Friday, January 31, 2014

Pechetti Winery To Maisie’s Peak

SJMWH Ready to Hike Pechetti Ranch Pechetti Pond Is Dry
Friday: (01/31) Another Friday hike. I fixed corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. A couple of fellow hikers met me at the house and we carpooled to the Pechetti Winery Open Space District. There we met the other 22 hikers. When we passed the pond, it was dry making the no swimming sign more interesting.

Maisie's Peak View SJMWH At Maisie's Peak
We hiked through the preserve into Stevens Creek Park and up to Fremont Older Open Space District. The weather was perfect for the hike. The recent light rains made the trails nicer. Great Views from the Maisie’s Peak.

SJMWH Pechetti Hike 9139119632 Pechetti Winery
I got my group photo on Maisie’s Peak and then we returned back to the winery.

Pechetti Winery Lunch Pechetti Chicken with David
A few of us stayed and enjoyed lunch at the winery. The chicken above reminded me of our old chicken Peepers. The hike was only 7.1 miles with about a 1000 foot total climb.

Pecheiit Ranch To Maisie\’s Peak

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Preparing For Spring?

Sunday: (01/26) We started today like any Saturday, with our weekly shopping run. But today was Sunday? Yesterday’s little trip interfered with our usual habits. It turns out, Sunday may be a better day because there were even less crowds for our just after opening visit. Visits to Walmart’s, Trader Joe’s. Sprout’s Market, Safeway, and Whole Foods completed our shopping task. The last tow stops are unusual. It only took two hours to finish all the hopping.  We started with my breakfast McGriddle sandwich and Lou’s Mocha coffee at McDonald’s in Walmart’s. When we got home, Lou fixed a real breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Yes, unfortunately I enjoyed my second breakfast. I did my laundry and trimmed the berry vines nest to the garden. They run 25 feet along the side yard fence next to the garden and really want to take over. I also turned off all the lawn sprinklers. They were only running for 5 minutes once a week but with our official drought I guess e can say goodbye to a green lawn, unless nature does it’s part and provides the water. No other notable tasks today. Lou made a nice salad for lunch and pot roast for dinner. I headed off toward San Jose about 7PM.

San Jose Paint Job
Monday: (01/27) A hazy morning. I fixed sausage and eggs with toast for breakfast. I got off to my usual slow winter morning start. I don’t seem to get going until 10AM when it’s cold. I started stripping paint under the eves of the North side of the porch. Just before noon I got a call and had to do some paperwork and then go to the Post Office. I finally got back to work about 3pm. I did make a little progress removing paint and may finish the North side eves tomorrow? For lunch I had leftover pot roast. After I cleaned up I went to Chevy’s for dinner having my usual Super Cinco combination platter. Then I went to REI to return the new pair of hiking boots I bought a week or two ago. Same Vasque brand and Breeze style but my usual size was way too small and a larger size fit one foot but not the other. Shouldn’t have changed their source. I tried on some others and they all had the same problems. So I tried a different brand in my usual size and they fit perfectly. I just hope my feet like them as much as they have the Vasques in the past. I almost bought my new sleeping bag but decided to do even more checking first. I have since done that checking and will be getting a Kelty Cosmic Down 20. On the way home I stopped at a Daiso store. They are a Japanese products store. I wanted to pickup some reflective insulation I had heard there. I can use it for insulation for backpacking stuff. Most items at the store are $1.50 each. When i was checking out i noticed some butane liters like Bic lighters. I’ve been trying to buy a couple of Bic lighters for my backpack but haven’t found them sold individually when I’ve thought to look. They were $.50 each at Daiso so I got a couple. When i looked at my receipt at home I noticed it said LED/Lighter and when i checked I found they also had an LED light on the bottom. Killed two birds with that purchase. There was a nice looking oriental market there as well but I forgot to look around at it. I’ll have to do that on a future visit as it looks like a good lunch stop.

Tuesday: (01/28) I spent the day, or much of it anyway, stripping paint from under the eves on the North side of the front of the house. I have now finished 3/4′s of that side and just have the front section to do so I moved my scaffold to the front for tomorrow. I’m afraid the plants in the flower beds may be doomed. Pancakes and sausage for breakfast. A pretty productive day for a winter day. Speaking of winter it looks like we have a storm on it’s way but probably little rain in it. After I cleaned up I walked to the Grocery outlet, our nearest market and picked up a few things. Leftover Chevy’s morsels for lunch with some yogurt. Roast beef with jambalaya rice for dinner.

Wednesday: (01/29) A drizzly misty morning. Just enough for damp sidewalks and a hidden sun. Granola for breakfast. When I finally thought about getting started a little after 10am, it looked like it was still too wet to be able to clan up the debris easily. Since today wasn’t supposed to be wet and tomorrow we are supposed to get our first real rain in over a month, I decided that was enough of a reason to head home. No need to make a big mess. I need dry days to do my work. We all went to LUU Noodle House for lunch. When we took Dawn to an appointment, Lou and I stopped at the car wash and got the Hyundai washed, even though rain is here. It was just soooo dirty! Pasta for dinner.

Thursday: (01/30) Popcorn for breakfast. Dawn had a dentist appointment and Lou had a PT appointment. I had taken the day off due to the forecast of rain and acted as a chauffeur today. Unfortunately for my work progress, it didn’t rain today until late night. After the appointments we had lunch at a Chinese Buffet. Thanks to the buffet being effective, only snacks were needed for dinner. In the evening I ordered my new ultralight backpack and tent. Now I only need a good ultralight  sleeping bag.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Looking Around Sonoma

Sonoma Trees
Saturday: (01/25) We hit the road early heading North and stopping for breakfast in Millbrea at Neil’s Cafe. I had corned beef hash and pancakes again, my weakness. Lou and Dawn had an omelet.  We then continued up through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge and then on to Sonoma. We looked about town and stopped for lunch of soup at the Whole Food Market. More looking around and a couple of thrift store visits occupied us until dinner at the Black Bear Diner. I couldn’t resist the chicken fried steak. Lou and Dawn had a rib-eye steak. We topped off our day with a stop at the new Graton Casino in Rohnert Park before heading home.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Montebello OSP Stevens Canyon Trail

Stevens Canyon Trail Pool Stevens Canyon Trail Pool
Friday: (01/24) I fixed breakfast sandwiches before heading off for my hike. I was in the Hyundai and crammed 5 hikers into it before heading up to the top of the mountain for the hike. We started our hike at Montebello OSP and hiked out the Stevens Creek Nature Trail before continuing down the Stevens Canyon Trail.

SJMWH Stevens Canyon Trail 9139059062
We hiked out about three miles to the Grizzly Flat Trail junction then returned. The hike was 7.6 miles with an elevation change of 797 feet and a total climb of 2720 feet. We even managed an average speed of 2.5 mph.

Montebello OPS Stevens Canyon Trail

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Brussels Sprouts, BBQ ribs and baked potatoes for dinner.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Spring In January

Saturday: (01/18) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Lunch at LUU Noodle House for our usual chow fun noodles, pad Thai and egg rolls. I did some work in the greenhouse re-potting some plants. I added some drain rock at the bottom of the planters. They hadn’t been draining properly. For dinner Dawn made Lentil soup.

When it was time to hit the sack, I actually did. One of the tests to determine if I’ll be doing the Pacific Crest Trail hike was to try sleeping on the ground. I haven’t don that in more than 10 years since we got the motorhome. Further, even then it was on really nice air mattresses. Not too much different tonight. I inflated my new ThermaRest Neo Lite mattress after laying down a ground cloth in the rear of the back yard on the lawn. Earlier today I pulled out my 35 year old down sleeping back and tossed it around in the drier to freshen it. It’s far to big and heavy for the PCT hike but good enough for the sleeping test. I tucked myself in and fairly quickly remembered that we have lawn sprinklers. I got up and made sure they were off for the night. No need to be awakened at 2am. I wonder if I can do the same on the trail? Nice sleep except for the full moon that I couldn’t turn off. Test one complete.

Sunday: (01/19) We had leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We all took a trip down to the Farmers market on California Avenue.  I had leftover pepper steak for lunch, Lou and Dawn had leftover lentil soup. The weather was so nice that we had root beer floats for an afternoon snack. In the evening I drove down to San Jose. For dinner I had a chicken pot pie.

Monday: (01/20) Granola for breakfast. I finished replacing the siding around one of the vents on the middle bedroom. I then completed preparing the openings for the rebuilt covers. I also stripped apart the old covers and ripped the boards to the narrower width for the new covers. The new covers are inset while the old ones were just tacked on the outside of the siding. Ham and cheese sandwich with yogurt for lunch. BBQ ribs and a baked potato with a citrus salad for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/21) Breakfast burrito from La Victoria which i ate while watching a building under construction on the San Jose State campus. I finally got to work about 11am. I assembled the vent covers for the two vents by the middle bedroom. After lunch of a ham and cheese sandwich I started work on the vents to my bedroom. There are four and I completed one. The vents on my bedroom are different than most of the vents on the house because the floor joists change directions and because the method of construction differs. As I was hurrying to complete my last vent cover as it was getting dark, the tenant came and said her dryer was venting steam inside the house. They recently replaced their washer dryer with a over under set. When the man of the house did the change, the vent pipe was torn up and was now not connected. I pieced it together and hooked it up. Good enough. I hurried back to finish my task and clean up as it was getting dark. For dinner I warmed a pork chop and some jambalaya rice followed by some honey yogurt.

Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs
Wednesday: (01/22) I walked over to Jack In The Box for a loaded breakfast sandwich which I at watching the construction at San Jose State.  I got to work about 10AM and did some more work on the vents on my bedrooms crawl space.

Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs
My bedroom was an addition to the house so is constructed a little differently. I finished rebuilding one of the vents and made and installed its cover and prepared the materials for the other two.

Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs
I also worked quite a while chipping the foundation so a piece of siding that I had to replace due to it being split in many places, would not split again once replaced, which I also completed.

Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs Wilton Siding And Vent Repairs
The remaining cover (on the right) is much larger and is the access opening for the addition. I’ll get that tomorrow. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. BBQ ribs and a baked potato for dinner.

Thursday: (01/23) I started out for my morning walk to breakfast and had to dodge a bunch of stuff from the tenants laundry room. There was a big truck out front delivering something that looked like a set of new washer and dryer. So why did the tenant have me fix the vent on the dryer yesterday? And why are they replacing what I thought were a new washer and dryer set?  I continued for my walk going downtown to Carl’s Jr where I got a loaded omelet sandwich. I brought my saws outside and got all set up to start work and discovered I had lost my countersink bit which I need to rebuild and install the remaining vent covers. I headed over to Home Depot and got a new bit and then rebuilt and installed  the remaining small cover.I then rebuilt the large vent opening in preparation for the rebuilt cover. A late lunch at 2PM of a sausage patty and some honey yogurt. As I was about ready to start assembling the final cover, the tenant came out and said there was water leaking under the sink. I think she wants to keep me busy. I completed the final cover but didn’t have all the screws I needed to attach the wire fabric. I stopped and looked at the sink. I found the small puddle of water but it looked like it hadn’t been there long, now damage. I didn’t find anything supply or drain leaks. I placed a bunch of blue paper towels on the bottom and told them to call me if it leaked. Pretty soon, I was told there was water on the towels. The source was one of the unused holes  under the sink faucet. All the water lines are collected into using only one of the three openings. Another is used for a soap dispenser and the final one is just covered up by a base plate. Evidently the caulk failed so I added some more. Hopefully that stops the leak. If not I’ll have to remove and reinstall the whole faucet. With that accomplished, I headed off to the hardware tore again to get some screws and washers for the vent cover. I added them to the cover which completed the last of the cover reconstruction and the cleaned up my stuff. I also cleaned up myself and then Dawn dropped by and we went to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes Salad Buffet on our way back home.

I had 32 people signed up for my hike tomorrow. About 8 are first timers so my actual total hikers will be less. This hike isn’t really extraordinary so it must be my description of the hike.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Foothills Park, Los Trancos Trail Hike

Friday: (01/17)

Foothills Park, Palo Alto

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SJMWH Foothills Park SJMWH Foothills Park 9138999406
I made breakfast sandwiches for breakfast. At 0900 I met a carpooler at the house and we headed up to a park and ride to collect more hikers. I was hosting 19 hikers for a hike at our residents only city park, Foothills Park. We all hiked the Los Trancos Trail, a 8.3 loop around the park. Nice weather for the hike.

I had a bowl of chili for lunch when I got home.

Monday, January 13, 2014

More Smog

Saturday: (01/11) Grocery shopping in the morning. In the afternoon we all went to Valco shopping center for Lou to take a walk. I followed in the scooter. She was checking her range and walked the length of the mall.

Sunday: (01/12) Breakfast at the Country Inn in Cupertino. We drove separately so Lo and Dawn were off to an estate sale while I did some shopping. I stopped at Home Depot to get some PEX tubing and fittings to replace a water line. I also stopped by Harbor Freight to get a couple of heat guns that on sale. I’ll need them before the paint job is finished. I then stopped by at REI and got some new hiking boots to replace my worn out boots. When I got home I re-potted a plant Lou got at the sale. I also installed the water line. Dawn made macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Monday: (01/13) Started the day with a run to get the Jeep smog test completed. s usual I put it off as long as i could and it;s due in 5 days. My usual place can’t do the tyo of smog test required (Star) so they referred me to a nearby test site. They completed the test in about 30 minutes while I got breakfast at a nearby doughnut shop. I also stopped by a sewing machine shop where Lou had ordered a replacement foot pedal for her sewing machine. Then it was time to take the new microwave back to Fry’s Electronics. It had failed already. No problem replacing it. The first new machine would only run about 5 minutes before tripping it’s internal circuit breaker. The new new microwave did the same after 15 minutes. I guess we’ll try to live with that if it doesn’t get worse. The power to the outlet is perfect in wiring and voltage before and during the running of the microwave so I am perplexed by the fact that we have had three microwaves fail in the past two weeks? The original failed after many years of service then our spare failed after a couple of days, same for the new replacement. I think the room is jinxed. Lou prepared creamed spinach, which I had been wanting along with leftover macaroni and cheese and a sausage for lunch. With the microwave replaced and the car loaded I headed down to San Jose. I got there a little after dark. For dinner I prepared a pork chop and some dirty rice.

Wilton Nook Vent Wilton Nook Vent
Tuesday: (01/14) Granola for breakfast. While I should have been able to get a good start at work on the house today, I didn’t. I needed to fill out a bunch of paperwork for medicare and my former employers health plan, which took all morning the way I go. I then walked to forms to the Post Office to mail and while out, stopped at Carl’s Jr for lunch, a guacamole burger. I then took advantage of being down town to look a a new tall building under construction. San Jose has never quite gotten downtown going and is still struggling to try to. On the walk back to the house through San Jose State University I stopped for a look at a Japanese store that i hadn’t seen before They had some interesting items. I finally made it back to the house about 2pm. Not likely too much work will be accomplished today. Tomorrow doesn’t look much better since I have a meeting is South San Francisco tomorrow. Spaghetti squash and salad for dinner.

Wednesday: (01/15) I caught the 0731 train to South San Francisco. That got me there about an hour early for my meeting. I took a walk around the area and stopped at Subway for breakfast. I then walked the mile over to the City Corp Yard for the TSA meeting. Interesting talk on connecting anything. This vendors current push is smart network connected street lights. After the meeting I decided not to return North to the South SF train station and instead walked South to Burlingame about 5-6 miles and had lunch at Neal’s restaurant, corned beef hash and pancakes. The train only runs hourly and I missed the 1331 train by about 15 minutes so I caught the bus toward home. Had to change from Samtrans to VTA buses at the Palo Alto transfer station and made it home about he same time I would have had I taken the later train, 1330. Lou was out for a walk looking for a new microwave at our nearby Fry;s Electronics. The replacement replacement had failed. When she got home, we drove over with the failed unit and got the new one, this time a different maker and model. Odd to have had four microwaves fail in one week? On the way to Fry’s we passed a bunch of police and fire personnel working on a house fire. The new microwave seems to work correctly. Pastrami or liver and onions with baked potatoes for dinner. Lou and Dawn both got their flu shots today. I have abstained from flu shots for the past 42 years but will get mine tomorrow as well.

Thursday: (01/16) I stopped by Kaiser in Mountain View and got my flue shot. Even though it’s been 42 years, it feels like I remember it. OK, now we all should survive the year. Since I was downtown, I stopped at the Hong Kong bakery for breakfast of a pork bun and an egg tart.

San Jose Rebuilding Vent Covers San Jose Repairing Siding
I arrived in San Jose by 0900 with some hope of a good work day. I completed the vent cover for the vent by the breakfast nook then went to the North side of the house to repair some damaged siding where one of the old drain connections was and started work on the vent adjacent to it.

San Jose Repairing Siding San Jose Repairing Siding
It doesn’t all that much different with the new  wood until it’s painted.

Lunch was a sausage with a baked potato and some yogurt. I returned to Palo Alto arriving about 1730. We went out to Joanie’s Restaurant for dinner. I had ravioli with scampi and Lou and Dawn shared an omelet.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Big Basin’s Berry Creek Falls Hike

Resting At The First Crest On Sunset Trail Unnamed Falls At Big Basin
Friday: (01/10) I filled up the Jeep with fellow hikers and we headed up to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. We hiked out the Sunset Trail then Came down Berry Creek Falls Trail and returned to our cars on the Skyline To The Sea Trail.

Silver Falls At Big Basin Silver Falls At Big Basin
The hike was 11.4 miles and while the elevation only changed 96 feet, we climbed 5528 feet. I think it felt like it too. I managed to wear blisters on both heals. That hasn’t happened in several years. Time to replace the shoes and socks.

Big Basin Berry Creek Falls Trail Hikers
We had 17 hikers for the hike which took most of the day to complete with the distance and commute. We lunched by Golden Falls.

Big Basin Berry Creek Falls

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Breakfast at Jack In The Box. Tuna salad and crackers for lunch. I was a bit hungry when I returned so I ate the leftover Shepard’s Pie then Lou made some enchiladas for dinner.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

And It Begins

Saturday: (01/04) This morning we did our weekly grocery shopping. After that we had breakfast at the Good Morning Restaurant with Ernie. I had a burrito, Lou and dawn had an omelet, Ernie had a waffle. With those tasks accomplished we went up to Redwood City. Lou and Dawn did some thrifting while I visited Redwood Supply, a outdoor supply store. We also visited Best Buy as well as the Grocery Outlet there before returning home. Leftovers and snacks for lunch. Lou made some excellent chicken enchiladas for dinner.

Sunday: (01/05) We decided on an adventure today. We drove over to Tracy to visit the Winco Market and Bass Pro Shop there. We picked up a few things at the market, nothing really special. In fact, I was rather disappointed with the bulk food selection there. I remembered as being better. It is still the best in the area that I’ve visited so far but not as good as I’d like. I’d like some more things to make trail foods from. it looks like I’ll need to order some things via the Internet. I picked up a nice rain/wind breaker jacket at Bass pro. I’m collecting for the trail. We also visited a thrift store before heading home. I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We stopped for a late lunch at the Golden Corral buffet. Nice that they have one there. Almost makes the drive worthwhile by itself. We just snacked for dinner.

Monday: (01/06) We started the day with leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I headed down to San Jose with the intent of doing some work after the holiday break. Only one work day for the past two weeks. I stopped on the way for groceries to restock the apartment. I spent the rest of the morning frying up sausage and bratwurst patties a stowing into the freezer. Of course I had one of the cheddar bratwurst patties for lunch. It was cold outside and I never got into the mood to get outside and do anything so I headed back toward home with a couple of stops on the way looking at microwaves to replace our recently deceased unit. Lou made baked french fries and roast chicken for dinner.

My Shop In San Jose San Jose Repairing Siding
Tuesday: (01/07) I drove back down to San Jose in the morning. First order of business was raking much of the backyard lawn. I hate loosing things in the leaves and even more important finding little presents from the dog. There weren’t too many leaves but I walked more confidently with them gone. I set up the table saw on the lawn.

SJ Nook Siding And Vents SJ Removed The Potato Plant Bush
Since I was into gardening I then removed the lemon tree by the side of the house next to the breakfast nook. It’s way too big and always growing into the eves. I left about 30 inches of one of the two trunks which may get another chance at life if I don’t remove it when I put in a drain pipe later. I also removed the potato bush in the front yard where the drain system sump will be going.

San Jose Rebuilding Back Vents SJ Nook Siding And Vents
After lunch I finally got to the wood work. I removed the two vent covers from the breakfast nook and recut them for refitting.

SJ Vents At Study SJ Vents At Study
I also reassembled the vent cover for the study and fitted it into the siding. Granola for breakfast. Baked potato with chicken for lunch. Sausage and dirty rice for dinner.

Wednesday: (01/08) I was busy stripping paint by the breakfast nook today. I also removed the bad sections of siding that need replacement.  My final task was to remove the orange tree stump that was cut down several years ago. This was no easy task but was made a bit easier with the use of my jack hammer. Peanut butter granola for breakfast. Baked potato and sausage for lunch. Chilli relleno dinner at La Victoria.

SJ Nook Vent
Thursday: (01/09) The power went out at 0730. It was drizzling. I decided to go out to breakfast and do some shopping. I needed some 8″ bevel siding and a microwave. Neither really worked out right away. It was too Early. I ended up at Fry’s Electronics in North San Jose and found a nice Microwave. When I came outside, the sky was clear. Too bad, Now I’ll need to get to work. I stopped by Southern Lumber and got my siding then went bad to the house. Still no breakfast so I had lunch at 11am, rice and sausage. I installed the needed siding and rebuilt one of the vent covers. I need some more materials to rebuild the other one next week. I returned to Palo Alto and enjoyed Lou’s Shepherd’s Pie for dinner.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Stevens Creek Park To Maisie’s Peak

Stevens Creek Park To Maisie's Peak Stevens Creek Park To Maisie's Peak
Friday: (01/03) Breakfast at Jack’s, Jack In The Box, that is. I picked up a fellow hiker at a Park and Ride and we met the others at the park. It was a perfect day for the hike, like spring.

Stevens Creek Park To Maisie's Peak Stevens Creek Park To Maisie's Peak Group 9138878090
Almost no water left in the reservoir. We do need rain. We hiked 6.8 miles in 3 hours going up 2184 ft for a total elevation gain of 778 feet at an average speed of 2.2 mph. About our usual hike. After the hike a few of us stopped at Aqui’s Restaurant in Cupertino for lunch. i had a chicken wrap with mushroom soup.

Stevens Creek Park To Maisie’s Peak

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