Saturday, May 28, 2011

Final Prep To Leave

Saturday: (05/28) I had some leftover potatoes and a sausage for breakfast. That got me outside early. We came home, a month ago now, to prepare to leave for Alaska and for Ashley's graduation. The graduation is now out of the way but other than that, little has been accomplished. I've been on light duty for the past couple of weeks but now I need to get going so we can actually leave. I spent the morning welding up some stuff to work as a rock apron between the RV and the Jeep. It's just a horizontal barrier rather than a shield or nose cover. I hope it works. I'll also make a shield as a backup. We had light rain sprinkles occasionally throughout the day to make it interesting. Lou and Dawn were busy baby sitting Spunky the cat while Courtney is  away. Chili sizes for lunch. Salmon and rice with a Waldorf salad for dinner.

Sunday: (05/29) I was up and off early to San Francisco, or at least that was the plan. I misread the train schedule and the first train was at 8:30 rather than 7:30. On the weekend schedule, the 7:30 train doesn't run on Sunday, just Saturday. That cause a bit of delay and made me a little late for the parade.

Carnval Parade In San Francisco Carnval Parade In San Francisco
The Carnival parade started at 10am and I arrived at 10:05.  The parade doesn't have anything to do with getting ready to leave but is always interesting.

Carnval Parade In San Francisco
With our rain yesterday and evening I was worried today wouldn't be good for a parade but the weather was perfect. My delay made me stop by Jack in the Box for a breakfast sandwich. I normally arrive for the parade early and enjoy breakfast at one of the restaurants in the Mission District. After the parade, which ended about 12:30, I was thinking lunch. A lot of other people had the same idea so most places were crowded but my appetite was also acting up. I didn't like the smell of most of the places I considered. The end result was that I just  headed home. Lou and Dawn weren't home so I picked up a super nachos at out local beanery. Lou and Dawn went over to Half Moon bay for the day checking all the interesting shops.

(05/30) Lou fixed some excellent home fried potatoes with chorizo for breakfast.

RV Rock Guard Under Construction RV Rock Guard Under Construction
I spent the day completing the rock guard frame. Lunch was grilled cheese sandwiches. For dinner we had artichokes with grilled chicken and white beans. After dinner I hooked up the Jeep to the RV and and took it for a spin around the block to see how the rock guards work and check clearances. All was well but i may make an adjustment tomorrow to make it better. We also can measure it so Lou can make the fabric for the guards. Lou's been busy all day packing and with the laundry.

Tuesday: (05/31) Breakfast more of the same from yesterday. Cook once eat many times. Lou and I hit the hardware stores OSH, Home Depot, and Lowe's looking for shade cloth to use for the rock guard and also some other hardware.

RV Rock Guard Under Construction RV Rock Guard Under Construction
Never satisfied, I spent the afternoon reworking some of the rock guard. My first try set the guard tilted too far forward., It looks better now. Now it's in Lou's court to sew the fabric for it.

Cheese sandwich for lunch. Lou was down in San Jose with Dawn this afternoon. Dinner was Leftover lima beans and ham.

Wednesday: (06/01) Irish oatmeal with yogurt and honey for breakfast. Chinese food for lunch from New Tung Kee Restaurant our usual chow fun with egg rolls and an avocado smoothie.. Dinner at Chevy's Mexican Restaurant. We had the three course meal specials tortilla soup, chili relleno and beef enchilada with flan for desert. Lou was busy all day sewing the fabric for the rock shields. I did some organizing and cleanup of some compartments in the RV and worked in the office. It was an overcast day with many sprinkles and a couple of good showers today.

Rock Apron Rock Guard
Thursday: (06/02) I was busy working on our taxes all day. Lou was busy sewing the rock guard fabric. Fun, Fun! Oatmeal with yogurt and honey for breakfast. Dawn made pizza for dinner. After dinner, Lou finished the fabric. We installed it and took the rv with toad out to see if it worked with Lou and my brother Ernie in a chase car. It worked.

Friday: (06/03) I was busy finishing our tax return. With that done and a few other simple tasks we can finally depart. Lou was doing more packing and cleaning and the occasional cat visit and thrift store visit. Leftover Dawn's pizza for lunch. Breakfast was leftovers from Chevy's the other night. Rice and beans with some added fried eggs. Lou made some special cornbread with sausage, olives, peppers, onions and cheese served with avocado..

Saturday: (06/04) We spent the day doing final packing and preparation to leave tomorrow. I cleaned out the lower compartments removing anything we haven't used and won't need. i also tested the satellite system again. It's still doesn't work. Finds the satellite, says it's connected but doesn't work. Again it indicates a bad modem so maybe we'll stop in Oregon and get another one. Lou visited the kitten this morning and gave it a bath. She sure is well mannered.

Spunky the kitten playing
I haven't visited Spunky the kitten in a week or two. We stopped by this afternoon and my how she's grown. When we thought we were ready to leave, we heard on the evening news that CO detectors will be required in all residences in California effective this July. We'll be gone so I dashed out and got some. Our's is installed but tomorrow morning I'll go down to San Jose and install a couple there. Then we can still depart tomorrow morning, just a little bit latter. Cereal with yogurt and honey for breakfast. Leftover Lou's special cornbread for lunch. Clam chowder and toasted bread for dinner.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Quick Trip To Fresno

Thursday: (05/26) We got up early and hooked up the Jeep and were off toward Fresno by 8am. Lou was nice enough to do the hooking up since my back was acting up. Lou's niece Ashley is graduating from high school and all graduations are special.
It was a little overcast in Palo Alto as we left. Our first stop was in Los Banos for a stretch. It was very smoky in and especially East of town. Must have been a fire though we didn't see anything. We arrived at Ashley's place, parked the RV and Lou placed the leveling blocks. This is kind of nice having her do all the heavy lifting.  We then headed off to lunch.

Everyone there was busy preparing so just Lou, Dawn and I went to have Basque food downtown at the Shepard's Inn, excellent lunch. We skipped the entre and just have the fixings, known there as the Shepard's lunch. A hearty fresh bread, soup, nice green salad,  shrimp potato salad, rice pilaf, and beef stew. Definitely a place to return to.

Ashley's Fellow Graduates
The graduation was held at Sav-Mart Center at Fresno State. Nice place but we should have brought our binoculars. Ashley is the 11th from the left in the first row in the photo above. It took unusually long for the ceremony because as they had each student come out they read a short statement from each student usually thanking family, friends and teachers. There were only around 160 students in this class so it didn't take as long as it would have for my graduation with way over 600 graduates. If all my high school freshmen class (2500) had graduated as seniors it would have been a months long ceremony. My senior class shrunk due to school splits and a few people who were delayed graduating.

Ashley's After Grad Hair Do Graduation Book Burning
Later we returned to Ashley's place where her parents threw a party and BBQ. Lou provided some games for the kids, mostly text book tortures and a balloon fight. Now, when's the next graduation? Ashley is the one with the electric hair do above left.

Friday: (05/27) A sunny day in Fresno! Breakfast at Ihop then some shopping around town. New town, different thrift stores. We enjoyed lunch at the World Chinese Buffet on Blackstone. We finally left town about 4:30 PM. We stopped for a stretch in Los Banos. Dinner was leftover tofu and vegetable stir fry and cheese cake.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Backyard Fever

Monday: (05/09) Lou make French toast with sausage for breakfast. We enjoyed it in the back yard. I was busy cleaning leaves from the back yard and moving some plants around. For lunch we went to Costco. We picked up a few things after lunch. Why does it cost so much to leave a discount store? A little rest and a little more yard work finished the day. Lou fixed couscous with salmon and peas for dinner.

(05/10) Today I treated my backyard fever the easy way. I headed up to San Francisco for the day and evening. I had a computer club meeting and spent much of the rest of the day there as well. It's been so cool and cold lately here in Palo Alto that I had to retire my short pants, again. I took my heavy shirt up to San Francisco as well. And this is almost summer?
I took the Caltrain up. I had some dim sum for lunch in Chinatown. and a slice of pizza in North Beach (actually 3 blocks from each other. I took a good walk about town ending up back at my meeting site.
The meeting at Adobe's offices there in SF was a about using Google's App Engine with Flex applications. In other words, about cloud computing. I haven't been to any meetings for several months and wanted to learn something. Very informative but probably not good for my interests. Of course they had some good pizza for dinner at the meeting. I walked the couple of blocks from the meeting to the train station and returned home by 11pm.

Wednesday: (05/11) Lou baked some scones for breakfast.

TSA Meeting Attendees
I had a meeting this morning with my Traffic Signal Association. I get to keep up a little on new traffic signal products by attending the meeting. I learned all about vehicle tracking for travel time studies using Bluetooth devices like cell phones. Neat new use of technology. I also learned all about new and upcoming adaptive pedestrian technologies. Now I know more about stuff I no longer need to know. Nice to visit with old friends.

For lunch I had the usual chow fun noodles and an avocado smoothie. I tinkered around updating the drivers on my big laptop. For dinner we had leftover BBQ ribs, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes of choice and a green salad. Lou was busy with Courtney with a vet visit for Spunky the kitten.

Thursday: (05/12) Ham, eggs, and home fried potatoes for breakfast. Today was house cleaning day. I was busy in my study. Dawn and Lou worked on Dawn's room. Dinner was leftover soup and oven bread.

Bol Park Sign Bol Park Bike Path
We did enjoy a walk at Bol Park nearby. The park is famous for it's donkeys, one of which was the inspiration for Shrek's donkey.

Spunky The Kitten
We also paid a visit to Courtney's to visit Spunky the kitten.

Friday: (05/13) Lou fixed Bacon, eggs, and home fried potatoes for breakfast. She took Dawn to a doctors appoint and then they played in San Jose. For lunch they stopped at the house of Pizza. I rode the bus down latter and stopped at McDonald's for a chipolata wrap for lunch. Dawn's house phone wasn't working so I was down to fix it. Turns out that ATT evidently has a problem because there is no dial tone. Also, someone also messed with the wiring so even when we get the dial tone I'll still have to straighten out the wiring. We all went to our friends Connie and Terry's house for dinner. Lou catered artichoke chicken and brown rice. After dinner we went over to San Jose State university to the Kaucher/Mitchell Event. They present awards for the best story telling and oral interpretation. There were some excellent participants this year. Dawn was a participant several years ago.

Saturday: (05/14) Lou and I went to Subway sandwich shop for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off early to the library book sale and rummage sales. I tinkered with the drip watering system. For some reason it always needs reconfiguration when the plants return from the green house. Lunch was leftover pizza. Lou made tofu and mushroom salads for dinner. After dinner we went out to a Bluegrass concert. We won a couple of tickets and  bought another and we all enjoyed the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. If you listen to public radio you probably heard his music before. He did the theme to the Car Talk show on NPR. Great music. All five musicians were outstanding in their own right. It started raining just before the end of the show and was doing pretty good and wetting things.

Sunday: (05/15) I had considered going up to San Francisco to see the Bay To Breakers Race. I got as far as setting the alarm. I looked outside at 0430 to see what the weather was like and it was still fully overcast and the ground was wet. I decided it might not be a great day to watch a parade or I was just to lazy to get up and didn't get up to catch the 05:46 train that would make the 7am start of the race. Those racers sure start their days early.

I fixed bacon eggs and potatoes for breakfast. I spent some time out in the greenhouse plucking and pruning plants and repotting some. I made a run to Home Depot to get some steel to make the rock guard for th RV. Lou was busy doing the wash. Lunch was Swedish meat balls form Ikea with baked potatoes, gravy and some lingonberry compote. I worked at the computer in the afternoon. It drizzled much of the day, not much but the lawn liked it. Dinner was leftover pizza.

Monday: (05/16) Lou's homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I fought with Ebay to get it to let me login to place an order for Lou's replacement Roomba batteries. Either the way one logs in or their idea of what my account username and password are has changed from what I used just a month ago. Moreover their method of recovering a passwod has to be the worst example online. It just said my email had an account and wouldn't let me get a new password sent to it. The end result is I have a new account though I won't be in a hurry to use it.

Of course that wasn't enough to make a bad day. Our tenant in San Jose called to complain about a water leak of some sort in the front yard so I was off to take a look. Turned out to be a bad water main valve. It needs to be replaced but I replaced the valve stem winding for now. I also was given a small piece of rain gutter that had come off. It reattached easily. Easily, that is, after I remove about half the lemon tree below it.

On the way by, I also stopped by Big O Tires and checked on alignment capabilities and cost and jeep tires prices. I stopped for lunch at Hometown buffet.

Dawn was busy with another job interview in Redwood City and Lou took her and got some shopping time as well.

Tuesday: (05/17) Not an exciting day. I worked in the office all day doing some cleanup. Lou took Dawn to the dentist and they played in San Jose the rest of the day. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Ham sandwich for lunch. Lou's slow cooked roast beef with baked potatoes and broccoli.

Wednesday: (05/18) I made some of my famous breakfast potatoes with red and yellow peppers, onions, and mushrooms served with eggs and sausage. I worked on the computer all day. Ham sandwiches for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Thursday: (05/19) Leftovers for breakfast. I had breakfast potatoes and a sausage and Lou had pot roast and potatoes. The neighbor having the house spray painted today so I moved the RV out of its home in the driveway. I was busy all day working on the computer. Lou was busy organizing and cleaning the house. In addition to collecting sewing machines, Lou also collects Roomba vacuum robots. She needed new batteries so I ordered some online a couple of days ago and they arrived today. Now they have some zip. Lunch was unusual, chocolate fondue with fruit and cheese. For dinner we went to the New Tung Kee noodle house for chow fun noodles and avocado smoothies.

Friday: (05/20) No breakfast for me and Lou had cereal. I had a doctors appointment this morning. After the appointment Lou and I went to lunch at the Country Inn in Cupertino. I had my usual chicken fried steak with Swedish pancakes. Lou had Swedish pancakes. The pancakes are extremely good. We relaxed the rest of the day. Nice way to finish a week. Dinner was Lou's lima beans and ham.

Saturday: (05/21) A day to relax and play on the computer. Steak and eggs for breakfast. Beef stroganoff for dinner.

Sunday: (05/22) Strayberry waffles with sausage for breakfast. Another nice day. I'm still relaxing. We did go over to the IKEA store to take a walk and look around. I want to rework my computer desk in the study so we looked over their displays. Now that monitors are flat, the old adjustable computer desk i have is much deeper than needed and the room will open up more if it shrinks. since it sits near the doorway. We had lunch nearby at the Mi Pueblo market. Lou  had a torta and I had a burrito. Sauerbraten for dinner

Monday: (05/23) Leftovers of choice for breakfast. We had an appointment with ATT to fix Dawn's phone. It had a tight window, sometime between 9am and 7:30 pm. That didn't make it easy since Lou and i needed to drive down to be there and it takes an hour to get there. About noon we headed down and met Dawn for lunch. Lunch was burritos in downtown San Jose at La Victoria's. I had a chilli relleno burrito while lou and Dawn shared a carnitas burrito. All very good. There red sauce is excellent. After lunch I went over to Dawn's and started replacing a holy screen on the front door. I had just finished that when ATT called and ewas there in 5 minutes. It took all of five minutes for the tech to reconnect the wires to the service box and give us a dial tone. With that, he was off. Then i started to work repairing all the damage the ATT Internet tech had caused when he hooked up the other tennents DSL line and cut off the wires to Dawn's line. About two feet of cable was missing so I restored things to working order and all was well again. I really hate letting service techs fix things because this always to be the result. More leftovers for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/24) Lou made strawberry waffles and sausage for breakfast. I stopped in at Big O and got the new tires for the jeep and the front end aligned. That progressed to getting the rear brakes rebuilt and taking all afternoon. When I finally got home I had a late lunch of Lou's Chinese chicken salad. Lou and Dawn went to a movie and I dropped by Fry's electronics. Haven't been there in months and my there are lots of new toys to be seen. Lou made chow mein for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/25) Somehow I managed to strain my back working on the computer today. Moving tons of dirt and concrete doesn't bother it but pushing a key on the keyboard does? Lou made an omelet for breakfast. Lunch was banana pudding. Dinner was tofu stir fry. My greatest effort today was taking old toad (Volvo) in for an oil change.