Our Amazon Affiliate Link

Thursday, June 30, 2016

On a pedestal....

Wednesday saw preparations continuing for the 4th of July weekend......the weather continues to be warm with temps in the high 80's.  As is my custom, I began my morning checking and reloading our 'ICE HOUSE' (you put in 8 quarters for a 7 pound bag of ice) a little after 8 am, then went on to begin my first site check round.......as I rolled past site 131, just 30 sites into my day, the customer occupying that site waved me down.  I pulled over and asked what I could do for him and he advised that he was having a problem with his 30 amp receptacle, and was temporarily plugged into site 132 (no occupied at the time).  Knowing that we had a customer coming into that site (132) later in the day it was obvious this had to be dealt with right away.

I called Adam, our maintenance manager, on the two way radio to find he was dealing with an issue at our swimming pool, and would not be available to check the electrical pedestal at site 131 until much later in the day.  Wednesday is our slowest day of the week, and at this time of day on Wednesday Adam and I are the only ones on duty able to deal with an electrical issue.....Adam more so, me less so.  At any rate I advised the customer I had to pick up my tools from my trailer and would be back within 15 minutes.

The first order of business was to open up the pedestal to see what the problem was.....well, as soon as I opened the lid I saw the 30 amp receptacle was partially melted......yup, there is a problem for sure.  After removing the face plate holding the 20 and 30 amp receptacles and their breakers I saw yet more issues......the insulation on two wires had melted and had to be replaced along with the receptacle.  My next step was to retire to the maintenance yard to pick up wire, and a new 30 amp receptacle, which I did in short order.  In all it took me just about an hour to remove the bad wire and receptacle, clean up the box, and install the new wire and receptacle.  I put it all back together, and then plugged in my testing device to check the circuit integrity and all the lights lit up properly, so I plugged the customer's power cord back in and all was well.

So, here it is approaching 9:30 and I haven't finished my first round of the day.......my routine is completely off the tracks.  I wasn't able to finish my first site check round until close to 11 am.....it seemed like one thing after another got in the way.  All you can really do when things go off the rails is just keep your head down and keep pushing forward and that is what I did.  Eventually I did get back on track finishing my final round of the day a little after 3:30 pm.  In between I spent time watching the entrance to keep traffic from backing up.....even though we only had 34 arrivals it seemed they would come in bunches of 3, and 4 at a time......reloading the 'ICE HOUSE' conveyor belt with 7 pound bags of ice, and picking up litter.  The inside temperature of the 'ICE HOUSE' is around 10 degrees, so if one needs to cool off it is a great place to spend 15 minutes!

I was off the clock just before 4 pm, and riding my bike home......once again I turned on the A/C which we ran for about 2 hours before turning it off and opening up all the windows.  I grilled some fish for TLE to which she added roasted corn and cooked spinach.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Red stakes in the morning Ranger take warning.....

I know when I tell you the high yesterday was 87 and I describe that as 'HOT' that some will roll their eyes......go ahead.....I can take it.  The older I get the less tolerant I am of temperatures over 80 degrees, and seemingly less able to adapt to them.  Right now I am just kind of enduring the current heatwave giving us temps in the high 80's, waiting for the temps to drop back into the 70's again in about a week.

I've been working on a project for a few days getting our red site stakes ready for the 4th of July, which is the only weekend during the year that we sell sites out in the overflow area.  Right now we are 100% booked, and there are still people willing to pay close to $50/night for a tent only site where no cooking is allowed, and certainly no campfires allowed, due to fire risk.  The walk to the nearest bathroom is long, and yet they will pay close to $200 for four nights for just a place to sleep just to be here at Lake Tahoe on this particular weekend.  Over the past few years our supply of the red stakes has dwindled down to 23......we need about 50, so it fell to me to paint new ones and get the count back up to 50......will we rent 50 overflow sites this year?  I have no idea, but it's better to have too many than too few, right?



After finishing the painting, and attaching a clip to hold the site tag when it is issued I went out to overflow and began to pound them into the ground.....in past years we have waited until we sell an overflow site, then escorted the camper out to the overflow area and let them choose where they wanted to set their tent up, then pound the stake into the ground.  It was a nice concept, but it was a nightmare for the Ranger, me, to find them each day as they were randomly placed, and followed no numerical order.  Well, if you know me at all, or have been reading my ramblings for any period of time you understand that 'ORDER' is one thing that I pursue.  So this year we (me) are choosing the tent sites in advance and placing the stakes in numerical order so doing site checks will be easier, and way more efficiently accomplished.

By the time I clocked out my butt was dragging from the heat......in fact, when I stopped by our site to drop off my tools before clocking out I went inside the coach to turn on the A/C for the first time since we arrived at TVC....I really wanted to come home to conditioned air.  After dropping off the cart I rode my bike back to the office to clock out and head for the barn.  TLE arrived home a few minutes after me, and we spent the early evening inside enjoying the refrigerated air.  By 6 pm if was back into the 70's, so we turned off the A/C and opened the windows for the evening.

Wednesday the madness that is the 4th of July in the Tahoe Basin begins....stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cabana boy....

Well, there is really no point in beating around the proverbial bush.....our whole Monday revolved around spending time with friends at the Hyatt Beach in Incline Village.  We have known Dan and Carol Gates going back to our college days.  Each year they come to Lake Tahoe to spend a week at the Hyatt Hotel and Resort, and occasionally rent a cabana on the beach.  Joining us for the day were Rhonda, Ron, and Dave with various adult children and grandchildren in tow......


 'They' call it Hyatt Beach now, but it was called Incline Beach back in the 50's


 The gang in the Cabana.....left to right: TLE, moi, Ron, Rhonda, Carol, Dave and Dan

Our host, Dan, with Rhonda's daughter, Dawn

......this is the first time since 1959 I have been to Incline Beach (now called Hyatt Beach) where I spent two weeks every summer from 1953 through 1959 when the property was developed into a large 4 star resort including golf course.  I have missed that view looking south.

I have known Dan and Ron since my college days, and got reacquainted with Dan and his wife, Carol, at a college reunion a few years ago.....this is the first time I have seen Ron since college.  We have stayed in touch with Dan and Carol, and this year when they came for their annual visit to Lake Tahoe they invited TLE and I to join them on the beach for the afternoon.  They rented a cabana replete with many satellite umbrellas, and a large couch which you see us pictured sitting on in the picture above (two up).

I had a few chores first thing Monday (wash the VW, dump the tanks, clean the pollen off the tables and chairs outside, etc.  We began our drive up to Incline Village about 10:45 am, and arrived just after 11:30.

Dan and Ron walked up from the cabana to meet us in the parking lot, and within a couple of minutes we were seated in the shadow of the cabana talking, laughing and enjoying the Incline Beach ambiance.....the conversation streamed continuously for four hours, and the time just flew by, but alas it was time to run a few more errands on our day off so we bid our hosts adieu.  We had a wonderful time and are so grateful for the invitation.

The temp Monday was pushing 90, and it stayed warm well into the evening.  We didn't close the screen door until close to 10 pm just before we went to bed......and so begins the 4th of July week......Tuesday will be the last sane day for a week......we won't come up for breath until next Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ride Captain, Ride......

After all the stress of the past week I was looking forward to taking a longish bike ride......I haven't ridden up to the Emerald Bay Vista Point in a month, or more so I decided to head there first then make up the rest after the turn around.  I didn't push too hard knowing I was going to ride at least 20 miles, but still got to the top in just over 49 minutes.......




June 26, 2016......not bad but look at the picture below

.......while I broke 50 minutes without trying too hard I still know that back in late June of 2014 I made the ride from site 426 to the Emerald Bay Vista Point in 39 minutes and 25 seconds (see below)......I've got a ways to go to break 40 minutes again.  

June 23, 2014.....my best time to the top from site 426

On my way back I took a right on Lake Tahoe Blvd. to pick up the bike path I have written about previously, rode out to Sawmill turning left, and back to US-50 where I turned left and headed for the barn.  In all I covered just under 24 miles, and by the time I arrived back home an hour and forty minutes later I was feeling quite relaxed.  I took a long, hot shower and then retired to my anti gravity chair with some ice tea and then took a nap.

TLE did a few loads of clothes in the Splendide, and went shopping.  Around 2:30 my good friend Harry dropped by to hang out for an hour, or so, and then it was 4 pm.  TLE made Taco Salad for dinner, and we dinned outside at our picnic table enjoying 50's music on XM Radio.  Eventually the mosquitoes chased us indoors, and another day was in the books.  Sunday was the perfect day off......

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Paint it yellow......

Friday was the precursor for the 4th of July weekend just one week away.......beginning the day we had 200 sites occupied, and with the close to 100 arrivals we will edge towards 300 of the 406 sites occupied.  All of the craziness that typifies the 4th is already beginning to raise its head throughout the morning.  The more crowded it gets the more people begin to park in places that defy the imagination.....places they would never think of parking on a city street, but for some odd reason seems just fine within the confines of TVC.  Many of them create dangerous situations which must be reacted to quickly.

On top of all that we are now right in the middle of the yellow pollen season here at TVC when the pollen falls like a gentle rain 24/7 blanketing everything outdoors, and even manages to worm its way inside.........


.......red becomes yellow......our gray VW Beetle becomes yellow.  When it is like this even I who has no known allergies begin to sneeze.  Just looking at it makes me feel like I'm going to go into anaphylactic shock........


I punched the clock around 7:20 am and headed quickly down to the maintenance/storage yard to retrieve the Ranger Cart and begin my rounds.  For the first time this season I began my rounds without a jacket, or gloves.......the air felt balmy, and the sun delightful.

When things get a little bit crazy I feel right in my element......I spend the better part of my time  directing traffic, helping folks into their sites, answering questions about the park and the local area, making unhappy people happy again.......and that is the main thing about my job, and the jobs of everyone here.  It is inevitable that some will become unhappy about something, and it is our job to put a smile back on their faces.  

The day passed quickly, which I like, and I was once again punching that clock just after 4 pm and heading for the barn.  Even though it wasn't our last day of work this week we decided to go out for dinner......it just seemed right.  We drove over to Lake Tahoe Pizza for their salad bar and a pitcher of Icky IPA......a nice way to unwind.  From there we headed for Raley's to pick up a few grocery items (the reason for driving the car) we were running short on......Snap-E-Tom, vodka, bread, half and half, milk, cheese, etc.

We were home by 6 and closing our windows for the first time in a week as the evening temperatures began to fall further than usual, but the forecast for the next week is continued daytime temps in the 80's.

As crazy as the weekend has begun it will pale by comparison to next weekend.....I told the newbies that if they want to imagine what the 4th will look like just multiply this Friday by a factor of three, or four.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 24, 2016

That's odd.......

Thursday was one of those very odd days......I had barely finished my morning rounds when I was called to dispense some propane for a customer, however, when I arrived our propane supplier (Bi-State) was there filling our tank....nothing odd about that, but what happened next was.  Within a few minutes the Bi-State guy advised us he had to lock our propane tank supplying propane to our laundry because our contractor had made modifications to the plumbing going into the laundry in anticipation of the installation of our new washers and dryers.  Nothing wrong with doing that, but since this equipment belongs to Bi-State we should have notified them in advance so they could inspect and approve what was being done.  If anything goes wrong as a result of what we did they will be held liable as it is their equipment.  Needless to say there were some unhappy customers who were in the middle of washing and drying their clothes.  As it turned out it was good Bi-State shut things down as their inspector, who arrived within an hour, found 2 leaks in the new gas pipe plumbing.  The contractor had just pronounced all was well after pressure testing the new plumbing.  When Bi-State did their pressure test they found the 2 leaks.  Eventually the tank was unlocked and propane began to flow to the laundry once again.

Next up I was asked to man the store/office for an hour while the office personnel had a much needed meeting.....the only problem was it went on for 2.5 hours.  As the clock edged towards 12:30 pm things began to get congested in the store/office as well as at the entrance.  I began requesting help on the two way radio.  Why is it that simple office meetings morph into time eating juggernauts? At any rate staff members began to filter back into the store within minutes of my call, and I was able to get back to my regular job.

I never really seemed to be able to get back on task the rest of the day.  One thing after another arose to block my attempts to return to my routine.  4 pm came around quickly, and I clocked out and headed for the barn once again.  TLE followed around 4:20.

We sat outside for a while watching the breaking news of the 'BREXIT' vote in Britain, and were ultimately surprised that the UK voted to leave the European Union......that vote is historic, and its consequences are yet to be realized.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next few months.  Personally I think any break away from bigger, more centralized government is a good thing and I believe we are seeing the same sentiment playing out in American politics......it will be an interesting election season here as well.

Well, as I began this post I end it......Thursday was an odd day.....

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Amped up......

Wednesday was the end of our current pay period and beginning the day having worked a little overtime a couple of days I was within 6.5 hours of 80 hours for the two week period so I knew I would be off by 2:15 pm.  The temps continue to be in the low 80's with the high each day arriving about 3 pm, and then it begins to cool off quickly.  I clocked in to start my day at 7:15 am, then headed down to the maintenance/storage yard to pick up my golf cart.

Just as the previous day, there were a lot of calls for propane service.......


.....I made my rounds, worked at fixing a few more fence posts along the various walkways we have, and ended the morning just before my lunch break escorting a State of California propane inspector around the park as he inspected all of our propane tanks.....there are 10 in all.  Ultimately we had covered 4 of our tanks when my lunch break approached, so I called Miguel (Head Ranger) on the radio and asked him to finish escorting the inspector to the last 6.  By the time I clocked out for lunch it was 12:30, so when I returned 30 minutes later I only had one hour and 15 minutes til the end of my shift.

I clocked out on time and rode my Intense 5.5 home to find that Adam (maintenance supervisor) and Gordy (fellow workamper and electrical expert) in the process of installing a new 200 amp duplex breaker (two 200 amp breakers) in place of the 100 amp duplex breaker that controlled not only our site, but 5 others.  Apparently, when our sites were converted to 50 amp a number of years ago they never updated the breaker, and that is why we have occasionally had the breaker pop under a seemingly light load.  At any rate, they completed the installation in short order the power was restored.  Hopefully now with the new cable we installed and the updated breaker we should have no further problems in our section......YAY!!

Since TLE was on until 4:30 I decided to take a bike ride and was on my way by 3 pm on what turned out to be a 17 mile loop.....it took me just over an hour and I was home and in the shower just before TLE arrived home from work.  We ended up having dinner with John and Deb on the spur of the moment and spent an hour, or so giggling and laughing with good friends.  

We watched the 'Person of Interest' series finale which we had recorded from the night before.  We both liked how they wrapped up the show, but we will miss the series.  After two months of NBA playoffs it's kind of weird not to be watching another game.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Electrifying!

Tuesday was packed full of work.......the first task I wanted to get to after completing my first round of the park, and whilst it was still cool, was to get to work connecting the new temporary cable between site 427 and 429 to see if that solved the problem I have written about previously.  With the help of John, my neighbor here, I turned off the power at the main service panel, then using a large allen wrench unscrewed the large lugs that hold the old cable in place at both pedestals.  Once the old cable was removed at each end we inserted the new cable and re-tightened the lugs.  Then the moment of truth was at hand......when I turned the power back on would there be sparks and smoke, or would power be restored?  Well, there were no fireworks, and power was once again restored all the way to my pedestal at 426.....YAY!


 The new cable temporarily installed
Safety cones and caution tape

Over the next few days we'll dig the trench between 427 and 429, permanently install the cable in each pedestal, then bury the new cable.  We didn't see any point in digging the ditch until we knew for sure we had properly diagnosed and fixed the problem.  Interestingly our electrical contractor quoted $3,000 to do what I, with a little help from my friends, did for under $100 of labor......so far we have a total of 4 man hours of labor invested with another 3-4 projected to dig the ditch and permanently install the new cable.

After that I installed some more green screen behind our site to discourage campers from walking through our site, which continues to be a problem.  I pumped a lot of propane over the course of the day, kept watch on the entrance when the RV's arriving began to line up, and spent time tightening hundreds of nuts and bolts on the fencing that borders all of our designated walkways.

By the time I finished with that there was just enough time left in my day to make one final round of the park before clocking out.  I was home by 4:30, showered and relaxing in my outdoor recliner by 5 when TLE arrived home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Outdoor living.....

Slept in until after 7 am Monday......one could already feel the warmth in the air preceding the predicted high of 82.  I really had nothing big planned for the day, but did have a repair job to do on my portable macerator pump setup.......back when we were still in Riverside in my daughter's backyard my portable, no name macerator pump failed.  I had only bought it, brand new, for $79 a year before.  Well, so much for saving a few bucks.......I ordered a new one on eBay a week, or so ago and went for the brand name this time, Shurflo, spending $120.  I spent a couple of hours wiring it up, then testing it, and all went well.

I sat outside for a couple of hours reading and napping as it was a little cooler than inside, although it was not really uncomfortable inside where TLE spent most of her day avoiding the pollen which is beginning to rain from the pine trees once again. 

Around 4 pm we drove over to the El Dorado Beach area to MacDuff's Public House for dinner.  It's off US-50 a couple of blocks and we had never noticed it until we visited the Tru-Value Hardware store across the street a week ago.  It looked very inviting with a wonderful alfresco dining area......our kind of place.....plus Yelp gives them 4.5 stars on 1,195 reviews......

Enormous patio

 Enormous portions....two giant beer battered fish filets

Good to have TLE across the table smiling at me

.....whenever I see 'Fish 'n Chips' on a menu I have to order it, and I did.....we received our entrees within 10 minutes of ordering and I have to say my 'Fish 'n Chips' had two of the largest beer battered filets I have ever had......one would have been more than ample!  The early evening temps were just delightful and perfect for sitting outside for an hour, or so enjoying good draft beer and good food.   We can see why they get a 4.5 rating from Yelp.

We were back home before 6 enjoying the last few hours of our day off before our work week begins once again Tuesday......thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bachelor man - Day #5 - Father's Day

With the exception of TLE being missing physically from this Father's Day this Father's Day was one of my favorite of all time.  I woke up watching the U.S. Golf Association's U.S. Open......I watched/listened to it while typing the blog, watched/listened to it while putting the Sturmey-Archer  hub back together for the Hercules women's bicycle, and watched it while reclining in my outdoor lounge chair all afternoon......what did I do in between?

 The Hercules is operable again!

After finishing the Hercules I put on my bike clothes and took a 16 mile ride out Lake Tahoe Blvd., down Sawmill to US-50, out to the end of the bike path in Myers........

 The path along Sawmill


 The path along US-50

........and back to the South Lake Tahoe Flea Market..........

SLT Flea Market

......where I found a few things I apparently could not live without......

Hammer - $1, phillips head - $1, vice grips - $4, nail set - $1......SCORE!

......then it was off to Alpina Coffee Cafe for a very late breakfast......it is Father's Day after all, so it's okay to have breakfast for lunch, right?

Alpina Coffee Cafe

......as I alluded to earlier, I spent the afternoon ensconced firmly in my outdoor lounger watching the U.S. Open on the outdoor TV.......it was great to see Dustin Johnson finally win his first golf Major!


Shortly after the end of the U.S. Open I switched the channel over to ABC to watch game 7 of the NBA finals.  It has been a very strange series with the first 6 games all being blowouts by the winning team.  At one point the Cavaliers looked finished when they went down 3 games to 1.....no team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the finals.....BUT.....there is a first time for everything, and the Cavaliers ultimately prevailed 93-89 in a very, very, very closely fought game.  It was like watching a 'Rocky' movie with every punch being answered with a counter punch.  Both teams kept punching until there was no time left......


......TLE arrived home from her 5 day sabbatical about 6:30 pm after an uneventful flight home, and a brief shopping foray to T.J.'s and Costco.  TLE, I apologize for all the yelling and screaming during the game!

My tenure as Bachelor man comes to an end after 5 days, and life has returned to normal.....thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bachelor man - Day #4

At last.....Saturday......last day of my work week........I spent most of the day patrolling the entrance to the park making sure arriving customers didn't get backed up too far.....as you can see in the picture below it is still cold, but not too cold that I couldn't wear my traditional cowboy hat.......after all, a Ranger must wear a cowboy hat, right?


You may wonder what I do all day as I drive around TVC......maybe not, but you're going to find out anyway.  I work off two lists as I make my rounds......'Who's Departing'........I check off those who have departed (indicated with a 'V' for vacant next to their name and site number if they have departed, and an 'O' for occupied if they have not yet departed)..........


......departure time is 11 am each day and on busy days with lots of arrivals I need to be sure the sites with arrivals scheduled are vacant by 1 pm.  The next list (Who's In The Park) is usually 4, or 5 pages long, or more, on busy weekends.  On this list I verify that sites which are supposed to be occupied are, note sites which are vacant, but supposed to be occupied, and note sites which are occupied, but are not yet checked in.  We close the office at 10 pm, so people arriving after that time go directly to their sites and register the next morning.  If they have not done so by 10 am the next morning I stop by their site and give them a friendly reminder.


.......I got called away from patrolling the entrance a number of times to pump propane, check the cable TV reception at various sites......it's almost always a problem with the customer's wiring.......settle a couple of disputes about where a site began and ended, remind customers that from 10 pm to 7 am is our 'QUIET' time in the park (we had a few noise complaints from Friday night), etc.  4 pm came quickly and it was time for me to head for the barn.......I changed clothes and then made myself a cocktail to unwind from the busy week....


.....only one more day as Bachelor Man before TLE returns from her 5 day sojourn in SoCal.....YAY!  Miss you honey!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Bachelor man - Day #3

Friday had so much promise.....the promise of getting the 50 amp power restored to our site.....the promise of a lot of new arrivals (109) bringing us to 75% of capacity......the promise of three more days until TLE returns.....the promise of warmer temperatures.  All of those promises came true, except the one of fixing our 50 amp electrical service.....it was just not to be.  Adam and I had good intentions, but duties around the park interfered.......Adam was called away time and again to work on other electrical issues for customers, as it should be, and I was called away to spend a lot of time directing traffic along our main entrance road.  It doesn't take long for things to go sideways at the entrance on a Friday, so continuous supervision is required to keep traffic moving.  Our electrical issues will have to wait until Tuesday when things calm down once again.

I arrived at the office/store around 7:20 am to find that Robert (our manager) had arrived earlier than usual and had already turned off the alarm (thank you) and opened the front doors, so I was just a matter of going about the rest of my morning routine.......if only that had happened.  We have been having issues the past few days with our 'print server'.  We print a lot of documents every day and having a dependable printer is imperative.  A few days ago we began to experience long delays in print jobs sent to the server actually printing.  It got to the point where we stopped trying to print receipts (promising to deliver them later when we got our printer issues resolved), site tags, etc.  By Friday morning even our reports were not printing.  Each day TLE, or someone else will print three reports for me to use in my rounds......"Who's In The Park", "Departures" and "Arrivals".   We tried for quite a long time to get them to print, but were unsuccessful.  Ultimately I had to use Robert's computer, which has it own dedicated printer to print my reports.  

Unfortunately that left the office staff in the same predicament for most of the day until Victor (our assistant manager and resident "IT" guy) returned from his two days off to diagnose the problem.  As it turned out the entire issue was a faulty ethernet cable connecting the printer to the router.  Once replaced everything began to work better......the computers stopped crashing, and a hundred print jobs waiting in the que finally printed.

Meanwhile I spent most of my day, as I noted previously, directing traffic, taking people to their sites, helping customers back into difficult sites, which I am sure probably saved a couple of marriages.

We had a couple of people out sick so there was no one to relieve me at my normal quitting time of 4 pm......finally by 5 pm my relief arrived and I headed home to the coach.....I was one tired puppy.  In fact, I fell asleep in my recliner shortly after finishing my dinner awaking about 9 pm to go to bed.

Ahhhhh........two more days until the return of TLE.....thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bachelor Man - Day #2

After successfully disarming the alarm system Thursday morning I checked to see how many 'ARRIVALS' were scheduled......89!  That was on top of the Wednesday's total of 69, which is really high for a Wednesday.  Once again the temperature may have broken 54 for the high, and even though the winds from the day before had calmed significantly it was still quite frigid.  After completing my first round of the day I picked up a shovel from the maintenance yard and headed for my site to do some excavating.

About 2 hours after we arrived here at TVC on April 30th one leg of our 50 amp power quit working.  When you plug into a 50 amp outlet you actually are getting 100 amps......there are two 'hot' legs in a 50 amp outlet, each supplying 50 amps.  When one leg is not providing power half my coach has no power......in this case the front heater stopped working, and a few outlets in the rear of the coach.  Initially I thought something was wrong with the front heater, but once I realized other things were not working I surmised there was a problem with the electric pedestal in our site.  My initial solution was to get out my two 50 amp extension cords and plug into the vacant site behind us, which I did......that extra 50 amp extension cord I found at the Salvation Army in Fontana back in April sure came in handy!

A few days later an electrician came to help diagnose the problem.  After a couple of hours of checking each pedestal (sites 426-433) it was determined that the problem was somewhere between site 427 and 429.  The pedestals are all 'daisy chained' together with my site (426) being the end of the line.  As a result both my pedestal and the pedestal in site 427 have a problem with the 50 amp outlet, so the solution is to excavate between 427 and 429, remove the faulty cable and replace it with a new one......


The cables are exposed at site 429

 The distance between site 427 and 429 is about 35'

Site 427 excavated

......the plan was to expose the cables at the base of each pedestal, then reconfirm which cable is bad, then (after turning off the power) pull the bad cable out of the pedestal.   The next step will be to use the new cable (see the cable handing on the pedestal in site 427 in the middle picture above) to jump between both pedestals to confirm that replacing it will solve the problem.  Once that is done, and we have confirmed that power is restored, we will complete the trench between both pedestals, and bury the new cable.  That will most likely happen Friday morning.

As a side note, the electrical contractor gave us a bid of $3,000 to do the work.  That is way too much......the work is all labor....we already have the replacement cable, so we decided to do the work ourselves.......I figure there is about 6 hours of labor at the most, and even if the contractor's per hour labor charges were $100 it shouldn't cost $3,000.

In all I spent about 2 hours doing the initial digging to expose the cables......the rest of the day I spent along the entrance road to the park directing traffic, and avoiding a traffic jam as the 'ARRIVALS' came in bunches at a time.  When I clocked out at 4:24 pm we still had over 40 'ARRIVALS' to go.

I don't really think about being a bachelor, or feel like one until I get home after work and there is no TLE.  Usually I don't do well by myself.....I like being around people, but this time I am enjoying the solitude in the evening.  I sat outside, by myself, smoking a cigar and sipping some single malt for about an hour before heading in for the night.

Game 6 between the NBA finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers was another barn burner with the Cavaliers defeating the Warriors once again to tie the series at 3 games apiece setting up another historic game 7 back in Oakland on Sunday evening.  Seth Curry not only fouled out for the first time since 2013, but was ejected for throwing his mouthpiece at a fan.  Game 7 should have a lot of fireworks......we'll see.

I was in bed by 9:30 thinking about how busy Friday will be......thanks for stopping by!   

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bachelor man - Day #1 - The two simoleons

I waved goodbye to TLE about 7 am as the VW disappeared around the corner and out of sight for 5 days.  Our 6th grand child, Jolene Rose, entered this world June 6th and it is time from grandmother to meet her in person, so TLE has flown down to Ontario, CA until Sunday to get some face time with our precious Jolene Rose.

Meanwhile, back at the 'ranch', I spent the day freezing my extremities.......they say the high temp for the day got to 55, but I would beg to differ with that.......for most of the day we had a 20 mph wind, which I am sure when modified to account for 'WIND CHILL' was somewhere in the low 40's.......

 Back to winter wear

Collar turned up once again

.....ultimately I ditched the cowboy hat for my watch cap, and about 2:40 pm we had SNOW FLURRIES.......yes, you read that correctly......SNOW FLURRIES on June 15th!  But wait.....once again I forge way ahead of myself.....

Twenty minutes after the VW disappeared around the corner with The Lovely Elaine ensconced in the driver's seat I headed for the office/store to open for the day.  On my way to the office on my Intense 5.5 I spied what I thought at first was trash on the ground......I am a compulsive trash picker upper so I stopped to pick it up.....as I bent over I realized it was a dollar bill......I had barely picked it up when I saw another one just a few feet away.....okay, that's weird.  I began to think someone was laying down a trail of dollar bills to lead me off on a wild goose chase, so I just pocketed the two simoleons and headed for the office........

The two simoleons

......TLE always opens the door each morning, and heads directly for the alarm keypad to disarm the alarm......I hate alarms as I usually set them off, so always leave that task to TLE, however, on this day it fell to me.......after opening the door and walking to the back of the office/store I stood before the dreaded keypad with the little 'Post-It-Note' firmly gripped in my left hand......TLE had written the four digit alarm code on for my convenience.  The note gave four numbers with the word 'OFF' following them......she explained I must key in the four numbers and then press the 'OFF' button......okay, simple, right?  I pressed the four digits on the keypad and then looked for the 'OFF' button......dang, where is it?  It was then I realized how small the printing was on the buttons.......where is that 'OFF' button?  I paused so long the screen went blank again, and I began to expect the alarm to begin blaring any second.......I kept my cool, and calmly looked over the keypad finally finding the 'OFF' button, then had to re-key the 4 digit code before successfully pressing the now located tiny 'OFF' button and avoiding the alarm.

From that point on it was 'all downhill'......Sally arrived shortly thereafter and proceeded to go get the computers up, count the money, etc......I headed for the maintenance yard to pick up the Ranger cart, and get ready for my day.

After completing my first round of the day I met Miguel (head Ranger) at one of the walking paths in Section F to repair part of the fence that defines the path.....one post had rotted out, and another was leaning way over.  We had to remove the threaded rod we use to bolt the pieces of the fence together to remove the rotted out post, then dig out the piece in the ground, dig the hole a little deeper, then put the new post in and bolt everything back together. In all it took us about an hour to finish the repairs.

About 2 pm our computers went down......at the same time we were having our weekly staff meeting so I had to keep an eye on the entrance for arriving RV's so we could just send them directly to their sites until our internet connection was restored.....in all it was about an hour before they came back up, and it was during that hour that we got the aforementioned flurries, during which time I was mostly outside dealing with frozen extremities.  Anyway, as I said, the computers did come back up and by 4 pm I was on my way home to thaw out.

I took a 15 minute very hot shower and emerged completely thawed out and ready for a nap.  TLE prepared a number of meals for me so I don't have to worry about cooking.  On the top of the pile of oven dishes in the fridge was an uncooked enchilada casserole.  She had explained all I had to do was put it in the large toaster oven, which she preset to 350 degrees, turn on the timer to 20 minutes and let it cook, and that is exactly what I did, and at the end of 20 minutes, precisely, it was done.  I got out an 'ICKY' IPA to pair with the casserole and sat down to watch a recorded episode of 'Person of Interest'.  The casserole, as always, was perfection.....thank you TLE!

I was turning out the lights by 9 pm, and in bed asleep by 9:30.......4 days until TLE returns........thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

B.M.

I thought the days of wearing my coat and gloves all day long were past, but I was wrong.  We are back to temps in the 30's at night, and highs in the 50's......at least for a few days more.  Meanwhile the park was pretty full for a Tuesday......probably about 55% full.  After making my morning rounds I returned to painting the traffic markings along the entrance road with bright yellow.......


.......I started with refreshing the other two stop limit lines and the word "STOP" on the ground in front of each limit line......


......then I worked along the entry road putting directional arrows with "RV's" on the ground in front of the arrow trying to get folks pulling, or driving RV's to pull to the right lane and park before registering.  In all there are five of these spaced out over the length of the entry road now....we are hoping this will reduce some of the confusion on busy days.....it seems we always have a few folks who decide they should park right in the middle of the street, which, of course, blocks traffic.


By the time I ran out of paint it was 1 pm, and also time for my lunch break.....in fact, way past.....usually I go at 12 pm.  After lunch I ran my final round of the day, then spent my last hour deep cleaning tent sites in Section E.

TLE spent the evening getting ready for her 5 day trip to SoCal to spend time with our daughter Kate and our new grand child, Jolene Rose, she'll be back Sunday afternoon......so I will be BM (Bachelor Man) for the rest of the week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sturmey-Archer

Since our planned bike ride for Sunday was aborted due to high pollen count, and TLE was feeling much better we decided to ride our singles Monday.  We first rode over to Moonhouse BrewHouse for some coffee and pastry......TLE had a croissant and I a couple of blueberry muffins.........


......this is our second visit to Moonhouse....we love sitting outside on the front porch enjoying the view of the local mountains......



.....one thing to keep in mind about Moonhouse is you cannot be in a hurry.....since each cup of coffee is brewed individually at the time you order it does take a few minutes, but the wait if worth it.  I chose the Ethiopian dark blend and TLE their French Roast.

Next we road northwest on Lake Tahoe Blvd. to the stop sign at 'D' Street where, thanks to our friend Claude who visited with us last week, we picked up a new bike path we didn't know existed.   The path veers away from the main road more than a hundred yards in spots going northwest to the intersection with Sawmill where the path continues all the way back to US-50 where we turned left (east) to head back to TVC.  

In all we covered some 8 miles before returning to TVC......TLE had some more wash to do, as well as a small repair job for Victor on his sleeping bag.....one of the seams had come loose and he was losing down feathers.  I headed for DIY to buy some snaps so I could put the last snap on the sun shade I installed over the door to the trailer......there are five snaps on the sun shade, and after breaking at least three during the installation 10 days ago I came up one short.

I wrote previously about doing a mechanical restoration of a vintage Hercules bicycle for a friend.........I decided to finish taking apart the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub to remove the broken axle and see if I could locate a replacement online.......

 Sturmey-Archer type AW 3 speed hub

 The axle as it should look

As it does look

.......after removing the axle I went online and found a replacement on eBay for $12.  If all goes well I should have it by this Saturday, and be able to put the hub back together.

Replacement ordered off eBay

By the time I finished ordering the new axle the temps were dropping once again, so I headed inside to read for a while......Monday was a perfect 'off' day!

Thanks for stopping by!