Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Week

Monday: (11/23) I'm not sure I'm ready for winter, especially since we'll be hanging around close to or at home until at least after Christmas. Our last extended trip ended in April and Lou and I haven't gotten out since then. We've been busy here at home. Even though I'm a sissy Californian and don't  really know what a winter is, I still prefer the more summer like days in the desert during winter

I completed setting up Ernie's trailer with a macerater so he can dump more easily. We have found ours to be very handy. I also spent, the all to often deferred time, to put things away in the shop. Stuff piles up from previous tasks. I also returned leftover stuff to the hardware store. It's much better to store it there so I can find it for the next project. Lou was busy stuffing stuff back in the closet. It was sort of like Dagwoods closet. It's much better organized now. She also cleaned up in preparation for holiday guests.

Today was leftover day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. We need some room in the refrigerator for Thanksgiving's coming leftovers.

Tuesday: (11/24) A short work day. Ernie and I located and cut the boards for the base of his storage building. That was it for me. Lou went down to San Jose to pick up some shelf units she bought used from a business that is closing. Ernie helped her set them up in her shed and studio.

I caught the train up to San San Francisco to a meeting of the BAADAuG computer user group. I like to attend these meetings when I'm in town. I arrived early and enjoyed a nice walk around town along the Embarcardero by the piers and up to Coit Tower for a nice view as the sun set. I then came down to my meeting. Our group leader, Mark Altenbernd, presented a project he developed that presented a bunch of gauges and charts developed in Flash. Interesting.

An interesting lesson in San Francisco's waste management practices. They require all garbage be divided into compostables, recyclablles, and landfill bins with serious fines for failure to do it correctly. The plan is to reduce landfill to less than 25% of total waste. Our host site, Learn-It had nice signs on the three bins in their lunch room. After a short reminder and instruction by our group commander, we all started to get the hang of it. It actually seems better than our system in Palo Alto and most everywhere else. While San Francisco wants soiled compostable food containers and food scraps in the compost bin, our compost bins only get yard trimmings. Our recycleable bins accept most of what they can put in theirs. This is all getting rather complex but it is necessary. Too bad we can't have a more consistent method though.

Ham and eggs for breakfast. Leftover fish soup for lunch, Subs for dinner at my meeting.

Wednesday: (11/25) I had planned to do a little assembly of Ernie's storage shed but "the best laid plans...." I secured Lou's shelves so they should survive an earthquake. Helped Ernie with a few tasks. I managed to wear myself out and ended up napping in the afternoon.

Ernie, Lou, and Dawn were busy most of the evening advance cooking dishes for the big meal tomorrow. Ernie also baked an apple and a mince meat pie. Dawn fixed some sweet potatoes and baked fresh sour dough bread. Lou fixed the dressing as a casserole and fresh cranberry sauce.

We've done a good job getting rid of leftovers to leave room in the refrigerator. Breakfast was cereal. Cold cuts for lunch. Pizza from Pizz'a Chicago for dinner.

Thursday: (11/26) Turkey Day. Ernie got the bird on and prepared the rest of dinner. My only contribution was providing a sheet of plywood for the table top. A 4x8' sheet makes a great table for eight (even up to 10).

Thanksgiving Get-together Our Holiday table
Dinner was about 3pm. There were Ernie, Lou, Dawn, myself, our neighbors Eric and Melei, Courtney and her roommate Ashley, a foreign exchange student from Hong Kong. Eric and Melei lived in Hong Kong for several years leaving about the time Ashley was born so they had something to chat about. It was Ashley's first Thanksgiving.

Cereal for breakfast. Turkey for dinner. How odd. Actually Turkey, smashed potatoes, creamed peas with baby onions, dressing, sweet potatoes, sour dough bread, fruit salad, and Eric brought a cucumber jicama salad and baked quince apple grape compote. All this was topped off with Ernie's apple, mince meat, and/or Courtney's pumpkin pies.

Friday: (11/27) Lou was off early to Bakersfield to see Aunt Helen. It's raining today, at least enough to keep me inside, so no work today. I did get my desk cleaned up and worked at computer projects as well.

Breakfast was PBJ English muffins. Lunch and dinner were Thanksgiving leftovers.

Saturday: (11/28) The rain is gone but today has strong winds. I bought a new entry lock set and installed it on the storm door. The original had round knobs that were hard to open. The new set has lever handles and is much better.

Dawn and I took the train up to San Francisco. She had a class reunion event there and I'll escort here there. It was held at the Minna Galery. My original thought was why San Francisco and why Thanksgiving. I learned that they reasoned that they had a good chance of more attendees because the out of towners came home for Thanksgiving anyway and were available. San Francisco seemed kind of far away from home but the turnout was good so evidently it helped as well. Dawn had a good time.

I went to see the SF Auto Show nearby. It was a bit smaller but still a lot  to see. Nothing new though. Mostly the same product, no original ideas. Kind of sad. They still haven't learned. You can't tell one car makers product from another without  a label. They all look exactly the same. No style. No deviation from average. Last time I attended there was a lot more emphasis on hybrids and electric vehicles. Not much this time. My favorite car right now is the Volkswagon Jetta diesel. I've owned two VW's before and liked both. I had to give up on the bus because it wasn't safe to drive though. The Jetta is made with the VW's high quality and a little originality. The diesel has the best mileage of any car available, including any hybrid, assuming you do mostly highway driving where it has gotten 67mpg average in a 9000 mile drive around the country. It's city mileage is slightly less than the best hybrids at 30 mpg but equivalent to the Ford Escape hybrid. A problem for us is that only the manual transmission is towable. I'm too lazy to use a clutch again. So, I'm still looking for our next car.

Breakfast was an apple fritter. Lunch was more Thansgiving day leftovers, almost gone now! Dinner was a subway sandwich and slice of pizza at Goldie's in San Francisco.

Sunday: (11/29) Another sunny day. Time to get back to work. Ernie and I installed and leveled the shed base and anchored it. That effort seemed to use up the day.

Our backyard becomes very interesting on occasion in the fall. The seed pods on our wisteria vine start popping. It's sort of like someone shooting in the back yard. They fly to all extremes in the rear yard. One seed tweaked my ear and I was 40 feet away. Ernie said he noticed them popping when he went outside about 10pm. We arrived home at 1am ourselves. They started popping again later in the morning. I've always thought they worked something like popcorn and when they were ready and as they warmed up, they popped. Oddly, it's not really hot and has been in the past and no popping. Also popping late in the evening is contrary to that theory. It does seem that all the leaves fell off the plant at the same time? Can the wisteria fire at will? That's a bit scary! About half of the pods have fired now so tomorrow will be interesting as well.

Breakfast was PBJ English muffins. Chili beams for lunch. Chinese food for dinner.

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