Monday, May 29, 2017

Cool Summer Days

Monday: (05/29) Lou made corned beef steaks and eggs with toast for breakfast which we enjoyed in the yard. We then worked in the yard gardening. I installed a new, additional timer for the greenhouse with three valves. Previously there was only one valve, which still exists, for all watering in the greenhouse. Now I can run soakers for really long periods and emitters for much shorter periods. In order to complete this project, I had to visit orchard hardware for some materials. I also cut the concrete slab next to Dawn’s building to be sure it separates cleanly. Lou made corned beef, pickle and cheese sandwiches for lunch. For dinner, we had beans and wieners.

Tuesday: (05/30) Another cool overcast day. Awakened early at 0730 by the dumpster delivery driver who was out front ready to place the dumpster. We had to dash out and move our cars that were protecting the site. It was placed by 0740, can’t work until after 0800 here in Palo Alto. After granola and berries for breakfast, I got out and got to work. I finished breaking out the concrete pad that was under Ernie’s shed, That along with the small amount of debris I cleared from under the base of the previous slab removal made around 4 cubic yards of debris so the dumpster is half full. Tomorrow I have to break out a brick wall around our front flower bed and some walkway in the neighbor's yard where I’m placing some new walkway. Lou brought home some pizza for lunch. He baked veggies with shrimp and BBQ ribs for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/31) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I broke out the concrete walkway that I’m to replace at our neighbor's house. The took much longer than I’d have liked because it had reinforcing wire in it and I had to remove it from the concrete. Then I removed the brick wall from our front planter. It presented a problem by trying to bury the front of the house presenting a termite problem. I intend to replace it with a walkway across the front of the house. Pizza for lunch. Dawn made lentil stew for dinner.

Thursday: (06/01) Some corned beef and a tiny bit of hash with a toasted onion roll for breakfast. I spent the day sawing the driveway. I still have a third of the dumpster available so I decided to cut out all the cracked concrete sections in the driveway so I can pour new concrete as needed like I did for the front walkway. I got it almost cut just two 4 foot cuts to go tomorrow morning. I did have to make a run out to Home Depot to get a new concrete saw blade. The new blade did make the cutting go faster. I quit sawing at 1700 then swept up the powder from the saw and washed down the driveway, RV, plants, and lawn. Lots of dust. Pizza for lunch and dinner. Lou and Dawn were out shopping much of the day and went to Dinah’s Motel to listen to the band there.

Friday: (06/02) Granola and berries for breakfast. I started the work day by doing to two concrete cuts left undone yesterday. I then spent the rest of the day breaking out the driveway concrete and filling up the dumpster. It’s about 95% full now. For lunch, I had a corned beef and cheese sandwich. Dinner was cottage cheese and fruit. In the evening we all met Courtney at the Stanford Theater to see the vintage movies “Harvey” and “Arsenic And Old Lace”.
Concrete dumpster ready, Bad driveway concrete gone.

Saturday: (06/03) I was off to a garage sale Lou pointed out. They were supposed to have some Dewalt tools. All gone. I then stopped by Los Altos taqueria for some Huevos rancheros for breakfast. After that, I visited REI and Best Buy for a look around. I was then off to San Antonio mall where I watch the construction project for a while. Then some shopping at Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Sprout’s Market. Finally, Home I tinkered with the RV removing 4 of the 6 batteries for a test. Also found the breaker tripped again. I think the Inverter/charger is bad or the batteries are causing it to trip. In the evening I ordered a new inverter charger, still looking for the batteries. There are only two batteries on Amazon but I need 3 so still looking. Most are not the same size as my existing so a new configuration is going to be needed. Lou, Dawn Meili, and Ping were out visiting all the garage sales in town/ Today was a citywide garage sale. Lou found a cast metal love seat bench for the yard.
RV battery hookup.
Sunday: (06/04) A visit to Home Depot to get another concrete blade that I should have gotten a couple of days ago. Breakfast at Chaves Market in Redwood City. Nice Huevos Rancheros. Then we visited the Los Altos and Sunnyvale libraries. Next a visit to a street fair in Sunnyvale. And finally a visit to the Mountain View Library. At the street fair, we had an avocado smoothie like thing for lunch. Lou got a chicken wrap for her lunch at Togo’s on the way home. Once home, I found that some James Bond movies were on one of the TV stations. That kept me busy all evening. Dawn made vegetable soup for dinner to which I added a hot dog sandwich.

Los Altos Museum flowers

Monday: (06/05) Soft boiled eggs for breakfast. I spent some time measuring the areas that need concrete and trying to estimate the proper quantity of concrete bags and base rock needed. I don’t need to end up with too much. Lunch was a slice of pizza and a hot dog. Also some of Lou’s peanut butter cookies. I eventually made it outside. I check the battery that was charging and attempting to be desulfated. It had gone up from 13.1 volts to 13.4 volts but a 15 second load dropped the voltage down to 1.6 volts. So the batteries are bad. I laid some bricks and poured a concrete patch on the South side of the house. Both patches were made to repair leaky pipes a while (years) back. Lou made tacos for dinner.


Tuesday: (06/06) Lou made eggs and corned beef steaks for breakfast. I never got going well today. I did strip the form from my walkway patch. I also spent some time in the shop tidying up and extracting my power tamper from a back corner. It hasn't been used for several years so it won’t start now. Don’t need it today but do need it soon. I think I’ll defer to the professionals to fix it. I made a shopping run to Home Depot to get some rebar, dobies, and pipe. I also checked the base rock depth of the driveway. It’s less than two inches thick so it has to be dug out for at least six inches of base rock. The dumpster wasn’t swapped out today so maybe tomorrow will be a digging day. I received some packages from Amazon today. I got some drip emitter tubing which I installed on Lou’s garden planters in the greenhouse. I also received the new inverter/charger and temperature sensor. I got the remote panel yesterday. The batteries should arrive tomorrow. When I need a rest from digging and pouring I’ll install the new items. Lou bought a couple of pizzas on Twofer Tuesday at Papa John’s pizza for lunch. I also had some for dinner. 

Wednesday: (06/07) Another abrupt start to the day. The truck picking up the concrete debris box and leaving an empty arrived at 0730. That means it’s a workday. I decide to go out to breakfast with Lou first. Then I returned some stuff to Orchard hardware and check at a small engine shop about getting the vibrator plate engine looked at. Once home I attended a webinar, I tried to get a reference from Harbor Freight as to where the engine might be fixed but was on hold for 15 minutes. They were occasional messages that their website might have information. They did. They had what they call “a user manual” W0w, an amazing help. Who would have thought? As it turns out I didn’t have to read the manual. After the index, there were four photos with labels of different features. One feature was an “On/Off” switch. I checked my machine and it had one too. And it worked. It was hiding on the front of the engine behind a wire. I told Lou so she can remind me a few years from now when I use the machine next. It was now almost noon so I had some leftover pizza for lunch. After lunch, I finally got busy digging. I scraped off whatever existing base rock was existent being sure not to get any of the clay soil with it. It varied in thickness from nothing to 4 inches thick. No need to haul it off, I’ll reuse it with a bunch of additions baserock. I need to remove about 4-6 inches of clay soil to get a good base.I did a small section, about ¼ of the area to be done for the driveway. My new batteries arrived and I met the UPS truck to get the batteries from the truck into my wagon. I didn’t want the driver dragging them to my door with all the usual kicking and dropping. I put them in the RV but will hook them up later. Dawn was off to her writing class in the morning, Lou off grocery shopping. Dawn went down to San Jose to another meeting with another writer's group in the evening. Lou and I went to dinner at the Palo Alto Creamery.



Thursday: (06/08) Lou made corned beef steaks and eggs for breakfast. The house down the street was having their walkways and driveways poured today. They did it in flagstone stamped texture. 33 yards of concrete. There were about 10 people working on the pour plus Ernie and I inspecting. A big job. I watched to learn. Their methods don’t always translate to my jobs. I work by myself so no way to do suck big pours. I do lots of little ones. In between inspections, I moved some dirt and baserock. Not too much. It sprinkled rain all day too. Never much so the concrete wasn’t affected. About 2pm I got a call there was a problem with the toilet in San Jose. I headed down and found it just a little slow so I crawled under the house to take the sag out that was identified a while back by the video camera plumber. I couldn’t reach one area to add supports. Too much girth. Sometime later I’ll dig out some more so I can get in under the drain pipe past a beam. After a shower, I stopped for egg rolls and also a milkshake for dinner.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Carnaval San Francisco

Sunday: (05/28) Dawn and I headed North to Millbrae to catch BART to San Francisco. We stopped at Neil’s coffee shop for breakfast. Dawn and I shared a nice bacon mushroom and cheese omelet with pancakes. Enough for two and we left some. We arrived in SF at 0915 at the Civic Center Station. I walked Dawn to the Library then caught BART back to the 24th Street Station. Today was the Carnaval Parade which I like to attend. The weather was too cool for nice viewing. When the sun did come out late in the parade there was a cheer from the crowd and participants. After the parade, I had lunch at El Tomate restaurant on 24th Street. I enjoyed a nice chili relleno. I then watched the takedown of the parade and the KPIX broadcast remote setup. After that, I met Dawn at the library and we returned to Millbrae via BART. Then on to home. The reason we needed to drive to Millbrae was that Caltrain doesn’t begin running trains until 0838, too late to get the start of the parade at 1000. BART starts service at 0701. Leftover spaghetti for dinner. Time to relax.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Turning Over An Old Leaf

Sunday: (05/07) I made ham and eggs with home fried potatoes for breakfast. I ate it outside an after breakfast I thought I’d pull a weed or two. That turned into cleaning the leaves out of the cactus bed and from the roofs of the yard shed and playhouse, I worked until 1500 cleaning. Lou made a pastrami salad for lunch and beef stew for dinner. She did some grocery shopping as well. Dawn went to a book sale.
Monday: (05/08) Leftover ham and potatoes with eggs for breakfast. I researched the best way to get rid of my concrete and dirt debris from projects then ordered a dumpster from Redwood Debris Box Service. Some services like Palo Alto’s green Waste were twice as expensive for a lesser load. Lou and I went to Bill’s Cafe for lunch. I had something different, a Monte Carlo sandwich which is like a grilled French toast sandwich with ham, cheese, and chicken,. Yum! We listened to the house testimony of Clapper and Yates in the afternoon.

Tuesday: (05/09) I took Ernie to an appointment this morning then stopped at L&L Hawaiian for a sausage egg and cheese croissant and a couple of maple bars for Dawn’s and my breakfast. I did a little cleanup of the materials from the fence project. I also installed Dawn’s Little Library box with the help of our neighbor. More of Lou’s pastrami salad for lunch and Lou’s chicken pot pie for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/10) A day of waiting. The concrete debris dumpster was scheduled to arrive today at an unknown time. I made a sausage cheese and egg English muffin for breakfast. Then went outside by 0730 and started waiting. While waiting I was busy clearing the walkways and patio and then used my concrete saw to saw the slab of the one piece that will remain as part of the walkway. It’s level and uncracked. I also sawed in front of Ernie’s storage shed for the walkway. A total of about 40 feet of the 1.5-inch slot was cut. I then cleaned up the area. Lots of fine powdered concrete flour. I was nicely showered by 1300.. Lou bought a Papa John’s pizza for lunch about noon. About 1430 the dumpster finally arrived. I got busy and moved my 4 yards of concrete rubble into it by 1800. Then more cleanup and another shower. Leftover pizza for dinner. All in all, a productive day.

Thursday: (05/11) A real work day. Lou took Dawn and me to A Good Morning Restaurant for breakfast. Once home again, and after the 0800, the allowable beginning of noise, I started making a lot of noise with my jackhammer. I started breaking out the concrete where I’ll be installing more of the brick walkway. This concrete is actually an old 6” thick driveway that has been twisted and broken because they didn’t install any baserock and it sits on clay soil. I removed about 140 square feet of it. More to do tomorrow. The dumpster is now more than ⅔ full with today’s contribution and yesterdays collection. Lou made bean soup for lunch and shish kabobs and shrimp for dinner. I quit about 1700.

Friday: (05/12) I made breakfast sandwiches to start. Then I drove over to BTN Garage to check on the RV. They have replaced the broken exhaust manifold and taken a test drive or two and performed lots of tests. They say it appears starved for fuel but isn’t. They are doing more tests to try to identify what part or all of the computer needs to be replaced. They think the previously shorted Mass Air sensor might have damaged the computer. I guess this is progress. They are keeping it together so we can get it Wednesday for our weekend outing to Dave’s Ranch. I returned home about 0900 and got to work breaking out more concrete and loading the debris. I got all my concrete broken out and loaded and the dumpster is totally full. My dumping cart hauled all the debris and fell apart after transporting the last load. A cotter pin failed and a rod in the steering fell out. I had a pastrami and cheese sandwich for lunch. Dan and I went to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. Lou didn’t go because she is still eating often and little.

Saturday: (05/13) Lou baked an omelet for breakfast. We spent some time rearranging the yard due to the concrete removal. The washer found a new home under the arbor, lots of big potted plants, trees, and shrubs found new locations. We all took a trip to Lowes for a walk and look around. I picked up some dim sum for lunch. Leftover bean soup for dinner. In the evening we went to see a couple of movies at the Stanford Theater, Roman Holiday and Sabrina.

Sunday: (05/14) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Somehow we got another carton of double yolked eggs. It’s about the third time over the years. I spent the morning in the yard tinkering, I repaired the broken cart. Added some drip emitters and removed some due to the relocated planters. We went to lunch at LUU Noodle House. We visited the hardware store for a few things. For some reason, a nap was needed in the afternoon. Lou made meatloaf for dinner. Lou and Dawn were off to Dawn’s storytelling meeting in the evening.

Monday: (05/15) I drove down to San Jose to look into the slow drain of the tenant's bathtub. I found that the tub was slow but it appeared that all drains are slow. The toilets didn’t fill the bowls because they flushed slow. I arranged for a Clean Routing Plumbing Service to come tomorrow. I had breakfast of a burrito at La Victoria downtown San Jose. Dinner was leftover beans and morning potatoes. I got a call from the RV garage in the afternoon.They said that the RV is ready for pickup and runs much nicer now. I can't get it today so tomorrow I will pick it up tomorrow.

Tuesday: (05/16) Fried potatoes and ham for breakfast. I vacuumed out the RV and removed the cardboard floor protection we installed. BTN Garage knows the engines but isn’t great at keeping the interior clean while working on the engines. The concrete dumpster was picked up about 1030. I headed off about 1205 toward San Jose. First, I stopped at Grocery Outlet for energy drinks. I’m out of my motivation drinks. Second stop was Lou’s Persian Market in Sunnyvale for potatoes. They have the best and cheapest. Then I dashed on down to SJ barely making it by 1300 for the Plumbers arrival window. KFC chicken tenders and fries Go Cup for lunch then I napped while I waited. I received a text at 1400 that he’d arrive in 20 minutes, and he did. Fortunately, he had a camera and used it to examine the line rather than route it. That proved it was clear and also had a belly section it that trapped water. Evidently, some of the pipe hangers have failed. I can’t see where from the basement but will return to realign it later. That should correct the slow draining. With that done and even without line cleaning, worth the service fee, I said goodbye to the plumber. This still didn’t explain the original problem with the tub entirely. I hadn’t been able to remove the pushdown plug on the drain to clean out any hair. I didn’t want to break anything if not needed. So today I got my channel locks and a paper towel. And with a lot of effort finally removed the plug without too much damage other than a few dimples due to the jaws. It did have lots of hair and calcium restricting the flow which was cleaned out and it now works properly. I enjoyed a milkshake on the way home and Lou’s chili beans for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/17) We were outside early. I moved the washer again to a new home just outside the side door of the house. I got it all hooked up except for the drain for which I needed a 1.25” barbed tee to hook it up to the macerator pump for the shower. Now we’ll only have one drain hose. Then some granola and a banana for breakfast. I then filled the water tank on the RV. We headed out about noon looking for the tee. We stopped first at the most likely place to have it, Barron Park Supply.They did have it. On the way home I picked up my lunch at Los Altos Taqueria and nice chili relleno and an enchilada. Lou dropped me off at home and went to meet Dawn in downtown Palo Alto. Dawn had her story class. She and Lou had lunch downtown. I relaxed a little after lunch then got back to work. I washed the RV. It needed scrubbing due to a lot of mold all over. Hadn’t been washed last year due to the drought. I then installed the tee on the washer completing its installation. After a shower, it was 1800. Leftover chill beans for dinner followed by a slice of Lou’s pecan pie.

Thursday: (05/18) I did some more drip system mods for the new plant locations and for Dawn’s garden. More packing and cleaning of the RV. Granola and banana for breakfast. Sausage, avocado and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftover from Dawn’s lunch, pasta with chicken, for dinner.

Friday: (05/19) Granola for breakfast. We did the final preparations go. I had thought we had empty holding tanks thinking our last trip was to San Luis Obispo. We had actually spent a week on the street in San Jose since so the black tank was pretty full. Lou did a final shopping run. We hit the road about noon. We stopped in Livermore for a snack at Safeway and a look around Orchard Hardware. I spotted a plant there I've been looking for.they looked so good in our yard a couple of years ago but died off. Now I know its name, Calandrinia. We headed off to Dave’s Ranch arriving about 1530. About 12 people at the Ranch. Pleasant weather warm days, cool evenings. We spotted a couple of bald eagles with the fledgling. A nice campfire in the evening.

Saturday: (05/20) A .morning walk around the lower lake. On the walk, we saw the eagle fledgling. Granola with banana for breakfast. I walked the ridge trail loop with a side trip to the rocks about a ¼ mile up a ravine. A nice potluck lunch. I tried the paddle bot out on the lake.I drove the jeep on the same ridge trail I hiked this morning. A little tight so we have some Arizona pinstripes now. Dinner at the Junction Grill. Another campfire in the evening.

Sunday: (05/21) We walked the loop trail by Lower Lake and out to the homesteader cabin before breakfast. Dawn and I took a ride in the paddle boat. I took another ride and secured the ladders on the pontoon island and dock and pulled the paddle boat out of the water before we buttoned up and prepare to leave.We pulled out at 1230. We stopped at a yard sale on the way down the mountain and for lunch in Livermore. We were home before 1600. It was hot, 98 degrees today. Nice to have missed most of it.Leftover chili beans for dinner.

Monday: (05/22) I started my day removing the concrete junk that was buried under the slab I removed last week. Quite a pile of concrete was removed. With Ernie’s floor, I should have plenty more to fill another dumpster. I then. spent the day installing patio pavers by the new fence sections. Just a couple of rows next to the fence that was trimmed to fit. It’s just temporary, for a few years. Eventually, the patio will likely be removed for more garden space. It already has good garden soil under the pavers. Now I can move the woodpile out of the way, then move Ernie’s shed to the patio while I pour a new slab for it. Leftovers for breakfast. Chili beans for lunch. Leftover salad for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/23) (06/24) Ernie and I spent some time moving the woodpile and other things to make a clear path to move his shed across the garden spot to a new temporary home while I pour a new slab for it. Granola for breakfast. Avocado and cheese hot dog sandwiches for lunch.

I went on a shopping run late afternoon to Harbor Freight to get the carts to move the shed. I picked up some dim sum on the way.

Wednesday: (05/24) Breakfast from L&L Hawaiian, a shared sausage egg and cheese croissant and maple bars for Dawn and I. I was off at 0815 for a hike in San Bruno. We hiked the San Francisco Watershed past Crystal Springs, San Andreas reservoirs, and Pilarcitos lake. This is a docent-led only hike. We started out in fog but ended up with a mostly sunny day for the hike. I’ve never hiked this area before and it was a very nice hike. We even got to see a snake snatch a lizard at the end of our hike. Dinner at home. Lou made tostadas and chili rellenos.

Thursday: (05/25) Granola and apple for breakfast. After the yard man finished mowing the yard, Ernie and I got busy moving his shed. First order was to empty the shed. Then it had to be disconnected from the floor and reinforced so it would stay in alignment during the move. Then it was raised onto moving carts. Then I used the old forms from the fence base to provide a smooth surface where the concrete had been removed earlier and through the garden space. The move was extremely easy. It was over its new home before noon. It took a while to trim the shed base to be level. The lower part of the base was trimmed to fit the very unlevel concrete slab it was on. It also took a while to rebuild the door and make a threshold for the door. The shed was fully installed by about 1800. Tomorrow we move stuff back in after a good cleaning of the shed. Lou and Dawn were off to an appointment this morning. Lou brought home sandwiches for lunch from Togo’s. She made a nice cauliflower macaroni and cheese casserole and corn on the cob for dinner.

Friday: (05/26) Granola and apples for breakfast. I hooked up power to Ernie’s shed and sealed the bottom of the base with foam. Ernie and I then spent the day moving stuff back int0 his shed. A lot of stuff. It even seemed like more than we moved out previously. About 1500 Lou Dawn and I headed off to Redwood City to the Gourmet Haus Staudt for an early dinner or very late lunch. Then a couple of thrift store visits on the way home. Of course a late, inner was also needed so I had leftover cauliflower macaroni and cheese and ham. Looks like a get some time off. I ordered another dumpster which arrives next Tuesday so until then I have it easy.

Saturday: (05/27) I worked in the yard in the morning trimming the wisteria on the arbor, tying up the grapevine and other gardening. I also got the table saw out and recycled some of the used wood from the fence into usable sized boards eliminating splits, warps, and rot. We looked at an open house down the street. Amazing what $2M gets you in this area. In the late afternoon, I moved my used brick piles, about a couple of tons of bricks, off of the slab I’ll be replacing to the side of the house. Lou made biscuits and gravy for breakfast, a spinach bacon salad for lunch and spaghetti for dinner.