Sunday July 10th to Saturday July 16th 2022
Sunday morning and after a damn short night, Mr. Sam is snoring beside me in bed, Miss Laurie was just finishing some peanut butter toast as she prepares to open the camp store at 9:00 this morning. Today is the pancake breakfast, and the more I think about it, I’m thinking what a stupid day to have the pancake breakfast, with most of the weekend warriors leaving today by 11:00, so why wouldn’t you have planned the pancake breakfast on say a Saturday morning, instead of on the biggest check-out day? Just one more example of the lack of a real rudder on this ship, now that is obviously just my opinion, as the official pion on the maintenance team, and having no control at all of the ships wheel.
I had to finish off last weeks blog while it was still fresh in my mind, and as I sat typing on the keyboard and often I would catch myself shaking my head about last nights events, then realizing that our departure is only 92 days away, but seeing that we have only been here 58 days, and it is starting to seem like a lifetime already.
So as we were closing in on noon, I’m thinking Mr. Sam and I need to head to the Clam, for a few hours of bird watching, and maybe I will barbecue a hotdog for lunch. Mr. Sam and I did spend most of the afternoon in the Clam, and I did have my hotdog for lunch, with a fresh sesame seed bun, and a few salt & vinegar potato chips. I’m still on the afternoon shift, so I’m preparing for my shift about the same time that Miss Laurie was returning from her shift in the camp store. So I’m off to see what this afternoon’s priority is, and it is a beauty, today I have the task of reworking the parks blue bin dumper. So you may be asking yourself what the hell is a blue bin dumper? And it would be a legitimate question, so here in British Columbia recycling has been taken to a whole new level, with deposits being charged on almost every container. It is such a big deal, that the campground pays people to sort all the items placed in the blue bins.
So let me try to explain, the park has six locations that have big blue recycling bins on wheels, and at least twice a week they are dragged back to the work yard to be emptied and sorted. The bins are large and difficult to maneuver, and rather than having to reach down into the bin to pick the bottles and cans out they wanted to be able to pick them up and dump them. So the maintenance department built a blue bin dumper, it is certainly not a pretty device but it did work, using a trailer stabilizer jack to power the device to raise the blue bin. The stabilizer jack is referred to as a scissor style jack, and they used a battery powered drill to turn the screw to operate the jack, it worked but when it came to the end of it’s travel it would jerk hard on the drill, hurting the operator using it. So it was decided to come up with a better method of powering this device.
They had found a battery operated push cylinder that I was picked to replace the original scissor jack, it needed to be mounded onto the wood structure, in a manner to allow it to get the maximum travel with the most force possible. I calculated the bin full would weigh near 90 kilograms (200 lbs.), so after some fabrication design, I had the bracket clamped together to test operation and confirm the operation, then off to weld it all together, its been a lot of years since I had sparked up an arc welder, but it all seemed to come flooding back, and it turned out pretty damn good if I say so myself. Next some additions to the wood structure to hold the battery, and a method to keep the battery charged, and of course a switch to control the up and down operation.
Monday morning and I rolled out of bed around 7am, Mr. Sam was napping or Laurie’s vacated spot, and Miss Laurie had coffee perking as I passed through the galley. Laurie was on the love seat with the sunshine streaming through the window, yes we had morning sunshine, we have not seen a lot of that. Miss Laurie is working today, some gardening time as well as time in the office today, bacon and eggs for breakfast and later Mr. Sam and I were headed to the Clam, some bird watching for Mr. Sam and some more audiobook for me, I’m now well into the third book of the Harry Potter series, it is not anywhere near my normal book choices, but it has been popping up on my reading app for some time, and I have finally accepted the suggestion, and now a week later I’m well into the third novel and have the next two downloaded already. it certainly has been good entertaining reading.
Tuesday morning and it was after eight o’clock before I slipped out from between the sheets, Mr. Sam was on the night stand looking out the bedroom window, I suspect he was watching the local bunny that spends most of his time in the mini-putt, Miss Laurie was starting the stove to perk this mornings coffee. Again sunshine was streaming through the windows a very welcome change from all the overcast days that we have endured since our arrival, I’m off shift today, while Miss Laurie is heading to the office to spend a day trying to nicely explain that the campground is booked until after the labour day weekend.
Today although I’m not on shift, I’m going to the shop to complete the wiring of the switch on the blue bin dumper, so that it can be taken back to the maintenance yard, and by now all the full blue bins are full, so just a coupe of hours and the switch is wired in and we have the dumper is back in operation, and I’m back in the Clam with Mr. Sam, enjoying another warm day on the island. The rest of my day off was a lazy, laid back kind of day, a little more Harry Potter, maybe even a little nap, a couple of adult beverages, and just a relaxing day enjoying some long awaited warmth.
Wednesday and although I should be off today, I’m working a day shift for Cortney, as she has friends visiting from Alberta, and Miss Laurie is covering numerous shifts this week as it seems most of the park staff is either sick or trying to take some holidays. Now maybe it’s just our work ethic, but when you’re hired to work for the summer, taking a week off during the busiest time, just seems wrong. So now with an illness making it’s way through some of the staff, there are some severe staff shortages, so we seem to be left picking up the pieces. It all comes back to what is the priorities of the day, and although I was expecting to be trimming in the mini-golf, Miss Cortney had completed that task yesterday (maybe she didn’t trust me), but there were a good number of departures today, and there is always week wacking to be done, so filling the day was not a difficult task.
Thursday and we are up early today, as today is Mr. Sam’s surgery day, and we need to have him at the vet clinic by 8:30 and while we are only 45 minutes away, there are multiple traffic lights which bring traffic from highway speed to a full stop adding a lot of extra travel time, but this morning it was clear sailing so we landed at the clinic early, but that was far better than being late. After dropping off Mr. Sam we headed to a grocery store to pick-up this weeks supplies, before heading back to the coach to wait for a phone call.
Now we are still on the Rogers network, and of course they have always been very unreliable and actually brought Canada’s commerce to a standstill last week, and we are still experiencing glitches over and above our normal regular poor service, so for some reason we missed multiple call from the vet clinic, but we did finally realize what was happening and are now up to date on Mr. Sam’s progress. Miss Laurie has a shift in the store this afternoon so I will be in charge of rescuing Mr. Sam, and after his dental surgery I’m sure he will be in rough shape. At around 2:00 I headed back to Nanaimo and the Costco, and then I will wait for the call for Mr. Sam’s release from the clinic. The call came that I could pick up Mr. Sam between 4:30 and 5:30 so I was there at 4:30, and by the time I had settled the bill, and talked to the vet, we hit the road home by 5:00 and ended up in a traffic jam, who knew that could happen on Vancouver Island.
Landing back at the coach, with my drugged up kitty, there was a mixed bag of emotions, as he left the carrier he was staggering around like a drunken sailor, a funny but also such a sad view, so I had to capture him onto my lap to just keep him quiet and still, for a time until he was able to get past the effects of the drugs. Anyone who has met Mr. Sam will know he is a very personable and a great cuddler and loves to curl up on almost any lap, well tonight he is swinging from napping, to waking up and trying to jump down but he has no depth perception, so my task is to just keep him comfortable and safe. When Miss Laurie finishes her shift, Mr. Sam is still struggling but seem content to curl up under the coach steering wheel, and is sleeping, it’s now as Laurie is going through the package from the vet that we find that the vet clinic has failed to send all the medications that the had prescribed and that we had paid for, doesn’t leave a real good feeling of confidence.
Friday morning and Mr. Sam is still struggling with his mobility, he is not yet eating, and I’m sure he must still be hurting, but he is sleeping, Miss Laurie and I are both working today, so he will be on his own for morning, I will be back to the coach for lunch around noon and I will check on him then. My day started at the swimming pool, this process takes nearly an hour to vacuum the pool and check chemicals, and do the pump maintenance, after that I’m back to shop to await the departure list, normally the Friday list is 5 to 10 departures, but today it’s near thirty, and all but three are priority, which means the site is rented out again today. Check out is eleven o’clock, and check in is noon, so we are very limited on the time allowed to complete the task, add to that the problem that the eleven o’clock check out was not previously enforced, now we have lots of people not checking out on time. And if that’s not a big enough problem they have also been letting people check in before the allotted time, so now you have people at the office waiting for a campsite that has not been vacated yet. Now to that add the problem with many people leaving messes in the vacated sites the problem becomes more obvious, now add to that that some these sites also need to have the grass trimmed or just regular maintenance and we are trying to work through problem that the management has created over previous years.
After the sites were all cleaned I headed to the coach for lunch, and I was excited to find that Mr. Sam had cleaned most of the food offerings off of his plate, I checked with Laurie and then got some more tuna out for what was a hungry kitty. Mr. Sam then curled up on my lap for the rest of my lunch break. By now the vet had called Laurie back to say that they had found the medication and they were real sorry. Being sorry really doesn’t cut it when it nearly a two hour round trip to pick them up, add the price of fuel as well as having worked all day, I wasn’t real pleasant when I landed back to the clinic to get Sam’s medication, but I took the opportunity to pick up some dinner, there is a group of fried chicken restaurants “Lee’s Fried Chicken” it a British Columbia thing, but I remember them from visits nearly fifty years ago. It was good but probably not as good as it could have been after the forty five minute drive back to the coach.
With Mr. Sam medicated we call it a night and head to bed, they have given him a couple of pills followed by a syringe of pain killer, we want to keep him as comfortable as possible, but we don’t want him totally knocked out by the medication either.
Saturday morning and Mr. Sam is acting so much better, his appetite is back, and he is wanting to cuddle again, I’m working the afternoon shift again, while Laurie is working the day shift so we will be with Mr. Sam all day. The rain is back and when I would normally be working on the blog I’m now just sitting with Mr. Sam on my lap, I have been listening to Harry Potter and I will catch up on the blog a some point, but right now it’s all about a kitty that picked us a number of years ago. As usual Laurie and I just kind of pass each other as she is coming home as I’m leaving for my shift, the evening was nicer as the rain has stopped, firewood sales were good, and the evening was over all very quiet evening. I was kept busy in the work shop, basically just painting, there are a number of different projects on the go, but I was picked to paint them all. So white, green and red paint were all on the go tonight, and I’m not really a painter, that is a task that normally I would defer to Miss Laurie. I made it back to the coach at eleven o’clock to find Mr. Sam all spaced out on medication, sitting in the middle of the coach staring at a heating grate, definably not acting him self, I’m thinking this medication is doing more harm than good.
Live life to it’s fullest but don’t be an idiot