Posts Tagged With: amazon

Amazing Amazon

The motorhome is currently parked at Mary’s home in Murphys, California. My current departure date is scheduled December 1st.
Mary emailed this to me a few days ago and being an ex-engineer who orders from Amazon on a somewhat regular basis…I found it really interesting and I thought I’d share it with you…
No one with a shopping cart walks around gathering items for shipment………..
Scroll Down to see how Amazon is filling your orders…
Best watched on your computer for the larger screen.
Be sure to read the script between the pictures before watching the video.
Ever order something online from Amazon?  Here’s what happens…

Watch the video at the end.

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon needs somewhere to put all of those products.
The solution?  Giant warehouses.  Eighty to be exact.  Strategically located near key shipping hubs around the world.

The warehouses themselves are massive, with some over 1.2 million square feet in size (111,484 sq m).  And at the heart of this global operation are people (over 65,000 of them), and a logistics system known as chaotic storage.

Chaotic storage is like organized confusion.  It’s an organic shelving system without permanent areas or sections.  That means there is no area just for books, or a place just for televisions (like you might expect in a retail store layout).  The product’s characteristics and attributes are irrelevant. What’s important is the unique barcode associated with every product that enters the warehouse.

Every single shelf space inside an Amazon warehouse has a barcode.  And every incoming product that requires storage is assigned a specific barcode that matches the shelf space in which it will be stored.  This allows free space to be filled quickly and efficiently.

At the heart of the operation is a sophisticated database that tracks and monitors every single product that enters/leaves the warehouse and keeps a tally on every single shelf space and whether it’s empty or contains a product.

There are several key advantages to the chaotic storage system.  First is flexibility with chaotic storage, freed-up space can be refilled immediately.  Second is simplicity.  New employees don’t need to learn where types of products are located.  They simply need to find the storage shelf within the warehouse.  You don’t need to know what the product is, just where it is.  Lastly is optimization.  Amazon must handle millions and millions of orders.  That means that at any given moment there is a long list of products that need to be ‘picked’ from the shelves and prepared for shipment.  Since there is a database that knows every product required for shipment and the location of each product inside the warehouse, an optimized route can be provided to employees responsible for fulfilment.

Since Amazon deals with such a wide variety of products there are a few exceptions to the rule.
Really fast-moving articles do not adhere to the same storage system since they enter and leave the warehouse so quickly.  Really bulky and heavy products still require separate storage areas and perishable goods are not ideal for obvious reasons.

In this storage system a wide variety of products can be found located next to each other,
a necklace could be located beside a DVD and underneath a set of power tools.  This arbitrary placement can even help with accuracy as it makes mix-ups less likely when picking orders for shipment.

Overall it’s a fascinating system that at its core is powered by a complex database yet run by a simple philosophy.  It’s Chaotic Storage.  There’s no better way to put it.

Now that you have a basic idea of what they do and
how they do it – here is a video of the system at work.
An interesting aside to this story is that Amazon hires RVers during heavy seasonal workload times. You can read about that element of this story by clicking this link…


The cataract surgery of my right eye was conducted on October 9th. It appears to have been successful and my last exam on October 24th had it at 20/25, down from 20/200 prior to the surgery. Surgery on my left eye is now scheduled for November 6th.

Yesterday was a cloudy/sunny day and 58 degrees. Forecast for today is partly sunny and 65 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2014

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RVers As Seasonal Workers At Amazon…

If you are receiving a gift or bought something for yourself this Christmas season from Amazon, chances are an RVer help get it to you.

Many RVers earn additional cash while working on the road. Here’s a story about RVers working at Amazon. Just click the link below the photo…

I’m fortunate that I no longer have to work, but for those who need the extra income temporary employment helps.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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The Idea Didn’t Work Out…

I’ve been hauling around a bicycle on the back of my motorhome or towed Ford Bronco II for about ten years and I have never been happy with the storage arrangements. It’s such a hassle….the taking off and putting back-on process. It ends up being more work than enjoyment. And now that I have Mary in my life…I have two bicycles to deal with. Oh Joy!!!

Since I was so unhappy with the previous storage arrangement…I thought I’d try a new idea. When we were in Mendocino a couple of months ago, we parked behind a van than had a bicycle on a fold-down hitch. The owner seemed happy with the arrangement. Hmmm…so I decided to give the idea a try and ordered the parts.

Over the last several days I attempted to get the arrangement to work in a way that I could be happy with. This photo shows the fold-down hitch on the back of the Bronco with one bicycle attached…

That didn’t seem too bad.

Then I moved on to putting the two bikes on the rack…

In the photo all appears okay…but appearances are deceiving. In this mode the bikes are too close to one another and they didn’t mount properly. So I added the extension to be used in the four bike mounting mode. That set the bikes apart and they were mounted properly. The I put the cover over everything and evaluated the situation. The cover ended up big and awkward to handle…plus it blocked my rear vision from the drivers seat in addition to blocking the the rear tail and brake lights from behind. That’s not good…so the cover had to go.

With the two bikes on the four bike extension it put the outer bike way out there…so much so that when I tried to pull the rack back into the upright position and insert the holding pin by myself…it required a much too strenuous effort to accomplish. Realizing that sometimes when we are out and about shopping we sometimes open the rear lift door on the Bronco several times a day…I then knew this was not a good idea. So after several hours of messing around with this idea…I knew the fold-down hitch also had to go.

So now both bikes are now mounted on the back out the motorhome…the lesser all all evils…

I’d just as soon get rid of both bicycles for the little that we use them…but…Mary still insists she wants to ride a bicycle…so they remain.

So now I start the fun process of returning the items. The cover we bought from Amazon…no problem. In five minutes I had a prepaid return label and UPS will pickup the package at Mary’s doorstep on Monday.

The 26 pound bike rack was purchased from a different vendor and will prove to be somewhat more difficult to return. First of all…they are not open on the weekend…so I couldn’t communicate with them yesterday…got to wait until Monday. Then they charge a 20% re-stocking fee…we have to pay for the return shipping…about $20…got to get a return authorization number and arrange to get UPS to pick it up…yadda, yadda, yadda!!! This company needs to study how Amazon handles returns. I’ll never buy another item from the bike-rack vendor ever again. ‘Nuf said…the idea didn’t work out!

I was scheduled to depart for the south land Monday morning. Since I now have to wait until Monday to communicate with the bike-rack vendor and there’s a weather forecast for dense fog on Monday morning…I’ve been forced to delay my departure until Tuesday morning. Such is life!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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More Low-Light Test Photos…

In yesterday’s Blog entry I posted six low-light test photos taken with my new Sony DSCHX5V Digital Camera. They were also the very first photos taken with this camera. Last evening at dusk Mary and I took another walk around our campground. Using the Anti-Blur low-light setting will allow us to take photos in museums where flash photography is not allowed. Here are ten more test photos…

This low-light setting on the camera is really interesting. When you take a photo…it actually takes six different photos at different exposure settings and the combines them into one final photo. Amazing technology!

In other news…

My other Sony camera which was sent to Sony for repair was returned to me yesterday. It was then returned by me to Amazon via UPS. The replacement/exchange process is now complete. The new camera seems to be working just fine.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Yesterday Was A Good News Day…

in four different ways.

First…my new Sony Digital Camera…which replaces my factory defective camera sent to Sony for repair…arrived from Amazon in less than 24 hours after I placed the order…with no shipping charges to me. Amazing! I carefully inserted the memory card…took a couple of photos and it seems to be working fine.

Second…after five different phone calls to the Sony Repair Center in Laredo, Texas I finally got an Email with a Fedex tracking number. The un-repaired camera is scheduled to arrived by 4:30 PM today. Once it arrives…I’ll open the package to add the associated components and documents and then tomorrow ship the unit to Amazon…completing the replacement exchange.

Third…my friend/mechanic Mike in Monroe called last evening to tell me that he will have the time to do my Bronco transmission work for me. The transmission leaked some fluid last Friday after it got hot climbing Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island. While it’s not leaking at the moment….I’ve decided that because of the age and mileage on it…to replace all the associated seals. On Monday we will drive about 60 miles south to Monroe so Mike can do the job next week. I’d rather have him do it here…a person who I know and trust…rather than have it breakdown out on the open road and have to deal with an unknown transmission shop.

Fourth…last evening at dusk Mary and I took a walk to test the low-light capabilities of our new camera. Using the Anti-Blur setting…the one we will use in museums that do not allow flash photography…I took the below photos. After I ran them through Picasa…which I do with all my photos…they turned out just fine. If you left click them…they should be viewable in the larger size…

I would not have been able to take theses photos with my old Olympus camera without using a flash…which is a very harsh direct kind on light. The new camera…in this low-light setting…actually takes six shots…all at different exposures in one second…then combines then into one final photo. I’m most pleased with this first test of my new Sony DSC HX5V camera.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Customer Service – Recent Night And Day Experiences

Recently…on August 1st…I wrote my very first rant ever…entitled A Full-Time RVers Perspective On Customer Service.

Here’s the link in case you missed it…

Since that time I have experienced the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE OF MY LIFE!

It all revolves around my new Sony Cyber-Shot DSCHX5V Camera…as shown here…

I ordered the camera from Amazon on July 25…received it July 29…and after a short while found the memory card slot to be factory defective…so on August 6…shipped it to the Sony Customer Satisfaction Repair Center in Laredo, Texas. Without going into all the specific details…trust me on this…Sony has the very worst of customer service! Here’s the Sony logo…how appropriate that for other than the words…it’s all black! Also the words…Make.Believe…how appropriate for that’s exactly describes their customer service. Don’t get me wrong…I love Sony products and have bought many over the years. This is the first time that I have had to deal with their so-called customer repair service. Again…just trust me…they do not have a clue what those words mean! I finally demanded that they return the unrepaired camera to me. As you might have already guessed…that’s my recent Night experience.

Now on to the Day experience…Amazon…they are just terrific! I went to their online site…entered my phone number…and WITHIN FIVE SECONDS…my cell phone rang and it was an Amazon customer service representative on the line wanting to know how he could help me. Again…without going into all the details…I ordered a replacement camera…same Sony model. They are not even charging me for the replacement camera…but trusting me to return the defective camera to them. I ordered the camera at 2:00 PM yesterday and it is scheduled to be delivered today. NOW…THAT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE!

Mr. Sony…I hope you get to read this second rant of mine. You make great products…but your customer service stinks! I would have used stronger words…but I’m a gentleman. End of Story!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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