August 28th – September 3rd, 2022
Sunday morning and it is a few minutes to seven in the morning, I just crawled into bed sometime after midnight, and other than a bunch of drunks on the mini golf course near closing time, the evening had just been the usual, with a performances by the “weekend warriors”, the public workers union strike has not yet effected the beer sales, just wine and spirits. Nice timing with the last long weekend of the summer coming up this weekend. Miss Laurie and Mister Sam were already up, and I just wanted to see Laurie before she headed out for her Sunday shift in the camp store. A bowl of cereal, and a cup of coffee and I decided to stay up and work on getting the toad prepared for our trek south, so I worked till lunch time on the new tow system then after a hotdog Mister Sam and I finished off last week’s blog, while enjoying some Clam time.
I keep thinking that an afternoon nap would be a good thing but there is always too much noise from the mini golf course, as Thunder sits parallel with holes 3 & 4 and with hole three being reasonably short and straight it seems to allow a lot of hole in one’s, which is cause loud shouting and cheering, so the whole nap thing just isn’t working out well for me. Another afternoon shift today so Miss Laurie will finish her shift as I’m preparing for mine, at least we will hopefully have a half hour for dinner at seven, so as I wait to start my shift I figured I should start this weeks blog. September the first on this Thursday, and we are counting down till our departure as September in the park is a transition month as the start of the winter resident’s will start entering the park.
Well tonight’s shift was reasonably quiet, with near 20% of the sites empty, most of the warriors are back at work, and other than a small gaggle of unruly kids from just one site, it would have been a perfect afternoon shift, but I had to stop at a site and suggest that the guardian of the gaggle should possibly gather up the children and take some control. I know you all must be struggling to imagine me trying to be politically correct in asking a parent to actually play the role of a parent, and control her offspring but I think I pulled it off and convincingly sold it. The rest of my evening was spent crawling under the hood of the parks dump truck to tune up a big block Ford, I only got it half done, this old fart can only take so much bending and reaching anymore, but I did the toughest side first, any one who has worked on a Ford V8 knows that the spark plugs on the left bank are the toughest to change, so I saver the right bank of cylinders for tomorrow night, so with a little painting of picnic table boards I finished off my shift. I was able to get back to the coach near eleven o’clock and sat and listened to an audiobook till midnight just to make sure there were no issues.
Monday and I didn’t get up till eight o’clock, the coffee was ready and I poured a cup before sliding into the recliner, and before my first sip Miss Laurie got a phone call from the manager, she is needed in the store this morning to cover another employees shift. She grabbed some toast and headed out the door, as she said, it is not a big hardship, because it saved her an afternoon in the office which is her worst shift of the week. It was a cool night with the temperature dropping to 12C (54F) the sun is shinning as I’m catching up on the news and the forecast high today is 27C (80F) and now they have added an 80% chance of rain at ten o’clock. I’m thinking that the weather swings here on the island are almost as crazy as in Arizona during the winter months.
So today is my Friday, one last afternoon shift before my three day weekend, my hope is to finish off the new air controlled brake system in the toad today, it will require removing the drivers seat to mount a pivot point for the activating cylinder, as well as the air line connector, and hopefully, testing of the operation of the brake, later today or at worst tomorrow. I presently have the toad connected to the coach already to confirm all the new connections, I have checked the lights, the ease of connecting the new tow bar, the air line connection and so far every thing seems good, my hope is that the tow height will be good but I will have to start Thunder to fill the air bags to confirm this.
With my chef already on her shift I was left on my own for breakfast, and my go to breakfast is a simple toasted Western sandwich, this morning it was on sourdough bread, if I’m living on the wild side I will make it an Eastern by adding a slice of cheese, but the cheese here on the island is just ok, we are still looking for one that we would miss when we leave. It’s now ten o’clock and as it clouds over I thinking it is time to go to work, because I have found the sooner I start these projects the sooner they are completed.
Well today didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, but with any luck I will finish this project up tomorrow, some days everything just works while other days everything I touch, just turns to poo poo. And today was that day, but I think I have got everything back on track, and should be able to complete the install and test the new system tomorrow, the issues today had nothing to do with the new brake and tow system, no just another item overlooked by a high priced repair shop earlier this year.
My afternoon shift went reasonably well, I just had one group of kids that their guardian was too stoned to understand there was a problem, and they proved to be a pain in the butt, until near eleven when they finally went back to their site. So my shift consisted of finishing the tune up on the dump truck and rebuilding a picnic table, so my night should have been real easy. Oh I almost forgot I had to spray a wasp nest at the end of my shift, not a big deal, especially for me as our site is at the opposite end of the park. I am looking forward to a few days off before the last blast of the summer this weekend.
Tuesday and it was nearly eight o’clock before I ventured out of my warm bed, the sunshine is warming the day nicely, after a cool evening. Miss Laurie treated us with an omelet made with some hatch chilies, a reminder of our winter to come, and at nine o’clock I’m pecking away on the blog enjoying a cup of coffee. The news here on the west coast is full of crazy stories, like the tugboat strike that is causing nightmares in the cruise industry, British Columbia has tried to become a stopping destination for the cruise ships on their way to Alaska, and many of the downtown businesses have enjoyed the windfall of this, but now the tugboat operators are holding up cruise ship departures, by up to a day. I mean what could possibly go wrong with that plan? Then add the public service union, holding all the restaurants hostage in their liquor restrictions, and both of these actions on the footsteps of the COVID lock down that have caused havoc to the tourist industry here.
Miss Laurie has her shift in the office today and I’m hoping for a good day catch up around the coach, finishing off a couple of projects, as we are now under the thirty day mark till our departure. The day came together much better than the day before and I’m pleased to say we are ready to tow the toad to Mexico, now I need to install a new driveshaft in the toad. We have been noticing a vibration, when driving on the highway, that comes and goes, at any speed above 80 kmph (50 mph), and on inspection I found the hanger bearing on the driveshaft was failing. Of course the engineers at Ford decided that this shaft should be unserviceable, meaning that rather than being able to disassemble the shaft and replace a $15 bearing, the whole drive shaft has to be replaced, I tried to find a used driveshaft but soon learned that was not going to happen, so I have a new driveshaft being shipped from Ontario, and should be here next week, and I will install it on a day off.
After Miss Laurie’s shift we settled into the coach for a quiet night catching up on some YouTube videos, the island and the lower mainland are caught up in a excessive heat dome, but the evenings have been cooling off nicely making it good for sleeping with the windows open because of a cooling breeze coming in off of the water.
Wednesday and Miss Laurie and I are both off shift today, we have no adventures planned this week as it is the last week before the long weekend and we suspect most places will be too busy to enjoy. After an omelet for breakfast, Miss Laurie went to Duncan for this weeks groceries, and she found many shelves empty, there was virtually no meat to choose from, and many normal shelf item were gone. Luckily we did not need a lot so we were able to get us through till our Costco run next week, on the good news for some and bad news for me front, the public workers have gone back to work, so everyone can buy their booze and pot again, bad news for me because the weekend warriors will be drunk and high for the labour day weekend … oh yea.
I’m going to spend the day, cleaning up and organizing some of my stuff, I have a selection of hardware items that have helped me out dozens of times, but it needs some organizing, and today is going to be that day, so I set up a makeshift work area and have purged and sorted six trays of stuff. It is turning into a hot afternoon here on the island as much of British Columbia is setting new high temperatures, and we usually have enough of a breeze to get us through the heat of the day, but today that breeze is missing and we will end up running the coach air conditioner for a couple of hours to drop the temperature.
Just to keep me confused Miss Laurie has planned burgers for tonight’s dinner, I certainly like a good burger, but it used to be a Friday night thing, so I barbequed the burgers before settling into an evening of catching up on The Curse of Oak Island, before calling it a night.
Thursday and breakfast this morning was a toasted bacon and tomato sandwich, and similar to yesterday I’m going to work at starting to pack up our camp site, putting away some of the bird feeders, and getting the items prepared to get loaded into the toad ready. I think I’m feeling pretty good about the progress and will direct my attention to the basement this afternoon. I have an item at the post office to pickup but we are waiting for a second package to arrive, it is scheduled for this afternoon so I will put off that task till later. In the mean time I ran our time sheets to the office for our pay week, and have just settled into the Clam for a cold beverage and possibly a wee afternoon nap or at least a rest.
Because today is the first day of September I have just re-published our updated August windshield review, honestly not a lot happened in 2022 so it was not a major update, but I’m now working on September’s updates as it will be more changes as we start traveling again. Again it is a very warm afternoon, but the breeze is back so it is a very comfortable evening on the Island, only it is too noisy on the mini golf to have the windows open and watch the television, but at least the mini golf shuts down by eight o’clock so we can open the windows again before we turn in for the night.
Friday and Miss Laurie and I both have day shifts today, this is the labour day long weekend and the park is going to be full, with lots of long weekend events, movie night tonight, and additional things planned over the whole weekend, should be fun for some people. But this morning we start off with a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee before both heading out the door by eight, Laurie is wanting to get most of the plants watered before the heat really starts. So I start with opening the clubhouse then off to vacuum the pool. After the pool is open Bruce and I have to move a skid of chlorine to the pool chemical room. The chlorine for the pool is purchased in 205 liter (55 US gallon) drums and there are four per skid, so we used the tractor to move two drums at a time to the pool room. heavy enough work that it make my sweatshirt is now seeming like overkill pretty quick.
Then I’m on to the departure list, to clean sites as there are over seventy campers to check in today, the next item on todays to-do list is picking up pine cones between lots 21 and M, seriously I just can’t make this stuff up, so immediately after my lunch I spent an hour picking up pinecones off of the road. I have got to the stage that things do not have to make sense, I just do as instructed no matter how crazy it seems. After the pinecones we taken care of I spent the rest of the afternoon on dust control, which consists of driving the old dump truck with two containers full of water slowly around the park while dumping water onto the roads and after a couple of passes it is enough to keep the dust down for a day or so, again not my position to suggest more permanent solutions, I’m just doing as instructed. I finish up shortly after four Miss Laurie was done at three and we settle into the coach for a badly needed cocktail.
So dinner tonight was fish, Miss Laurie prepared some frozen fish fillets in the Ninja, and it turned out well, as we caught up on the local and national news The night picked up with enough noise from the park that we needed to close the windows of the coach as we watched the last couple of episodes of Oak Island, before calling it a night.
Saturday and I was awake at 6:30, it has the makings of a great day, it had cooled off nicely overnight and as I’m pecking away on the keyboard the sun is warming the coach, Miss Laurie is off to a shift at the camp store, she is filling in someone’s shift today, as usually she spends Saturday working in the gardens and with all the water restrictions right now there are lots of things that need to be hand watered. A pot of fresh perked coffee, and a toasted bacon & tomato sandwich has my day off to a great start, we seem to have moved past the heat dome that was setting high temperature records through out the lower mainland, and are now cooling down with the forecast high today being 24C (75F) and we even have rain in Sundays forecast and it could be a wet day for the weekend warriors but we surly need the rain, as we have not had any measurable amount for a couple of months.
My expectations are that I could be a bit of a crazy night ahead for me tonight, there is a Beatle’s tribute band coming to the park tonight put on a show from 8 to 10, then they will get everyone wound up so I can spend my night trying to calm them back down. And of course the management will wonder what the problem is, having events, that’s a great idea, but if you have a quiet time set at ten o’clock, you either have to make exceptions or you plan these events for afternoon hours. But again decisions like that are made way above my pay grade, I suspect that I will just respond to complaints tonight as it is the last long weekend of the summer, I will let you know how that works out for me … jus’saying.
Miss Laurie’s shift ends at 3:30 and mine starts at 4:00 so we just have moments to see each other, I took a quick trip around the park earlier this afternoon and I was surprised to see empty sites, a few people have pulled into day but it is not as full as I expected it to be, I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, only time will tell, I have picked up a number of things in anticipation of the rain that we are suppose to get early tomorrow.
Well the night was busy, with a wiener roast from 5 – 7 then the Beatles tribute band from 8 – 10, I helped move tables for the wiener roast and then helped move gear for the band as well as got the electrical power supply connected, and when it was over help tear down the gear as well. But it was a surprising quiet evening for a holiday weekend, it was certainly a lot quieter than I was expecting. Oh I had the regular kids on the play ground equipment after dark, but that is just another sign of today’s bad parenting, and the “the time out” generation as opposed to the “get you butt beaten” generation that I grew up in. I patrolled until midnight, but there were very few party groups out tonight, at midnight I pulled the plug and headed to the coach.
Fall is only 18 days away!