Friday, October 16, 2015

Meeting Big Tex

Despite feeling tired and sore from working so many hours at Amazon (mandatory overtime is already in effect!), my parents kept their promise of taking me to the State Fair of Texas!

The fairgrounds were really nice—paved roads/walkways, colorful flowers, clean restrooms, interesting architecture, beautiful water fountains/reflection pools, and a heartfelt memorial for Vietnam veterans.


We toured the exhibit booths, getting lots of free goodies and samples, including pudding, chile, even toothbrushes and toothpaste!


YeeeHaaa, this is the festival of all foods fried—Oreos, cheesecake, Fritos, catfish, even alligator!  It was interesting that no money is accepted at any food vendor.   Instead, you buy “tickets” from the official State Fair booths.  Each ticket is worth 50 cents, and you buy tickets in $10 bundles.  Every food item costs a specific number of tickets (Daddy plunked down 7 tickets just for my soda).  I have never seen this system used before, but think it is a great idea.  Much easier and safer for the vendors.


Of course, no state fair is complete without livestock, and plenty of them--cows, goats, pigs, and steer, including the grand champion steer that sold for $130,000.  That’s a lot of burgers!   We watched Yoda, a Dallas K-9 “officer” as he demonstrated his police duties, and visited Gus, Moose, and Trojan, some REALLY BIG horses used by the Dallas Mounted Police.


Wow--what a pair!!!

$130K Steer!
But the highlight of the day was me seeing Big Tex, who truly lives up to his name.    He is gigantic!  His boots alone are taller than I am! 

PoPo and Big Tex.  Look at Those Boats--I Mean Boots!

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the cost of attending a State Fair.  $15 just to park, and entry normally is $18 per person.  Fortunately, we went on discount day—bring 4 cans of food per person, get in for $4 per person.  Then, of course, food and Midway ride tickets cost extra.  Not to mention games of chance.   Boo, Hoo, I blew my whole month’s allowance in just a couple of hours!


We headed home on the motorcycles just in time for rush hour evening traffic.  A bit of a nail-biting experience!  But we were rewarded with an absolutely gorgeous sunset.


Talk to you again real soon!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oh Fiddlesticks! The Fridge Fizzles Out

Mom and Dad completed Week 1 at Amazon!   Comprised of four floors of conveyer lines, KIVA robots, computers, automated guided vehicles, and thousands of people, the Haslet Fulfillment Center is ginormous!  And it is like Fort Knox—scan your badge to enter the facility, scan your badge at the time clock, scan your badge at your workstation, scan your badge to get supplies, and go through security scanners to leave the inner sanctuary!

My parents are in the Receiving Department doing the task called “Decant”.  Scan the package, open the package, deposit the contents in a tote/totes, and scan the tote(s).  Mom says scanners have overtaken our lives.  She thinks St. Peter probably requires us to “scan” to enter the pearly gates of heaven!  (Imagine how bad Scanner Hell must be!)

This week, they only worked five hour “hardening” days, giving them an opportunity to get acclimated to the processes.  Thank goodness—they came home quite pooped out!  But my parents are troopers, so I know they will survive “peak” season.

In the meantime, our RV fridge fizzled out.  It worked fine when we arrived, but seemed to take a turn for the worse when we switched from propane to electric.  It just wouldn’t stay cold.  Ironically, the freezer portion of the unit worked fine.  We waited several days to see if the extreme heat wave here in Texas was having a negative impact on the unit.  But alas, the temp in the fridge never went below 43 degrees.  It seemed the fridge was stuck in “defrost” mode.  This is our third fifth wheel, and the second time we needed to replace an RV fridge.  In both instances our rigs were under 2 years old!

After much deliberation, we bite the bullet and purchase a residential fridge, scheduled for delivery on October 1.    Low and behold, my parents come home from their Amazon shift on Tuesday, just 2 days before the scheduled delivery, to find the darn fridge operating perfectly, registering at 34 degrees!
The last thing Mom wanted was to spend 1,500 bucks on a refrigerator.  But if we cancel the order, we will be subject to a 50% restocking fee.  Screwed either way.

Mom’s been ranting and raving since the discovery (she does this VERY well), while Dad dismantles the old fridge and preps for the new fridge delivery.  This includes capping the propane tank connection, insulating the holes from where the vents were, removing the drawer underneath the fridge, etc.)  Needless to say, I’m being quiet as a church mouse, staying out of both of their paths.
Cap propane connection - Check!
Insulate the holes from the unneeded vents - Check!
Fast forward:  The fridge is delivered!  Dad secures it for use during transport.
Securing the fridge for mobile transport - Check!
It looks great!

And unlike our prior fridge, it has loads of room.  It even fits me!
We just returned from food shopping.  So now that our shelves are restocked, I'm due for a much needed cheese break!