Friday, December 8, 2017

Alices Restaurant / Wunderlich Hike

Friday: (12/08) I was outside early and greeted by Hobbs. I fed her and chipped the ice off our two cars and Ernie’s car. I then moved them all around to make space for the RV in the driveway. I found I did need to move it back because my backpack was in a cupboard in the bedroom blocked by the bed when the side is in. I didn’t want to put the slide out into the street. The road is narrow enough as it is. I put the slides out and hooked up power. I was then off for my hike at Wunderlich Park with my fellow SJMW hikers. 23 of us hiked up to Alice’s Restaurant on Skyline Blvd for lunch then back. I then visited REI and got some extra hiking underwear and filled our drinking water bottles. After a shower and starting the washer with my hiking clothes we all went to dinner then headed down to San Jose State University to attend the Kaucher Mitchell Mathis-Swanson Oral Interpretation Event. Lou made an open-faced egg, pork chop, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I had a bacon breakfast burrito for lunch. A couple of egg rolls at LUU Noodle House for dinner.

This is likely the last post for a week or so because we’ll be at Pinnacles NP for the week and there is no cell signal nor Internet there.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

More Power

Saturday: (12/02) I started work on the RV. Before i did much Ernie noticed the neighbor was disposing of a bunch of used pavers. Lou asked and we sent some time move a bunch of pavers from the dumpster and from his backyard. They are now an addition to our former front lawn with the excess dirt and broken concrete.  After lunch, I got back to work on the RV installing the batteries and powering up the Inverter. I then prepared to hook up the solar panels. The panel end needed to be terminated in the splice boxes on the panels. To complete that I needed some plugs to close off some now to be unused holes in the splice boxes. A visit to Orchard Hardware eventually found what I needed. I hooked up the panels but didn’t switch them on. Wouldn’t do too much since it was almost dark. I needed to make a second run to a different Orchard Hardware to get some more plastic knockout nuts. I decided to replace all the metal nuts on the cable fittings on the boxes. Tomorrow I can finish the wiring in the rear compartment since I received the 30 amp plug I need. Everything should be operational tomorrow. Boysenberries with cream for breakfast. Shrimp and French fries for lunch. Sausage and zucchini for dinner.

Sunday: (12/3) Lou made a nice omelet for breakfast. I installed the missing conduit nuts on the solar panels and taped the connectors hoping to prevent water entry into the splice boxes. I worked much of the rest of the day completing the wiring of the AC power through the new power sub-panel. I had to make a couple of runs to the Hardware stores to get some parts. Along the way I picked up lunch for us all at LUU Noodle House. I completed the RV wiring and put away all the tools and excess materials. Lou and Dawn were busy installing the Christmas tree. Lots of things had to be moved and while she was in the garage attic getting the tree she threw down a bunch of boxes for TV’s, microwaves, etc that have been around long enough that they won’t be going back to the store. Lou made sausage with baked potatoes and asparagus for dinner.

Monday: (12/04) I headed off early to Harbor Freight. I picked up some gloves for my hike next week. On the way i stopped at A Good Morning for a breakfast burrito. On the way home I did some grocery shopping for Lou. I then tinkered in the shop putting away all my tools and the excess parts from the RV solar install. I also found a few things that needed to be put in the RV. I then checked the bed hatch. It’s difficult for Lou to lift so I checked the weight of the hatch and located replacement gas struts for it. For lunch I made pork chops with rice. Lou and Dawn had an appointment in the afternoon. I reinstalled the RV radio which i had removed in hopes of replacing it but ran into  fit problem with the new one. I also stocked my clothes and backpack in the RV. In the evening I sent out my usual dire warning letter for the hikers that signed up for the South Wilderness hike. Later we all went to Grocery Outlet to get cheese and left with a big bag of groceries. Too many eyes and hands.

Tuesday: (12/05) I relaxed in bed util 1030. I did go through some of my clothes and prepare a bag for Goodwill of stuff I don't wear, mostly because they shrank so much. Lou made hard boiled eggs for breakfast. I headed off to get a magnet wand that I can use to retrieve the missing valve stem cap. I’m worried it might fall into the brakes and cause a real problem. I also had some things from Lou to return so I made return visits to Lowes, Home Depot and Orchard Hardware. I got rid of everything except a PVC Ell and a drill bit. On the way home I picked up Lunch at Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale. We hit the jackpot there. There was evidently someone else's order in our bag in addition to ours. Nice bonus. While trying to use my new magnet wand eventually the cap fell out. Couldn’t have decided to do that earlier. I also organized the stuff i’d thrown into the drivers footwell. Most will eventually find a home or be installed. I also cut and installed the divider for under the sink to keep the trash out of the pan drawer. Dawn made soup with toast for dinner. I’ve been binging on the Midsomer Murder series recently.

Wednesday: (12/06) Leftover Mexican food for breakfast. Worked in the RV in the morning doing some final cleanup and packing. We prepared the RV to roll and drove it down to fill the propane tank. While it was out I checked the umbilical cord and found the lights weren’t working properly on the jeep. I needed to prune the front trees to fit the new RV height.  I worked the rest of the afternoon trying to correct it but found I needed a couple of connectors to allow better testing so picked up a set at the auto parts store. When starting the RV it seemed like it barely had enough juice to start. That matches the low charged voltage so tomorrow I'll get a new one. Lou made ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. We had leftover soup ala Dawn with toast for dinner.

Thursday: (12/07) Lou and I were off grocery shopping early. I also bought a new starting battery for the RV. At home, I installed the new battery. I then corrected the wiring for the towed Jeep lighting. I left the brake and power connections open because I couldn’t easily identify which was which. I’ll have to spend some time later ringing it out. I still need to install the RV portions of the system salvaged from the old RV. Fortunately, there are no real mountains on our way to the Pinnacles. In the afternoon I returned the bad battery to Walmart for the core charge refund. I also stopped at Smart and Final for some energy drinks and at Sprouts in Sunnyvale for some bread. I got gas and picked up lunch. I was home around 1530 so not really lunch. We had tamales for dinner.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Long Ridge Open Space Hike

Friday: (12/01) Lou had me cut a hole in the RV cutting board to go around the kitchen sink faucet. I prepared my ham, cheese and egg sandwiches for breakfast. At 0900 I headed off to Long Ridge Open Space for my hike with the SJMW hikers. It was a 7.5 mile hike led by Jonathan which included a couple of new to me trails. I had a chili size for lunch. After lunch, I got to work on the RV about 1500. I completed the hookup of the charge controller. I had a ham and cheese sandwich and a tamale for dinner.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Approaching Completeion

Saturday: (11/25) I visited the hardware store for a couple of items for the RV. After lunch, I started work on the RV wiring. I made some progress on the wiring to the Inverter and wiring the battery switches. Not near finished yet but probably past the halfway mark. PBJ toast for breakfast. A chicken, avocado, cheese, and hummus sandwich for lunch.  Leftover Thanksgiving items for dinner.

Sunday: (11/26) Just relaxed, enjoyed the Sunday morning shows and computed all day. Lou and Dawn were out shopping/walking at the mall. A rainy day. About ½” today. Boiled eggs for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. Chinese noodles for lunch.

Monday: (11/27) Dawn and I had an appointment in Campbell first thing in the morning. At home, after an early lunch, I got busy on the RV. I made up and terminated some cables and wiring. It’s almost ready, just the solar connections and the AC in the rear compartment.  Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Black beans with rice and some of Lou and Dawn’s homemade sausage.
In the evening I started binge watching a Netflix series Marcella. Very interesting mystery drama. Twist after twist.

Tuesday: (11/28) I slept in having continued my binge TV watching into the early morning. Lou made strawberry waffles for breakfast. I relaxed watching part of the Live with Kelly and The View TV shows. They were interrupted by a ridiculous press conference by the idiot president.  It was supposedly called to talk about the new North Korean missile launch but he almost didn’t even mention it being too busy touting his other destructive efforts and blaming others for his gross failures. ABC actually televised the whole diatribe. When I switched to CBS, they had left the conference and pointed out the failure to discuss the topic of interest. I left and got to work. I needed to move some concrete that was piled up at the rear of the RV. I moved it into the front yard with the dirt pile. Hope the neighbor don’t complain too much. To move the concrete I needed the big wagon. It was in Lou’s shed. No problem, but her door hasn’t closed for a while due to the building settling too much. I trimmed the door and adjusted the lock so it all worked and would shut and lock. Eventually, I completed the concrete move then laid some concrete pavers next to the driveway then placed some rubber mats down to make working in the rear compartment easier. I then diverted to working at the battery compartment by hooking up the old batteries through the new switches and sensors with some of the new wiring I installed. That activated the battery monitor for the old house batteries and the starter battery. I added some cable protection and secured all the wiring under the coach. Getting closer to the end. I still need to complete the solar charger wiring and install the new batteries for the inverter and do the input AC wiring in the rear compartment. I get the wire for the charger Thursday so tomorrow may finish the AC wiring. We all went to dinner at Cecelia Mexican restaurant.

Wednesday: (11/29) Lou’s apple pie for breakfast. I worked on the RV, as usual. I got the inverter connected. I started work in the back compartment and got the power return from the inverter connected and then was able to start the rest of the transformation with no power present. I found that the 30 amp connectors I have are not suitable so new ones are on order. I should finish everything this weekend. I did make a quick run to the hardware store midday. Lou made hamburgers for lunch. We had leftovers for dinner.

Thursday: (11/30) Lou and I were off for the day shopping just for fun. We stopped for breakfast at A Good Morning restaurant in Los Altos. We then headed South on El Camino Real stopping here and there. In the process, we looked at some things we’d passed for years, bought all the things on our shopping list and more. We had lunch at King Noodle house in Santa Clara. We made our way down to Eastridge Shopping Center in East San Jose before heading back. For dinner we had a cup of soup at Nob Hill market in Mountain View. I then dropped Lou off for an appointment. Busy day. While out, I got an Amazon delivery of the parts i need to finish the solar hookup. I have a hike tomorrow so that won’t happen until Saturday. I hope to have all the electrical done Sunday.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Joseph Grant Park Hike

Friday: (11/24) I fixed an egg, cheese and ham sandwich for breakfast.
I picked up Alex and we headed up to Joseph Grant Park for our hike. We had 11 hikers from the San Jose Mid-Week Hikers.
We hike 12.5 miles over hill and dale in the East foothills of San Jose. i was back home by 1630. Leftovers and chili for dinner.

Lou and Dawn spent the day in San Francisco at the Exploratorium.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Work, Work, RV Prep

Saturday: (11/18) A sunny day. I got an email and phone call about the heater not working in San Jose. I tried to get by with telling them I’d have it looked at next week but was persuaded to replace the thermostat even though I knew it was more than that. About 0930 Dawn had me leave and drop her off in Sunnyvale at the library for a book sale. I visited Orchard hardware looking for a simple thermostat but they had none. I then stopped by Target and got some items for Lou. Next stop was Home Depot where I found a nice simple thermostat. On the way to San Jose I stopped for a couple of egg rolls at House Of Eggroll. I got involved in a Johnny Dollar radio episode so I had to listen to it all before going in to replace the thermostat.
I also went and took photos of the furnace and the information panel. At home, I had more lunch. Lou had picked up some dim sum for me. About 1500 I finally got to my planned activity for the day. I fit the final pieces of the shelf support above the new drawers and then I cut some molding to reinforce the corners of the drawers. Leftover pork, sauerkraut, and potatoes for dinner.

Sunday: (11/19) An easy Sunday morning watching the morning TV shows. I also spent time preparing the announcements for hikes at the Pinnacles with my hiking group and making our campground reservations.
I finally got outside and worked on the RV closet drawers and drawer frame. It’s all finished now except for the finish. I only need cut some holes in the front of the drawers to act as their handles and to varnish or oil them tomorrow. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Chili sizes for dinner.

Monday: (11/20) Granola for breakfast. I spent most of the morning on the phone and scheduling some Meetup hikes for the San Jose Mid-Week Hikers. Not the easiest task with all the problems with the Meetup site currently. Next, Lou and I were off shopping at Orchard Hardware. At home, I sprayed some varnish on the drawers and drawer box. Should be ready to install tomorrow. In the evening I worked with Meetup for the hikes.  Lou and I had lunch at Los Altos Taqueria. Dawn made Toscano soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/21) I quickly installed to drawer runners on the now dry drawers and installed the drawers in the closet. Then I needed to go to San Jose to meet the furnace tech at 0900. I Stopped on the way at Cash And Carry to get a cutting board for the RV. Next, I got breakfast at La Victoria Taqueria. I arrived at the San Jose house just before 0900. A couple of minutes later the furnace tech from OC McDonald arrived. He tested the furnace and determined it needed a new control board. It wasn’t sending power to the gas valve. This all took about 20 minutes then he was off to get parts. He returned about 45 minutes later, installed the new control board and gas valve and was off at 1145. Nice on time and quick fix though it won’t be cheap. The house now has heat. On the way home I picked up lunch at the Dim Sum King in Sunnyvale.

At home, after a nap, I cut the carpet for the new bottoms of the closet and the drawer bottoms. Finished. I had a little time before dark to tinker in the new battery compartment improving the component layout. For dinner, macaroni and cheese with roasted green beans.

Wednesday: (11/22) Lou and Dawn were off grocery shopping early. I tinkered on the RV electric until they returned and Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I spent the rest of the day installing components, making cables and generally trying to complete the installation of the solar, batteries and inverter.  I did make some progress but still lots to complete. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I made a shopping run in the afternoon with Dawn. I was trying to locate some specific sized connectors but couldn’t find them.Cottage cheese and fruit with leftover rice for dinner.

Thursday: (11/23) Thanksgiving Day. Lou’s birthday. Granola for breakfast. I relaxed and stayed out of the way as best I could until dinner. We had a potluck dinner with our neighbor Meili, brother Ernie, and Cecelia. We have managed to minimize the quantity of food. Still way too much.

Exploring Upper UCSC Campus And A Loose Sock

Friday: (11/17) Up early to drive to Santa Cruz for my hike today. Dawn joined me for the drive. I prepared ham egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches for breakfast. Nice no rain day. Traffic was light. I dropped Dawn off at Peet’s Coffee and proceeded to a trailhead on Highway 9 about 2.5 miles North of Highway 1. I was joined by 15 other SJMW hikers for this exploratory hike led by Bob. We proved the naming correct as we hiked through upper Pogonip Park into the campus and wandered around trying to locate some points of interest.  
The Buddha Hut, Totem Pole, and Cat Shrine. The Totem Pole and Cat Shrine are evidently Wiccan coven circles known as Caer Ellillon. Very interesting. A number of other points of interest are hidden in the forest of upper UCSC campus so future hikes will need to be undertaken. A total of 6.9 miles for the hike.
After the hike, I returned to Santa Cruz and met Dawn for a late lunch at Zachary’s Cafe. Then we returned to the Santa Cruz Bookstore for dawn to finish examining before we returned to Palo Alto about 1630.
At home, Lou wasn’t feeling well but still had started pork sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker for dinner.

For the past few months, I’ve had an extra sock with no mate in my drawer. A couple of days ago Lou found an odd wet sock on the garage floor after having done the socks the day before. I had already matched them up and put them away. No missing socks. My socks are all Darn Tough of two colors. Most are tan but I also have three pairs of dark gray.  One of those dark gray socks was what was missing and the wet sock was a dark gray sock. So I now had all my socks again. This morning when I dressed for my hike I put on my Injinji toe socks then the Darn Tough hiker socks. I always wear two pair of socks for hikes. Later I noticed a dark gray sock on the bed. I thought that Lou had found another and I was back to being out of sync again. This evening, when I peeled my clothes off for a shower I discovered I was wearing two socks on one foot and only one on the other I only had the Injinji sock on one foot. I had forgotten to put the second Darn Tough sock on. It’s amazing I didn’t walk in circles all day. So the socks are actually happily paired after all.