Sunday June 19th to Saturday June 25th 2022
Sunday and I’m back on the afternoon security shift this week, so I have till four o’clock before I start my shift. It is father’s day and I have the urge for some beef, we have been struggling through some of the food prices here on Vancouver Island, but in reality the price of beef has been getting stupid for some time, so other than some burgers and ground beef we have not had a steak or a roast of beef for some time. But today after securing a small personal loan I purchased a $29 sirloin tip roast, it was on sale for only $13.10 a kilogram ($5.95 a pound), and while not a cut of beef that I would normally buy, done as a pot roast in the Dutch oven with onions and carrots on the barbecue it will be just fine. I also had the urge for some French fries, so Miss Laurie cut up some russet potatoes and cooked them up in the air-fryer, no grease fix but still made for a great dinner break
Todays shift is only from four till nine, there are usually some projects that need to be accomplished in the shop, tonight it was the removal of a broken down fence by the play field near the pool. I soon realized it was a tractor job and still had difficulty removing the metal stakes that had been holding it in position. But with the leverage of the tractor the removal became a lot easier, but here we go again, as I realize the spot where the fence is is quite low and before the new fence is installed should have some fill to build the area up. So do I suggest that, or just put up the new fence? We all know the answer, of course I recommend the filling of the low area, so it has to be ran up the management flag pole for approval, and now I wait. The rest of the evening is quiet, I close the pool and the clubhouse, and do my security lock checks and finish my shift at nine o’clock.
Monday and because today is an afternoon shift, I’m going to venture down to the river again today, the water is still moving fast because it has continued to rain every couple of days. The walk down the hill is steep, but this slope has a rope to help people down and up, and I used it both down and back up. Here are a few photos of the Chemainus river I snapped.
On my afternoon shift today I had to finish assembling a barbecue for the rental trailer that someone else had started, of the 35 steps they had got to step 7 before they had to conveniently leave, it is always difficult taking over projects. So after I’m done the assembly there are five screws left over, never a good sign, but I found where three of them went back at step 6, now I just have two, and even after re-reading the picture directions, they still don’t have homes. Site 80 has a electrical issue, it appears to be the 30 amp plug, it is intermittent so I loan the guest a 50 amp to 30 amp dog bone adapter and make a note for a repair tomorrow. Again the pool and clubhouse closure, and my security checks and the evening is done at nine o’clock.
Tuesday morning and I’m back on a day shift, is is another cloudy day, cool enough that I’m still in a sweatshirt, I open the clubhouse before heading to the pool which seems to be the morning spot for the maintenance crew to meet, and discuss the days tasks. I’m chosen to repair the electrical issue on site 80, we all suspect the 30 amp receptacle so I will change it out, I will also finish off the picnic table rebuild that I started last night, move a couple of repaired tables out of the shop and get the next table ready to be worked on. Then a noisy golf cart pulls up and I’m elected to replace the muffler, not a difficult task, but there is no new gasket for the mount so I’m told to use muffler cement, now here is a product that I have not seen or used for forty plus years, in fact I was amazed that some company was still making it let alone people were still using it.
Lunch was a quick hot dog, Miss Laurie is working today in the office so I’m on my own for lunch and a quick nuke of a bun and weiner and lunch is served, this 30 minute lunch is a little difficult but it is a paid lunch so I will make the best of it. After lunch I know there is a water valve that needs to be replaced, but I was never officially asked to get involved so maybe I should have just stayed in the shop delivering the occasional bag of firewood, but there again we all know that’s not my style.
So first of all I need to say it’s always great that there is often a plan for a repair like this, and at one time that would have been a good thing. Back when we used to have quality parts that we made repairs with. But now everything is cheap, poorly designed and built, and imported from China. It is a shame but it is near impossible to buy a quality built water valve that is made in Canada or even North America for that matter, but enough of this tangent back to the plan.
The plan was dig down to the waterline, uncover the valve, then remove the top of the valve, and exchange the broken working parts from the old valve from the new valve. A good plan if the valves are from the same manufacturer and today that is just a guess, as the Chinese don’t build these valves to be repaired, and the manufacturer usually doesn’t even put a name on the valve, now that’s true pride. The valve being used is what I would call a full flow blade valve, when fully opened it offers no restriction of flow and to shut off the flow the valve literally pushes a wedge into a couple of machined surfaces that stop the water flow, this valve was defective, probably from the beginning had allowed the blade to go past the machined surfaces, impossible if it was properly machined, so most likely no go when new and certainly had no form of quality control, but this valve was installed last winter and only worked once, so was obvious junk from the start. Now that we know it is junk we need to replace the whole valve, not an easy task on a 75 mm (2”) line that is buried, difficult but we were able to dig back far enough to accomplish the task.
The only issue I could see is that we were going to have to reuse a couple of plastic pipe fittings, not something that I would normally recommend or do, but remember I just do as I’m told, so after the repair and the water was turned on again we had a drip, and I guess we all look a a drip differently. I see a drip as a leak, plain and simple, if any water connection in your house dripped you would agree with me, but we were instructed just to re-bury the water line, it’s only a drop, and it might stop, and my thought is yes it might, but my heart says it will never stop and will be a problem down the road. It is times like this that make me shake my head and head to the liquor cabinet.
Wednesday my Saturday, it is a much better day, I’m off today, but Miss Laurie is working from 10 to 4 in the office today, according to the weather dude on the television, we are in for an extended dry warm spell in British Columbia. I will take it, if it actually happens, Laurie and I are both off tomorrow and we have a road trip planned, it is a large adventure and one that is long overdue. But today I’m catching up on this blog, and following up on a number of other items, one being our nomad internet, a quick check shows that they received the hardware back on June 4th, but as of yet has not credited my account, the web site says 14 days and it now has been two weeks, but I will give it one more week. I just received a notification of an Amazon package at the local post office so I will pick it up, it should be the new drawer slide hardware so next weeks project is coming together. Lunch today was a roast beef sandwich, and after returning from the post office I’m enjoying a vodka and tonic in the Clam with Mr. Sam. I just tried the propane fire pit as it would not light when I moved it into the Clam, but it fired right up, I’m going to assume the sparker finally dried out, we don’t need the warmth today but I just wanted to try it, because it had worked flawlessly in Arizona but would not work a couple of weeks ago when I tried it.
Dinner tonight is going to be burgers we are making the transition from U.S. burgers to Canadian burgers, there is no noticeable difference, we just haven’t been able to go to Costco since getting on the island. And the second issue was that Costco Canada was using a MasterCard from Capital One, and our card was comprised when we first went to the States last fall, but because Capital One was being replaced by CIBC here in Canada, Capital One never even bothered getting us a new card so we went all winter without a Costco card. Capital One obviously has been an issue, for Costco to dump them and I must say their customer service has been none existent. And again I’m off on another tangent, and then I can’t understand why it takes me so long to write a blog … duh.
Thursday our “Road Trip” day, and it seems like a very long time since we were just able to go exploring, our trip today is to the west coast of the island, should be a scenic day with lots of precious views. We are going to get Laurie to the Pacific Ocean for the first time ever and me for the first time in more than forty years. I will include a link below to that blog if you have not yet read it.
We made it back to the coach to find a destrot Mr. Sam as we were hours past his dinner time, but a couple of hours before bed was a welcome break, as it is back to the grind tomorrow.
Friday and I’m back on a day shift, actually this is a special day, because we move to our “summer schedule” so from now to the foreseeable future both Laurie and myself have a schedule that will give us two days off together for the summer. Wednesday & Thursday and as a bonus I get every Tuesday off for the summer so I have a day shift on Fridays and work afternoons Saturday, Sunday & Monday so around 30 hours per week, and lots of daytime to work on my many projects. But on Fridays I’m responsible for opening the pool, which usually involves a vacuum, test the chemicals, and cleaning the skimmer socks, it eats up the best part of an hour so has to be started by eight o’clock to have the pool open by nine. After that there is an hour to kill before receiving the departure list for sites to be cleaned. Today I refuel my cart, top off the oil, it uses some oil, but is one of the quietest carts on the fleet, and I’m one of the only staff members that puts around the park at the 8 km/h (5mph) that is posted everywhere.
Todays departure sheet has only four sites, three are marked as priority, and the only one not priority is empty so I start there, then the manager call and asks for a site to be done first, and I’m half way through that site when my supervisor calls and says some one is waiting for another priority site. So in my most tactful voice I ask over the two way which one is the the real priority, knowing it ends up being manager against supervisor, then the response from my supervisor is that they are both high priority, as I know he is in the Managers office. Oh well, I just continue doing what I’m doing in a timely manner, but never even responded to the last comment, because what I wanted to say if they are both so important get off your ass and do the other one yourself! But I didn’t say a word, Miss Laurie later congratulated me on biting my tongue, but I explained it wasn’t worth even responding to.
My afternoon was a little bit lazy, as I had expected some sort of an apology from my supervisor, but as none came, I just figured, I would work equal to that level of respect, so I wasted over an hour staining four boards, for a project on the rental trailer. After that I went and helped Bruce level some newly expanded tent sites, in between backing a trailer into a site for a lady, and checking a full septic tank and calling for a septic truck that most likely won’t show up till Monday. And that was how I filled my afternoon. Landing back at the coach by four for a cocktail, before barbecuing some sausage and watching the local news followed by some mindless television.
Saturday and I’m on the afternoon shift, Miss Laurie is in the store this morning so I’m working on a blog before heading to Duncan to pick up a few items for the drawer repair. The supports for the drawer were made up of 19mm (3/4”) plywood, screwed together, which meant the weight of the drawer was held by literally two screws, should have been four, but obviously some one got lazy twenty four years ago and only installed two. But the location will allow me to support the drawer on the subfloor, eliminating the need for four screws to support the heavy drawer. So here I’m in a Home Depot on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and I had hoped to find a fir board to make the support, none available, the selection of pine boards was just sad, so I ended up buy a laminated board that was from Romania, I’m here in our lumber province buying a board from Romania, what’s wrong with this!
I have made the initial cuts, and now just need to trim the boards to fit, the weight of the drawer will now be on the subfloor, and the metal brackets just hold everything square, now to mount the drawer slide and road test the operation. It’s lunch time so I’m making a roast beef sandwich, along with a large vodka and tonic for a lunch break in the Clam with Mr. Sam. After lunch the drawer is in and operating, I need to secure the new boards in place, but it is working better already, and I get cleaned up just in time to head out the door for my afternoon shift.
This afternoon shift started as most with a few little projects, then the firewood run, being nicer weather I sold more firewood, restocked the wood shed and reloaded the truck, and by then it was time for my dinner break. The time for closing the pool has been moved back to nine o’clock, which really makes no difference to me, but it means the clubhouse doesn’t get closed by nine as well. For a beautiful warm weekend everyone seems well behaved, and with no issues I’m headed to the coach by eleven o’clock to sit and relax before turning in.
Well another week in the books, the park has gone less than a week with no rain and already some areas have turned into a dust bowl, apparently we are the only park in the Holiday Trails RV Resort system that does not have paved roads, The way the water lines break that may be a good issue, but for dust control it does not help at all, I understand that they spray the roads with water when it gets too dusty, so from dust to mud in one easy step, maybe they have never heard of calcium for dust control. Oh well that would be a management call, way beyond my control, have a great week.
Look at that, it’s only six months till Christmas!