Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Year

We enjoyed the Garrison Keillor's New Year's Eve Special on PBS from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. It was a tame, enjoyable introduction  to the new year.

I was busy all evening installing all the software that's been collected recently. The Adobe Bundle was a heck of a lot to install and get updated. Of course, installing it is only a small part compared to learning how to use it.

New Year’s Eve Day

We enjoyed the Sunday morning political shows after which we got ready to go out.

We had lunch at the IKEA store in East Palo Alto. We then looked around. One thing we're looking for is reading lites for our bedroom. We didn't find what we wanted. We also looked over Home Depot as well. For some reason, many stores were closing early today. Don't know why?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Nasty Tree!

Killer Tree Flying Field
Above left, a killer tree, right our flying field.

We went over to Gunn High School this morning to, guess what, fly our planes. It was a bit breezy and Lou got her plane up nice and high and flew it into a nice big oak tree. The plane was nicely stuck in the branches about 60 feet up. Rocks and twigs thrown at it didn't help much. The tree just grabbed them too. We tried with some weak twine and a sock in a rock but the twine just kept breaking. Some nice survey twine did the trick. By that time I was pretty good at getting the twine over a branch to shake it and the survey twine didn't break and eventually the plane, and a lot of the twigs and other stuff that the tree had grabbed came down. Success, and it only took a couple of hours. There does come a time when retrieving a $30 plane doesn't seem worth it. That point should have been reached after only about 10 minutes, for "normal" folks, but time didn't deter us. We do fly these planes for exercise, don't we, and we got plenty of that today. I'll probably have a sore (or is that a soar) arm tomorrow though.

Friday, December 29, 2006

“There’s No Place Like Home”

San Jose's California Theater
This evening we went down to San Jose to the California Theater to see the Wizard Of Oz. This is associated with the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto in that Packard Humanities Institute funded 1/3 the cost of renovation and evidently has some use of the facility. I hadn't heard of the classic movies being shown here before and this showing was free. The theater is the former Fox theater downtown and is home to both the opera and symphony as well. It was renovated a couple of years ago and is a very beautiful theater. There is much more decoration than at the Stanford. Like the Stanford, there is a nice Wurlitzer organ and the same organist Bill Taylor, was at the keyboard. The music was mostly from the movie or about it. It's nice to have another good theater for a good (old) movie.

I last went to this theater not too long before it closed. The theater was a bit worn then but still showed it's character. I'm glad that San Jose was able to save it. It shows a change in the Redevelopment Agency there. They have very nearly demolished the entire downtown and rebuilt a junky city. The character was removed. They have made many blunders and spent far too much money on many projects that have failed. Even with that, the downtown is slowly improving now that there is more housing being built there. I do hope they eventually succeed in creating a vibrant downtown.

More Information:
Nice Pictures and Information.
The City of San Jose's Information Page.
More information.

Received a design award.
The Organ Restoration Company

Remote Controls

Wilton Arbor Trimmed
I started my day out by pruning back more of the wisteria from the arbor. It's mostly gone now so I'll be able to start rebuilding the arbor soon.

It seems like we've gone overboard. Today we went over to Gunn High School again to fly the planes. While they were recharging, we then fly Dawn's flying saucer and then drove our new radio controlled cars. The overboard statement may actually come true in that Lou mentioned we need to get a radio controlled boat to complete the menagerie.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Christmas Story

Lou and Dawn went to the play "A Christmas Story" at the San Jose Repertory Theater. They enjoyed the play. Since I wasn't too interested in that play, but had to drive them down, I lounged around Dawn's apartment enjoying some TV like CSI. Dawn's big LCD TV is sure nice. Some of our old screens may be in trouble.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Quiet Christmas

We enjoyed a quite Christmas at home. We don't make a big deal of it and definitely try to avoid the crowds. We did take it easy and unconventional. We went to the Crazy Buffet, a Chinese Buffet  in Sunnyvale for dinner.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

It’s A Wonderful Life!

Stanford Theater

It really is, but the Title is really the name of the movie we went to tonight.

Tonight, we went to see "It's A Wonderful Life", Frank Capra's movie form 1946 with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. We watched it on TV a couple of days ago, but seeing it on the big screen at a real theater is wonderful. This is the 19th year that the Stanford Theater, in downtown Palo Alto has shown the film on Christmas eve. David Packard (an heir of a Hewlett Packard computer family) bought the theater in 1987, reconditioned it and it's still a wonderful place to see movies, especially the old movies that it shows.

There are usually good crowds to the regular shows. We especially like the weekend shows when they have the mighty Wurlitzer organist during intermission. A double feature and live music from a pipe organ. Really nice! Anyway, tonight there was a real crowd. Tickets had to be bought in advance. We arrived about 7:45 for the 9:00 pm showing. The line was already half way around the block when we arrived. Before the doors opened it was working on a full circle around the block. Prices for the shows are reasonable, $7 and the snack bar is very reasonable, not the ripoff of the typical theaters. Tonight was special though, popcorn and drinks were free.

Old black and white moves are really nice. The textures and the details in the background are so much nicer on the big screen.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Movie Night

We've had quite a bit of rain the past few days. We were fortunate to have a couple of good mornings so we went over to Gunn High School for more flight training. Due to a dog convention, or so it seemed, we had to move from the soccer fields into the football field/track area one day. While the soccer fields are much larger, the goal posts are fun to maneuver around in the football field.

Today, it was clear all day. I managed to get out and pour some sand in the ruts that have developed in the front yard where I backfilled for the drain pipe a few months ago. I also reloaded the toad. Whenever it goes to the shop, all the stuff like bikes, chairs, ice chests, etc get pulled out.

We went down to Milpitas to the Great Mall, a former Ford car factory to see a movie. We arrived early, bought our tickets and took a little walk around the mall waiting for our show time. We saw Night At The Museum. It was fun. We then had dinner at the food court. No great food to be found there.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Cold Night

Frozen Pond
We had a very cool night. Our fountain pump is off right now due to a leaky barrel and we had a very cold night, coldest this year. The big barrel froze. That doesn't happen here all too often.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I've been adding more categories to this blog. Each state has a category to allow easier review of geographic areas. Now if you click on Arizona, you'll see all the posts for our time in Arizona. In addition, I've added some other categories. Computers, Web for things related to this site, and RV modifications and repairs. I'm updating older posts as I have time. Currently,  the posts for the past year have been updated.

Oak Tree Trimming

My camera is still awaiting parts for repair so I had to break out the backup camera, my D-snap. Not the best pictures, but then that may be just my lack of photographic abilities. I've added a few pictures on the last few posts.

Our morning was more flight training at Gunn HS. We ran the batteries down and then took a walk over to the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital next door for tea while the batteries charged. Tea is only 50 cents there, a bargain. When we returned to fly some more they were spraying the weeds around the field so we decided to leave instead of breathing the stuff.

Oak Tree Wilton Oak Tree After Trim
The oak tree got a trim this afternoon. Pre trim above left, post trim picture above right. The new neighbor and I got a litle carried away aand did a good trim over his garage. It actually looks good so I'll probably trim more on my side later.

Today, the prize from Adobe arrived. The "Web Bundle" package is only about 3x7x10 inches but contains software worht more than $2000. I'm intending to dive into it soon.

Dawn and Lou have been busy organizing Dawn's Video and Audio library. Now that's a real task!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A New Sound Machine

Breakfast was bread pudding, sliced and cooked as French Toast. Very good idea Lou.

There was no breeze this morning so we over to Gunn High School to fly our planes. Schools out and the field is fairly large without too many obstacles. It does have some occasional hazards. The chain link fences seem to jump up and catch the planes when least expected. And then there are the dogs. They seem to think the planes are big bugs or Frisbees. The planes are fairly durable so a crash into a fence isn't too bad. The dogs would be a disaster though, so we have to keep our eyes open and stop occasionally. After we ran our batteries down, we took a walk down toward Los Altos on the bike path. When we returned, the batteries were charged so we went back for more flight time. My battery died very soon. I figured out that the batteries in my controller, which charges the plane, were low. It's the oldest plane of the three and this is the original set of batteries.

After our flight training, we stopped by Trader Joe's on the way home. To us, Trader Joe's is a goodies store. At least they are healthier goodies. We stocked up and headed home.

Volvo Dash New Radio
My afternoon was spent wrestling with the car. I removed the center dash panel to expose the radio amplifier module. I needed to remove the connector on it to get to the speaker wires for the new radio installation. I wanted to make a clean swap so I removed the module as well. This weird radio seems to have been designed only to make the theft of the radio worthless. If you steal the radio in the dash, it won't work because it's only half of the radio, just the tuner and cassette player. Mission complete. The radio works great and provides a CD player as well. All the lights are a bit annoying but that's the modern way, I guess.

I was finishing buttoning up the dash as the sun went behind the house. The temperature dropped at least 20 degrees. I had to get the car back together because it was going in for it's regular service on Monday morning. In addition, the front end will get aligned. I managed to drag the toad over a curb in Monterey just before we got home. It's been a while since the alignment has been looked at and dragging the car behind the RV for so many miles can't really help it. We just got new tires which we don't want them ruined because an alignment problem.

When I went inside, I checked the temperature and the outside thermometer. It was 42 degrees at 6pm. A bit chilly for shirt sleeve weather.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Met Our New Neighbors

Leaning Arbor
I've been attacking the wisteria in the arbor in our back yard. The plant is much bigger than the arbor needs (like twenty times too big). The arbor is wedge shaped, about 6 feet on three sides and 4 feet on one side. We have a couple of bench swings hanging from it and a water fountain on one side. It's really quite nice. But, Lou wont sit in it any more. She seems to be concerned about the leaning posts. Basically, the wisteria plant is really what holds it up. So I've been trimming. I'm about half way complete having filled four 80 gallon compost containers. When I get it pruned all the way back, I'll rebuild it. I haven't decided yet if I'll rebuild it in wood our use metal. At this rate I've got a month to decide.

We were out front and the new neighbors next door appeared so we introduced ourselves. We toured their house. It's basically identical to ours. They toured ours to see what theirs might look like. While their house just cost them $870K for this as is fixer upper, it isn't livable. We're happy to hear they intend to live in it and not knock it down. It's going to take a lot of work. They're a young couple (isn't everyone, any more) from India. They have been looking for two years and finally found the house of their dreams. One reason they liked it is because it is "perfectly aligned". Ours is aligned the same. No wonder we're happy here.

One thing we learned was they were concerned about our oak tree hanging down to their garage roof. They were going to hire a tree service to trim it. We mentioned, possibly mistakenly, that we occasionally trimmed it up off the roof for the previous owner. So That's now of the todo list.


Friday, December 15, 2006

The Radio Project

I started a project that's been around for several years. I bought a new radio for the toad many years ago. I never got around to installing it. I knew it would cause a headache. I've even carried it with us as we travel with the thought I'd jump on it sometime in our travels. Never happened.

Anyway, I started it and got a headache right away. The main problem is getting the old radio out. Access isn't easy. Everything is buttoned up behind difficult to remove panels. They use star screws of many sizes. Getting those tools was interesting. Then figuring out where all the fasteners were hiding was fun. But the most fun was the radio itself. When I removed the radio, the wiring was odd. The wires were many and didn't match the wires to the speakers or any common color code. I tried to trace them out and couldn't make sense of it. So I fell back and regrouped. Unfortunately, Lou reminded me that the car was going in for service Monday, so I had to get it back together by then. Oh well.

In the evening, I used the magic Internet and searched for information on replacing the radio in a 92 240 Volvo wagon. I had no problems in doing the same thing on our '87 Volvo which looks identical. Interestingly, I found lots. Evidently the radio changed for 89-95 Volvo's. They used a two part radio with the amplifier separate from the radio. There were sources available that provided information on where the components were and provided cable harnesses to make the change. I just needed to know where stuff was so I didn't demolish the whole car learning. I used that information and intended to just eliminate the connectors and wire up the new connector without the adapter harnesses. We'll see how it goes.

Lou and Dawn have been busy cleaning up, especially Dawn's room. Lots of work to do there. of course, I should be critical since my study is almost inaccessible.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Graduate

The old timer, our 1987 Volvo, passed it's smog test today. Last year I had a lot of trouble getting it to pass. They replaced the catalytic converter and then did a lot of tweaking to barely get it to pass. Obviously the place I took it wasn't adequately experienced at correcting the problem. A1 Foreign Auto Repair in Mountain View obviously is. They're a California State Gold Shield smog test and repair station. That means they're allowed to do the retest after repair so everything was completed in this second visit. The original test had to be done, and fail at a test only station. Could they make it anymore complex?

Anyway, the NO reading was 2406ppm to start. They replaced some odd parts, the air box thermostat and the air mass meter after which it passed with only 138ppm. 785 is the maximum allowed. So much better than last time. Maybe we'll get off the 10 most wanted list now.

I enjoyed the walk home, about 4 miles. I stopped along the way for breakfast at Whole Foods Market. This is the first time I've had breakfast there. I enjoyed a mushroom omelette and home fries, with bacon. It was very good, and quick.

I then dropped by the construction project I've been watching next to Fry's Electronics in Palo Alto near our house. Monday they seemed to finish up the rebar and forms to pour the concrete for the second half of the ground level floor of the parking garage. I was afraid they might pour it Tuesday when Lou and I were busy in Santa Clara. Fortunately, it rained Tuesday so I still had hopes that they wouldn't pour it. They did and I missed it. Darn! I do like watching other people work. Kind of a sickness.

I then worked on the laptop setting up automatic backups to a web server and external hard drives. I am trying a product called MEMEO Autobackup. It seems to be very versatile and hopefully does the job.

Lou's been studying for her real estate license continuing ed test. Dawn had one of her final exams at San Jose State today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pancake Breakfast

We all were out the door early this morning. My former workplace had a pancake breakfast this morning. Pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs. Always good food. Always nice to visit with former coworkers.

Dawn had a class so we dropped her off at school. Lou and I had lunch and then went to an interesting get rich quick seminar on stock investment. It was mostly a sales pitch for a paid course which we didn't go for. We always have to wonder why, if the investment method worked so well, the lecturer isn't using it instead of working on the lecture circuit? Still food for thought.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Just Like “New”

92 Volvo After Body Work
We picked up the '92 Volvo, our "toad", from the body shop. The broken tail light and dent are all fixed up. We also received the needed paperwork from the state to get the '87 Volvo smogged so it goes in next Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Ernie’s Vacation


Ernie is here on vacation. It's a vacation because he's here in his jeep rather than his big truck. He will be getting a new truck in a couple of weeks and he's trying to avoid driving the old one too much so it won't require any repairs before he turns it in.

He and I installed a new radio in his Jeep this morning. It required four hands to complete due to the terrible design of the dashboard. Very hard to get access and remove things.

Ernie fixed a very good Shepard's Pie for dinner. I think we'll enjoy his vacation.


Beef Stroganoff for dinner :)


A visit to Fry's and then computer tinkering was the rule of the day except later in the afternoon when Ernie barbecued a pile of meats. Dinner was barbecued meat of choice and potato salad and homemade pomegranate ice cream. The rest of the meat went home with Ernie or in the freezer.

Ernie fixed biscuits and Gravy for breakfast. We all enjoyed them very much, especially the doggies.

He packed up and departed with the doggies just before 11 am.

It's always a pleasure to have Ernie drop by. Now for a diet.

Lou and Dawn went to the rummage sale at Stanford with the neighbor after Ernie departed.

We enjoyed nice weather all during Ernie's visit but now a storm is moving in so we'll get some rain.

Friday, December 1, 2006

A little of this, …


I spent most of the morning tweaking websites.

I didn't get really moving until mid afternoon.

Our RV has a loose wall panel in the bedroom. It's been working loose from the top. Turns out there were several reasons for the failure. The panel was only stapled, not glued to the framing. It's an interior wall at the back of the shower. That might not have been too bad, except some of the staples, most of the ones where the separation started were 1/4 inch instead of 3/4 inch long. The staples were driven deep into the 1/8 inch panel and the holes filled. The remaining wood in the panel wasn't thick enough to hold. In addition, a mirror hung on the wall. The added weight couldn't have helped. and finally, the panel was cut too large. I removed the panel and prepared it for re-installation. I trimmed the panel to fit. Then it was time for a trip to the hardware store for "stuff" to complete the repair. Some 7/8" brass screws and brass curled washers were screwed horizontally in several rows across the panel. I wouldn't trust staples for the repair and I think it wasn't glued for a reason, possible too much flexing?

Tomorrow I'll attack the broken valve pedal on the commode. Oh boy!

Lou and Dawn went to a Christmas cookie party. It's an annual event that one of her former teachers has.

Lou and Dawn finished the Christmas tree decoration. It looks nice with its new LED lights and all her motorized decorations on it. The moving stuffed animals hanging on the tree are a bit creepy at times though.


Memory is failing. I'm not sure what de did of significance today.

Lou fixed a nice tortilla soup for dinner.


I turned in the '92 Volvo to the body shop. It is supposed to be there about 4 days to get the left rear light lens replaced an body damage repaired.

I tried to locate the replacement commode for the RV. I drove up to Ideal RV Parts in Redwood City. They have the replacement I needed, a little higher cost than at Camping world but I saved the 90 mile roundtrip drive to San Martin. If time is money, then i saved a little. The replacement, an Aqua Majic V slipped right in but the water hose connection was difficult to get tight. Now, we'll just have to learn how to operate this improved version. Our Aqua majic VI that was replaced had two pedals (Fill and flush), the Model V has one pedal (part way down to fill, all the way to flush). I think we can adapt?

We had Early Bird dinners at the Crown Plaza Hotel just down the street. There are only three choices, but the food and service are excellent and the price is right $11.50. This week has seen an unusual number of visits to restaurants. Hopefully we'll improve our domestic efforts soon.

Brother Ernie and his doggies arrived about 7pm.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


My nice new camera failed the other day. The image sensor failed. It has a nice warrantee at Comp-USA so off we went. The closest store is in Millbrea 20 some miles North. We got out around noon and stopped for breakfast at Neil's Cafe near there. Lou and Dawn scoured Tanforan mall while I checked the camera in at Comp-USA. It's going to be a couple of weeks before the camera comes back. On the way home, all the thrift shops had to be checked out by Lou and Dawn.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Repairs

The '92 Volvo needs to have the tail light damage repaired so since the smog repair is delayed on the '87 Volvo, I dropped by the repair shop to start the process. It goes in Monday and should take 4 days so It should be ready in two weeks before the '87 needs to go back in for the smog repairs.

Loosing Parts

Now that we're home it's time to get vehicles fixed up. Everything needs help. That's a given with older vehicles. The RV will need the windshield replaced before we head out. I haven't looked in to that much other than to get one quote of about $1500. Wow!. The "toad", our '92 Volvo wagon needs to get the damage from the accident in New Mexico repaired. That's scheduled for this coming Monday. And then there is the older, '87 Volvo wagon that needs to be smogged. That can't be completed for a couple of weeks. The state pays a major portion of the repair but , as usual, the paperwork will take a couple of weeks, but it's worth it. Should save $400 of the repair. We did have an exciting trip to the shop though. On our first attempt, we turned the corner and the muffler fell off. So we had to hold off on visiting the smog repair shop to get the muffler replaced at Midas since that's where the warranted for that is. Now this is why I prefer to be on the road, life is less complex.
It has been cold the last few days, like most everywhere else. Freezing weather is unusual here though. Maybe only a few nights a year.

Monday, November 27, 2006

How Nice!

Lou and I enjoyed breakfast at Joanies Restaurant on California Avenue. We shared a Combination omlette and each enjoyed an aplle muffin. Very nice. Then we stopped by Fry's Electronics for a look around. We also had to check out the construction of the building next door.It's a parking garage/swimming pool building that is being built cast in place with two parking levels under ground and the pool on top. I'm not sure this projects could get by without our supervision.

It's really turned cold, by California standards, recently. The rain that we'd been having over the weekend is pretty much over.

This evening, my friend Bill Morris and I went up to San Francisco to the BAADAUG (Bay Area Application Developer Adobe User Group) meeting. It's an interesting drive up in rush hour traffic. The meetings are always interesting. I attend them ocassionally when we're in town. They are also ocassionally available online and I attend via the Internet. Anyway, this evening was very profitable. There were four door prizes, three books and a softeware bundle. Bill won one of the books, another member of our old Clarion Programmers group, Andy Kaczmarczyk, won another book, and I won the $2100 software bundle. We cleaned up. There were about 30 people present. The meeting was mostly about Flex and Fireworks in particular a Flash-based Slideshow extension for Fireworks. Quite interesting. As usual, one of the best things is the pizza and chat after the meeting.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Don and The Car Get A Checkup

Thursday, we enjoyed a relaxed Thanksgiving holiday. We had dinner at the Hometown buffet. Brother Ernie is on the road back East and won't be back to cook. We're too lazy to, so we went out. Ernie should be able to help out later, possibly aroud Christmas.

Saturday, Lou's car went in for a smog test. It flunked again this year. It sat parked and unused while we were away. That surely didn't help. It is getting older, 20 years old next month. For some reason, it fails the NO but is perfet on the other samples. Two years ago it took 5 tests and the replacement of the catalytic converter to get it to pass. This year, I'll try a different approach. I'll try one of the Gold Shield test stations that will, now that it's failed the "Test Only" station testing, where they can both repair it and do the followup test at one place. This should eliminate a bunch of retests that were required last time.

One of the reasons for returning home was for medical and dental appointments. Monday was my turn at the dentist. All went well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Day Out

Lou fixed a nice breakfast of German Potato pancakes (a mix we picked up at the Honey Bear RV park deli in Oregon this summer) and Italian sausage. Very good.

We took the toad to the Alstate Insurance adjuster (the insurance company for the lady that hit us in Silver City, NM). The office was up in San Carlos so I dropped Lou and Dawn off at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo. It took about 20 minutes for the adjuster to complete the paperwork and cut the check. I wish AAA, our former insurance company was as competent.

I met Lou and Dawn at the mall. After a while it was lunch time so we visited Heidi Pies nearby. Any excuse is good for a visit there.

I finally uploaded the last of the pictures from the trip. Some added to the end of the Las Vegas post and then the more recent posts since then.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home For The Holidays

We left about 8:30 taking Highway 1 North. It was slightly foggy when we left but cleared North of Morro Bay and was nice all the way.

Monterey Wharf Lou On The Monterey Wharf
We stopped in Monterey for lunch on the Wharf.

View Of Marina From Restaurant At Monterey Wharf An Interested Seagull At Our Restaurant In Monterey
We had a nice view of the Monterey Marina and a seagull enjoyed the view of our lunch.

We made it home before the big rush of traffic.

Nice to be home. We'll probably be lazy home bodies tomorrow.

Broken Windshield Missing House
Our windshield was broken in eastern Nevada on our second day out.

While we were gone, the house across the street was removed (behind our car in the above picture on the right). I don't really understand the real estate market here in Palo Alto or California in general. There was a perfectly good post WWII house there. The new owners paid $785,000 for the place, then immediately spent a bunch more to "de-construct" it. You can't just knock down a house here, you have to take it apart and salvage most of it. Now, they'll build a monster house there. This is all very nice for the value of our measly old house when/if we ever decide to sell it, but it also means the neighbors will be even more actively bugging me to finish painting our house. Whenever I look at, I'm always glad we already own our house. We certainly couldn't afford to buy one here today, even if I did have a job, even with the recent drop in value here in the last year.

Statistics: Traveled 3962 miles, spent $1346.26 for 547.7 gallons of gas averaging 7.9 mpg. Bought 32.2 gallons of LPG for $79.87. We were on the road for 50 days, staying at 23 campsites. 19 days with hookup, 8 days primitive (paid for a place to park but no hookups), 23 days boondocking (didn't pay for anything).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

El Churro Regional Park, San Luis Obispo, Ca


We rose early to get on the road. Not a great idea. We hit the valley fog almost immediately. Visibility of less than 100 feet, as in hard to see the red light at the signal. I tend to drive according to my capability to stop. Not so for a lot the the other drivers. Fortunately, it cleared up near I-5, 25 miles West of Bakersfield, and was nice the rest of the way.
We stopped for Breakfast in Arroya Grande at the Girls Restaurant. Then we dropped by the North Beach Campground of Pismo Beach SP. No space available so we headed up to San Luis Obispo to the El Churro Regional Park. We got a nice site but there is a nice, tall Eucalyptus tree in the way of the satellite. Looks like it won't be a computing weekend.


Lou fixed a nice breakfast of fried potatoes, peppers, and onions in Pepperplant sauce. It was served with mild Italian sausage. Ummm!

We walked over to the arboretum. Very nice , as usual.
El Churro Bird El Churro Lizard
A bird and a lizard at the gardens.

El Churro Spider El Churro Bee
Beasts in the garden a spider and a bumble bee.

El Churro Quail El Churro Campsite
A covey of Quail visit our campsite and a cover shot of our campsite.

El Churro Flowers El Churro Suculents
Lots of nice flowers in the garden.

El Churro Workcrew El Churro Workcrew
A team of volunteers from Cal-Poly were installing another wooden bench. It was fun watching them try to apply their engineering studies to the installation of a post bench.

El Churro Workcrew
The bench installation project nearing completion.

We then went to the baseball diamond next door to fly the RC planes. Perfect place for that.All ths "work" made us hungry so we went downtown to the Golden China buffet for lunch, then walked around looking at some of the shops.

Don's leg wasn't working right so we limited our walk. By the time we got home, Lou's leg was bothering her so we relaxed all evening.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bakersfield, Ca


We've stopped off in Bakersfield to see Uncle Doug and Aunt Helen.

On the way in we stopped by Camping World, looked at a couple of RV's, and separated the car. I filled the LPG tank, used their sanitary dump then went and had the oil changed and filled up with fuel. It was the most fuel I've added, 61 gallons. Pretty empty, but it was mostly down hill on I-5 from Gorman.

We had dinner at Spencers, one of our favorites, tortilla soup.


Helen and Lou went out shopping the town, Doug and Don hung around home tinkering on the RV's. Both RV's Washed, Doug's tires aired up, RV fueled, new wipers installed. Ready to roll.

Diner was at the Pantry on Brundage Lane. Bakersfield has some really good restaurants, but don't expect table clothes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rexhall RV Plant, Lancaster, Ca

We're spending the night at Wal-marts in Palmdale. Tomorrow, well proceed the 7 miles to Lancaster to the Rexhall plant. We intend to tour the plant Thursday morning, then head over to Bakersfield.

Second attempt at this post. I really hate it when the computer eats my postings!


Rexhall Factory
We rose early and drove to the Rexhall plant. We showered and ate breakfast as we waited for the 10 am tour. The only picture we could take at the Rexhall factory. They didn't allow pictures on the tour.

There is a Rexhall Owners rally at the fairgrounds here so the tour was full, of Rexhall owners, and us. They do give a good tour allowing you to walk through the factory floor and get detailed looks at the process.

We own a Seabreeze Class A motorhome by National RV in Perris, Ca. We have toured their plant as well. Interestingly, the founder of Rexhall used to work for National RV.

Generally, we were not impressed with the construction quality. We toured several models at the factory dealer lot after the tour. All the models we looked at showed poor workmanship and quality of construction. Things just didn't fit. We crossed Rexhall off our list.

As we travel, we intend to take RV factory tours when we can. We like any kind of factor tour.

We headed West on Highway 138 out of Lancaster to I-5, then down to Bakersfield.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Rio Casino, Las Vegas, Nv

We moved up to Las Vegas today. It's a nice place to hang around for a couple of days. There is another big tent in much of the parking lot. It's for a Cavalia circus/horse show.

Didn't really accomplish much today. So, another sucessful day.

We met brother Ernie for dinner.


We drove out to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area West of Las Vegas. Here are a few pictures of the place.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv, Walter, Ernie's dog Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
Ernie's doggies like to get out and run. Walter is shown at left. A Chipmonk on the right.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
These birds were making a racket that sound very much like chickens by one of the trails we took.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
The weird creatures on the left were in the Visitors Center. The top one has things figured out. he just rides the big lizard around the cage.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
The rocks have an interesting "grain". The park had a "forest" fire in 2005 that burned most of the flatlands.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
Ernie's doggies awaiting our return. The park has both pytroglyphs and pictoglyphs as shown above right. There are five outlines of hands in the picture.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
Another look at the burnt desert. A wild burro begging from the motorists.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nv
The entrance sign to the park. While the rocks are all good looking, not that many of them are red? The gray and buff rocks out number the red rocks.


Ernie departed early this morning. Lou and I bought day passes for the bus and rode downtown to look around at the casinos on Fremont Street. We also dropped by the Post Office to see if our mail had arrived. It hadn't. It normally arrives within three work days but the holiday delayed its arrival.

Las Vegas Strip Las Vegas Sunset
We also rode the length of the strip on the bus. The buses are double decker. You get a great view from the top front seats that we had. It also helped to be ten feet off the ground, above traffic. A view of the Las Vegas Strip at night and a sunset as seen from there.


Las Vegas Rio Casino Cavalia Tent Practice Resue At The Wynn Casino
The Cavalia Show tent was behind our parking space. When we visited the Wynn Casino, we spotted this practice rescue from their fountains. There is a conference of Homeland Security Folks in town for a convention?

Rio Campsite Rio Campsite With Cavalia Tent in Background
Our campsite at the Rio Casino. On the right you see the Cavalia Tent behind us.

Reflected Image Reflected Image
From our RV we saw a semi nude chippendale looking guy in the driver seat of the RV ahead of us. It was actually a reflection from one of the Rio buses.

Our day passes were still good so we rode down to the post office to get our mail. Success!

When we returned to the Rio, we prepared for departure. Traffic was very light. We headed down I-15 and then over to Palmdale on Hwy 18. Traffic was pretty heavy in Victorville, but OK once we were out of town. Were planning on spending the night here at Wal-marts. We might get ousted though because were the only RV here?