Sunday, July 6, 2014

2014-17 Lebanon Tennessee (Continued)


Lebanon Tennessee (continued)

This is a real rambling type report, so hang in there, there might be something of interest somewhere in there for you.

TIP for Visiting Nashville:

Anyone wanting to visit Nashville should consider staying in the Lebanon area, like the campground I’m at at Cedars of Lebanon State park.  Why.  Because there is a commuter train from Lebanon to Nashville which makes for an easy way to get into the city.  $5 if you get your ticket at the train station or $2 if you pick up a ticket at the Chamber of Commerce.  Once in the city, they have a special trolley/bus that takes a specific route around the city and it’s free.

What was that?  What’s all that noise.  What time is it?  6:00 am!  Beep, Beep, BEEP, BEEP….. Ah that’s my neighbor backing up his big 350 dually truck and hooking up.  I guess it’s time to get up.  More noise over the next half hour.  Why’s he got one side of the camper lifted up and why is he under it?  Then two tires come off and a short while later a welding truck pulls up.

Our excitement of the day has started.  The guys camper is about 14 years old and looks every bit of that.  The truck has a torn up fender over the dually tires and the tailgate has been dented in.  Come to find out he bought the camper used and one of the brackets holding the springs/axle onto the frame was previously welded back on, but a poor job was done.  Meaning the camper had already gone through some hard times.  The welder installed a new bracket and welded it on properly.  Job done.

Interesting talking to a self employed welder.  Expensive to own your own business.  Some of his costs include paying taxes on all of his equipment yearly.  Insurance on his truck with liability is $10,000 a year.  Health insurance for his wife and himself is $1,500 a month. What does it include, hardly anything.  His wife recently went in for a colonoscopy and the bill was $1,700.  He had to pay $1,500 of that.  It cost him $300 just to open up for business each day and he hasn’t even started work.  If someone uses a credit card to pay, the credit card company takes between 2% and 3% off the top.  He doesn’t accept credit cards.  Says it’s all plain and simple communism.  Where’s the democracy in it?  Cost for his welding this morning:  $75.00 Sounds like a bargain to me.  Nice guy, trying to live the American dream.

Of course I haven’t even told you about the roofing crew that had just gotten started on the campground office (2 sites over from my campsite) when I arrived.  Got to watch them remove the old shingles and install a new metal roof on a steeply pitched roof,  guaranteed for at least 40 years.  Nice crew.  Enjoyed talking to them and watching them work together and install a beautiful brown metal roof.  Took three days in-between a few showers.  Almost made me want to get to work…. Nah.

Since I don’t have any tv or internet access for a week, I’m filling up my time with a bit of reading.  Here are a few of the books I’ve been reading:
  • Agnes and the Hitman… a recipe for disaster, Jennifer Cruise and Bob Mayer
  • An Optimist's Tour of the Future, Mark Stevenson
  • Shatner Rules, your guide to understanding the Shatnerverse and the world at large, William Shatner with Chris Regan
  • Pursuit and Persuasion, Sally Wright
  • The Murder at Sissingham Hall, Clara Benson

Update on RV repairs.  Dunlap called and said they ordered the parts and would call when they arrived.  I informed them I’d already attempted to change out the tv signal booster and it didn’t work… looks like we’re back to square one.

Well, Wes the repair manager (age 25) but looks about 20 called me around 8 pm last evening to let me know the parts came in and would I bring my camper over so they could try and fix it.  Now when was the last time a repair guy called you after closing time?  Packed up and drove over to Dunlap the next morning and ended up telling my repair story to about 4 technicians, Wes was on a parts run and no one knew where the parts were.  Took them 6 hours, but the tv booster and antenna are now functioning properly.  What was the problem.  A wire leading to the Jack TV antenna had been severed.  I must admit I did not have much faith in their ability to fix the problem, but I ended up with the oldest tech guy in his 40’s (can we say experience) and he didn’t give up until he found the problem.  With lots of encouragement from me along the way.  So I’m back at the campground with a functioning tv which I have turned off.  Why.  Well, I realized I didn’t miss the reruns, didn’t miss the news all that much except for the weather reports and I always mute the commercials of which there are so many I loose count. And if I miss a few episodes of the Wheel of Fortune, I don’t think they’ll really notice.

finally had to take the antenna apart to find the broken cable connection

Back here in the campground, the day before the 4th of July, the campers are rolling in by evening time and the campground is now full.  Oh and a shout out to my sister Dorothy who’s birthday is today.  I always tease her that I’m one year younger than her, but we’re all getting up there in age so the argument keeps getting weaker each year.

I love watching all the campers as they park their rigs.  Some with no effort at all, others driving numerous times around the various camping loops looking for their campsite.  Don’t they ever look at the campground map?  The ones that pull into a site and to my eyes it looks like they’re right where they should be.  So why to they back up and pull forward a half a dozen times I’ll never know.  One guy with a travel trailer that has one slide kept edging over to one side of the campsite, even folding in his rearview mirror and heading right for a tree and the picnic table trying to get as far to one side as possible.  Waving his arms frantically telling the neighbors that he had a big slide out.  Well you know he had more than enough room once that (average size) slide out opened up.  He’ll learn soon enough.  My next door neighbor pulled in with his trailer, disconnected, put down the stabilizer bars and didn’t even attempt to level the camper.  It’s pretty tipsy to one side, like a drunken sailor on a schooner.  He’ll learn after everything slides off the kitchen counter over the next couple of days.

For being so full, it’s surprisingly quiet this evening but with the 4th of July tomorrow and all the great activities in store, I’m sure I’ll be able to report more goings on.

July 4th and the 1st activity was for the kids.  They got to decorate their bikes for a parade with all the supplies being provided by the park.  Brought back memories of when I decorated my bike and was in a 4th of July parade in Houghton, back when I was around 10 years old.  They all did a great job and it was a good activity that involved the parents and kids together.  They then paraded through all three camping loops with a police escort car blaring it’s siren every now and then.   Watermelon eating contest and water balloon toss comes next.

a real winner here

ohhhh kay

easily a second place winner

look at that face

what a cutie

Here’s a real odd note, as a camper trailer was being towed to it’s campsite today, two kids ages around 10 and 13 were sitting on the back bumper of the trailer dragging their feet along the paved road.  The girl was texting on her cell phone the entire time until they stopped at the campsite.  You would have thought she was sitting in her living room as casual as she was about the whole thing.

Of course that was nothing compared to the heavy set guy that was standing between a truck and camper trailer.  He had one foot on the trailer hitch and one foot on the rear bumper of the truck and holding on to the tailgate with one hand, looking like the proud captain of a ship as his brother towed the camper to a new site in the park.  Did I think it was safe?  Well, let’s just say the word “idiot” came to mind.  One bump or slip of a foot and someone would have had a broken leg.  I’m sure he was holding on securely, but it just didn’t look all that safe to me.

I was invited to this 4th of July picnic

our wagon ride through the park

our tow vehicle going through Cedar of Lebanon Park

Time to get back to enjoying a good book and relaxing under the shade of those red cedar trees.  With recent temps in the mid 70’s and low 80’s and low humidity it’s been a real treat compared to a week previous of 90 degree temps.

The week ended with Saturdays 6 hours of live music in the park and a party over at Marc and Glenda‘s.  They are camp hosts here and are friends to everyone.  I was invited along with all of the Park Rangers and workers, friends and fellow campers.  Venison burgers, hot dogs and all the fixings were served.  Just about anything you’d care to drink was offered.  To top of the evening one of the Rangers had the wagon come by and give all us party revelers a ride around the park.  You can’t ask for better than that.

PICASA photos

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