Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 365

Monday: (12/31) New Year's eve day was clear and cold. Lou and I started the day by delivering the Hyundai to the body shop in Santa Clara. Lou and Dawn were then off to meet friends visiting from new York, one of Lou's former students and her mom. I enjoyed a nice Don McMuffin with meatlaof as the meat. I tinkered in the office trying to avoid going outside. Eventually, I went out and helped Ernie with some rewiring for his macerator pump. One of the wires had failed due to water intrusion. Leftover Dawn's soup for lunch. Courtney was the chef of the evening preparing hamburgers with brie cheese, sauted mushrooms, and the other usual fixings. It's getting harder and harder to stay up late to greet the new year, but we managed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another Fine Year

Saturday: (12/29) A rainy day. I put three coats of varnish on the new RV valences. I also did some organising in the study. Lou was busy packing and preparing to leave. Asparagus and ham omelet for breakfast. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. Baked potatoes, asparagus, and chicken.

Sunday: (12/30) A nice clear day. I put a couple of coats of varnish on the inside of the new RV valances. In between coats I  did other tasks and tinkered on the computer. Lou was busy with the wash ans sewing. Dawn and i visited Fry;s Electronics in the afternoon. Eggs, Sausage, and home fried potatoes for breakfast. Lunch at Chili's Restaurant. I enjoyed a CFS. Lou and Dawn had soup. For dinner we had some vegetable sausage soup that Dawn made.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Palo Alto's Foothills Park

20121228 Foothills Park

Friday: (12/28) My last hike for the year and for several months with the San Jose Mid-Week Hikers. I led this hike in Palo Alto's residents only park, a nice 7.2 mile loop hike on the Los Trancos Trail. We've had a lot of rain recently but the trail wasn't too bad. Just a couple of slide areas, a couple of fallen trees blocking the trail and one really bad unavoidable muddy spot. We even had a few sunny periods along the trail and located a couple of geocaches as well.

Breakfast was my usual Don McMuffin, a sausage cheese and egg English muffin sandwich. Lunch was cheese, crackers, lunch meat, and Christmas goodies. Dinner was chicken alfredo with avocados.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Merry Christmas

Tuesday: (12/25) Merry Christmas to all! We didn't get too much into the holiday mood this year. The tree was thinly decorated as was the rest of the house. Lou has collected a few Christmas wreaths for the front door. One is a singing wreath that probably drove the neighbors crazy for th week or two it was up. Lou traded it for a more conventional wreath after a while. For breakfast we enjoyed popcorn. Lunch was nibbles of cheese and crackers, beef log and deviled eggs. Earnie started the ham early. Some of the presents weren't wrapped. No surprise what they were anyway. The winch for the Jeep is rather big so it was the tree base. It's mount was similarly big and unwrapped. Most presents were things we'd have gotten even if it weren't a holiday for giving. We're back to the rain today. 

Wednesday: (12/26) Another very rainy day. We all went down to San Jose early. Dawn had an early appointment. Lou and I stopped by La Victoria Restaurant in downtown San Jose for breakfst. Lou ordered a breakfast burrito without the flour tortilla. It was served on a plate with a corn tortilla. I had a conventional breakfast burrito. They make a great burrito and their oramge sauce is outstanding. We then stopped by Danw's apartment. we checked the basement and discovered a lot of water. I do need to install a sump pump. We also noticed a wet spot in the basement under the kitchen sink. The main house tenants didn't want us to work on it today so we scheduled the repair for tomorrow. Lunch and dinner were leftovers. After lunch we made a trip to Costco for a few things. Dawn visited Best Buy and i visir-ted REI nearby. Lou was on here way to pick us up when there was a misap and she and another driver both backed into each other. The Hyundai doesn't look as bad as the VW Passat. Though both have miner damage I'm sure it won't be cheap.

Thursday: (12/27) A nice dry day. We were all up early and headed to San Jose for breakfast at La Victoria Restaurant in downtown San Jose. They are nice enough to make gluten free breakfast burritos for Lou and Dawn, all the fixins on a plate served with a corn tortilla.  We had an appointment with the San Jose tenants to fix a leak under their kitchen sink. That task took most of the day. A very stuborn leak. I also restocked their water softener salt. I had a late lunch at Sweet Tomatoes salad buffet. Lou and Dawn had appointments. Lou took the Hyundai in for service and to a body shop for an estimate. Lou got an estimate for the Hyundai repair, only $750. The other party had a $1650 estimate. Then she and Dawn played on the way home. Dinner was leftovers. Since it was a little breezy today our yard dried out fairly well so my hike tomorrow may be a little less muddy. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Rainy Christmas Season

Saturday: (12/22) Lou made a spinach omelet for breakfast. Since it's raining rather nicely, I tinkered inside all day as did we all. Dawn's friend Andrea came over for a visit. Courtney stopped by and Ernie took us all out to lunch at Harrys Haufbrau in Redwood City. It was a late lunch so our dinner was late. Courtney brought some brie cheese, fig jam, and crackers which we called dinner. I rather like a rainy day, especially when I can be inside.

Sunday: (12/23) A deluge day with extremely heavy rains that closed many roads. Our nearby creeks were full to the brim and over at some locations. Our sump pump, that receives all the water in our sub terainian backyard as well as all the flow from the downspouts, was busy all day. In addition to the rain, it was cold. Not enough for ice or snow but really cold for us California bay area sissys. Breakfast was leftover spinach omelet. Lunch and dinner were leftovers making way for the holiday feast leftovers.

Monday: (12/24) Our rain is gone, for at least today. Sunny and clear. We enjoyed the free breakfast at IKEA and a walk inside as well.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Coyote Lake Park, Savannah Trail Hike

Friday: (12/21) Lou was off to her Friday morning shopping trip. I headed off to San Martin for my hike. First, I stopped by McDonnald's for a sausage McGriddle sandwich for breakfast. I made it to the park about 30 minutes early. I wanted to be sure to get there on time and it was 40 miles away. There was the possibility the hike might have to be cancelled because of rain. When I first looked out the window this morning, the sky was clear. 45 minutes later we had a really nice orange sunrise in the then present scattered clouds. 30 minutes later when I was departing for the hike the sky was dark gray and threatening rain. Fortunately I drove out of the clouds by the time I made it to San Martin. It was darned cold but no rain. This hike included an orientation to geocaching. When my fellow hikers arrived I gave them the orientation and we proceeded up th trail finding several caches along the way. We were hiking in Coyote Lake Park from the Harvey Bear entrance.

Coyote Lake Park a nice oak tree by the Savannah Trail Coyote Lake Park Savannah Trail
We took the Willow Springs Trail up to the Rancho San Yisidro Trail then out our destination trail the Savannah Trail. Along the way toward the end of the Savannah Trail it started to rain. We decided to cut our planned route short and return by the shortest path back on the Rancho San Yisdro Trail.

Coyote Lake Park view along Savannah Trail Coyote Lake Park Rancho San Yisidro Trail
The rain stopped and, all in all, we had a nice hike. I had lunch with a couple of my fellow hiker Bob and Sharon at the Super Taqueria in Morgan Hill. After lunch I stopped at the Camping World for a quick look around and at the Hobby World which Lou and Dawn checked out yesterday. Lou made some more French Onion soup for dinner.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good Weather To Be Inside

Saturday: (12/15) We enjoy watching the PBS TV show America's Test Kitchen. We were inspired by a recipe for French onion soup the other day so today Lou started making it. It called for apple butter but she didn't find any she liked so she bought apples and made some. It also required 12 hours in the slow cooker so while she started it today, it wasn't ready in time for dinner today. Guess what dinner is tomorrow. Otherwise we managed to relax all day due to it raining outside.

Buckwheat cereal for breakfast. Lou and I made a trip to the hardware store in Redwood City so we stopped on the way at Chavez Market for brunch quesodillas, mine flour, Lou's corn due to that gluten thing. Shephard's Pie for dinner.

Sunday: (12/16) A cool rain threatened bu no rain day. I was busy cleaning up the shop, sealing up some cracks in the shop wall, and rearranging the shop. Lou was busy sewing.

Breakfast at A Good Morning restaurant this morning. French onion soup and cheese toast for dinner.

Monday: (12/17) A rainy day. I started the day working in the office. In the afternoon I worked in the shop assembling the new RV valances. I also demolished an old broken cartop carrier so it would fit in the trash barrel. Lou and Dawn were off all day with appointments and shopping.

Sausage and pancakes for breakfast. Toasted cheese sandwich for lunch. French onion soup and cheese toast for dinner.

Tuesday: (12/18) Today was the Traffic and Electrical Operations Christmas Pancake Breakfast where I used to work. It's nice to visit occasionally to see what they are up to. For lunch I met Lou and Dawn at the LUU Noddle House for our usual Chinese lunch. Dinner was Lou's beef burgundy. I accomplished nothing else today. Lou was busy with laundry and sewing. Dawn worked at the library.

Wednesday: (12/19) Cereal for breakfast. I went trough the stuff I removed from th RV when it went in to the shop a while back. Lots of stuff didn't make it back as I reloaded the RV and Jeep. Amazing what you think you might need and don't and what you can collect. Lou had an appointment and when she returned, i was allowed to go onto the roof of th RV and reinstall the rain cover on the fantastic fan vent I replaced a while back. I had ordred a better cover and it came after I had already installed the vent. Lunch at LUU Noodle house. Lou and I shared a combnation chow fun. Dinner at Chevy's mexican restaurant. Lou and I shared a super cinco combination.

Thursday: (12/20) Don Mcmuffin for breakfast. It's another cold day. We had heavy rain forcaste but it's been clear all day. I tinkered inside most of the day. Lou and Dawn had some appointments and went down to Gilroy to look around the Hobby Lobby store and other things. I had cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. For dinner I grabbed a wet burrito from our nearby El Grullense Taqueria. Lou and Dawn had lunch in San Jose at the Original Joe's Itallian Restaurant, corned beef and cabbage day. They also ventured down to Morgan Hill to the new Hobby Lobby craft store then had dinner in Gilroy at the Black Bear Diner.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Monte Bello , Skyline Ridge, Russian Ridge, Coal Creek Loop Hike

Friday: (12/14) Threatening rain. A nice day for a hike. I met my hiking group at Monte Bello Ridge Open Space Preserve about seven miles West of Palo Alto near the top of the mountains. I had scheduled a hike for the group that looped through four of the preserves at the top of the mountains. Monte Bello Ridge OSP, Skyline Ridge OSP, Russian Ridge OSP and Coal Creek OSP. The hike was 8 miles and had a total climb of 1868 feet with an elevation change of 675 feet. It took us 3 hours and 38 minutes. While it was raining as we arrived, it was clear for our entire hike and then started to rain again as we arrived back at our cars. Of course, since it had rained yesterday, we did have some mud on the trails. There were only five hearty hikers that braved the weather, a little smaller group than normal. Here is the GPS track for the hike.

Monte Bello Loretta, Bon=b and Sharon Crossing Stevens Creek Skyline Ridge OSP Alpine Pond
Fellow hikers Loretta, Bob and Sharon crossing Stevens Creek in Monte Bello Ridge OSP. Above left is the Alpine Pond in Skyline Rodge OSP.

Russian Ridge OSP Ancient Oaks Trail Russian Ridge OSP View West Russian Ridge OSP Ancient Oaks Trail
Above left the Ancient Oaks Trail in Russian Ridge OSP. Middle a view of the Butano Mountains from Russian Ridge OSP. Right another view of the Ancient Oaks Trail.

Skyline Rpad Vista Point View Of Palo Alto Coal Creek OSP Meadow Trail
A view of Palo Alto form the vista point on the mountain ridge. Our home is about the center of the photo way in the distance. All that green area and including the light colored area that is Dish Hill on the Stanford University campus is almost all park land, Open Space land or other public open space. Starting with Coal Creek OSP, then Los Tracnos OSP, then Foothills Park, then Pearson Arastradero Preserve and finally Stanford's Dish Hill. About nine miles of parks. From where I took the photo you can hike in preserves either direction (left or right) for more than 20 miles. It does make finding a new path for a hike for the group easier. We are so fortunate to have so much park land so close to home. Above right along the Meadow Trail in Coal Creek OSP.

Lou and Dawn were busy at home sewing and reading, then some shopping. After lunch I finished up the gutter cleaning by reinstalling the gutter guard.

Breakfast was egg sausage and cheese muffins. Lunch was a chili size for me Subway sandwiches for Lou and Dawn. Dinner was hamburgers with grilled onions and mushrooms.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter

Monday: (12/10) Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off to their appointments. I loaded the Jeep and headed to San Jose to clean out the rain gutters. Better late than never. Lou and Dawn met me at the house after their appointments. Lou was my spotter to call the undertaker if I were to fall off the roof. We fear the tenants would just step over me. All went well and didn't take too long. I also cleaned off the garage roof. Our neighbors tree is prolific! While the work hours weren't long, the work sure made us tired. Yes, Lou was tired too. She was the ground crew hauling the bucket loaded with leaves to the pile. Lunch was KFC chicken. For dinner, we went to the Crepevine in downtown Palo Alto. Of course, we had savory crepes followed by a shared sweep crepe for desert. The movie of he evening was The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, thanks to Netflix.

Tuesday: (12/11) An apple fritter for breakfast. I drove Lou to an appointment then browsed a new Grocery Outlet store and the Harbor Freight nearby. Lou and I stopped by our local Subway sandwich shop for their special $2 six inch meatball sandwich for me and all the ingredients of a coldcut sandwich for her, no bun.

Monte Bello Ridge OSP Pond
After lunch, I went up the hill to check out some questions I had about the hike I have scheduled for this Friday. I needed to check some trail connections and whether some trails might be closed for winter. I also explored this pond. All OK. Dinner was chili beans for me and chicken with baked potatoes and tomatoes.

Wednesday: (12/12/12) Lou and Dawn were busy with appoints much of the day. I relaxed, partly due to it raining today. I got some stuff off my desk. Latkas with yogurt and apple sauce with bacon for breakfast. Lunch at the usual LUU Noodle House. Lou made chicken hash for dinner.

Thursday: (12/13) I had a PBJ English muffin for breakfast. Lou and Dawn had buckweat cereal for their breakfast. They were off for their appointments. I went out and caught the bus to do some Christmas shopping. I picked up some things at Walmart and Target before stopping at Subway for a meatball sandwich for lunch then returning home. My afternoon project was cleaning out the gutter on the sun room. It's generally a lengthy job due to such a lousy design with no access and lots of leaf traps. For dinner Lou fried the last of the saurkraughted potatoes with some sausage. It was followed by a piece of Courtney's pumpkin pie.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

RV House Cleaning And Bluegrass

Saturday: (12/08) We enjoyed breakfast outside, for a change. The weather was nice and sunny. Dawn went to the Palo Alto Library book sale and Lou and Dawn visited a bunch of open artist studios as well. I spent the day cleaning out the lower storage compartments of the RV. I also cut out the new window curtain valances. In the evening we went to another Redwood Bluegrass Associates concert. The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (Peter RowanMichael WitcherKeith LittlePaul Knight, and Blaine Sprouse). Wonderful concert as usual. And they have wonderful pies which I got to enjoy. Poor Lou and Dawn couldn't, I shouldn't, but do. Saurkraughted potatoes with chorizo patties and eggs for breakfast. Lunch was cottage cheese and fruit. Leftovers for dinner.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stanford Campus and Dish Hill Loop Hike

Friday: (12/07) Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. I met my hiking group over at Stanford Mall and guided the 10 hikers for a tour around the campus and up the Dish Hill and managed to return with all the hikers I left with. This hike was supposedly the same as I hiked last week but this hike was a mile longer being 9.5 miles. Here is the GPS track link.

Stanford Stone River Stanford University Cactus Garden Flower Stanford Walkway Leaf Prints
This Stone River (above left) was built with stones from the rubble of Stanford buildings after the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. I liked the leaf prints on the walkway. (right)

For lunch we had egg nog milk shakes from Jack In The Box. i added a cheese burger to my lunch. Dinner at IKEA. We had the Swedish Julbord buffet which was pretty good, their Christmas dinner special. Unlike their normal cafeteria, the dining room was closed to all but those that pre-bought the Christmas buffet.