Wednesday, October 26, 2016


6:20 am - Wednesday - 39 F degrees, 75% humidity, wind - calm.......last sunny day on tap for our stay here.....TLE flies to Dallas this morning and will return on Sunday......4 days without The Lovely Elaine aka: TLE.

Tuesday was TLE's last work day at TVC in 2016, and I have 4 more work days after Tuesday.  I reported for duty around 9:30 am.......there were a number of things running through my mind that I want to get done before Saturday, which is now the day I am departing TVC.  Originally I was going to drive the Newell down to Carson City Sunday, but there is now a 90% chance of rain/snow in South Lake Tahoe Sunday, while Saturday will be partly cloudy, so that has become my departure day.  I finished switching the site numbers on a number of tent site posts so they can be seen before you get to them as opposed to seeing them as you pass.  I then dumped some ashes for one of our customers, repaired a rock rake, and began to work on moving the site tag clips on the pedestals in Section 'F' from below the outlets to the 'door' of the pedestal so they can be seen more easily.  All the other sections have the site clip on the 'door' of the pedestal, and are much easier to see when doing site checks.

As I was moving from pedestal to pedestal it occurred to me that I should be working on putting the 'sides' on the cart shed.  Prior to this summer our carts have just been out in the elements for the most part, but Alex, one of our maintenance guys, came up with a design to build a shed using materials we already have on hand.  Ultimately the project stalled out with just the roof done, and Tuesday seemed like the day to attach the sides......

The shed just beginning to take shape in the foreground is Alex, the brain child behind the project. took me about 3 hours to do the entire job.....first I attached the corrugated fibreglass  sides on the north side, then I used three pieces of plywood on the south side (where the prevailing winds come from) topped off by the remaining fibreglass panels......

.....I think it came out pretty well, but that's just me.....everything you see was either on hand (green poles), or scavanged early in the summer (the story can be read here) from a demolition project over at Stateline.  Once that was done I returned to repositioning the site tag clips, then replaced a broken hose bib, and by that time it was 3:30 and time to 'clock out' for the day.  

We watched the first game of the World Series between the Chicago Cubes and Cleverland Inuits, which was a one sides affair....the Inuits won 6-0 on an amazing pitching performance by Corey Kluber who struck out 8 of the first 9 batters he faced.  We headed off to slumberland before 11 pm.....stay tuned for 'Bachelor Man' day one!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


6:36 am - Tuesday - 41 F degrees, 51% humidity, wind 8 mph out of south......too dark to tell if it cloudy as the forecast predicts.  Rain on and off for hours last night....I love waking up to rain on the roof.

Monday began cloudy and blustery, and remained so all day was the kind of autumn day I love......just cold enough to require a long sleeved shirt, but warm enough to have the trailer door open as I worked on a friend's Marin titanium frame, hard tail mountain bike.  It was the perfect project for a Monday where I didn't have much planned.....TLE went into the office, but I was still off work until Tuesday.

Eventually, when I was about half way through tuning up the Marin bike, I got a radio call from TLE  (I am 'on call' Mondays) that there was a possible electrical problem at site 182, and another customer (site 163) needed a rock rake and shovel to fill in some low spots in their site.  So, I got dressed, drove over to the office to clock in, then took care of delivering the yard tools to 163, and by the time I got to 182 they had solved their electrical problem, which, apparently, was not our issue.  Since I was getting paid for a minimum of 2 hours I went ahead to took care of a few things left over from Saturday......a vertical sewer vent pipe had been blown over in Section 'E' by the high winds during our 3 day storm a week ago, so I fixed that and then finished picking up trash along the fence line in the storage/maintenance yard.  Once that was done I headed back to the trailer to finish tuning up the Marin bike.

TLE called again on the two way radio to let me know the unpleasant lady in site 129 (the one who arrived with her family of 10 at 3:15 am the other morning and yelled and cursed at me when I asked them to turn off their engine after 30 minutes of maneuvering which woke everyone up) had come into the office to complain about me.....this is a classic example of 'projection'......she accused me of being rude, yelling at her, and using profanity......which is precisely, to the letter, what she did.  I was polite, addressing her as Ma'am and her husband as Sir, and said 'please and thank you'.....I don't use profanity, and everyone here can confirm that, and I don't yell at people.  At any rate her complaining fell on deaf ears.

TLE was off work by 4:30, and then drove over to Raley's to stock up on a few things for me while she is gone (by the way, she is leaving Wednesday, nor Tuesday.....yay for me!), and then we headed out for what we thought would be 'Taco Monday' at Classic Cue, but they were packed......there were no tables or bar stools available, so then we thought we would drive over to Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery for some brews and dinner.  We arrived there 10 minutes later to find them closed for a month to do some maintenance and upgrading......drat!  Then TLE said, "Why don't we go to Coldwater Brewing for dinner....we haven't been there all summer"......brilliant.  

On the way back to Coldwater Brewing I stopped briefly at El Dorado Beach to take this shot of Lake Tahoe......

.....only a few sunsets left in our sojourn in seems weird that in just a few days we will be headed for new sunsets.

As it turned out Miss Serendipity must have had her hand in our dinner choice as we were pleasantly surprised in the upgrades to their menu.  Don't get me wrong, they had a good menu before, but the minor changes they have made put them over the top.  We both ordered pints of their Stillwater Stout, and an appetizer.....bacon wrapped, cream cheese filled dates.....YUM!  TLE had the CW Burger, and I the Fish and Chips, which we split.....everything was perfectly seasoned, and delicious!

While we were sitting there at one of their window tables I saw the aforementioned nasty lady and her family drive by towing their trailer......they pulled into the restaurant across the street ('Scusa') for dinner, apparently.  Why I mention this is the following.......they paid for their first two nights at TVC (Friday and Saturday) but had not yet paid for Sunday, and Monday.....they claimed they were talking to Dan (Thousand Trails guy) about a membership, and usually we stop charging until that is resolved.  Interestingly, we do not believe they signed up, and now we see them leaving under the cover of darkness not having paid for their last two nights.  Then it hit me........I suddenly exclaimed......"I bet they are gypsies" (aka: Travelers)......this what they do.  How do I know?  Well, when we were camp hosts at Jurupa Regional Park for a year in Riverside, CA we had a lot of gypsies comes through.  They all had the surname 'Miller', always had brand new trucks, and travel trailers as well and 8-10 people.  They were always trying to get over on us, and it was usually the women who led the charge......complaining about everything in an effort to get their stay 'comped', or sneeking in after hours and leaving before the office opened in the morning.  I don't know this for sure, but we shall see, right?

We were home by 6:30, and I finished watching the Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans (in Denver).....Denver won handily 27-9 snapping a two game losing streak, so order is restored in my football world.

The World Series between the Cleverland Inuits and Chicago Cubes begins Tuesday......this is one of my favorite times of year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 24, 2016

No escrow required.....

8:11 am - Monday - 45 F degrees, 72% humidity, wind 5 mph out of rained on and off most of the night.....a surprise to us.  Sun is breaking through the cloud cover......nice to sleep in past 8 am. 

I began Sunday watching the NY Giants and L.A. Rams playing football in London.....the Giants outlasted the Rams winning 17-10.  Then it was time for the rest of NFL Sunday Ticket......and while those games were getting started I headed out to the trailer to begin putting more stuff away in preparation for our departure next Sunday......yes, we are actually leaving SLT and TVC next Sunday....well, I am leaving next Sunday morning.....TLE will be flying back to Reno from Dallas Sunday morning, and the plan is that she will meet me in Carson City Sunday afternoon, and then Monday morning we will begin our three day drive home to SoCal.

 I can see the back of the trailer again!

Three bikes stowed

In about 2 hours I managed to stow the Cannondale Tandem, my Intense 5.5 mountain bike, and TLE's Cannondale F600, my Black & Decker Workmate workbench, the bench grinder the Park bicycle stand, the step ladder, and various bike tools.  The only bikes left out still are my Cannondale Bad Boy and the Motiv we bought for Amy, which we will now transport home to deliver to her.......they will both be stowed by next Saturday.  Still left to put away are my three tool bags, the table on which they sit, and a few other things, but by and large the trailer is ready for VW insertion on Monday.

There were a few football surprises Sunday.....the San Diego Chargers came from 17 points down versus the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta to win by 3 in overtime....I did not see that coming......the Oakland Raiders won on the road again over the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-16, The NY Jets beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-16, the hapless Detroit Lions defeated the Washington Redskins on a last minute field goal in Washington D.C.   The nightcap between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals was a defensive game from beginning to end which saw the game tied 3-3 at the end of regulation.....each team scored a field goal in overtime to make it 6-6 and that is how it ended......both teams missed 'chipshot' field goal attempts in the waning moments of overtime.

TLE worked about 5.5 hours Sunday, so I had the place all to myself, although I was 'on call' I had no calls so other than the time I spent organizing the trailer, I was able to relax in my recliner watching the NFL and taking short naps.

My thoughts have begun to turn frequently to changing our view, and I am looking so forward to being back in SoCal for a month to see, hug and love our children, and grand take some long bike rides on the SART (Santa Ana River Trail) and the PET (Pacific Electric Trail) just wake up every day for the next 6 months knowing I don't have to go to work.   I've got 4, or 5 days of work I ready for a change after 6 months?  You bet!  Will I miss TVC and bet!  The next 6 months of travel holds many unknowns, and it has been a while since we have been on the east coast, but we are excited to see what our travels have in store for us.....we are excited to see what opportunities 'Miss Serendipity' will toss into our path along the way.  The great thing is we can, as I often remark, change our view without going though escrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


7:31 am - Sunday - NFL Sunday Ticket Day - 32 F degrees, 76% humidity, wind - calm forecast for Sunday is a high of 63 F degrees, with partly cloudy conditions.  I am already watching my first NFL game of the day.....the NY Giants are playing the L.A. Rams in London.....the game began at 6:30 am PDST......score is tied at 10 is good.

Saturday began with a feel to the air I have not noticed for weeks......even though it was in the 40's the air had this 'balmy' feel to it portending, at the very least, a short sleeve day, and that is how it played 9:30 am I was in short sleeves, and it just got warmer......well, 'warmer' is another of those relative terms, but you know what I mean.  After spending most of the past two weeks in a winter jacket, UnderArmor, gloves, long pants and thermal socks it was nice to actually work up a little sweat.

I spent the first two hours of my shift picking up trash along Melba Drive between 'C' Street and 'B' Street, then fixing an interior split rail fence, as well as the exterior wood fence that goes from the entrance north about 100 yards.  I then made a run south to the point where our fence intersects the airport fencing to see if there were any new holes in the fence, and there were none.  So, there are two possibilities to explain the lack of fence breeches in the last 3 weeks.....1) The militant fence cutting neighbors have given up and are accepting the new reality, or 2) They are just waiting for me to leave for the winter......of course, I hope it's the first, but being a realist it may just be the second.....only 6 months of winter, and my absence will reveal the verdict.

Finally, I got back to Section 'E' to finish painting the tent site directional arrows, and site posts.  In all I painted a dozen site posts, and was able to cross them off my list.....there are still another dozen in Section 'A' that need to be painted.  Then it was time to refresh and/or create new directional arrows.....I got within 7 of finishing the remaining 16 directional arrows when I ran out of paint.....of course there are three more gallons of red street paint, and I could have gotten another gallon to finish them, but I had another task which required TLE's help......Friday is the last day we both work together.....after Friday I'm not back on until Tuesday, and Tuesday is the day she is flying south to Dallas, TX for a family reunion....she will be gone until the 30th, and we are leaving for SoCal the next day.

As part of our survey of all the RV sites we needed to finish identifying all the sites, which, in an emergency, could become pull through sites if the sites behind them are vacant.  Some sites, as I have oft written, are difficult to back into......if for some reason one of our customers is having difficulty getting into a given site and the site behind theirs is vacant they can enter from the rear making it a temporary pull through site.

In addition to that there are numerous (the number was previously unknown) pedestals in Section 'G' which have been 'abandoned' for various reasons over the years.  The lids have all been screwed shut, and site numbers have been removed.  How long these pedestals have gone unused is anyone's guess, but it must date back to the ownership of the Martin family.  At any rate we (TLE and I) located 6 of them.  I removed the screws to each and found that five of them still had functioning 30 and 50 amp outlets inside.....a sixth has the needed wiring, but needs to have the 30 and 50 amp outlets reinstalled.  Additionally, 2 of them have sewer connections, while the other 4 would be water/electric sites only.  Why does this matter?  Well, on extremely busy weekends (July 4th weekend until Labor Day) we sometimes need a few extra sites for a day, or two.  We hate to turn people away, so having a few 'off the grid' sites, like these, held in reserve will come in handy.  They are mostly smallish sites which would accommodate 25-30 foot RV's.

Once that was done it was closing in on 4:30 and it was time for me to punch the clock and call it a day.....TLE stayed on until about 5:15 helping Ben close the office, and then met me on foot at the Trolley House to walk over to Lake Tahoe Pizza for a dinner hosted by Dan Barnette, our onsite Thousand Trails salesman, as a 'Thank You' for our help in making his summer successful.  Dan ended up #1 on the country for 'Zone Pass' sales......

My timing for our 'USIE' was a little off....we had 10 people the picture, left to right: Stacey, Veronica, Adam, Sally and moi.  Not pictured are Robert, Dan, Mike & TLE as well as Robert's two daughters.

.....we had a lovely time, and consumed several pitchers of Ballas Point Amber.  We had a nice turnout considering mostly everyone is gone for the season now.  Regrettably, my Trolley Dodgers lost their game versus the Cubes 5-0 and the Cubes are going on to the World Series to play the Cleverland Inuits.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gate keeper.......

8:01 am - Saturday - 29 F degrees, 71% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the south.....forecast high is 63 F degrees with partly cloudy skies.  We were awakened early this morning by rude, inconsiderate customers who chose to arrive here at 3:15 am.  The noise they were making trying to get into a site woke up everyone within 200 yards of them.  After 30 minutes they were still making noise, so I got dressed and walked a 100 yards down the aisle to ask them to shut off their engine and lights and just plug in until the sun rises.  The woman begins to yell hysterically at me saying over and over....."We are newbies....this is only our second time out!" .....after listening to her yell this mantra over and over at least three, or four times I replied...."Being a newbie has nothing to do with what you are chose to arrive here at 3:15 am in the morning and wake up all your are just rude and inconsiderate.....don't make me call the Sherriff".....then walked back to the I walked the gentleman turned off his lights and engine, but I could still hear the woman talking loudly......she must be a peach back home.....wherever home is.

I had every intention of getting back over to Section E to finish painting tent site directional arrows and site posts, but I decided to install the gate at the entrance of the 'Dog Park'......of course like a lot of projects I have done over the years this one took much longer than I expected.  For one thing I didn't know the gate I had chosen to use, which was also the last unused gate, had two broken 'L' opposing corners, so I had to figure out how to fix those (see picture below showing one of the broken 'L' joints) before I could install it.......

 One broken joint repaired.....

 ......and the other will note I used different methods to fix each broken 'L' joint and that was dictated by the parts we had on hand.....I would have preferred to repair both corners using the brackets in the second picture, but we only had 3 of them.  At any rate the search for parts, and then the repair took close to two hours, then it was time to install the gate.....

......first I had to pound a 10' long steel pole into the ground until only 4' were above ground....this would be the pole to which I would clamp a 2" diameter, 4' long piece of galvanized pipe.......then I had to take about 10 feet of barbed wire to anchor the assembly........

....when I went to cut the 2" galvanized pipe I found that the round cutting blade on the pipe cutter had a flat spot, so I had to rob a replacement blade from a smaller pipe cutter.....that took a while, but I got that 4' piece pipe cut, then had to cut another 3' piece of 2" galvanized pipe to sink in the ground into which I would slip a 4' piece of 1.5" galvanized pipe for the gate latch to rest against when the gate is closed.  The gate opening is about 48" wide......our golf carts are 44" wide so by removing the latch post I can drive the cart through the opening if needed....

The finished product all it took me about 6 hours to repair the broken gate, to fabricate the hardware on which to hang it, and then to install it, but it came out better than I expected based on the fact that I had to scrounge and/or fabricate parts for everything.  Once again I was able to spend the day working on a project of which no one wanted any part, and the time just melted away.

I clocked out just before 5 pm, and TLE was home about 40 minutes later.......just as I was getting out of my 30 minute HOT shower......she made me two quesadillas for dinner and we watched 'Gold Rush'......apparently I fell asleep in my recliner sometime before 9 pm and TLE woke me up a little after 10 so I could go to bed.....bless her heart!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 21, 2016

'Going to the dogs'

8:04 am - Friday - 29 F degrees, 79% humidity, wind 4 mph out of SSW.....sunny with clear blue skies....forecast high today is 66 F degrees.  Slept in this morning.....nice to wake up after sunrise (7:15 am now) for a change.

I began Thursday with plans to finish painting directional arrows and site posts in Section 'E', but I get ahead of myself.  TLE headed off for work around 9 am, and I followed half an hour point in going in too early as it is just too cold to do much outside.  After 'clocking in' I headed to the maintenance yard to pick up the 'ash can' to pick up some ashes/coals which were on the ground in site 102, and then drove around the park once again to see if I had missed any other piles, but I think now I've gotten them all.  By this time it was after 10 am and warming quickly so I headed back to the maintenance yard to dump the ashes/coals then pick up my panting equipment.

Adam, our maintenance manager, was there and began to talk to me about my plans for the 'Dog Park' in Section G......our manager, Robert, has wanted a dog park built since the middle of the summer, but it never got done, so I had offered to do it several weeks ago.  I've acquired serious fence building skills this summer, especially after replacing some 300 feet of fencing along Melba, so I thought I could do a good job in a short period of time.

Section G was chosen for the 'Dog Park' as the amount of fencing required to close in the northwest corner of Section G is under 200'.  Basically all we had to do was close the triangle with one 200' length of fencing.....the rest of the boundary is already there, and I had worked on fixing the holes in it several weeks ago.

So, there you have just a few minutes my whole focus for the day was changed and while Robert went over to Scotty's TruValue Hardware to pick up another 50' of fencing I proceeded to pick out 20 steel posts and head out to the northwest corner of G to pound them into the ground in preparation for attaching the welded steel fencing (some here call it pig fence).  Just as I was finishing the placement of the 20th post I heard Robert on the 2-way radio announcing he was back with the fencing so I headed for the maintenance yard to get it, and then returned to my task.

 Looking west to east along the fence line

 I used barbed wire to anchor the fence at the west end

 The east end of the fence is anchored to the storage yard 
fence, which you can see in the distance.

In all it took me 7 hours to build the fence, plus fix another hole in the fence created by people too lazy to walk around to the entrance.  We have to be sure the holes in the north end of the fence stay closed, or else dogs will be able to get out......after all the whole point of a 'Dog Park' to allow dogs to be off the leash.

This is the first day I have worked 7 hours in a long time, but it seemed to just fly by Thursday.  I love working on projects like this by myself as I can just lose myself in the work.  I think it came out really well.....all I need is about another 5 feet of fencing to close the last gap before the gate.  I'll probably work on installing the gate Friday, and we should have the last 5 feet of fencing next week sometime.

I got home just as the MLB NLCS game between the Trolley Dodgers and Cubes was beginning......the Dodgers kept it close until the 7th inning when the roof, once again, fell in on them.....they ended up losing 8-1....another blow out.  In the games the Cubes have won they have averaged almost 9 runs per game, but in the two they have lost they have scored ZERO runs.  Kershaw will pitch in Chicago Saturday, and Rich Hill will pitch on Sunday.....I hope it goes to game 7.....we'll see.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Great Pumpkin

7:20 am - Thursday - 31 F degrees, 83% humidity, wind 3 mph out of SSW....the sun is rising in the east to clear blue skies......forecast high today is 66 F degrees.....just in case you were looking for a visual reference as to how cold it has been lately I snapped this picture about 11 am Wednesday of an icicle which formed underneath a dripping hose bib......

  Icicle created by dripping hose bib

......I reported for work at precisely 10:01 am Wednesday......I wanted to finish painting the red directional arrows for the tent sites in Section E, but as you can see from the above picture it was still pretty cold at 10, and at 11 am, so I busied myself picking up trash in Section G, and then decided to go through all the fire grills in Sections A, F & G to clean out the ones which had not yet been cleaned.  I filled up a galvanized wash tub 5 times with old ashes and coals.....

Ready for next season Noon it was now warm enough (well, in this instance 'warm' is a relative was 56 degrees) to begin painting directional arrows, and refreshing the paint on tent site posts......

  Site 339 is now free of confusion.....the site is to the left of this post!

Site post 413 looking new, and with a new 'clip' for the site tag all I created 17 new directional arrows from site 337 to 354.......this road had been repaved last summer and the directional arrows had never been repainted.  As a result we were being called continually out to these sites to clarify for our customers on which side of a given site post their site was.  I managed to repaint about 8 site posts before time ran out.  In all I worked 6 hours Wednesday....a longish day compared to my recent work days.  I am hoping to finish the rest of the arrows and posts on Thursday, or Friday at the latest.....we shall see.

While I was busy painting Adam was using one of our portable air compressors to blow the water out of all our sprinkler lines.  Now we just have to 'winterize' section F, and we are ready for winter.  I punched the clock a minute or two before 4 pm and was home a few minutes afterwards.  TLE ended up working about 2 hours Wednesday, which is normally one of he days off, but she was on call.

We began the evening watching the Trolley Dodgers and Cubes.....for our happy hour TLE brought out a 22 ouncer of the Elysian 'The Great Pumpkin' Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Elysian Brewing - Seattle, WA) which she found at Raley's a couple of days ago.  You may recall we sampled this ale while we were up at Tahoe City, but I forgot the name of it.....well TLE remembered.   If it is possible this pumpkin ale is even tastier than the Black Pumpkin Oatmeal Stout I raved about (she found this one at BevMo).....

Elysian Pumpkin Ale

......regrettably, my Trolley Dodgers were not up to the task Wednesday losing 10-2.....ouch!  Now the series is tied up two games apiece with game five being played at Chavez Ravine Thursday evening.

Once it was obvious game 4 was going to be a rout we decided to watch recorded episodes of 'NCIS', 'NCIS New Orleans', 'Bull', and 'Survivor' and were in bed by 10:45......thanks for stopping by!