Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another Rock Pile Gone

Half The Rock Pile Remains Blocking The RV From The Driveway  RV Parked Across Wilton Driveway
Sunday: (10/28) Lou was off early to pick up a couple of things and beat the crowd at Walmart's. I was off to Lingsol Garden Supply in Redwood City to get more geo-textile fabric. I ran short by about 15 feet for the walkway.

Wilton Walkway  Wilton Walkway
I installed the fabric, set the forms and started moving more base rock. I also poured the concrete for the edge.

The driveway is now cleared for the RV to move back in off the street. We had a really nice day, warm and no rain. Just right for me to work my back to its limit, so, tomorrow will be a day off.

Lou's Blind Cleaning Rack
Lou was busy cleaning the blinds from the RV and planning the layout in her future pottery shed.

Donuts for breakfast. Cheese burgers with our fine vine ripened tomatoes from the garden on gluten free buns that Lou baked. For dinner Lou made Iranian chicken salad.

Monday: (10/29) Quinoa with banana, blueberries, pumpkin seeds and kifer for breakfast.

Another Dirt Pile Wilton Walkway
Above left is my leftover dirt piled in a new location. Status photo of walkway to be on right.

Wilton Greenhouse Tomatoes  Wilton Greenhouse
Some tomatoes in the green house and some flowers as well.

Motorhome And Jeep Back In The Driveway  Wilton Walkway Leftover Base-rock
I started my day with a trip in the RV to get LPG. It was bone dry. I then put it back in the driveway and moved the Jeep in as well. Above right shows the leftover base-rock pile behind the RV.

I was thinking of taking the day off and doing a San Francisco walk-about but with the crowds associated with the Giants Victory parade I changed to a local walk. I walked up to Menlo Park and caught a bus up to Redwood City and looked around there. I had lunch at La Victoria Taqueria where I enjoyed a carnitas torta. I made it back home by 5pm. Lou was off to an appointment this morning.

Lou made fish with rice and Brussels sprouts for dinner. I spent some time getting some recent photos up on the blog.

Tuesday: (10/30) I tried hard to relax today working inside on the computer and studying my voters materials trying to decide how to vote. I tried, but Lou enticed me outside to have lunch and then I did some work.

Wilton Rear Walkway
I stripped the rest of the forms, trimmed the geo-textile fabric around the edges of the walkway, topped off the base-rock using up the entire remaining rock, and finally ran the tamper over it all. It looks pretty good now. One other reason I finished it was that it was supposed to rain but now the forecast rain has drifted back a day. Now I'll have to spend some time transporting more bricks from Home Depot to finish the walkway.

When I came inside, I checked online with Fedex on the status of a delivery. I had just checked on the porch before checking the status online. Fedex said it was delivered so I went out to look again and there it was. Couldn't have been there more than five minutes. I had been waiting for my new USB mobile monitor.

USB Monitor
Here is the new monitor next to the new laptop. Really handy to hookup since it only required a single USB cable for power and video.

I also finished my ballot studies. Lou was busy much of the day doing the laundry.

Buckwheat cereal for breakfast. Grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch. Corn on the cob, baked potatoes with meatloaf for dinner.

Wednesday: (10/31) I had a Don McMuffin for breakfast while Lou had cereal. I spent most of the day shopping for materials. I stopped by Home Depot and got some cement and a few bricks. They didn't have the anchors I needed to anchor the walls to the floor for Lou's building so I stopped by Orchard Hardware where they did have what I needed. In order to finish the walkway in front of her shed I need to install a short concrete wall so the rock isn't in direct contact with the wood for the walls. I also considered getting the pavers for the walkway across the rear of the house but decided not to and to save my back which isn't too happy today.

Google Self Driven Car
I saw one of the Google self driven cars while I was out shopping.

Lou made salmon chowder for lunch. After lunch we went to Home Depot again. Lou needed some things and I needed some more stuff. I should create a list? Home Depot didn't have what either of us needed so off we went to Lowe's. We are picky. Lou got some plywood and had it cut to size. I got a PVC corrugated panel and a bunch of PVC pipe and fittings for the sprinklers and sprinkler valve wires. Now we may have to actually do some work to get rid of these materials. But hopefully our rain returns, as forecast, and we won't be able to work outside and can have another day off. For dinner Lou made lemon grass and corn soup with toast.

Thursday: (11/01) I spent the day relaxing. We had some rain last night and this morning. Lou was out with appointments in the morning and shopping much of the rest of the day. Dawn baked muffins with sausage for breakfast. Leftover salmon with potatoes and some meatloaf for lunch. LUU Noodle House for dinner.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blue Grass Concert, Kathy Kallick Band

Saturday: (10/27) I had  a good day at the rock pile. I finished the digging, set the forms, modified the sprinkler pipes and hauled about half the rock for the walkway. Unfortunately I ran out of geo-textile fabric so that will be my starting mission tomorrow, if they are open. Lou and Dawn were busy with garage sales.

In the evening, Lou, Dawn, and I went to a bluegrass concert in Mountain View. Redwood Bluegrass Associates presented the Kathy Kallick Band. Annie Staninec on the violin, Tom Bekeny on the mandolin. Kathy Kallick on the guitar, Sharon Gilchrist on the bass fiddle, and Greg Booth on the banjo. On occasion, Tom also played the violin , Sharon the mandolin and Greg the Dobro. A very talented group with a great sound.

Salmon asparagus scrambled eggs with home fried potatoes. Portobello mushroom raviolis with chicken for lunch. Leftover zucchini lasagna for dinner.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hidden Villa Hike

Hidden Villa Farm From High On Hostel trail
Friday:(10/26) We all went to Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. I met my hiking group there and Lou and Dawn just enjoyed the farm while we hiked. This was another of the hikes I was leading.

Hidden Villas Valley View  Hidden Villa Donna Bob Sharon and Eldon
We hiked up the Hostel trail to the Doveneck Meadows then came back on the Ewing Trail. About a 6 mile loop hike in 3 hours. I didn't loose any hikers either. After the hike we checked out an estate sale in Los Altos then did some shopping in Redwood City stopping at the Grocery Outlet, Big Lots, Office Max, Food Co and some other places. Our little car was filled to the brim when we got home.

Lou made an asparagus omelet for breakfast.. For lunch, we stopped at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City where we enjoyed Oktoberfest by having some sausage and wiener-schnitzel. Dinner was leftovers and pie.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rain Coming

Sunday: (10/21) Lou made ham, eggs and home fried potatoes for breakfast. In anticipation of our first real rain storm of the year, that is supposed to arrive tonight, I put the temporary wall back onto the green house as well as putting the doors back on. it.s ready for a storm now. I also finally did a little work on the walkway pouring some of the edge and leveling out the remaining baserock at the back of the house. Now, I need to calculate how much more rock is needed to complete the walk across the back of the house. The existing only provided about 1/4 of what is needed. For lunch I had cottage cheese with fruit and some chili. Lou was off picking up Courtney at the airport. Lou made some rice noodles with bacon and sunchokes.

Wilton Walkway Wilton Greenhouse
Monday: (10/22) It rained pretty good last night but only a little in the morning and was mosly clear in the afternoon. I tried to take advantage of the rain and work inside on the computer but, due to the uncooperative weather, was able to get out to do a couple of things. Due to the rain and winter like weather approahing i decided to put the wall back on the greenhouse and reinstall its doors. I won't be finishing the building that would provide the wall this season.  I ordered some more baserock to be delivered tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, the weather report is correct and it doesn't rain. It has a 10% chance of rain. Homemade gluten free cinnamon roll for breakfast. Chili beans for lunch. KFC chicken for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/23) Cereal and bananas for breakfast. Lou was off on errands early. I tinkered inside all morning. I had chili beans for lunch. After lunch I went outside and moved a few things around in preparation to generate another pile of dirt in a new place. I had received a call from California Camper Repair asking me to come by and approve the paint color before they seal it. I said I'd stop by in the afternoon. I also got a call from the tenants in San Jose that their heater didn't work. I have to go there as well. In addition, I had the load of base rock being delivered this afternoon. The rock arrived at 2pm and then I headed over to Newark to look at the RV. It looks very good and I should get it back tomorrow or the next day. I then went down to San Jose to look at the heater. Unfortunately, I forgot the keys so I waited for the tenants to come home. When I checked the heater, I found that the thermostat seemed to be working properly and the circuit breaker wasn't tripped. That was all I could do without keys since the heater is in the attic and the attic is only accessible from Dawn's apartment for which I had no keys. Darn! I returned home and picked up the keys and had dinner of spaghetti squash with myzithara cheese, bacon and mushrooms. Lou was busy cleaning our heater. After dinner I returned to San Jose.

Wednesday: (10/24) I had an apple fritter that I picked up last night for breakfast. I had signed up for a webinar for 8am so I wanted to be ready. Lou had cereal. I tinkered around the rest of the morning at home, inside. We had some heavy showers before I got up and some light showers in the outside was pretty wet. A little before noon i got a call to come pickup the RV. I had a chili relleno, enchilada and a taco combo at El Grulense restaurant down the street then headed over to get the RV. It looks great now. California Camper Repair does good work. When I got home, I got to work and did some digging. I couldn't park the RV in the driveway because i had the base rock dumped in part of it's space so I need to get the walkway area ready to accept the rock. i got about half done. Since it's so wet, I have to lay out boards so I don't distroy the lawn rolling heavy loads over it. For dinner Lou had picked up a roasted chicken and added some tomatoes and peppers from the garden.

Thursday: (10/25) Don McMuffins for breakfast. Even though the weather was pretty good, only a little showering, i didn't rush outside to work. I tinkered inside and enjoyed it. Lunch was cottage cheese and fruit. Lou was out busy with appointments and shopping this morning and enjoyed her LUU noodles for lunch. I did get out to work in the afternoon and finished the rough digout for the walkway. Still have to fine tune it to the needed depth, about another inch or two. depending on grade. Lou made lemon grass soup with chicken, mushrooms, and ginger for dinner.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Half Moon Bay

Saturday: (10/20) Don McMuffins for breakfast. I had a real English muffin while Lou and Dawn had their own gluten free home baked muffins. After a cat feed and play visit we were on our way to Half Moon Bay for the day. We looked around the village mostly at the book stores. For lunch, we stopped at the New leaf market. i had chicken enchilads and Sheperds pie from theire deli. Lou and Dawn had pea soup and ham steaks. All followed by some ice cream from Rite Aid drug store.  Leftovers for dinner. I had chili. Lou had London Broil and a baked potato. Dawn had chicken with artichokes and rice.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Los Trancos Preserve Hike

Friday: (10/19) Don McMuffin for breakfast.

Los Trancos Fault Trail Offset Fence Los Trancos OSP Pagemill Trail
I led my Meetup group hike at the Los Trancos Open Space Preserve in the hills above Palo Alto. It has some interesting evidence of earthquake activity since it sits right on the San Andreas Fault. Above left is a fence offset six feet by the 1906 earthquake. Nice hike. Leftover chili for lunch.  After lunch, and a little napping in the yard, I did a little more work on the walkway building some forms for the edge. Lou made London Broiled steaks with baked potatoes and fresh asparagus.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

RV Body Work

Saturday: (10/13) I started the morning by scheduling my next hike for this Friday. We'll hike the Los Tracnos Preserve. It's much easier being a follower than a leader. I can't wait for our usual leader to get back from his trip to Africa. I also did some more research for two other hikes. Ernie took me to Joanie's Restaurant for breakfast (lunch). I had a shrimp avocado and green onion omelet. Ernie had ordinary bacon and eggs. I tinkered with a task list. I cut some wood for Lou, Stopped by Fry's Electronics and got a good deal on a case for the new laptop. And a bunch of other things. For dinner, I stopped by El Gruellense Mexican Restaurant down the street and took a dinner to go. I stopped by and fed the cat and myself. I had a chili relleno, enchilada and flauta combo, all quite good.

Sunday: (10/14) I started my morning, about 10am, by visiting Spunky, Courtney's cat that I'm taking care of. After the cat was well fed, played with and otherwise taken care of, it was my turn. I stopped by the Hong Kong Bakery in Mountain View for a few things. A potato donut (something like a raised donut filled with a curry potato stew), a pork bun, and some egg tarts. This served as breakfast and lunch. When I finally got to work. I cleaned out the RV, removing anything of value, vacuuming it, and washed it. Now it's ready to go get it's ouch fixed. Lou and Dawn returned early about 16:30. Lou and I went to dinner at LUU Noodle House for some pad Thai plates and some egg rolls. Dawn went to her story telling group meeting.

Monday: (10/15) I was up very early. I hooked up the Jeep to the RV and was on the road at 0610. I wanted to get over to Fremont to California Camper Repair before the traffic picked up too much. When I started the RV, I heard a sound I haven't heard before. Some pump was running and continued to run. A vacuum or air pump. I've never heard it before. Possibly something to do with the air springs up front? Unusual for something like this to occur on the way to the shop rather than the day after. Something else for them to fix. I disconnected the Jeep at a nearby shopping center because there was no parking near the shop. Since I had 45 minutes before they opened, I stopped in at Jack In The Box for a Ultimate Croissant breakfast. I dropped the RV off at the shop at 0800. The shopping center I was parked at had a Harbor Freight store as well. I stopped in for a few things I "needed". When I got back home I went over to feed the Spunky the cat. My lunch was Chili and sausage. Lou and Dawn were busy wit happointments and enjoyed lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Jose. Dinner was leftover artichoke chicken with rice and sesame pineapple coleslaw.

Tuesday: (10/16) Lou made sausage, eggs and home fried potatoes for breakfast. She has now re-taken the cat sitting duties. I tinkered in the office most of the day. Lunch was a Chinese cabbage and tofu salad. For dinner we stopped by the old Spaghetti Factory in Redwood City for some mizithra cheese spaghetti dinners. We also did a little grocery shopping at the Grocery Outlet there before heading home. Dawn stopped by Keplers Book Store in Menlo Park for their grand reopening. Keplers is an old independent bookstore.

Wednesday: (10/17) Cereal for breakfast. Lou was off early. I visited Spunky the cat and did a few things in the yard. Lou brought lunch home from Hong Kong bakery. I had a baked pork bun and she had something like a Chinese tomale. A rice flour pork and sausage filled thing. For dinner Lou made chow mein.

Thursday: (10/18) Don McMuffin for breakfast. Tinkering in the yard and putting things away in the shop in the morning. Chili for lunch. Worked on the walkway a little. It seems to be hard to get going again.  Lou made a pot of chili for dinner.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Coal Mine Ridge Loop

Friday: (10/12) Today was kind of busy. It started with taking Courtney to the San Jose Airport at 0545. I stopped by a donut shop for breakfast. While I was relaxing waiting for my hike, the dumpster was picked up. Evidently rather quietly, because I never heard it. Then, with just a little break, I was off at 0900 to my hike. 

Midweek Hikers Group
It was just myself and four other hikers. 

Toyon Trail Bridge Sabrina On Toyon Swing
We hiked out the Toyon Trail in Portola Valley. It was drizzly most of the hike. Not so much so that we ever got wet, just moist. These are some of the nicest trails in the area. The Toyon Trail has a couple of interesting features. The above bridge and a tree swing. 

Lake By Old Spanish Trail Jenny On The Fall Leaves
Above left, one of the two lakes at the end of the Toyon Trail. On the right, the fall colors were showing on the Lake Trail.  I managd to lead the group thrugh the maze of trails that made our loop except for one missed trail where we had to backtrack .3 miles to get on the correct path. So our planned 6.9 mile hike became an 7.8 mile hike. I did manage to make it back with all hikers though. The cut on my foot didn't bother much at all.

After my post hike shower, I stopped by Chevy's Mexican Restaurant for a late lunch or early dinner. Since Courtney is gone, as well as Lou and Dawn, I am the cat sitter. Courtney's cat Spunky got my attention for a few hours before I returned home. More informaion on the hike is available here

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bye Bye Dirt

Monday: (10/08) I was awakened at 07:10 when I heard the door bell. I dashed out and found that the dumpster I had ordered had arrived. I had intended to get up at 07:30 to be awake by 08:00 after which I expected the delivery. When I called Friday to order it. I was told it would be delivered in the am, I didn't expect it so early. With the delivery  done, I relaxed a while trying to complete waking up. Breakfast was leftover pizza. About 08:30 I went to work. Ernie and I worked all day and moved my dirt pile, about 7 cubic yards, to the dumpster. For lunch we had super nachos from our neighborhood taco joint. Ernie made fettuccine with homemade meatballs for dinner.  Tomorrow I start digging again. I can get rid of 3 more cubic yards of dirt so I'll dig out for some more walkway at the rear of the house. Lou and Dawn are having fun in Sacramento.

Wilton Greenhouse
Our green house minus its wall.

Wilton Arbor And No Dirt Pile
Where the old dirt pile was located is now filled with the plants from the rear of the house that had to be moved for the walkway.

Tuesday: (10/09) I chipped away at digging out the walkway and filling up the dumpster. Not really productive today. Only a half dozen loads or so. Looks like I'll run out of dumpster space before completing the dig. Pizza for breakfast, apple fritter for brunch. Leftover fettuccine and meatballs for lunch. Chili and sausage for dinner.

Wilton Walkway
Wednesday: (10/10) Cereal with a banana for breakfast. I spent the first half of the day digging and moving dirt to the dumpster. The dumpster is almost full now but I still have more dirt to dig out and will probably have some extra. I finished for the day about 13:30 and cleaned up for lunch. I stopped by the local Jack In The Box for a sourdough cheese steak sandwich, fries and a milk shake. I then drove out to Portola Valley and took the hike I'll be leading this Friday. It's a good thing too. I got lost and hiked a couple of extra miles but now know how to do the hike I described in the notice I sent out to my hiking group. I didn't want to get everyone lost. So my test hike was about 9 miles and I finished up at 18:30 just before dark. The trail is quite nice. I stopped by our local Panda Express Chinese fast food joint for some chow mein and orange chicken for dinner. Today was a two shower day, once after dirt moving and a second after me moving.

Wilton Second Dumpster Filled
Thursday: (10/11) Cereal and yogurt for breakfast. I spent the morning doing the final few loads of dirt. I managed to top off the dumpster and called for its pickup. In doing so, I managed to cut a good chunk of skin off the bottom of my foot. Since I just had a couple of loads of dirt to dig out I just wore my crock shoes and my foot slipped out against the shovel. I do hope it doesn't interfere with my hike tomorrow. Chili beans and sausage for lunch. For dinner, I went by Chili's Restaurant for a chicken fried steak dinner. I received an orientation from Courtney on the care and feeding of Spunky, whom I'll be taking care of for a few days.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Silicon Valley Code Camp At Foothill College

Saturday: (10/06) I was up fairly early and enjoyed cereal with banana, yogurt and honey.for breakfast. I was then off early to attend Silicon Valley Code Camp at Foothill College. Interesting and free, what more could I want.  I was there until 6pm attending seminars on everything web and programming related. Lunch was provided by the Code Camp. I had pizza and chips because the sandwich line wasn't moving. Lou and Dawn were busy with their usual weekend activities and also preparing to go on a little trip to Sacramento. Fresno, and Bakersfield starting tomorrow. For dinner we all went out to Sweet Tomato's restaurant.

Sunday: (10/07) Lou made fried muffins with ham and eggs for breakfast. I was off again to the Silicon Valley Code Camp. Another interesting and informative day. Lou and Dawn headed for Sacramento about 14:30. I made it home about 16:30. I had pizza for lunch at the Code Camp and pizza for dinner compliments of Papa John's. I got one of their two million pizza give away pizzas which Ernie and I enjoyed. Pizza is good anytime.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Arastradero Preserve Hike

Friday: (10/05) Lou made pork chops, home fried potatoes and eggs for breakfast. I was off on a hike in the morning at the Pearson Arastradero Preserve with my Meetup hiking group. Lou was off to get the new car serviced.

Arastradero Preserve Hike Arastradero Preserve Hike
The Pearson Arastradero Preserve is low in the hills just above Stanford University. We had really good weather considering how hot it has been this past week..Jessica and Susan, members of the group, are on the home stretch above.

Arastradero Preserve Hike
A couple of dead trees looked something like art pieces.

Lou made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Dinner was Lou's chow mein.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A New Laptop

Thursday: (10/04) I have been searching for a new laptop to replace my bigger one that I've had for nine years. It is a real power consumer when we travel and is about as slow as a computer can get, compared to newer models. Trying to find a good computer show is getting difficult. Many have closed in the past couple of years. I found the one I liked at Best Buy, an Aspire V3-551, a 15.6" machine with a good assortment of features and a really low price. The little Aspire I got Dawn a few months back has been a good machine so that also influenced the decision. This post was made using the new laptop. I spent some time in the evening starting to set it up. Breakfast was cereal and yogurt. I stopped by Jack In The Box for a hamburger for lunch. For dinner Lou made chow mein.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Bunch Of Little Tasks

Wednesday: (10/03) Leftover enchiladas for breakfast.

Pottery Shed Floor
I spent a little time stripping the forms from the concrete pad and cleaning up. It really looks shiny after being sprayed with water to help it cure. Finally, this morning, the insurance adjuster arranged to come by to look at the RV. I guess I shouldn't be negative. It was three weeks ago today that I started the damage claim, found out I wasn't covered, appealed the denial because I was supposed to be covered, coverage was restored and now the adjuster came by. So, In a couple of days we should be able to get the repairs started. I spent a little time later in the morning looking at new laptop computers before Lou called and asked me to come down to remove some grout from the kitchen sink in San Jose so it can be recaulked. On the way I stopped for lunch at a Chinese buffet that I just happened to pass by. Last night we had stopped by Harbor Freight and bought a new multi-function tool to remove the caulk but the vibrations bothered Lou's wrists. After I got the grout out, Lou caulked the sink with some matching brown caulk. It should better seal the sink now. We stopped by for avocado smoothies after our work was done at the nearby LUU Noodle House in downtown San Jose. Then we each went our own ways back home. I continued laptop looking and Lou found her own interesting stops. Dinner was leftover egg foo young that Ernie made lastnuight. I've never had  egg foo young with meat and mushrooms before.  Very good.