Saturday, January 19, 2019

On The Road Again, Finally

Saturday: (01/19) We did the final preparation to roll and were on the road before 1000. We stopped for breakfast at the Longhouse Restaurant in Gilroy. What a difference a couple of days made. Beautiful clear skies and dry roads. I stopped for a nap in Greenfield. I prefer not to fight drowsiness. Lou and dawn looked around the few shops in the shopping center. We decided to try for a spot at Oceana State Park. We pulled in and there were two spots left and we picked a nice one by the lagoon. Great views. Must be a good park because all the rest of the campers seem to be part of a boy scout troop. Dinner at Pismo Fish and Chips. We always visit there when we are in the area and usually have our waiter Juan who remembers our usual order. Are we too predictable? We’ll be here a couple of days. We have an appointed for the Jeep to be looked at Monday. Much better service here and you don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment. I called Thursday for an appointment and they could have seen it Friday at Cole In San Luis Obispo. The earliest in our area was the 28th. Our Jeep engine start/stop feature has failed again. It is just because the computer thinks the battery isn’t charged enough. Last time they replaced the battery and it worked again. For some reason, they don’t do that as a first step. They had the Jeep for four days last time at San Jose when even I knew what was wrong when I left it. Even when we did get it back it didn’t work for a couple of days. Evidently the computer needs to learn the new battery. I guess our Jeep has a memory like mine.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Finishing Walkway

Saturday: (01/05) A rainy day. PBJ toast for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. We got a call from Courtney who needed a ride up to redwood City to pick up her new car, a Chevy Bolt. Wise decision. I drove her up. Dawn can along and she stopped at Kepler’s bookstore for a short look before we came home. Lou made stew for dinner and Courtney joined us for dinner.

Sunday: (01/06) I made a quick trip to Safeway for some of my ciabatta bread. Lou made sausage gravy which we put over torn up bread. Nice breakfast. I headed off North to shop at REI, a new Sports Basement store, Home depot, and others. I caught lunch at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. I made it home a little after 1430. I wanted to check the water status. We are having a good rain storm today. I ended up napping until Lou and Dawn returned from their outing shopping in Mountain View. They had lunch at Chili’s. Just after dark I was unloading some of Lou and Dawn’s shopping treasures from the Jeep and got to see our sump pump do a discharge. It makes me feel more comfortable knowing it’s still running after I messed around in the electrical box. I had managed to break a wall wart for one of the TV amplifiers and ended up installing a plug strip for the pump and TV amplifiers to eliminate a problem with the door hitting the plugs. I had leftover refried beans for dinner.

Monday: (01/07) No rain today. I went outside and set the levels for the next section of bricks to be laid. I had to chip off some of the edge wall to allow a good mortar thickness. Also had to remove a short brick where a full brick will go and trim some grout from the edge of another. I then did some leveling of the baserock inside the wall. As i was finishing up my alarm went off for the ATT technician to arrive for the fiber Internet installation. The window was from 1100-1300. I watched TV and had lunch as I waited in the house for the tech. At 1330 I called Sonic to see about the missed appointment. ATT does the actual install for Sonic. I also mentioned that I hadn’t yet received the modem which was to have shipped 01/02. It has yet to be shipped. Hopefully it is shipped and an installation can be completed before we leave on our trip. I got back out later and installed some of the edge bricks.  Granola for breakfast. Wiener and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftover stew for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/08) I made an early run to Lowe’ for mortar and sand. On the way back I picked up a breakfast burrito near Lowe’s at Lopez Taqueria.  breakfast. I installed the last of the edge bricks by the new garden area. I had some drizzle while working but it didn’t develop into rain. We had leftovers for lunch. We all went to see the movie “On The Basis Of Sex”. We learned that our closest theater, the one we thought was always the most expensive, actually has a Discount Tuesday with all movies at $5. Our calendar will now have a note on Tuesdays. We had salads for dinner

Wednesday: (01/09) Lou made ham and eggs for breakfast. I attended a webinar before heading outside. Almost a shame to waste part of a no rain day. I trimmed the corners of the edge and it started raining so it looks like a day inside. Lou made chili rellenos for dinner. I got an email from Sonic that said the ATT technician had been here and no one was home. The installation was on hold with the earliest appointment after 1/24. I called Sonic and told them to cancel the order. They still had not shipped my equipment and I wouldn’t be available for an installation that far off in January, or even any other time this coming year. They missed their chance. It pissed me off that the ATT technician lied because I was within 10 feet of the door during the entire appointment window and they had my phone number as well. I had high hopes for the fiber connection. Maybe in a year or so ATT will learn how to do it.

Thursday: (01/10) Granola and banana for breakfast. I worked outside laying more bricks in front of Dawn's shed. Getting the correct levels was fun because of changing grades due to Dawns shed being higher than Ernies and Lou’s. Lunch buffet at Round Table Pizza in downtown Palo Alto. On the way home I decided to pickup more sand. Since I was downtown I decided to get some at Home Depot. I try to shop at Lowe’s if possible because of the political bent of the owner. No need to support idiots.But Lowe’s further away than either of our closest Home Depot’s. They pissed me off even more that I already was. I loaded my 12 sacks of sand from under a nice price sign of 3.45/bag. I was charged 4.75/bag. Unfortunately I didn’t check until after it was paid for. I complained and had to go to the service/return counter to get it straightened out. Of course, the problem was then wrong product under the wrong sign. Now, in actuality I probably could have required they change the price to match the sign but I instead just returned everything and won’t be returning soon. Unfortunately, my Ryobi tools are only available at Home Depot stores other than from Amazon so it looks like Amazon will get more business. I’m getting more and more cranky in my old age. Lou and I went to dinner at Los Altos Taqueria.
Friday: (01/11) I went over to the neighbors to remove her bathroom sink for her to gai access to the wall for repair. Unfortunately, the hot water wouldn’t shut off so she decide to repair the wall with the sink in place. I them made breakfast and watched TV until about 1030. Then I was outside installing bricks. I have the walkway in front of Ernie’s shed still to do as well as the patio area. I got rained out about 1500. I made chorizo hash and eggs for breakfast and also had it for lunch. Lou made fish with rice for dinner.
Saturday: (01/12) Leftover chorizo hash for breakfast. I got out really early at 0700. Since we are not allowed to make construction noise before 0800, I just moved a bunch of bricks inside the yard from the driveway pallet and did other setup until I could use the saw. I laid a bunch of bricks connection the rear walkway to the main walkway. This involved a lot of cutting to fit the angled bricks. I ended up a little after dark with only one row of bricks to install to have a walkway all the way into the yard. Because that is where I’m reversing the drain direction they will need angled cuts to bend to meet the two directions. I’m also using them to stretch the bricks an extra 2 inches by cutting to bricks into one angled brick. You’d have to see it to understand. A salad for lunch, BBQ ribs with baked potato and green beans for dinner.
Sunday: (01/13) PBJ toast for breakfast. I worked on the walkway fitting the transition bricks. The walkway changes drain direction at those bricks. I then finished the edge by Ernie’s shed. I also fitted the bricks by the drain inlets. And finally, I laid two more rows of bricks in from of Ernie’s shed. After that I cleaned up. We’re expecting rain this evening. We’ll be departing for an extended trip in a couple of days so i had to shut things down. The walkway is finished except for the patio/walkway under the front of Ernie’s trailer, the patio under Ernie’s temporary shed location and some grouting and plumbing for sprinklers and faucets.
Monday: (01/14) Dentist Day. Lou and I were off to the dentist, me for a cleaning and Lou for a checkup. After the dentist we stopped at the Country Inn for breakfast. Then some shopping on the way home. Lunch was dim sum from Dim Sum King. It’s raining today so I’m tinkering on the computer and packing to leave. Lou made stuffed green peppers with rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/15) Loading and sorting the RV. A rainy day. Leftovers for Breakfast and lunch and dinner from Super Taqueria. Wednesday: (01/16) Worked on loading the RV. It was mostly already done. It was raining really hard all day. I went shopping for a smaller printer for the RV and installed it in the RV. I had planned on having the RV priter behind the new front TV having built a cabinet for it there but it’s too difficult to access while printing so with the smaller printer I just stow it in a cabinet above the driver. I also went to the Campbell Home Depot to get a Ryobi 1 gallon battery powered air compressor and set it up. Granola for breakfast. Egg rolls for lunch. Meatloaf and baked potatoes with peas. Thursday: (01/17) I finished some details and stowing in the RV. A few things in the yard like spreading the new garden dirt, and securing my junk wook stack after it was rattled during the concrete work. The squirrels and the wind like to topple things. I also made a run to Harbor Freight to get and air hose and attachments for my new compressor. It’s a 3’ hose, just long enough and includes a snap on connector for the tire side. PBJ toast with a sausage for breakfast. Hamburger salad for lunch. Lou and i went out to dinner at IKEA while Dawn was off to a birthday party/dinner. Friday: (07/18) Breakfast from Happy Donut. Alex picked me up at 0900 and we then picked up Jessica and then headed off to Skyline Blvd to our hike to Alice’s Restaurant from Purisima OSP. We were a group of 16 and carpooled from Alices to the Bay Area Ridge Trail at Purisima OSP to start. It was a 9.3 mile hike. We finished at Alice’s Restaurant and had a late lunch. I was back home by 1600. Jessica lives in Portland and before that was one of our fellow hikers and leaders. In addition this was Jonathan, our hike leader’s, 500th hike he has led for the group. I don’t think I’ve even led 100. Dawn prepared dinner, zucchini with chicken and cheese.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Holiday Walkway

Wednesday: (12/26) I decided I needed to get a haircut and beard trim. My trimmer is in the RV at the repair shop. I’m always having to move it from the RV to the house and back so I decide to get another. I like the one I have but they don’t make one like it anymore. I found one close enough at Walmart an headed there first thing this morning. I had pie with a sausage for breakfast and later a couple of roast beef sliders before I headed outside to start work on laying the brick walkway. I mixed some mortar and laid a few bricks on the edge then leveled some sand behind those and laid more bricks. I set about 10 bricks on the edges and about 30 bricks on the sand. Then I noticed I had laid them without the alternate row stagger that the rest of the walkway has. So, I stopped for the day since i don’t want to disturb the wet mortared bricks. Tomorrow I’ll pickup and relay the bricks. I headed off to Lowe’s in Sunnyvale to get more mortar and sand. My little car hauled 12 bags home. On the way home I picked up dinner at Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale. I left all the bags in the car. I hand mixed small batches of the mortar today. Tomorrow I’ll use the electric cement mixer for mix a big batch and lay a bunch of bricks at once.

Thursday: (12/27) Granola for breakfast. I was back outside laying bricks. Actually, i started by picking up bricks to change the pattern. It actually went better than I expected because I didn’t have to lift all of them just the bricks in the rows that were incorrect. I made a tool out of a piece of brazing rod to hook one end of the brick then lifted each brick in the row up and replaced in the correct location into the slot between the two unmoved rows. After that I laid the rest of the bricks to the edge of the back door and then cut and fitted bricks by the edge of the house. The end result was the first ten feet of walkway is finished. I never got to grouting more bricks due to the late hour. I did lay down a bunch of bricks as a path to Ernies door so he can now not have to pickup all the little rock particles and track them into his trailer. We have the same benefit in that we can now enter the house via the back door from the driveway without tracking stuff into our house. Roast beef sliders for lunch. Macaroni and cheese for dinner. Lou and Dawn were out all day thrifting with Dawn’s friend Andrea. They all returned fo dinner and Andrea spent the night. Lou and I dashed over to Grocery Outlet to restock our cheese.





Friday: (12/28) I made a quick trip to Sprout’s market to get granola and some vegetables for a nice hash later. Granola for breakfast. I did some final checks and cleanup where my edge bricks need to be installed. I decided did needed to chip off some more to be sure to get at least ½ inch of grout. I decided to use my cement mixer for the grout. I miked the previous group by hand. Much easier with the mixer and it didn't stick to the mixer as bad as I expected. I ran out of mortar with three more bricks to install by the garden. It was just before 1500 when I finished. After a shower, I was off to lunch. Lunch/Dinner about 1530 at Lucky Chinese Bistro in Mountain View. After dinner, I stopped by Lowe’s in Sunnyvale to get more bags of mortar.

Saturday: (12/29) I made some chorizo hash and eggs for breakfast. When I got outside I laid more bricks to just past the washer. I will likely need to pickup and lower some that I laid toddau. They are too high when they arrive at the top edge. Lou made stuffed tomatoes for lunch. For dinner we went to Marie Callender's for Lou and Dawn’s prime rib dinner. On the way home i picked up more sand for tomorrow. Lou and Dawn did some shopping on their way home.



Sunday: (12/30) Leftover chorizo hash with eggs for breakfast. I lazed a bit watching the Sunday morning news shows. When I got outside ot work on the walkway i started by removing half of the bricks I laid yesterday to get to a point I could lower them so they arrive at the upper drain at the correct level. Getting them back in place correctly took more than half my work day. I them laid about 7 feet of bricks. It may look like something is finished if i have a good day tomorrow. Lou made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and spaghetti for dinner.



Monday: (12/31) Granola and banana for breakfast. I managed to relax inside past 1000 before going outside to work. I mixed some mortar and laid the last three edge bricks by the garden, I then placed more bricks on the sand completing most of the way to Ernie’s door. I have the final row and a half to lay. I ran out of sand . Since tomorrow is a holiday, I likely won’t be able to get more sand tomorrow so I may have to take the day off. I could trim som bricks for the last row if I can’t take the rest period. Leftover spaghetti for lunch and salmon with rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/01) I managed to pick up some of the bricks I placed yesterday and relay them at the proper level. I managed to complete all the bricks beside Ernie’s trailer.  Breakfast at A Good Morning restaurant. Tomales for lunch and dinner.

Wednesday: (01/02) I took a walk around Stanford University Arboretum, Up into Menlo Park and around downtown Palo Alto about 11.8 miles. I checked out the construction of several buildings and did some shopping. Nice to get a stretch, Breakfast/lunch at Safeway Market. Dawn’s soup for dinner.

Thursday: (01/03) I drove Lou to an appointment in the morning. We dropped Dawn off at the bookstore in San Jose and went to the appointment. On the way to the appointment we got  call from Leale’s saying the RV was ready. After the appointment I was dropped off at Leale’s and Lou and Dawn headed out shopping. I took the RV out on the highway including the terribly bumpy highway 85. It handled the road well even at 70 mph. It was scary before at 45. At home I pulled in the wires for the RV power pedestal. Breakfast was an piece of apple pie from Walmart. Lunch was a roast beef and cheese sandwich. Leftovers for dinner.



Friday: (01/04) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I connected the downspout by the water heater that I disconnected when I laid the bricks. I also put some things away that were in the yard. We expect rain tomorrow. I worked on the RV electrical service panel. I finished the panels installation and the hookup of power to it. I had to make a run to Lowe’s for some additional parts and stopped by Dim Sum King for lunch. I finished the installation about 1600. Dawn made sausage and kale soup for dinner. She and Lou made a run to Costco earlier to get some supplies.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Day

Tuesday: (12/25) Christmas breakfast with Ernie at  A Good Morning  restaurant. The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home. I tinkered on the computer. In the vain of communications improvement and consolidation, I moved my old cell phone from Total Wireless, which was good service with 15GB for $50/month, to my Verizon account. I set up the Verizon account when I bout a Jetpack MiFi modem last month. It provides unlimited, unthrottled data service for $65/month. It has worked well so I added the old phone to Verizon as a second unlimited device for $45/month. These are both prepaid devices. Prepaid is much cheaper than our old post paid account. No hidden fees, taxes, etc. Just a flat rate. It all continues to work well, I’ll be moving Lou and Dawn’s phones over as well. They currently post pay $163 for 10gb for one home, 3gb for the other and service for one tablet. I can move them to prepaid service on my account and pay only $115 for all three with unlimited as well. We had leftovers for dinner from our Thanksmas dinner the other day. After dinner we took a walk around the neighborhood.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Little Work, A Little Rain

Sunday: (12/23) I started my day by going by Courtney’s place and picking up an old futon frame. It has some nice dry wood that could be useful o I’ll disassemble it and stow the wood away.  Lou found some good looking garden soil at a neighbors driveway on a walk a couple of days ago. I stopped by and ask if I could have it and they said yes and there was more to come. They are removing an organic garden spot to put in a therapy course for their daughter. It is great looking soil I made several trips bringing 9 five gallon buckets each trip and backfilled the walkway by the garden. I also stockpiled some before the pile was gone. A neighbor across the street from the source was also hauling soil. Competition. On the last load, the wheel on my dumping cart fell apart. Good timing. After an afternoon nap, I took the wheel apart and welded the rim back together then reassembled the wheel. It’s out of alignment but may work for a while. Granola for breakfast. Chinese rice with wieners and cheese for lunch and dinner.


Monday: (12/24) We all went out shopping early then stopped for breakfast at A Good Morning  restaurant. It’s a rainy day today so no outside work, in fact no work for me. It’s not really hard to do nothing. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. A salad and some wieners for dinner. I received a letter from ATT asking if I wanted to signup for their fiber Internet service that they just started connecting in our neighborhood. No thanks. I am tired of ATT. That’s why I switched to Sonic for our DSL service. True it arrives at our house on ATT lines but it works much better and the billing is honest. Since ATT was offering fiber I thought that Sonic might be able to as well. They can. I scheduled an upgrade of our Sonic Internet service from DSL to fiber. It’s the same cost and at least five times as fast, theoretically. We seem to be struggling at about 8-10mbs. With the slowest fiber thay say it will deliver 50mbs. The monthly fee is identical and no installation charge so it’s a no brainer.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thankmas Dinner

Saturday: (12/22) Today is the day we are celebrating Thankmas. We had to defer our Thanksgiving dinner and decide to combine it with our Christmas dinner and call it Thankmas dinner. We had our neighbor Meili and friends Cecelia and Courtney over.  Granola for breakfast. We had an early Thankmas dinner about 1400. Too much was eaten by all. Not to be bothered by tradition, we also opened our presents as well. Now we have a clear holiday on the 25th.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Rainy Daze

Saturday: (12/15) I managed to relax all day. Even though it was a nice day, I never went outside. I rather liked today. Granola and banana for breakfast. Cheese burger for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Sunday: (12/16) We went out grocery shopping first thing today. Lou and dawn headed off just before lunch and had lunch at Chavez Market in Redwood City along with some shopping while I stayed home for lunch. More relaxing the rest of the day while we had  some showers. I made bacon flavored spam hash with eggs for breakfast. For lunch I made pancakes with peanut butter and jam and ice cream. Leftover artichoke chicken with rice and asparagus for dinner.

Monday: (12/17) Out chasing big waves today. We drove up to San Mateo for breakfast at Jack’s restaurant. We then continued up to Daly City to the end of John Daly Ave for a look out over the ocean to look at the waves. We stopped further up along ocean beach in San Francisco then explored the Cliff House and the waves there. This storm supposedly provided the biggest waves in several years at 40-50’ high. It was quite impressive. On the way back we visited many thrift stores. We stopped for an early dinner (late lunch) at Neal’s Restaurant in Millbrae.

Tuesday: (12/18) Lou and I made a shopping run to Home Depot in Sunnyvale. I returned three pallets an Lou got some screws. After lunch I started doing the final grading for the brick walkway in the backyard. Lou assembled a bunch of of parts drawers into a hobby cart.
Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Leftover spam hash for lunch. Dawn made soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (12/19) I worked a couple of hours on the walkway leveling before having to cleanup for lunch. After lunch, I didn’t feel well so i napped the rest of the day. Leftover spam hash for breakfast. Ernie took us all to Marie Callender's for lunch. Leftover soup for dinner.

Thursday: (12/20) I spent the day outside, in the fog, extending a conduit under Ernie’s trailer and trimming and leveling the walkway. I think I finished it to the end of Ernies shed pad, most o the way. We expect rain tonight and tomorrow so likely a day off for me tomorrow. Granola for breakfast. Chili for lunch. Meatloaf with baked spud and peas for dinner.

Friday: (12/21) Lou and I were off early to do our grocery shopping. Stops at Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Sprout’s completed the task. I picked up breakfast at the McDonald’s in Walmart. At home I relaxed since it was raining today and even when it wasn’t it was wet outside. No need to play in the mud today. Leftover meatloaf with air fried french fries for lunch. PBJ toast with wieners for dinner.