Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Choices have consequences....

7:45 am - Tuesday - 35 F degrees, humidity 68%, wind 4 mph out of the south, sunny, cloudless skies.....forecast high - 80 F degrees.  

Since we did not go to bed until 1:40 am Monday morning, we did not get up until after 9 am Monday, which means we did not head for Carson City until almost 11 am.   We had intended to head down to Carson City much earlier, but our choice to stay up late essentially made an early departure time out of the question.  As a result our plan to spend time at the beach in the afternoon was no longer an option......I desperately needed a haircut, we were out of Scotch and other necessary sundries, so not making the round trip was out of the question.

The forecast high for SLT Monday was 80, which meant it would be over 90 F degrees in Carson City, and it was.  After all the cold last week it was nice to walk around Carson in flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt.  Our first stop was Supercuts where I was able to sit down immediately for my haircut.  I was 'in and out' in less than 20 minutes.....then it was time for our In-N-Out Burger fix.  TLE occasionally orders her cheeseburger in a lettuce wrap, which has no appeal to me whatsoever......when I go to In-N-Out I don't want a salad, I want a burger with a bun! We both usually order their #2 Combo (Cheeseburger, fries, drink), so while she waited in the short line I went to the bathroom.....by the time I returned she was just finishing the order....we were customer #85.  As it turned out the person taking TLE's order misunderstood and had two lettuce wrapped cheeseburgers made.....oh well, there's a first time for everything, so I went ahead and ate it that way.  One thing I learned is I will not be doing that again.  

We only had three more stops to make in Carson City after lunch.....Walmart, TJ's, and Costco.....we were headed back up to Spooner Pass by 2:30 pm.  After a quick stop at Dart/King Liquor near Stateline we were home by 3:30.

TLE spent the next 90 minutes putting everything away from our shopping foray, and I took a nap to catch up just a little on my lost sleep from the night before.  We chose not to watch the Presidential debate......I heard there were going to be three people debating.....Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Lester Holt....that's funny, I didn't realize Lester Holt was running for President.  At any rate, we had no interest in watching the three interrupting each other, talking over each other and making outrageous claims about each other for 90 minutes.....I would rather watch a horrible Monday Night Football game between the Falcons and Saints....which I did.

We were in bed by 11 pm......Monday was a good day, a relaxing day.....my kind of day!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Goodbye Vin......

9:12 am - Monday - 44 F degrees, humidity 47%, wind 3 mph out of the south, sunny, cloudless, forecast high for Monday will be 79 F degrees!  Yeah, I'm a late riser today, but I went to bed late (1:44 am), or should I say early this morning?  Why?  Read on....

Sunday was the warmest day in over a week....I was looking forward to sitting outside watching NFL Sunday Ticket....my boys, the Denver Broncos, once again were not being televised in their away game at Cincinnati scheduled for 10 am, so I was once again grateful I had purchased the Sunday Ticket.

TLE suggested we walk over to Bert's Cafe for breakfast before beginning our NFL gluttony, so we began hoofing it over around 9:45 am.......yep, I would miss the first quarter of the Broncos/Bengals game for a plate of Bert's Huevos Rancheros!  Being a Sunday we had around a 15 minute wait, but the time passed quickly, and soon we were ordering our favorite dishes.  We were back home just before 11 am, just as the 1st quarter in the Bronco/Bengals game was finishing.....it was 7-3 in favor of the Bengals.  One more time my Broncos came through winning, this time, with their offense, 29-17.  There were a number of good games in the morning, however, most of the afternoon games were  one sided affairs, but I watched, nevertheless, it is, after all, the NFL.



As the afternoon games were coming to an end the temps began to drop, and I thought about heading inside, but I stayed outside glued to the TV as one game (L.A. Rams vs. Tampa Bay Bucs) had a one hour weather delay (lightning)......the game was delayed right at the 2 minute warning withe Rams in a 3rd down, and 11 yards to go for first down.  In the end, the Rams prevailed for their second victory of 2016.  The Sunday night NFL game on NBC featuring the Cowboys at home vs. the Bears, which was won by the Cowboys to end an 8 game home losing streak.



A particular highlight of the afternoon was watching the end of the L.A. Dodgers game vs. the Colorado Rockies, which was the last Dodger home game to be called by Vin Scully.....he began broadcasting Dodger games in 1950, the year after I was born, and I have never watched, or listened to a Dodger game that did not feature Vin Scully calling the play by play all my entire 67 years of life.....no one calls a home run like Vin Scully....


Vin Scully's homerun call of Kirk Gibson's walk off homerun in 1988 World Series vs. Oakland A's

.....as it turned out Vin Scully's final home call of his career was a walk off home run by Charlie Culberson to win the game Sunday, and to clinch the Dodger's fourth consecutive NL Western Division championship.....what a way to go out!

TLE had me grill salmon steaks on the Sea-B-Que whilst she prepared asparagus with hollandaise sauce, as well as sauteed barley with mushrooms......what a great meal to cap off a great day of football gluttony!

As we did Saturday evening, we continued watching Season 5 of 'Longmire' (a Netflix original series)....every time we would say "okay, that's it, time to go to bed", we would feel compelled to watch one more episode.....finally at 1:40 am we decided to call it a 'morning'.

Another sports figure from my youth succumbed to old age Sunday.....Arnold Palmer gone at 87 years old....RIP Arnie.....you were a gentleman, and a true credit to your sport.....you lived life to the fullest.......you will be missed.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Shorter and shorter....

7:51 am - Sunday - 36 F degrees, 55% humidity, wind 6 mph out of ESE....sundown at 6:51 pm today.  Got to bed late, and up way too early.....no matter.....I'm off today!  NFL and naps await me.

Finally, back to short pants and t-shirts weather.....if only for a few days.  Thursday and Friday were frigid, but Saturday it got back to 70 F degrees again, and I returned to my normal work wear.....but I get ahead of myself.

TLE and I spent the morning taking down some of our 'stuff' in preparation for our move over to Section G in a couple of weeks.  I cleaned up our Coleman stove so I could put it away.....with it being so cold in the mornings now I'm pretty sure we're not going to be cooking breakfast outside anymore.  I also spent time checking out all my 'engines'......I pulled out the Honda 1000 watt generator and was happy to find that after 5 months of NO use it started on the third pull!  Then I started up the 7.5 kilowatt generator, and it caught on the second attempt and ran very smoothly....again, not bad after 5 months of non-use.  Lastly I turned over the Detroit Diesel 6V92......it's been about a month since I turned it over, and in spite of it still being quite cold it fired up on the third try.....nice!  I let it idle up to operating temperature before shutting her down.

Once again we didn't go to work until 3 pm (we clocked in about 2:50 pm) and planned on shutting the office/store at 9 pm once again.  I spent time making sure all the unoccupied sites from 101-111 had logs across them so they could not be used as shortcuts, I fixed a couple of small holes in the fence along Melba Drive.....now that all the big holes are fixed I'm focusing more on the smaller ones.  I closed the pool just after 6 pm due to no one using it.....I'm thinking this will be the last weekend for the pool.  We figure the heater is consuming about 4 gallons of propane per hour with the cold temps, which comes out to almost 700 gallons per week now.....that gets expensive when only 2, or 3 people are using it each day now.

As it turned out all our arrivals had checked in and registered by 7 pm, so we decided to close the office/store at 8 pm.....we ended up clocking out by 8:20 giving us our shortest work day since May at 5.5 hours.  I think this is the first time all summer we have had no late arrivals (those with reservations)....we are getting many more 'walk ins' each day now as we have so many empty sites.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Perfect!

7:47 am - Saturday - 31 F degrees, 78% humidity, wind 3 mph from SSE, projected high 70 F degrees.....sunny, cloudless......we're in that part of the year when we have 40 degree temperature swings between the highs and lows.

The park population surged Friday from a low of 83 sites occupied to 117....probably the last weekend it will get over 100.   Since it was Friday the office/store hours go back to 8 am to 10 pm, which means, by default, our hours change to 2 pm to 10:30 pm, however, since it was sooo quiet, we opted to report to work (with Victor's permission) at 3 pm, giving us extra time to laze around, which we did.  We'll most likely cut our hours back to about 6 to 6.5 from this point on, and will be going to days again very soon.

Beginning October 1st we will begin to shut down Sections A and E, with F following shortly thereafter.  We are in a brief warming trend where we will see temps in the high 70's for a few days, then they head back into the 60's and 50's for the foreseeable future with the overnight lows hovering the low 30's and high 20's.

We reported for work just before 3 pm, and it was immediately obvious we would not be open until 10 pm.  I spent the first couple of hours doing more organizing/cleaning in the maintenance yard before being called to pump propane a couple of times, and deliver a firepit, otherwise my two way radio was very, very quiet.  I ran my site checks round identifying a few issues for TLE to reconcile, and then I was out of things to do.  We decided pretty quickly we would close at 9 pm instead of 10 pm, leaving Victor to handle any last minute emergencies that might arise up to 10 pm.  

We were home by 9:20 pm having worked just 6 hours.....perfect!  On a side note, we are still looking for more workampers for the 2017 summer season.  We've been authorized to hire up to 25 workampers, and we currently have around 15 who have committed to work next summer.  If you are interested please contact me at chockwald@gmail.com!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Time for penguins?

7:37 am - Friday - 29 F degrees, 78% humidity, wind - calm, sunny and clear....rocking 4 electric heaters (one in the water bay) to fend off the cold.  That being said we only left the salon electric heater on last night set at 60 F degrees, and it only got down to 60 F degrees in the bedroom......nice differential, huh?

Thursday was very, very, very, very cold all day long.  It was too cold to do anything outside first thing, but I did manage to sweep the pine needles off the awning mat and turf before being chased back inside by the penetrating icy fingers of Fall.  When we left for work at 11:45 am it was still not 50 F degrees.  The forecast was for it to reach 51 degrees by 2 pm, but I don't believe it ever got that 'warm'.  In spite of the forecast I wore my usual shorts to work with a jacket, but by 1 pm I was home putting on jeans for the first time since late May, putting on my UnderArmor under shirt, putting on my watch cap, my gloves, and getting out the heavier duty Cabela's jacket.....I fully expected to round a corner in my cart and find a colony of penguins walking down the road.....

My Fall wear.....45 F degrees and falling

I guess it was only fitting that the first day of Fall saw me wearing my Fall wear to work for the first time since late May.....it's been almost five months now since we arrived at TVC, and we have come full circle weather wise.....the only thing missing is snow on the ground.  Friday was also the second day in a row that our total sites occupied was under 100.....Thursday we only had 83 sites occupied.

After changing clothes I headed over to Section A to work on some fencing that was in need of attention, then got the 'Who's In the Park' list from TLE and did my site checks.  It didn't take too long with only 83 sites occupied, and over 2/3's of those occupied sites are in Sections G and F.  I had planned a few other work activities Thursday, but the falling temperatures ruled out several of those projects.  I decided it was the perfect time to get the company chain saw and cut up some of the longer pieces of firewood I had previously collected so they would fit in my portable fire pit.

TLE was a little under the weather and went home about 3 pm, and since we only had 10 arrivals scheduled, it was decided to close the office at 5 pm.  I agreed to stay on the clock and run around the park once, or twice an hour until I clocked out sometime between 7 and 8 pm.  Each time I left the warmth and comfort of the Newell was painful as it was already into the 30's by 7 pm.  I made my last run down to the maintenance yard to let a customer retrieve their stored trailer around 7:30 to lock up, and then punched the clock at 7:45.

I got home and immediately jumped in the shower to take a long, delicious very hot 20 minute soaking.  We spent the night watching the pathetic Thursday night NLF game between New England and Houston, won 27-0 by New England.....I expected more of Houston.  Then, the highlight of the evening, the day, the week, the summer......we watched Ron Howard's 'Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years' on Hulu......an anthology about the Beatles' rise to fame from 1961 until they stopped touring in 1966..... 


......IMDB gives this Ron Howard movie 8.2 stars out of a possible 10......for me I would be right near 10.......its run time is 2 hours and 17 minutes, but it did not seem that long at all.  If you are a fan of the Beatles, this is a must see.  The movie ends with a few minutes of their rooftop performance at Abbey Roads Studios.....their last performance together as a group......very nostalgic.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Equinox.....

7:30 am - Thursday - 33 F degrees, 34% humidity, wind - calm, sunny, cloudless skies.  Projected high for Thursday......51 F degrees......COLD!

Wednesday was departure day for our friends Charles and Bobbie, but the Jello had other ideas.  They had planned to be on the road by 8 am, however, one of the slides on their trailer would not retract, and so began the 3+ hour odyssey to fix the problem.  Ultimately they had to call a local mobile RV service to get help, and with his help they were able to get the slide retracted.  As it turned out the gear box had malfunctioned causing the problem, and they had to remove that in order to manually retract it.  By that time it was after 11 am, but their destination was only a 100+ miles away.  We got a text around 8 pm advising they were staying with friends for a few days after dropping off the trailer at a local RV service and repair place to get the slide gear box replaced.

We, obviously, had to be at work at noon, so we got ready and were clocked in by 11:51 am.....another very quiet day.....it began to sprinkle on and off, and that continued until about 3 pm.  At times it rained quite hard, or what has passed for 'hard' this summer.  Anything to keep the dust down!  It was a perfect day to spend down in the maintenance yard cleaning and reorganizing the electrical/plumbing shed.  It has been a mess almost from the very beginning going back to May, but there has just not been time, plus there were just too many people in and out of there to do anything that would be long lasting.  Now that there are just a few of us left it was time.  

As I worked separating 30 amp breakers from 50 amp breakers, separating screws from washers, bolts from nuts, elbows from T's, I could hear the rain beating on the metal roof of the shed from time to time....the time just melted away.....before I knew it my watch read almost 5 pm, and I had not taken 'lunch' yet.  Just about the time I glanced at my watch TLE's voice comes over the two way radio asking if I was ready to take a break......of course I am....I picked her up at the office/store, and we headed for the Newell.

After lunch I went over to the pool, which was unoccupied, and found that the water was cloudy, and then discovered all the skimmer filters were clogged with pine needles, which was a bi-product of the winds we had most of the day.  I began to empty out the filters, but then realized the surface of the pool was covered with floating pine needles, so decided the most effective way to begin was to get the long handled  net to skim the pine needles out of the pool.  Once that was done I then emptied the filters.  Inside the pump house we have two more filters that catch anything not caught by the pool skimmer filters, and they were also clogged to a lesser degree.  Once they were clean I checked the PH, and chlorine levels, made adjustments and then left the pool equipment to do the heavy lifting of clearing the water.

By the time I finished with the pool it was 6:45 pm, and it was time to begin emptying trash cans in the office/store/lounge.  Things were very quiet the last hour....we had a couple of 'walkins', and one reservation show up, but that was it.  We clocked out just after 8 pm, and were home by 8:15 with another TVC day in the books.

The weather is definitely getting cooler as we edge towards the the Fall Equinox, which, coincidentally is today (September 22nd).....it definitely feels like Fall has arrived.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Ping Pong.....

7:54 am - Wednesday - 52 F degrees, 66% humidity, wind 1 mph out of the west.....partly cloudy, sun breaking through......rained on and off most of the night. Slept well....loved hearing the rain on the aluminum roof!  Checked my checking account online to find our paychecks had been deposited......YAY......three more paychecks and we are out of here.

Tuesday began with my writing my blog as usual, and then outside sweeping pine needles off the 'grass' and awning mat, then raking our site to kind of spruce it up a little, then began to get ready for work at noon.

We were on the job just before noon, and I immediately did my site check rounds......down to 105 sites occupied.  As I made my rounds I noted several sites where there was trash left behind by the customers, as well as one with three BBQ's left behind, and also 2 sites in the tenting area where two sites posts had been knocked over.  After I turned in the results of my site check round to TLE I headed back to the sites with trash in them and quickly picked it all up, then headed over to the site with 3 BBQ's, picked them up and took them back to the maintenance yard, got the post hole digger, dug new holes for the site posts, and reset the posts.

I spent time dragging logs to plug up holes where vehicles had been driving illegally, drug logs across sites 101-104 to keep people using the dump station from using them as shortcuts.....yeah, I was busy.

Then I got a call that there was no 50 amp in site 183, so I got my tools and headed over to see what was what.  I tested the 30 amp outlet and there was power, but there was none whatsoever in the 50 amp outlet.  I then noticed something odd.....there was just a single 30 amp breaker for the 50 amp outlet, which made no sense at all, so I got out my tools to open up the pedestal.  When I opened it up I saw that the 30 amp breaker was not hooked up to anything, and there were no hot wires going to  the 50 amp outlet.....wait, what?  How is that possible?  There was no evidence it had been hooked up for years, and the 30 amp breaker just appeared to be there to fill the space next to the other 30 amp breaker.  Why we have never had a complaint about this pedestal in the three years I have been here is puzzling  Nevertheless, I headed to the maintenance yard to pick up two 50 amp breakers and some appropriate wire to connect the breakers to the 50 amp outlet.  It took me about an hour to get it all wired up, and put back together, but I was successful.  I'm still puzzled at why no one ever complained, because we do sell that site as a 50 amp site, and I know we have had numerous 50 amp rigs in that site this summer....ah well, one of life's unexplained mysteries.

My next gig was to help the lady in site 151 connect to the internet, which I did successfully.....she offered me a beer for my efforts, but I declined as I was still 'on the job'.  Next up I had a call to report to site 112 to help the gentleman set up his portable tripod satellite dish.....that is not something we really do, and I have no experience setting up one successfully......ever.  I did show him where he would have to set his dish up to have access to the 'southern sky', and left the rest to him.  I've watched my neighbors setting up their portable dishes, and I know how long it can take, and the one thing I didn't want to do was get stuck for an hour doing something at which I had absolutely no chance of being successful.

By this time it was after 5 pm, I feeling like a human ping pong ball, and I hadn't taken my 'lunch break' yet, so I headed for the coach to each lunch and take a short nap.....yup, I was beat after 5 hours of doing what I had been doing.....beat!

By the time I was back to work it was after 6 and the end of my shift was in sight.  I closed the pool early because there was no one using it.....by the way, the problem with the pool heater was the lack of propane as I surmised.....the propane guys came Monday and filled our tank, so order in the pool world has been restored.

We were home by 8:20 pm, and sitting by the fire with our friends Charles and Bobbie for their last night here at TVC....originally they booked 5 nights, but like almost everyone who comes to Lake Tahoe they added 2 more days to make it a week.

I was in bed a little after 10 pm, and TLE a short time later.....thanks for stopping by!