Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Now OK To Put Up the Christmas Tree

Saturday: (11/27) The rain has returned after a couple of days of freezing weather. Ahh!, winter is here, If you like that sort of thing. And since Thanksgiving is now behind us, you can now put up your Christmas tree and play the Christmas music without grumbles from me.

Lou made an omelet for breakfast. We went out shopping this morning, A stop at Costco early before the crowds arrived. Then Lou dropped me off at REI and best Buy while she stopped at OSH hardware and Michaels crafts store. BIG mistake. Best Buy had the HTC Incredible for free. We've been planning on replacing our phones and I've been drooling over the Droid phones. Free is a good inspiration. We decided to all get one. The bigger screen should be great for Dawn. Dawn had a bunch of notes on her phone which couldn't be moved to the new phone so we returned home to transcribe the notes. Dinner was turkey gravy on bread with a nice salad. After dinner we returned to Best Buy and picked up our phones after they moved all the photos and contacts to the new phones. I guess we'll be busy learning how to use them now, especially me. I wonder if I'll get to sleep tonight?

Sunday: (11/28) I spent more time with the new toy. It is amazing. Now I don't need a new camera, a GPS device, an MP3 player nor a cell modem for my laptop. It does it all and quite well. I've tried about everything already.

Dawn made pizza for dinner. She made the dough in the bread maker. Very good.

Monday: (11/29) I spent the morning looking for and loading geocache apps on my phone. I eventually learned how to load the cache data and was ready to try finding one. Dawn and I headed out about noon to a cache near home. It was located a few blocks away so it was also an afternoon walk. The cache had been located in a newspaper rack per our estimate but had since been removed. Maybe tomorrow we'll really find one. The new phone works well as a geocache finder. I've been intending to start geocaching for over four years now and finally did one, pretty fast for me.

Lou has fired and prepared a bunch of dolls to take with us on the road.

Breakfast was oatmeal with bananas and honey. Lunch was tacos a la Jack in the box. Sauerbraten for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/30) A more successful day geocaching. I located four nearby caches. One under some bricks, one in a bridge guard rail, one in a hole in a tree and one in a fake sprinkler. The phne worked very well. I used an app called Geobeagle. So, now four down and 496 more to go near home.

Eggs toast and sausage for breakfast. Lou made tortilla soup for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Friday: (12/01) I tackled a couple of projects this morning. The radio in the jeep hasn't ever worked so I took apart the dash and repaired a bad connector on the antenna. Works much better now. I also looked into why the brake lights sometimes stay on. I found that the floor mat slid toward and hangs up the peddle. I relocated the mat and will watch to see it is fixed. If not I'll have to adjust the switch. I also started packing th TV.

Lou and Dawn were busy returning books to several libraries where Dawn had books checked out.

Today's post was updated using a little Wordpress app on my phone.

Breakfast was oatmeal with peanutbutter with honey. Tortillas soup for lunch. Super nachos from Chavez Market for dinner.

Thursday: (12/03) A nice day, but a storm is coming tonight. I went out to find two more geocashes today. Both were creative caches in a nearby park. We also were busy packing to leave. Dawn pulled out the frost bitten tomato plants in the garden.

I fixed eggs sausage and toast for breakfast. We had chicken salad for lunch. BBQ Canadian bacon and horseradish cheese pizza for dinner thanks to Dawn.

San Francisco Auto Show

Friday: (11/26) We headed toward San Francisco today. Lou and I to see the San Francisco Auto Show at Moscone Center and Dawn to visit some book stores. We started with breakfast in Redwood City at the Talk Of Broadway Cafe. I had the corned beef hash and eggs and Lou and Dawn shared a Greek omelet. After breakfast we continued North to Millbrea to catch the BART train to San Francisco. BART is the regional light rail system and their station go right downtown in San Francisco, unlike the Caltrain that has a station closer to our home but would have been a longer walk for Lou to the show. We try to save the knee for the good stuff. We met dawn for lunch at Goldie's Pizza on Powell Street. We took a walk around Union Square, visited Macy's and a couple of hotels to see the Christmas decorations. Lots of people out and about on Black Friday!

Lots of cars at the show but the show is about the size of last year's show but much smaller than of years past. Most of the cars we wouldn't have if they were given to us but we did find several of interest. We're going to have to replace the Volvo's soon and are looking for a comfortable, safe efficient, and cheap car. The cheap and efficient requirements eliminate 95 percent of the vehicles at the show. We want gas high mileage, especially in the city. We want a low teens price. Hybrids usually meet the first requirement but not the second. We liked the Hyundai Accent, the Kia Forte, the Ford Focus, and the Toyota Yaris. There is little if any difference in the first three vehicles. They could all come from the same factory as far as we could tell. Same fit for my 6'2" height, same ease of entry, same rear seat room. same three round instrument panels. Same prices. The Yaris is a bit smaller. On big difference to us is that the Kia has passed the crash tests and topped them with outstanding results. It also has excellent minimal emissions. Unfortunately, to get an automatic transmission and air conditioning the low teens aren't possible but they aren't too much higher. being just above $17,200 for all. They all have good mpg ratings with the Kia Forte at 26 city and 36 highway. Now we'll have to test drive these to check noise and ride. In the same arena is the new Nissan Leaf, an all electric. It's a little smaller and we couldn't try out our fit in the car because it was behind barricades but it looks nice. It has a 100 mile range. it would be an excellent candidate for our city, stay at home car. It is priced with the usual bonus that hybrids and electric cars have being around $32k but the person that showed the car mentioned some interesting rebates that bring it down into a possibility. Rebates from the feds and the state amount to around $15k so now we're talking a possibility at $17k? Of course it's only avalable by reservation since it's sold out before produced. I wonder why? We aren't in an urgent need of our new car yet but these looked good.

We caught the train toward home about 6:30. Dinner was leftover turkey and such.

Thanks Giving Week

Monday: (11/22) I got up really early to hookup the jeep and get down to San jose to Russ Equipment to get the steering repairs completed to finish the front end alignment. I dropped it off and head to breakfast then did a little shopping at Target while I waited for 10am. One of the computer user groups I belong to uses Meetup for meeting notifications. While I was looking atthe site a few days ago i searched some of  the other groups and found some hiking groups. One group is called the Monday Hikers. Not too original but a very good description since they meet somewhere in the South bay area to hike for a couple of hours every Monday morning at 10am. It's kind of far for me normally but since I was there anyway I took a hike with them along Los Alamitas creek in South San Jose. Another group meets at our Nearby Caltrain Station for their hikes all over the bay area. I'll be trying them out in a week or so.

Breakfast burrito at La Victoria in San Jose. Egg rolls and shrimp from House of Egg Rolls in Santa Clara on the way home. Dinner was from Jack In The Box.

(11/23) A special day, Lou's birthday. A little rain today but definitely winter has arrived because it is quite cold. Lou got to play all day except for when we were out to lunch. On the way back home we visited a couple of thrift stores. Dawn found three seasons of NCIS for me at one.

No breakfast. We went to Andy's BBQ in Santa Clara for Lou's special meal. Andy's has won the award for best BBQ in Silicon Valley and deservedly so. Lou had beef ribs and roast pork with fries, Dawn had a tri-tip sandwich and I had baby back rids and coleslaw. All very good. An afternoon treat was a shared eggnog milkshake from Jack In The Box. Baked potatoes and leftover ribs for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/24) Lou and Ernie have been busy yesterday and today preparing the thanksgiving feast. The turkey was roasted yesterday and carved today. Ernie baked the pies today. I relaxed. The weather has turned to winter-like. We had our first frost this morning.

Leftovers for breakfast. p had a strawberry waffle and sausage. Lou had some pumpkin custard. Lou made split pea soup for lunch. For dinner a tofu and mushroom salad.

Thursday: (11/25) Thanksgiving Day. Another cold night and not too warm day. I pretty much did nothing other than move a 4x8' sheet of plywood in for the expanded table top. Ernie and Lou were busy doing the final preparation but there wasn't too much to do since much was done Monday and Tuesday.

Let's see, what did we have for dinner? Oh, yeh, turkey. And of course, al the fixings. Roast turkey, mashed spuds, gravy,  creamed peas withe pearl onions, green beans with bacon and pecans, stuffing, yams, fruit salad, cranberry sauce. Dinner was about 1pm so I didn't bother with breakfast. Supper was leftover dinner. And then there were the pies. Ernie made an apple and a mince meat pie. Dawn made pumpkin custard (pie without a crust), There were also some pumpkin cranberry muffins made by our neighbors daughters Ping and An An. Eight for dinner. Our usual crew including Courtney and our neighbor Meilie and her daughters Ping and An An

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why Are We Still Here?

It is so hard to get away from the gravity of home, especially after being home for a long period.

Monday: (11/15) We were off to Lowe's again this morning to get the correct molding for the floor around our harth. We stopped at the Los Caharros Restaurant in Mountain View. I had an excellent bacon breakfast burrito and Lou had a napolias omelet. When we got home I worked on smoothing out the edge of the hardwood floor as it meets the hearth so the molding would fit better. Then I cut the molding. Lou took care of tacking the molding down and filling and finishing. cottage cheese and fruit cocktail for lunch. Baked macaroni and cheese with a Swiss Chard and pomegranate salad for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/16) Leftovers for breakfast. I had French toast with peanut butter and jam. Lunch was the same, a Swiss Chard and cheese omelet remnant. Lou was off to San Jose this morning for an appointment. I enjoyed the morning like most recently doing little. Lou Ernie and I enjoyed some of Jack-In-The-Box's free tacos this afternoon. Their worth a bit more than the price. haven't had them for many years. May have been the same ones? Actually they were OK. The egg nog milkshake went well with them. I then caught the bus to San Jose to a meeting at the Adobe software headquarters. I attended the SilvaFUG (Silicon Valley Flash User Group) meeting where several of Adobe's project managers gave an update of new products either released or in Beta now. Lots of neat stuff. The meeting went a bit long so I didn't get home until 11pm. They provided plenty of pizza and beer at the meeting. I missed the Courtney prepared fettuccine dinner at home tonight.

Wednesday: (11/17) I fixed eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast. Lunch was leftover some of Courtney's pasta meal from last night. Leftover macaroni and cheese for dinner. Lou was busy working on the dolls. I tinkered here and there including installing a dedbolt on the shop door.

Thursday: (11/18) We started with a drive down to San Jose to drop off some things then stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home for eggs and milk and some other things that dropped into the basket. We had to celebrate some tonight because Dawn won second place in the writers contest in the Palo Alto Weekly newspaper. Lou was busy working on the dolls.

Lou fixed a breakfast omelet using a bunch of leftovers from the fridge. It was primarily a broccoli omelet. For dinner we went to the Palo Alto Creamery. I had a turkey pot pie and Lou and Dawn had fish and chips. We topped that with some cookies.

Friday: (11/19) It's overcast today and cool. Rain is expected to start this afternoon. Lou was off to the Stanford Rummage Sale at it's new home in Redwood City. I put some new skid feet on the dining room chairs. I got a call back from the local Motosat satellite Internet tech which only confirmed that the problem is the upper control board and he'd order it. Hopefully it can finally be fixed next week. I also have an appointment to get the steering fixed Monday. The two steering linkage parts came in.

Lou fixed waffles with strawberry preserves and sausage. Lunch from Chavez Market in Redwood City. I had a carnitas burrito and Lou had a super nacho with carnitas. Lou fixed bean soup for dinner.

Saturday: (11/20) Big rain storms today. I tinkered inside at home all day.  Lou and Dawn went to a story telling club meeting tonight.

Leftover waffles with strawberry preserves and sausage for breakfast. Shepard's pie for dinner.

Sunday: (11/21) Another quite rainy day. Last night we even had thunder and lightening, unusual for our area. About 3pm i went out to get the RV ready to roll. After i opened the front curtain, I noticed a new crack starting out from a chip that's been in the right windshield since before we bought it. Since it wasn't raining and the windshield was dry, I got out the hairdryer to get any moisture I could out of the crack and then added some crack repair cement to try to minimise growth. It wasn't there last week when I had it out on the road and I was rather surprised to see it now after seven years of being stable. There wasn't any direct sun to cure the cement so I just glued it and will let the sun cure it tomorrow and hope it doesn't wash out tonight.

Leftover Shepard's pie for breakfast. Olive loaf sandwich for lunch. Wieners with green onions and leftover bean soup for dinner.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dawn's Birthday

Tuesday: (11/09) Another nice day. First I enjoyed my tea as I watched Perry Mason, a typical morning activity.

Shop Entrance Concrete Pad
I poured the concrete pad for the shop entrance today. All went well. The yard had mostly dried out. Unfortunately, it never warmed up much so the concrete took forever to dry and therefore I waited around a lot to do the finishing. While I waited I cleaned up the yard including moving most of the yard plants into the greenhouse. That was a couple of weeks early but a convenient time. With the time change, it sure gets dark early now. I also put away the unused 5 bags of concrete, not enough to do anything.

Dawn's Sugar Cane
Dawn harvested some of her sugar cane.

After calling it a day and having dinner while watching the evening news weather report I learned that the forecast had changed and it would rain tonight. So, I went out and covered the concrete, which still hadn't dried enough to do a brush finish. It started sprinkling an hour later.

Leftover omelet and corned beef hash for breakfast. Grilled olive loaf and cheese sandwiches for lunch. More leftovers for dinner. Mashed potatoes. asparagus, bok choy, and chicken with corn salsa.

Wednesday: (11/10) Happy birthday Dawn!

The sky was clear for a little while and the rain is gone.

I stripped the forms from the concrete pad and cleaned the area up. It's still very raw due to the rain. I also put a few more and hopefully the last of the plant into the green house. After that I cleaned up and spent some time at the computer keyboard.

Dawn's Birthday Cake
Lou fixed French toast with berries and sausage for breakfast. We went to Chevy's for lunch and didn't need dinner other than a piece of Dawn's birthday cake from the Hong Kong Bakery..

Thursday: (11/11) Veteran's Day. Thanks to those who serve(d)! A sunny day. Lou fixed eggs and sausage with some leftover potatoes for breakfast. I made the mistake of calling Ross Equipment in San Jose too early. They are the only place that does RV wheel alignment nearby. They said bring it right in. I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet but had to dash off. They took it right in and had the alignment done before noon. But, they also need to get some parts to fix the steering as well so I'll be coming back in a week or so. On the way home I stopped at Walmart and bought a new TV for the bedroom in the RV. I attached it to the wall like the previous TV but needed to build a stronger support for the bigger TV. Lunch was leftovers from the fridge. Lou had been down in San Jose working at Dawn's apartment. She called when she got back in town and we went to Costco for some things and dinner. i had a slice of pizza and Lou a polish dog. I stopped at OSH hardware for some hardware to finish installing the TV in the RV and then picked Dawn up in Mountain View. Busy day.

Friday (11/12) Sunny and nice today. The cool of fall is very present though. The trees have really been dropping their leaves, almost like rain. I fixed eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast. We took a long walk around the neighborhood including looking at a couple of open houses. We tinkered in the yard much of the day. Dinner was roast chicken, carrots and some of Dawn's bread of the day, bleu cheese and leek.

Saturday: (11/13) Lou fixed a Swiss chard and cheese omelet for breakfast. I spent the day tinkering in the RV and familiarizing myself with the problem with the Datastorm antenna. Since i haven't looked at it since it went out last April it took a little while. Now i have examined it, tested it, and  trouble shot it. Looks like it is either a bad D3 or a bad UCB. I can't tell further so will probaly have to meet a tech with spare parts to get it fixed or try on at a time waiting for shipping from the manufacturer. Could be fun. Not much more to do until Monday now. Dawn and i went up to Redwood City. Dawn visited the library there and the Savers thrift store. i returned some stuff to the hardware store there and, of course, got some things there as well. Drip tubing and sprinkler parts. Then i visied the Grocery outlet there and picked up a couple of tings i couldn't pass up. then Dawn was ready and we stopped at the Big lots store for a look. Dawn fixed hot and sour chicken soup for dinner. After dinner, I walked over to Fry's Electronics for a look and to pick up some parts. I want to make a manual dish control box so if the Motosat disk sticks in the up position again, I can get it down and parked a little easier.

Sunday: (11/14) I got up and out early enough to adjust the RV tire pressure and re-setup the tire pressure monitor. For some unknown reason, every time the professionals at the tire or RV shops check the tire pressure, they inflate it to the maximum presure on the tire sidewalls. the correct pressure for my RV is much less so it was just a matter of releasing air to get to the correct pressure when they were all cool. We went down to Sunnyvale to Lowe's to pick up some molding and stopped in a Sprout's for some produce and Kob Hill Market for our olive loaf. For our afternoon walk we looked in on some open houses at a development nearby.

Apple pie for breakfast.  Chicken salad for lunch. Beef franks with cabbage and onions for dinner.

Monday, November 8, 2010

California Academy Of Science

Monday: (11/08) It's a sunny morning with more expected this week. But, our good rain left the yard muddy so I'll probably hold off on pouring the concrete today because I cause too much damage to the lawn.

We planned on taking Dawn up to the San Francisco Natural History Museum otherwise known as the California Academy Of Science in Golden Gate Park for her birthday anyway and today seemed to fit so off we went.

Lou fixed a ham and asparagus omelet for breakfast. We drove the Jeep up and had no problem getting a parking place close to the museum. No crowds at all. They open t 930 and we were inside shortly thereafter. We enjoyed a look through their new building which includes both the animals and an aquarium.

African Hall At The Academy of Science
Oddly, the African Hall looks much like it did in the old building as does the aquarium but overall the whole place seems smaller. It does have an interesting living roof.

Animals in African Hall At the Academy of Science Animals in African Hall At the Academy of Science
Some of the dioramas now move out into the hall. The tree branches hang over your head and one included a leopard on the branch.

Dawn And Lou Reading About The White Aligator A White Alligator At The Academy of Science
The white alligator is still there.

Butterfly At Academy Of Science In San Francisco Dawn Getting A Good Look At A Butterfly
Thee rain forest included butterflies. They posed nicely so Dawn could get a good view.

Butterfly At Academy Of Science In San Francisco
Nice of them to hold still.

We shared a chicken and fries lunch in the cafe. We stayed until they threw us out at 5pm. we then walked over to Irving Street to the Crepevine restaurant for dinner. I had my Santa Fe (corned beef hash) and Lou and Dawn shared a Greek savory crepe with a salad and home fries.

On the way home we stopped at a couple of book stores and while Dawn looked for books, Lou and I cruised the malls.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Week

Vote early and often!

(11/01) I started with a trip to the hardware store, found everything I needed but couldn't find my wallet. It was at home, so that's where I went. So I actually started the day with two trips to the hardware store. I then did some almost final work on the sideyard sprinkler upgrade. It was started several years ago before I poured the sidewalk there but never fully enabled before it was tornup some to make way for the extra thikness of the house walls due to the siding installation a couple of years ago. When I turned it on I found I had forgotton to fix one of the risers so I'll get to that tomorrow. I also installed a permanent waterline to the cooler. It was installed at the same time as the sprinkler line but needed some copper lines to complete it and eliminate its temporary supply by hose.

Lou was busy working on the living room floor finish coats and working on her dolls. It was a nice clear day today.

Lou fixed eggs, home fries and smoked pork chops which we enjoyed in the arbor in the backyard. Lunch was leftovers. I had spaghetti. I fixed corned beef hash for dinner.

(11/02) Dawn had a meeting in San Jose today. Lou and I went to Lowe's to get some molding for the living room baseboard. We also stopped a few other places since we were passing by, including the Sprout's market in Sunnyvale. At home, I finished fixing the side yard sprinklers which now also water our front patio area where Lou installed some brick paver tiles that have space between them where she planted some mint ground cover.Lou waxed the last of the living room floor. It was waxed in sections as it was refinished with the furniture stuffed here and then there to make room.

Lou wanted to go to the Los Altos Pancake House for breakfast. Yhe last time we were there she spotted what we learned to be apple pancakes. It obviously stuck in her mind. It's a dutch baby like pancake with apples and caramelized sugar all much like a bread pudding cinnamon roll with apples. It was good and now that is off her bucket list. Lunch was leftovers. I had the last of the spaghetti. For dinner Lou took a lot of the refrigerator remnants and made an interesting meal. Some leftover quinoa, couscous, gnocchi, and some Italian sausage in a garlic alfredo sauce with some Parmesan cheese and yogurt. It actually went together well.

Wednesday: (11/03) Another nice day, clear skies and warmer with an expected 79 degrees today. Well, the election is over and the electorate has voted, not well in most of the country though. It does pay to put your corporate money into most elections. I fear we're in for even more stormy weather.

Dawn and I were up early to do the commute up to Oakland so she can attend a meeting. Lou fixed a nice breakfast of eggs, sausage and leftover hash. I hate driving in traffic, not because it's difficult but rather because it shouldn't be necessary. Unfortunately, to take public transit would have probably increased our travel time. Further, we'd have had to got through San Francisco and they're having a parade for the Giants today so that might have increase the load on transit. It took us 1.5 hours to arrive in Oakland. I dropped Dawn off and then took a walk-about in the downtown area, out to Lake Merritt and then enjoyed some relaxing time in a mall, across form where Dawn was, using the free Wifi to post this.

Dawn and I had lunch in Foster City at a Harry's Hoffbrau. We each had a cup of soup and a half pastrami sandwich. I had white bean soup she had beef barley soup. I fixed chilli sizs for dinner.

Thursday: (11/04) Lou fixed French toast with sausage for breakfast. I took Dawn up to San Carlos for a test for a job at Samtrans. She's had a busy week. I used a local Starbucks WiFi to update the blog while I waited. i also did some looking in the area, I stopped by the local Best Buy, the largest around, where they have a large selection of electric bikes and scooters. Interesting stuff. We stopped at Whole Foods for lunch on the way home. We shared a Northbeach sandwich and some white bean soup. Dawn fixed some steamed vegetables with hamburger for dinner.

Friday: (11/05) A little overcast this morning. I got busy in the yard digging out for a concrete pad at the shop entrance. I need to use up the remaining bags of concrete mix.

The storage tent needed some grommets repaired
I also repaired one of the walls to our storage tent. It needed some grommets installed to replace some snap fasteners that failed. Lou was busy rearranging her storage shed to get the kiln out front for easier use.

Temporary stepping Stones for back yard
I placed some kidney shaped stepping stones  out leading toward the green house and shop. I'll be installing a wakway next spring but the stepping stones should help to control the mud during the coming storms. The yard is already muddy with just the little storms we've recently had.

Oatmeal with yogurt and honey for breakfast. We had chicken sandwiches and potato wedges from KFC for lunch. Lou fixed a nice roast beef with some of the red potatoes Dawn grew and a nice salad from the garden, tomatoes, Swiss chard, broccoli greens, with some avacado. We also had some of Dawn's just baked Jerusalem artichoke bread.

Dawn's Winter Garden Dawn's Garden with transplanted tomato vines
Dawn's Winter Garden, from dirt to a nice salad in 30 days.

Dawn's potato crop
Dawn grew these potatoes in a planter in the backyard. next year there will be more in the real garden.

Saturday: (11/06) I moved some baserock into the hole I dug yesterday for the shop door pad. The baserock has been in storage for the past year in a pile by the arbor with plants on top. I took advantage of the move to move some of the plants to the green house and trim some others. Lou and I went to Home Depot to get some rebar and dobbies for the pad I'm pouring.

Base rock and rebar  installed and ready to pour shop entrance pad Base rock and rebar installed and shop entrance pad ready to pour.
When we returned I also installed the form and rebar for the pad. It's ready to pour now but, unfortunately, it's supposed to rain tomorrow so maybe Monday I'll get to pour it. Lou was busy tacking down the baseboard molding in the living room. After dinner lou and I went by Lowe's again to get some more molding and some nail on chair leg caps. the stick on pads have been popping off. We also stopped at the market for  couple of things.

Leftover French toast for breakfast with strawberry preserves. Olive loaf and cheese sandwiches with avocado for lunch. Dawn made some vegetable beef soup for dinner.

Sunday: (11/07) It rained all day today. I took advantage of the weather and stayed inside doing as little as possible. I'm easy to convince. Lou finished tacking on the baseboards in the living room. There was a break in the rain so we walked up to the California Avenue shopping area about a mile North. we had a good downpour before we left. It's a good thing we had our umbrellas. On the way home Lou took a fall on a slippery metal utility cover straining her hand and or thumb.

Lou fixed latkas (potato pancakes) with ham and eggs for breakfast. Dawn's vegetable soup for lunch. Pot roast for dinner.