Monthly Archives: December 2012

Blue Boy Etiquette

Right now I’m on a partial hook-up site. In this case it means I have water and electric but no sewer. Fortunately, the dump station and the bath house are very close. I can take all my showers in the bath house so 1 of my 2 gray tanks only gets water from brushing my teeth or washing my hands. The other gray tank is for the galley so that gets more use from washing dishes. And I only use my toilet for middle of the night requirements. At that rate, the black tank should easily last until it’s time for me to move off this site. At that point, I’ll either dump the black tank at the dump station or a full hook-up site.

But what about the gray tanks? Well, the clever folks in the RV industry manufacture a nifty little product commonly known as a Blue Boy tote. They come in various sizes but they all have wheels, handles and openings to let you fill and empty them without making too much of a mess. Besides the weight when they’re full, the other bad part is not being able to visually tell when they’re almost full. That’s important because you have to stop the gray water flowing into the tote before it’s full, otherwise you get a lot of overflow. That’s also the reason that you shouldn’t try using a tote for your black tank. Nobody likes cleaning up a poopy spill.

Blue Boy Totes

Blue Boy Totes

Today I decided to empty my gray tanks. The process was uneventful. I filled up the first tote and wheeled it over to the dump station. As dump stations go, this one is fairly nice. The actual sewer opening is at the bottom of a concrete, concave surface. There’s no lip on the sewer pipe so any liquid that makes it onto the concave part of the station will flow into the sewer. After positioning the tote near the sewer opening I gradually opened the dump valve on the tote. Gray water began pouring out, down the slope and into the sewer opening. As the tote emptied, I opened the valve further.

About that time I got some company. One fellow RVer walked up beside me and the camp host pulled up in his golf cart. After exchanging pleasantries with the camp host, he took off. The other RVer then went on to tell me that he got reprimanded for dumping a tote exactly the same way I was. In other words, without hooking up a sewer hose first to drain directly into the sewer opening. That was kind of surprising until the next words out of his mouth. He said “You know everybody mixes gray and black water when they’re using the totes”. Really? Not me! All the totes are clearly marked for gray water only. My guess is that he was using the tote for his black tank, the camp host saw that dirty water/mixed solids coming out of the tote and had a little conversation with the gentleman.

For those of you new to using totes, please check with the local host/manager before your first use. It may save some embarrassment later.

Back to warm weather, kind of…

Well, I finished work at Amazon at 10:30 on a Friday evening. Weather in KY was still cold so I didn’t get as much accomplished before the shift as I hoped. On the brighter side, I won productivity contests on my last 2 shifts so I was able to stock up on goodies from Kroger and eat at Subway courtesy of Amazon.

I was unable to get my sleep schedule adjusted properly so I didn’t leave Campbellsville until noon on Saturday. Traffic through TN was absolutely terrible – one slowdown after another. I was able to pick up an all news radio station north of Atlanta so I didn’t drive into any traffic jams there. Spent the night in a truckstop just south of Atlanta. Temps got down to 28 that night. Fortunately I had all the blankets on the bed, plus my long johns. I actually slept past sunrise despite all the diesels idling around me.

My second driving day was totally uneventful – no construction zones, no accidents, just the way I like it. Arrived at Patrick AFB before dark and got set up in the overflow area. Big surprise there since my last visit. They’ve added electricity in overflow so I didn’t have to light candles or walk around with a headlight on. Unfortunately, the cold front followed me down and I’ve actually had to continue using a space heater and the fireplace at night. Rested for one day, then drove into Orlando to visit with my newest granddaughter (and her parents). Moved into a partial hookup site the next day, visited my favorite local Chinese buffet with an old friend, more relaxing.

And as a bonus, one of the other RVers here at Patrick noticed the sign on the side of my truck advertising computer services. He had some malware on his Win 7 laptop and I was able to earn a little extra money correcting that problem.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the kayak wet in the next week. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten back to jogging since my arrival back in Florida despite the abuse my feet got at Amazon.

Amazon coming to an end

Somehow I’ve managed to survive the last few weeks and the end is in sight. Lots of blisters and sore feet and one stomach virus that fortunately happened on some days off. My last day was supposed to be Dec 22 but they just sent out another email changing that to Dec 21. So, looking at the calendar I only have 1.5 shifts left. I could practically do that walking on my hands so the bonus should be a ‘gimme’. Of course, the downside is losing more pay this period, especially the overtime. There’s been a lot of that this season. One week they cut our overtime shift entirely. Other days they would release us early to minimize the overtime for that week. I’m not sure if it’s because of the economy overall, whether people are shopping elsewhere or if it’s still Sandy-related problems. Now I’ll adjust my pre-departure a little and be on the road to nice, warm Florida this Saturday. That means I’ll be set up at the campground at Patrick AFB well before Christmas day and get to see my new granddaughter that much sooner.