Monday, March 24, 2008

Fence Building Again

Monday: Dawn went to work and Lou and i went to play. We went to breakfast at Chavez market in Redwood City. I had Huevos Rancheros and Lou had a Nachos. They have the best Mexican food in the area.

Lou then hit a couple of thrift stores while I dropped by Home Depot for some material for the new fence. We then stopped by Costco for some things and finally Orchard Supply Hardware for a load of concrete. You might ask why buy concrete at OSH. Because they load it for you and Home Depot doesn't. I have to have a little pity on the guys as they load the bags in the car. We can carry 10-12 each trip so this job will require about 5 trips. My back prefers they do the loading since I get to do the unloading. I am a cheap guy. Home Depot would deliver it for $75. I can get it home cheaper a little at a time, especially when I have some time to collect it.

Just before sunset, a friend from out of town (Boston) called to ask me the open a door at their condo nearby. It's going to be tented for termite fumigation tomorrow morning. It's vacant and a key for the storage unit couldn't be found locally. I ask her to call someone there to let them know I wasn't breaking in. Since my method of getting the door open would likely have been a sawsall. Fortunately for me and the door, I found it unlocked. If it was locked the fumigation couldn't have been done since they need to look everywhere before gassing it. The friend would probably have been held financially responsible for any delay. On the problems 3000 miles can cause.

Tuesday: More runs to OSH for concrete. I also played with my new welding rig and stopped by the welding supply to get the acetylene tank filled and a hose set. They also tested the regulators and they all seem good except that the acetylene regulator leaks and I'll have to watch it closely while testing out the new torch and then send it in for repair.

Wednesday: Dawn had an early appointment in Sunnyvale. While i waited for her, I looked around at the construction activity for their downtown mall. They had a nice downtown mall during the 80's but it declined and has been closed for quite a few years. Now it's finally proceeding with construction after having demolished all but two main stores Macy's and Target (Formerly Wards) When they built it in the late 70's, they knocked down most of old downtown which was actually an active downtown business area, not ghetto. I used to work at the old Penny's department store in the early 70's. They also had a Town and Country shopping area next door that has failed as well. The old area of Murphy St has survived. it is mostly bars and restaurants but hosts a nice Farmers market on Thursday nights. I hope they manage to resurrect the mall. Unfortunately it probably will just be another worthless strip mall with no character or differentiation from every other worthless strip mall, when they are done. I found a nice cafe to enjoy breakfast while I waited, the Bean Scene Cafe on Murphy St. I had a nice ham and cheese croissant. I got online using the Cafe s Wifi. This update was made here. This little eePC laptop is nice for this kind of visit. I have a nice belt holster for it.

One problem with the little guy is the size of my fingers so there are more missing or extra letters in posting made with it. I try to restore order when I'm online with the big guy at a later time. Also, I'm sorry for the bland textual nature of the posts. When we're home there really isn't too much photo worthy. Also I tend to post photos in batchs cover several past posts. At that time I update the text to match and correct the spelling as I go. For that reason, it doesn't hurt to look back a few days every now and then to see if I finally got around to adding the pictures.

We went to Chevy's Fresh Mex restaurant for dinner. We had a nice coupon, bought two dinners for the three of us, and went home with leftovers.

Thursday: I dug out and installed the forms for the new fence base.

I finished up the forms and dug the post holes. I also made a dump run to get rid of some of the dirt and concrete debris.

Forms For Fence Base.JPG
Like most concrete projects, most of the work is in the preparation. In this case, the forms. It helps if they are straight and in the right position. Today I poured the concrete for the fence base and post anchors. That took care of the entire day for me.

Lunch was a pizza from the Pizz'a Chicago.

Sunday: A day of rest, mostly. We all walked down to the California Street Farmers Market. We stopped by Joanie's restaurant for breakfast. They live up to their rating as the best breakfast in Palo Alto. I did remove the forms from the fence base after we got home.

Dawn cooked a nice black eyed bean stew for dinner.

Monday: Dawn worked on her project at Stanford. She's about finished there.

Lou was busy with her dolls pouring, cleaning and firing the pieces.

Fence Base Curing.JPG
I backfilled by the new fence base and cleaned up the debris. Looks pretty good. I tacked up some 2x4's on the post anchors. They can be treacherous if you trip over them. I then dropped by OSH to get the fence posts and rails and other hardware. The posts and rails went in quickly and I started installing the used fence boards. I like the patina of the used fence boards and old boards are better than any new boards could be. Old redwood lasts a long time. Some of the boards i used came from the rear fence I replaced a couple of years ago. it was a six foot fence but the tops and bottoms were bad but there was at least 3 feet of good board left and that's the height of the front fence. I hate to waste good material or is it just being cheap again?

Tuesday: Today started out with my visit to the dentist. I had a couple of chipped teeth to be fixed. Dawn finished up her internship at Stanford this morning, she then had a doctors appointment. She and Lou then headed to San Jose. Dawn is looking to do an internship with the City Of San Jose, possibly. Lou has a doll class tomorrow.

Fence Finished.JPG
The last of the boards were added to the fence and then the cleanup began. Another trip to the dump to get rid the remaining left over dirt and wood debris. DONE.

We want to get out on the road but there are a few things still to be done first. Taxes, renew drivers license, and to get rid of the rest of the concrete I bought. I intend to pour a little more driveway. Currently there is a strip of gravel between our two driveways. I'm going to start filling it in. Shouldn't take long. Maybe we'll get away early next week?

More Driveway At RV Entrance, Ready To Pour.JPG More Driveway At RV Entrance, Ready To Use.JPG
Wednesday: I dug out some of the rock between our two driveways and poured a section of concrete that will make getting into and out of the RV easier. The RV was pulled forward to allow opening the awning because of threatening rain just after I poured the concrete. The door normally sits behind the new concreteMaybe the rest of the driveway will get done at a later time.

Front Sidewalk Crack, Trip Hazard.JPG New Crack Appeared On Break out.JPG
Thursday: The walkway to the front door has a major crack. That wouldn't be too bad except that there is a trip hazard do to the twisting of the walkway. The heavy clay soil here really moves. I cut out a section of the walkway to provide a smoother transition between the two pieces. No need to replace it all. It would just add more unnecessary fill to the dump. My diamond concrete blade is about used up cutting this and the other cuts earlier when I put the fence in in San Jose.
Ready To Pour.JPG Front Walkway Drying.JPG
Friday: I started the day finishing up the prep work for the sidewalk repair. I drilled for the rebar couplers to keep everything together. On the right above, the (just) finished patch. I'm slowly learning to leave well enough along. It's not perfect but it's going to crack anyway, so it's good enough. A final dump run finished this project.
Dawn had a doctors appointment this morning.
Flat On Toad.JPG
It works. Lou went out to the RV and found the Pressure Pro Tire Pressure Monitor alarm sounding. She checked the car and found a flat tire. It's nice to know it works. Too bad that the reason for the flat was the pressure sensor being loose. That's a potential problem. We'll have to add checking their tightness to our walk-around procedure. That wouldn't be a problem with the Tire Sentry (Inside the tire sensors) but they require mounting and balancing and could be damaged in that process. I also wish the monitor device would scan each tire to show the current pressure automatically. So far I've only figured out how to do that manually, for 10 tires.

Over the past couple of evenings I've managed to prepare the first draft of the taxes. It has now been submitted to the accountant, Lou, for review. Only 11 days remaining. Looks like we'll be ahead of the deadline this year. I don't know why we're always so late. It could have been done in the same amount of time three months ago. Maybe there is a point where "hate to do taxes" is less than "better do taxes."

If you're a regular reader, you may remember my recent parking violation in Santa Cruz. I submitted a request a couple of weeks back requesting an administrative review. I got the reply back a couple of days ago and of course the violation was upheld. Surprise. Of course, it's obvious that the reviewer didn't even read my complaint nor look at the pictures that support my claim that there were no parking restriction signs present. This evening I resubmitted the same information for a Hearing Examiner Review. Probably the same person but what the heck, it's only 41 cents and a desire for justice. I do hope they come to their senses and fix the problem and remove the citation. It's not going to be pretty if they don't. I have a lot of stamps and addresses remaining.

As it turns out, I may not have to worry about parking citations if I don't get busy and renew my license. That's next on the list. I wonder if the DMV is open on weekends?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Home for Appointments

We're back home for a while. I have a dental appointment tomorrow afternoon and Dawn has doctor's appointment as well.

Monday: (3/17) Dawn worked at her Stanford internship project. Lou and I went grocery shopping. Lou has a fixed route. First stop the Milk Pale, a former drive through milk store but now a vegetable stand and a lot more. She gets most of her vegetables there as well as our favorite European bologna, not at all like the American bologna. Next we walked over to get lunch at the New Tung Kee Noodle House. We shared our usual #21 Combination Chow Fun plate (fried rice noodles with vegetables, chicken and shrimp). The second shop was Trader Joe's for yogurt, eggs, and flowers. Final stop was Safeway for everything else on the shopping list. In particular a corned beef brisket for dinner this evening, a must for St Pat's Day.

My dentist appointment was at 2pm. Just a cleaning but I am now scheduled for couple of filling repairs in two weeks so no trips until after that, at least. The corned beef was excellent, fixed with cabbage, potatoes and carrots.

Tuesday: (3/18) Dawn worked at her Stanford internship project. Lou worked on her dolls, pouring several today. I didn't "work' at all just playing on the computer all day.

Wednesday: (3/19) Dawn's doctors appointment. Lou's doll class. I went down to San Jose to the rental to fix a garbage disposer. It took all of 5 minutes to push the reset button on the disposer and give a little instruction on how to do the reset to the tenant. She gave me a couple of letters that had been around a while. A Christmas card from a nephew and an invoice from the termite company. Nothing vital. On my way home, I stopped by The House Of Eggrolls in Santa Clara for, oddly, some eggrolls. It's a hole in the wall but they make the best eggrolls. I also stopped by Lowe's to get an idea about window replacement, garage door replacement and siding installation. That's the idea anyway. I decided I need to make a few measurements myself first to get an idea of cost to determine the actual scope of the project.

Thursday: Lou worked on her dolls. Dawn enjoyed some time off and worked at her computer learning how to use Zoom Text.

I fell victim to a continuing problem, fence building. I removed one of the front fences here at home, the one I didn't replace a few months ago. The new neighbor was resistant to the replacement for some reason but he agreed to the replacement in December just before we left on our trip. The weather was perfect to do the replacement. The rain is gone and the ground is still moist but not muddy. Our soil is heavy clay and it's usually either gooey or like concrete. There's a short period that it's nice to do trenching and it's here now. One task that needs to be accomplished with the new fence is to bury the sump pump discharge pipe that ran on the surface beside the existing fence.

Today, I removed the old fence salvaging the fence boards for possible reuse on the new fence. The real problem with the existing fence is that the posts and rails are weak and the base needs repair. Many fence boards are broken as well. Another reason for replacement, probably the best is that the fence is crooked. It doesn't align with the rest of the side yard fence and veers off about a foot in the neighbors direction.

Friday: Dawn has been auditing a class at San Jose State but this week is spring break so no class. She's continuing to fight with Zoom Text, a program that is supposed to make her use of the computer easier. It isn't, yet. Lou continues with her doll making.

My first project was to go shopping. I needed some materials from the hardware store. I needed to run the 1 1/2" PVC discharge pipe under the sidewalk. To do that, I needed a drill bit bigger than the 1 1/2" pipe, but I didn't want to speend a lot. Lou helped me find a "deadman" that we had for Dawn's swing set. A "deadman" is an eyebolt like thing that has an auger on the end. It's intended to be screwed into the ground as an anchor. The auger is a 2 1/2" disk with a slit in it. It's welded to a 3/8" rod and is bent to provide a bit that will bit into and screw into the ground. Sort of exactly what I need to bore a hole under the sidewalk. I just need to extrend it so the rod will go all the way under the 5 foot wide sidewalk. Off to Home Depot for the fixings. I also needed a steel sleeve to drive under the sidewalk after the hole is bored. The PVC isn't strong enough to survive the bloes of a sledge hammer. First look found a 3 foot 3/8th inch steel rod for $5 and ridgid pipe that would cost $20 cut to the five foot length needed. Problems, both items are too expensive and the 3/8th inch rod would require two to make the bit long enough. Plan #2. I bought a piece of 3/8" rebar that was 4 feet long for $1.30 and a 6 foot 2-3/8" x 6' fence post for $11 as the sleeve.

Drill Bit.JPG Drill Bit Closeup.JPG
Once home, I welded the rebar to the deadman after I cut off the eye ring on the deadman first. I used a piece of 1/2" square tubing to reinforce the joint. The bit is pretty long, above left and closeup on the right. Done. Now will it be strong enough. Yes it was. It drilled a nice straight and level hole under the sidewalk. The sleeve followed the hole well and went in quite easily as well. I slipped a piece of PVC pipe through the sleeve and was most of the way done. Tomorrow I'll finish the trench and install the rest of the pipe and back fill. Then I'll be ready for the next phase, installing the forms for the fence base and installing the post anchors. Getting that pipe under the sidewalk has been a dreaded project on the todo list for years. It wasn't nearly as bad as i thought it would be. it was much easier than cutting out the sidewalk and replacing it.


Pushing The Drain Pipe Under The Walkway.JPG New Popup Drain Outlet.JPG
I finished trenching for the undergrounding of the storm discharge pipe, installed the pipe, backfilled and removed the usual excess dirt. Of course, the process involved a couple of trips to the hardware store to get needed stuff like sand and fittings.

Lou and Dawn did some grocery shopping and continued working on their same projects, as well.

Sunday: To day was a day to relax. It is Easter after all. We had our usual Easter breakfast of chocolate fondue and fruit.

Wilton Garden Fountain.JPG Wisteria Arbor.JPG
I felt like doing some gardening and trimmed up the plants around the fountain and the deck. The wisteria on the arbor looks like it's going to be loaded with blossoms. It's been several years since it has been loaded with blossoms. Lou worked on her dolls and Dawn with her program. The weather is great.

About 3:30 we went downtown to the Stanford Theater for a movie. Unfortunately, Dawn was looking at the schedule for April so we were 15 minutes late for a showing. We looked around downtown while we waited for the next showing.

We enjoyed a double feature of The Trouble With Harry and North By Northwest both Alfred Hitchock movies. The Harry movie was great. The Northwest movie good. We also enjoyed the organist during the intermissions. )ld movies are really nice compared the current junk.

We hadn't eaten dinner before we left and it was after 10pm when we left the theater. luckily, Dawn had whipped uop one of her vegetable soups and it was nicely ready in the crock pot when we got home.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fresno, Ca at Kathy’s House

Saturday: We were up early at Ernie's insistence. He wanted to be on the roa by 9am to return to Las Vegas. We had breakfast at Carrow's. We beat his deadline by about 30 minutes and he was off about 8:30. We stopped by Heelen's to plant some honeysuckle starts we forgot about yesterday. We then returned to WalMart's and picked up th RV and were onto Highway 99 North to Fresno.

We stopped at a Valley Farms Cheese Factory and at Simonian's fruit stand on the way to Lou's sister Kathy's place..

Lou Dawn and Kathy hit the road to Fresno's thrift stores while I took a nice nap.

Dinner was most of the leftovers from the RV and some KFC chicken.

Sunday: We all went over to Sam's Club. Kathy's a member and we're not so we explored and she did some shopping. Dawn then went over to Rasputin's Music to look around.Lou and I looked at some other nearby shops while Dawn examined Rasputin's.

When we returned to Kathy's, we hooked up the toad and hit the road toward home. We stopped at Casa De Fruita (CDF)on highway 156 for dinner, in there parking lot, that is. Lou had bought a nice roasted chicken at Sam's and we finished off the last of the left overs as well. We then took a walk around the CDF grounds and shops.

We arrived home just before dark. The end of another fine trip.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bakersfield, Ca At Helen’s

Tuesday: We came over to Bakersfield to Helen's for Uncle Doug's wake. We'll be here until Saturday Morning.

Wednesday: We were up early and all worked on cleaning up Helen's RV for her trip to Pismo Beach Saturday. Actually, the outside has detailed by Helen's son Jay already. I worked on cleaning out all the compartments while Lou and Helen did th inside. Helen just needs to load th fridge now and she can be off. Actually she doesn't yet drive the RV, Doug did, but she's going to learn. Her friend Darwin is going to do the training.

Thursday, Helen and her son will take the RV over to a spot at Pismo and then return. After Doug's wake Friday, he will take his own trailer and family over. Helen will follow Saturday and we will head on to Fresno then. Helen, her son and his family will stay in Pismo for the week.

Lou and Dawn are off to an afternoon at the thrift stores here in Bakersfield.

Thursday: First thing on the todo list was to fix a leaky faucet in the front patio. Then it was back yard cleanup day. I pruned back two huge bougainvillea trees to a stump.. They had been frozen back and were quite ugly. I also pruned back some kind of fern like bush that had just become too big. All these plants had vicious thorns so the going was rough and my arms and hands show a little wear. When I finished removing these bushes, I raked the flower bed. With this accomplished I had filled three 40 gallon green waste bins. I then decided how to approach pruning the honeysuckle that grows on the top of the block brick wall. I decided to just shape it a little. That filled a fourth barrel. Mission accomplished. About 2 pm, we took a break and went over to the Ranch Market for breakfast. I had my usual torta Cubana, Dawn had yogurt and Lou had a shrimp cocktail.

Lou and Dawn hit some more thrift stores in the afternoon.

Ernie arrived about 8pm and we all walked over to Marie Callendar's for desert while Ernie had dinner.

Friday: We all went to breakfast at Carrow's.

Doug's Wake.JPG
A little before noon we all went over to Helen's church for Doug's wake. The church served a nice luncheon to all those who attended, about 75 people. Maryjane prepared a very nice slide show of scanned photos of Doug from babe to very recent photos. Afterword, some family dropped by Helen's to chat.

I had one more thing on my todo list, to level the washer. This was the easiest task of this visit.

Helen left for Pismo Beach at about 5:30 so we pulled out as well but only to moved over to Walmart's for the night. We met Ernie for a lite dinner about 7pm a Marie Callendar's again.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pismo Beach

Thursday: We're on the road to Pismo Beach North Campground. We probably will not make it to the campground tonight because we're getting too late of start. In fact, I'm waiting in Gilroy for Lou and Down to catch up so we can leave. We had good intentions but the plans fell apart.

We started the day right. The final packing to leave went well. Lou cleaned the fridge and loaded it from the house. Mostly unrelated, I moved all the plants out of the green house back into the yard. I hope we have had our last freeze. It's been so nice recently. I hope to get chance to see how the drip system works before we take off for a longer trip later this spring.

We had dinner at the Longhorn Restaurant in Gilroy. We all shared ravioli and Beef Valentino which is something like veal scalopini. They also made a wonderful ministroni soup.

Lou and Dawn had to return to San Jose to pick up some things which puts us quite late leaving. I waited at Wallmart's in Gilroy. I topped off the gas tank. We hadn't used too much since the last fillup with only the trip to Santa Cruz and back but the price was good at the station here only $3.51 compared to $3.76 at home. I also filled couple of our drinking water bottles and got some tea at the Super Wallmarts. Then I found an open WiFi hotspot and did some updates to the blog before the hotspot became cold.

When Lou and Dawn returned, we headed on South stopping 20 miles North of Paso Robles at a rest stop for the night.

Friday: We were up early and made it to Pismo Beach SP by 7am. We checked it out and there won't be a problem getting a spot.

We then went over to Francisco's for breakfast. I had the corned beef hash, Lou had biscuits and gravy and Dawn had oatmeal.

Our Campsite #19 At Pismo Beach North Campground.JPG
We settled into our campsite, the same(#19) as on our last visit. It's not our favorite spot, they are all reserved, but it is good for the solar and satellite and is one of the best interior spots with no close neighbors.

Lou and Dawn walked the beach to Pismo village. I completed my blog updates. When they got to the Pismo pier, Lou called and invited me to lunch at Pismo Fish and Chip, our favorite restaurant here. By the time I arrived from camp, they had ordered two fish and chips that we shared.

They continued their exploration around town and I returned to camp. I wasn't feeling great so I took a nap. When Lou and Dawn returned, they took the car into Grover City to check a few thrift stores.

Bird Primping In Pot.JPG Pismo Beach Eucalyptus Blossom.JPG
We've noticed that there are birds here at this campsite and the neighboring site, maybe all over the park that have a problem with their reflection. They can't resist seeing it. Last time we were here a bird couldn't resist the RV's windshield nor the cars. The result was very messy windows and hoods and grills. Fortunately on this visit there were more interesting targets. One was this pot left on the table in the campsite across the road. I'd hate to forget to look inside before cooking up dinner.

On the right above are a few of the huge eucalyptus blossoms.

Sunset At Pismo Beach.JPG
About sunset I walked out to the beach to watch the sunset. I took a few pictures which I think will look good.

Just after dark the frogs really raised their voices in song. There is more water left in stream beds throughout the park, more than normally found in the park. Most of th stream beds are dry most of the time except for one all year stream that skirts around the East and South sides

When Lou and Dawn returned, I started a campfire while Lou prepared a salad and roasted red pepper soup. We topped it with the cheesecake I picked up last night.

The weekend crowd is arriving into camp. Lots of people arrive very late.

Saturday: Breakfast was leftovers. i had some of Lou's fried potatoes, Lou had her biscuits and gravy and Dawn had her oatmeal. Their leftovers were from day before yesterday's. Francisco's breakfast. All that supplemented with some microwave bacon. Generator time here is from 10am-8pm. We haven't used our generator here yet but many people start their's up even before 8am. Fortunately, most of them are quiet running but still, a rule is a rule to me? Back to the point, it's nice to have a large battery pack and solar to allow microwave use when you want rather than when you can run the generator.

We really like this park, and the area. There are a couple of drawbacks though. Of course there is the obvious, we're right next to one of the very few nuclear power plants in California. It's never comforting to see the signs warning what to do if the sirens sound. Another problem with this State Park is that unlike most of them, this one does not have WiFi. Most California state parks have WiFi provided by ATT which I can use. It is faster than the satellite and it uses much less power. My little laptop only uses about a half amp. When I want to conserve battery, for more important things like breakfast, it's nice to have a little WiFI. There is always any McDonald''s or Starbuck's which also have ATT WiFi and the laptop lasts for about 4 hours of use so I can always hang around one of them, even though i don't eat at McDonald's and don't drink coffee. I need a fast internet connection to update a sick website.

Lou and Dawn are off to visit every thrift shop, antique store and book store in the county so I'll be using my bike to explore today.

When I was headed home from a visit downtown, Lou called about lunch. We met at the RV. She fixed ??

We relaxed around camp all afternoon then went back to Grover City. Dawn looked around a book store and Lou and I looked around a hardware store. They have wonderful hardware stores here.

For dinner we went to the Girls restaurant. I had a senior tritip dinner and Lou and Dawn shared a spegetti dinner. Then back to camp for the evening.

Sunday: Breakfast was grapefruit and cereal. We enjoyed the nice sunny day eating breakfast and watching all the weekend visitors prepare to leave. Today. We're off to San Luis Obispo (SLO) today. First stops were a couple of Goodwill stores. At the second, we met Helen's neighbors. They are over for the weekend. They have a mobile home in the La Sage park next door to the State park. Small world. Next stop downtown. We filled up most of the parking meter before we were reminded that it was Sunday and they were free today. Thanks!

Monday: We worked around camp all morning. Me on my sick website, Lou and Dawn on their crafts. Lou fired up the kiln to cook her doll heads. They also met the man in th next campsite. He noticed them working on their crafts and he offered to give Dawn a class on making wire trees.

We tried to go to the Pismo Fish and Chips restaurant but they are closed on Mondays. Some day we'll learn their schedule. We went over to Brad's and each had a bowl of chowder.
About 2pm we walked down the beach to Oceana and then back through the Oceana State Park and via Highway 1 back home. We were pleasantly surprised to find the ponds in Oceana park. We thought the whole park was as drab as the full hookup area at the front of the park. The rear is quite nice.

Tuesday: We started the day well with fresh granola cereal mixed with flax cereal. While Dawn had her wire tree making class and Lou visited, I prepped the RV to roll including a visit to the sanitary dump. A little before noon, we headed South on Highway 1 through the countryside, through Guadalupe and into Santa Maria. Lou wanted to try out Barbecue Land (1975 S Broadway, Santa Maria). She had read a good review on it and is craving BBQ. I liked my BBQ pork chops and the coleslaw was an award winner in my book. Lou and Dawn had the BBQ tri-tip it looked good to. Lou said it was good but wouldn't drive out of her way, again, to eat there.

Flowers Along Hight 66 East of Santa Maria.JPG Flowers Along Hight 66 East of Santa Maria.JPG Flowers Along Hight 66 East of Santa Maria.JPG
We then headed toward Bakersfield on Highway 166. We turned on Old River Road to come into Bakersfield from the West. Once at Helen's, we were setup in no time.

Dinner was, of course, BBQ at Famous Dave's (7777 Rosedale Highway,Bakersfield, California), a chain of BBQ restaurants that opened a store here in Bakersfield. We all shared two dinner plates, a Texas Brisket and a shredded pork. More than enough for the four of us. It was quite good too!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Break At Home

Seems like we've been out and about quite a bit with several shorter trips recently. We'll be off again this weekend so I'd better get this post started.

Sunday: We headed back at checkout time from the RV park. When we arrived home it was easy to get back in the grove because this was just a long weekend trip of 4 nights. It's interesting that even when we're home, we tend to live a lot out of the RV going and getting stuff for dinner or clothes that we need. That's one big reason why, when we are preparing to leave, we need to check everything and try to restore it to readiness.

Monday: For breakfast Lou fixed French toast, sausage with fresh grapefruit.

Dawn went to work at the library at Stanford. She's been busy trying to learn all about how to use Zoomtext, a program that allows easier use of the computer for low vision users. She's also been using her camera and monitor there as well to examine the collection she's working on. I think she really enjoys the internship.

Lou's been very busy working with her dolls. She hasn't been getting much time here in her shop nor with her doll making class. She did get to go to a couple of classes the last couple of weeks.

Today was battery day. Seems like I spent all day locating and ordering batteries for stuff. My laptop battery has been bad for a couple of years. It now lasts only 10 seconds so I thought I might need a new one. The prices seems to vary from $60 to $150 dollars so I went with the $60 price I found on a website. Unfortunately, there is no single good battery source. I also needed to replace the batteries in the three UPS systems we have for the desktop computers, two CyberPower 720w, and a Conext 350w, Two types of batteries each from different vendors for the best price and most assured correct fit. Then there were the camera batteries for my Nikon CoolPix. They are just AA batteries so no problem there, just a short walk over to Fry's I also wanted to get a new charger for them that plugged into the cigarette lighter rather than the AC outlet. And finally there was a new battery for the remote for Lou's laptop. Her laptop is a dual function laptop that works as a DVD player as well and has a remote control that resides in the PCMCIA slot. When being used as a DVD player all the other parts are denergized for longer battery life.

I also spent a little time in the study continuing with the clean out.

Lou and I walked over to Mr Chau's to get a Chinese lunch. It's a fast food place. We got chow mein, vegetables with shrimp, and BBQ ribs, one order shared more than filled us up.

Lou's been hard at work trying to use leftovers. For dinner she fixed some noodles with Ikea Swedish meatballs from the RV pantry. There was also a nice salad from the RV fridge. It was a beautiful day all day.

Tuesday: Lou wanted a real breakfast so she fried some potatoes and served them with sausage and fried eggs.

Dawn's off to work and we're playing around here at home.

Toads Hobcap Before.JPG Toads Hobcap After.JPG
I finally modified the hubcaps on the toad so that the Pressure Pro tire pressure sensors would fit. We have yet to actully use them with the RV when towing which is why I bought them. We've been lucky to not have had a flat in the toad while towing.

I also installed a webcam on Dawn's desktop PC. She needs to practice for jo interviews so now she can record herself nd be reviewed by the job center. I also installed Skype so she can make VOIP video phone calls.

There was also a little work in the study going through stuff. That cleanout job may last for months.

Wednesday: I basically vegged today. I worked on a sick website without much luck. Looks like the server has some serius problems and the site may have to be rebuilt from the last backup. I hate computers!

I also wrote a nasty letter to the City of Santa Cruz regarding my undue parking ticket. They seem to believe that just because there were no signs indicating the limited parking period that drivers are still responsible to adhere to the unknown limit. Cute, The real problem is that there is no real recourse now that parking citations are no longer handled by the courts? They haven't heard the last of it even with my 5 page letter pointing out their deficient signage and what Caltrans actually required.

Lou's Dolls.JPG
Lou went down to San Jose to her doll class. When she returned, she steam cleaned the carpet in the RV. It looks great now.

Lunch and dinner were Dawn's chili beans.