Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Day On The Peninsula

Wednesday: (11/30) Busy day today. Cereal for breakfast. We all drove up to South San Francisco this morning.
TSA Meeting Thai Nguyen
I had a TSA meeting at the City maintenance yard so Lou and Dawn came with me and shopped around at the Tanforan Mall nearby in San Bruno. After the meeting, we stopped for lunch at the Basque Cultural Center located just behind the City yard. Not the usual family style Basque dining we're used too but some very good food. I had pork chops and Lou and Dawn shared liver. It was served with an interesting zucchini soup. We then shopped our way home including a visit at the Whole House Salvage Company's new location in San Mateo. They used to be located much closer to home and we enjoyed stopping by for a look and occasional used material find. Lou had started a pot roast in the crock pot this morning so we had a nice dinner when we got home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Little More Speed And A little Less Power

Tuesday: (11/29) A little work in the office, a few outside tasks, a couple of walks, and a little closet cleaning occupied the day. I also started the process of speeding up our ATT DSL Internet service. My DSL line is so old, one of the first installed in the area many years ago so it now needs to be completely replaced to speed it up. I do hope it all goes well, unlike all other contacts for changes to my ATT service and we don't loose our connection for a couple of weeks. I installed some LED Christmas lights on the arbor to replace to existing incandescent string. A little dimmer but now uses only 4 watts instead of 180 watts. Cereal for breakfast. Waffles and bacon for breakfast. Panini sandwiches for dinner.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Sore Back

Saturday: (11/26) Eggs and toast for breakfast. Lou and I took a walk around the neighborhood and stopped at a sign saying "free bricks". They were nice red clay bricks that we can use for additional walkways so we said we'd take them. One of the tasks I had planned to get to today was to look at installing a jump switch for the ignition on the old Volvo so it would start. I didn't get to it soon enough so I couldn't use it to move the bricks. I didn't want to use the other cars so out came the wheelbarrow. I wheeled  one load the two blocks home and had loaded another when the brick providers took sympathy on me and offered to use their pickup to get them to our house. That made quick work of the move. Good thing too because my back was complaining. It was about half a pallet of bricks. Lou was busy all morning studying and taking a test online. About noon, Lou and Dawn headed for San Jose to a Holiday Festival and to see Christmas In The Park there. For dinner, they both went to Original Joe's Italian Restaurant in downtown San Jose. I had Tuna sandwiches for lunch. I relaxed the rest of the day. For dinner I went out with Ernie for BBQ ribs at Chili's.

Sunday: (11/27) A little brick moving, and little racking leaves, a little pruning and a lot of relaxing made up today's activities. Lou took another test this morning. And we all took a nice long walk before lunch.  Pie for breakfast. Leftovers from Original Joe's restaurant for lunch. For dinner Lou made turkey asparagus couscous served with spinach and leftover potatoes au gratin.

Monday: (11//28)
A Subway BMT breakfast sandwich started the day. A Costco lunch hot dog for Dawn, Polish dog for Lou and chicken bake for me. Leftover turkey and asparagus couscous for dinner with Dawn's fresh baked bread.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Wednesday: (11/23) I spent the day in the office working at the computer today. Lou and Ernie were busy baking pies and preparing for tomorrow. Dawn was busy cleaning. Hash and eggs for breakfast. Chinese lunch at Luu Noodle House. Split pea soup for dinner.

Thursday: (11/24) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Ernie got the turkey on early and he, Lou, Dawn and Courtney got everything ready for the afternoon feast. I did my best and stayed out of the way. The weather was unusually nice for Thanksgiving. The feast included most of the usual items but nowhere near as too much as usual. It started with hors d'Suvre. Deviled eggs, cheese, olives, celery sticks, etc. Then the meal, roast turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, potatoes au gratin, a fruit salad, almond green beans,  and the usual gravy, cranberry sauce, etc. And this was followed by a choice of pies, cranberry pear, pumpkin, or apple mince meat. For some reason or other there were a lot of people needing naps after dinner.

Friday: (11/25) We sampled the Christmas shopping crowd at Fry's so Ernie could get a new keyboard for his computer. We went early and there was still too much of a crowd. Lou was busy studying. I just relaxed all day, sort of like it was a holiday. Pie for breakfast. Hot turkey sandwiches for lunch. Salmon with asparagus and penne pasta for dinner.

Monday, November 21, 2011

San Francisco Walk-about

Monday: (11/21) We all took a nice walk around the neighborhood in the morning. I visited Fry's doing some Christmas shopping and getting supplies. I got as new toner for the printer that turned out to be bad so returned it for another and now the printer is happy. Lou took the old car out shopping and it wouldn't start to come home. I went over and got it started. It seems the ignition switch is intermittently bad. The ignition is only on it the on position, not the start position. With appropriate technique it can be started but I spent the afternoon looking for information on its wiring to repair or fix it. Lou and Dawn are busy cleaning and preparing for Thanksgiving. Pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. For dinner Lou prepared tuna steaks with rice and fried green tomatoes from the garden.

Golden Gate Park Stow Lake Golden Gate Park Stow Lake Bridge
Tuesday: (11/22) A day in San Francisco for me today. I caught the 8:30 train to SF, then caught the Muni Judah train out by Golden Gate park. First order of business was breakfast at the Crepevine Restaurant on Irving Street. That was followed by a walk through Golden Gate park and by Stow Lake there.

San Francisco Bay View From Mt Sutro Construction Crane Assembly In San Francisco
Then a walk through the Sunset District of SF. The energetic part of the day followed with a hike up to the top of Mount Sutro and back down to Market Street. The view of the bay from Mount Sutro (above left) has to be the best view of the bay. Then it was back on a Muni Historic trolley to downtown. I stopped for a while to watch the erection of a construction crane. I only got to watch the end of the process. They started this early this morning. i could have wasted the whole day watching if I'd known it was being done. I've always wanted to watch them get one of these cranes up.

A bus to China town brought me to my dim sum restaurant for a snack. I've never seen it more crowded there. I enjoyed some Dim Sum there then headed over to Adobe's Offices on Townsend St for my BAADAUG computer group meeting. It was an interesting presentation by Yodlee who provides tools to develop financial features in Flash applications.

Breakfast was corned beef hash and eggs at the Crepevine. Some dim sum for a late lunch in China town. And finally some pizza at the computer club meeting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Chauffeur

Friday: (11/18) Oatmeal for breakfast. A little before noon Dawn and I headed to San Jose. We stopped for lunch at the Valley Fair Mall. I had some Chinese and Dawn had an interesting apple fig and brie grilled cheese sandwich. I dropped Dawn off at a convention in San Jose and visited Dawn's apartment to fix some things then visited a friend there. Lou was busy recovering from her cold and visiting a rummage sale. For dinner Lou made smoked pork chops, baked potatoes, and a green salad. Nice day with rain in the evening.

Saturday: (11/19) Popcorn with milk and honey for breakfast. Dawn and I were down in San Jose again. I acted as chauffeur and Dawn attended the convention again. Lunch was a visit to the Super Chinese Buffet in San Jose. I did some shopping and computing while I waited for Dawn. For dinner we had pizza at home. In the evening we all went to the Telabration, a story telling event here in Palo Alto presented by the Southbay Storytellers and Listeners. Excellent stories and tellers as well as a nice harpist. We had a nice clear sky in the morning turning to high overcast in the afternoon and rain in the evening.

Sunday: (11/20) Tinkering around the house was the task of the day. I fixed Ernie's oven, unclogged the pilot orifice.  Lou was busy cleaning and laundering. Dawn was at her convention in San Jose. Tuna, sprouts and cheese omelets for breakfast.  A visit to LUU Noodle House for our usual shared chow fun combination and some egg rolls for lunch. Baked potatoes with BBQ pork ribs and a green salad. For desert, we enjoyed some pineapple upside down cake that Ernie baked.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Exciting Days

Tuesday: (11/15) Salmon omelets for breakfast. I spent the day moving the outdoor plants into the green house. It's about a week earlier than usual. but it's now done. I also trimmed the wisteria on the arbor and did some other cleanup outside. Chili beans and cheese toast for lunch. Lou was still under the weather. Corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/16) Not much accomplished today. A little yard work and a lot of watching the neighbors paving stone installation. PBJ toast for breakfast. Corned beef and cabbage for lunch. Hot and our soup for dinner.

Thursday: (11/17) Another "exciting" day. While the sky threatened rain most of the day, it never did rain as forecast. Breakfast was popcorn. I love popcorn but can't eat it later in the day. Continuing my healthy dining, lunch was donuts. Dinner was hot and sour soup and baked pork buns. Lou still isn't feeling well but, fortunately Dawn and i haven't caught the bug, yet. I believe that hot and sour soup has some king of magical powers to help on fight off a cold and or not get it. No scientific basic but it sure doesn't hurt and seems to work for me. Lou's been getting extra doses of the soup. I didn't do much that could be called work today. I did repair the RV TV antenna crank shaft by replacing it. That and a little silicone lubricant make it almost fly up now.

In the evening I took Dawn to a writers club meeting a few blocks from home. On the walk home we both almost had a fatal ending. We were crossing the six lane El Camino Real highway at a traffic signal with a walk signal for us. As we got halfway across the far side I stopped because I heard a cars engine not slowing. I looked over and watched a car speed through the lane we would have been in had I not stopped. Missed us by less than 3 feet never even slowing. I checked and he did have a red light as we still had our walk clearance showing. You can't be too careful! I didn't notice but likely a cell phone was involved?

One thing I did do today was read a couple of local newspapers. There was an article in one that mentioned a recent report that says that Palo Alto has the highest educated populace in the state. 80% with at least a BA and 50% with at least a masters or doctorate. Three nearby cities were 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. (Los Altos, Saratoga, and Cupertino). Unfortunately we didn't help the statistic and are definitely a minority around here. (I wonder if there could be some benefit for being such a minority) While I've worked in the technical and engineering fields all my working life, working with and often supervising and managing engineers, I don't have a sheepskin. Never got to it and haven't missed it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Peter Yarrow At Linden Tree

Monday: (11/14) Leftovers for breakfast. Corned beef hash for me, Shepard's pie for Lou. I spent the morning working on the computer and the afternoon washing the RV. Tomato soup for lunch. Lou and Dawn were out shopping, actually returning things after lunch. Lou was coming down with a cold in the evening. Dinner was Lou's chili beans with my cheese toast.

Dawn and Don With Peter Yarrow At Linden Tree Book Store Los Altos
In the evening Dawn and I went over to Los Altos to the Linden Tree Book Store to see Peter Yarrow  (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame)  He was doing a book signing for his book Puff The Magic Dragon and his other song books. Of course most of the audience was little children and then their parents and some older folk like me. He sang several of his songs interspersed with other activities that kept the younger audience's attention. He even sang a special song. The song was called Linden Tree, based on his song Lemon Tree but adapted for the book store's name. He entertained the group for an hour and then signed his books or other items. It's nice to see a famous person provide autographs without even having to buy something. The only thing he said he wouldn't sign was skin. The store ended up staying open nearly an hour after closing time so everyone got their autographs. He didn't rush people chatting extensively with each person. Above a picture of Dawn and I with Peter.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Home Again

Thursday: (11/10) We arrived home about 5:30pm. Nice to be home again. We all went out to Harry's Hofbrau ( Courtney, Dawn, Ernie, Lou and I) for Dawn's birthday dinner. We stopped at Courtney's place for a visit with Spunky, her kitten. We've been on the road most of six months on this trip for a total of 11,820 miles. It's not our longest trip, that was over 14,000 miles in six weeks in 1979. We've slowed down some  since then.

Friday: (11/11) What's so special about today? 20111111
Lou made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off on a shopping adventure all day. I went through all the junk mail i missed and worked in the office and on the computer all day. Cold cuts for lunch. For dinner Lou made fettuccine. It rained most of the day today.

Saturday: (11/12) I made Don McMuffin's for breakfast. We emptied out the jeep and I then removed the damaged fog lamp fixtures. I don't believe in them anyway. They were damaged by the rocks on the  Alaskan dirt roads. They were below the skirt and didn't have any protection. i also washed the under side of the jeep. Then I had it washed and waxed. I then did some more detailing then put some of the stuff that was in it back into it. Only the stuff that belongs in it went back. the Jeep is an extra closet when we're on the road. Speaking of "Its" that's Lou's name for the Jeep now. We've never really named our vehicles. When the Jeep caught fire in Anchorage Lou says I came and said It's on fire so she now calls it "Its". For dinner we visited LUU Noodles in Mountain View having our usual Chow Fun dinner.

Sunday: (11/13) Granola for breakfast. Another nice day, mostly sunny. I spent the morning working in the green house trimming, repotting and pulling weeds. Lou and Dawn were busy in the house cleaning. For lunch we all went down to the Hong Kong Bakery each getting our favorite baked goods and dim sum. We also picked up a birthday cake for both Dawn and Lou's birthday. I spent the afternoon working on the computer. Lou made Shepard's pie for dinner and Ernie joined us.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Redwood Acres Fairgound, Eureka, CA

Tuesday: (11/08)  We stopped for the day at Redwood Acres fairgrounds in Eureka. While I updated the blog, Lou visited the cats at the horse barns. The cats are the main reason we like to stay here. We then visited most of the thrift stores in town and stopped by Pierson' hardware store. Dinner was leftover Shepard's pie with some pumpkin pie for desert. After dinner we went to Winco Foods to get a few things. We don't have a Winco near our home and they have lots of things we like at significantly better prices than at home.

Wednesday: (11/09) Pumpkin pie for breakfast. We visited with the barn cats here at the fairgrounds. Next we visited the remaining thrift stores in Eureka as well as other shops in old town. Lunch was at the Somoa Cookhouse, the old lumber mill cookhouse across the bay. It was BBQ rib day. We looked around the peninsula visiting the old military installations at the South end of the peninsula. We then went to Arcata and checked the thrift stores there. Having used most of the day, we returned to Eureka and stopped by to visit friends Don and Joy. We chatted, mostly about the Alaska trip we both took this summer, into the evening and had Subway sandwiches for dinner. After dinner Lou and I visited the Bear River Casino in Loleta. It didn't take long to lost our $2 limit and we returned home.

Eurekas Redwood Acres Fairgrounds Horse Barns With Cats
Thursday: (11/10) We started the morning with a visit to the horse barns to see the cats. Most of them evidently were sleeping in. We did get to visit Pickles, one of the most friendly. Then it was time for breakfast. Latkas and sausage. we then headed South on highway 101 stopping in Loleta at the cheese factory to watch the cheese making and pick up some fresh form the source. The weather was nice and we made good time. In Willits we got ice cream at Rite-aide Drugs  (aka Thrifty). We called that lunch though until i spotted that they had a Thrifty ice cream counter Lou was planning on cold cuts and crackers.  Traffic got rather heavy as we passed through San Francisco during early rush hour at 4pm. After a stop for gas in Redwood City we made it home about 5:30pm.  Lou was a bit worried as we were running on fumes. Last stop for gas was in Brookings Oregon 430 miles ago.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Prairie Creek Redwoods Elk Prairie Campground

Sunday: (11/06) Cereal and banana for breakfast. We took a walk on the beach after breakfast. Couldn't go far on the beach because of high tide and narrow beaches. We're a bit out of sink on the tides. Last night was high and this morning is high. It rained heavily all night but was nice this morning. We prepared to leave after enjoying long showers, an advantage of having a dump station available. We've enjoyed our stays in Oregon State Park Campgrounds. They always have electric and water hookups and often full hookups for less than a stay in a California State Campground which has no hookups. We stopped at Fred Meyer's for gas and at Oil Can Henry's for an RV oil change. Nothing caught fire but they did manage to improperly seat one of the tire pressure sensors. I check all the sensors for tightness after oil changes or tire services now anyway but now I'll have to add monitor extra well for leaks. We stopped when I got an alarm about 5 miles down the road. One tire was 15 lbs low. The washer in the sensor was not seated correctly. It took our compressor a while to get the tire re-inflated and I reseated the washer and all seems to be fine again. We passed through the California border without having to forfeit any fruits and vegetables though the inspector had to look at our orange. It must have been from California so it was OK. They couldn't say it was bad if it came from California.

Fish And Chips Chart Room Creasent City

We stopped for lunch in Crescent City at the Chart Room Restaurant. They have impressive fish and chips there. After lunch we took a walk around the harbor. They're still working on repairing the damaged caused in march by the tsunami with it's 8 foot wave. The restaurant is out by the docks but was unharmed, fortunately, A nine foot wave might have been too much. We had heavy food South of Crescent City to our destination at Prairie Creek State park.

Here is a rant:
Why is it that road workers and traffic engineers can't think? Again, we had to disconnect the Jeep due to entering a closed road where they put the sign advising of the closure after the last possible turnaround. 50 feet earlier and no problem. 50 feet late and makes a problem. It must be a federal requirement because that seems to be the way all the road departments do it. Not so where they can think in Canada. we say the sign advising of the Newton P Drury parkway in to the park. After taking the ramp off the freeway we followed the next sign telling us to turn right onto the parkway. We turned and then there is a sign advising that the road is closed ahead and there is no turnaround. Hell, there was no turnaround there either. Whoever set the signs up doesn't even meet the level of half wit. If they had a thought, maybe something could have been placed by either of the other two signs? Rant over.

We disconnected and continued separately up to the other end of the Parkway and in to the Prairie Creek Redwoods Elk Prairie Campground.

Elk Prairie CG Campsite Elk Prairie Fog
We got a nice campsite and were one of three guests camping there. We learned that the reason for the road closure was that a couple of big redwood trees fell across the road a couple of weeks ago. They were too big to cut so they used dynamite to remove them. of course, they blew up part of the road and now they are waiting for the State Highway department to come out and repair the pavement. That should take a couple of more weeks. Some one should make a movie of this stuff. We need more comedies. We also learned that the Davidson Road out to the beach is closed during the week for repairs so we won't be able to go out to Fern Canyon. Won't be hiking it either since this week three parties have reported being chased by Elk along the trails to there. Once was enough for me to be chased by 1200 pound animals. We'll probable settle for some short hikes around closer to the campground tomorrow. Dinner was leftovers. I had a hotdog chili size while Lou had split pea soup.

Monday: (11/07) Clear and cold this morning. Lou made hash browned potatoes with sausage and eggs for breakfast. I unfolded the bikes and aired up the tires. It's the first time we've had them out on this trip. We rode the bikes up Newton Drury parkway, the closed road. Rather nice ride with no traffic but it was uphill for the 5-6 miles before we turned around. of course then it was a nice coast back. We didn't go far enough to see the road damage but really can't understand why the portion we rode on was closed to cars. Seems better to only close it to big vehicles and let the others turn around at the obstruction.

Prairie Creek SP Corkscrew Tree Prairie Creek SP Corkscrew Tree Trail
We stopped for a couple of hikes to see the Corkscrew Tree, a really confused tree and the Big Tree, a really big coastal redwood tree. We returned home for lunch. Lou made a nice ham, peppers, and tomato salad. Then we drove in to Orick for a look at the burl shops.

Prairie Creek SP Elk Prairie Trail CG In Distance
When we returned we took a hike around the prairie on the Elk Prairie Trail.

Prairie Creek SP Elk By Elk Prairie CG Prairie Creek SP Elk By Elk Prairie CG
When we got back to camp there was a small herd of bull elk in front of our campsite. We pulled out the chairs and enjoyed watching them dine on the lawn there until an unthinking driver sped by them and spooked them. Lou made Shepard's pie for dinner.

(11/08) Mostly clear and cold this morning. Hashbrowns, eggs and sausage for breakfast. We walked the campground and part of Elk Prairie Trail then moved the RV out of the campground and took the jeep out to Elk Meadow, about 5 miles South.

Terillium Falls Redwood NP Terillium Falls Redwood NP
We hiked out to Terillium Falls then returned and hooked up the Jeep and headed South on Highway 101 to Trinidad. We stopped at the Trinidad Eatery for their great blackberry cobbler for lunch. After lunch we continued on to the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Harris Beach State Park

Friday: (11/04) Leftover pancakes and French Toast for breakfast. On the road toward Brookings by 11am. We stopped in Bandon By The Sea and walked old town. Lunch was some of Lou's pea soup with toasted dinner rolls.

Harris Beach CG Campsite
We settled in at Harris Beach State Park.

Harris Beach Harris Beach
The tide was coming in as we took a quick walk on the beach. Maybe tomorrow we'll get to visit their nice tide pools.

Harris Beach Harris Beach

It was foggy this morning as we left Coos Bay and got even ticker until we came down the hill to Bandon where the sun was out. It was sunny but cold the rest of the day. This area of the coast is a cranberry growing area and the fields were red. Must   be time to harvest.

Saturday: (11/05) Latkas with apple sauce and sausage for breakfast. It rained all night and through the day today. We took a little drive around town stopping at Fred Meyer's and a thrift store. We had some soup and tea for lunch at Freddie's. Since it was raining we relaxed at home much of the afternoon and evening. Lou made tortellini and fresh asparagus for an early dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mill Casino, North Bend, Oregon

Mill Casino RV PArk Coos Bay
Tuesday: (11/01) We're staying in North Bend at the Mill Casino. They have both free RV parking and a full service RV park. We opted for the RV park. It costs less ($19) than a stay in the State parks ($22) and comes with full hookups as well as wifi and cable TV instead of just water and electric as at the State parks. We had dinner at the casino, fish and chips for me and prime rib for Lou. We plan on being here a couple of days.

(11/02) We started the day with unlimited hot showers at the park shower room. You just don't get unlimited showers often in and RV especially when boon-docking or camping without hookups. We did the laundry in the park laundry room while we showered. Then it was tome for breakfast. We each had country fried steaks and eggs.

Golden Silver Falls Parking Trail To Silver Falls
After breakfast we drove 25 miles East of Coos Bay to Golden And Silver Falls State Park. A 1/3 mile hike gets you to either waterfall. A mile hike gets you to the top of Golden Falls. I hiked them all and Lou hiked to both waterfall viewpoints.

Silver Falls East of Coos Bay Silver Falls East of Coos Bay Silver Falls East of Coos Bay
Three views of Silver Falls above.

Golden Falls East of Coos Bay Golden Falls East of Coos Bay
A couple of views of Golden Falls. One from the lower trail and one from the upper trail.

Golden Falls East of Coos Bay Upper Trail To Golden Falls
Another view of Golden Falls from above. On the right is the trail to the top of the falls.

Grand Tree By Silver Falls
I just liked the looks of this tree by Silver falls.

After the hikes we returned to town and did some shopping then returned home. For dinner we went back to the casino. Lou likes their prime rid, actually any prime rib. We share her prime rib dinner and I had a bowl of clam chowder as well. Today was nice and sunny. When we came out after dinner, it was raining heavily and continued so all evening.

Thursday: (11/03) Breakfast was Strawberry French toast. We spent the morning visiting thrift stores and antique shops in North Bend. In our travels we drove by the La Herradura Mexican Restaurant and there was such a crowd that we returned a while later for lunch. The crowd was right. I had the chili verde special and Lou had a chili relleno.

Shore Acres SP Shore Acres SP Flowers
After lunch we drove out to Shore Acres State Park. It's a little late in the season for the arboretum.

Shore Acres SP Flowers Over Pond Shore Acres SP Roses
Few flowers. There were a few roses. The place will look much different soon. From Thanksgiving day through New Years Day they will be open in the evenings. All the bushes are lit and there are light sculptures. Too bad we won't still be in the area.

Cape Arago SP Near Coos Bay Cape Arago SP Near Coos Bay
We enjoyed looking at the very unusual coast at Cape Arago and looking at the sea lions and elephant seals. This might be where the sea lions from the Sea Lion Caves have gone.

On our way home we stopped in at the Cranberry candy shop. for some salt water taffy and a few other samples. Dinner was at the casino again, a repeat of a couple of nights ago. Lou had prime rib and I had fish and chips.
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