Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Workamper Ripoffs: Don't Accept A Substandard Wage

It's that time of  year when Workampers are planning their summer jobs.  Employers place ads in various places to fill their seasonal needs.  Yesterday I came across this post:

"Available March 1, 2017. Workamper position in xxxxxx, NC. (near Smithfield). 35 mixed use sites and 10 room motel. 30 hr/wk (5-6 hr days) for full hookup site only: includes utilities, cable & WiFi. 2 30# propane tanks filled each mo. 10% store discount, $20 laundry credit. Willing to do lawn maintenance, cleaning of rooms/cottages, work in office, help guests etc. Must have a winning attitude! Water, electric & carpentry experience is a plus. Email: xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo.com with resume and picture of you in front of your RV."

I went to their web site and discovered that they charge $373 per month for a full hookup site.   Lets do a little accounting.  There are 4.3 weeks in every month.  The required time of 30 hours a week translates into 4.3 x 30 = 129 hours per month.  The compensation they are offering adds up as follows:

 RV site valued at $373 plus $20 laundry credit and about $30 in propane.  

This equals about $420 in compensation.  The total compensation divided by the hours looks like this.  420 / 129 = 3.25.  That's $3.25 an hour.  The minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25.  This employer wants to pay less than one half the minimum wage.  Plus they are not paying any of the associated taxes they are required to pay.  

If you are a workamper or someone who is getting into the lifestyle, please don't take this position.  It hurts us all.  I know you probable collect social security and don't need the money.  But there are people who do and accepting a job with substandard wages hurts the market.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Getting a Burger in Cherokee North Carolina at Paul's Diner

Paul’s Diner or as the sign says, Paul's Family Restaurant is located on Tsali Blvd or US 44, in the town of Cherokee.  Their signage claims that they have the best burger in town.  I stopped in the give it a try.  The restaurant states that it is Indian owned and offers a selection of Indian Specialties.  These include Buffalo and Elk burgers, rabbit, pheasant and Frybread.  The balance of the menu is traditional comfort food fare.
 The burger came with the standard fare and crinkle cut French fries.  The patty was hand formed ground chuck and comes in ¼ and ½ pound sizes.  I got the ¼ pound burger. They serve Hienz ketchup which is always a plus for me.

The Restaurant was clean and well maintained.  Decorated with Indian art and offers a generous selection of desserts.  If there was any downside it was the wait staff was a little inattentive.  I visited at three in the afternoon when the place as empty and my waiter was distracted.

Where to eat in Cherokee.  Hamburger.  burger, food HarrAH'A CASINO

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Cabin In the Woods

I had Lincoln Logs when I was a kid.  I loved the idea of building a log cabin.  Daniel Boone was a TV show that was popular at the time and I watched it every week.  I  have been exploring western North Carolina and came upon this log cabin.  It is small and looks very old.  

 The fire place is huge when compared to the size of the cabin.  I did not measure it, but it can't be more than 20 feet by 20 feet.  That's about 400 sq feet of living space.
 The cabin is being maintained by someone. The chinking is in good shape and then there are the pink flamingos out front.  The cabin is set in a small clearing with a creek 20 yards from the front door.  The rest of the structures in the area are new.   
 If you look at the foundation you can see vents.  These vents make me ask if this cabin is new and made to look old or maybe it was moved here and a new, old looking foundation was created.  There was no one around to ask.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Smokey Mountain Log Cabin

     Located in Smokey Mountain National Park at the Oconolaftee Visitor's center is a Farm Museum.  The buildings were collected at the site and represent how the early residents of the mountains lived.  It is an interesting glimpse in to the life of early pioneers.   I made a video from my visit.  Thanks for watching.

     Please like the video and subscribe to my Youtube channel.

smokey mountains, Cherokee Indians log cabins construction splitting logs, National Park visitor's center, North Carolina, off the grid, survival, 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Be Careful What You Ask For, You May Get It

I came to western North Carolina to see if I could live here on a semi-permanent basis.  I wondered if I could deal with the cold.  I got my chance to experience the snow.  It snowed about 5 inches and stayed on the ground for four days.  It was cold.  Got down in the single digits over night and never climbed up above freezing.  I lived through it.  I asked around and was informed that this was a normal winter.  Cold for a while and then back up to cool.  So far so good.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mountains of Yellowstone, New Beginnings

     The Tennessee River cuts through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the southeast corner of Tennessee.  Alternating ridges, valleys and mountains define the landscape.  Atop one of these mountains is a small community where Stephanie had spent her life.  She was just two years old when her family purchased a three bedroom house on a corner lot just a short walk from the small commercial district of Signal Mountain, a bedroom community of Chattanooga.  Back before the Civil War, there was an outbreak of disease in Chattanooga.  Some of the wealthy families believed that the bad air in the city was the cause of the illness.  They established a small community on the top of Signal Mountain.  Homes were built along the ridge line providing grand vistas of the City, the Tennessee River and surrounding countryside.

     Stephanie pulled out of her driveway and headed for the interstate .  She was in a Ford F350 Super Duty pulling a twenty-nine foot fifth wheel trailer.  It was nineteen hundred miles to Yellowstone and Stephanie planned to make the trip in seven days.  She had a job waiting, working in a campground for the summer season in Yellowstone National Park and she had to be there by the first of May.  She was doing it for the experience and the ability to live for six months in one of the most beautiful and majestic places in the world.  It had taken years to get to the point where she could make the trip.  She had always wanted to travel and explore but was tied down by her career and family.  The time had finally come and she was on her way.   Her husband was supposed to make the trip with her, but at the last minute he backed out.  His excuse was that he wanted to work a few more months to buy himself a new toy, a high performance Mustang.
     This was a return trip for Stephanie, she had vacationed in Yellowstone with her husband and son years before.  It was a wondrous place and she was looking forward to spending the season there.   Stephanie was burnt out, feeling hopeless and had come to the end of her rope.   She was trying to jump start her life.  She decided to make a change and see if things improved, see if she could shake the depression and hopelessness she felt.  Stephanie had wrestled with these feelings for years, not knowing with any certainty why she was unhappy.  She had not found happiness in her marriage and had drifted apart from her husband.  He just wanted to go to work and sit at home watching TV.  Her son was a joy that turned into heartbreak when she had trouble letting go after he grew up and went to college.  And then there was her practice.  She was a veterinarian and the burdens of running her business had gotten to the point were they were overwhelming.

     The tipping point for Stephanie came out of left field.  She came to her decision to take action after attending a continuing education program at the local Veterinary Association.  The speaker presented a program that spoke to Stephanie.  The speaker’s program was about compassion fatigue within the Veterinary practice. She had been a Veterinarian for twenty eight years and had never heard the term.  She listened with interest as the speaker described the condition.  It was a malady that afflicted individuals that work with the victims of trauma such as nurses, first responders, therapist and yes animal welfare workers.  People who suffered from Compassion Fatigue exhibited symptoms of  hopelessness, constant stress and anxiety, a decrease in the ability to experience pleasure and a persistent, pervasive negative outlook on life.  As she listened to the speaker, she felt as if he was talking about her.

     Stephanie was confused about her feelings and had struggled long and hard trying to determine why she felt the way she felt.  She had never considered the possibility that pet euthanasia had anything to do with her feelings. This was just one more thing to think about, another item in the list to ponder.  It had been Stephanie’s tipping point.  She knew in her heart that she could not wait any longer, she had to change course, find a new life.  She wanted to be happy.

     The truck roared to life as it accelerated up the on ramp onto interstate 24 and headed west.  After a short dip down into Georgia the interstate turned north, crossing the Tennessee River.  She motored up Monteagle without any difficulty and turned left when she reached Murfreesboro.  Stephanie wanted to see the country side and planned to bypass as many big cities as she could on this trip. She did not have a lot of experience driving the truck while pulling the trailer and did not want to get tangled up in any big city rush hour traffic.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

Three Hundred and Fifty Blog Posts and Counting

     I noticed today that I have 350 posts on this blog.  I started in February 2009.  That's about 50 blog post per year, or four per month.  This is not really reflective of how often I posted.  I posted more in the beginning. 

     As of this date the stats say that there have been 78 thousand page views.  Really not very many.  It is a little understated because I split the blog into parts several times in the past.  I spent some time in Las Vegas and made a little blog about that and there were a couple of others.  

     I signed up for Google Adsense about a year after I started the blog.  It took a while, but I got it up to about $15 a month in income.  I know, don't spend it all in one place.  Now, if I get $3 a month out of it I am amazed.  There are a lot more blogs out there and that means less money from advertisers.  I know there are blogger that make a lot more money.  I average a little over nine hundred visitors a month.  Some blogs have that in a minute.  I never really tried much to expand my reach. 

I have thought about trying to get more readers.  The problem is that I am not that crafty, don't want to write about chickens, and most of what passes for entertainment today bores me to tears.  I don't look good naked anymore, so there really isn't much left.

     The most visited blog post is about  Jay Walking in Las Vegas.  It has about 2300 views.  I have no idea why.  The most popular topic on the blog was the Duke of Fremont Street.  The Duke is a personality that inhabits Vegas.  He is quite a character.  I met him when I was playing poker at the Golden Nugget.  He sat down and put $186,000 on the table.  I have written about him in 19 post. Someone tried to kill him during a robbery.  It was news for a long time.  

     I hear that there a people who make books out of their blogs.  I have never really gone through the old post and reread them.  I don't think that they would make a good book.  At least not one that I would pay to read. 

     I'm going to keep blogging.  I like to write and I at least have this outlet.  I need to decide to post more or not.  When I am in the old folks home and I am looking back, the blog will help me remember.