Friday, September 1, 2023

September 2023

Friday: (09/01) Granola for breakfast. I started work on the Van. I drilled all the holes that might be needed in the seat belt frame for the belt attachment and the cabinetry attachments. Then I painted the frame and let it dry in the sun. Back inside I worked on the tax return and managed to finish it and send it off. With that tax accomplished, I needed a reward. So we went to Bajis Restaurant in Mountain View where I had a nice salad for lunch. I drilled a piolet hole through the floor and it came out inside a box cross connect beam and was not accessible. I was afraid of that and thought I might just drill at an angle to avoid it but the floor is only 1.5 inches thick so that would not have moved me far enough. I considered some alternatives all of which seemed to involve a lot of work like removing the refrigerator again and also removing the batteries. The brilliance struck and I cut a hole in the side of the electrical cabinet to allow me to move the bolt hole 1.5 inches and provide enough clearance. In doing so I also improved the air intake flow to the heater which can now find its way directly from the electrical cabinet. It did require a longer bolt than I had purchased yesterday so I then made a run to Outdoor Supply Hardware for more bolts and stuff. Lots more that I need but a variety of sizes. I installed the frame and belts and reinstalled the heater cover and cabinet boards. All of them required a little trim here and there but it all fit back together with all the original storage spaces. I did have to cut the top of one side of the top drawer to allow it to clear the seat belt bolts. We had Dawn try it out and all is well not. Now we can head out for a little trip and I can maybe also make a fall run out to the zEastern Sierras. Chili beans with ramen noodles for dinner. The van is now functionally complete. Everything that is needed for three people to travel and camp for extended periods is ready. There are only little finishing touches left.

Saturday: (09/02) Some of Dawn’s rice donuts with honey for breakfast. I moved a lot of stuff out of the van to make room for Lou and Dawn to move in for a little trip. All went well with my plans until lou mentioned that she needs her electric scooter. That takes up half the storage in the garage and leaves some irregular other space. We all took a little shopping drie in the van. Dawn’s first time in the 3rd passenger seat. We stopped for lunch at Aqui’s Restaurant in Cupertino. We were looking for appropriately sized containers to utilize the remaining storage space. We finally decided some duffel bags will likely be best. Back home a nice nap helped. Dawn made some chicken celery soup with rice for dinner.

Sunday: (09/03) Granola and banana for breakfast. A typical slow Sunday morning. About 1100 I headed off in the van. I went to West Marine and bought a fan for the van with a credit that Lou had. I also stopped at REI to look around. I found some sun shirts like I have that were on sale and bought three of them. I then picked up a veggie burrito for lunch. I visited the Outdoor Supply Hardware store in Redwood City. They are even better stocked than the one in Sunnyvale which was unbelievably well supplied. Then I needed a nap for a while. Finally I visited Costco for a look around. I picked up a chicken bake there for dinner.

Monday: (09/04) I picked up a sausage, egg, and cheese English muffin at Happy Donuts as I walked over to Bol park to see the donkeys. I walked out Los Robles Avenue, came by the donkeys andwa;ked through Bol Park onto Hanover Street and onto the Stanford University Campus. After a quick visit to the restroom at the bookstore I enjoyed an Elephant Chia latte at Cupa Cafe. Then I walked over to the Cactus Garden. Still some flowers as well as lots of seed pods from previous flowering. Then on through the Stanford Shopping Mall to the Caltrain station to catch as bus home. 6.6 miles walked. Back home I had some of Dawn fresh baked pinto bean pecan pie as well as my leftover veggie burrito for lunch. Later, I went to the Sunnyvale Target Store, then the Cupertino Target Store looking for more stacking yard chairs. We picked up two yesterday and I found three more today. Most of our yard chairs have been in the sun too long and or had too many seatings of heavy people (me). Lou prepared chili topped baked potatoes for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/05) Granola for breakfast. I headed over to pete’s Palo Alto house to help him remove a fence. We removed the rear and side fences, posts and concrete post bases. We finished up much earlier than I expected at 1140. Pete brought our lunch of a roast beef sandwich and pear. After lunch I headed home. After a shower I relaxed for a while.I did cut a hole in the refrigerator cabinet to allow tying in the seat cushion and cut and beveled the toilet anchor knobs. Leftover chicken celery soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (09/06) We went to A Good Morning restaurant for breakfast. We were all bust packing and preparing to leave on out first three person outing in the van. Lots to fit in and lots tht would be going in the motorhome has to stay home when traveling in the van. We had thought we might be leaving later today but decided to just get ready and leave tomorrow morning. No lunch and leftovers for dinner.

Thursday: (09/07) We finalized our preparation to leave but didn’t get away until after 1000. We stopped at the cheapest gas station in the county on our way in Sunnyvale on our way to Gilroy. We stopped for breakfast at the Longhouse Restaurant there. Then on to Greenfield where I needed a nap while Lou and Dawn had some flan and did some shopping. We turned off Hwy 101 onto Jolon Road and past Lake San Antonio and Lake Nacimiento. Bothe lakes are county parks so we didn’t go in to look around since we wouldn’t have been staying there because it was over 80 degrees. We returned to Hwy 101 in Paso Robles then went down to a Von’s market in Atascadero where we picked up soup for Lou and Dawn dinner and I picked up some food at Panda Express. Then we headed West on Hwy 41 stopping about halfway to Morro Bay at the Cerro Alto Campground For the night.We enjoyed our neighbor’s campfire in the evening. This was our first night with three of us in the van.

Friday: (09/08) BLT sandwiches for breakfast by the neighbor’s campfire. We decided the current campground would be nice for a future visit but our neighbor is too chatty and we were headed to SLO anyway so we left camp about 1040. Note: the best campsites seem to be 18 and 19 that were currently closed due to tree maintenance being done. We head West on Hwy 41 to Morro Bay then up Hwy 1 to El Churro campground. We secured a campsite, #20, for three nights. After throwing our chairs out and installing a tablecloth, we head on down to Grover Beach. We stopped at Francisco's Country Kitchen for lunch. Lou and I shared a corned beef hash lunch and Dawn had a peanut butter cream pie. Then we visited several thrift stores as well as an RV supply store and a hardware store. I picked up a bullseye bubble level and a longer gray water hose. My gray water discharge is on the right side rather than the normal left side so I have to pass the hose under the van at a normal hookup campsite. We returned to camp about 1615 after being stuck in a traffic jam on Hwy 101 which carried on on all the side streets we tried. Ramen noodles with chicken for dinner. Interesting discovery while preparing dinner. I don’t have a can opener in the van, yet. On one of my nightly risings to pee I discovered the light on the toilet indicating it was full was on so we had to take a stroll to the restroom instead.

Saturday: (09/09) Granola for breakfast. In the morning I discovered the wood chips had possibly plugged the urine drain. Not sure if that is the only problem though. After Lou and Dawn took a shower with all our quarters, we headed off to Francisco's again for a BBQ lunch. Excellent. Then a little shopping visiting Walmart and the Dollar Store. We went by the last thrift store we visited yesterday and found our step stool still there in the gutter, not damaged and not taken. Then on the way home we stopped at a couple more thrift stores. Back at camp, we had leftover BBQ and some additions for dinner.

Sunday: (09/10) Lou prepared ham, eggs and leftover rice for breakfast. We relaxed at home in camp all day. Lou and Dawn relaxed in camp. I relaxed by taking a 6 mile hike up to Eagle Rock and a loop through the park and past a youth ranch and the community college and back to camp. After some real relaxation and cool down, I prepared grilled cheese sandwiches for our lunch. I took a shower in the afternoon. Lou and Dawn prepared tostados for dinner.

Monday: (09/11) Loou and I took a walk around the camp and up to the golf Course. Dawn relaxed in camp. Then we broke camp and left at about 1030. We stopped at the cafe at the golf course next door to the campground for breakfast. We then headed down to Oceana to the Oceana County Park and got a campsite for a couple of nights. We had an early dinner at Old Juan’s Cantina nearby.

Tuesday: (09/12) Lou and I took a walk to the beach. Leftovers for breakfast. Off to SLO to look at Tractor Supply and the Farm Store before another thrift store. Then we returned to Pismo Beach for a visit to Pismo Fish and Chips for a late lunch. relaxed the rest of the afternoon in camp. Dawn doesn’t feel well.

Wednesday: (09/13) Lou made tacos for breakfast. We slowly prepared to roll departing about 1030. We stopped for gas in SLO and at thrift stores in Atascadero and Paso Robles. Next we stopped in Greenfield for some flan for a snack. Then dinner at the Longhouse in Gilroy, their great garlic pork chops. Back home about 1800. I unpacked some things from the van. Lou and Dawn gave Dawn a covid test and it was positive. Second test was the same so likely we will all have it soon.

The three people in a van inaugural camping trip worked well. We only camoed one night without hookups in a Forest Service campground midway between Atascadero and Morro Bay. From there we moved to El Churro County Park for three nights with full hookups where we only used the electric except for dumping our gray water tank before we left. Then down to Oceana County Park for two nights, again full hookups using only the electric. On our first night in Oceana the battery on the inflator pump was dead. It hadn’t charged because the wall charger was off. So I slept in the front instead of Dawn by placing lots of stuff between the seats as a bridge to make the bed. We ate out about half of the time. All in all, we survived nicely. We did not use the inside shower though so that remains to be tested.

Thursday: (09/14) Granola for breakfast. I had a dental appointment at 1000. I picked up my lunch at Panda Express. On the way back home I stopped at Marshalls, Ross’s, Walmart Neighborhood Market, and picked up Lou’s lunch at Bajis Cafe. Relaxed all afternoon. Lou prepared chili baked potatoes for dinner.

Friday: (09/15) Granola for breakfast. Hot and sour soup for lunch. Chinese food for dinner. Lou and I tested positive for Covid this morning. I had tro make two trips to the Kaiser Pharmacy for some Paxlovid. Unfortunately Lou’s prescription took hours, mine 30 minutes. While out I got ga and some Chinese food.

Saturday: (09/16) Some hot and sour soup for breakfast. I did a couple of tasks on the van. I swapped two more USB wall chargers with USBc-PD. Chinese food for lunch. Chili ramen noodles for dinner. Otherwise relaxed all day.

Sunday: (09/17) Hot and sour soup for breakfast. Tostadas with carnitas and pico de gallo for lunch. Dinner from Pizza Chicao. Relaxing and recovering were the rule of the day.

Monday: (09/18) Lou made an omelet for breakfast. I took the first inside van shower this morning. I had finished dressing and bent over to throw something in the trash and a nose bleed started. After two hours trying to stop it, Lou drove me to the emergency room at Kaiser in Santa Clara. She dropped me off and skedaddled. I was checked in and was in the waiting room for two hours before being seen. On check in then did provide a welcome nose clothespin so i didn’t have to keep my nose pinched. They were extremely busy and the triage set where you were in line. I guess bleeding comes right after heart attacks and breathing problems. The guard said the longest wait would be 4.5 hours. After 5.5 hours of bleeding their 5th attempt at stopping the bleed finally worked. They installed a balloon up my nose and inflated it. With a little medication they sent me home. I had to wait for Lou to come from home to pick me up. I get to enjoy this balloon for three days then they see what they need to do to make a real fix.

I have never had nose bleeds and this started after starting the Paxlovid pills to treat my Covid. So now I get to relax for a few days and do nothing. No lunch. Leftover pizza for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/19) Leftover omelet for breakfast. Mostly relaxed in or on the bed except for some tea in the backyard arbor. Carnitas, tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch. Cream of tomato soup for dinner. Today I had two nose bleeds in my previously well behaved left nostril. It took an hour to stop the first one so I didn’t end up back at the emergency room. Fortunately I finished the Paxlovid pills this evening. Hopefully they were the cause of these bleeds.

Wednesday: (09/20) Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. I made a doctor's appointment for this morning because of blood in my stool. Like just swallowing too much blood for the past few days but possibly another bleed somewhere other than my nose. My doctor checked me and ordered some blood tests and off I went. Lou got her flu shot while I was at the lab. My nose has been better since yesterday. Leftover pizza for lunch. I’m still trying to control myself and rest. More pizza for dinner.

Thursday: (09/21) Granola for breakfast. I had an appointment at Kaiser Santa Clara to get the balloon removed from my nose. I got my flu shot then as well. Leftover tuna noodles for lunch. My nose bleed returned in the afternoon. Tamale pie for dinner.

Friday: (09/22) Granola for breakfast. I was awake much of the night because my nose bleed returned in earnest. When the ENT clinic opened at 0900 I called for an appointment to have it looked at again. Leftover chili beans for lunch. I had a 1530 appoint at Kaiser and they cauterized my nose. Seems like it’s finally fixed.So nice to finally be able to b;ow my nose again. Now, hopefully, the headache and toothache caused by the procedure go away soon. Chinese food from Lucky Bistro for dinner.

Saturday: (09/23) I walked over to Happy Donut this morning. I got a sausage, egg, and cheese English muffin and a donut for my breakfast. Feeling good. That didn’t last. I had a nose bleed later in the morning. Fortunately, it stopped with the addition of an Afrin soaked cotton ball. I removed that after a while and that cork lasted the rest of the day with my limited movements. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. Lou made French toast and bacon for dinner.

Sunday: (09/24) Leftover french toast with peanut butter and jam for breakfast. Leftover hot and sour soup for lunch. We took the van out for a drive up to Foothills Park. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August 2023

Tuesday: (08/01) I made an omelet with ham, onions and cheese for breakfast. I met my fellow hikers for a hike at Foothills Nature Preserve. This hike tours most of the trails in the park except the Loas Trancos Trail. About 7.4 miles with a 1400’ climb. A very enjoyable day for this hike with great views, and interesting hikers. Lunch in the shade with a great view and a seat for everyone at the vista point, another plus. After the hike I had Panda Express for lunch. BBQ ribs with green beans from the garden and finger smashed potatoes fried in butter.

Wednesday: (08/02) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I cut and installed the shower side walls in the van. I also wired up the air conditioner but I had ordered the wrong connectors so I wasn't able to upgrade the main buss feed cables. I was able to test run the AC but need to upgrade the cables to be able to run other things. It ran for about three hours in the afternoon and used less than 10% of the battery capacity. BLT sandwiches for lunch with some tomatoes from Lou’s garden. Lou made chili rellenos for dinner.

Thursday: (08/03) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. Chinese food from Wok on restaurant in Sunnyvale for lunch and dinner. Last night i left the air conditioner on the van running set at 78 degrees. This morning the battery was only down to 88%. Probably only ran the fan all night. At 0930 the AC compressor kicked on. The AC ran all day and still recharged the battery to 99%+. In the afternoon I kicked it down to 72 degrees and it was at that temperature in 30 minutes. I then set it to 75 degrees. 72 is too cold, 78 is too warm. I also added the caulk tape to the rear seams of the shower. Unfortunately, one ended up with a ripped corner in two places. I dashed off to Lowe’s and got more tape and replaced it. I also cut a piece of rain gutter and installed it as the threshold. And, finally I cut a bunch of pieces from the scrape of the shower walls and extended the side walls out ¼ to ¾” to the front edge of the walls. The panels were just 24” and the walls 24.5 inch with the rear wall of the shower slanting in a half inch in the first 4 feet and then 4 more inches from there to the top. Now, with the fillers, the shower door can be installed over the patches and still be nice and level and securely glued to the walls. So, tomorrow, maybe I can get the shower door installed and any final caulking done and have a complete shower except for reinstalling the valve and installing a vent.

Friday: (08/04) Granola for breakfast. I upgraded the cables to the main busbar in the van. Then I cleaned up the van and put lots of tools and leftovers away. Lou, Dawn and I headed off to Milpitas and had lunch at the Black Bear Diner. Then there was the customary visit to a nearby thrift store before finally heading over to the Super Walmart there. The purpose of our trip was to return the microwave we bought a couple of weeks ago. Lou doesn’t like the fact it doesn’t have any number keys on the control keyboard. We also did some other grocery shopping there before heading home. I had left the air conditioner running in the van. It basically doesn’t use any power from the batteries most of the day when it is sunny. In fact, it actually charges the battery some. I reinstalled the refrigerator after having tested for hot terminals and connections. None found. Snacks and leftovers for dinner.

Saturday: (08/05) I made French toast and sausage for breakfast. Today, I installed the shower door. Works nice. I also reinstalled the shower valve. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to stop a leak in the cold water valve connection so a little redesign is needed to take the strain off the piping. I made a run to Lowe’s to return some excess materials and look for a solution to the leak. I came up with using flexible hoses instead of piping to the valves. Unfortunately Lowe’s didn’t have the type needed both in threads and length so Amazon will be coming to the rescue. I stopped for lunch at Super Taqueria. We picked up dinner at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. Lou and Dawn’s prime rib and my lasagna.

Sunday: (08/06) I cut out some trim pieces of plywood to trim the front of the shower and for the shower ceiling. And I sanded and started varnishing them. I received the flex hoses for the shower valve but when I located the drop ear ells I thought I had, they were for ¾” pex to ½” pipe thread. No good for my needs. Another Amazon order and day of delay. Mostly relaxed the rest of this hot day. Leftover French toast and sausage for breakfast. Leftover lasagna for lunch. Lou made BLT sandwiches for dinner. I removed the sink in preparation to fix the piping.

Monday: (08/07) I was out early and applied another coat of varnish to the shower trim pieces. Then I made fried eggs and bacon for breakfast. Later another coat of varnish applied. Lou made salads for lunch. Late in the afternoon I received the parts I needed to fix the shower piping and then reinstalled the sink. While it was out, I took measurements for the permanent counter top and swing up table. Just before dinner I applied a final coat of varnish. Lou made BBQ shredded pork over tater tots for dinner. Desert at Dawn’s some kind of carrot pudding, something like pumpkin custard.

Tuesday: (08/08) Chili beans for breakfast. I installed the trim on the front of the shower and prepared the shower ceiling to be installed when it’s dry. I had to make a trip to ACE for some screws. I had lunch at the new location of the Country Inn Restaurant in Los Altos. After lunch I made a board to mount the compost toilet on when it is in the shower space. It should keep the toilet in place bouncing down the road. Its paint is also drying. Leftover lasagna for dinner.

Wednesday: (08/09) Leftover omelet and hash browns from yesterday shared with Lou for breakfast. I painted a final coat of paint on the toilet mounting board and fitted the anchor brackets on it. I needed some sort of padding between the board and the shower base. I tried a towel but was looking for something better. I went out shopping and started with lunch from Panda Express. I was looking for a new bigger swimming noodle as a bump edge for the frame on the storage shelf over the front seats. I was also looking for the shower floor padding. I found the padding at Big Lots but never found a swimming noodle. They must be out of season. I also stopped at Trader Joes for bread and Walmart for some things. I also tried Bruce Bauer Lumber looking for cabinet door slide extrusions. None found. My gray caulk arrived from Amazon as I returned home. But, I rested the rest of the day. Lou made dinner of finger potatoes, tomatoes from the garden, onions, and ground roast beef for dinner. After dinner I prepared the van for use for tomorrow's hike and restocked my pack with water and snacks.

Thursday: (08/10) I enjoyed my pre-hike ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I drove the van to my hike today. We hike many of the trails at Russian Ridge Open Space preserve, about 6 miles and 876 feet of climb. Nice hike with a light breeze and clear sky and views. 14 fellow hikers joined me. After the hike, I prepared ramen noodles and chili for lunch. This could be a new post hike tradition. After the hike and a nice shower at home, I relaxed the rest of the day. Lou and Dawn made peach blintzes for dinner.

Friday: (08/11) Granola for breakfast. I caulked the van shower, white on the inside and gray to match the door on the outside. While it dried I didn’t want to get saw dust on the fresh caulk nor drive the van and shake it loose so I did nothing else the rest of the day. Any excuse. In the afternoon, I took a drive. I looked for the cabinet door slides at a couple of places then got lunch at Super Taqueria about 1530. I made a Grocery Outlet Market run on my bike in the evening. No dinner needed.

Saturday: (08/12) Leftover blintzes and sausage for breakfast. Typical slow Saturday morning watching TV and some Youtube. Later I got outside and removed the sink in the van and cut out the new countertop and the counter extension. I routed the edges and sanded them then added a couple of coats of teak oil. I’m not sure how the finish will turn out but I'm hoping it works well. Lou made a salad for lunch. Spaghetti for dinner. Later I helped Lou assemble her new yard swing bed/couch.

Sunday: (08/13) The usual slow Sunday morning. I gave my countertop boards a light sanding and a light coat of teak oil. They dried in the sun all day. I also cleaned all the VHB tape residue off the bottom of the sink lip. Still waiting for the ½” VHB tape to arrive to reinstall the sink and install the flip up countertop extension. I weeded Lou’s garden for her. Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich for breakfast. Lou’s tomatoes from her garden are excellent. A late lunch at Aqui’s restaurant in Cupertino. Lou made potato salad for dinner.

Monday: (08/14) Granola for breakfast. I took my bike out for a ride. I stopped at Whole Foods downtown for some compost bags then on to the Arizona Garden at Stanford. I was surprised to find a lot of cacti in bloom this late in the summer. I stopped for a chai latte at the Coupa Cafe there. Lou and Dawn were off to Half Moon Bay to look around and be cool. Waiting for my VHB tape to reinstall the sink. I worked in the office updating my laptop and some programs in anticipation of getting back to work on my tax return that needs to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Chili size for lunch. After a nap when I finally got to work in the afternoon, I washed the van, my car, and Lou’s Jeep when she returned. Potato salad, cottage cheese and ham for dinner.

Tuesday: (08/15) I prepared toasted tomato and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. I then installed the new sink countertop and the flip up counter extension. It is also the table top for the reversed front passenger seat. Lou and Dawn were off to an appointment and lunch. I took the van off for an outing. I picked up lunch at China Wok restaurant in Sunnyvale. I then stopped by Lowe's to see about getting some paint to match the stained plywood color. They can’t get a color to match a single spot but just get an average of about a 1” spot. Not a good enough way to match so I didn't get any paint. I then went out to Vasona park and updated my Senior pass vehicles registered to use my pass. I then spent the rest of the day there and worked on the computer. I also ordered some more materials for the van. I do need to replace the breaker from the Solar charger to the battery. While it is rated at 80 amps and is supposed to be a 75 amp fuse, it still trips when it is sunny and I’m driving. It obviously can’t take the full 50 amos continuously. I’// be trying an MANL fuse like it is supposed to be to see it that doesn’t trip. I had leftover Chinese food for dinner there before heading home.

Wednesday: (08/16)Granola for breakfast. I drove all the way over to Bol Park, about ¼ mile to visit the Barron Park Donkeys. I parked there and worked on the computer then had leftover Chinese food for lunch. After lunch I supplemented it with a visit to Harry’s Hofbrau for some soup. Then on up the hill in San Carlos to the Eaton Park Trailhead. I ended up only taking a nap there.Back home we had leftover chicken artichokes over rice for dinner.

Thursday: (08/17) Granola for breakfast. I headed out to Sunnyvale in the van stopping at their city park. I started on the tax preparation but soon found out I wasn't nearly as far done as I thought and I needed some information from home. I returned home and collected information. Shortly, my 5G Home router from T-mobile arrived and I set it up, easy peasy and we were connected. I fired up two tv’s streaming and then did a speed test with 165 down and 35 up which is many times faster than our Sonic fiber connection. We’ll see how steady the connection is and whether the speed is high enough during congested periods. The speed actually went to 205 down and 90 up about 8 pm. No momentary connection losses. I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. I did some more work on the computer in the afternoon before a nice nap. Dawn made tuna stuffed tomatoes for dinner.

Friday: (08/18) Granola for breakfast. I drove the van up to Foothills Preserve and parked at the vista point all day. I had chicken and cheese toast for lunch. It was a cheap frozen item from a Grocery outlet and pretty good for $2. Leftovers for dinner. I had chicken salad for dinner.

Saturday: (08/19) I prepared ham and eggs for breakfast. Then I headed off in the van to a nearby park and worked on the computer. The morning ended up being a wash because I ended up scrambling my data. I had to start the importation after lunch. I left the park and picked up lunch at Panda Express. I do like their super greens as a substitute for my rice or noodles. After lunch I parked on the Stanford campus and continued work on the computer. Because I was parked in the shade I didn't need the air conditioner today even though my thermometer in the van said it was 81 degrees up near the ceiling. I returned home at about 1730. I prepared some chili on ramen noodles for dinner.

Sunday: (08/20) The usual slow Sunday morning. I got oyt to work on the van after 1000. I removed the refrigerator and got into the electrical compartment to replace the circuit breaker that feeds the solar output to the batteries with a fuse. The CB keeps tripping. Hopefully the fuse responds more slowly and doesn’t trip. Lou prepared BBQ ribs, baked potatoes and asparagus for lunch about 1300. I had managed to skip breakfast this morning so I really enjoyed her lunch. I installed two USBc-PD outlets in the van, one by the sink and one by the dinette. They should be good enough to power my laptop computers. Tomato and cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Monday: (08/21) Granola for breakfast. I did some cleanup of the back yard. I also collected some tools for a project tomorrow. Then I was off in the van. I stopped at Harbor Freight for a few things. I also stopped at Marshall’s and found a nice big frying pan to replace my aged non-stick big pan. 12.5 inch pans have not been available for a while. I also stopped at Safeway while I waited for Cost Plus World Market to open at 1100. I wanted to check out World Market for a birthday card. As it turns out I found the perfect BD card at Safeway for a fellow hiker's 80th birthday Wednesday. I also picked up some ciabatta buns. The rain from the effects of hurricane Hillary started. Lunch from the China Wok On restaurant. My hang later was Rengstorff Park in Mountain View. My slab of wood for the dinette table arrived today. We had Dawn’s lentil soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (08/22) P prepared a ham egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I then headed off to Meet pete Anderson at his Mountain View house. He needed some help removing a wooden deck, an ell shaped deck about 15x20 and 15x30. We finished removing it and piling the debris in the driveway about 1300. Hus wife Debbie made tuna sandwiches for lunch. Back home I took a nice shower and relaxed for a while. Later I opened up my new telescoping A ladder. It is much heavier than I thought it would be. After some rest I took the van out to get a drink (gas). I stopped at Walmart on the way home and picked up a few things. Back home I had leftover Chinese food for dinner’

Wednesday: (08/23) Granola for breakfast. I headed off early to Santa Cruz for a hike at Wilder Ranch State Park. I met many of my fellow hikers and leaders at a special hike to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of our hikers. It was only a 5.5 mile out and back hike along the bluff above the beach. After the hike there were lots of goodies and birthday cupcakes to enjoy.After the hike I stopped at Safeway and got some clam chowder then drove home. While I was gone my Tuktek kayak arrived. More clam chowder for dinner.

Thursday: (08/24) Tea in the backyard to start the day. Then I brought out my new folding kayak and assembled it for the first time. It is a Tucktek kayak, bright yellow. Fortunately, it was easy to assemble, just a few latches here and there. I don’t have a lake at home so I just sat in the kayak on the lawn for the inaugural photo. The life vest that came with it can be adjusted to fit me but looks more like a bra on me. I’ll be needing to get an appropriate vest when I can. Also tha paddle that came with it won’t lock together so I’ll need to make some adjustments to it or get it replaced. For now it is just tucked away in the van garage. I hope to try it on the water soon. Next I had some granola and a banana for a late breakfast. After breakfast, I got out the table saw and cut the new ash wood panel into the appropriate table top size for the van dinette and the outside tables. Then I routed the edges, sanded them and then added two coats of teak oil. With those tasks done, I then took the van away from the house and parked near stanfords dish hill to work on the computer undisturbed. Upon arrival there I sliced up a tomato from the garden and topped with cheese for lunch. I made some progress on data collection for our tax return. Just as I was about to return home, the radio clicked off. Evidently the starter battery was having one of it’s spells. I had been running the radio for a while but the solar charger should have been trickle charging the starter battery. I thought maybe a fuse had blown and checked the fuse at the battery but it was still good. The battery voltage was about 10.1 volts hut the solar charger still wasn’t charging it. Luckily eventually the battery came up to 11 volts and I was able to start the van. I have to believe I have a bad cell in the battery so I will be replacing it tomorrow. I had been putting off replacing it until I started driving it which I now am but it had been nice and caused no problems since the solar charger was connected to it, until now. Dawn made some nice vegetable soup for dinner.

Friday: (08/25) Lou made soft boiled eggs for breakfast. She wasn’t feeling right so after breakfast I dropped her off at Kaiser Santa Clara to get checked out. I was in the van so, just like most recent days, I found a nice place to park and worked on the taxes. I’m still in the “data collection mode”. When she called a couple of hours later, we returned home. Along the way, we stopped at Togo’s sandwich shop to pick up lunch. I then drove out to a Super Walmart in Milpitas. They had a replacement battery for the van which I bought to install tomorrow. I then stopped at a park near home and did more data collection and took a nap. Leftover vegetable soup for dinner.

Saturday: (08/26) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van installing the new starter battery. While the project looked formidable, it was actually fairly easy. The van seemed to have more zip when starting the engine now. I then installed the dinette table top. That involved removing the wall panel to prepare for a good anchoring of the panel so it can hold the cantilever table. I had to make wa run to ACE to get some appropriate sized metric bolts and some tee-nuts.I ended up using the bolts but not the tee-nuts because the table seemed to be sturdy enough without them. If the table comes loose then I’ll add the tee-nuts later. We all went to the Country Inn Restaurant in Los Altos for lunch. A nap was needed after lunch. After nap time, I installed the outside flip up table on the sink counter. Leftover lunch, some bacon and avocado omelet with Swedish pancakes, for dinner. I add a green salad to the leftovers.

Sunday: (08/27) Relaxed with the two regular morning TV shows, CBS Sunday Morning and Face The Nation. Then I hopped in the van and headed South. I needed some gas so headed to Sunnyvale to the cheapest gas station anywhere nearby, on Evelyn and Bernardo. Then on South to San Jose. I hadn’t had any breakfast yet.I have been obsessed for a few days wanting a House of Pizza “Confusion pizza. I arrived there at 1030. I was more than pleasantly surprised to check the hours and they opened at 1030. How much is the Lotto? I ordered my pizza and waited in the van. It only took 30 minutes and I picked it up and enjoyed half of the “Very Small” pizza. Very Small is about a 15” pizza. How efficient, breakfast and lunch together. I hung around a while then headed back toward home. I stopped at Washington Park in Sunnyvale to work on the computer. Soup for dinner.

Monday: (08/28) I installed the magnetic latch on the sink tilt up table. Works well. I then escaped to the Vista Hill of Foothills Preserve where I had some leftover pizza for lunch. I then worked on our tax return. I completed the first draft and then returned home after lunch. I collected a little more information and then completed the second draft which may be the final version after a thorough review. We had dinner at Dawn’s place. She made some lentil black bean chili for dinner.

Tuesday: (08/29) Scrambled eggs and cheese with bacon for breakfast. I, finally, got to work on the third passenger seat belt anchors. I started by disassembling much of the third set and cut some of the pieces to allow the metal frame to fit within the constraints of the installed heater and drawers. I then cut the major metal pieces and fit them in place. Lou prepared tuna stuffed tomatoes for lunch. Then, I opened up the replacement welder, which I hope works better than its predecessor. I found that the spool of flux core wire that I left in the old welder ws not something that came with the welder so I headed off to Harbor Freight to get the wire and also came away with some additional deep throat “c” clamps. I picked up dinner on the way home from Lucky Chinese Bistro. After lunch I relaxed for a while. About 1800 I went out and loaded the wire and came to the point of reinstalling the contact tip and found the tips that came with the welder were for 0.030 wire but HF only had 0.035 wire. So I intended to dash out to get the tips but checked the store hours first and only had 15 minutes to go 12 miles so that became a job for tomorrow morning.

Wednesday: (08/30) I was off early toward Harbor Freight. Lou was off to Walmart. I stopped at A Good Morning Cafe to pick up a breakfast burrito. I needed to visit HF to get some contact times, of the correct size, for my welder. I also picked up some replacement wheels for Dawn’s cart. On the return home I stopped at Outdoor Supply Hardware to get some “E” clips. Back home I installed the new wheels on the cart and installed the “E” clip where I had erroneously ground off a crimp-on cap. Then I installed the tips on the welder and did some practice welds. I found that my helmet wasn’t dimming like it should when the arc strikes. I wasn’t ab;e to get it to work so I returned the HF and bought a new helmet. Back home I finally figured out how to get the helmet to dim. It was in grind mode. So, I hope I can return the newer helmet. I did a little more practicing then I welded the seat belt anchor frame. Today the air quality was terrible and Lou wanted me inside so I quit early. I had leftover Chinese food for lunch. Lou made a cold tomato soup for dinner.

Thursday: (08/31) I started the day filling the 10 filtered water bottles that are used in the motorhome. We have a carbon filter on the kitchen sink cold water faucet which is where I fill the bottles. Unfortunately the filter was getting clogged and the flow was extremely slow so I decided to replace the filter. I had purchased spare filters some time back on Amazon. After emptying under the sink and removing the filter I then found the filters were the wrong size. So, I heeded off first to Walmart then to ACE to get the proper filter. I was disappointed when Walmart didn’t have the filter they usually do have. Morning traffic is such a bother. Back home I installed the filter and filled the bottles. Then it was time for breakfast. I prepared a Denver omelet. I worked on making the 3rd seat seatbelt anchor welding a framework for it. I ended up making a run to Harbor Freight and Outdoor supply Hardware for a few things like grinding disks and bolts. Leftover lentil chili for lunch and leftover gazpacho for dinner. I finished welding the frame then put most stuff away. There are clouds in the sky so since I’m through welding, I put all that stuff away. Now I need to drill a bunch of holes in the frame and clean it up and paint it. I’ll hopefully get that done tomorrow.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

July 2023

Saturday: (07/01) Granola for breakfast. I received the replacement cooler water pump this morning before 0600 (amazing) and installed it in the cooler. I cut one of the plastic containers down to a height that fits the upper shelf of the closet. I’ll try it out before cutting the other three. I sat for a while and considered the next part of the project, the dais. I then checked my plywood stock and headed off to Lowe’s for more. On the way, I stopped at panda Express for lunch. I drove the van and now that the Kitchen cabinet is installed, It’s more work than I wanted to do to make room for full sheets of plywood. No problem. I considered how to trim the panels enough to match my size needs and loaded my battery circular saw and brought the two sheets i bought out to the van. I parked away from the crowd and in the shade. It was hot today. I can lay a 40 inch wide panel over the bed and refrigerator so with one 8’ cut of each sheet they both fit. I cut 8” off one and 15” off the other. Now I have good sized un-determined sheets and a piece big enough for the back wall of the shower. Most of the rest is for the dais walls and top lids. On the way home I stopped for gas and to pick up lunch from the Lucky Chinese Bistro for Lou and Dawn’s lunch. Back home it was time for a nap in the hottest part of the day. I then unloaded the plywood. I cut some 7.5” strips to use for the walls of the dais. I also installed the magnetic latches on the electrical compartment lid. Dawn made soup for dinner.

Sunday: (07/02) Granola for breakfast. Lou and I tried to install Dawn’s countertop dishwasher this morning with no luck. We couldn’t keep the faucet connection from spewing water. Even with a run to ACE we weren’t successful. Seems like a bad quick connector. I made the under dinette raised platform (dais) frame. Leftover corned beef soup for lunch. In the afternoon I made the front compartment dais under the rotated front seats. Lou made baked fish and rice for dinner.

Monday: (07/03) Granola for breakfast. I completed the dais and made the lids for them. I had some leftover Shepherd’s pie from the freezer for lunch. I painted the primer coat on all the dais parts. We all went to dinner at Mendocino Farms restaurant.

Tuesday: (07/04) Lou and I had ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. I then got busy painting the color coat and a second color coat on the faces of the dais parts. I then made a run to Harbor Freight and Lowe’s looking for contact cement and flooring ideas for the dais. I found a rubber based carpet runner thet may work if the floor that I used on the rest of the van doesn’t glue down well on the tops of the dais lids. I’m concerned about rolling edges and cork separation possibilities, especially when it gets hot. We had our holiday lunch at 2pm. Roast, hot potato salad cole salem deviled eggs and sausage with corn on the cob. I installed the dais units in the van after lunch. Of course, things fit a little differently after screwing down the platforms so some adjustments had to be made here and there. All good now. Now I just need to put some kind of surface on the lids either carpet or laminate flooring. Leftover deviled eggs for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/05) Lou and I went to A Good Morning for breakfast. I installed the carpet topping to the dais lids and added some framing to the back wall of the shower. Leftover soup for dinner. In the evening Lou and I made a Walmart Neighborhood Market run. I needed some additional things to make enchiladas.

Thursday: (07/06) I made a ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met 16 fellow hikers at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve for a hike up Spring Ridge trail and back on Hamm’s Gulch Trail. For 10 of the hikers, that was enough at 6.5 miles. I also had an optional hike that 6 of the hikers joined me on making a total of 10.3 miles. Weather was excellent for the hike including at the top picnic area that we’ve bad to leave quickly due to unpleasant wins on several recent visits. I picked up lunch from Panda Express on the way home and enjoyed it in the backyard. After my afternoon nap, I made enchiladas for dinner.

Friday: (07/07) Leftover enchiladas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I installed the back wall of the shower after cutting and painting the back of the panels. I also cut, varnished and installed some trim pieces on the outside back of the shower wall next to the sliding door. I also installed the wall in the microwave cabinet. I would have installed the shelf as well but I ended up using the shelf supports for something else. I received the air bed for the front seat area but needed to clean up the front of the van and charge the air pump that came with the bed. We’ll try it out tomorrow. I had my first reflux episode tonight, the first in nearly a year. I have to be more vigilant in stopping eating early.

Saturday: (07/08) I started my day doing RV tank duty. Seemed like the black tank was full, maybe yes, maybe no, but it didn’t hurt to assume yes. Granola for breakfast. I tinkered on the van, trying not to start anything big. I completed the shelf in the microwave cabinet. We installed the front seat air mattress and tried it out. Seems like we need to find a way to address its tilt toward the backrests. I went out shopping to figure out how I wanted to seal the shower penetration. I determined I’d use some Flex Seal tape to seal the edge of the hole through the steel floor and plywood. I’m going to cut a 5” hole for easier servicing of the shower drain. Back home, I washed my Hyundai Accent and Lou’s Jeep. Tomorrow, I am not allowed to make noise in the backyard because of a party the neighbor is having. The best way to prevent that is to not be home so I’ll take the van out for a spin. Chinese food for lunch from Wok On. Salad for dinner.

Sunday: (07/09) After watching the morning show on CBS and the political show, Lou made John Wayne Special for breakfast. The are steak, potatoes, salsaand ?? over tortillas. Since I couldn’t make any noise in the backyard today, I had planned to take the van out for a spin and goof off. That changed into my leaving in the van for a few days. About noon, I headed off toward Lassen NP. I stopped in Neward for aom shrimp and rice from Asia Express, one of my reguar stops when I pass by. Nect I stopped in Tracy for a short nap. Then another stop In Yuba City at Winco for a chicken breast for dinner. I got gas and cash in Chico before heading out on Highway 32. I stopped for the night about 35 miles Eat of Chico beside the highway.

(07/10) I walked down to Deer Creek next to my campsite this morning. Nice! I had some leftover enchiladas for breakfast, and dinner. I drove on into the town of Chester to see what it’s like. Not much there. I topped off my gas and continued on into Lassen Volcanic National Park. A lot is closed due to the Dixie Fire. I hiked to the top of Lassen Peak. Quite a climb and there was quire a bit of snow covered trail. After the hike I returned to the Southwest Entrance where you can camp in the parking lot for $5. I was trying to find out if the Devil’s Kitchen area was open. Eventually, not with the aide of any postings at the visit=ror Center nor the Entrance Station, and well hidden on their website, I learned that yes it is open but you can’t drive to it due to the fire damage near Drakesbad. So it would be a multiday hike and won’t happen on this trip. I’ll spend the night here and continue through the park tomorrow. Leftover Chinese food for lunch before the hike.

Tuesday: (07/11) Up early. Had a banana for breakfast then hitthe road to Kings Creek Falls. Nice falls, nice meadows but the forest is all burnt trees. I had some difficulty locating the Cold Boiling lake trailhead, as did a bunch of Chinese tourists. We all eventually found the trailhead and I hiked out to the lake and beyond to Bumpass Hell to see the mud pots and geysers. The trailhead to Bumpass hell from the road is closed and the boardwalk around the features is closed as well but you can get to the area and see from across the hot creek by walking three miles. After that I headed North and out of the park. I stopped before Old Station and took a Forest Service road out about a half mile then about a quarter mile on a spur to a nice pace to take an outside shower. I then continued on to see McArthur Burney waterfall then continued North on Highway 89 stopping to look at the three McCloud waterfalls. I then continued on to Mt. Shasta town for c=gas and to call home. Then on to Weed where I tried to stop for the night at a Pilot truck stop but no room there. I did get a couple of things at the Grocery Outlet there before continuing North on I5 stopping for the night at a Rest Area a few miles North of Weed. I nibbled a later breakfast and a late lunch of leftover enchiladas. For my late dinner, I had leftover Chinese food and some cottage cheese.

Wednesday: (07/12) I hit the road about 0530. I had some difficulty finding the correct road but eventually found the Klamath River Road and drove on toward Seiad Valley. I checked out several Forest Service Campgrounds along the way. In Seiad Vallay, i stopped at the cafe for breakfast. The cook/waitress was quite busy so the order took a while but arrived cooked to order. I had a bacon, avocado, tomato and cheese omelet with hash browns. It was a huge breakfst but I conquered it. Lots of PCT hikers were the other customers. I topped off my gas and continued on to Happy Camp and took a road up to Highway 199. I checked out more campgrounds on my way to Creasant City. I went to the Chart Room for a fish and chips lunch. Then I headed South toward Prarie Creek State Park. I had to wait through about an hour of trffic delays due to construction so arrived at the park about 1730. The Visitor Center as closed, of course. I tried to find a place to boondock for the night but all the area is either State or Federal Park land or Indian Reservation so I went further South to a rest stop in Trinidad. I’ll return early to do my hike. I had some salad and yogurt for dinner.

Thursday: (07/13) I was up at 0530, made a tea and hit the road back up to Prairie Creek. I was the first vehicle/person there. I warmed up some enchiladas for breakfast. I hit the trail, still the only person there about 0700. I took Miners Ridge Trail over to Golds Bluff Beach the walked the road up to Fern Canyon. I walked through the canyon with quite a few people there at 0930. I then took the James Irvine Trail back to the van at the Visitor Center for s 12 mile, 1150 feet hike. I was back at noon. I then drove further South and stopped in Arcata at the Chinese Buffet for lunch. I wanted a shower and I wanted a cider but I couldn’t find a good out of the way spot for a shower and the cider mill is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. I did stop at Adelin Surplus/junk store. Lou had sent me to find a glass for her stainless steel butter dish. I found a silver plated one with a glass they look like the one she wants. It was the only thing there. I then continued on South stopping for gas in Loleta at the Indian Reservation. I turned off toward Shelter Cove to get to a campground, the Wailaki Campground in the King Range National Conservation Area about a mile and a half off of the Shelter Cove Road. I may explore more here or even take a hike tomorrow. I had to take a sink bath inside the van because there were a lot of mosquitos around camp. It was also hot, much warmer than I expect only five miles from the ocean. Leftover salad for dinner.

Friday: (07/14)Bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I checked the Lost Valley trailhead and decided against doing a hike there today. I returned past camp and on out the road toward the Sinkyone State Park. I chickens out when the sign on the road said no campers or trailers. I probably should have gone anyway but, instead, returned on the Bryceland road. I took highway one down to Fort Brag then took Highway 20 back inland to Willits and home on 101. I stopped in Ukiah for gas and some enchiladas for lunch. Traffic was bad with all the weekend and evening commute drivers. At home I had some chili with ramen noodles for dinner.

Saturday: (07/15) I received some Amazon deliveries while I was gone. I cleaned out some of the stuff from the van. Food from the fridge, dirty clothes, etc. My new hiking pole was pretty nice except it was supposed to collapse to 13” and was 15 inches when collapsed. In addition it was supposed to extend to a 135cm length, I use a 130cm pole. This pole only extended to 125cm. But the final kicker was that once extended, it wouldn't collapse. One of the joins was jammed. So, I returned it to Amazon at our Whole Foods store. I also visited the ACE and Lowe’s stores trying to figure out the parts needed for the shower drain but had no luck finding the needed parts. I also received the shower roll door and checked it out for damage. It seems OK even though the box was broken in half. Lou made grilled veggies and beer soaked chicken for dinner.

Sunday: (07/16) Granola and yogurt for breakfast. We relaxed all morning watching the Sunday morning TV shows, as usual. I did more research trying to design and find parts to connect the shower drain. Still can’t find the right mix of parts to connect ½” drains to 1.25” piping and a 1 inch valve in the space available. I wanted to figure it all out before cutting the hold for the shower drain but I guess I will just do it and make it fit together. Maybe a lot of putty and tape will help. I then trimmed my beard and hair and showered. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I was planning a broccoli salad mix that was in the refrigerator but it was too old and went to the dumpster. In the late afternoon, when the rear yard got shady, I brought out the table saw and cut some pieces to do some trim in the van. I painted up some pieces but will need to sand and varnish some panel pieces tomorrow morning. Lou made new potatoes with butter, bacon and cheese, something like a pizza, for dinner.

Monday: (07/17) Granola for breakfast. I painted a couple of coats of varnish on the trim boards I cut last night. I then, after a lot more thinking and procrastinating, started to cut the hole in the van floor for the shower drain pipe. I only got half way done before my hole saw became too dull to cut more. I considered using the jigsaw but couldn’t find any blades long enough. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Next I considered using the sawsall and even bought a long metal blade at ACE but then couldn’t find any of my four sawsalls. Later I headed off to Harbor Freight looking for a sawsall of longer jigsaw blades but I found another 5 inch hole saw blade and got it instead. Chinese food from Panda Express for dinner. Then off to Lowe’s to get some PVC piping for the drain lines and FlexSeal to help seal the new 5 inch hole in the floor. Back home I finished cutting the 5 inch hole then cleaned up. No work tomorrow due to it being a hike day.

Tuesday: (07/18) Ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met my fellow hikers at Tarwater Trailhead for a hike to Jones Gulch in Pescadero County park. Six of us did the 10.4 mile hike in 4 hours. I had planned the hike to take an alternate trail because the Shingle Mill Trail was supposed to be closed. It was open so our hike, which had been planned at 11.2 miles, got shorter. Nice hike, nice trails, nice fellow hikers, all ladies. On the way home I picked up lunch from Panda Express. I enjoyed it in the backyard before a nice shower. I rested the rest of the day. Chili with ramen noodles for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/19) Granola for breakfast. I masked off the hole in the van’s floor for the shower and sprayed it with Flex Seal. Now I have to wait for two days for it to dry. I also picked up a bunch of floor foam squares that a neighbor disposed of and Lou wants for her shed. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. We all went to the Milpitas Super Walmart and got a new microwave oven. We had lost another a couple of days ago. While there we shopped around and also had dinner at the Black bear Restaurant.

Thursday: (07/20) Ham and cheese omelet for breakfast. I tinkered on a couple of van projects. I cut and painted some filler boards that will be used to attach some trim pieces above the dinette and bed. Peach blintzes for lunch. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Friday: (07/21) I prepared the usual ham, cheese and egg sandwich for breakfast. I was then off to an early hike in San Jose up to the top of Mt Umunhum, about 7.5 miles. We 12 hikers endured the rather hot day which was actually not too bad. Slight breeze, about 85 degrees, with the return all downhill when the temps were highest. After the hike, I stopped to get lunch at the Wok On Chinese restaurant in Sunnyvale. Back home, after a nice shower, I relaxed the rest of the day. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Saturday: (07/22) I spent the day working on the van. I dropped the shower pan in place and fashioned a sheet of plastic as a weather/splash guard and mouse barrier for the shower drain. I made a run to ACE for a flange washer for the shower tailstock pipe and returned a sawsall blade I didn’t need. The washer was too thick to work. I then collected some tings and drove toward Lowe’s. I stopped for lunch on the way. I settled in at Lowe’s in a shady parking space to the side of the store. I went to get some things I thought wou;d work for the drains. I needed to connect the shower drain and modify the drain for the sink. It all had to fit in a very limited space. I tinkered and considered and went in to Lowes four other times for things I needed. On the last trip in I also returned all the stuff I hadn’t used. Of course, the end product was totally different than the original plan but I managed to finish it at about 1900. I headed home. Tomorrow I’ll need to test for leaks, add the splash and mouse proofing covers, and caulk as needed. Leftover peach blintzes for breakfast. Panda Express Chinese for lunch. Dawn’s soup for dinner.

Sunday: (07/23) I prepared a ham, bell pepper, onion and cheese omelet for breakfast. I watched some Youtube videos then eventually got to work. I needed to test the van pluming for leaks. It failed the test. There was gushing water from the shower drain lines. I tried to tighten it up several times but it didn’t cooperate. We all went to Bajis Cafe for lunch. I stopped at ACE and picked up a thick foam washer for the shower drain basket connection. After a nap, and to stay out of the heat, I installed the washer and reconnected all the piping that needed to be remove to do that. I lifted the shower pan out to be able to tighten the fitting. When I got it all back together, the test was successful. Now I can install the shower walls and install some trim before getting to the seat belt and air conditioner. Salad for dinner.

(07/24) Granola and banana for breakfast. I got out the shower panels and explored how to install them. I located the directions and learned what a normal installation should be like but then had to come up with how I'd actually install it in the van. The major difference is the curved side wall. I determined what I needed and headed off to Lowe’s for some materials, like adhesive, caulk and some plastic molding. On the way home I stopped for lunch at Panda Express in Sunnyvale. Back home I installed the trim molding I had prepared a couple of days ago. I also cut some pieces for installing the shower ceiling. Among the things I learned by reading the directions was that the walls need to be prime painted for best adhesion of the panels. I purposely left them raw because I thought that would allow better adhesion. Of course, I'll do what they recommend. Lou made spaghetti for dinner.

Tuesday: (07/25) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I painted the shower walls in the van with a couple of coats of primer. I also painted a few other wood pieces that will be used to hang the ceiling of the shower. Later, I went to Lowe’s to return some storage containers thet Lou says are too big to lift when full. They were 27 gallons and I had intended to get 17 gallons like the two already in the van. I swapped the four large for two more smaller 17 gallon ones. Then I stopped by the Grocery Outlet in Sunnyvale for a few things. Leftover salad for lunch. I relaxed the rest of the day. I didn’t get back to work when it finally cooled off. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/26) I made an omelet ith ham, cheese, onions and peppers for breakfast. I was preparing to work on the van but then had to attend my Wednesday webinar. Lou and Dawn also were headed off to San Francisco when Lou got a call from the washer repair man that he would be arriving soon. They continued on and I had to attend to the repair visit. As it turns out, the washer didn’t cooperate and the repairman was more interested in not finding a problem than repairing one. His computer said everything was good. He wasn’t all the way to the end of the street before the washer finally let out a few short grinds. The next load was all grind during the wash cycle. I sent off an email with an attached video with sound requesting they return. We’ll see how that goes. I then headed off to ACE to get a few pipe fittings. The repairman tried to say any problem was the way I hooked up the drain line and the fact we didn’t run hot water to the washer. Of course, neither had anything to do with the problem but I changed the drain line and will run water to the hat water inlet as well. After redoing the washer drain line, I made some ramen and chili for lunch. My morning working on the van was ruined so I relaxed all afternoon which then ended up being the rest of the day. I picked up a chili relleno from Tacos El Grullense for dinner. Lou and Dawn were out all day thrifting their way up to San Francisco then attending a meeting there.

Thursday: (07/27) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I did a little weeding to start. Then I started to prepare to install the shower walls. In discussing the installation with Lou we decided to go to Lowe’s to look for something to better seal the back corners of the walls. In the end, I decided to use vinyl tape in the corners and caulk it to the panels. The panel is slightly too narrow leaving about ⅛-¼” of no panel on each side in the rear. Broccoli salad for lunch. As usual, after lunch it was nap time. I was awakened by a noise outside. It was the FedEx delivery guy sliding the air conditioner up by the van. I opened the box and was amazed to find a well built plywood crate inside which protected the AC unit very well. I then removed the rear Maxifan in the van and caulked the gasket on the roof. Lou and I were in the process of trying to get the AC unit on the roof when a neighbor and his wife strolled by and offered to help me, making Lou very happy. We got it in place on the gasket but in the process had displaced the gasket messing up the caulk. The gasket was repositioned and the AC unit will hold it in place while the caulk sets tonight. Tomorrow I can lift the unit and add some caulk to the edge of the gasket and finish anchoring the unit and wiring it up. I’ll get back to the shower after the AC installation is complete. Baked fish with vegetables and rice for dinner.

Friday: (07/28) Lou made steak, eggs and bacon with tater tots for breakfast. I lifted the air conditioner on the van and added some caulk, as needed, around the roof gasket. I then lowered the AC and adjusted the position then bolted it down. I finished up about 1300. Shirl, a member of my hiking group came over to talk about travel, camping and hiking. We talked until about 1600. Lou and Dawn picked up sandwiches for lunch from Subway. I had my lunch after 1600 so no dinner was needed. I started routing the power wire for the AC only getting it about halfway. Lots of disassembly needed to get it in. I posted a hike for next Tuesday.

Saturday: (07/29) Granola for breakfast. A little slow getting out to work. When I did, I was distracted from the van and worked on cleaning up the shop area, putting things away and disposing of some things of little use. I’m a collector of all sorts of wood scraps and materials collected working on projects. My work table ended up with much more room on it. Our neighbor Meili, provided Taiwanese chicken soup for lunch. I worked a bit more cleaning up after lunch. Then it was nap time. After dinner of cabbage with beef, I worked on the van a little. I removed the refrigerator and opened access to the electrical area. I pulled the AC power cable the rest of the way in. The cables are 2-3 feet too short to connect. I reinstalled the microwave oven and cabinet wall and shelf.

Sunday: (07/30) I made a ham and cheese omelet for breakfast. We had the usual slow Sunday morning watching the Sunday morning TV shows. I wasted a lot of time trying to locate my cable crimper and connectors. I didn’t find the connectors but did, eventually, locate the hydraulic crimper. I emailed the AC vendor to learn the cable size for the AC. The cable didn’t have any markings. I finally found marks on the connectors after I removed the shrink tubing and found them marked 16-10. 16mm = #6 cable. I found a few pieces, enough to make the extensions needed. Also found a 60 amp flag breaker. But, I think I want to increase the conductor size going to my buss bars to accommodate the extra load of the AC. I also took inventory of the needed crimp connectors and other components needed and did an Amazon order. I made a shopping run to Lowe’s to return some things and do grocery shopping at Smart and Final market. On the way I picked up Chinese lunch for us all. I also spent some time at Dawn’s place working on her printer and computer. In the evening I completed securing the AC cable near the AC and reinstalled the ceiling, AC faceplate and wall trim. All that had to be removed and reinstalled again because I forgot to connect the wires to the ceiling light in the ceiling panel. Now just waiting for parts to complete the power connections and test the AC on Wednesday. So back to the shower walls project. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Monday: (07/31) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. I installed some sealing tape in the back corners of the shower. I also ct some boards to brace the back wall in place while the adhesive dries. I then trimmed the back shower wall panel and glued in place. Chili beans with ramen noodles for lunch. I was going to have a ham sandwich but my bread was moldy. Not much else to do today. I made a run in the afternoon to Lowe’s and got some caulk tape for the back corners. I figured it would seal better and be neater than any caulking I could do. I had snacks for dinner. Scrambled eggs and some sliced ham and cheese with hummus and chips. My van heater has been asking to be run for a while. With our high daytime temps I haven’t gotten to it in a while. This evening I ran it for a few minutes. I assume it is to keep the pump primed.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June 2023

Thursday: (06/01) A ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met Kayoka and Amy from San Jose Midweek Hikers at the store and we drove up to the Manzanita parking area and started our Grand Loop Hike through the Balconies Caves, Up Juniper and Tunnel Trails to the High Peaks and through the rocks. Usual Trail tuna snack for lunch on the hike. Then down the High Peaks Trail to the Rom Trail and out to the reservoir. We got to see some of the recently sighted snakes in the water. We then hiked down from the dam but were disappointed to find the Bear Gulch Caves closed so we took Moses Spring Trail around to the lower Bear Gulch Trail and back to our cars. About 10.5 miles in 6 hours 40 minutes. After an Ice cream reward and leftover Chinese food, I drove on down to King City. I took care of some online details related to the hike, topped off my gas tank and headed out Jolon Road into the Hunter Legget Army Base. Saw a badger skittering along beside Jolon Road in ort Hunter Legget. I camped at the Hunter Legget Campground. Chili and ramen noodles for a late dinner.

Friday: (06/02) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I tried to head over to the coast via the road through the base but it was closed. It did have a detour sign pointing onto a road headed North. I took it about 10 miles on dirt washboard road until I came to the paved Mariposa Road. I continued up it and exited the base into the Santa Lucia National Forest. I found several dispersed camping spots checking out several wild roads leaving Mariposa Road. I continued checking until I came to the improved Santa Lucia Campground, a paid full price vendor managed campground. The road ended there due to rock slides brought on by the recent forest fires. I turned back, returning to the first dispersed campsite that I checked out. It was easy enough to get into and was close to a nice river. I had some pineapple cottage cheese and another banana for lunch. I relaxed all afternoon. I even soaked my feet in the river. Chili and ramen noodles for dinner.

Saturday: (06/03) Scrambled eggs with ham for breakfast. I took a morning walk along the river down to a place where another trail comes up to a cliff top and back to camp. I left camp and drove just a short ways to the Wagon Cone. One side of the ridge is beside my campsite, the other at a walkin campsite parking area. I explored all the walk in campsites. Originally I thought the trail may lead somewhere but it just seems to go out to a bunch of different walkin campsites by a couple of rivers. The total hike was about two miles. I then drove back through Fort Hunter Legget to Greenfield. Lunch at the Ranch Market in Greenfield. I had a chili relleno with rice and beans and fresh tortillas. I drove out the Arroyo Seco and Carmel Valley Roads ro Carmel. I stopped along the way for a nap then had some flan that I had gotten at the market. Once on Highway One I got stuck in stop an inch forward traffic all the wat to Monterey, about an hour to go 5 miles, I decided that because it was a weekend day and traffic was so bad that I’d just continue home without any more stops. I came back through Santa Cruz. I got off Highway 17 when it came to a stop as well. Lou’s lasagna for dinner.

Sunday: (06/04) Popcorn for breakfast. The usual slow Sunday morning. A little tinkering on projects for Lou then I worked on the van starting to cut out the drawers for the seat. Salad for lunch.Dinner from Super Taqueria.

Monday: (06/05) Granola for breakfast. I had an appointment at Kaiser to get a bone density scan. It took all of 15 minutes in and out. I stopped at the nearby Grocery Outlet to look for whatever. I found some nice ham steaks there. Next stop was Harbor Freight for some wood glue. Back home, I had a salad for lunch. Then I watered our neighbors yard. Finally, I got to work on the van, I finished cutting out the drawers and nailed and glued them together. Lou made cabbage with sausages for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/06) I prepared ham steak and eggs with hash browned potatoes. For breakfast. We had a threat of rain that began early this morning so I had put oll my equipment and tools away last night. At 0900 it wasn’t raining and had not rained so I was just getting ready to bring the table saw out when I got a few drops. Then the rain started and it was a pretty good drip. I retired to the RV to do inside things. Lou made tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. They headed off to an appointment after lunch. I prepared pork with sauerkraut and potatoes in the pressure cooker for dinner later. Later in the afternoon the rain appeared to be gone so I got the saw out and made some more ¾: molding for the drawer box construction for the van. I glued and nailed the molding into the drawers I had made yesterday. Then I put everything away since the forecast for rain remains the same through tomorrow. In the evening I scheduled a hike for Thursday.

Wednesday: (06/07) Granola and banana for breakfast. It’s another overcast day. Even though the forecast is only a 1% chance of rain it looks like it could rain at any moment. I watered the neighbor’s yard. Next , I washed the van. It was quite dirty from my dirt road travels and had a good coat of bugs on the front. Lou picked a bunch of olallieberries which I enjoyed for a morning snack. An artichoke with some ham and cheese for lunch. I painted the drawers and other parts with a primer and color coat. Sausage and artichoke for dinner.

(06/08) I prepared a ham egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I then headed up the hill to Russian Ridge to meet my five fellow San Jose Midweek Hikers for a 0930 hike. We did a short 6 mile loop with a little over 1000’ of climb. Lots of nice flowers to add color. We also saw a gray snake, likely a Western Yellow-bellied Racer. We didn’t see the belly but they often are gray with a big head and less than 2 feet in length. All a match for this snake. We finished about 1220. I stopped on the drive down the hill to watch a Youtube meeting about using Google Photos with Facebook. I got two good pointers from the meeting. I went up to Harry’s Hofbrau for a soup and sandwich lunch. Nice corn chowder and a pastrami sandwich. I then stopped and Grocery Outlet and Smart and Final markets for a few things before heading on home. Leftover pork with sauerkraut and potatoes for dinner.

Friday: (06/09) Granola and banana for breakfast. I prepared the van to roll and be ready to carry some plywood sheets. I rolled up the mattress and cleared the bed platform. I also removed all the storage boxes and loose materials. I headed off in the van to get Chinese food from Wok On restaurant for lunch. Next I stopped at Sprouts Market for some of my favorite peanut butter, the “Bees Knees”. It isn’t available in most places and Sprouts has been out on recent visits. Lucky day, they had some today, Next I stopped by Home Depot. I don’t shop at HD but wanted to check their plywood prices and quality. Then on to Lowe’s. Lowe’s price was 15% less and had better condition sheets. I still had to move 10 sheets of ¾’ off the pile then 8 sheets of damaged ½” sheets to get my two reasonable quality ½” sheets. Back home I relaxed a while then opened up my wood pile and reorganized it. I then added the new sheets to the pile. I then moved most of the stuff I had moved out of the van back into the van but leaving the bed open so I can build a kitchen cabinet under the bed. Lou made salmon and tater tots and Dawn made mixed vegetables for dinner.

Saturday: (06/10) Lou made eggs and leftover sauerkraut, potatoes and pork hash for breakfast. A lazy morning. Eventually, I went outside. I started by picking berries. Not all of them made it into my basket. Then I started work on the van. Not much accomplished. Lunch was some strawberry olallieberry short cake the Lou made. I cut a few boards for a cover for the water heater, pump and accumulator. In the afternoon we went to an ice cream social of the neighborhood association at Boulware Park. Lou made a stew/soup with Dawn’s leftover mixed vegetables, noodles and beef.

Sunday: (06/11) Leftover Chinese food for breakfast. This was a typical Sunday morning watching the Sunday morning shows and a few youtube videos. When I did get outside I was busy pruning the neighbors tree of a broken limb and mowing her back yard then watering the plants. Lou made grilled cheese sandwiches and strawberry shortcake for lunch.After lunch i headed off in the neighbor’s car to exercise it and get gas. Back home it was time for a nap. I never got busy after that. Dawn made stew for dinner. After dinner I harvested the artichokes on the front plants and then cut them down to the ground so new plants can grow. Later I walked Dawn home and helped her with the cameras on her computer for a zoom meeting.

Monday: (06/12) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I did the RV tank duty to start my day. Then I weeded the front yard bark and sidewalks. Our lawn people came and did our lawn while I took a break, After they left I got started on the van. I brought out my shop from my shed and assembled the water heater cover and cut out pieces for the water piping shield. To install the shield, I needed different sized screws and I also needed a 3 inch hole saw for the shower valve access. After a nice green salad for lunch. I visited Harbor Freight for the hole saw, Walmart Neighborhood Market for more ham, Lowe’s for the screws and L brackets, Home Depot to return a defective nail gun, and finally a stop for gas in my car. Back home I cut some holes, sanded the panels and drilled and fit together all the panels. They still need to be painted before final installation. Leftover soup and cottage cheese for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/13) The usual egg, ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met my fellow SJMW hikers at Monte Bello Ridge Open Space. The parking lot was very busy with a group of 20 or so kids preparing for bicycle outing through the preserve. 14 of the 19 hikers signed up for my hike arrived and we were off. We hiked through the Los Trancos Preserve and the Monte Bello Preserve for about 7 miles. We finished up at about 1230. I returned home and enjoyed a shower and ramen chili for lunch. Unfortunately I napped the rest of the day. We had corn on the cob, baked potatoes and meatloaf for dinner.

Wednesday: (6/14) I had to dispose of another bench and its overload of fruit in our neighbor's yard. I also watered her yard. Lou made an omelet for breakfast. We received another neighbor's dog to dogsit for while she is out of town. I got out all the shop equipment and started on the van kitchen cabinet. I got a new sheet of plywood from the pile and cut all the pieces and then put them all together with glue and brad nails. I had a green salad for lunch. After a post lunch nap, I then drew out the cut sheet for the drawers to fit the cabinet. I then put everything away, tools to the shop, cabinetry to the van. It just might rain a little, it is overcast. Dawn made an interesting chicken stew for dinner.

Thursday: (06/15) The usual egg, ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met my fellow SJMW hikers at Picchetti Open Space. We did a 9+ mile hike through Stevens Creek Park and Fremont older Open Space preserve then back to Picchetti Open Space Preserve. Enjoyable walk with flowing streams, a full lake and pond, colorful skink, calm snake, lots of birds, great views, reasonable spring weather, great company, and interesting conversation. After the hike I stopped at Aqui’s Restaurant for some Cuban carnitas for lunch. I also visited Trader Joes, Safeway and REI before returning home. Then a nice shower and nap.

Friday: (06/16) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I did a little gardening. I dug up a couple of plans in Dawn’s garden, moved a purple succulent plant from the greenhouse to the front yard and cleaned up the greenhouse floor.I cut out the pieces for the kitchen drawers in the van build. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. After a nap, I returned to work on the drawers. I sanded the pieces and glued them together minus their from pieces. I also made a bunch of molding to be added to the drawers to reinforce the joints. Leftover chicken stew over rice for dinner.

(06/17) Scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast. I added the corner braces to all the drawers then did a trial fit of the drawers. I had Lou and Dawn try out the bottom drawer step height to get in the bed. Lou decided she preferred the higher middle drawer as the bottom drawer to make it easier to get up into bed. I then made a run to Lowe’s for some screws and paint. I picked up our Chinese food for lunch on the way home. Back home I ordered some hardware that Lowe’s didn’t have and my remaining drawer slides from Amazon. After a nap, i got back to work about 1630 and painted all the things I had cut out and assembled recently. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Sunday: (06/18) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van painting the color coat on the kitchen cabinet and drawers. I managed to get a good sunburn doing it when the sun shines. Afternoons are much nicer in my shop on the lawn. Fathers day meal was BBQ steaks and sausage with broccoli salad, carrot and raisin salad, and corn on the cob. A nice nap in the afternoon. Snack for dinner.s

Monday: (06/19) Granola and yogurt for breakfast. Had to wait for parts for the van so we did some shopping today. Lou and Dawn visited Smart and Final and had an appointment as well. I visited Lowe’s to get some mat for the step lid for the kitchen cabinet. Lou wanted me to get an umbrella base as well but I didn’t like the cost of the ones they had. I stopped by Big Lots and found a nice one for a third the cost. I was really thinking of making my own. While there, I found some containers that I thought would be perfect for the van closet. I got the four gray ones they had. I had the clerk check on inventory at other stores and went to the Campbell store for four more. Lou called and wanted me to stop at another Smart And Final for my orange juice bottles that they didn’t have at the store she visited. Back home, I tried out the containers and they should work. I’ll need to cut off four and use four full height. I decided to get four more for spares to match when these break. Busy morning. Leftover broccoli salad for lunch. After a nice afternoon nap while the sun was shining its best, I got to work on the Van’s kitchen cabinet. I received the additional drawer slides I needed about 1600 and installed them. I had to cut the top off the top drawer and decided to cut a ¼” off the bottom drawer so the step lid was more free. I checked the weather and there was a 7% chance of a few drops tonight so I put all the tools away and moved the cabinet and it’s parts to the van. Leftovers for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/20) The usual egg, ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Met my fellow SJMW hikers at Foothills Nature preserve at 0930 for a 6.6 mile loop hike on the Los Trancos Trail. We finished up at 1230. 16 hikers joined me on a really nice day. Unusual for the creeks to still have water in them, but they did. Lunch from Panda Express. I tried out their Super Veggies instead of rice. Quite good. I installed the kitchen cabinet in the van and the covers for the plumbing. Dawn made Cambodian sandwiches(bacon, pickled radishes, peaches and sauce) for dinner.

Wednesday: (06/21) Granola for breakfast. I tinkered with the van and attended my Wednesday webinar. Then we were off to San Jose to the Habitat Reuse Store looking for carpet tiles which they have had stacks of in the past. Nothing today. We stopped for lunch at La Victoria Taqueria. I had a nice super relleno burrito. Lou and Dawn had nachos. Back home it was nap time. Later, when the shadows protected the rear yard where I work, I got to work on the drawers. I cut the drawer fronts and installed them. I discovered a bad drawer slide that lost several of its ball bearings. Fortunately, I had an s=extra that will be used under the 3rd passenger seat so I can finish the kitchen cabinet. I now have a bunch of parts that need painting so tomorrow morning starts with a brush. A broccoli salad for dinner.

Thursday: (06/22) Granola for breakfast. I painted the parts of the drawers that needed touchup due to cuts and new pieces. I had a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, After two coats, I installed the trim pieces aound the drawer slides then installed the drawers back in the cabinet. That bottom drawer caused problems that resulted in my cuting several finger tips. I then started to prepare for the Dave’s Ranch campout. I loaded the electric bike and groceries. I also made a run to Walmart, ACE Hardware, and Grocery Outlet Market for a few things. For a late dinner I made an enchilada dinner. That provided some leftovers, some of which I put in the van.

Friday: (06/23) Some leftover enchiladas for breakfast with Lou in the backyard. I headed off about 0930. I stopped at REI and bought a camp table. Also stopped at Safeway for some hard cider for the campout. I made a final stop at the Super Walmart in San Jose hoping to find some small cheap camp chairs in gray but they didn’t have anything appropriate. I then headed on up Mount Hamilton Road toward Dave’s Ranch. I stopped for some cottage cheese for lunch on the way up. I arrived about 1500 as planned. More leftover enchiladas for dinner. There were several biker friends there but none of the hiker friends arrived until about 8 PM. We enjoyed nice campfire and some stargazing with a telescope that Girard brought.

Saturday: (06/24) Up early for a walk.Granola and a banana for breakfast. I took the hikers in the group for a walk around the ranch. We hikers went to The Junction Bar and Grill for lunch. The bikers had gone while we were hiking. Not much happening but sitting, snacking and chatting. We had a pot luck BBQ for dinner. All sorts of interesting things. I shared Lou’s Iranian potato salad. I also BBQ’d some pork chops and sliced them to share as nibbles. Several of us went up on a hill to watch the sunset. Then back in camp for a campfire.

Sunday: (06/25) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I took a ride on the bike down to the end of the runway to look at the eagles. I then rode on out to the highway and removed my two direction signs for this event. Back at the ranch house, I swept the floors in the house and helped cleanup the outside of the house. Then Dave took Stephanie and myself on a tour of the homestead cabin. I got to see how well I recited my memory of Dave’s previous tours on yesterday’s hike. Not too bad. Then it was time to say goodbyes to everyone. I departed the ranch with most everyone else about 1130. I came out on Mines Road to Livermore. Per all the research I could do, I had confirmed it was closed. Dave arrived Saturday afternoon and said it was open. I stopped in Milpitas for some egg rolls to compliment my cottage cheese for lunch. Back home, time to relax from relaxing. Dawn made chili beans for dinner.

Monday: (06/26) Granola and banana for breakfast. I took Dawn to her PT appointment then took the Jeep down to Normandin Jeep in San Jose for a recall fix. Normanding said they didn’t have an appointment scheduled for me. Thus is the second time they have done this to me. That’s why I tried out using Stevens Creek and Sunnyvale Jeep dealers but those two are the same dealer with two locations and they managed to schedule an appointment for me but when I arrived they had no mechanics working so could not do the work. This seems to be a problem at all dealers here in the bay area. I’ve had good service at a dealer in San Luis Obispo and in Pennsylvania. They said I could leave it nd they would see if they could get it done today. No thanks, I left. I returned to pick up Dawn and returned home. The recall is a computer update to protect in case (when) the from axle spline fails causing the parking brake to not function in two wheel drive, the normal drive mode. I always set the electric parking brake anyway so it doesn't bother me but might bother Lou because she doesn’t. Leftover enchiladas for lunch. I modified the 3rd passenger set drawer fronts by cutting off the side ears. I also cut out some spacers fro the drawer slides then painted and touched up as needed. I also re-installed a wheel on a roller basket Lou uses with the laundry. I relaxed the rest of the day Baked potato for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/27) Banana for breakfast. I worked on installing the 3rd passenger drawers and eventually got them installed. No cut finger tips this time but some bad words were expressed in the process. I had to make a run to ACE for some more screws to finish it. I managed to end up building a boat in the basement. In order to service the heater I need to be able to get access to it. After installing the drawer runners for the top drawer, I could no longer get either the top or side of the heater cover out. I had to make some modifications to the cover. Leftover enchiladas for lunch. I had some Shepherds pie filling over torn bread pieces for dinner followed by some of Lou’s rice pudding.

Wednesday: (06/28) Granola for breakfast. I installed some sprinkler drip emitters for some new planters in the gardens. I cut out a cover door for the electrical compartment, a closet shelf, and some miscellaneous other pieces. I then sanded and painted a primer coat on all the pieces. After an afternoon nap, I rerouted one of the emitter tubes to bypass a valve. Lou had mentioned it didn’t work and it was because that section of the garden was turned off because it over waters because it gets groundwater flow from the other two garden sections. Salad for lunch. Hot coleslaw with ham for dinner.

Thursday: (06/29) Ham egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I met 13 fellow SJMW hikers at Monte Bello Open Space preserve for a hike through four open space preserves. It was an 8.2 mile loop through Monte Bello, Skyline, Russian Ridge, and Coal Creek preserves. Nice weather and still lots of flowers. I got lunch at Panda Express. I recently discovered their super greens option instead of chow mein or rice. I had the super greens with honey walnut shrimp and sweet fire chicken. Yum! After eating lunch in the backyard, I painted the color coat on the pieces I prepared yesterday. Then I showered and washed my hiking clothes from today and last weekend. I had some black bean soup with toast for dinner.

Friday: (06/30) 19 years retired today. Breakfast with Lou at A Good Morning Cafe/ Lou made soup for lunch and dinner. I managed to install all the pieces I prepared yesterday. The closet shelf required trimming and touch up of the painted edges. I also replaced the battery in the Flume water flow monitor and cut a piece of plastic for Lou.

Monday, May 1, 2023

May 2023

Monday: (05/01) I was up early and drove into the park and stopped at the Peaks View Parking Area. I had some pizza and a banana for breakfast. My neck and back were botering me so I then took a nap. About 1000, I hiked out the South Wilderness Trail to its end. There was some path finding and a few extra stream crossing on this outing. Tree falls and flooding made for some new routes. It’s a good thing I’m not doing the Pig fence Hike because the river now obstructs the trail at the bottom for about a half mile. This hike was about 7 miles total. Back at the Van I had some Chinese food for lunch. It was rather cold and windy. I drove out the Old Pinnacles TH for a look then back to the Visitor Center Store. I checked in to my campsite and tried to get on the Internet. It didn’t work well but i did learn that I’m the only hiker now signed up for my hike tomorrow. Everyone canceled due to concerns about the storm with its expected rain and wind. So, I figured, why don’t I just do the hike today with a little better weather. I started at the Old Pinnacles trailhead at 1500. It's about a 9.5 mile loop hike so I had to hustle. I exited the Balconies Caves at 2000 and it was dark. I did the last 2.5 miles with my headlamp on arriving back at the van at 2050. I tried to check the Internet and close the signup for my hike but couldn’t get a connection. So I’ll have to hang around and may have to do the hike a second time tomorrow morning. If no one hows up I can leave before the storm hits. I enjoyed my burrito for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/02) Up at 0700. I had a couple of pieces of pizza and a banana for breakfast. I drove over to the store to see if I could get an Internet connection. No luck so I waited until 0900 to see if anyone showed up for the hike. No one did. It was raining all morning. I did drive up to Bear Gulch and considered taking a hike up to the reservoir and possibly through the High Peaks but I came to my senses and didn't. I left the park and headed toward home. I stopped in Holister at the Historical Village but nothing was open. I took a walk around looking at what I could see. I did have good cell Internet here so I caught up. I confirmed that there had been no one signed up for the hike. I enjoyed looking at all the old farm equipment then headed home. At home I made the van tidy again. I finished my leftover Chinese food for dinner. Later in the evening I found a tick on my stomach. He must have been hitch hiking because he had been attached too long judging by his size.

Wednesday: (05/03) Granola for breakfast. I studied the van considering how to install the 3rd set and tables. I also called Kaiser’s advice nurse and ask about my tick bite. They confirmed it is likely not a problem unless things get worse in a few days. I also called Kaiser and scheduled my annual checkup for this afternoon. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Lou came with me for my doctor’s checkup. No problems but she did burn off some skin and schedule a bone density test and lab work. I also got my 2nd covid booster shot. Super nacho chips for dinner. In the evening We went to Dawn;s apartment and relocated her TV to be clear of the escape window.

Thursday: (05/04) I prepared ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. Later in the morning i took a walk down to San Antonio Shopping Center. I looked at a couple of construction projects on the way. I also walked through Fayette Greenway Park. It was built over part of the Hetch-Hetchy Water pipe as part of an apartment building complex. It is basically a dog walk so i sat and read my newspaper and watched the dods play. I continued on to walk around the somewhat recently built office/shopping building complex. I then stopped at Safeway Market and bought some parsley for Dawn. I caught a bus back home. Lou had prepared hamburger salads for lunch. I relaxed in the van tinkering wit the computer and doing some van planning.

Friday: (05/05) Granola for breakfast. I cleaned up the blossom debris from the oak tree. It bothers Lou’s nose. Lou and Dawn were off to thrift and for an appointment. They were gone all day. I relaxed inside the rest of the day and spent a little time working on the van plan. Chili and an artichoke for lunch. The artichoke was one of ours and over six inches in diameter. Chicken and ramen noodles for dinner. When I walked Dawn home I noticed some red light activity at the end of our street. We’d heard several sirens previously and more were coming. Turns out there were 6 Palo Alto police cars, three Palo Alto fire trucks, a fire chief truck and an ambulance. Then two Mountain View Fire trucks and one of their chiefs as well. They were all at our Shell service station. There was one car by the pumps and all the pumps were taped off. Then there was a whole lot of waiting. Evidently it was some kind of hazardous material problem in the car. That’s better than a problem with the hydrogen fueling system.

Saturday: (05/06) Granola for breakfast. I drew up some plans for Dawn’s seat construction. Not much else accomplished today. Leftover celery chicken over rice for lunch. Strawberries and yogurt for dinner.

Sunday: (05/07) I made a Denver omelet for breakfast. I started with helping Lou erect a tent in the rear yard. She will be cleaning out the cottage and needs some covered space. I worked on the van rear door lock problem. The electric lock chattered and didn’t lock the lock. The key didn't work either. Today, the lock solenoid didn’t even chatter. I may have waited too long to fix it and it burnt out. I removed the panels and checked for a jam and it worked fine. That should have been a clue. I decided to just disconnect the lock connector so it would do anything, which was better than only unlocking. While the panels were off I installed some insulation in the lower half of the doors. I hadn’t removed the factory lower door panels when I insulated the rest of the van. After reinstalling the panels, I tested the lock and it didn’t work again. I removed the panels again and discovered the cause of all the problems. One of the screws I used to attach the upper door panel was the culprit. It interfered with one of the levers connecting the latch and the key cylinder. I installed a shorter screw to fix the problem. I don’t intend to repair the electric lock because with it being manual only, it will remain locked whenever the other doors ore unlocked. The rear doors are seldom used so it should be no problem. Salad for lunch. I relaxed all afternoon. Meatloaf and one of our artichokes for dinner. This artichoke was slightly smaller than Friday’s artichoke, only six inches in diameter.

Monday: (05/08) Leftover Denver omelet for breakfast. I met my fellow hikers in Saratoga village for a hike led by Libby. We walked through the streets up to Villa Montalvo and up a trail from there to a viewpoint up the mountain behind it. It was only about a five mile hike but the company was great. I picked up a super burrito for lunch from Super Taqueria on the way home. I also stopped at Grocery Outlet for a few things. After a bit of relaxing I joined Lou cleaning out her garden spot. I removed a bean trellis, a bunch of concrete pavers and the drip sprinkler pipes. That was enough. Lou and Dawn made vegetable soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/09) Leftover Denver omelet for breakfast. We worked on Lou’s garden today. We pulled all the weeds and grass up. With that done. I rototilled the garden. Next, a trip to Lowe’s to get some steer manure. Back home, I tilled the manure in then leveled the garden. And finally I replaced the step stone bricks. Dawn made some baked peppers, onions, and unmeltable cheese for lunch. After lunch Dawn and I went to get a load of mulch from the city pile and then a load of compost. Both are for Dawn’s garden. Dinner was tater tots, cabbage, and sausages.

Wednesday: (05/10) Lou made a mushroom and sausage omelet for breakfast. I installed a bean trellis for Lou’s garden. I also worked on plucking some weeds from the patio cracks by the arbor. I tried to attend my Wednesday webinar but the Internet disagreed with that plan. Bad connection. We went to Aqui’s Restaurant for Lou’s Mother’s Day dinner. A few days and hours early, since it was Wednesday’s late lunch. Back home I went to Dawn’s apartment and reinstalled her computer monitor. Salad for dinner followed with strawberries and yogurt.

Thursday: (05/11) Leftover mushroom omelet for breakfast. I reinstalled the drip tubes in Lou’s garden that had to be removed to rototill the garden. Broccoli salad and some yogurt for lunch. I went with Lou for a doctor’ appointment in the afternoon. After my afternoon nap, I made a run to get more mulch from the City’s pile for our gardens. Leftover vegetable soup with carrot salad for dinner. I posted a hike for Tuesday.

Friday: (05/12) Granola for breakfast. I prepared the van to roll again. I tried to install the dropdown table on the sink cabinet but the screws kept breaking off so I canceled that project until I get better screws. I also drained the gray water tank and filled the fresh water tanks. Then I was off to do a little shopping. I stopped at Walmart and bought some more kitchen towels. I use them for both the kitchen and my bath towel. After checking out while walking to the car, Lou discovered I was gone and learned I was at Walmart so I had to go back in and gt more stuff. I then stopped by Super Taqueria for a burrito. I put it in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch. I hate over-priced event food. And I topped off the gas tank at the cheapest station. Salmon stuffed tomato for lunch. Baked squash with beef and peppers for dinner.

Saturday: (05/13) I was up earlier than recently and had some granola and a banana for breakfast. I said my goodbyes and jumped in the van and headed off up Highway 280 toward Santa Rosa to the Adventure Van Expo. I Stopped for a short visit to Freidman Brothers then headed off to the Fairgrounds. I walked in when they opened and 1000. Weather was nice then but it got warmer during the day. Lots of interesting vans and components for van builds. I made the rounds several times and finally called it quits at 1620. My lunch was the super burrito I picked up yesterday afternoon. I picked up some Chinese food for dinner then headed off toward Bodega Bay and camoed beside the road beside the bay.

Sunday: (05/14) Up at 0500 to drive in the fog down to Olema to the PaloMarin Trailhead. I understand parking is limited, the hike is popular and it’s a weekend day. The foggy drive was interesting. I had to stop for an owl standing in the road and also saw a bobcat. I arrived at the parking area about 0650. I prepared my breakfast of some ramen noodles and chili. I hit the trail about 0800. It’s about 4 ¼ miles out to a primitive trail down to the falls. That trail involves going down the cliff using a rope. It’s also possible to hike another 3 miles looping back on the beach from Wildcat Beach. The trail wasn’t at all difficult and Alamere Falls are beautiful. There are also a lot of flowers on the hills above the falls. I returned to the van about noon. After a little cleanup, a change of clothes and a salad for lunch, I was back on the road home. I was home about 1500. I had some chili for dinner.

Monday: (05/15) Lou and Dawn were off to an appointment. We met for brunch about 1000 at A Good Morning cafe. On the way there I stopped and got gas in the Van and did some shopping at Walmart. Then I went to REI and got an egg carton and a California road atlas. Lou made tator tots with chicken wings for dinner about 1400. I stopped by ACE hardware and bought some steel angle iron to make the third passenger seat. It’s going to be bolted through the floor and the seatbelt bolted to the steel. I had some cheese toast for a snack later.

Tuesday: (05/16) After a shower I made an egg, ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I drove the van up Pagemill Road to the Skyline Ope Space preserve to meet my fellow hikers for a hike through five openspaces including going to the top of Black Mountain. The weather wasn’t as hot as forecast and we had nice clear views, wild flowers and a nice occasional breeze. We started at 0930 and finished at 1500. Six hikers opted for a slightly shorter hike of only 9 miles while eight of us proceeded to the top of Black Mountain for a 12.5 mile hike. I was worn out as we finished. Back home after a nice shower i prepared ramen noodles and chili for late lunch and then took a nap. More chili for dinner later.

Wednesday: (05/17) I had scrambled eggs with ham for breakfast. Out neighbor is away so I used her car to give it some exercise and went to Smart and Final Market for a few things. Back home, I moved some flagstone pavers I had stacked between the legs of my cement mixer in the tent. Dawn needs the mixer for her garden soil preparation. I also checked and corrected some sprinklers. Ramen noodles with chili for lunch. Dawn made vegetable soup “Wish Soup'' for dinner. After dinner I removed a couple of artichoke plants that had completed their choke harvest.

Thursday: (05/18) Scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast. I had a dental appointment in the morning. I gave myself a hair and beard cut before I headed off to the appointment. I stopped at Sprout’s Market nearby in Sunnyvale after the appointment for my favorite green tea. The shelf was bare. I then picked up my lunch. After that I tried a second Sprout’s location in Cupertino. It is now closed for good, just like our Mountain View location. I hope the rest remain open. Another stop at Panera Bread Cafe for some soup for Lou and Dawn’s lunch. Chinese food from Wok On Restaurant for lunch. BBQ ribs with baked potato and artichoke for dinner.

Friday: (05/19) Scrambled eggs with ham and hash browned potatoes. I worked in the yard in the morning. I weeded and cleaned out my succulent bed. I moved my two big jade plants into buckets and placed them out front for someone else to enjoy. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. After lunch, I started preparing to do some welding and wood work for the van. I rearranged my shop, which is over crowded and moved the saw and welder to the yard. In the late afternoon, we attended an open house at Dawn’s apartment building. Lots of city council members, state legislators and even our congressional representative attended. Soup and roast chicken for dinner. I posted a hike for next Tuesday.

Saturday: (05/20) Granola for breakfast. I tinkered with the van seat installation. I did some more cleanup outside my shop then got busy cutting plywood for Dawn’s chair foot stool. She needs a platform for the stool she uses at the sink. That needs to dry so I placed it in the van. It happens to be about the same height as the dais in the van will be so I used it to confirm the height of the 3rd seat. I cut a couple of pieces of plywood for the seat but because there won’t be a complete set of walls I only have two I can connect. After the glue dries where I connected those two pieces I’ll trim the rear panel to fit and attach a ledger boars and the top. A ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. After lunch I took a package to Kohl’s to return an incorrect Amazon shipment. I got birthday cake flags instead of garden hose caps. I stopped at Walmart for a couple of things for Lou while I was out. Back home, I tried to get the welder going for the seat belt anchorage which could also be the rear support ledger but my wire feed motor isn’t working. So now I’m not sure how to proceed. Lou made chicken salad for dinner,

Sunday: (05/21) Granola for breakfast. I made a shopping run in the morning. I stopped at Rosses and Marshall’s looking for a plastic organizer like the one I bought a while back for the van. I didn’t locate what I wanted. I also stopped at Harbor Freight, the purpose of my trip, for some stick welding rods. At the register I asked about the status of my welders warranty. It was good for another 30 days. How fortunate. My welder's wire feed motor quit working. I had them hold a replacement and returned home to get my welder. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.I returned after lunch to Harbor Freight and swapped the old welder for a new one. Lou and Dawn came along for the ride and looked around a Bed Bath And Beyond next door. Potato salad for dinner. I moved the old washer over to the arbor where it can be used as a backup to our failed new washer.

Monday: (05/22) Granola for breakfast. I took a bike ride over to Stanford’s Arizona Cactus Garden. Lots of flowers to see. After a Tiger Chai Latte, I returned home. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I spent the afternoon cleaning out the greenhouse. Way too much stuff in there Lots of pots pot hangers, sprinkler tubing, wire, etc. Plus scads of fertilizers and chemicals. I filled two recycle bins and our garbage bin. I now have a clear area inside. I washed the pots and saucers I might keep and left them to dry overnight. Tomorrow I’ll put some of it back in, an amount that fits, and recycle or give away the rest. Salmon with rice and carrots for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/23) Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I moved all the pots I washed yesterday evening off of the lawn. I met my fellow hikers for a hike at Foothills Nature Preserve. It was a shorter version of my Other Trails Hike. The twelve of us enjoyed good weather, nice flowers and a friendly snake. Back home I had some leftover BBQ ribs with ramen noodles and chili for lunch. I made a run to ACE hardware for a barbed pipe tee to add the old washing machine to our gray water discharge system. Sauerbraten over baked potatoes for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/24) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I started by moving some furniture out to the street for pickup day tomorrow. They had been removed from the cottage and had been advertised for free for the past few days. I then got out my torch and brazed some tubing to be used as shelf support legs over the potting table. I needed to get a few things to complete the greenhouse cleanup. I headed off to shop and get lunch from Wok On Chinese Restaurant. Then I visited Harbor Freight to get a cheap tarp to be a curtain to protect the storage area from the overhead sprinkler. I also stopped by Lowe’s for some storage tubs and eyelets. Back home I completed the work in the greenhouse. Now Lou just needs to organize her fertilizers and chemicals. Salad for dinner.

Thursday: (05/25) Granola and banana for breakfast. The morning was exciting because today was one of our free pick up days so all sorts of interesting items were placed out for pickup. We had all sorts of stuff from the greenhouse and the cottage in our pile. Watching the man add it all to the rear of the truck and get crushed. After all the excitement I got to work on the van. That began by more thinking. I then got the saw out and cut some pieces for the 3rd seat. I received my new cordless nail gun and used it to pin the main pieces together with some glue. When that had dried enough I added some corner reinforcing pieces that I had cut out while waiting. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. I finished cutting most of the pieces for the seat to be able to assemble it tomorrow. Leftover salad for dinner.

Friday: (05/26) I had scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast. I worked on the can seat cutting and test fitting additional pieces. Cauliflower sausage and onion soup for lunch. I finished for the day after painting the pieces. Tomorrow I can assemble the seat and add some more structure pieces. Chicken with rice and artichokes for dinner,

Saturday: (05/27) Granola and banana for breakfast. I tinkered with the van a little, then worked on rearranging all the stuff that needed to be in the shed. I managed to fit it all in. My table saw and my bike have been left outside for the past week. The clouds have returned and I wanted to be sure nothing gets caught outside in a sprinkle. Late lunch at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. Lou and Dawn had their prime rib and I had my veggie lasagna. Nibbles for dinner.

Sunday: (05/28) Up early and drove up to Milbrea to the Bart Station. I caught a train to the 24th Street station where the Carnaval Parade will be. I walked up 24th Street to Tacos Del Barrio where I got torts for breakfast. I finished up about 15 minutes before the parade was to start. Nice parade but it never got warm. The parade finished at about 1300. I caught Bart back to my car and drove El Camino Real down to Redwood City where I stopped at Grocery Outlet for a couple of things and then stopped at Harry’s Hofbrau for soup and sandwich for lunch. My back was bothering me so I relaxed the rest of the day.Leftover lasagna for dinner.

Monday: (05/29) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van dinette wall panel. I had to strip off the upholstery on the panel. Lots of staples and a mess of glue that held the foam in place. Eventually I got it cleaned up. I cut it to fit the new need that the set caused. Then I painted the panel. I had a snack about 1130, chili beans and cottage cheese. Our holiday feast about 1400 was corn on the cob, potato salad, deviled eggs, with hamburgers and BBQ ribs.

Tuesday: (05/30) A ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I went up the hill to the Long Ridge Open Space preserve for a hike with my fellow San Jose Mid-week Hikers. Seven of us hiked a loop out to Ranch Spring trail and back, about 7.2 miles. We stopped for a snack on the ridge overlooking the mountains with the ocean just beyond. After the hike I drove back home via Saratoga stopping to get lunch at Wok On Chinese restaurant and stopped at Sprout’s Market to see if they finally have my favorite green tea. They did so I got four boxes. Back home I took a shower and relaxed. When Lou and Dawn got back from their errands, Lou surprised me with the four boxes of tea she had bought at the same market, evidently after I had gotten mine. I should have enough tea for a few days now. Ramen noodles with leftover sauerbraten beef. About 1700 I finally got outside to work on the van. I fitted the dinette wall panel and cut the reinforcing panels for it. I glued and nailed the panels together. Now the wall will be one inch thick for better ability to hold screws. The lip needed to remain only ½”.

Wednesday: (05/31) Banana and granola for breakfast.I tinkered installing the dinette wall panel and assembling the seat box. Lou provided a couple of cushions to use temporarily. I loaded up the van for my outing. Potato salad for lunch. I left home about 1500. I shopped my way down to Morgan Hill where I picked up some Chinese food for a later dinner. I spent some some time in Holister doing some final online needs. No phone or Internet in Pinnacles NP. I timed my arrival to a turnout near the park entrance just as it was getting dark. I enjoyed my Chinese food for dinner.