Monday, June 30, 2008

Cool, Ashy And A Smog Test

Monday: (06/30) The weather is weird! Here it is summer and it's 61 degrees right now (0930). Probably a high of possibly 70 is expected today. Considering the heat spell a month or so ago in spring when it was in the 100's and I begin to think we need to readjust the calendar.

With all the fires here in California we have some smoke and ash in the air. Not very bad here on the San Francisco Peninsula but really bad up North and in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys to the East though it has cleared up quite a bit from last week everywhere. The ash still has to be cleaned off the windshield every day.

I'm sitting at A1 Foreign Auto Repair in Mountain View getting our "toad" car smogged this morning. They are a "Gold Shield test and repair" station. I'm tired of the run around taking it to the "test only" station, then flunking and getting it repaired somewhere then retested so I now just come here to the one-stop "test and repair" station. Actually this car usually passes easily, but so did our other car until it flunked the last couple of tests.

I brought along my trusty little laptop and the shop has a nice wifi connection as well as the free city "Google" wifi. What a nice town, free wifi.

Well history seems to be repeating. The car barely passed. The NO maximum is 791. 2 years ago the test result was 141, 1/2 the average. This year it was 753. I may see a conspiracy in too many things but I would feel better if this test weren't done by a machine connected to the computer in Sacramento. This car only has 158k miles and it now is ready to flunk next time. Our other car, a very similar Volvo 240 wagon just 4 years older, barely passed 4 years ago and flunked the last test. The test prior to that was way below average as this car was for the last test. That car has 360k miles on it. I don't think either vehicle flunked due to poor engine performance as much as the fact they are 20 year old vehicles. This barely pass test today is to prepare us for a flunk next time. The real intent would appear to be for us to get tired and get a new car, or two. We probably will, eventually, but why replace perfectly good vehicles just because they are 20 years old? It's just too coincidental that they began to label the older car a "gross polluter" on the registration renewal form before the first bad test result with the previous test result being less than 1/2 the average test result, as in an outstanding vehicle. It's obviously a conspiracy picking on our poor babies all for the sales tax and higher registration fees. If there is money involved, think conspiracy. Oh well, not to worry, for two more years anyway.

The flowers by the fountain..JPG Some of the flower planters that were moved..JPG
Tuesday: (07/01) More shop cleanup. I moved the planters that were around the outside of the shop including one that must have weighed about 800 pounds (The wooden trough in the center back of the right picture). Thank goodness for a little red wagon. The flowers on the left just look pretty. They are by the water fountain.

That was enough for the day so I spent the evening tinkering on the computer.

Lou and Dawn were down to San Jose Lou's doll making class.

Wednesday: (07/02) I finished stacking the keeper wood from the shop on the rack I built and disposed of the least needed material. The old shop is almost empty now. First time since we moved in.

Lou and Dawn did a little shopping including groceries.

Thursday: (07/03) We started the day with a trip to the dump. I loaded the car with all the junk wood scraps gleaned out of the shot. Neatly stacked, it filled the rear of the wagon from floor to roof everywhere but the front seat. Nice to be rid of it. Mostly pieces too small to be useful but probably just what I'll need tomorrow.

After lunch, Lou mentioned some problems she was having using a database she keeps an inventory of her molds on. She added all her doll molds and wants to classify the molds now. The app she was using I whipped up quickly several years ago and really wasn't too versatile. So, I spent the day building a new application that's more versatile, easier for her to use and provides the additional features of classification, notes and pictures. It was a fun exercise.

Lou and Dawn processed all the apricots they picked yesterday.

Friday: (07/04) The 4th of July. Enjoy your holiday!

Enjoying the holiday. We all walked up to California Ave for breakfast. Breakfast wasn't what we expected since most everythng was closed. I had a Subway sandwich while Lou and Dawn had some interesting things from Izzy's Bagel Shop.

Lou baked a couple of apricot pies.

After noon we walked over to the Mitchel Park Chilli Cookoff. We looked around but as usual the lines to sample the chilli were hours long so we left. Some folks must enjoy standing in queues.

For dinner, Lou smoked some chicken and prepared rice noodles while I fixed some creamed spinach thanks to a recipe from Marie Langer's blog. Shortly after dinner, our neighbor brought over some banana brownies. We gave them one of the apricot pies Lou baked.

The house across the street with a new color coat..JPG
Saturday: (07/05) Busy watching the house across the street get it's color and texture coat. We toured the inside with the owner and it is looking good. They should be moving in in August.

Shop with siding removed..JPG
I tinkered at removing the shop walls and other clean up. Dawn and Lou made a nice chicken soup for dinner.

Sunday: (07/06)  We walked up to California Ave to look at the Farmers Market and have breakfast at Joanie's Cafe. After some relaxing i tinkered cleaning up the last of the junk from the shop. Today was much warmer than recently. Tomorrow is supposed to get hot. O boy!

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