Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
UPBEAT & POSITIVE !!!
WRITTEN BY REX
TODAY WAS ORIENTATION FOR OUR DEALING JOBS AT HARRAH’S/HARVEYS AT LAKE TAHOE. THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW FOR THIS GRUELING DAY……………………
JANE, THE INSTRUCTOR, AND BELIEVE ME WE’RE ON A FIRST NAME BASES, IS AN EXCELLENT INSTRUCTOR ON ALL THE VARIOUS VERY BORING TOPICS SHE’S REQUIRE TO COVER BY LAW AND COMPANY POLICY.
THE DAY WAS BROKEN UP AS WE GOT TO ATTEND A PROPERTY WIDE EMPLOYEE RALLY. THIS WAS A PROFESSIONALLY DONE PRODUCTION WITH LIVE SPEECHES BY THE WESTERN REGION PRESIDENT, THE GENERAL MANAGER COVERING FOUR HARRAH’S CASINOS IN THE AREA, AND VIDEO REMARKS FROM GARY LOVELAND, THE CEO OF HARRAH’S.
THE PROPAGANDA WAS ALL UPBEAT & POSITIVE. THEY GAVE AWAY SEVEN IPODS, AND “NO” I DIDN'T WIN, BUT ALL I REALLY KNOW ABOUT AN IPOD IS HOW TO SPELL IT. THEY ALSO GAVE AWAY $2,000.00 IN CASH AND A TWO NIGHTS, THREE DAYS STAY AT CAESARS IN LAS VEGAS, INCLUDING TICKETS TO CELINE DION.
THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AT WORK WAS PROFITABLE. DEALERS, AS YOU KNOW, LIVE ON THEIR TIPS AND IN WORKING THREE DAYS OF THE FOUR DAY WEEK-END I MADE OVER $600.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
THAT MEANS WE’RE HEADED BACK TO WORK AFTER 4 WEEKS OFF.
WRITTEN BY REX
WE’VE ALWAYS NUMBERED OUR WEEKS OF WORK BACKWARDS. THE LAST STRETCH AT THE AVI WAS 23 WEEKS. NOT BAD, COMPARED TO THE YEAR BEFORE WHEN I DID 29 WEEKS AT THE AVI. THE WEEKS GO FAST WHEN YOU HIT THE SINGLE DIGITS, 8-7-6-5. OF COURSE THE WEEKS WILL GO FAST THIS SUMMER CAMPING IN A SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AREA AS THE HIGH SIERRAS. WE SPEND A LOT OF DAYS OFF, HIKING IN THE MOUNTAINS AND MEADOWS.
BESIDES AT THE END OF THE 14 WEEKS WE’LL BE HEADED HOME TO WISCONSIN!!!
HOMESICK, MAYBE :-(
IT'S ALWAYS FUN TO GO BACK TO WORK THE FIRST DAY, YOU GET TO SEE OLD FRIENDS AND TELL AND HEAR LOT'S NEW STORIES. TAHOE IS ALWAYS INTERESTING BECAUSE OF THE MONEY FLOATING AROUND. IN LAUGHLIN IT'S A "GRIND" WITH LOW BETS AND MINIMUMS, BUT AT LAKE TAHOE THE MINIMUM BET ON BLACKJACK IS $10 A HAND AND PLENTY OF PEOPLE HAVE PLENTY OF MONEY. OF COURSE OUR COSTS OF LIVING DIFFER AS WELL, IN LAUGHLIN WE PAY $220/ MONTH TO CAMP AND AT LAKE TAHOE THE PRICE IS $500/MONTH.WE HAD ANOTHER SHOCK THIS MORNING.
AT 4AM I WOKE UP AND WAS TOO HOT, SO I PUNCHED MARY AND ACCUSED HER OF TURNING THE THERMOSTAT UP, WELL I GOT UP AND TURNED THE FURNACE OFF, TURNS OUT THAT A RUG WAS COVERING THE HEAT REGISTER IN THE FRONT OF THE TRAILER FORCING ALL THE HEAT TO THE BACK WHERE WE SLEEP, BUT THE THERMOSTAT IS OUT IN THE FRONT OF THE TRAILER. OF COURSE IT'S ALWAYS COLDEST JUST BEFORE DAWN, AND MARY WOKE UP COLD AT 6 AM. . SHE POKES ME TO WAKE UP AND OPENS THE BEDROOM DOOR TO THE OUTSIDE AND SAYS TO CHECK OUT THE WEATHER. IT WAS SNOWING LIKE CRAZY AND THE HONDA WAS COMPLETELY COVERED. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND THIS IS MEMORIAL DAY WEEK-END?
Thursday, May 25, 2006
GETTING INTO HIKING MODE, I DECIDED TO PURCHASE A HAND HELD GPS UNIT. I BOUGHT THE GARMIN ETREX LEGEND.
WRITTEN BY REX
DOES ANYBODY KNOW HOW TO OPERATE THE DAMN THING? IT LOOKS COMPLICATED, BUT IF I SPEND ENOUGH TIME WITH THE INSTRUCTION BOOK, I'LL FIGURE IT OUT. SO FAR IT'S A VERY EXSPENSIVE PEDOMETER.
WISH ME LUCK AND SEND ME ANY HINTS YOU HAVE.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Good news.....when I called Human Resources today to ask about our background checks, I nicely asked if there was any way we could work this holiday week end even though the we haven't gone to orientation yet. And after checking with the Department Manager...they said yes!! This is worth about $800 to us!!! Yea!!
Otherwise the day has been kind of ordinary. This morning we went to Minden, NV to a farmer's market. Unfortunately the only real produce there was apricots, strawberries, and peaches. No veggies at all.
Yesterday Rex went to the movie "RV" with Robin Williams. Not being a movie or Robin Williams fan, I went shopping instead. Found a great dollar store and was able to stock up on "word search" books for my Mother. She likes to do them so today I sent her 15 of them. She sure will be surprised when she opens that package!
Last week Martha had a lady from a Southern restrauant on her program making a spiced apple cake with caramel sauce, so I made that for dessert along with chicken fajitas. Something different!! Good thing we liked it cuz today it's leftovers.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Last night we went to “The Da Vinci Code”. I am not a movie person because I don’t really like to sit for hours, but all in all I think it was a pretty good movie. I had both read the book and listened to an audio recording of it so I knew what was going on, but I think it would be somewhat confusing for someone who hadn’t. The scenes filmed in the Louvre were definitely interesting and beautiful. There are two or three scenes that give you the Imax sensation, which I thought was really cool.
Now for some constructive (?) criticism. I do not like the current trend to film all these movies in the dark. All the scenes are dark and I just don’t get it. I guess they think it makes a dramatic statement. Also I never did like the Sonny Crockett (Miami Vice) five o’clock shadow look. The cast must have forgotten their razors because they all had that grunge look.
All in all, I give it 3 stars out of 4.
Rex quote: “What better advertising than to have the Catholic Church tell you not to see it!”.
Friday, May 19, 2006
FIVE AND A HALF YEARS AGO I STARTED READING AND JOINED AN INTERNET DISCUSSION FORUM CALLED M.O.C. (MONTANAS OWNERS CLUB). AT THAT TIME IN 1999 THERE WERE ABOUT 100 MEMBERS, I WAS #99 TO JOIN UP. TODAY THERE ARE 5500 MEMBERS READING AND EXCHANGING INFORMATION. THE FORUM IS WELL CONTROLLED BY A TEAM OF MODERATORS WHO ARE QUICK TO DELETE THE SPAMS ADVERTISING, AND ANY TOPICS NOT RELATED TO THE RV LIFE STYLE.
WRITTEN BY REX
I HAVE LEARNED EVERYTHING ABOUT MY TRAILER OFF OF THIS FORUM. AS AN EXAMPLE, LAST SPRING I WAS HAVING TROUBLE GETTING A BLINKER TO WORK ON THE TRAILER. I SWITCHED BULBS, FLIPPED BREAKERS, AND EVEN ASKED MY NEIGHBORS. I POSTED MY PROBLEM ON THE MOC, AND IN JUST A FEW HOURS A CAMPER FROM TEXAS EXPLAINED THAT UNDER THE HOOD OF MY FORD PICK-UP I WOULD FIND ANOTHER HIDDEN FUSE BOX, AND THERE WAS A TINY FUSE THAT BURNED OUT CONTROLLING THE LEFT BLINKER ON THE TRAILER. THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE, OTHER TOPICS HAVE INCLUDED EXACT INSTRUCTIONS ON GREASING MY WHEELS, COUNTLESS TIPS IN SECURING THINGS INSIDE FOR TRAVEL, CHECKLISTS, WATER FILTERS,AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT AN ANODE ROD IS? ANOTHER ITEM WE LEARNED WAS THAT CERTAIN TRAVEL TRAILERS MANUFACTURED BY MONTANA IN 2000 HAD WARPED AXLES CAUSING A TIRE WEAR PROBLEM AND EVENTUAL FRAME DISTORTIONS DETECTED FIRST BY THE DOOR STICKING. WHEN WE SAW THESE TIRE WEAR PROBLEMS AND THE DOOR STICKING WE QUICKLY TRADED OUR 2000 TRAILER FOR A 2004 TRAILER WHILE THE OLD TRAILER WAS STILL WORTH SOME MONEY.
ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS, STEVE & VIKI REIGLE, HAVE MADE OVER 10,000 POSTS IN THE FIVE YEARS AND HAVE GRADUATED INTO LIVING FULL-TIME IN THEIR MONTANA, HELPING COUNTLESS PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS. THIS DEDICATION HAS EARNED HIM THE TITLE OF “WIZARD” IN THE GROUP. WE’VE BEEN E-MAIL BUDDY’S FOR YEARS AND VERY MUCH ENJOY AND KEEP UP WITH THEIR TRAVEL BLOG. LAST YEAR MARY AND I ATTENDED THE NATIONAL RALLY THIS GROUP HELD IN CARSON CITY NEVADA. IT WAS REALLY FUN TO PUT A FACE WITH THE NAMES, SOCIALIZE, TOUR THE OTHER TRAILERS AND SEE THEIR IMPROVEMENTS, AND ATTEND THE HELPFUL SEMINARS. MANY OF THESE IDEAS WE’VE IMPLEMENTED INCLUDING A THERMOSTAT UPGRADE AND PLEXIGLAS PANELS THAT TURNS OUR SCREEN DOOR INTO A STORM DOOR.
YESTERDAY WHILE DRIVING INTO THE RV PARK, MARY COMMENTED , OH LOOK THERE’S ANOTHER MONTANA PULLING INTO THE PARK. I LOOKED OVER AND REMEMBER THINKING HOW SO MANY MONTANAS ARE PULLED BY WHITE FORD PICK-UPS. WHILE EATING SUPPER AND READING THE MOC BOARD THERE WAS A POST BY SOME NEVADA PEOPLE COMMENTING ON CAMPING WITH THE “WIZARD” IN THE ARMAGOSA VALLEY, AND THAT THEY WERE HEADED TO CARSON CITY FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS. I WALKED DOWN AND KNOCKED ON THE DOOR AND SURE ENOUGH IT WAS STEVE & VIKI. WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO A NICE COUPLE OF DAYS SPENT WITH A COUPLE OUR SAME AGE AND HAVE BEGUN MAKING PLANS TO GET TOGETHER WITH THEM AGAIN IN OCTOBER IN INDEPENDENCE, MO.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Ok so today is the 18th already, and we have been working at getting a job at Harrah’s since the 5th. If that sounds like a long time let me explain the process to you.
Step 1. Show up at HR (Otherwise known as Human Resources)- Of course before anyone will talk to you, they have to have a job posting for the position that you are applying for. Fortunately Rex monitors that online so we knew going in that the jobs we wanted have been posted. Oh…it is May 5th.
Since there is a job posting, they let us fill out online applications. Since we had both filled out applications at this location before, we didn’t have to do the personality test again. That is usually done at this point also.
Step 2. We arrive at HR for an 11:00 AM appointment. Good thing we are always early because first we had to do a math test, then we had to watch a 25-minute video on an individual DVD player. They must have a bunch of them because at least three of us were watching at the same time. This video tells you about the Harrah’s corporation. Some of the topics covered are their benefit packages (which really sound great—too bad we are just summer help and not eligible). Then they go on to tell you, as a prospective employee, what Harrah’s expects of you. Those wonderful benefits do not come without great customer service efforts on your part. The video also contained a lot of general information about Harrah’s the Corporation. Now we are at the point where we do in fact get to sit down with an actual person from HR for a face- to- face interview. This composes of a list of questions that are standardized and asked of everyone that is lucky enough to get to this point in the hiring process. Now, based on your answers to the questions, you are cleared for an interview with a manager from the department you are applying to work in. The HR “Employment Specialist” is really helpful and wants to help you all they can so they very kindly provide you with a list of ten questions you should ask the manager you would be interviewing. A couple of examples of the questions on that list are: how will I know if I am doing a good job? And how far in advance do the schedules go up? The interview with the Department Manager is scheduled the next afternoon at 5:30. Oh it is May 10th.
Step 3. Ok we show up at HR at the appointed time and our good luck holds up…the Department Manager is on vacation in Hawaii. So we have the privilege of meeting with the Vice President of Table Games…oh joy!! Actually she seems to be a nice lady, but totally a company numbers cruncher. Rex mentions that this will be his third summer working at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and it would be nice if there would be someway to avoid this long process since he only want a summer job and this process is more of a benefit to someone that wants to become a full time employee. Being the number cruncher she is, she immediately equates this long process with the cost it is to the company. So with any luck at all she will correct this problem. At this point in the process, if they are interested in hiring us, we should be given a written job offer. But, unfortunately, she does not usually do this…..remember the DM that is on vacation….so she forgets to give us one, but does verbally let us know that we will be going on to the next step, which is a group interview in front of a panel of three executives. This panel meets on Thursdays at 9:30 AM and since this is Thursday, May 10th, we now have to wait a week for this next vital step. And the bullshit keeps rolling on!!
Step 4. Ok so now it is Thursday, May 18th and we show up for the panel interview. This was originally scheduled for 9:30 but yesterday they called and said they had too many prospective employees for one panel so we have been bumped to the 10:30 session. Before going before the panel, the Employment Specialist gives us a pep talk consisting mostly of making sure we have big smiles and are upbeat and positive. There are eight of us going through this panel interview and we are all applying for dealer positions!! Wonder if any prospective dealers were in the first group. The first order of business was the executives introducing themselves and their titles. Next we all had to stand and introduce ourselves, and give a brief statement about our backgrounds. This is so much fun I can hardly stand it. Now the executives ask us each questions. Some examples: Can you think of the time when you went above and beyond to help a customer? If you have a player that has lost a lot on your table, how do you handle that? How do you manage to remain upbeat and enthusiastic day after day? Explain a specific stressful situation at work and how you handled it. Get the picture?? No fun and of course the perfect answer occurred to you half an hour later. We passed!! Only four more steps to go!! Since we passed this step, they finally sent us for a drug test. They do hair. They also gave us paperwork to fill out such as W4’s, etc, etc.
Step 5. Oh Good…time for orientation. It is scheduled for 8:00 AM on Tuesday, May 23rd. It lasts until 4:00 PM. I will update the blog on this Tuesday. I am sure everyone will be waiting for baited breath for that!! Rex’s quote of the day “This is a good explanation of the hoops you have to jump through at the Human Resources dog and pony show;”
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
This goes in the "now I've seen everything" category. A vehicle passed us yesterday with the following sign on it. "Poopy Scoopers" "Dog Waste Removal--So You Don't Have To"---- Talk about finding a niche and filling it!
Carson City is the state capital and has an interesting historic district. On Sunday, we decided to go and see the "Talking Houses", they are houses built in the late 19th century by silver Baron's, lumber Baron's, and other rich people. The reason it is called the talking house tour is because you tune the radio to an AM station and a recording about each house is aired. It was probably a really good idea at one time but the recording are really old and don't always work, but we really did enjoy the tour and the walk. One of the houses is the current governor's mansion.
So far today has been a cleaning day, vacuuming, shaking out the rugs, washing the light fixtures, and working on washing the ceiling. Oh and we are also baking sweat potato bread. It is Rex's favorite, I sure hope it turns out cuz we have problems baking bread in high altitudes. Oh and the bread turned out fine. I'll get this hight altitude stuff down yet!
We still want to go to Yosemite so we thought maybe Monday. Rex went to the California DOT website to see if the road has been opened. Nope and, in fact, last year it wasn't opened until June 24...guess it will be a while before we see Yosemite. Something else I didn't realize is Yosemite National Park is the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
OK on to plan B, courtesy of Rex. Now we are going to Donner Pass.. Think fast...think history class...what is Donner Pass? Yup the cannibal expedition. And after seeing it I am sure I would have been one of the ones that did not survive. There is a monument there that has a base 22 FEET tall and then the sculpture of the Donner family. The 22 feet represents the depth of the snow that winter. Yuck, Yuck, and Yuck again!! Another point is that this monument was erected in 1918...that was a surprise to us!! The state of California runs the Donner Museum there as part of their state park system. Although it doesn't cost anything to go through the museum, it does cost $6 to park in their parking lot!! I must say it was the first time I had seen snowshoes made for horses and a picture of them being worn. Pretty interesting.
There is also a nature trail there which we decided to go on since we always have our trekking polls in the trunk and ready. As we asking a few questions of the ranger regarding the trail, she mentioned that on Friday, May 12 a bear and her cub were sighted on the trail...that certainly got our attention! We did go on the trail until we got to the section that was underwater, and decided to just walk around the park. Thankfully, we didn't personally have a bear sighting.
Monday, May 15, 2006
WRITTEN BY REX
WHY NOT EVERYBODY ON THE INTERNET IS TRYING IT. WE'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT FOR AWHILE, BUT TODAY WHEN AMY WAS ASKING ABOUT A NAME FOR HER NEW BLOG WE DECIDED TO GO FOR IT.
SOME GROUND RULES OR INFORMATION:
AS USUAL, ALL CAPS IS REX, AND NORMAL TYPE IS MARY, SAME AS OUR E-MAIL AND OUR CHATS. THAT WAY YOU CAN IDENTIFY US IMMEDIATELY.
CLICK ON "POST YOUR COMMENT" AT THE END OF EACH ENTRY TO ADD YOUR COMMENT OR ASK A QUESTION.
WE AREN'T PLANNING OR PROMISING DAILY ENTRIES, SO CHECK BACK FROM TIME TO TIME TO SEE IF THERE IS ANYTHING NEW.
BE READY FOR A HODGEPODGE, THIS IS NOT A DAILY LIFE BLOG, OR A TRAVEL BLOG, IT'S MORE OF A WHATEVERS ON OUR MIND BLOG. YOU'RE GOING TO FIND OUT WHAT'S NEW WITH THE "HAPPY CAMPERS", OUR VIEWS AND EDITORIALS, COPY & PASTE ITEMS OF OUR INTERESTS, AND ALL WITH A GENEROUS PINCH OF BULLSHIT.
IF IT ALL DOESN'T WORK OUT WE CAN ALWAYS HIT "DELETE BLOG"