Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finishing The Fence

News: I finally added pictures to the posts for the past month or so.

Wednesday: (09/29) Actually not today but soon. That's all that's left for this year on the fence. there is another section uo front that will get done next spring.

I took the new toad to the dealer to get a recall item fixed. Evidently it could pop into gear from the park position, something that could ruin our day. Even though we had an appointment for the 30 minute task they had the car all day. I walked around the area looking at some of the new cars at the dealers. Some even fit.

Lou had an appointment at Kaiser. She also washed another rug.

Cereal and yogurt for breakfast. Lou and I had lunch at Home Town Buffet. I fixed some chicken quesadillas for dinner.

Thursday: (09/30) The end of another month. Looks like our fog has returned so our weather should be much cooler now. Lou fixed olive loaf croissant breakfast sandwiches this morning. Today is a fence building day. I back filled and rebuilt a couple of sections of the fence. Lou went to pickup Dawn at the train in Mountain View so she passed the Hong Kong bakery and brought me pork stickers for lunch. Dinner was chicken, baked potato, and sliced red peppers.

It happened again. I listen to the radio using a computer in the shop. The radio died sometime after lunch. I also started getting calls to my cell phone even though transfer i disabled. The Internet died again. I'm a little patient so I just waited hoping it would restore itself.

Friday: (10/01) Lou fixed a full breakfast of eggs, potatoes with mushrooms, with sausage. The Internet was still not working so I called ATT for service. I'd already verified that there was no problem on my end but for some reason they never believe me. The service representative couldn't find the problem but confirmed she couldn't see the modem. She also mentions there was some kind of workorder opened yesterday and closed today. I was suspicious. She referred it to the next level and that tech confirmed it wasn't working and referred it up another notch where they also confirmed it wasn't working and referred it to field service for tomorrow.

Wilton Fence Replacement At Greenhouse Wilton Fence Replacement At Greenhouse
I completed rebuilding the fence and reattached the greenhouse roof to it. I also did a little cleanup and putting away. Only another three sections to do next year at the front of the back yard.

An ATT technician called late in the afternoon and said he could come by. A little after 5pm he was checking the outside wiring and the nearby splices. At first he though there was a problem with the wiring but then confirmed it was OK. So he came inside, with claiming there must be a problem inside. Of course, I responsible for the costs inside. He couldn't get it to work even with a new modem so he checks further and finally reaches someone who could see that yesterday's activity was a change of equipment in their office and the account for my modem was not setup yet. Cute! So I didn't have to pay for the service but i did keep the new modem and had to pay for that. Mine was 12-13 years old and requires special setup to work. I might as well join the modern world. The new modem should be able to monitor more easily. So we're on our way back to normal for Internet access. I still have to complete fixing up network with the new modem and tailor it to my needs but at least we're connected now.

Lou fixed olive loaf sandwiches with avocados for lunch and a shepherds pie for dinner.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hot San Francisco Walk-about

Tuesday: (09/28) I caught the 07:30 train to San Francisco.

I walked along the bay on the Embarcardero through fisherman's wharf to North Beach.

Rocket Ship At San Francisco Ferry Building
Along the Embarcardero I saw this rocket ship, the Raygun Gothic Rocketship, near the Ferry Terminal. It is posed ready to launch. I couldn't find a ticket boot.

I stopped for some pizza and a beer for lunch t the Golden Boy Pizza place then at my favorite dim sum place on Broadway, both places visited on the last trip. I am a creature of habit. I then hiked up to Coit Tower. Today was nice and clear so there were good views.

Bay Bridge From Below Coit Tower
The bay bridge from below Coit Tower.

Coit Tower Coit Tower
A couple of views of the Coit Tower.

Flower In Street Garden Near Coit Tower
A nice flower in one of the street gardens below Coit Tower.

I then hiked up Columbus to Lombard street then over the hill up the "Crookedest Street" along Union Avenue.

Park 90 Degrees Sign By Lombard Street
I noticed a sign just before the crooked part of the street that said "Park at 90 Degrees". There were lots of cars parked there so I guess it was actually hot, unusual for San Francisco. 

Lombard Crookedest Street From Coit Tower The Crookedest Street Lombard Street
The crookedest Street, Lombard Street. On the left is as seen from my visit to Coit Tower. On the right I'm in the middle of the street at the foot of the crooked section.

 San Francisco Walk Lombard Street to the Presidio  5942.jpg
From the top of the crookedest street looking down the West straight part of Lombard Street toward the Presidio, the old Army base.

I stopped at the Real Food Market for some water. They have the cheapest water at $.49 as opposed to $1.00 to $1.50 per bottle everywhere else. It was hot today so lots of water was consumed. I considered stopping at Liverpool Lil's for some shepherds pie that was reviewed on a local TV show as really good. Well, too authentic for me. I don't like lamb but do like what is called shepherds  pie when it's beef not lamb. So on I went.

Palace Of Fine Arts In San Francisco
I stopped by the Palace Of Fine Arts for a nap in the shade. The Palace is under reconstruction but still looks good.

St Peter Paul Church
The St Peter and Paul Church has been in many movies. It's located at Washington Square in North Beach near my Pizza lunch stop.

I then caught a bus back downtown. The creature was back so I stopped at the dim sum place for a wiener in a bun. I had 30 minutes to kill so I people watched on Market Street then went to my 6:30 meeting.

The project manager for the Adobe AIR product told us all about all the new features and plans. Adobe AIR is a program that allows the Flash web applications to run on the desktop. Of course they served pizza after the meeting.

After the meeting I walked back toward the train station via The Embarcardero again. I passed by the ATT Ballpark where a game was in progress. Seemed like every seat was full. At the back of the park you can peek in at the game, so I did, but only for a second. I had to hurry on to catch my 9:40 train home. It only takes an hour to get back home.

Lou was busy at home cleaning and tearing things up. She wants to remove our carpet and refinish the hardwood floors, so she started that today. She removed a small portion, just the entry hall and cleaned and waxed the floor. It actually looks pretty good. Though there will be some work replacing some damaged and missing parts of the hardwood floor and removing stained portions. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Since It's Not Raining We're Pouring

Tuesday: (09/21) I finished digging the post holes then setup the post base forms. Should be ready to pour early tomorrow. Lou was busy getting the jeep registered.

Lou's homemade chicken pot pie for breakfast. Olive loaf and cheese sandwiches for lunch. Spaghetti quash with fish sauce, corn on the cob and fried fish for dinner.

Wednesday: (09/22) Ernie and I poured the last four post bases for this summer. Lou was out on her version of my walkabout, a shopabout. She actually spent some time at Dinah's poolside cafe reading. They have some nice gardens there as well. Dawn went over to Stanford book looking. They both went to their braille class this evening. After the pour, I was just cooking the spaghetti.

Parmesan popcorn for breakfast. Olive loaf and provolone sandwich for lunch, Don's fabulous spaghetti for dinner.

Thursday: (09/23) I tinkered in the morning. After lunch I got to drive the jeep. Lou's been enjoying driving it. I went to the Northern California Plant and Engineering Expo in Santa Clara to see whats new in building management. Energy conservation is the main topic, LED and fluorescent lighting and  solar panels. ON the way home I stopped to look at a couple of stores. After returning home I stripped the forms off the fence post bases. They were 12" paper tubes.

Spaghetti for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Lou fixed chicken mushroom fettuccine for dinner.

Friday: (09/24) Lou and Dawn were off early to one of Dawn's appointments. Then the thrift shopped on the way home. I worked on the computer updating a website and doing email most of the morning. Late morning i finally started to work. I started installing the forms for the fence base. It went kind of slow so more to do tomorrow. After dinner I made a run to the hardware store for more tie wire and concrete.

PBJ sandwich for breakfast with some leftover popcorn. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftover spaghetti for dinner,

Saturday: (09/25) I finished building the forms for the fence base and collected materials. Ready to pour tomorrow. Too bad we're having another hot spell today and for several more days. Hopefully starting early tomorrow will help. Lou's been busy cleaning rugs and washing today.

Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Bread pudding for lunch. Turkey breast, garlic mashed potatoes, bok choy, with cranberry sauce.

Sunday: (09/26) I mixed and poured about 2.5 yards of cement for the fence base, 30 feet of 6 inch wide by 24 inch tall. Fortunately it was much cooler than forecast. Lou worked in the yard and Dawn worked in the garden.

Wilton Fence Base By Green House
The last section of fence base is ready.

Oatmeal for breakfast. Olive loaf sandwich with some melon for lunch. Chicken potato salad for dinner.

(09/27) Lou took Dawn to San Jose. She relaxed at her place a while the headed back toward home via thrift stores and the market. She then took our neighbor's mother to lunch and shopping. I tinkered inside all morning. Today is a hot day, the hottest in this spat of bad days.

Wilton Fence Base By Green House
Eventually I ventured outside in late afternoon and removed the forms from the concrete. Should now be ready to back fill and re-errect the fence on Thursday. I'm off on my walk-about in San Francissco and a meeting there in the evening, tomorrow. Wednesday the jeep goes in to get a recall fixed.

Eggs, Sausage, and toast for breakfast. Chili for lunch. Chicken potato salad for dinner.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Newer Toad To Be

Our New Jeep Toad
Monday: (09/20) We all got up early for this important day. I fixed some Don McMuffin sandwiches to give us energy. At 9:15 we stopped by Sanford Motors and picked up our newer car, a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. We took it to A1-Auito teck In Mountain View for a check to see if there is anything seriously wrong with it. We saw this last week and put a deposit on it  but had to wait until today for our appointment to get it checked out. After we dropped it off, even though we had what should have been a hearty breakfast, we stopped in downtown Mountain View at the  Hong Kong bakery for some treats. We also stopped by the Nob Hill Market for a few things and then returned home to wait for the call that the jeep was ready. At home we tinkered. I didn't do too much since I wanted to be clean enough to go get the jeep when it was ready. I did saw a few logs from the bay tree to the required size to go to the dump. About 3:30 we went to pickup the jeep. It was confirmed it is in good shape so we returned to Stanford Motors and paid for it. Now it is ours.

Now the fun begins. It has to be setup as a toad with the tow bar and brakes compatible with the RV. It also needs some skid plates and possibly to be raised two inches. The RV also needs new front tires and alignment so lots to do, as if the perpetual fence project weren't enough. But, this all needs to be done so we can go have some fun soon.

We had some baked chicken for lunch and Lou fixed a nice home made chicken pot pie for dinner.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cool Day For a Warm Fire

Sunday: (09/19) It was cool and overcast all day. We may have even had a few drops of rain.

Wilton Fence Phase III 00922.jpg
I dug a couple of post holes, did some cleanup and had a nice campfire all day which got rid of a bunch of junk wood whose pile has been in the way for a while. Much easier to manage as ash. Ernie took this shot of the embers from our campfire.

I also hauled another load of dirt to the dump, my last for a little while, I hope. Lou was busy working on sanding the doll parts she recently fired. Dawn was busy cleaning and organizing.

Lou fixed biscuits and gravy for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and shepherds pie for dinner.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Santa Cruz County Fair, Watsonville, Ca

Saturday: (09/18) We started with a visit to another old lumber store that is closing. They evidently have been at it a while and everything is now 75% off. We managed to find a few things that they still had that we needed.

We all headed down to Watsonville after lunch to the Santa Cruz County Fair. It's still a nice fair, not like our own. We looked around at the crafts, talked with some of the crafty people, peeked at the animals and all the usual fair things.

1906 White Steam Car At Santa Cruz County Fair Food Art At Santa Cruz County Fair
This 1906 steam powered car is in the antique farm equipment museum at the Santa Cruz Fair. We really liked the vegetable art.

Sea Lion Encounter Show At Santa Cruz County Fair
We watched the Sea Lion Encounter show presented by the Moss Landing Marine Laboratory, part of the University of California.

All Alaskan Pig Races At Santa Cruz County Fair
And of course, we watched the Alaskan Pig Races.

Frisbee Dogs At Santa Cruz County Fair Frisbee Dogs At Santa Cruz County Fair
The Rocket's K-9 Comets Frisbee Dogs. They were amazing.

Galaghers Show At Santa Cruz County Fair Galaghers Show At Santa Cruz County Fair
We chose this day to attend the fair because the comedian Gallagher provided the main show of the evening. We saw his show a number of years ago at the Flint Center in Cupertino and it's at least as good now. He spent lots of time talking  to the attendees, signing autographs, and posing for pictures before the show. He seems to really like his audience. The show lasted an hour and a half and he proved he definitely is a clear thinker and spent the show trying to educate us.

PBJ English muffin for breakfast. Tidbits from the Hong Kong Bakery in Downtown Mountain View for lunch. I had a couple of pork stickers, Dawn had a moon cake, Lou had a pork bun. Dinner was corn on the cob and garlic fries at the fair.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Planting The Garden

New Garden Spot
Friday: (09/17) Lou warmed up the leftover steak and baked potatoes and fried some eggs for breakfast. Ernie and I started by erecting a fence around the new garden spot and it's nice new soil. Lou was busy most of the day replanting the berries and tomato plants. I did some final root and tree removal and more digging. Hopefully I soon actually be setting up forms, but not tomorrow. It's another day of play. We'll be off to Watsonville to the Santa Cruz County Fair.

Lunch was cottage cheese and fruit for me and french break with fondue for Lou and Dawn. For dinner Lou and I went to LUU Noodle House and shared our usual combination chow fun with a couple of eggrolls and an avocado smoothie. Dawn and Courtney were out shopping and had dinner at Cecelia's Mexican Restaurant down the street.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another Day In Paradise

Thursday: (09/16) Or at least a nice day. Lou dropped me off at the Caltrain station and I caught the 7:30 train. It only takes an hour to get up to San Francisco. I then caught a Muni light rail train down throught the Bayview area to Sunny Dale near the Cow Palace, an old fairgrounds on the South End of San Francisco. I got a couple of donuts there at the Happy Donut for breakfast. I then explored the area including John McClarren Park and finally came to the Lower Mission business district. I got a burrito for lunch there at the Taqueria Renia's at Mission and Mt Vernon Sts.

San Francisco's Filbert St Gardens San Francisco's Filbert St Gardens
I then walked up Mission Street to downtown, then out to the bay on market Street, then along the Embarcardero to Filbert Street. There is a nice stairway up the hill where Filbert Street would be if it could go up such a steep hill. There are wonderful gardens all the way up to Coit Tower at the top of Telegraph Hill.

San Francisco's Filbert St Gardens San Francisco's Filbert St Gardens
More flowers in the gardens on Filbert Street.

San Francisco's Filbert St Parrots San Francisco's Filbert St Parrots
I enjoyed watching the green parrot flock that lives there. They like the gardens too. The parrots were roosting on a wire above the Filbert Street gardens.

I went up to Coit Tower to try to get a view out over the bay but ended up in the clouds so no views. I came down the hill into North Beach and through China Town. I got a couple of egg tarts on my way. I then returned to Market Street and caught an antique street car that runs along Market Street. They have been reconditioned and are actually better then the new ones. IN the Castro district where it turns around i waited for a different trolley then rode it out toward the other end getting off at Pier 39. I then walked up Stockton Street returning to North Beach at Washington Square and got a piece of the wonderful pizza and a beer at the Golden Boy Pizza shop. I then called it quits and caught the #30 bus back to the train station. I caught the 7:30 train back to Palo Alto. Nice walk-about. I think I've now covered a good portion of the City of San Francisco.

Lou was busy taking the toad in to the shop for repairs and getting it back. The radiator had a leak and was replaced. The heater fan was looked at and it requires replacement but would cost $1000 to replace. Seems high for a fan motor but it is an old car. Needless to say we'll get by without it for a while and someday i may do it myself. It may be a good time for a newer car? Lou and Dawn went out to Marie Calendar's for dinner. Some kind of deal on new ypork steaks. They brought half of it home.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back At The Fence

Friday: (09/10) I spent the day finishing the sprinkler relocation. Final connections final back filling, wiring, and re-programming the timer. I also cleaned up some debris and loaded the car for a trip to the dump. Doesn't seem like much but it filled the day.

I went to pickup the car from the mechanic. He said that fixed a couple of things and it now starts. We get to drive it over the weekend and see if it is fixed. Confidence?

I warmed up a bunch of leftovers for breakfast. Pepper steam omelet, home fries with sausage, BBQ ribs, and a little pepper steam sandwich. Dawn made some sweet and sour mushroom and chicken soup for lunch. Lou made beef Welington with baked potatoes and corn on the cob for dinner.

Saturday: (09/11) After our morning tea and breakfast under the arbor, I took the the load of dirt in the car to the dump. I returned and loaded the car with concrete and made another run to the dump. With the easy part done, I prepared another load of dirt for the dump. This took a little while to complete because I seperated the good from the bad so I can back fill around my new fence base later. It all was screened to leave just the good dirt. Then I took that load to the dump as well. I topped off that load with some other junk for the dump. I then loaded the car with another load of dirt, this time from the new garden spot to be. It's almost dug out, just a couple of more loads should do it, possibly tomorrow.

Cottage cheese and fruit for breakfast. After I had completed loading the second load, we enjoyed some dutch babies for my second and Lou and Dawn's first breakfast. Lunch was left overs, couscous with Swedish meatballs, tuna blintzes and avocados. Lou fixed beef burgundy over noodles for dinner.

Sunday: (09/12) I started with a trip to the dump. That was followed by periods of reloading the buickets and three more trips. The garden spot is almost excavated just a couple of inches to chip off on the last half. Lou was busy weeding the flower beads.

Maple sugar oatmeal with yogurt for breakfast. For lunch. Lou fixed steak and eggs with fried potatoes with peppers and onions. For dinner we went out to Chili's Restaurant. Lou and I had ribs, Dawn had Cajun chicken pasta, and Courtney had a hamburger.

Monday: (09/13) Another day at the salt mine, I mean garden digout. I dug out  three loads of dirt and hauled two to the dump. Another waits for tomorrow. It is now to final depth and ready for the garden soil to fill it up. Lou was busy cleaning up and organizing her sun room.

Leftover breakfast potatoes and sausage for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. Chicken, cabbage, sweet and sour soup with garlic toast for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/14) After another delivery of dirt to the dump Ernie and I trimmed a few limbs off the bay tree that will be removed. We had some room left in the compost barrel. Lou and I went up to Redwood City to order our new garden soil. It will be delivered tomorrow. On our way home we stopped and test drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee. We've decided to get a used jeep before we leave this fall. This one has low mileage and is in excellent shape. Could it be the one? Stay tuned.

We almost had waffles and sausage for breakfast. Only one waffle made it out before the waffle iron died, so the rest was pancakes. A California omelet at the Talk Of Broadway in in Readwood City for lunch. Hamburgers dinner.

Wilton Fence Phase III New Garden Spot
Wednesday: (09/15) I watched an episode of Perry Mason on TV waiting for a call from the garden center about when they would be delivering our garden soil. They didn't call so i called them about 09:10. The dispatcher said the delivery window was between 9-11. thanks for the notice. I moved the RV out of the driveway. About 10:00, the driver called and said he was on the way. When the truck turned the corner onto our street i knew we had a problem. It was a semi, a very big truck and trailer. Our new garden spot is in our side yard just behind where the RV is parked. Getting back was no problem, dumping would be due to the two trees on the lot line. Fortunately the driver accepted the challenge and dumped the 1o cubic yards in the hole we had dug, or at least about a third of it in the hole, the rest adjacent to it. he only broke two small limbs off the trees. A 40 foot dump trailer raises up about 40 feet to dump. The going up didn't break them, it was the pulling forward to dump that did. Then he was off and Ernie and I shoveled about 8 yards of the soil into the hole. It took a couple of hours, faster than I thought it would. It just fit, not my normal success at estimating. Now Lou and Dawn can get busy planting the winter garden.

After lunch I attacked the bay tree. I removed the last of the limbs and cut the main trunk in a couple of big pieces. My little battery powered chain saw used about four battery charges to do the job. Unfortunately, the bottom of the tree was bigger than my chain saw so ther was some chopping required. Then I removed the stump by splitting it to pieces with a wedge. It all went rather well.

I'm taking the day off tomorrow with another trip to San Francisco.

Pizza from Pizz'a Chicago for lunch. Ernie fixed meatloaf, oven potatoes and fresh asparagus for dinner.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another San Francisco Walk-About And a BIG Fire

Thursday: (09/09) Lou dropped me off at the Caltrain depot on California Avenue where I caught the 08:11 train toward San Francisco for a walk-about. Since there is no real plan on my walk-abouts, I actually got off in San Bruno looked around on "The Avenue" which is old San Bruno then walked South to Millbrea stopping for pancakes at Camino Corner Cafe in San Bruno.

then back North through the Tanforan Shopping Mall then on up to South San Francisco, the next train station North of San Bruno possibly a seven mile walk. On the way I stopped for some pancakes for breakfast in San Bruno at Camino Cafe. That walk was just an appetizer. I then caught the train on to San Francisco arriving after noon.

Golden Boy Pizza In North Beach San Francisco's North Beach
I caught a bus on to the North Beach area in the City looking around on Columbus Avenue. Most of the restaurants in the area are too high priced for my comfort but I did find an excellent place for some outstanding Chicago style pizza on Green Street just off Columbus. Above left the Golden Boy Pizza is about the size of a wide bus, corrugated tin roof with counter and wall table seating. Really quite nice. The pizza was great.  Of course cable cars pass by in the street.

I continued on my tour by catching the bus on to the Marina area and walked on to the Presidio along Chestnut Street, a street with lots of shops that parallels Highway 101 or Lombard Street through San Francisco.

San Francisco's Presidio
I looked around on the Presidio near the Old Letterman Army Hospital which is now a digital arts center where Lucas Films has offices. They did a good job of making the new buildings look like the old army buildings. As I left I hiked up the hill to Pacific Heights and walked back toward downtown along Pacific Avenue. Some nice views from there. I then walked up Polk Street a few blocks then back toward the Presidio on Union Street, a ritzy shopping area known as Cow Hollow.  Above the Palace Of Fine Arts seen from The Presidio.

San Francisco Aquatic Park San Francisco's Coit Tower In Fog
I then returned to Van Ness Avenue and walked on up to the waters edge at Aquatic Park by Fort Mason. Aquatic Park was clear but Coit Tower was hidden by fog.

I walked from there toward Fisherman's Wharf via Ghiardelli Square, The Cannery and Fisherman's Wharf.

San Francisco's Mechanical Museum At Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco's Mechanical Museum At Fisherman's Wharf
I had to stop at the Mechanical Museum. They have all sorts of interesting mechanical entertainment devices. I like the player pianos and music boxes. I exercised several machines with my quarters. Actually they do a lot more than sound like pianos. More like the whole band with drums and bells.

San Francisco's Mechanical Museum At Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco's Mechanical Museum At Fisherman's Wharf
More pianos. I had to listen to them all.

I then thought it was time for dinner so I returned the few blocks back to Golden Boy Pizza for more. As I was enjoying my dinner at 6:30pm a news flash interrupted the football game on Golden Boy Pizza's TV. A high pressure gas line had burst and was burning up the town in San Bruno. 38 homes destroyed, 7 damaged. My morning walk was near this area. It's a good thing I was there in the morning. Timing is everything! Fortunately it was far away from the rail line so the trains were running normally. Interstate 280 was closed for a while. As I passed San Bruno at 9:00pm on the train I couldn't see the flames but evidently it was a lot more tame than when the gas was still on. News reports said it was a 30 inch high pressure gas line. A number of years ago we worked near the same gas line as it passed through the Stanford University Campus, though the lines there were an 18 inch and a 12 inch line side by side, as i remember. We had to install a new traffic signal standard and had to hand dig the hole for the foundation because we were within a foot or two of the lines. No explosion then. It will be interesting to find out if the line just failed or was persuaded to burst by someone digging.

On another occasion, an 18 inch high pressure water line burst under one of our roads. That caused water to shoot over 100 feet in the air and bury nearby cars under three feet of water. It also made a crater 20 feet deep and eliminated a four lane road. However there were no flames and most people swim more easily than they burn. It was really rather amusing that that water line was in front of the water district offices and it was their cars that were damaged. There is nothing amusing about loosing your house or life though.