Friday, August 27, 2010

Hot August Nights, Not!

Friday: (08/27) Lou fixed breakfast burritos for breakfast. Then it was time to strip the forms from the fence, do some back filling and start re-erecting the fence. Lou made a mixed fruit cobbler which we had for lunch. Dinner was some of Dawn's sausage vegetable soup with olive bread, roasted peppers and a sliced cucumber from Dawn's garden.

Our weather has changed pleasantly to almost cold.

Saturday: (08/28) More breakfast burritos this morning. I finished putting up the fence boards though I had to just tack them up since I need more screws to complete it. i also started to back fill our side of the fence. This activity was interrupted by the need to clean up and go downtown to an art festival. It's a nice one because all the art is actually made by the vendors not China resales. Some quite creative stuff. There was also some chalk art again. The weather was very much like fall, windy, cool to cold and the leaves that had been on the trees were dried and blowing everywhere. This seems a little early. We had popcorn for lunch. All this strenuous activity caused me to need an afternoon nap. I could have worked all day with no problem but relaxing is tiring. Lou fixed baked potatoes with Swedish meat balls in gravy and a fig, fennel, Greek olives and cheese salad.

Palo Alto Art Festival Palo Alto Art Festival
Street art under construction.

(08/29) We went downtown to breakfast. Yesterday on our visit to the Art Festival I spotted a new restaurant, the Crepevine. Yes, it's the same place I've been enjoying on my visits to San Francisco. We didn't know it had opened here as well. Same great food. Lou and I shared an El Paso (corned beef hash and eggs) while Dawn had the Florentine savory crepe.

Palo Alto Art Festival Palo Alto Art Festival
We looked around at a few things again especially at the Italian Street Art chalk drawings now finished and soon to be washed off.  Seems sort of futile.

Palo Alto Art Festival
Such Detail.

I worked doing some more back filling on the fence and digging out the bad dirt in the garden filling up all my 5 gallon buckets getting ready for a trip to the dump. Lou made some couscous with peas and shrimp for dinner.

Monday: (08/30) Oatmeal for breakfast. Lou was off to a doctor's appointment. I started the day with a trip to the dump with a load of dirt from the garden spot. Just a couple of more and then we can refill it with good soil. After that I started to clean out and rearrange the green house to move the plant shelves away form the fence so i can rebuild the fence. On the way home Lou check a bunch of thrift stores and picked up some groceries including a chicken which we had for lunch with some cottage cheese and peaches. Then the real fun began. Lou Ernie and I cleaned out the garden shed and moved it away from the fence. It will be replaced after the fence is rebuilt. We succeeded it getting the shed moved but tomorrow we have to go through all the stuff we removed from it putting some back away in the new location and getting rid of most of the stuff (junk). For dinner we went out to LUU Noddle House for some Combination Chow Fun plate and some egg rolls, our usual.

Tuesday: (08/31) Bye bye August. We started with some Don McMuffin's for breakfast. i started by reinstalling the floor and shelves in the garden shed. We had some big piles out in the yard to go through and try to stuff in the relocated garden shed. We worked all day and made some progress but there is still some stuff to go through. This was quite  like a delayed spring cleaning since it's almost fall. Of course, it's needed some cleaning for many, many years. We took a break for lunch and drove up to Redwood City to the Chavez market for a torta and nachos. There is a Goodwill drop there s well which we tried to utilize but, our luck, the door to the trailer couldn't be opened so we had to get rid of our load up the raod at St Vincente De Paul. We called it quitsa little after 5pm and I fixed some chili sizes. for dinner.

Wilton Garden Shed Move
All the stuff from the garden shed filled the yard until the shed was moved and refilled.

Garden Shed Move Old Garden Shed Site
The garden shed at it's new home. It used to stand next to the green house (above right).

Wednesday: (09/01) PBJ toast for breakfast. We finished putting things away and now have our lawn back and the garden shed at it's new home. I needed to visit the hardware store so we went over to lunch at the mi Pueblo market in East Palo Alto. I had a torta Cubana and Lou had some BBQ ribs. We then stopped by Home Depot for a new maul and some PVC pipe fittings. I broke the handle on our mattock this morning and I also need to move some sprinkler pipes. It was another HOT day so when we returned we didn't go back to work outside. Lou fixed some tuna stuffed tomatoes for dinner. After dinner i went out and did a little work but it wasn't very cool yet. I installed the temporary fence to keep the dogs in the yard when I remove the old fence that';s being rebuilt. I also braced up the green house roof. Part of the fence being rebuilt is one wall of the green house. Fortunately it got dark so i quit for the day.

(09/02) maple sugar oatmeal, banana and yogurt for breakfast. I exposed some water and electric conduits that need to be relocated. Then I started removing the fence. Then removed some trees (weeds) that were on the neighbors side and in the fence line. The bay tree there has a thicket of little trees all along the fence. I removed all thta would be in the way and shredded them to put in the compost barrel. I'll remove the entire parent bay tree later. It's 3/4 dead and the only half living limbs hang over our yard. I was going to remove them but then there would just be a 20' tall stump remaining so the neighbor agreed to remove it all. Lots of small ones ready to take over the job. My new mattock that I bought yesterday didn't last long, five stocks and the blade was bent at a 90 degree angle. In the evening I returned the mattock to Home Depot and picked up some other things there, not another mattock though. I did stop by OSH and get a stronger looking one there. That's where the old one came from and it lasted 10 years.

Cheap Mattock
A cheap mattock bent in half on the first blow.

Friday: (09/03) The day started with tea under the arbor in the back yard. I was heading to the San Jose house to meet the termite inspector. We have a maintnace contract with the exterminator and every so often they redo a full inspection in addition to their normal quarterly outside checks. I collected some things that I'd need for other tasks at the house. One task was to make a small pallet to keep extra salt pellet bags off the floor. Once all loaded, I was off. I stopped and picked up a chorizo breakfast burrito at La Victoria. I completed all my tasks before the inspector arrived. His fuil inspection took about three hours, more time than I anticipated. I then headed up to Newark toward Harbor Freight Tools store. On the way I stopped at a Walmart to get more screws for the fence. They have the cheapest screws but our local store was out and there doesn't seem to be such a thing as restocking the shelves at that kind of store. I also picked up a snack wrap and sundae for lunch. Then I spent a long time at the Harbor Freigh Tools store looking for a spade blade for my jackhammer. I knew they'd have one but the first couple of employees I asked had no idea and then I saw what looked like the manager and he had no problem directing me to them. Of course I found quite a few other things I needed as well. On the way to the store I noticed a Tapioca Express shop so i stopped and got an avocado ice bubble with perls (sort of an avocado milk shake or smoothie with tapioca balls). That completed lunch quite nicely. I then hurried home to beat the traffic. Lou Dawn and I then took a long walk. Lou had fixed pepper steak for dinner. Our neighbor Meile came over to join us for dinner. Since I hadn't done much work i worked outsite until dark rebuilding the doors on the old garden shed so it will last a while longer.

Wilton Fence Phase III Wilton Fence Phase III
The garden shed is gone, the temporary fence in installed and there is a tree to remove.

Wilton Fence Phase III
Some things have to be relocated to make way for the rebuilding of the fence.

Wilton Fence Phase III Wilton Fence Phase III
All the tomatoes are ready to be planted in the garden spot. The yard looks pretty nice even with all the turmoil.

Wilton Fence Phase III
The new water softener and water heater in San Jose.

Saturday: (09/04) Dawn and Lou were out at the mountain art festival in Woodside today. I went out shopping for some sprinkler system parts. Of course, being so choosy, I got some parts here and others there. Some stops were necessitated by the pitifully stocked Home Depot and Lowe's stores. Some had nothing that i needed and others i bought out for my little project. I also had lots of fun with the car. It isn't  starting correctly. At mot stops, I started with just some extra cranking but when i stopped for lunch, it would start, at all. I enjoyed my lunch and fortunately PBS had some good shows on so my 35 minute delay wasn't too bad. Fortunately i tried a few times after the very last time and eventually it started. With it started, and since I had another stop to make further down in San Jose at another store trying to complete my material collection, i decided to head on down. If it didn't start, it wouldn't cost more to have the materials towed home in the car if needed.  Fortunately, it started nicely and I made it home with my catch of the day.

I did only a little work relocating the water line from the green house.

Lou said the toad was acting up again. the temperature gauge said the engine was hot. Since they were in the hills, mountains to those on the East coast, It could be true but usually is a bad connection in the wiring. So now we are down to no reliable cars. Our older car is having a problem starting which appears to be the ignition switch.

Lou tuned the leftover pepper steak into a breakfast omelet. I stopped at the House Of Eggrolls for lunch. Their egg rolls are the best and I added some shrimp. Lou made hamburgers for dinner.

Sunday: (09/05) I took Lou and Dawn to the train station. They were off on to Belmont to a Greek Festival. They say it was great. Evidently the church is a work of art with all the interior walls finished glass mosaics. And they say the food was great especially if you like lamb.

I relocated the electrical from the green house. Then I was able to remove the rest of the fence that is being rebuilt. Then I blasted out one of the fence post bases.

For breakfast Dawn made cinnamon toast and we had some Italian sausage with it. I had a  milk shake for lunch. For dinner Lou completed some chili beans with toast. I baked up a bunch of Italian sausage. Lou and Dawn sample some greak ethnic Greek food at the Greek Festival.

Monday: (09/06) Busy in the yard again. I installed the seven sprinkler valves that had been attached to the fence. They are now in pullboxes. Of course there were a couple of parts that weren't available and today is a holiday so no visit to the hardware store is planned for today due to probable crowds. A task for first thing in the morning to go to the store and finish the sprinklers. Another reason is that the area I'm digging out and breaking concrete gets shade after noon. The area where the sprinkler valves are has shade all day thanks to Lou's suggestion of using the unbrella so it can be done any time.

Lou made sausage gravy over toast for breakfast. For lunch Lou bade a Greek salad (red peppers, onions, and olives). Dinner was couscous with Mexican tomatoes and Swedish meatballs, and international dish.

Tuesday: (09/07) Lou was off to a therapy appointment with Dawn. On the way home they picked up Dawn's friend from Spokane, Andrea with her seeing eye dog O'shea. They also did grocery shopping on the way home. I made a trip to OSH Hardware for pickup some conduit and fittings. When I got home I took our neighbor to an appointment at Stanford. O'shea enjoyed his visit in the back yard off lease playing with Walter and Wolfie.

I trimmed some tree roots and blasted out the rest of the concrete fence base and post bases.

Wilton Fence Phase III Wilton Fence Phase III
The new sprinkler valves in front of the green house

Cheerios with yogurt for breakfast. Chili beans for lunch. Reese's pieces pudding for an afternoon snack. Tuna blintzes for dinner.

Wednesday: (09/08) I bit the bullit and dug my 30 feet of trench for the relocated sprinkler pipes, installed the pipes and backfilled the trench. Fortunately it was cool with dark clouds and threatening rain all day with a few teasing sprinkles. Of course there was a trip off to the hardware store for a few things, a result of my excellent ever changing plan? Since i didn't have lunch i stopped to pick up a milkshake on the way home.

I fixed potatoes with peppers, mushrooms and sausage for breakfast. Lou fixed BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and steamed carrots.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sutro Open Space Preserve

Thursday: (08/26) My "walk-about" started as usual with lou dropping me off at the train. A problem with a switch on the track in San Jose was delaying all the trains. My train arrived about 10 minutes late and we arrived 15 minutes late in San Francisco so there wasn't too much of a problem. I made my way to my favorite restaurant near Golden Gate Park, the Crepevine again. After my corned beef hash breakfast I explored the neighborhood South of the park.

San Francisco's Mt Sutro San Francisco's Mt Sutro
I visited San Francisco State University and discovered the Mount Sutro Open Space Preserve which is the top of the mountain above the university campus and also where Sutro Tower, the big TV transmitter tower for San Francisco is located. Interesting to have so much open space in the big city. I went up the North Ridge Trail, wandered around on several other trails and came down the West Ridge Trail. Up on top my head was really in the clouds.

The main reason for the cooling off today was the return of the marine fog which hovered over the city. As I walked up I walked into the clouds which obviously worked because some points on the trail were very muddy due to recent rain. Maybe I should have gotten a hint of  what was coming when I visited the campus and came upon a wonderful piece of art in one of the courtyards. It was a glass brick looking wall that projected moving clouds that was really interesting.

About halfway down the hill I came upon a street with homes perched on the edge of the very steep hill. From that street I took a short cut. There was a steep stairway of what seemed like several thousand steps that eventually came down to the neighborhood below and returned me close to where I started. There were some beautiful homes up on the hill but today's view wasn't too good.

San Francisco's Mt Sutro San Francisco's Mt Sutro
Flowers at a community garden below Mt Sutro.

San Francisco's Mt Sutro
More community garden flowers.

I enjoyed a donut and tea and watched some linemen for Muni re-rigging the hot power lines for the trolleys.

After having another slice of Goldies piazza downtown I caught the train home. Another day consumed having fun. I've been enjoying these San Francisco "hikes". I can get away into nature but return to civilization quickly if I get worn out, unlike a hike into the wilderness.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot Summer Daze

Monday: (08/23) I built the forms for the fence base. It was lots more fun today since summer has finally arrived. We've enjoyed a very cool summer so far, even cold as recent as yesterday. Not so today. It got up to 95 today and we'll have a couple of more days of the heat. It makes hanging out in the shade much nicer.

Breakfast was leftover omelet. Lunch was a ham and cheese sandwich. Lou fixed a tofu, pepper and onion salad for dinner.

(08/24) An even hotter day, 101 degrees high. I chauffeured Ernie to a doctors appointment. I also picked up a bunch of concrete to pour tomorrow. Lou had a therapy appoint and Dawn was at work at San Jose City College.

Cottage cheese, ham, an peppers for breakfast, leftover tofu salad for brunch, a torta for a late lunch and a ham croisant sandwich for dinner.

Wilton Fence Phase II Wilton Fence Phase II
The fence base behind our storage sheds formed and poured.

Wilton Fence Phase III
Andd finally reinstalled.

Wednesday: (08/25) Oatmeal for breakfast. Ernie and I were busy pouring the concrete for the second part of the fence repair. This pour amounts to a 6 inch wide 2 foot high retaining wall 25 feet long, about the same as the first phase. We finished by 11am well before our hot spell got really hot. We cleaned up an I tinkered doing the finishing then we enjoyed Lou's latkas with apple sauce and yogurt and steak for lunch. In the afternoon  I picked up the concrete for the next pour while it's on sale. Dinner was a nice broccoli raisin salad and fish.

During this hot spell even San Francisco has been very hot. Well fortunately the hot spell should be gone tomorrow and San Francisco will be back to the high 60's which coincides with a break in my fencing work as I let the concrete dry tomorrow. I'll be off on another "walk-about' tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And More Fencing, When I Can't Avoid It

Wednesday: (08/18) A little layout work was done on the fence, then a little post hole digging, then some material pickup. Pretty much avoided real work today too.

Cheerios with yogurt and honey for breakfast. Leftover hominy and pork for lunch. Beef wellington for dinner.

Thursday: (08/19) I spent the day digging the post holes for the fence posts then took a load of dirt to the dump.

Cheerios with yogurt and honey for breakfast. I cooked up a bunch of sausage we got a few days ago so they can be frozen. Dinner was a chili and sausage size. Lou and Dawn were out in San Jose all day and until late

Forms Ready To Pour For Fence Bases
Friday: (08/20) I spent the day installing the tube forms for the fence bases. Now ready to pour the concrete tomorrow.

Lou fixed an mushroom omelet for breakfast. Stuffed tomatoes with salmon for lunch. Dawn made sausage and vegetable soup and Lou made corn bread for dinner.

Saturday: (08/21) Ernie and I filled the forms with concrete in the morning and then relaxed the rest of the day.

Lou was busy cleaning out the cottage (storage shed). She and Dawn also were busy taking books to the recycle book stores. Unfortunately at one they didn't seem to understand how to do it. She left with a store credit and two more books than she left?

PBJ English muffins for breakfast. I had a ham and cheese sandwich with some chips and an avocado for lunch. Lou and Dawn had roast chicken. Dinner was leftover vegetable soup and Pescadero olive bread.

Sunday: (08/22) Whole wheat pancakes and sausage for breakfast. I removed most of the forms from the fence bases but left the paper tubes because the concrete isn't dry enough yet. I also pruned at our Japanese maple tree which was quite stressed with no water until we came home. Lou is still busy cleaning out the cottage. We went to lunch at the Sunny Chinese Buffet with our neighbor. I took a nice afternoon nap to recover from lunch. Lou was busy unfluffing her the cottage. She had taken every thing out and rearranged it and cleaned but needed to get it all back inside before the lawn sprinklers run tonight. I stripped the paper tubes off the fence bases. Tomorrow the rest of the base between the post bases will be formed for pouring.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Golden Gate Park To Golden Gate Bridge

Tuesday: (08/17) Lou and I put all the garage sale leftovers out for pickup this morning then she dropped me off at the train station. I was off on another day trip to San Francisco and an evening computer user group meeting there. By 10am I was out by Golden Gate Park at the Crepevine restaurant for breakfast. I tried their corned beef hash, which they call an "El Paso". It was excellent as expected. Everything I've had there on these past three visits to the park have been great.

After breakfast, I walked over to the Arboretum as I did on the previous two visits. I like the arboretum but evidently San Francisco is growing tired of me. They now charge admission to the arboretum for non-residents. That means I wont be visiting it as often.

Crawdad At Golden gate Park's Stow Lake
I enjoyed a walk through other parts of Golden Gate Park instead. I explored Stow Lake and shared the path with a poke-o-dot crawdad.

Bridge At Stow Lake Pagoda At Stow Lake
I crossed the bridge onto the island in Stow Lake. There is a nice pagoda on the island presented to San Francisco by their sister city Taipei.

Flowers At Stow Lake
There are a lot of flowers in the park at other places than the arboretum.

Bison Art At Golden Gate Park Polo Field Bison At Golden Gate Park
Some bison were brought to the park in 1891 and some are still there. The one on the left is still green though.

Golden Gate Park At Beach Golden Gate Park Windmill
Eventually 9 made my way to the beach.

Golden Gate Bridge Seen From Coastal Trail Golden Gate Bridge
Then on to the Cliff House and along the coast and through the Presido to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Palace Of Fine Arts Photo Subjects Posing Palace Of Fine Arts
From there through Crissy Field to the Marina area and the Palace of Fine Arts. It seems to be a popular place to get a picture taken.

It was then nearing 6pm so I caught a bus downtown for dinner and my meeting. I picked up a piece of pizza and an energy drink to keep me awake during the meeting. I had walked well over 12 miles and was starting to feel it.

The meeting was presented by a couple of Adobe engineers on their upcoming application distribution tool code named "Melrose". It should release in a couple of weeks with some new name. It's sort of like the Apple App Store on steroids. Applications that you develop using the Adobe software can be distributed through many channels from one site. Now all I have to do to take advantage of it is to actually develop something worth while. It was an interesting meeting. After the meeting I caught the train and was back home before 11pm. It was a good day of avoiding the fence.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our Garage Sale

Friday: (08/13) Today was mostly busy getting stuff out for the garage sale. I helped with the big stuff and completed removing the old post bases.

Maple sugar oatmeal for Breakfast. Ham sandwiches for lunch. Pizza for dinner.

Wilton Garage Sale Wilton Garage Sale
Saturday: (08/14) Today was garage sale day. Since I guarded the piles last night by sleeping in the RV and watching out the window I missed some sleep as people came by to take their late night looks. Nobody took anything, just browsed. I enjoyed an afternoon nap to make up. Our sale includes stuff from four of our neighbors as well. We only did OK today. Garage sales are not for making money anyway. they are to get rid of junk and avoid it's going directly to the dump or thrift stores. What doesn't sell won't be staying around after the sale.

Oat bran hot cereal for breakfast with yogurt and honey. Leftover piza for lunch. For dinner I made hominy with fire roasted tomatoes, salsa, onions, mushrooms, and diced pork chops.

Sunday: (08/15) The second day of our garage sale went much like yesterday. By 4pm visitors had disappeared so we packed stuff up, cleared the lawn and driveway and looked pretty much normal again. I brought back the RV to fill the driveway again. Most of the stuff will be picked up Tuesday for a thrift store. We left some things out with "free" signs on them . Three half used tires and a composter. (Monday morning while we were out the tires found a home.) Lou took Dawn home to San Jose this evening.

Supreme croissant sandwiches for breakfast from Jack In The Box. Leftover hominy casserole for lunch. Subway sandwiches for dinner.

Monday: (08/16) Lou and I went up to Redwood City for breakfast at the Talk Of Broadway Cafe, a nice little cafe downtown that fixes excellent stuff. After breakfast, Lou examined the Saver's Thrift Store. She must feel we need to restock after our garage sale? Then we stopped at the Grocery outlet for a few things since we were there.

When we're home enjoying our tea and watch perry Mason on TV we were disturbed by a call from our neighbor who was trying to stop people from taking her garage sale leftovers piled by the curb at here house. She intended them for a charity and asked them not to take the stuff but they kept loading so Lou went out and made them unload their truck. That's why we didn't leave our stuff out. It's nice that stuff may find a good home but these scavengers aren't taking it for personal use just for flea market sales. We did leave a few things that the charity pickup probably wouldn't want out with signs marked "free". It was on the opposite side of our yard from our neighbors pile. We were happy to see the three tires that Lou was saving disappear. They would have cost us $10 each to deliver to the dump. Now if only our composter would find a good home. It's a Cadillac of composters. It's much easier for Dawn to have her worm farm and let the City handle the composting.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fencing Phase Two

Saturday: (08/07) Lou fixed kale, tomatoes, onions, eggs, mushrooms and cheese for breakfast. I tinkered in my office most of the morning. Lou and Dawn went off to the Santa Clara County Fair. It's not much of a fair and it may be the last one held o they wanted to go. Lunch was leftover enchiladas. After lunch I went outside and got to work. I removed the next section of fence to start rebuilding it. Lou fixed taco soup for dinner.

Sunday: (08/08) Bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast. I started by picking plums from the neighbors tree.

Car Load Of Dirt
I broke out some more old concrete fence base then dug out some dirt and hauled a load of dirt to the dump. Lunch was leftover Enchiladas. Next, I hauled a load of concrete rubble to the dump. Enough for today. Our friends Pete and Debbie stopped by for a visit. Dinner was pizza. Our neighbors Larry and Frannie dropped off a couple of pizzas, extras from an event they attended. That was fortuitous. Lou hadn't decided what was for dinner until then.

(08/09) I tinkered with the computer much of the morning getting some pictures ready for the blog. I haven't posted any pictures since we returned home the first of June. Now I have.

Eventually, I went outside and faced up to the task at hand, working on the fence. I moved a bunch of baby tears plants then broke out the old fence base. The jackhammer makes fast work of that task. Now the car is loaded ready for a trip to the dump tomorrow.

Leftover pizza for breakfast. Leftover enchiladas for lunch. Lou fixed a Chinese concoction for dinner. Rice noodles tofu, chicken, and all sorts of vegetables. Ernie baked some plum pies using the plums I plucked yesterday.

Tuesday: (08/10) Lou fixed Don McMuffins for breakfast. I started by taking the load of concrete debris to the dump. Brunch was a slice of plum pie. I drove a neighbor to a doctors appointment.  Lou fixed chorizo salad for lunch. After lunch I took Dawn down to San Jose and worked on anchoring the water heater and softener.

Wednesday: (08/11) Maple sugar oatmeal for breakfast. First task of the day was to put away all the tools and stuff I threw in the car to use in San Jose. While I was at it I cleaned out my tool bags, moved in to a new tool pouch, and cleaned off the workbench in the shop. Lou fixed corn on the cob and sausage for lunch.

The Car All Loaded With Dirt For the Dump Old Fence Removed For Replacement
After lunch I loaded the car with dirt and went to the dump. Upon return it was time for a piece of plum pie. Then the car was loaded again with dirt and another run to the dump. Lou had an an appointment and Dawn worked on going through her books. They both have been busy getting ready for a garage sale this weekend. Lou fixed chili beans for dinner.

Thursday: (08/12) Today was a busy day. Three loads of dirt to the dump, two before lunch and one after just before the dump closed. The first two loads were from the garden spot whicj is nearing completion of the excavation. With our soil, it's more like breaking it our with the hard clay. The afternoon was spent digging out for the new fence base and starting to remove the old post remnants.

French toast for breakfast. Leftover Chinese noodles and vegetables for lunch. Leftover chili beans for dinner.