Thursday, July 2, 2015

TVC - Day 53 - And it begins......

Wednesday began the ramp up for the holiday weekend.....we had over 50 arrivals scheduled with 150 scheduled for Thursday and another 111 for Friday.....plus all the 'drop ins' who will arrive with no reservation and will willing pay $56/night for a small piece of ground in our overflow area where no campfires are allowed, no cooking is allowed, and it is a long, long walk to the restrooms/showers.  For the next 5 days our lives will not be our own.....there will be long hours, problems to solve, a few unruly folk and wall to wall people.

We had heard rumors that we were getting new staff t-shirts, and Tuesday they arrived.....I wore my new navy blue t-shirt Wednesday.....it also has graphics on the back, but I'm not very good at taking a 'selfie' of my back.....


As the day wore on the RV's began to line up and to speed things up we began sending folks directly to their sites to set up first and return to the office later when things quieted down....that will probably be our tactic Thursday and Friday.....we shall see how that works.

We shared a last meal with our good friends Richard and Rhonda.....they will continue their travel adventures Thursday heading to the Pacific Northwest.....they will be missed.

From the World Cup front Japan won 2-1 over England on an 'own goal' scored by an English player, accidentally, with only seconds to go in 'extra time', so the USA will have a rematch with Japan in the final this Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TVC - Day 52 - USA!

Tuesday was a quiet day at TVC....after the thunder showers of the night before the air held a sweet fragrance, and the pollen was banished....at least for a day.  On the other hand, the hot, sultry air returned.....the swamp cooler in the store was running by 11 am.....the problem is swamp coolers are very effective when there is low humidity, but when it is humid they just increase the humidity......I'm glad I work outside 95% of the time.

Once again it was a quiet day.....a day we will look back to fondly when were are in the middle of the 4th of July weekend.....Wednesday we should begin to see the early birds, and by Thursday when we are expecting 130 arrivals, and everything will shift into overdrive for 5, or 6 days.  My day was varied.....I helped a couple of folks shoehorn their rigs into small spaces and left them happy....I fixed a couple of leaky faucets and replaced a couple of site tag clips.  Otherwise, I spent time making sure those on the departure list departed on a timely basis.

All throughout Tuesday I had this knot in my stomach thinking about the USA vs. Germany soccer match scheduled for 4 pm in the Women's World Cup.  Germany has been our nemesis over the years, and they were ranked number 1 in the world.....the USA being number 2 in the world.  Even though I thought our team was better based on all the matches I had watched I had my secret doubts.

By 4 pm I was ensconced in my recliner, the AC humming along in the background, ready for the start of the USA vs. Germany match.  For the first 10 minutes Germany was attacking ferociously, but eventually things settled down and the USA dominated barely missing several goal scoring opportunities.  The score was 0-0 at half time.  About 13 minutes into the second half Germany was awarded a penalty kick (legitimately), but missed. Two minutes later the USA was awarded a penalty kick and converted it to lead 1-0.  They scored a second time in the 84th minute and held on to win 2-0.....now on to the final!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TVC - Day 51 - Strangling toads

Monday was a mixed bag.....very warm.....very quiet....but it ended with a bang!  We had over 100 departures on Sunday, and another 60+ on Monday, so by early afternoon the campground had taken on this eerily quiet feeling.....it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop in the registration office for a few minutes.  It got into the low 80's by mid afternoon as thunderstorms moved into the Tahoe Basin. 

There is nothing new, or different to report about Monday except that we spent it in a place we love, where the weather is idyllic, and the people we work with are the best friends for which one could ever ask.

I was off work by 3, but TLE did not come home until just after 4:30 at which time it was declared 'Happy Hour' in section 'E'......  


Clockwise: Moi, TLE, Marilyn, Harry, Merlin, Mel, Johnny and Deb.....for the record Merlin (in my golf cart) is our night security guy, and was not imbibing.....he just stopped by to say 'Hi'.

.......we talked and laughed until almost 7 when it began to sprinkle, and we were barely back inside our individual abodes when the sky fell.....we had about 30 minutes of torrential rain, lightning and thunder before it slowed to a sprinkle.....a real, genuine toad strangler as they say in east Texas.  It was so loud we could hardly hear the TV at one point.  Nevertheless, the dust is once again settled, and the insidious pollen has been washed away for at least a day, or two.

In the next two days the hordes of workaday folk will descend upon SLT and TVC and we will be going from dawn to dusk serving our customers and making every effort to make the 4th of July a memorable experience.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 29, 2015

TVC - Day 50 - Slow down!

Have I told you I love Sunday's in a campground?  Life returns to normal within hours.....the view out my window is restored and the pace of work begins to slow down once again.  After completing my morning rounds I decided to spend time at the intersection to sections G and F trying to get drivers to slow down to the posted 5 mph.....the signs are ubiquitous, and yet far too many ignore them.  

Even though it is getaway Sunday there are still a lot of children in the park, not to mention all those adults riding bikes, walking, etc.  If you think about it 5 mph is just a little faster than the average walking pace of an adult, and that seems pretty slow when you are in a car.  I have a little ping pong size paddle which is painted red with the word 'SLOW' written in white on one side, and '5 MPH' on the other.  As cars approached me which were obviously exceeding 10 mph I flashed the 'SLOW' side first, then flipped it over to '5 MPH'.  It took about an hour, but people began to drive more slowly.  No doubt this exercise will need to be repeated numerous times over the next week, but I hope it will begin to have an effect.

Around 11:15 I began my second round of site checks to see if those who were on the 'Departures' list had departed, or were close to departing.  Unlike Saturday where 99.9% had departed by that time, Sunday was the opposite.  Even though the people in the office make a point of verbally reminding those checking in that departure time is 11 am, and actually give them a flyer stating same, many swore up and down they thought it was Noon.....go figure.  Thankfully Sunday is not a big arrival day, so most sites had no one coming into them, but it will become a very big deal on July 2nd as folks begin to pour into TVC for the 4th of July weekend by the hundreds....sites will have to be vacated on a timely basis or we will enter gridlock!

I was off work by 3 pm and headed home for the day.....about 6 pm it began to sprinkle just as we were settling in to have dinner outside with Richard and Rhonda....TLE had purchased some Bison ground round and had me grill four large patties.....Richard and Rhonda provided the Margaritas along with taco chips and salsa for the appetizers.  We had to move under the awning twice as the sprinkles turned to rain, and finished up under the awning by 8 pm.

It was a good day and evening spent with good friends at work, and good friends after work....thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

TVC - Day 49 -Guarded

Saturday was a mostly normal work day here at TVC if you discount the 90 degree temps and high humidity......I'm sorry I can't discount them.....as I write the humidity is at 71%.....quite high for SLT.  It was so sultry that many were running their AC's before noon.  After finishing my morning rounds I clocked out and headed for Barton Urgent Care to have the dressing for my injured finger changed, for for the doctor to check out the healing progress.....all is well, and there is no sign of infection!  I was promoted to a full on finger guard and just a small bandaid and advised I could take a shower without the bandaid, as well as wash my hands......my life just became a little simpler.....I can actually type again.....yay!  I was gone about 80 minutes, but was back on duty by a little after 11.


We now have close to 300 sites occupied, but the campground feels much fuller than that to me.  I know I fuss about heat and humidity and my desire to avoid them at all costs, but there is really no way one can do that completely.  Most of the folks I spoke with on Saturday had escaped from temperatures well into the triple digits and high humidity, and were quite grateful to be sitting in the shade at Lake Tahoe enjoying temperatures at least 20 degrees cooler than where they came from.

We've begun to include an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper showing the checkout time of 11 am in bold capitalized letters, and guess what?  I only had to leave a note for one of over 60 departures.....everyone else left pretty much on time.

I was off work by 4:15 and TLE followed about 30 minutes later.....we watched two more quarter final Women's World Cup matches....the first between Australia and Japan which Japan won 1-0 on a very late goal.  The second match was between the host country Canada and England.....Canada dominated early, but then over a 3 minute stretch England scored two goals that Canada never recovered fully from.....England took the match 2-1 to advance to the semi final round for their first time.

One more thing to note is that for the first time this summer I was forced to turn on our AC....we ran it until after 8 pm when it finally dipped below 80 degrees.  We were in bed by 10:30 with cool breezes wafting through every open window in the coach.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

TVC - Day 48 - Can't

Friday was a day to relax and stare at my heavily bandaged middle finger and begin to learn how many things I will not be able to do for a while with my left hand, and specifically, my left middle finger.  I can't, or shouldn't, ride a bike as I can't apply the left brake, or grip the handlebars with two hands......I can't tie my shoes.....I can't sweep......I can't do much work on the office computers.....it takes me 5 times longer type this blog.....I have a very difficult time washing my hands and taking a shower.......anything that involves the simultaneous use of both hands is now much more difficult, if not impossible in some cases.......those are just the things that come immediately to mind.....I'm sure when I go to work Saturday I will become aware of a lot more things I cannot do, or will have difficulty doing.

I can, however, still dump the black tank.....I can use my cell phone.....I can use the remote control.....I can text.....I can operate the anti-gravity lounge chair.....I can drink a beer....I can be thankful it wasn't worse than it was, right? On the other hand my left knee is feeling fine once again.

Friday was not a work day, but after Friday we may be working 10 straight days as this next weekend (begins Thursday) is the 4th of July weekend when "all hands are on deck".  Friday was also the first day of the quarter finals in the Women's World Cup.....France and Germany were up first and played a thrilling game that was tied 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes and was still tied 1-1 after two 15 minute overtimes....Germany won in 'Kicks from the Mark' 5-4 to advance to the semi final round.  The USA thoroughly dominated China from beginning to end, but only managed to put the ball in the back of the net once in 90 minutes.  The USA will play Germany next Tuesday....Germany is #1 in the world, and the USA is #2....should be a good match.

The weather in SLT continues to be warm and clear.....mid to high 80's for as far as the weather eye can see.....we have not, however, had to run our AC once, and it is very nice sleeping with all the windows open at night.

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, June 26, 2015

TVC - Day 47 - And the Jello jiggled

I want to start off today's blog entry by quoting from the last paragraph of yesterday's blog....

"....if all goes as planned, and Mr. Jello does not rear his head, we should begin our journey at 6 am, and be back by 3 pm at the latest......"

....please let those words kind of hover over today's blog.......

Richard arrived on his bike at my coach at precisely 5:45 am......we had planned to depart at 6 am, but he was there, so why not?  The early morning chill was still in the air as we pedaled northward on our 'clockwise' circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe and we were each  bundled up against the 45 degree temperature.  We both took a break half way up the switchbacks to Emerald Bay to shed a few layers and continued onward......


We covered the first 11.17 miles in 68 minutes................


We encountered our first construction zone just before Meeks Bay and chatted with the 'flagman' for about 10 minutes  before we were allowed to proceed on........



......21.64 miles down and 50 to go..............................

We passed through Tahoe City about 8:30 having covered just under 30 miles....I was feeling great and very optimistic about completing the ride......about 9 am we stopped in Carnelian Bay having covered 33.87 miles in three hours and five minutes of riding time, and very close to the half way point.  I decided to shed my 'bike tights' as it was getting quite warm by this time (the projected high was to be 90 degrees and it was already 80).  


I leaned my bike against the curb and began stuffing my bike tights in my Camelback.......as I was doing that I noticed my bike begin to fall over and instinctively reached out with my left hand to grab it......as I grabbed it the rear wheel suddenly spun catching my hand and jamming my left middle finger into the rear disc brake rotor (see below) almost completely slicing off the tip of said finger.

  The offending rotor

As I looked at my damaged digit I heard myself say, almost matter of factly....'Richard, look what I did..."....I immediately knew my day was over and a trip to the urgent care was in order, more sooner than later.

Richard told me to put pressure on the cut to curtail the bleeding while he went into the SUP shop (SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle) at Watermans Landing to see if they had a first aid kit.....better yet they had a certified first aid person.......Richard came back to watch the bikes while I went inside.....I forget the young man's name, but he did a first rate job of 'irrigating' the wound, and sanitizing the surrounding area before applying the dressing.  By the time he was finished the bleeding had mostly stopped.  I called Elaine about 9:30 and related what had happened, and I that needed her to come and pick me up and take me to the nearest urgent care (Barton's Urgent Care) which was some 25 miles away at Stateline.  She arrived just after 10:30 and had me back to Barton's by 11:30.......while I waited for her I ordered a breakfast burrito and a cup of coffee and silently dealt with the great disappointment of how my adventure had ended.

---WARNING.....WARNING.....GROSS PICTURE COMING UP......

The damage

7 stitches later


I only waited 30 minutes before I heard my name called.....within minutes the doctor was injecting my finger with lidocaine prior to installing 7 stitches to reattach the end of my finger.   The doctor had a great 'bedside manner' and kept me laughing for the entire time.  He said this was the first bike related injury which did not involve crashing, or falling off a bike.

So, once again Mr. Jello rules the day.....Richard completed the ride whilst I awaited TLE's arrival with a total elapsed time of just over 6 hours.  Up until my accident our average speed had been 12 mph.....I know the Garmin says 10.9, but I had left it running almost 40 minutes after the accident before I shut it down.  I was back home by 1:30 with an item still unchecked on my 'bucket list'......it will be done.....you know it will!

I'll have the stitches removed in one week, but for now typing on a keyboard is going to be interesting when one of my fingers is 3 times bigger than usual.  Fortunately there is little, or not pain, so no pain killers have been necessary.

Around 6:30 pm we walked over to Lake Tahoe Pizza with Richard and Rhonda for dinner.....it was a great way to end a somewhat disappointing day!

Thanks for stopping by!