Monday, October 25, 2010

Stormy Weather

Since it's starting the rainy season, it must be getting to be time for us to hit the road. Last year it seemed to rain here the whole time we were gone. We even had quite a bit of rain and snow while on the road.

(10/25) While the title mentions rain, it isn't raining today but more is expected soon.  Lou's also busy refinishing the living room floor now. She had to wait until today since our storm has passed and she can leave the door open today to get rid of the fumes. I'm tinkering in the RV today. Since it goes in to Leale's RV tomorrow with the Jeep to get the towbar and brakes system installed for towing. Since it hasn't been on the road trip since the first of June it's collected a lot of stuff that needs to be stowed.

Ernie's oven pilot wouldn't light and since ours had, what I thought was, a similar problem, I was elected to look at it. Our problem had been the pilot lite but the oven wouldn't. The problem for ours was the position of the thermocouple shifting/ it does it quite often. Ernie's turned out to be a clogged orifice for the pilot. Cleaned it and it works now. I also finally installed the additional dinette table bracket and a two position (height) adjustable leg to allow a a lower position for use with a computer in our RV.

Lou fixed a chicken hash with eggs for breakfast. Lunch was some leftover rice with sausage. Dinner was Cornish game hens and leftover rice and vegetables.

Tuesday: (10/26) Big early morning. We all rose at 6am to head to San Jose this morning. Today the jeep and RV went to Leale's RV to be put together. The Jeep needs it's towbar and brakes installed. I hooked the old toad to the RV and Lou drove the Jeep down. We turned it in to them by 8am. Then it was time for breakfast. We stopped at Denny's nearby. We haven't been to one in quite a while. Brakfast was adequate, as in 100 times better than McDonald's but not like our normal local fine restaurants. After breakfast I dropped Lou and Dawn off downtown and went by 4Wheels to pick up the skip plates for the Jeep then dropped them off at Leale's as well. We then completed our rounds stopping by Dawn's doctors office for some papers, thrift stores, and Clay Planet for some slip for Lou' Dolls. Leftovers for lunch and dinner.

Wednesday: (10/27) Lou's busy cleaning the house and more work refinishing the floor. I worked outside putting things away. The RV will not be finished until tomorrow. Lou and Dawn had their braille class this evening. The sky was clear in the morning and in the afternoon it was overcast but there was no rain today.

Cereal for breakfast. Oliveloaf and cheese sandwich with some rice for lunch. Fish with couscous for dinner.

(10/28) The RV and Jeep were ready so Lou took me down to San Jose to pick them up. They are now a pair with the Jeep ready to tow and all protected with it's skid plates. On the way home I stopped at OSH hardware to get some keys made and some other sprinkler parts. OSH had only one key blank so i stopped at Walmart for a couple more. Now evvereybody can have  a key to the jeep. When I got back home I put stuff back in the RV. Lou had a doctors appointment. Another nice day, windy and overcast but nice.

Yogurt and strawberries for breakfast. I had a burrito and Lou a quesodilla for lunch. Oven fried potatoes with steak and mixed vegetables for dinner.

Friday: (10/29) Lou enjoyed a day with her dolls pouring some heads and such. I worked on sprinkers getting the new garden setup with a drip system as well as restoring the front flower bed sprinklers that was cut off by the fence work. I also worked on Ernie's macerator sewer hookup increasing the discharge line size. The weather was mostly nice with a short shower midday. and rain in the evening.

Banana-less splits for lunch at the Palo Alto Creamery. They were supposed to have bananas but the server forgot them. I fixed spaghetti for dinner.

Saturday: (10/30) Lou and Dawn were off to a birthday party this morning. I visited the bank and cashed in a winning lotto ticket. Note the order, the lotto win paid for the ticket only. I also prepared a laminated instruction sheet for setting the jeep up to tow. It rained a bit overnight but is just overcast today. I took Dawn to a Halloween party in San Jose. I waited at the nearby Great Mall.

Bananas with yogurt for breakfast. An apple fritter and spaghetti for lunch. I had Chinese food for dinner at the mall food court.

Sunday: (10/31) I tinkered in the yard on the sprinklers. Lou worked on her dolls. The weather was nice and the yard is drying out.

Eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast. Dawn made artichoke soup for lunch. Fish, carrot and raisin salad and quinoa for dinner.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Starting To Think Of Leaving

Monday: (10/18) I arranged to get the new front tires for the RV. I called Big O and they said they would have them this afternoon. While I waited, I broke up a half dozen 300-400 pound blocks of concrete. These blocks were the leftovers from the salvaged concrete I used to make the wall for our raised back yard  flower beds. These blocks were odd sized and have been used in the old water fountain and for holding up other planters. Now they are surplus and will be going to the dump but are a bit big and too heavy to easily haul in the car so I broke them up with the jackhammer. I had to pull the RV out of the way to break them up so I combined two tasks since the RV had to go out for it's new tires anyway. Just breaking up the concrete wore me out for the day. About 3:30 the tires had arrived so I headed off to get them. They fit nicely.

Some of Dawn's homemade raisin toast for breakfast. Tomato soup and cheese for lunch. Lou made French onion soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/19) I took the load of concrete made yesterday to the dump. Then I broke the other half of the blocks, loaded them and all the carpet Lou's removed from the living room and dining room and hauled them to the dump as well. After getting the RV back in it's place and cleaning up some we were off to Costco for some things.

Leftovers for breakfast. I had some omelet. For lunch I had the leftover onion soup. Dinner was Costco's best polish dogs.

Wednesday: (10/20) Lou was out early to take the neighbor to the doctor. When she returned the neighbor needed to be watched for a few hours but Dawn had an unexpected appointment the Lou needed to take her to so I was elected to watch the neighbor. I was able to get some computer time in as I waited. After Dawn's appointment she and Lou went to listen to an author speak at the Eastridge mall in San Jose. Altogether, not a productive day for me, but I need the practice.

Maple sugar oatmeal with yogurt for breakfast. Oliveloaf and cheese sandwich for lunch. Chili size for dinner.

Thursday: (10/21) I thought I had a TSA meeting to go to but it was actually yesterday as I learned when I arrived alone. That's a major problem for me, having any idea of time since I retired. Actually, I just put it into my Google calendar for a day later than it should have been. I did actully accomplish a couple of other things correctly. I reinstalled the bars on the roof rack of the Jeep. The previous owner had removed them and it has to be disassembled some to get it reinstalled. I also helped Lou out on her project of redoing the living room wood floors. When I rebuilt the bathroom to repair damage caused by a leaky shower a few years ago, I had to remove some of the flooring in the living room to repair the subfloor. Today I reinstalled the hardwood flooring. It looked a bit odd once the carpet was removed. Now it doesn't. Lou's busy cleaning and refinishing the floor.

Dawn and I headed off to San Francisco about 5pm. The traffic on Highway 280 heading North was mostly stop with an occasional go. Not like normal since the commute direction in the evening is away from San Francisco. I assume it might have had something to do with President Obama's visit but who knows. There was no problem observed and it started moving again after about twenty minutes when we got above Atherton where President Obama was speaking. He had dinner in Palo Alto but perhaps that will be after the Atherton visit since there were no traffic problems there as we left.

Dawn had a meeting in San Francisco this evening so we drove up to San Bruno to catch the Bart train which then took us within a 1/2 block of where she needed to be. I spent the evening doing a walkabout in the Chinatown, North Beach and Union Square areas. This post was made as I continued to wait for Dawn at a nearby McDonald's. The place was crowded with disheartened Giants fans since they didn't win their game tonight. Dawn was finished about 10pm then we both walked over to Union Square then to Bart to head home.

I fixed waffles with some of Aunt Helen's strawberry preserves and yogurt for breakfast. Lou, Dawn and I went to Luu's Noodle House for lunch. Our usual chow fun combination, fried rice and some egg rolls. Still in the Chinese mood, Lou fixed stir fry vegetables for dinner.

Friday: (10/22) Since it rained most of the morning, and had rained well yesterday evening, I tinkered in the house until about 2pm. I noticed the street was almost dry.

A temporary wall for the green house
Maybe I tinkered long enough so I went outside and installed a temporary wall on the green house where the garden shed had been and where it will be again next year. I had intended to get it in before we left on a trip but didn't. I wanted to get the wall up because we are in for a good long rain storm over the next few days and this afternoon was the only chance of a dry spell in the near future weather forecast.

Lou and Dawn went down to San Jose before lunch to the Genghis Khan exhibit at the Tech Museum. It's open until 8pm so they enjoyed a long visit. About 4pm they took a break and went to Original Joe's restaurant in downtown San Jose for dinner. They are an excellent Italian restaurant famous for their char-broiled hamburgers.

Lou made a nice omelet with sausage, peppers and sprouts for breakfast. A nutritious lunch of the last of Lou's apricot cobbler and a piece of olive load with some cheese. I made a chili size for dinner.

Saturday: (10/23) Woke up to a still dry outdoors but that should change within a few hours per the forecast. Decisions? Should we enjoy some outdoor time or have breakfast? The backyard is already showing off it's mud with just the little rain we've already had. We all headed off to downtown Mountain View so Dawn could take a load of books to The Bookseller used bookstore there to see if they need any of her surplus books. Then a stop at the hardware store for a few things before heading home. I tinkered in the shop and green house a little in the afternoon. They both have roofs and it was raining.

Breakfast was leftovers. I enjoyed some leftover omelet. Lou fixed tomato tuna salads for lunch. Lou fixed chili verde for dinner.

Sunday: (10/24) It worked again. If I talk about a forecast heavy weather storm, it doesn't materialize. that's the case. We haven't had heavy rain at all, just a few sprinkles. It was enough to make the yard muddy but not enough to puddle. In any case, I usually take the time off from outside activities so it isn't a total bust. I didn't get everything I planned accomplished this stay at home but maybe next year? It's time to get the RV ready and get on the road for a while.

Lou made bread puddin for breakfast.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wrapping Up

Monday: (10/11) Columbus Day. A hot day. What is it about Italian food. My last food poisoning was fettuccine and now pizza. I feel much better today but not perfect so I have a good excuse to relax. Lou's busy removing the carpet from the dining room. She wants to try out the hardwood floors for a while. Then it's grocery shopping day, for her.

Tuesday: (10/12) I had a little oatmeal for breakfast, leftover chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes for lunch, and nachos for dinner. I'm working at getting my appetite back. Another day off for me. Lou took the neighbor to a doctors appointment. Dawn had put our old patio cover materials on Freecycle, a local sharing website. This afternoon the stuff was picked up. Nice to see it find a good home. Another hot day today, nice to be inside tweaking thew computer keys.

Wednesday: (10/13) Pancakes and ham for breakfast, my first full breakfast since Sunday. Lunch was a half a hamburger made with some of Dawn's homemade bread. As good as it was, I guess my appetite isn't fully back yet. For dinner Lou cooked some fish, summer squash and zucchini on the rotisserie. Not much in the way of work by me. I did get the greenhouse shelves moved back into place. They had been moved away from where the fence was rebuilt. Lou refinished the hardwood floor in the dining room. Boy does that make the air foul in that part of the house.

Thursday: (10/14) Crunchfuls for breakfast. It looked like Cheerios but wasn't made with oats. Instead they used sweet peas, dry beans, and lentils to make it high protein. Actually very good but it didn't last. Of course that may be just because I was conservative on the amount eaten, unlike pre-poisoning. I decided to try and take advantage of the lack of the old hunger and only let some of it return, more like it really should be. I've lost 15  or so pounds somewhat recently and only possible a couple could be blamed on the loss of appetite due to the food poisoning last Sunday. Hopefully I can make lemonade from the lemons of being sick and loss more weight, like another 30 pounds.

We were all off to San Jose early this morning. Dawn had a job fair to go to. lou wanted to get some things from storage at Dawn's place and i want to get the ball rolling on fixing up the jeep to tow. We dropped by Leale's RV in San Jose to get a quote on setting it up. They did the old toad well so why not do another one well? We also stopped by the 4 Wheel Parts Store in downtown San Jose and ordered the skid plates for the Jeep. Either I can install them, they can, or Leale's can. It may actually be a combination of me and Leale's. There is one thing I really like about the Jeep compared to the Volvo. I can slide under the Jeep, not so with the Volvo without raising it up. If all goes well it should be ready to go in a couple of weeks.

Since the breakfast was a little short, lou and I stopped by a Safeway store for a snack of meat and cheese form the deli before picking Dawn up. With Dawn in tow, we stopped for lunch at Lou's favorite LUU Noodle house. Lou and I shared a Pad Thai lunch plate and Dawn had a fried rice plate. Dawn also had a coconut milk drink and I had an Avocado smoothie. Gee, that sounds like maybe the appetite is back?

Today was another hot day, though 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. Only 87 degrees today. Looks like we're heading in the right direction now. Since I've been spending my time indoors the past few days, I really haven't noticed the heat. Inside it's in the high 60's with the little cooler running. The cooler is in our sun room and there is no ducting but we cool the whole house by opening a window in the garage and the air passes through all the rooms snaking through the house and exits there.

Friday: (10/15) Ernie took off for Bakersfield to his 45th high school reunion. We get to watch the dogs while he's gone. Lou and Dawn went to the Stanford Rummage Sale. I tinkered at the computer much of the day and located a tire dealer to replace the RV front tires. Lou made an omelet for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. For dinner Dawn made her sausage, potato, onion and kale soup.

Saturday: (10/16) I entertained the dogs while Lou and Dawn returned to the rummage sale with the neighbor. After lunch we headed down to Campbel, a city surounded by the City Of San Jose, The still have a nice downtown village and were having an Octoberfest today. We looked around. Not much in the way of crafts but they did have the requisite brats, schnitzels, German potato salad and of course beer. Lou and Dawn checked out a couple of thrift stores on the way home. Today was overcast all day and never did get warm. I actually prefer this slight cold to the hot of a couple of days ago.

Lou fixed waffles with sausage for breakfast. Leftover soup with toast was lunch. We stopped at Chevy's Fresh Mex for dinner. They had a nice coupon in the paper. Definitely makes the free newspaper worthwhile.

Sunday: (10/17) What a difference a couple of days makes. Our high temerature today is forecast to be 64 degrees. It's dropped 10 degrees per day for a few days from the mid to high 90's. Would have been a good day to get outside and move around except for  the rain all afternoon. I spent the day reading all the election material and decided all the measures on the ballot. Far too many of them now days with big business always putting a dozen or so on the ballot for their special interests. Lou was busy ripping out more carpet from the living room.

Strawberry pancakes with sausage for breakfast. Ieftovers for lunch. pot roast, vegetable soup and cottage cheese. Artichokes, porkchops and spaghetti squash for dinner.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Silicon Valley Code Camp

Saturday: (10/09) Lou fixed a nice eggs over oliveloaf on toast for breakfast and i was off to an all day seminar at our local community college, Foothill College. The Silicon Valley Code Camp is a free computer software developers conference supported by many of the local companies. There were over 3000 attendees and over 200 presentations on all sorts of desktop and web programming and and on mobile device apps. I mostly followed the Google track today. They have all sorts of tools to improve website features and for web applications. They provided a free lunch as well. i had a roast beef sandwich. I finally got home after 6pm.

Lou and Dawn went up to Belmont in the afternoon to a Chocolate Fest. They indulged in all sorts of chocolates form a half dozen local chocolate makers. As well as champagne and jazz music. When I got home I started some noodles to go with the pot roast Lou had in the oven for dinner. I'm not sure how they had room for dinner?

Sunday: (10/10) Another day at the Silicon Valley Code Camp. Today I was learning about linking phone and web apps, video on websites, Html5 (the newer web standard), and Google mapping. Another nice lunch provided. I chose pizza today. The sessions started  nad ended earlier today so i was home by 4:30. The conference was very interesting. A good chance to see whats new, and meet the people designing and using it.

Today is Courtney's actual birthday so she specified dinner. Chicken fried steak, smashed potatoes, fresh spinach and artichokes.

Just before dinner I began feeling ill. I evidently got some food poisoning with my pizza for  lunch. Perhaps I should learn that just because other people don't get sick eating pizza made hours earlier and left in the sun doesn't mean I wont. 3000 people and I get sick. Maybe it's better to skip lunch and be hungry than to loose lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, I have a short memory.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Friday: (10/08) Today is the day we celebrate Courtney's birthday by taking her, and ourselves to Monterey to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We picked Courtney up at 9am and were off. We took the longer, flatter route down highway 101 through Gilroy so that everyone arrived with their breakfast intact. Highway 17 to Santa Cruz is a lot more windy road. We haven't been to the aquarium since they just opened their big tank but weren't allowed to get in to see the big take because they restricted it to members only. Darn. This time it could have been open, it's been open 15 years now but it was closed for remodeling. Darn Again!

Monterey Bay Aquarium Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterrey Bay Aquarium's jelly fish and some seahorses.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Lou and Dawn at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.

We enjoyed seeing what we could see which was still a lot. We did take a break for lunch at Sly McFly's bar nearby. We headed off about 5pm even though they are open until 6pm but still arrived home about 7:30. Not sure why it took so long, I slept most of they way so Lou could drive in peace. Dinner at home.

About 8:55pm I was busy watching a training video over the internet when the connection died, again. I reset the modem which didn't help. Same symptoms as the previous times so I waited only 15 minutes before calling ATT at the upper tier phone number. The tech tested the line, confirmed it was them but gave no specifics and said it would be back on iwithn four hours and they would call in the morning to see it it was OK. About 9:40 I noticed the link light on the modem and it was back working. Not a bad restoration time but why does it keep going out?


Sunday, October 3, 2010


Sunday: (10/03) We went to breakfast in Los Altos at the original Pancake House. They had to be invented somewhere? Lou had potato pancakes Dawn pumpkin pancakes and I had a mushroom omelet with buttermilk pancakes. After breakfast we walked around the village at the Los Altos Fall Festival. Lots of interesting art stuff and a bunch of old cars on display. Too bad I didn't have my camera. When we got home i got busy on fixing the home computer network. While the Internet is working the equipment change caused some configuration changes to be needed which I'm doing today. The entire day was spent tinkering on the computers ridding the last of the gremlins and other more pleasant tasks. Lou made hot and sour chicken mushroom soup for dinner.

Monday: (10/04) Leftovers for breakfast, Sheppard's pie and breakfast potatoes and sausage. We all took a morning walk around the neighborhood.

I planned on ordering some parts for the Jeep this morning, but, when we returned from our walk, our Internet had died, again. So, I spent an hour and a half talking to some one who know nothing and of course, it wasn't fixed when we were finished talking. he did manage to refer it up the chain of help. An automated call came back an hour or so later saying it tested OK, but of course it didn't work yet. I called back and fortunately got a rep that could listen and knew how to check things. I told him that I believed the problem was the same as before and that they had un-provisioned our equipment, like before. It only took less than five minutes to explain it to the new rep and he put me on hold for about 15 minutes and came back and said he found the problem and it would be fixed in a couple of hours. It was working in about one hour. I do hope it keeps working. I also do hope they send out a survey questionnaire on their service. I have a few comments. Of course today did go better that Friday where I went through 5 phone reps and one field technician before it was fixed. The only good thing with that fix was that it was fixed on the same day by 7:30pm less than 10 hours after my first call. Both problems were problems on their end related to their equipment replacements. Evidently the person configuring the new equipment didn't configure it correctly nor completely before heading off for the weekend. he evidently came back to work this morning and messed it up again.

For lunch we enjoyed Ernie's spaghetti and fresh bread that Dawn baked.

I spent the afternoon working in the yard cleaning up the junk I want to keep and cleaning the forms for reuse. The piles are now neat and should stay put over the winter.

Lou fixed salmon, spinach, capers, and provolone crepes for dinner. She also baked some cinnamon rolls for desert.

Tuesday: (10/05) Lou fixed a spinach and sprouts omelet for breakfast. I spent the morning working at the computer and in the office. Olive loaf and cheese sandwich for lunch. I spent the afternoon back filling and starting to layout for the new garden shed. Dinner was leftover hot and sour chicken mushroom soup

Wednesday: (10/06) Leftover spinach and sprouts omelet for breakfast. I tinkered at the computer all morning. I eventually ventured out to the local donut shop for an apple fritter. I supplemented that with an olive loaf, cheese and tomato sandwich made with some of Dawn's homemade bread. Then I finally went out to work. It was threatening rain but never did anything but a light sprinkle. I worked in the shop putting things away. I also did some more back filling in the green house. We also had a nice campfire all day getting rid of more of the bay tree remains. Lou fixed a tortellini casserole for dinner with some of Dawn's tomatoes on top. Dawn had a couple of appointments in San Jose today and Lou took her and also went to the Depart of Motor Vehicles for the paperwork to get them to pay for the most of the work to re-smog the old car. Odd how now that the calendar turned past 18 years it needs the same repairs each time to pass the smog test when there really isn't anything wrong with it other than the age. I still believe if they couldn't see it and were told it was two years old it would pass.

Thursday: (10/07) Lou fixed eggs on toast for breakfast. She then dropped off Dawn at the train and took the old car in to be smogged now that the paper work is done. I worked at reinstalling the green house's brick floor. Lunch was some left over Korean food and some pork stickers for the Hong Kong Bakery. Dinner was leftover tortellini casserole.

Tomorrow we're off to Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Saturday: (10/02) We walked off from home eating apples planning on having breakfast in San Francisco but we missed the train by a couple of minutes so, plan changed, we had breakfast on California Avenue near the train station. Dawn got a bagel at Izzy's Bageal shop and i got a BLT sandwich at Subway which Lou and I shared. On the weekend, the trains only run every hour so we were back at the station in plenty of time catching the 1130 train, or what shout have been. It arrived at the station 15 minutes late. It was really crowded too. We feared that they were all going where we were going but they were actually all just a bunch of drunks headed to the Giants base ball game. It was standing room only most of the way until Lou snagged a few seats for us. We then caught the Muni train out to the park but there were problems with their trains and then it was crowded as well with standing room only.

Crowd At The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival Joan Baez Singing At The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
We made it to the park about 2:30 and attended the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival just in time to see the end of Joan Baez singing. There wer six stages with all types of music. There were a lot of people there but it was a nice place to listen to the music all the same. We rarely go out with the masses. Fortunately it is a big park. We sustained ourselves with some kettle corn for lunch. The weather in  San Francisco was not a all like my last visit a few days ago. It was more like the San Francisco we all know and love, foggy. So it was kind of cool. We stopped at the Crepevine restaurant on Irving Street for dinner. After dinner we walked over to Haight Street to Amoeba Music. Dawn made a thorough search then we caught a trolley back to the train station with a stop on the way at a Border's book store that is closing. Dawn examined that thoroughly as well. We caught what was intended to be the 10:15 pm train but due to equipment problems was the 10:30 train. Courtney came and picked us up at the station. Long day but a nice day.