Thursday, October 20, 2011

Working for Amazon

Orientation for Amazon started at 6am and ran til 4:30pm.  We sat through classes, videos, got our name badges, history of Amazon, etc.and found out that we will be working nights and in shipping.  We wanted nights because you get paid more but thought they would start at 11pm but no, start time is 6pm and get off at 2:30am for the first week, then it will be 4:30am the second week, 10 hour days.  Our shift is Wed thru Sat so we have off 2 days before we start.


We have been staying up late trying to get use to the shift.  Our job is being a shooter.  Basically we work a line packing up items to be shipped out.  You have zone assigned and a work cart with a computer, taper machine, boxes and bubbles for packing.  There is a upper and lower shoot that items are dropped into off of a conveyor and when all items are in it a light comes on telling you it is ready to be packed.  You scan the shoot which tells you what size box to make and what is to be packed in it, scan the items, then put a Spoo label on it, tape it shut and put it on the line headed to outbound.  It is repetitive work and your feet, wrists and elbows hurt and some of the boxes are heavy.  Things go well when everything is working properly which doesn't happen often.  Numbers are very important, that all you hear about.  Got to get your numbers up, they expect you to be able to pack 150 items in an hour.  Your first break which is only 15 minutes is at 8:30.  You will spend at least 2 minutes getting to the break room depending on where you work, have maybe 10 minutes then it's back to work.  Lunch is at 11 and only 30 minutes.  Second break is 2:15.  After every break and lunch you change work zones to try and not get repetitive injuries and after lunch you have a short meeting and do stretches.  So it is fast paced, noisy (we have to wear ear plugs) and abit boring. 

Work week runs from Sunday to Saturday.  Overtime is offered on Sun, Mon or Tues, we signed up for Sun so we can have 2 days off in a row.  It's not mandatory right now for overtime but will be soon.

   The weather is starting to get cold here and the leaves are changing color.  This is my picture window.

We have had it as cold as 19 at night.  Amazon doesn't pay for your electric or propane and it is obvious we will be using alot of it. 

Don't know how often I will be updating the blog as there isn't much time for anything other than work and sleep.

                 I will leave you with this picture of this dog that has a birds eye view from the upper bunk             in a Class B motor home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lake Tahoe

The weather has been fairly decent so we decided to check out Lake Tahoe before it gets too cold or snows, come on along for the ride. 

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft, it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America.  Alpine lakes are classified as reservoirs or lakes at high altitudes, usually starting around 5,000 ft in elevation above sea level or tree line.  Alpine lakes are usually clearer than lakes at lower elevations due to the colder water which decreases the speed and amount of algae and moss growth in the water. Its depth is 1,645 ft, making it the USA's second-deepest (the deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, being 300 ft deeper.  Additionally, Lake Tahoe is listed as the 26th largest lake by volume in the world at 122,160,280 acre foot.

I thought this was a pretty cool overpass.

It was a wonderful ride with beautiful sights around ever turn.  The temps got cooler as we climbed higher and I was glad I made the decision to wear my leathers. 

We are getting closer...

                                                   Cave Rock Tunnel on Nevada side.

                                                                        Lake Tahoe
Now you don't see a sign like this everyday.

 The south shore is dominated by the lake's largest city, South Lake Tahoe, CA.  

This is your tourist area with casinos on the Nevada side and lots of shopping, lodging and dinning in South Lake Tahoe.  Once we got through the congestion and on the west side of the lake we found a nice place to take a break and check out the lake. 

 The water is so clear.

Continuing on the road takes you once again through beautiful scenery and out of the residential area on to Emerald Bay.

Boat rides around the lake are a popular attraction.

     Emerald Bay

Besides being a sun filled summer destination it is also a winter wonderland filled with lots of winter time sports.  The majority of the ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region are on the northern end of the lake, near Truckee CA and Reno, NV.

The Ponderosa Ranch of the TV series Bonanza was formerly located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.  Several other movies have been filmed here including Godfather Part II.  The Winter Olympics was held at Lake Tahoe in 1960.

It was a great ride!

Orientation for Amazon on the 16th October.

Garage Repair & Other Stuff

The 16' trailer that I tow is called "The Garage", it's just like almost everybody elses garage-full of stuff with no vehicle in it.  While we were in Flaming Gorge,UT we got the bike and golf cart out which was only the second time since we started the trip.   We noticed that the plywood was bending down when stepped on so once we got to Fernley we inspected it and discovered that the supporting floor beam had bent from the weight and bounce of going down the road.  The rear tires of the golf cart sit on this beam along with the weight of 6 batteries.  This subject was brought up at the Moose one night and one of the patrons worked at a welding shop and told us to bring it to him.

The beam is thin metal and bent, it is hard to see in this picture.

 The decision was made to first straighten out the beam and then reinforce it with thick angle iron.

Angle iron installed

We also added the two short pieces right where the golf cart tires sit for more added support.  Job complete and it only cost $100, good to go!

Other Stuff

One thing I didn't sell was my dehydrator which I use for making Jerky.  I store it under the bed and came across it when I got out the down comforter as the temps will be getting into the 20's, burr!  It was not our plan to be in cold weather but we will be so it is time to get prepared.  Speaking of cold weather we have decided not to put heat tape on the water hose and just fill up the fresh water tank which will hold 100 gallons of water and refill during the day when needed. Sorry I got off track, jerky.  This time when I made the marinate I wrote down everything that I put in it so I can then adjust where needed.  Usually I put whatever I have in it and hope for the best.  If it turns out really good I can't remember what I used, I think that's called getting old :(

I partially freeze the meat (London Broil-on sale of course) which makes it easier to cut.  Another thing I didn't sell was my carving knife (a Christmas present from my mother-in-law 23 yrs ago) because it makes quick work of the job.  No I don't put red wine in the marinate, what's that saying-I always cook with red wine, sometimes I even put it in food!

I marinate it for 48hrs turning it when I think about it.

I decided to put the meat on around 11pm before we went to bed so the noise of the machine wouldn't bother us during the day and the heat it puts off would be an added benefit.

                                                                  Bingo Bam, jerky!
                  It turned out pretty good but next time I will add a little more heat to the marinate.

Let's see what else have I been doing...ah yes, dish towels.

I discovered flour sack dish towels about a year ago and just love them as they dry so quickly.  There is nothing worse then a sour dish towel or dish rag, yuck!  I even use them as hand towels in the bathroom.  They are a generous size around 30" square so I cut them in quarters, hem the raw edges and I have 4 dish rags. 

Yes I realize that there are 5 dish rags in the picture, just go with it OK.

In the past I have put designs on them with permanent fabric markers and have also dyed them. 

Sometimes I will just use them as they are (white) until they get dingy or have stains on them, then I put designs on the stains and dye them.

The finished result.
  Stay tuned as I have plans for some other designs.  I might even try selling them on Esty.

Bug Bite

Soon into our trip I noticed a bite on the back of my leg and didn't think to much of it.  Well, it seemed like it was getting better and then it got worse- red, swollen, and hard.  So I finally went to the doctor and the decision was made to lance it open and then pack it every other day.  A culture was done and no infection was noted.  I am happy to report that it is healing up nicely.  The only reason I bring up this subject is the fact that I want to pass on some good information that I got from my BF TammyWaters.   She told me of a salve that she used once when she had a bite.  It is called Goldline Ichthammol ointment 20% also known as Black Tar Salve.  It is an old timey drawing ointment that works.  You can get it at any drug store and don't need a prescription.  Put it on the bite and cover with a band aid as soon as possible.  It does have a smell but it is worth it.  I have some already on hand for the next bug bite one of us may get. Sure wish I had known about it before as it would have saved me 3 visits to the doctor and yet another scare on my body.  

Well that about wraps things up, have a great day!          

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Exploring Our Surroundings

A little history of Fernley

It has been conceded that the greatest factor in the development of our mighty west, was the railroad, since there followed in its wake, the prospector, the miner, the agriculturist, and hundreds of others bent upon creating and building up business enterprises of the sections in which they located. So, Reno and Sparks were developed, so likewise, the towns immediately west of them along the railroad, of which Fernley is one, located three miles distant from Wadsworth.

Fernley was a direct result of the laying of the rails of the Central Pacific railroad, and was made a way station of that road about 1863. The town of Wadsworth was already a youngster of some four or five years existence, and had become a valuable supply point along the advancing rails, and promised to be an important shipping station in the stock and agricultural development of the country. Fernley, being situated so nearby, shared in this prosperity and it was not long after a settlement was made there that the possibilities of the surrounding country became apparent, and the most promising land was taken up by those interested in stock and agricultural development.

Much of the farmland in the Fernley area was developed through the Newlands Irrigation Project which was a result of the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902. The project established an irrigation system that delivers water to an area stretching from Derby Dam, along the Truckee River, to the Lahonton Reservior near Fallon, NV. Construction and expansion of the system took place from the inception through the 1960s.  In 1965, the Nevada Cement Company started operation in a new plant built on the north side of the city between Fernley and Wadsworth. This was the first significant non-agricultural/ranching business to come to Fernley, aside from the railroad.  In 1999, opened a 750,000sq ft order fulfillment center in the industrial park located in the northeast side of the city.  The population of Fernley is 15,000.

Being members of the Moose we were happy to discover that they have a lodge in Fernley and as always you feel welcome.  They serve breakfast on Sunday mornings, have food for Monday night football, serve dinner on Saturday night and have bingo every other Sunday.  What more could you want plus they have their very own Bud Light Girl.

We were told of Lahontan State Receration Area in Silver Springs, which is 15 miles away.  The reservoir is almost 17 miles long with 69 miles of shoreline making it a popular place in the summer months for swimming, boating/kayaking, camping and fishing.  As we left Fernley headed to Silver Springs this sign was on the side of the road

Wild Horses Ahead

Now that's a new one!  Unfornately we didn't see any.

It just amazes me how the mountains are constantly changing. 

The picture doesn't do justice but these were the first we had seen with black in them.

It's actually black rocks and they really stand out against the tan vegation.

Sandy Beaches

                                 We might need to bring the kayaks here if the weather holds out. 

The beginning of the first week that we were here the weather was nice with temps in the 80's and night time in the 40-50's.  On about the 4th day we were taking a nap and were woke up by the sound of our outside tables being blow over.  Upon inspection the wind had picked up some thing terrible shaking the Caravan, dust flying, tree limbs breaking...what the heck is going on!  Mark called the office to find out if we should move to the clubhouse for shelter and they told us they were unsure of what was happening, we went to the clubhouse.  After 20 minutes it settled down leaving a mess of debris in it's path, it seemed like a tropical storm minus the rain plus the dust.  In talking with some folks the have lived here for 8 years they said they have never experienced winds like that before.  We checked out the weather channel that evening and it must have come from the artic front that brought snow to the nearby mountains along with cooler temps to our area.  I didn't get any pictures of the CG as they were quick to clean up but the next morning during my walk through the neighborhood that is directly behind us this is what I found.

On another note being an advid gardener I thought this was funny.

If this isn't a maintaince free yard I don't know what is!

A few days later we drove to Carson City which is the capital of NV, can't say we were to impressed.  Of course they have more shopping and resturants then Fernley but that was about it.  Speaking of shopping I was distaught to discover that Fernley didn't have a Big Lots, Dollar Tree or Dollar General, what I am to do!  Luckly the town of Fallon has a Dollar Tree and a JoAnns, I will survive.

On the way back from Carson City we we went to Virginia City.

As Nevada State Road 341 winds its way northward to Virgina City, it passes through two more mining camps. Though Virginia City got all the glory, Silver City and Gold Hill played an important part in the history of the area.
The first gold nugget in what would become known as Gold Canyon was actually discovered at Devil’s Gate, just north of Silver City, in 1850.

 By 1861, Silver City boasted several boarding houses, a number of saloons, four hotels and a population of about 1,200 people. As Virginia City boomed, Silver City became an important freighting center with extensive stables and corrals to serve the many people traveling between the Comstock Lode mines of Virginia City and the processing mills located near Dayton and along the Carson River.
Devil’s Gate, just north of Silver City, is two large walls of rock on either side of the road to Virginia City Formed from lava rock, the rock was blasted and widened for a toll road. At the same time; however, another type of "toll” was often extracted from travelers through Devil’s Gate – robbery. In the late 1850s and early 1860s, the narrow opening was a popular hideout for highwaymen. Relieving travelers of their watches, wallets, gold and silver, Devil’s Gate earned a reputation for trouble and most came armed while passing through.

From Silver City just another mile brings you to Gold Hill. This mining camp got its start at about the same time as Virgina City in the late 1850s, when both silver and gold were found in the area. Initially, the camp was little more than a few miners living in tents and crude shacks. However, by the early 1860s it rivaled Virginia City in size and population. For the next two decades the city thrived, at one point reaching some 8,000 residents.
Mines such as the Yellow Jacket, Crown Point, and Belcher brought in over $10 million each. When the mines began to play out in the late 1870s, the town began to decline. Efforts to revive the mines were made sporadically over the years, including the Yellow Jacket Mine that operated from 1927 until 1942. When it too became unprofitable the people left in droves and by the following year, the post office closed. Though Gold Hill is a shell of its former self and is called home to less than 200 people, a number of historic buildings continue to stand, most notably the Gold Hill Hotel, built in 1859 and the state’s oldest operating hotel. 

                                                                     Gold Hill Hotel

Virginia City could be considered the "birthplace" of Mark Twain, as it was here in February 1863 that writer Samuel Clemens (age 26), then a reporter on the local Territorial Enterprise newspaper, first used his famous pen name.Virginia City historical documents state that Clemens was mugged on November 10, 1863, as he walked over the hill from the south while returning to Virginia City. The muggers relieved Clemens of his watch and his money. The robbery turns out to have been a practical joke played on Clemens by his friends, to give him material to write about. He did not appreciate the joke, but did retrieve his belongings - especially his gold watch (worth $300) and which had great sentimental value as well. Clemens mentioned the incident in his book Roughing It, (published Feb 1872) – and was still sore about it.  In the summer of 1863 he began signing the name "Mark Twain" to his columns.

During its peak, Virginia City had a population of over 30,000 residents and was called the richest city in America. During the 20 years following the Comstock success "about $400 million was taken out of the ground," with mines being excavated to 3,200 feet.

All the new wealth caught the eye of President Lincoln who needed gold and silver to pay Civil War expenses and on March 2, 1861, Neveda became a territory. Statehood came just three years later on October 31, 1864 even though it did not contain enough people to constitutionally authorize statehood.

But like other mining boom towns, Virginia City would eventually begin to decline, beginning in 1877. From the time it was first established through its decline, itsuffered five widespread fires, the worst of which was dubbed the "Great Fire of 1875,” which burned nearly 75% of the town and caused some 12 million dollars in damages. But the residents persevered and the town was rebuilt in about 18 months. The Comstock Lode was fully mined by 1898, and the city once again took a sharp decline. By 1920, there were just a few small operations in business and by 1930, only about 500 people lived in the community.

Today, the historic community is a National Historic Landmark, designated as such in 1961. It now boasts about 1,000 residents, and though a shadow of its former self, it draws more than two million visitors per year.

                    You will find signs for the famous Suicide Table at the Delta Saloon

                                                    This is a very cool place to visit.

     Wandering down the streets we passed a couple of places that Sistah Martha would enjoy.

Antiques & old timey candy

Now when was the last time you seen this kind candy for sale, it's just shameful I tell you!

Instead to driving back the same way we were told of 6 Mile Cayon Rd that will take you back to 50.  It was a beautiful drive!  This is a must see place when you are in the area.