Winter……So Glad I’m South…

Today was a rainy chilly day.  A cold front came through yesterday and dropped our 80 degree weather down to the low 40s last nite.  Today is only the high of 49.  For us that’s rather cold.  Winter coat weather.  “Brrrrrrrr”.    The weather has been hard to predict this winter.  We would have cold days and then it would heat up to gorgeous days.  But we have had more than the normal of chilly days.  FB_IMG_1549751855665.jpg

Back home in Illinois and the whole north has had very bad record breaking weather.  The snow storm dropped a record breaking amount of snow,  I believe 10″ at home.  Then a week or 2 later the temperature dropped to an all time low.  -25 degrees.…..FB_IMG_1549752368218.jpg

Now that is so so cold.  In a 2 week period the kids only went to school several days.  Most all the business’s were closed.  Even the Putnam County Court house where Tina works.  Many of the Post Offices were letting their postmen even stay home on the very coldest day.  Cameron, who drives semi from the gravel pit also did not work.  Tammy, of course, being a Nurse had to work.  She drove in to Peoria which is 45 mins away.  I thought she should have just stayed there.  Would have been so much easier.  I just can’t imagine cars even starting at -25 degrees.  The only places that worked were a few of the DC’s in the area…..Of Course my Former Employer was open..….Advantage Logistics….  I’m sure everyone was expected to try to make it to work…..“Really”…..They preach about safety, but they want you to risk your life just to come to work.  If you break down on the road, the time for frostbite at -25, is a very few minutes…..No one should be out in that weather unless it is an emergency.  Is it really worth risking your life?  Is it really that important that the trucks at the DCs are loaded just so the retail stores get their product?  I sure don’t think so…….But they push their employees by making them feel guilty or giving points for absenteeism for not coming in.  The people fear loosing their jobs, especially the ones with families.   I guess that’s why I am retired now.  My attitude towards life has changed.  No Longer do we fear that Corporate attitude that they brainwash you with when your younger.  Were some of the few who have been able to retire and enjoy life after work………lol…..FB_IMG_1549752479359.jpg

This is what you see on the highways.  Its really a scary and unsafe place to be in a storm. They had so much snow and wind, that the roads were so drifted the plows couldn’t keep up.

Our Heroes are the Policemen, Firemen, Ambulance Personnel and the Highway workers.  They have to be out their in full force just to take care of people who are out their.  They all risk their lives for us all.  The Hospitals must have a medical staff to take care of their patients’.  Doctors and nurses risk their lives to go to work.  Then their are the ones like my Son in Law Ed.  They work for a company that has to maintain their plants in order to keep them operational.  It is risky but necessary to keep them up and running.   These are our HEROS…...We owe them all if nothing else…..A HEART FELT THANK YOU”……For doing their daily job….FB_IMG_1549751893612.jpg

This was just west of Spring Valley on Rt. 6..…After its plowed, you can see how deep the drifts were.   I’m just glad I’m not their.  The temperature has now warmed up to a balmy 25.  So the worst is over for them.

Here at the Park we’ve been busy.  Winterfest Music Festival was held at Schlitterbahn in Jan.  Rich and I went down to South Padre Island and stayed over nite at the hotel.  We attended The “ABBAFAB” Dinner Show the nite before.20190129_210114.jpg

They are an ABBA Tribute Group…  They sang a great “Dancing Queen”.   Very talented.  The little blonde singer was the 4th runner up in American Idol the year Jordan Sparks won.  The next day was the Winterfest Music Festival.  They had groups playing all day with 45 minute time slots.  This was our Favorite.20190130_145709.jpg

Lobo Del Mar is a huge family group.  Mostly men play instruments and sing.  Some dress in kilts.  They play the Scottish bag pipes.  Now the girls are beautiful dancers.  They have lived all over the world including Hawaii and have incorporated all the different types of music into their repertoire.  Now they live on the island and have bought a restaurant.  We intend on going soon.  After listening most of the day, we decided to leave it was really getting chilly with the wind coming in off of the gulf. 20190203_172237.jpg

The following Sunday was the Super Bowl.  Now I know nothing about football.  I wanted teams to win according to color.  It is easier to decorate that way.  So 2 blue teams won.  …….Bummer...…So I hung balloons from the ceiling in the blue, white, yellow, and red colors.  I used plastic table cloths cut in 4s for table runners.  I asked for empty water bottles and received 58 in one day.  I bought 8 lbs of Pinto Beans and filled each bottle with 1/3 cup of beans.  Taped a strip of blue construction paper around the middle and decorated the tops in curly ribbon in yellow and red.  We scattered them around the tables and they were used for noise makers.   …..And they did use them…..

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Rich cooked 6 pork shoulder butts and made pulled pork.  We also supplied little weinies, and nachos and cheese.20190203_165244.jpg

Of course we always have shrimp.  Its nice to provide a luxury item.  We usually get 10 lbs of fresh frozen shrimp.  Its all gone by the end of the nite. 20190203_165308.jpg

Also of course veggies and dip, cheese and crackers and…… a half barrel of beer……I also went out and collected 32 items for door prizes. 20190203_165511.jpg

The 1st prize was donated by the owner.  It was a collapsible canvas wagon and 2 bag chairs.  The rest were many restaurant gift coupons, South Padre Boat tickets, and many other things.  All the food was provided by the owner also…..They all had a good time except they weren’t happy about who won….but….That’s out of our control.…Thur we have a Catamaran trip down at the Island scheduled.  It is a 2 hour cruise.  It includes Butterscotch Snapps, Shrimp appetizers, shrimp, beef, and chicken fajita’s, and fruit plates.  They cook on the Catamaran, and a musician is softly playing background music.  So far the weather is looking like 83 degrees……

…….Hoping It Stays Warm for the Trip…….

Illinois Poem

 

 

 

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Adventureland…Finally Settling In

We are finally settling in and getting use to the schedule.  We are starting to tolerate the heat better, and enjoy the jobs.  We both work 6 days a week on the afternoon shift.  Mine starts at 3 and Rich starts at 2:40.  Once or twice a week, I’m also assigned a morning shift also.  That shift is 11 to 3.  It still is not even 8 hours a day by the time you sign out for lunch.  By next week we will start staying open till 9 during the week and 10 Pm.  on weekends.  I can pick up 11 to 3 shift anytime I want and Rich can go in and do morning relief for breaks.  Were trying to work around 35 hours a week.  Its not difficult to do that.  A number of Workampers have quit and more to come.  A lot of people just can’t handle it, and some are unhappy with the amount of hours they get.  Some want less, some want more.  Partly communication problem I think.  I know Rich and I have no problem with our schedule.  Before I go any further I want to make an

ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulation to Ashley and Mat on the Arrival of Vivian Grace this morning.

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Vivian weighed in at 7 lb. 8 oz.   20″ long. 

Ashley is our niece.  Her mom Connie is Rich’s youngest sister.  If you read the blog just before we left home last month, Ashley had a Huge Wonderful Shower.  They have both been waiting patiently I think…..lol….Connie called me a week ago and thought they were going in but…..NOPE…..Doesn’t happen that way.   Ashley and Mat went in during the nite.  Connie arrived around 3.   Turned out little Vivian was breach and so they decided to do a C-Section.   Several hours later little Vivian was born.   Mat was blown away and so emotional with his new daughter.  I can only imagine Connie.   She is on Cloud Nine. This is the first grandchild for Connie and Brian, as well as Mats parents.  We had a 9 way conversation on the cell this morning.  I heard it pop….pop…pop…and wondered  what was going on.  I got up and found out that Ashley had just went in for her C-Section.  So Congratulations to All.  I’m sure their is such excitement going on at home right now.  Their lives have all been changed for ever, now theirs a little baby in their lives.  Little Vivian is now ready to be spoiled by all Grandmas and Grandpas…..lol…

This week Rich has been operating the Lady Luck.

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Every week they are assigned a job for all week.  This ride does not require an assistant.  He also has a chair to sit on in the shade.

Last week he operated the Tilt A Whirl which also didn’t require an assistant.  The week before he was an assistant on The Dragon.  It is one of the big roller coasters in the park.

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Before that he was the Chuck Wagon operator.  It is a ride more for kids, but many adults rode it too.

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He said some even almost to big to fit it….lol…In games, we have 3 areas that we work.  Alpine, which is more Arcade games, County Fair, which is your old time fair or carnival games, and The Dragon.  That area of course is by the Dragon Rollercoaster.  We change games every day.  We get a schedule by area for the week, but don’t know what game we get until we get to work.  I am starting to have more fun now.  My favorite games are games the kids always get PrizeIMG_0564This of course is the Duck Pond game.  Their are 45 ducks.  One has a Black dot on the bottom for the big prize, one has a red and one has a blue for the medium.  All other 42 has no dot but still win a small prize.

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These are the prizes.  The medium and small are square plush ducks in yellow, pink and blue.  The little kids love them.

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One boy came in with only $3 to play one game, and guess what he picked….The black dot duck.   We were all just ecstatic…..Another favorite game is Bash a Bully….

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You throw 4 leather bean bags at an open mouth and try to knock down 5 teeth.

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This game is easy for some and hard for others.  Its a cute game.

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I worked this game yesterday.  It is a game of luck.   Throw a whiffle ball and hopes it lands in a colored Goblet.  The name of the Game?  Goblets of course.  1 ball is $2, 5 balls is $5, and a bucket of 12 balls with a small prize in it already is $10.  This is just a few of the games I have worked so far.  Each area is run by a manager and assistant managers.   I am finding them all to be so nice.  They are definitely company orientated also.  They go by the rules that are required.  So if you don’t tuck in your shirt your told, if you late you might be questioned.  If your out of your area your told to get back.  But all in all, if you do as the rules require, you will be fine.  They are all easy to get along with.  They also have kids working that are 14 and 15.  Some of them do seem way to immature. Well see how long they last.  I’ve heard that many of the kids leave after they have several checks.  When your young, a few checks and you think your “Rich”….lol….Oh how I wish……So I think as time goes on we will probably be asked to do more hours.  I’ve heard by the end of the season, they lose a lot of workers.  But the park closes after the third week in August, during the week.  The Iowa State Fair begins and it not far away.  After that school begins and were only open weekends till the end of Sept.  So actually, we only have a little less than 2 months.  Its really not that long.

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This is a nice cool area covered with screen.  Plenty of benches to sit and rest….

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Bridge to Raging River Ride

So an Update on the Accident: …….NOTHING……Nothing has been said or acknowledged.  It is as if it never happened.  We have heard via the grape vine, that the operator is being blamed.  I also believe that the way the paper stated, it is true…..BUT……DID HE HAVE PROPER TRAINING…….I don’t think he should carry the whole blame……..Shouldn’t a switch be implemented for the assist person to push so the operator can then start the ride?  I still think they should have held a meeting the next day to reinforce safety.  What about the family.  Many of the workers here wanted to send cards or condolences.  We weren’t given an address or any means to communicate with the family.  If I was Steve’s wife, it would have meant so much to me to read and hear from all the fellow workers.  They were just here today……gone tomorrow….This was a Very Traumatic event in many peoples lives.  The only thing we ever knew was what was printed in the paper………..Will We Ever Know Anymore Details?…..Probably Not…….

All I know is this is NOT the way to handle a situation of this serious nature.  At Advantage Logistics, Sandy would have called a meeting immediately.  Their would have been information given as how to help the family.  Safety issues would have been discussed.  A through investigation would have happened and we would have been advised.  Ideas would be discussed as to how to not let this happen again.  The family would have been a major concern to her and all of the employees.  Fortunately, we never had a serious accident at our plant, but several had happened at plants out of state.  That was the reaction that we received from our company…..Complete Openness…..A desire to help…

Silence creates rumors…..Rumors promotes finger pointing deserved or not…..Bottom line……Bitterness and Lawsuits…..