Friday, December 22, 2017

Back Home

Friday: (12/22) Lou and Dawn were busy doing the laundry from our trip. We decided we needed a cat door on Ernie’s trailer. So I searched Amazon and read reviews of the various door. We then visited Pet Smart to look at some. At home, I tinkered in the RV replacing the shower hose and trying to adjust the level indicator by the driver. The auto system leaves the RV nose down a degree or two. Granola for breakfast. Ham an cheese sandwich for lunch. Dawn made stew for dinner.

Saturday: (12/23) I did little today mostly working on the computer and organizing photos on it. My back has been bothering me so I’m taking some time off. Maybe I’ll get some photos posted. It’s been over a year since I posted many. Breakfast was granola and a banana. For dinner, Ernie took us all to Harry’ Hofbrau for a Christmas dinner.

Sunday: (12/24) Popcorn for breakfast. Lou was off early with our neighbor grocery shopping. She and I went out later to get some Christmas presents. Otherwise, I tinkered with the computer and watched murder mysteries on TV. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. For dinner, we met Courtney at Harry’s Hofbrau. Quite a crowd since most restaurants were closed early.

Today is our mom’s birth date. Both Lou and my mom’s birthday is the same today. My mom passed away in 1990 but would have been 107 today.

Monday: (12/25) I cooked smoked pork chops with potatoes and eggs for breakfast. We all were busy doing house cleaning much of the morning. I removed the damaged sun shade cover that was blown to pieces in the wind storm last week while we were gone. Lou and Dawn were busy baking and cooking as well. At 1400 Meili, Cecelia, Courtney, and Ernie joined us for a potluck Christmas dinner. We don’t overdo it recently but still enjoy a nice feast. In the evening we enjoyed our Christmas pies and cake.

Tuesday: (12/26)A nice clear but cold day. Leftover fried potatoes with a wiener for breakfast. I installed a cat door in a compartment door of Ernie’s trailer. It’s one of two doors he and his cat Hobbs got for Christmas. If Hobbs gets used to the outside door, I’ll install the inside door. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. In the afternoon I removed the doors on the lower cabinets in the bedroom. They are difficult to open against the end of the bed and are always in the way. I also removed the upper wire basket hangers as well. Lou bought more plastic storage boxes which will fit in the space and be easier to get in to and organize better. They can also be removed as needed for access when the bed slide is in and blocks access to the cabinets.Chicken tacos for dinner. After dinner, Lou and Dawn headed off to IKEA for a walk. I headed to REI to look for a new backpack. My daypack is pretty worn so I wanted a new day hike pack. I got a 34L Marmot Graviton pack so I can do an overnighter as well.

Wednesday: (12/27) Another col clear day. We had a relaxing morning and finally headed out for the day. We stopped for breakfast an Joanie’s Cafe on California Street in Palo Alto before continuing North. We parked on Laurel Avenue in San Carlos and visited a thrift store then explored the other shops. A visit to Home Depot and another thrift store before stopping fr dinner at Chavez Market Taqueria on the way home.

Thursday: (12/28) We tinkered in the RV today installing eyelets and making bungee cords for our lower cabinets in bedroom. I also moved into my new backpack. I found stuff in the old pack never used before. The new pack can be opened like a clam so maybe easier to know what is lurking inside. Leftovers for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Beef log with Cheese and crackers for dinner

Rancho Canada Del Oro
Friday: (12/29) I prepared a sausage egg and cheese hikers breakfast. Lou and Dawn held out for a later breakfast in Gilroy. We left about 0830 and arrived at the trailhead at 0915. @0 of us hiked a big 9.5 mile loop of Calero Park and Rancho Canada Del Oro OSP. We finished the hike about 1315. Chris, the hike leader, had brought cookies he had made for post-hike snack. Yum! About 2 miles before the end of the hike I called Lou and advised her of my expected arrival back at the trailhead. They had dropped me off and continued down to Gilroy for breakfast at the Black Bear Restaurant. Then the visited the used bookstore in Gilroy. Dawn left a lot of books for them to go through and see what they wanted. They also found new books they wanted. I interrupted them when I called. They left when I called, filled the gas at Costco and headed off to pick me up. I waited about 40 minutes after all the other hikers had departed for them to arrive. They missed a turnoff. We returned to Gilroy to check some thrift stores, have a snack, and then have dinner at the Black Bear. Lou and Dawn wanted prime rib and I had a Chicken Fried Steak. We then headed home.

Saturday: (12/30) We made a shopping run with our neighbor. And that was about it for my day's accomplishments. Pie for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch and dinner

Sunday: (12/31) A relaxing Sunday morning. After our lunch out we walked around downtown Los Altos. Granola and Banana for breakfast. Lunch at Panera Bread Restaurant. Chili baked potatoes for dinner.

Monday: (01/01) We all headed out on the bus today. Hopefully a good start for the new year? Nothing special, just a run down El Camino Real intending to get some of my ciabatta bread and Bee’s Knees peanut butter at one of the other two Sprouts Markets. I can accept no substitutes. We had lunch out. Mine was from the China Wook, theirs from the market. Things lie MSG and cottonseed oil bothers Lou. Leftovers for dinner.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oceana County Park

Wednesday: (12/20) Leftover pork with sauerkraut potatoes fried as a hash and eggs for breakfast. I relaxed at home all morning and attended a webinar as well. Lou and Dawn went out thrifting. I relocated the latches on the sink cabinet doors. One keeps losing a screw and the other probably would have because they were installed in a joint of the door. I moved them further inward and all is well. For lunch, we went to Old Juan’s Mexican restaurant. In the afternoon Dawn visited a used bookstore and Lou and I went shopping. I bought a new latch for the drawer below the oven which was broken. I installed it when we got home. I also bought some heavier weight struts for the bed lid. The previous ones, which I just installed were 80#. I got 120# replacements and installed them and it lifts more easily now. Lou visited the dealer where we bought the RV and asked about a part they have to order. They are having trouble finding it so we’ll stop by tomorrow on our way out of town for them to take more photos and measurements. Lou made me a chili size and she and Dawn had pickled tongue sandwiches.

Thursday: (12/21) Breakfast at the Country Kitchen in Arroyo Grande. We then returned to camp for showers and prepared to leave. We left about 1000 and stopped by Sky River RV so they can take photos and measurements of the sewer service bay floor replacement they are having difficulty locating. We then took a walk out to the beach and visited the Monarch butterflies at the Pismo Beach SP grove. It was then time for lunch at Pismo Fish and Chips restaurant. This is their first day open after a three week closure which they do each year and this time. After a walk around the village of Pismo, we hit the road toward home. We stopped in Greenfield at San Miguel Ranch Market for some flan and other shopping. We arrived home about 1830.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Pinnacles Hikes

Saturday: (12/09) Leftovers for breakfast. We tinkered all morning doing final preparations to leave. I installed the new gas struts on the bed lid. I also programmed the from tire pressure websites I installed a few days ago. I found the right rear tire sensor wasn’t working so I swapped it with a spare. We finalized our packing Ang Lou loaded the refrigerator. We were off at 1200. We stopped at Camping World in San Martin, for a couple of things, then dinner at Chevy’s . We filled the gas tank at Costco. In Gilroy. Another stop at Walmart then back on the road. We arrived at the Pinnacles Campground just before dark. We topped the water tank then settled on our site. Leftover soup and bread for dinner. Afte setup I didn’t go outside until the Johnny Dollar radio mystery finished at 2030. Always a pleasant sight to see stars, galaxies in a dark Sky. Doesn’t happen in or near the city. On my walk around the campground, I was interrupted by gnashing teeth and growling as three raccoons scampered up a tree ahead of me. Exciting!

Sunday: (12/10) This morning I was joined by two fellow hikers hiking out the South Wilderness Trail to the end plus a half mile or so. I was doing a reconnoiter of the bottom of the South Chalone Peak. This is where our Friday hike will pass after coming down from the peak. Last year we had to wade through a couple of sections of the road. This year there is little road left, most having been washed out. There are much bigger flooded sections of the road and now the bottom isn't road but loose 8" rocks. Unlike last year though, it is possible to bushwhack through with no wading and just some scratches. Because the road is impassable for vehicles, it's mostly disappeared. I always feel better leading my hike knowing how this section is. By this time on our Friday hike, having to find our way would be more difficult. This is part of the two miles on non trail for this coming Friday's hike. Weather is nice but with cold mornings as usual. 25 degrees this morning, 75 to 80 this afternoon. Usual sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Hikers lunch of tuna salad and crackers. BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and asparagus. Just before dinner, all the AC power went off. No breakers seemed to be tripped.I spent way too long looking, testing, bypassing, and etc. Eventually found a breaker behind the inverter. I do have too finish the project by labeling, and documenting the wiring.

Monday: (12/11) The usual sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich to start the day. I met my fellow hikers at the Visitor Center. 17 of the18 signed up arrived. We hiked up Condit Gulch Trail to High Peaks Trail. We took the Rim Trail to the reservoir the returned through the Bear Gulch Trail. Nice 5.7 mile hike. No condors were seen. The usual tuna salad and crackers hikers lunch. Always a pleasure to get an ice cream at the camp store post-hike. We took a walk around camp and talked with a woman i, a truck camper that has been watching the condors on the fridge ab0ve our camp. She pointed out three condors in a tree on the ridge. Colin, one of my fellow hikers that is camped here came out to talk and we went to his camper for wine and Chips until they ran us off so the could have dinner.

Tuesday: (12/12) I made breakfast sandwiches for all. At 0930 I joined my fellow hikers at the Visitor Center. 15 of us hiked up the High Peaks Trail then down the Tunnel and Juniper Trails and back on the Balconies Trail. Another nice clear day. On our way through the caves, we sighted some bats. It was a nice 8.3 mile hike. Of course, I enjoyed a post-hike ice cream at the store. Lou made a sweet corn salsa bean noodle casserole for dinner.

Wednesday: (12/13) I made The usual breakfast sandwiches for all. Met 5 hikers for this North Wilderness Loop hike. Good weather. We were back to camp by 3pm. After relaxing, a snack, a shower, and having washed my clothes, I dumped our tanks and filled our water tank. Lou and Dawn were in Hollister all day and returned about 6pm. Lou had cooked a roast in the crockpot for dinner.

Thursday: (12/14) Lou made chorizo hash with eggs for breakfast. We drove up to Hollister for the day. I got a chance to catch up on email and Facebook with some tea st McDonald’s. Lou and Dawn checked a couple of more thrift stores. We had lunch at Chilin and Grillin Ale House. Home before dark.

Friday: (12/15) More breakfast sandwiches to start. Tara and Alex met me for my South Wilderness Loop hike. We started an hour earlier at 0830. We hiked up Bear Gulch, through the caves to the reservoir. From there we hiked up to the top of North Chalone Peak. We had lunch there. The view is the best on this, the highest peak in the park. On a rock near our lunch spot by the old fire tower, a young condor war sitting and allowed all of us to get a good view. We then h I'm 3rd on over to South Chalone Peak. This is where the trail ended and our tortuous trek down the mountain beside the pig fence. A very steep path for about 2 miles. We finished by hiking back on the South Wilderness Trail. We were back to our car by 1650. We made it to the store in time to get my post-hike ice cream. I managed to put a link in my back after I slipped on the way down the mountain. Lou and Dawn relaxed at home all day. Lou made chili and Dawn grilled asparagus for dinner.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Bakersfield Visit

Saturday: (12/16) Prepared to leave the campground at 1030 after a relaxing morning. That changed when the slides, jacks, and steps wouldn’t come in. I spent an hour and a half checking and testing everything. Obviously, something to do with the safety circuit that requires the engine to be running. Last things rattled before it working were some relays in the slide control compartment. It is still lurking. I may just shotgun the relays by replacing them all. We departed late at 1230. We drove down Highway 25 to Highway 198 then East over to Coalinga then South on Highway 5 to Bakersfield. We checked in at the River Run RV Park. Leftovers for lunch in Coalinga. We called my cousin Judy and her husband Don and Lou’s friend Anita and met at the Rice Bowl for dinner. I enjoyed their shrimp dinner. Best fried shrimp anywhere and outstanding chow mein.

Sunday: (12/17) We dropped Dawn off at a used bookstore then Lou and I visited my Mom, Dad and brother Robert at the cemetery. We confirmed that a marking problem had been corrected. We then stopped at a Mexican market for a look and to pick up some things. The final stop was at Camping World for a longer sewer hose. I only have two five foot hoses but when I tried to use the new second one it was a special use hose and unusable for my needs. CW had the hose I wanted but it was 50% higher priced than the same hose at the RV Park so I ended up buying it at the park. Lou dropped me off at home and I relaxed all afternoon. She and Dan hit the thrift stores. In the evening they brought Anita over to look at the RV and we all went to the light show at the California Living Museum (CALM) in the evening. Deep pit BBQ for breakfast at Milt’s. Leftovers for lunch and dinner.

Monday: (12/18) A late breakfast and shopping at Winco in the morning. About 1500 Lou and Dawn were off to the thrift stores again. I relaxed at home. Dinner at the Golden Corral buffet. I started a pork roast with sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker for tomorrow.

Tuesday: (12/19) We prepared to leave and then went to Noriega's Basque restaurant for breakfast. On return to the RV park we showered then did final prep to leave, got LPG and gas and headed off to Pismo Beach via Highway 166. We were all settled in before dark at the SLO County Park in Oceana. I had started a pork roast with sauerkraut and potatoes in the slow cooker last night. It was wonderful for dinner. After dinner, Lou and Dawn visited a thrift store while I relaxed at our new home. I showed them photos and videos from my pinnacles hikes in the evening.

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.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

New RV Setup

Saturday: (11/11) I started my RV prep efforts by installing the new 7way trailer light connector on the umbilical cord. Next, I started installing the fuses, shunts, and switches. I cut and crimped lugs on some cables until I ran out of both. More are on order. In the evening we went to a storytelling event. A day of low fiber. I made corned beef hash for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Mashed potatoes and chicken for dinner.

Sunday: (11/12) A little grocery shopping run first thing in the morning, after the Sunday morning news shows. At home, I installed the power cables that go from the rear left compartment, where the power enters the RV, to the new mid right compartment where the inverter and batteries are going to be. Lots of crawling around underneath the RV on my nice new crawler. Now waiting for grommets and clamps. The clamps arrived later in the afternoon. Cecilia came by in the afternoon. She’s been back East for a while. She and Dawn took a walk. When they returned I had finished up and we all chatted for a while in the RV/ Hobbs, our neighborhood cat really wanted to join us inside. Yesterday he convinced me he should take a nap in the RV. I had no problem with it but when Lou found out, she quickly convinced her to exit the RV. Leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. A chicken sandwich for lunch. Chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner.


Monday: (11/13) I had an early 0800 dentist appointment to start my day. In addition to cleaning, I had a filling repaired. Fortunately, they can be repaired sometimes now rather than replaced so no painkiller to have to wait to stop numbing and no drooling after the visit. After that, I stopped by the REI in Campbel to browse around while I waited for a noon appointment at Normandin Jeep to have the start/stop feature looked at. It stopped doing that a couple of months ago. It had to stay so they gave me a rental and I returned home. At home, I began installing the cables for the AC power to and from the new inverter. I also got the table saw out and started building the drawer compartments in the bottom of the closets. They will be drawers and leave plenty of space above for clothes. I glued up some pieces before stopping for the day. Today I was fasting for a procedure tomorrow so no meals for me. Lou and Dawn ate out so they wouldn't tempt me.


Tuesday: (11/14) I was up really early to get ready for my procedure. Lou went with me as my driver. She got to do some shopping nearby as she waited. All went well. I finished my procedure about noon. Lou took me to Applebee’s for lunch. I enjoyed a chicken wrap and French onion soup. Lou made beef stroganoff for dinner. Lou’s strawberry shortcake for dessert. Nice to be able to eat again.

Wednesday: (11/15) Lou and I headed off to Normandin Jeep in San Jose to pick up Tigger, our jeep. We stopped for breakfast on the way at the Country Inn in Cupertino. The jeep wasn’t ready yet. In fact, they had trouble locating it. They finally found it, no charge for the “repair”.  They replaced the battery. The error showing on the screen was Start/Stop disabled due to battery charging. This, I told them when I scheduled the appointment. This battery replacement took over two days to complete. We had not turned in our loaner car until we knew our car was ready. We left and stopped at a couple of thrift stores and a restaurant supply store looking for a cutting board for the RV. I noted that the Start/Stop hadn’t worked since we left and the error was still showing on the screen. We returned to the dealer and complained about the fact nothing was fixed. The service adviser said it may take the IBS (Intelligent Battery Sensor) a couple of days to know the battery is OK. Sounds like a story to me but we’ll give it the 48 hours to see. They did replace the battery which, when I checked it when I saw the code at first, was OK. I’m not going to be happy if it doesn’t magically start working. Unfortunately, this problem doesn’t generate any error codes, just the message and disabling the function. At home, Lou made chicken salads for lunch. I worked on the closet shoe drawers. I installed the runners, took measurements and cut out the drawer parts and glued and nailed them together. Leftover beef stroganoff with Brussels sprouts for dinner.


Thursday: (11/16) Heavy rain all day. Busy day though, just not working on the RV. Lou and i visited three Lowes stores. I wanted a couple of more pieces of birch plywood and Lou was looking for carpet for the closet bottom and shoe drawer bottom.  The first Lowe’s only had two 2’x4 sheets left. When i got the other pieces last week, there were a dozen. These two were not the best. We visited the Coleman Avenue Lowes and they only had two sheets as well but they were good. We did have to visit the Brokaw Lowes to finally find the carpet and also find what we needed to know about the new flooring we need for the RV. Finally sucess. We also visited the San Jose City Hall to get a business license which they now require for home rentals. We also visited a couple of restaurant supply stores looking for containers and cutting boards. Still no luck there. Lunch at Super Taqueria. Grocery shopping at Sprouts on the way home. Still raining. When we arrived home we noticed our neighbor’s cars lights were on. It turns out they were not turned on just on. The flashers were on but not flashing and turning on the flashers did nothing. Then we discovered there was about two gallons of water on the floor of the left side of the vehicle, source unknown. Vacuumed that out but couldn’t find a fuse to kill the lights. Ended up disconnecting the battery until tomorrow. Breakfast at Bajis Cafe on the way South. Lunch at Super Taqueria in San Jose. Lou made potato soup for dinner.

Saturday: (12/23) I did little today mostly working on the computer and organizing photos on it. My back has been bothering me so I’m taking some time off. Maybe I’ll get some photos posted. It’s been over a year since I posted many. Breakfast was granola and a banana. For dinner Ernie took us all to Harry’ Hofbrau for a Christmas dinner.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Windy Hill OSP Hike

Friday: (11/10) I enjoyed a fall hike with my San Jose Mid Week Hikers at Windy Hill OSP. 9.5 miles with the last half in rain showers. Actually a great hike. When I got home showered and had some lunch I check with Lou who was down in San Jose at the rental watching the neighbor's tree being trimmed. It’s a huge tree. The tenants mentioned that their heater wasn’t working. I checked it and it was working fine. I did notice they had installed a smart thermostat. I gave up on them many years ago due to the inability of most people to know how they work. I had reinstalled a simple thermostat many years ago. May have to do it again and replace the one they installed. While there I replaced the filter. Lou and Dawn went their way home stopping at thrift stores. I did some grocery shopping on my way home stopping at Grocery outlet for cheese, lunch meat, and hummus and again at Sprout’s for my ciabatta bread. Breakfast from Happy Donut, an egg cheese, and bacon croissant. Some fruit and yogurt for lunch. Tater tots and shrimp with carrots for dinner.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rest Then Work

Saturday: (10/28) Soft Boiled eggs for breakfast. I took Dawn up to San Mateo for an event. While she evented, I got gas and had lunch at Heidi’s Pie. I didn’t know there was any place in our area had gas prices higher than in Palo Alto ($3.39). San Mateo wins ($3.89). Some stations were $1 more than the normal prices most areas like where I got gas, just 6 blocks away, for $2.89. I enjoyed a Google Maps twilight zone experience with it directing me to make u-turns heading back and forth on a half-mile stretch of El Camino but never nearing the actual target station. I tinkered on my computer until Dawn finished at her event about 1700 then we went to Jack’s Cafe for dinner.


Sunday: (10/29) I mostly relaxed all day except for a grocery shopping trip. I also reorganized the stuff in my study and moved the new sofa bed in three. It is our guest room as well. Oatmeal for breakfast. Leftover cabbage with leftover BBQ ribs for lunch.  Asparagus, cauliflower and veggie meatballs for dinner.


Monday: (10/30) I never really got going today. The radio in the new RV died yesterday. Today I spent some time trying to fix it. The unit is dead so I started looking for a new one. I picked up another black bucket for the sanitary hoses and a heavy duty container for the gas grill and added those to the RV storage. I made chorizo hash with eggs for breakfast. Baked beans and dogs for lunch. Chili for dinner.


Tuesday: (10/31) Lou wanted the dinette table lower so I lowered it by cutting off the leg and lowering the wall bracket. Then, I made a plan for wood usage to make some drawers and drawer dividers. Also started installing some of the electrical materials. Leftover chicken in a sandwich for breakfast. Chips and hummus for lunch. Courtney joined us for dinner. Baked potato asparagus and roast beef for dinner.


Wednesday: (11/01) Off shopping for wood this morning. Home Depot didn’t have what I needed so I checked at Lowe’s. They had the ⅛” tempered hardboard and birch plywood for the closet drawers and dividers in the kitchen and bath drawers. They also had some nice plastic edging that, combined with double sided foam tape, secured the hardboard dividers in the drawers. After lunch i cut and installed the dividers in the drawers. Lou has been Scotchgarding the cushions and locating containers.  Granola for breakfast. Super burrito from Super Taqueria for lunch. Beef stroganoff for dinner. Dawn’s Chayote apple cobbler for dessert.


Thursday: (11/02) I built a little panel to hold the three battery/inverter monitor panels. It’s a box about 5”x16”x2” that will be mounted over the refrigerator. I also made a shopping run to Madco Welding supply looking for cable lugs. They didn't have what I needed and referred me to Buckles Smith Electric. They ordered what i needed and I can pick it up tomorrow. Granola for breakfast. PBJ sandwich for lunch. Spaghetti for dinner.


Friday: (11/03) I stowed some more items in the RV. Then I mounted the meters in the panel I made last night. I went shopping in the morning for some screws and also stopped at Buckles Smith Electric to pick up the cable lugs they had ordered for me. They were the wrong lugs for #4 rather the #4/0 cable. The difference between ¼ inch conductor and a ⅓” conductor. In the afternoon I made another run for tiny screws to mount one of the panels. I also visited Harbor Freight Tools for some saw blades, hole saw blades, and a multi-tool. I also picked up a chainsaw and wagon that were on sale and on my list. At home I assembled the wagon and installed the screws in the panel meter. It was threatening rain all day but just a few showers in the afternoon.  Granola for breakfast. Lunch from the China Wok. Dinner at LUU Noodle House.


Saturday: (11/04) It was a rainy day drying out later in the afternoon. A little stowing of stuff into the RV in the morning. I also attempted to install the new radio but need to enlarge the opening from a 1.7 din to a 2 din opening and need a box support for the radio. It’s on order. In the afternoon I installed the monitor panel above the refrigerator. I made home fried potatoes with pork cubes and fried eggs. Leftover breakfast fr lunch. Lou made hamburgers with tater tots for dinner.


Sunday: (11/05) I inspected and checked and double checked then drilled holes from the refrigerator compartment into the new battery compartment. I then pulled in the cable for the solar panels and for the monitor panel above the refrigerator. I got to the point of needing some cable clamps and foam sealant to be able to close up access panels. So off to lunch and shopping I went at about 1400. Visits to three Orchard Hardware store did not yield the appropriate cable clamps nor sealant. The visit to Harbor Freight provided a bi-metal hole saw set to cut the metal storage box walls for some cable routing and some heavy duty huge cable ties. With the new early darkness due to DLS, I didn’t get back to work outside. I did finalize my layout and wiring and ordered, even more, materials from Amazon. Lou and Dawn were in San Jose all day with a meeting and shopping. Granola for breakfast. Lunch at Los Altos Taqueria. Leftovers for dinner.


Monday: (11/06) I spent the day on the roof of the RV. I secured the cables with cable clamps in the refrigerator vent, drilled a hole for the cable to exit through the roof and then sewed up the vent screen and installed the cap. Then I cleaned the used solar panels and installed them on the roof. I finished up with that as it was getting dark about 1730. Before my shower I trimmed my beard and cut my hair. Finally making a little progress on the RV solar. Lou and I had breakfast at Bajis Cafe in Mountain View. A really nice place, our first time here. We’ve been missing something great. Fruit bowl for dinner. Leftovers for dinner.


Tuesday: (11/07) The RV roof was too wet to work so Lou and I visited Lowe’s where I got my cable clamps that I needed for the solar cables on the roof. They had the elusive ½” metal insulated camps that I wanted and didn’t find yesterday. On the way home we visited the Sunnyvale Goodwill store and got gas before stopping for dim sum and shopping at an Indian market for produce. At home, after lunch, I got to work and installed the cables to each solar panel, anchored the cables and the splice boxx and sealed all the PV mounts, cable clams and the box. I completed these items just as it was getting dark. I did have to make another run to Orchard Hardware, the closest hardware store for some stainless screws. I don’t seem to be planning my projects as well as I used to do, but they still get done, eventually. I have all the roof item done now except for the final cable connections to each panel which I can’t do until the lower wiring is completed. I received my elusive black sealing foam and my tire pressure monitor system so lots to do tomorrow. Granola for breakfast. Dim Sum for lunch. Chili cheese baked potato for dinner.


Wednesday: (11/08) I started by reinstalling all the solar panels to their mounts. The sealant was mostly dry. I then finished pulling in and securing the cables through the refrigerator vent, sealed the penetration holes and closed the access panel. Then I cut the holes through the storage compartment walls for the DC and AC cables. I also figured out the placement in the rear compartment for the new subpanel for incoming power and where to mount the low voltage boost transformer. I had to cut off its handle to allow mounting on a ledge in the compartment leaving most of the compartment for storage. My final task of the day was to program the Tire pressure monitor sensors and install them. I found I couldn’t install the front sensors due to the hubcap obstructing the installation. Tomorrow I’ll try to cut the hubcap to allow the sensor to fit. Lou and Dawn were off to appointments, classes, and shopping. Granola for breakfast. Lou made a nice chopped chicken salad in her new CusineArt food processor for lunch. Roast beef with asparagus and pasta for dinner.


Thursday: (11/09) A rainy day. Lou and Dawn were off to appointments in the morning. I relaxed inside and worked in the office. I met Lou and Dawn for lunch at LUU Noodle House then we went down to San Jose to our credit union and looking for cabinets and counter tops. We stopped for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes in Mountain View.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Picchetti Stevens Canyon Loop

Friday: (10/27) Breakfast at Jack In The Box. I met my fellow hikers at Picchetti Ranch Open Space for a hike up into Stevens Canyon. This is one of Cornell’s hikes. There are a couple of rather steep sections but it’s only a 7.5 mile key hike. A good workout. Nice to see some of the folks I haven’t hiked with in a while. I stopped for some dim sum on the way home. At home, I found that I received my new Fantastic fan, a couple of battery switches that I didn’t expect for a couple of weeks and LED lamps for some of the interior fixtures of the RV. I took a shower and headed down to San Jose to meet Lou and Dawn. Lou found a nice loveseat sofa twin bed at a thrift store there yesterday. Today everything was 50% off so she bought it. She needed the tie down straps that were at home to tie it on the top of the Jeep. I took the slow way home to keep my speed down with the tall load. On the way, I got a call telling me that Lou and Dawn had been in an accident. She had rolled forward while stopped at a signal and hit a car. Nothing serious. At home, I got a couple of 2x4 studs and made a ramp and slide the sofa off the top of the Jeep, placed it on a couple of carts and stowed it outside pending disinfecting and cleaning. I covered it with a tarp for the night. Dinner was a hotdog and cheese sandwich.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Outfitting The New RV

Tuesday: (10/24) Corned beef steaks with eggs and potatoes for breakfast. A little office work in the morning. Then I installed a new faucet in our small bathroom where the faucet continually ran. Cheaper and easier to replace than fix a ceramic faucet. I also moved the hose on the RV sink and removed the unused water filter spigot. Lou and I went out looking for flooring, containers, and other stuff. Along the way, we got dim sum for lunch at Dim Sum King. Leftover corned beef and cabbage for dinner.


Wednesday: (10/25) I spent most of the day moving stuff into the RV and building a shelf for the water storage cabinet.Gnocchi and wieners for lunch.  In the evening Lou and I went out container shopping. We had dinner at Los Altos Taqueria.


Thursday: (10/26) Oatmeal for breakfast. I started by going through my electronics and office stuff and stowing in a cabinet. I installed a couple of paper towel holders. I went through the spare parts box. Then set up the water and sewer stuff in new 5 gallon buckets. During all this I purged about half of the original load. My solar parts order arrived from AMsolar so I went through the items and started preparing to install the system.   Porkchop chili and rice for lunch and dinner.