Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Birthday

Thursday: (04/26) Today is my birthday. I cooked home fried potatoes with hotdogs and eggs for breakfast. Lou had a doctors appointment this morning. I unpacked and tinkered at home all day. She stopped in Mountain View on the way home ant the Hong Kong Bakery and picked up a few things for lunch.  I had a pork bun and an egg tart for lunch. About 5pm we headed off to Campbell to pick up Dawn. We had dinner at the Outback Restaurant at the Prune yard Shopping Center. First time we've been there. We all had their special steak dinner served with a baked potato and a salad. It also included a desert of a little ice cream, some apple compote, and some fried donuts.

Friday: (04/27) Lou made ham hash with eggs for breakfast. Leftover chicken and either sweet potato or regular French fries for lunch. I had the regular, Lou the sweet. Grilled cheese and pineapple carrot salad for dinner. I tinkered in the office most of the day. Lou framed some pictures we picked up in Alaska. She collected two semi matching metal frames at thrift stores, cut them to the needed size, Painted them and mounted the pictures.

Saturday: (04/28) Leftover ham hash with eggs for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were busy visiting garage and estate sales. I did the laundry. Ramen noodles with hot dogs for lunch. Broccoli mashed potatoes, BBQ steak and carrot salad for dinner. We watched the netflix movie J Edgar Hoover this evening.

Sunday: (04/29) Lou said I could decide where we should go for breakfast today. But first, she and Dawn were off in search of some unusual flours to make gluten free bread and other things. Dawn has become sensitive to wheat. They tried Whole foods, Sprouts, Wallmart, The European market and finally found an Indian Market. The Indian Market had a huge assortment of flours but had one problem, they were labeled in an Indian language. The proprietor was very helpful and translated the labels. The flour at the Indian store was way cheaper then at the other stores. They have added the store as a prime source now. When they finally returned we went to a new restaurant named A Good Morning in Los Altos. We've noticed it before but hadn't tried it until today. There was a bit of a wait getting our breakfast, possibly due to a rugby team of about 30 people that had stopped by for breakfast. I had their country fried steak with eggs and hashbrowns, possibly the best CFS I've had recently. Lou and Dawn shared a sampler breakfast. It had sausage, ham, corned beef hash, country potatoes and eggs. Everything was good so we added this place to our places to return to list. At breakfast, Lou and Dawn gave me a car and birthday present. Only a few days late bu woth the wait.  i didn't mention it on Thursday sine we went out to a nice restaurant anyway an Ernie had made a cake. Ernie even mentioned that he hadn't put candles on the cake because it would have been a fire hazard. Ha ha!. Lou and Dawn didn't catch on thwn

When we returned home Lou and Dawn were busy cleaning in the house. I washed the cars an RV a,d vacuumed them. I also cleaned some more mud from the gutter. A lot of mud was left in the gutter when the water main broke a while back. I cleaned up in front of our house before so we wouldn't be stepping in the mud or tracking it into the driveway. of course, the mud our neighbors didn't cleanup has flowed into the front of our place again. So today, i cleaned up in front of our house and both neighbors. I also parked our cars in front of our house and the neighbors so that when the street sweeper comes tomorrow morning, I can move all the cars and the sweeper can come trough and clean up even more. Maybe eventually it will all be gone. Lou made steak with rice an artichokes for dinner. For desert we had some chocolate gluten free cake for desert.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Visit With Helen

Sunday: (04/22) It's already hot at 8am. I think I'll need to find a shady tree and a breeze while we're here? We went out to a late breakfast to IHOP restaurant. There was a bit of a wait. Helen and I had Swedish pancakes with eggs and sausage. awn had bacon wrapped steak with eggs and hash browned potatoes. After breakfast (lunch) we went on a tour of the towns thrift stores. Dawn enjoyed the Goodwill bookstore, one of their specialty shops. She came away with a bag full. We had sherbert and cream puffs for an afternoon snack. Helen had a meeting at church so Dawn and i went to dinner at Marie Callendar's. Dawn had a bowl of vegetable soup and I had BBQ ribs and shrimp.

(04/23) Helen fixed bacon eggs and toast for breakfast.

Don Enjoying His Dewars Peanut Butter Milk Shake
About 2:30 we stopped by Dewar's Ice Cream Shop and had milk shakes for lunch. Above is why there are few pictures of me in this blog. This is me happy.

KFC chicken for dinner. We toured several of the thrift shops we missed yesterday.

Tuesday: (04/24) Breakfast at Anna Kaye's Restaurant on oak Street. Dawn had a Hobo omelet and Helen and I had a Philly omelet. Very good omelets. No lunch needed.

Bakersfield Pioneer Village Bakersfield Pioneer Village
We visited Pioneer Village Museum on North Chester Avenue. Their collection of old buildings is very well laid out as an old town. The village is much like visiting the town a hundred years ago.

Bakersfield Pioneer Village Bakersfield Pioneer Village
Quaint streets in Pioneer Village. The old service station on the right looks as good as new.

Bakersfield Pioneer Village Fairhaven Pump House Bakersfield Pioneer Village
I still love to seeing the old Fairhaven Pump House from about a block from where I was raised and where I waited for the school bus. It is now part of the village. The displays of old oil field equipment and their oil well museum are also great. I was raised in a neighborhood where the oil producing equipment on the right was a common sight.

We then drove out to Hart park where we saw about 10 peacocks fanning their tails in mating dances at the same time. We've never seen spome many at the same time before. Dinner was leftover KFC with tomatoes.

Wednesday: (04/25) No breakfast. We finished packing up to leave. Helen's sister Lusseta came over and we went to lunch at the Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, Hwy 99 and White Road. Helen and I had their Chicken Fried Steak, Dawn had a half cobb salad which was huge at only half. We finally hit the road after our goodbyes about 1345. Dawn and I stopped in Clovis at a the Gluten Free Please Bakery at Clovis Ave and Herndon Avenue. Dawn picked up a few items. We then stopped for a look around the TSC farm supply store in Los Banos then at Target for a longer walk since it was raining. Dinner was a Pizza Hut chicken artichoke pesto flat bread. We arrived home about 10 pm.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tulare Antique Tractor Show

Friday: (04/20) Lou made sausage eggs and hash browned potatoes for breakfast. Dawn and i finished packing and left about 11:30. Lou and Meili were off to a rummage sale. Lou decided not to leave town due to her allergy attacks. Our oak tree may be the culprit but she decided there might not be anywhere to escape to if she goes. Dawn and i were in no hurry. The show is tomorrow. We stopped in Gilroy at the outlet mall and a couple of thrift stores. we had lunch at the Black Bear Diner. I had clam chowder and Dawn had a cobb salad. Our next stop was in Los Banos for a look at a thrift store. And we stopped in Madara at another thrift store before heading on to Fresno. In Fresno we stopped at Rasputin's, a used video and music store. We picked up a couple of DVD's there. We had dinner at Carrow's Restaurant. I had their pot roast sandwich and Dawn had broccoli soup which we topped off with a shared rhubarb cobbler. We headed on down to Tulare and stopped for the night at Quality Inn. we tried a couple of other motels but they are all full due to the show. We should have made reservations but we really didn't decide to go today until this morning. We have to get up early, for us, tomorrow. the parade starts at 09:30.
This trip is quite different. We usually travel by RV to this show. This time we're on the road in the new little car. We did get about 35 mpg over the mountains at 70-80 mph. Both those figures are a bit different than when we are in the motorhome.

Saturday: (04/21) Up early, or so we thought. We wanted to get to the Antique Tractor Show by o930 when the parade started. It opened AT 8am. 8am seemed like we'd have to get up way too early so I was aiming for about 9am. I didn't set an alarm but woke up at 6:30 per the hotel clock. We showered and cleaned up some and I took some of our stuff down to the car. The motel had a free breakfast, such as it was which was served until 9am. No problem, we could do that. All was going well. We went down for breakfast at about 8am. They were closing up. It was really 9am. The hotel clock was still on Winter time. Fortunately we were allowed to serve ourselves breakfast as the attendant hadn't thrown out the leftover sausage and eggs yet. With breakfast done we stopped at a nearby store and bought some bottled water. We'd used up what I brought down coming down. I thought I'd get a six pack so we didn't have to pay event pricing. The store didn't have six packs so I bought a 24 pack. Our car is small and I tried to avoid carrying so much water. We headed over to the Expo grounds, about 5 miles away. There was a full parking area so we parked at the far edge and went to the nearest entrance gate. There was a slow moving line with about a hundred people in it. Some very nice gate attendant said that there was no wait at the next gate at the other end of the lot. We walked to the other gate and got right in joining the parade about 20 minutes late. No problem though.

Tulare Antique Tractor Show Tulare Antique Tractor Show
Teaching the future farmers how to drive a tractor seems to be a theme.  It's a long parade and we got to melt in the HOT sun for the next hour and a half watching the tractors stream by. They are fun to watch. And then the trucks parade by before it's through.

Tulare Antique Tractor Show Tulare Antique Tractor Show
An entire family on a tractor train. A custom wheelbarrow on the right.

Tulare Antique Tractor Show Tulare Antique Tractor Show
These folks do have fun with their tractors.

Tulare Antique Tractor Show
Also a truck parade.

After the parade we restocked our water supply from the car. Sitting in the hot sun we had used up the six bottles we brought in. After the parade the tractors all return to their display parking spaces. Every now and then their owners feel frisky and jump on to tractor and take a ride around the grounds so there are always things buzzing around. There is also a big swap meet with real junk, not commercial imported junk. Lots of it is tractor parts and old equipment but there is also all other sorts of junk. There is also a building with commercial displays. The building was the only place to escape from the heat. Dawn and I had lunch at Dorthy's Kitchen.  I had the homemade peach cobbler with fresh churned ice cream. Dawn had a strawberry sundae. Excellent. I considered the chicken and dumplings but everything was freshly made and they were out at the time with three big pans on a couple antique wood burning stoves cooking more. We finished our "lunch" before they finished cooking the next batch of dumplings. They did look good though. We finally finished up looking around at 5pm when they closed. Usually we just bring the motorhome down and camp in the parking lot so we can attend both days. I think that is the best way to see it with no hurry. We had used most of the case of water bottles. We drove on down to Bakersfield after the show stopping for dinner at Milt's Restaurant. I had their deep pit BBQ dinner and Dawn had a chef's salad. I do like deep pit BBQ. Then we stopped at Aunt Helen's for a few days visit. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It Seems Like Summer

Tuesday: (04/17) Lou took the new car in to the shop this morning. The back of the drivers seat came apart. It took all of two minutes for them to fix it by snapping it back together. Hopefully it stays together now. She also ordered a spare key fob and key for Dawn. Cinnamon tarts for breakfast. I did some work in the yard this morning in preparation for creating another dirt pile. Since our local dump is closed, I need to stock up the dirt until the new building and walkways are finished then load it into a dumpster. The yard is looking so nice and green I don't want to mess it up too much so I plan on hiding the dirt pile with succulent plants until it 's time to go. Lunch was a chef salad. In the afternoon and evening I did all the laundry. Lou took advantage of her day off. BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and Brussels sprouts for dinner.

Wednesday: (04/18) I spent the morning cleaning out the cooler. This weekend the temperatures are supposed to be in the 90's so it will be needed. I also cleaned all the spiderwebs and dirt off the house siding. Subway sandwiches for breakfast. Strawberry shortcake with vanilla sauce for lunch. Dawn made asparagus soup for dinner.

Thursday: (04/19) Cereal for breakfast. I took the car to the dealer to pickup the new key and fob. Unfortunately, the key was the wrong one. The are quite special keys that can't be cut just anywhere. They are inside out keys. The new fob was programmed successfully. The key was reordered. Lunch was at the olive Garden, a nice steak panini. No dinner necessary we just had strawberry shortcake with vanilla sauce. I packed in preparation to leave tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Future OF Flash

Monday: (04/16) I had planned on catching the train to San Francisco early but the system was shut down for a couple of hours because of a suicide on the tracks. So, I wasn't in a hurry to catch a train and wait onboard. We all went out breakfast at IKEA. Breakfast is free on Mondays.  We added some Swedish pancakes to the free breakfast and tea. Expensive breakfast for three = $2.

Lou dropped be off at the train station and I caught the 11:37 train which got me to San Francisco about 12:40. I caught the #30 bus out to it's end in the Marina District and walked over to the Palace Of Fine Arts, the site of the old Pan American Exposition in 1915.

San Francisco Palace Of Fine Arts San Francisco Palace Of Fine Arts
The "Palace was rebuilt in 1959 and then remodeled again just recently. It looks about the same but is now seismically updated.

San Francisco Palace Of Fine Arts San Francisco Palace Of Fine Arts
A very popular location for wedding photos.

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the West Marina. I did some geocaching in the area then walked back to the North Beach District and had dinner at Buster's Cheese Steak restaurant. I had a Phily Swiss cheese steak sandwich. Quite good! I then walked through China Town and then caught a bus back toward the train station.

My meeting at Adobe is near the station. I enjoyed a slice of pizza at the meeting as well. The meeting was another BAADAUG meeting about the Future Of Flash, one of Adobes products. It was quite informative. the first half of the meeting was mostly an apology from the company about the way the canceled Flex support and to clarify their plans for Flash which is closely related. The second half was about gaming using Flash. All very interesting. I caught the 22:40 train back to Palo Alto.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Missing Chinese Buffet

Wednesday: (04/11) Lou's day off so I fixed eggs and toast for breakfast. I checked the work of the water repair crew. After I left, then continued and the road was already patched. They had dug so much out they couldn't have covered it with traffic plates. Another crew stopped by and cleaned up some of the mud near the leak but the whole length of the street needed it but didn't get it. I cleaned the mud from in front of our driveway so we don't keep tracking it into the driveway. We wouldn't want the new car to get dirty. Lou wanted to go out to lunch and suggested the Sunny Buffet. I, of course didn't disagree. We drove over and found it was gone and already being remodeled into a Greek restaurant. Seems like we were there just last week and no sign of a change. Too bad, it was really a nice place. With Chinese buffet in mind, we headed over to another in San Jose, the Super Chinese Buffet. It's also pretty good but further away. Good thing the new car gets such good mileage. I tinkered in the office as Lou worked on the dolls the rest of the day. As usual, after a buffet, dinner wasn't too necessary. We had leftovers.

Thursday: (04/12) Cereal for breakfast. The day started off almost clear but changed to a real rain storm through the day and evening. I tinkered a little in the greenhouse an in the office today. Lou was busy with the dolls. A couple even got their heads attached today. Noodles and ham for Lunch. For dinner, leftover chicken for Lou and a tuna sandwich for myself. We had a nice lightening storm in the evening. Quite a show.

Friday: (04/13) Wet looking clouds but no rain today. I tinkered in the office all day. Lou was mostly busy with her dolls. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Stuffed tomatoes with tuna salad for lunch. Beef stroganoff with cauliflower for dinner.

Saturday: (04/14) A nice day. Breakfast at Subway. They make really nice breakfast sandwiches. Lou and I were out and about all day. She had an appointment in Santa Clara. I dropped her off then browsed around the mans toy store, Harbor Freight nearby. We were then off to San Jose where Lou went to a doll show at the fairgrounds. While she was there I browsed at Home Depot. I found some nice carpets there for the San Jose house. We noticed a nearby Grocery Outlet market so we stopped in and found a few things including a bunch of Italian sausages. We stopped for lunch at Denny's. Lou had a spinach with chicken and bacon salad and I had pancakes. We then stopped by San Jose to see the new tree that was planted by the city. It's a crepe myrtle and looks pretty good though it's not planted in the correct spot to meet City standards. Typical! we stopped at an out of the way thrift store before heading home. I stopped by Central Computer to get a USB charger and a couple of short USB cables for use in the new car to charge the cell phones. I cooked up the sausages by baking them as usual. Dinner was leftovers. I had a couple of Italian sausages with baked beans.

Sunday: (04/15) Sausage with biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I worked in the greenhouse making a caged area for Lou's sprouting. The squirrels have been enjoying some wonderful snacks, especially the pepper sprouts from some nice peppers we had in Canada. Lou saved the seeds and they sprouted nicely and evidently were delicious. Lou was busy making some picture frames. We had green salads for lunch. Tacos for dinner.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weinermobile and A Water Leak

Tuesday: (04/10) The rain was back today. I drove the Jeep down to the smog shop. It didn't seem to want to pass it's self diagnostics so I left it at the shop for them to do whatever it took. I walked on to downtown Mountain View and met Lou. We had pork bun breakfasts at the Hong Kong Bakery.

Weiner Mobile At Walmart In mountain View Weiner Mobile At Walmart In mountain View
On the way home we stopped at Costco for some things and noticed one of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobiles in front of Walmart's. A couple of years ago we saw in up in redwood country on Highway One above Eureka. evidently there ar a bunch of these classic vehicles running around all over the US. Kind of a nice job traveling all over in a cool car.

Baked beans, potato salad and ham for lunch. Shortly after lunch the shop called and said the Jeep was ready. I was quite surprised expecting just an estimate of the huge cost of fixing all sorts of things to get it passed. When we were at Costco my ATM card wouldn't work. It's brand new and stamped to be good through 2015 but reported it was expired. I just got it last week. On the way home I stopped at the bank and were eventually able to get it working. When I got home water was flowing to the top of the curb on both sides of the street. First I thought we had just had a lot of rain but then realized it must be more. I walked down to the corner and found water sprouting up all over the street like geysers. Obviously the water main had a problem. The city was called and arrived about an hour later. Then a crew started to assemble an hour later. They drilled a bunch of holes in the pavement to try to find where the water was coming from. The hole where the water shot the highest should have been closer to the break. That almost worked. It got them within 25 feet of the break which they chased down with the backhoe. By about 1030 the leak was repaired but they still had the trench to put together enough so the street can be reopened. Beef Wellington with French fries and corn for dinner. 

Wilton Street Water Leak Wilton Street Water Leak
I notice a while lot of brown water in the gutter on both sides of our street. More than any rain storm we've had recently and rain water isn't muddy as it passes by, so I check it out.

Wilton Street Water Leak Wilton Street Water Leak
I found lots of little geysers near the corner od El Camino Real.

Wilton Street Water Leak Wilton Street Water Leak
The crews came out after a while since it was about 3:30 and they get off work at 4:00. They drilled holes in the street to try to locate the source. The highest spout should indicate it's close to the source.

Wilton Street Water Leak Wilton Street Water Leak
The highest spout was only about 10 feet way so they dug up quite a bit of pavement before they found the problem which was about a 3 inch hole in the side of a 6 inch pipe. Of course there were a couple of electrical conduits just above the failure in the water pipe. Kind of suspicious so likely the failure was caused by damage during the electrical conduit installation.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Little Romp

Monday: (04/09) First thing I did was call our insurance company to add the new car. Withing 15 minutes I had the required proof of insurance forms. Breakfast at the IKEA store. It's free Monday. I picked up a new waste basket for the bathroom. Lou checked on retiring the old Volvo. Seems the state funds are used up so we'll have to see if the program restores itself in July? Leftover BBQ ribs with  backed beans for lunch. This afternoon was mostly a romp in the new car up to San Mateo to pick up some free stuff Dawn found on Freecycle for book binding. Then on up San Bruno to visit Lowe's hardware. All followed by visiting a few thrift stores on the way home. Dinner at Neil's Coffee Shop in Burlingame. I had a chicken fried steak breakfast with pancakes. Lou and Dawn shared a liver and onions.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Saturday: (04/07) Lou was busy buzzing around in the new car. There were rummage and garage sales to get to. She, Dawn and Meili made the rounds and Dawn came back with a library chair, the kind of old oak chair that unfolds into a ladder. I tinkered some in the shop but mostly continued in the relaxation mode. Lou started the day making Swiss pancakes. They were topped with apricot butter. Pretty good but evidently far too much work, according to Lou. Hot and sour soup for dinner.

Sunday: (04/08) A nice sunny Easter day. Breakfast was chocolate fondue with fruit and ham.

Easter Dinner 2012
BBQ ribs or salmon with potato salad, carrot apple and craisen salad, and baked beans for dinner. Ernie, Meili and Courtney joined us.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A New Accent

Friday: (04/06) No not a different language. I finished off the corned beef hash while Lou had corn meal mush for breakfast. Lou and I stopped by Stevens Creek Hyundai so we could test drive our new car replacement model. One concern was whether the ride in such a small car as the Hyundai Accent would be too bumpy or whether the steering wheel would aggravate Lou's wrists. We took a test drive and neither were problems. The stock was thin so the model we test drove wasn't a hatchback and wasn't the model with the larger tires which we thought would be needed for ride improvement. We determined the ride was OK so the larger tires weren't needed but we still wanted to check out the hatchback. Unfortunately, they didn't have any on the lot. In fact, the one we had driven was the only Accent on the lot. When they come in, they go out immediately. That was corrected as they unloaded a new batch from the delivery truck before we left. Off came a white hatchback with the larger tires, just what we were looking for. We tried it out for size but couldn't test drive it until it was inspected. We put a deposit on the vehicle, since they are rare and returned later to test drive it. We picked up Dawn and went to lunch at Country Inn in Cupertino. I had chili rellenos while Lou and Dawn had Swedish pancakes.  We then returned home for the checkbook. Today was going to be a test drive but turned into a purchase. The car was ready for a test drive when we returned. It performed similar to the previous vehicle. We signed on the dotted line and then waited for the car to be detailed and prepped. After a detailed orientation Lou and I tossed a coin and I drove off in the new car. Ha Ha!. Of course Lou says this is my birthday present, which is OK with me. The last present like this was the motorhome nine years ago for my birthday.  It's nice to have a vehicle that can pass a gas station. It has a range of about 400 miles and can be filled up for less that $50! We finally made it home about 6pm. Turned into a long day. Ham, baked potatoes and sliced peppers for dinner. Now we'll need to take a little trip too get a good trial on the new car. Before we left they had sold at least one clone of the car.

Our New Hyundai Accent Our New Hyundai Accent
Our new toy, a Hyundai Accent. Not much bigger than an enclosed roller skate but seats four adults comfortably. It's also the only small car that I fit in without bumping my head.