Corvette

1960 Corvette

These are some of the Corvette’s that were the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 over the years.

Indy 500 pace cars

Indy 500 pace cars

These are some of the early model motorcycles that were in the special exhibit area.

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If you decide to pick up your new Corvette in Bowling Green, they have a special area in the museum to pick it up at.  They really spend a lot of time going over the car with the owner, probably more so than you would get at a dealer.  There were a lot of happy faces on the people picking up their new vehicles.  The sticker price on these cars are around $77,000.

waiting for their owners

waiting for their owners

The owner then gets to drive the vehicle out of the museum, and all the employees come over to cheer them on.

proud owner driving off in white Corvette

proud owner driving off in white Corvette

We both had our favorites.  Dan loved the 1960’s Corvettes, made popular by the television show Route 66.

What Dan wants

What Dan wants

I loved the 2014 model.

what I want

what I want

But then reality kicks in…..

What we can afford!

What we can afford!

 

Quote for the day:  “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” – George Carlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day!!

As with Halloween, Thanksgiving has come early here in Campbellsville.  Amazon had a catered Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, pumpkin pie and apple pie today, for all the employees.  It was very good, and we both appreciated the gesture by Amazon.  My pedometer read 11 miles at the end of our shift, so I figured I burned off everything I ate…could have had another piece of pie!!

Amazon also paid tribute to all the employee’s that are Veteran’s, and gave them a special pin.

Today the 12th and final group of workcampers started, so Amazon handed out the 2013 Amazon Camperforce t-shirts to all of us as we left.  People were very excited about the color of the shirts this year, turquoise.  There is a day in December that we are all supposed to wear them.  Amazon has lot’s of activities planned in December for all their employees, to keep us going during peak season.  It should be an interesting month.

Tonight they are predicting an “artic blast” coming thru, with temperatures below freezing.  We might even see a snowflake or two!  This just gives us further incentive to keep looking at more campgrounds in Florida for February!

Last week we did go to the National Corvette Museum and the Corvette Assembly plant in Bowling Green, KY.  I have been having problems uploading photos with this slow as molasses internet, so I will wait to post on that until I can get the photos working.

We signed up for voluntary overtime on Thursday.  We have to call the morning of, to see if it is still on, as it could be cancelled.  So place your orders folks, so we can keep busy!

Last night we had dinner in town with another couple, Phil and Rudee.  I have been following their blog for a year or so, and they are now working at Amazon for the first time as well.  It was great getting to meet them in person, and listening to their adventures.  You can check out their blog at http://workinrvers.blogspot.com/

Tomorrow is our “Friday”, which means “happy dance Tuesday”!!  I have a few other ladies that join in with me on the happy dance!  It doesn’t take people long to catch on to doing a little dance at the end of the workweek!

Quote for the day:  “On this Veterans Day, let us remember the service of our veterans, and let us  renew our national promise to fulfill our sacred obligations to our veterans and  their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free.” – Dan Lipinski

 

 

7 weeks to go!

Yes, just 7 more weeks left of work at Amazon.  December 23 is the last day of work for the workcampers.  Today another group of 60+ campers started.  Next Monday, the last group of workcampers starts.  After that, this location will be hiring an additional 1200 employees from a temp agency.  So it will be getting quite busy and crowded at work.

Christmas is definitely around the corner, based on all the lights, ornaments, and Christmas CD’s and DVD’s that we have been picking this week.  And there have been a lot of new releases on DVD’s, as we have picked a lot of The Hobbit and the full volume set of Twilight.

The week of Thanksgiving, we will be off on Tuesday, and working on Friday.  All shifts have been adjusted, so everyone is working on “Black Friday”.  Should be interesting to see how that will work out.  After that, we may have 3 weeks of overtime.  Depending on the volume, we could be working 50 or 60 hours each week in December.

I finally found my pedometer, and have worn it the last 3 days.  Saturday I walked 13 miles at work, Sunday 12 1/2 miles, and today was a “light” day at 10 miles.  No wonder I am so pooped out after work!  I am doing a half marathon every day!!  I have lost 5 pounds already.  Dan has no comment on his weight loss!

We have booked a one month stay at a campground in Cedar Key, Florida from January 2 – February 2.  Other than that, we have not yet made any plans.  We will probably slowly meander down to Florida from Kentucky after we leave on the 24th.  Originally we thought about going to Texas to visit my sister, and then on to Arizona, but decided to go for the warm weather in Florida instead!

Yesterday we moved to another site at the State Park.  After November 1, Amazon workers are allowed to move wherever they want in the park.  We just had to wait for a couple from Lexington to leave, and then we moved to a lakefront site.

our new view

our new view

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Thanks Amazon, for our free lakefront living!!  It is a nice, concrete pad with an extra pad for the picnic table.  But for some reason, we are now down to just one channel (the CW) on the TV!  We only moved about 100 feet, but lost the 3 Kentucky education channels.  I didn’t think I would miss TV, but I do.  One can only put up with so much “People’s Court”, which is what seems to be the only thing on.

We hope all is well with everyone.  If you thought you signed up for the blog, but have not been getting e-mails when we make a post, just sign up again.  There was a few days when it was not working, but seems to be now.

Quote for the day:    “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”  – Epictetus

 

 

 

Final stop on the Bourbon Trail

Wednesday turned out to be a pretty nice day, low 70’s, so we decided to complete the final to stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  We started at Heavens Hill, in Bardstown, KY.  We had been here before, so we did skip the tour, but got our passport stamped.  Their visitors center has a lot of interesting information on the history of bourbon.

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Heaven Hill had a huge fire several years ago that destroyed over a dozen warehouses.   As with all the distillery’s, the warehouses are spaced pretty far apart, but once several thousand barrels of bourbon starts on fire, there isn’t much anyone can do to contain it.

Heaven Hill warehouses

Heaven Hill warehouses

Below is an example of a copper pot that was used in the past by moonshiners.

A simple copper still pot

A simple copper still pot

Heaven Hill has on display many historical photographs from the days of Prohibition.

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Heaven Hill was founded by William Heavenhill.  It is believed that a typists error on the distillers permit put a space in between Heaven and hill, and the company could not afford the fee to have it corrected, so it was left as two words.  Their main brands of bourbon are Elijah Craig and Evan Williams.  Elijah Craig is considered the “father” of bourbon, as he was a minister, and was the first person to char the barrels that the whiskey is placed in for aging.  Evan Williams was Kentucky’s first commercial distiller, rolling out the first barrel in 1783.

After Heaven Hill, we headed to our final stop on the tour, Jim Beam, in Clermont, KY.  Beam is considered to be the number one bourbon distillery by volume.  We had also done their tour last year, but they completely revamped it, and built a brand new visitors center for 2013, so we decided to go on their tour.  At $10, it was the most expensive of the tours.  They had to raise the price of their tour because so many people were stealing their tasting glasses, that they now give them as a “complimentary” gift!  Also on our tour was a number of students from the national Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention that is going on in Louisville.  You don’t have to be 21 to go on the tour, only to sample the product.  It was good to see the students learning about the importance of the grains.  After all, they could be the future farmers providing these important ingredients.

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Jim Beam complex

Jim Beam complex

The tour this year was very interactive and informative.  This is the new visitors center:

lounging on the rocking chair

lounging on the rocking chair

The tour starts out by going over a small-scale example of a distillery, and then goes into the main plant to see their operations.  During the tour, visitors have an opportunity to fill a barrel, dump a barrel, and rinse out bottles.

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We were able to watch the bottling of the single batch of Knob Creek.  Dan participated in the rinsing of the bottles.  The bottles are not rinsed with water, only bourbon.  You could then put a sticker with your initials on the bottle, and follow it along during the filling, labeling and hand dipping of the bottles.  They only hand dip the single batch bottles.  Then they will engrave the bottle with today’s date.  Follow along on our bottle’s journey….

single barrel Knob Creek

single barrel Knob Creek

rinsing the bottle

rinsing the bottle

placing it on the filling line

placing it on the filling line

Dan's bottle "DVA"

Dan’s bottle “DVA”

filling

filling

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capping

capping

Unlike Makers Mark, they don’t let you dip your own bottles.

hand dipping

hand dipping

 

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The finished product!

The finished product!

Now if anyone wants to join us in the “sampling”, come on down to Kentucky!  We’ll be here until December 24th!.  Continuing on with our tour, we went into one of the barrel warehouses.

barrel warehouse at Jim Beam

barrel warehouse at Jim Beam

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Jim Beam has two warehouses that sit on either side of a Baptist Church.

this bourbon's safe

this bourbon’s safe

Jim Beam also has a huge display of souvenir containers that actually contained their bourbon and was given out as gift items.

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This is part of their copper pots.  They have one above ground, and one below ground in a blast proof container.

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Final stop on the tour was the tasting room.  They give you a plastic card that you insert into the machine below, and it dispenses two small samples of your choice.

The tasting machines

The tasting machines

 

And now onto our favorites.  We both enjoyed the Woodford Reserve the best, as a good sipping whiskey.  Makers Mark was also good, but the triple distilling at Woodford made their whiskey a bit smoother.  The regular Jim Beam or the Four Roses yellow label would be good for all the recipes that call for bourbon in the ingredients.

As far as tours goes, again we felt the Woodford Reserve tour was the best, followed by both Makers Mark and Jim Beam.  If you are in the Kentucky area for a week or so, the Bourbon Trail is a fun thing to do.  Except for two, the distillery’s are 20 – 50 miles apart, so this is not something that could be easily done in a weekend.

Quote for the day: “Whiskey is by far the most popular of all remedies that won’t cure a cold.” – Jerry Vale