Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Batteries In Yuma

Wednesday: (01/30) We relaxed at home all day. I stuffed some things in the compartments after a little reorganizing. Dawn worked on beading outside most of the day. Lou made soft boiled eggs for breakfast. I made chilli sizes for lunch and corned beef hash for dinner.

Thursday: (01/31) I got an early call from FedEx saying my batteries were in. I dashed off to get them at their distribution center. They couldn’t be sent to a FedEx store because they are hazardous? After picking them up I stopped by the Arizona Marketplace to try to find some 3/0 cables for the new batteries. The old batteries were 2ea 6v. The new batteries are 2ea 12v so an additional jumper cable was needed. No luck at the Marketplace but I did enjoy a nice breakfast burrito there. I tried an RV store, a couple of welding shops an an auto parts store, no luck. Finally a tried a solar store that was all but out of business. They fixed me up with the cables I wanted. With that finally accomplished and the morning consumed, I headed home. At home, ater a nice tea, I got to work. I removed the old batteries and cleaned up the battery compartment. I needed to reroute some cables through a new access hole to get the batteries to fin. They are taller and deeper than the previous and fill up all the space in the compartment. It took some work but I finished the installation about 1500. We then headed off to town to pick up our mail, do the laundry, eat dinner and do grocery shopping. We arrived home about 2030. By 2100 we had some rain showers. Breakfast at the flea market. Dinner at the Golden Corral buffet.
Had to pick the batteries up at the Fedex distribution yard. My boxes were the only items to be picked up there. I had to rearrange some cables to get the batteries to fit. 

Tight fit. The old batteries were set out with a free sign on them. They disappeared in the night and saved me the bother of disposing of them. They were actually OK, just not as good as I would like.

Friday: (02/01) Dawn started a stew in our slow cooker. We headed to the Arizona Market Place for a look around. After a rest at home, I rewired the solar so that it charges whichever batteries are switched to use the Inverter/charger. I had been thinking of installing a seperate switch but this may eliminate the need, if it works. After a visit with our neighbors, we all headed to town again and also did some shopping before heading to dinner and then home. Breakfast at the Arizona Marketplace (Flea Market). Lunch at home, Dawn’s stew. Dinner at the EAT Asian Buffet again.

Saturday: (02/02) Chip, the owner of the other Surfside dropped by. We gave him a tour of our coach and discussed his an our modifications and setup. He actually pointed out the location of our leveling jack control box. It is under our refrigerator. In the afternoon, Lou nand Dawn went to town shopping. I relaxed at home all day and I started collecting info and installed my tax software in preparation to do the dirty task of our tax return. Leftover hash and eggs for breakfast. Stuffed celery and avocado for lunch. Leftover stew for dinner.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

On The Road Again, Finally

Saturday: (01/19) We did the final preparation to roll and were on the road before 1000. We stopped for breakfast at the Longhouse Restaurant in Gilroy. What a difference a couple of days made. Beautiful clear skies and dry roads. I stopped for a nap in Greenfield. I prefer not to fight drowsiness. Lou and dawn looked around the few shops in the shopping center. We decided to try for a spot at Oceana State Park. We pulled in and there were two spots left and we picked a nice one by the lagoon. Great views. Must be a good park because all the rest of the campers seem to be part of a boy scout troop. Dinner at Pismo Fish and Chips. We always visit there when we are in the area and usually have our waiter Juan who remembers our usual order. Are we too predictable? We’ll be here a couple of days. We have an appointed for the Jeep to be looked at Monday. Much better service here and you don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment. I called Thursday for an appointment and they could have seen it Friday at Cole In San Luis Obispo. The earliest in our area was the 28th. Our Jeep engine start/stop feature has failed again. It is just because the computer thinks the battery isn’t charged enough. Last time they replaced the battery and it worked again. For some reason, they don’t do that as a first step. They had the Jeep for four days last time at San Jose when even I knew what was wrong when I left it. Even when we did get it back it didn’t work for a couple of days. Evidently the computer needs to learn the new battery. I guess our Jeep has a memory like mine.
 Our campsite by the lagoon at Oceana Campground.

Sunday: (01/20) Relaxing morning. We’re only able to register for one day at a time so the first order of business was to re-register for tonight. Our beautiful skies are less so today. It’s hazy or light foggy today. Granola for breakfast. Lunch at Blast Pizza in SLO. We browsed around downtown SLO after lunch. Much of the afternoon was back at camp. When we returned, we had several new neighbors and many of the boyscout tents were gone. Unfortunately, it was mostly cloudy during the eclipse with just an occasional view. We had soup for dinner. We got to see the eclipse of the moon occasionally between clouds.
The campground after many of the scouts had left and a nice view of our lagoon.

Monday: (01/21) Up early and prepared to roll. We drove down to SLO separately to drop the Jeep off and Cole Jeep to have the Start/Stop feature looked at and get an oil change. We decided to take the RV and leave camp because we couldn’t re-register for our pot early enough to assure we’d make our appointment. As it was we were there an hour early. After i checked it in we all had showers in the RV and had breakfast. Then a little walk and shopping. About noon we headed back down to the park and registered for our site again. Then off to Von’s market for a soup lunch. I received a call about 1400 that the car would be ready by 1500. They didn’t find any errors with the start/stop function but found information that replacing the voltage sensor has helped. Lets hope it dos so we can get the reduced fuel consumption it can provide. Sounds like it could fix it. This shop is so much better than the shop in San Jose. They actually think and then do something. We filed up the Jeep and RV gas at Costco on our way back to camp. Lou prepared stir fried veggies and chicken for dinner.
 Our campsite after the busy weekend.

Tuesday: (01/22) I prepared pancakes and sausage for breakfast. We rolled away from camp after showers but tinkered mailing packages and shopping and didn’t hit the road until almost 1300. Nice weather. We had cheese and summer sausage for lunch on the road. We stopped early because we would not have time to go all the way across LA to a place we could camp until late in the evening. And I was drowsy, so we stopped in Carpinteria in a nice beach side campsite. We took a walk along the bluffs. Dinner at Rincon Brewery. I enjoyed a really good fish and chips. Dawn had lamb sliders and Lou a cobb salad. All excellent. ****
Views from our windows of the lagoon in Oceana Campground.

Carpinteria Beach and our campsite.


Beach sunset at Carpinteria.

Our campsite in Carpinteria.

Wednesday: (01/23) Last night, while we could use the generator and microwave, Lou had thawed some wieners and cut them up as well as steaming some onions. I grilled that mixture and added some eggs for breakfast. We were on the road by 0830. Traffic was nice except for a couple of short backups and a longer backup approaching the highway 101/405 junction. All in all we zipped across the top of LA stopping for lunch in Fontana. About 1300 we headed off again stopping 30 miles East of Indio at the Southern entrance to Joshua Tree NP. We have camped here in this BLM property before and enjoyed it. Lots of fellow campers, some of them may be unwilling though. They had some rain here and the “roads” had som washouts. Some of the campers may be stuck behind washouts waiting for the BLM crews to come back to work after the government shutdown. We’ll be off tomorrow to Quartzsite. We stopped a bit early again tonight so we wouldn’t be arriving in Quartzsite after dark.
Our campsite outside Joshua Tree NP.

Thursday: (01/24) Granola for breakfast. We were on the road by 0800. We stopped in Blythe to do some last minute shopping. We arrived in Quartzsite, Arizona before noon. We did a little looking for an RV park with cheap rates. None to be had in town due to the RV show this week. We settled on the free BLM camping just East of town. Nice site fairly close to town with a few tree, and lots of fellow campers. We had lunch at the Grubstake bar of fish and chips. Then it was time to visit the big top tent RV show. A lot to see and of interest in the tent. We finished our first go round just before 1700 as they were closing. We had $1 burgers and curly fries that we picked up before heading back to camp.

Friday: (01/25) Nice weather. After leftovers meatloaf, curly fries and wiener omelet for breakfast, I replaced the batteries in the TPMS (tire pressure monitor system) sensors. They all worked well after that. Then we headed off to the RV show and vendor tents. I picked up more batteries for the Jeep tire sensors as well as spare batteries for my TPMS, and a valve stem adapter. I wanted to try to figure a way to get pass through sensors for the front tires on the RV but, unfortunately the adapter I bought and everything I see won’t help so the non pass thru sensors remain. They were intended for the JEEP so I returned to the vendor and bought two more non pass thru sensors so I have four for the Jeep, as well as a signal repeater for the TPMS. Everything almost works without the repeater. When the jeep is crosswise behind the RV the far side sensors don’t report to the monitor so I’ll install the repeater tomorrow. I also replaced the indicator lamp for the water pump in the bathroom. Nice to finally have that working. Should help reduce our leaving the water pump on after use. I also looked around a little and bought replacement bungee loops for the tow bar. A late lunch from Randy’s of an italian sausage with grilled onions and a butter pecan shake. The shops start closing about 1630. We returned home to relax before I made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.
Our Quartzsite campsite and one of the front tire pressure sensors.

Saturday: (01/26) Lou made sausage gravy with biscuits for breakfast. I dropped Lou and Dawn off at Tyson Wells for them to continue their browsing. I drove on to the two big Solar shops in town looking at batteries. I then visited the Big Tent to see i they had the Battle Born Lithium batteries I’m looking for. They didn’t. All the stock at he couple of vendors that had had them was gone. In addition, I need GC2 (tall golf cart) batteries. Everyone only has the standard short long type. I also need to be sure the terminals are somewhat like my current installation so I don’t need to replace cables and also because the GC2 batteries barely fit anyway. No luck with finding batteries so I guess I’ll have to live with the current batteries for a while.I finished up the TPMS repeater installation. All tires are now reading well, including the toad. I had a pistachio milkshake and leftover pancakes for lunch. We had an early dinner at the Mountain Quail Restaurant where Lou and Dawn shared prime rib and I had shrimp. A visit to the old General Store market which has become Coyote Fresh Market. About the same, a good small market.
 The old batteries above.

A Quartzsite sunset.

Sunday: (01/27) I prepared smoked pork chops with leftover french fries, baked potato and eggs for breakfast. We made a run up to the disposal transfer station to get rid of our garbage for our first task. Then I dropped Lou and Dawn off to continue their looking at the vendors. I made a final walk through the big top vendor tent at the RV show. I talked with the Battle Born Battery representative and discovered the battery I was considering will fit if sat on it’s side. Orientation doesn’t matter. I returned to the RV for a final fit check and then returned to the tent to order two batteries. Lithium batteries are not cheap but the show discount does help a tiny bit. I’ll pick them up at FedEx in Yuma in a couple of days. Then I was free to start looking at other stuff. I had a milkshake for a snack then met Lou and Dawn for lunch. After lunch I examined all the vendors on the west end of main street. We relaxed at home after 1600 until dinner of roast chicken, cauliflower and baked potatoes.

Monday: (01/28) A day unintended. Nice weather. We prepared to roll. I fixed pancakes and we had it with Lou’s apple nut dessert from last night. When I tried to bring in the slides the day fell apart. The slides, jacks and steps were not moving. It seems like the control that enables them when the engine is running isn’t working. I fiddled all day trying to get it to work. We called a service tech but he was only a maybe for today. To top this, our black tank was full to the brim. We intended to dump on our way out of town this morning so we were in a pickle. Lou and Dawn went out to get a 5 gallon bucket john. As the sun was going down Lou and I ventured over to one of our neighbors that is in an identical motorhome. He had some electrical drawings that I couldn’t find in my information. Maybe tomorrow it will work or I can’t more intelligently troubleshoot it. This happened once before on our first outing to the pinnacles just after we bought it. It fixed itself and hasn’t bothered us since, until now. For dinner, we went to Silly Al’s Pizza.
Lots of stuff hidden all over the RV. A wiring diagram sure would help.

Tuesday: (01/29) Lou made leftover smoked pork chops and French fries with eggs for breakfast. I did some more research online and troubleshooting the RV problem wit hth inop steps, slides and jacks. While I had checked the status of the two main circuit breakers early on, today I actually toggled them off and on. While thy have flags that should indicate their status, the one that was tripped, didn’t. Everything started working. I called the service tech, that I had confirmed would actually be arriving late this morning, and told him we didn’t need him after all. Saved a bill and learned a lesson, or two. We headed off from camp to get LPG, Gas, dump our tanks and get water about 1030. While I was doing the utility work, Lou and Dawn did some last minute shopping and checked with a shop about Dawn’s metal detector operation. After cereal for lunch, we hit the road toward Yuma arriving a little after 1500. We checked in at the BLM lot off Hwy 95, 10 miles East of Yuma next to the VFW hall. Nice and close to town so we can get our batteries and install them near parts. After setting up, we headed off to a couple of thrift stores then dinner at EAT Chinese Buffet, one of my favorite eating establishments.
Our BLM campsite in Yuma. A nice sunset highlighted mountain range.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Purisima Open Space Preserve Hike

Friday: (01/18) Breakfast from Happy Donut. Alex picked me up at 0900 and we then picked up Jessica and then headed off to Skyline Blvd to our hike to Alice’s Restaurant from Purisima OSP. We were a group of 16 and carpooled from Alices to the Bay Area Ridge Trail at Purisima OSP to start. It was a 9.3 mile hike. We finished at Alice’s Restaurant and had a late lunch. I was back home by 1600. Jessica lives in Portland and before that was one of our fellow hikers and leaders. In addition this was Jonathan, our hike leader’s, 500th hike he has led for the group. I don’t think I’ve even led 100. Dawn prepared dinner, zucchini with chicken and cheese.
 Interesting corkscrew tree and a nice mushroom.
 The trails were nice after some rain. The Methuselah Tree on the right.
A nice caterpillar.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Finishing Walkway

Saturday: (01/05) A rainy day. PBJ toast for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. We got a call from Courtney who needed a ride up to redwood City to pick up her new car, a Chevy Bolt. Wise decision. I drove her up. Dawn can along and she stopped at Kepler’s bookstore for a short look before we came home. Lou made stew for dinner and Courtney joined us for dinner.

Sunday: (01/06) I made a quick trip to Safeway for some of my ciabatta bread. Lou made sausage gravy which we put over torn up bread. Nice breakfast. I headed off North to shop at REI, a new Sports Basement store, Home depot, and others. I caught lunch at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. I made it home a little after 1430. I wanted to check the water status. We are having a good rain storm today. I ended up napping until Lou and Dawn returned from their outing shopping in Mountain View. They had lunch at Chili’s. Just after dark I was unloading some of Lou and Dawn’s shopping treasures from the Jeep and got to see our sump pump do a discharge. It makes me feel more comfortable knowing it’s still running after I messed around in the electrical box. I had managed to break a wall wart for one of the TV amplifiers and ended up installing a plug strip for the pump and TV amplifiers to eliminate a problem with the door hitting the plugs. I had leftover refried beans for dinner.

Monday: (01/07) No rain today. I went outside and set the levels for the next section of bricks to be laid. I had to chip off some of the edge wall to allow a good mortar thickness. Also had to remove a short brick where a full brick will go and trim some grout from the edge of another. I then did some leveling of the baserock inside the wall. As i was finishing up my alarm went off for the ATT technician to arrive for the fiber Internet installation. The window was from 1100-1300. I watched TV and had lunch as I waited in the house for the tech. At 1330 I called Sonic to see about the missed appointment. ATT does the actual install for Sonic. I also mentioned that I hadn’t yet received the modem which was to have shipped 01/02. It has yet to be shipped. Hopefully it is shipped and an installation can be completed before we leave on our trip. I got back out later and installed some of the edge bricks.  Granola for breakfast. Wiener and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftover stew for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/08) I made an early run to Lowe’ for mortar and sand. On the way back I picked up a breakfast burrito near Lowe’s at Lopez Taqueria.  breakfast. I installed the last of the edge bricks by the new garden area. I had some drizzle while working but it didn’t develop into rain. We had leftovers for lunch. We all went to see the movie “On The Basis Of Sex”. We learned that our closest theater, the one we thought was always the most expensive, actually has a Discount Tuesday with all movies at $5. Our calendar will now have a note on Tuesdays. We had salads for dinner

Wednesday: (01/09) Lou made ham and eggs for breakfast. I attended a webinar before heading outside. Almost a shame to waste part of a no rain day. I trimmed the corners of the edge and it started raining so it looks like a day inside. Lou made chili rellenos for dinner. I got an email from Sonic that said the ATT technician had been here and no one was home. The installation was on hold with the earliest appointment after 1/24. I called Sonic and told them to cancel the order. They still had not shipped my equipment and I wouldn’t be available for an installation that far off in January, or even any other time this coming year. They missed their chance. It pissed me off that the ATT technician lied because I was within 10 feet of the door during the entire appointment window and they had my phone number as well. I had high hopes for the fiber connection. Maybe in a year or so ATT will learn how to do it.

Thursday: (01/10) Granola and banana for breakfast. I worked outside laying more bricks in front of Dawn's shed. Getting the correct levels was fun because of changing grades due to Dawns shed being higher than Ernies and Lou’s. Lunch buffet at Round Table Pizza in downtown Palo Alto. On the way home I decided to pickup more sand. Since I was downtown I decided to get some at Home Depot. I try to shop at Lowe’s if possible because of the political bent of the owner. No need to support idiots.But Lowe’s further away than either of our closest Home Depot’s. They pissed me off even more that I already was. I loaded my 12 sacks of sand from under a nice price sign of 3.45/bag. I was charged 4.75/bag. Unfortunately I didn’t check until after it was paid for. I complained and had to go to the service/return counter to get it straightened out. Of course, the problem was then wrong product under the wrong sign. Now, in actuality I probably could have required they change the price to match the sign but I instead just returned everything and won’t be returning soon. Unfortunately, my Ryobi tools are only available at Home Depot stores other than from Amazon so it looks like Amazon will get more business. I’m getting more and more cranky in my old age. Lou and I went to dinner at Los Altos Taqueria.
Friday: (01/11) I went over to the neighbors to remove her bathroom sink for her to gai access to the wall for repair. Unfortunately, the hot water wouldn’t shut off so she decide to repair the wall with the sink in place. I them made breakfast and watched TV until about 1030. Then I was outside installing bricks. I have the walkway in front of Ernie’s shed still to do as well as the patio area. I got rained out about 1500. I made chorizo hash and eggs for breakfast and also had it for lunch. Lou made fish with rice for dinner.
Saturday: (01/12) Leftover chorizo hash for breakfast. I got out really early at 0700. Since we are not allowed to make construction noise before 0800, I just moved a bunch of bricks inside the yard from the driveway pallet and did other setup until I could use the saw. I laid a bunch of bricks connection the rear walkway to the main walkway. This involved a lot of cutting to fit the angled bricks. I ended up a little after dark with only one row of bricks to install to have a walkway all the way into the yard. Because that is where I’m reversing the drain direction they will need angled cuts to bend to meet the two directions. I’m also using them to stretch the bricks an extra 2 inches by cutting to bricks into one angled brick. You’d have to see it to understand. A salad for lunch, BBQ ribs with baked potato and green beans for dinner.
Sunday: (01/13) PBJ toast for breakfast. I worked on the walkway fitting the transition bricks. The walkway changes drain direction at those bricks. I then finished the edge by Ernie’s shed. I also fitted the bricks by the drain inlets. And finally, I laid two more rows of bricks in from of Ernie’s shed. After that I cleaned up. We’re expecting rain this evening. We’ll be departing for an extended trip in a couple of days so i had to shut things down. The walkway is finished except for the patio/walkway under the front of Ernie’s trailer, the patio under Ernie’s temporary shed location and some grouting and plumbing for sprinklers and faucets.
Monday: (01/14) Dentist Day. Lou and I were off to the dentist, me for a cleaning and Lou for a checkup. After the dentist we stopped at the Country Inn for breakfast. Then some shopping on the way home. Lunch was dim sum from Dim Sum King. It’s raining today so I’m tinkering on the computer and packing to leave. Lou made stuffed green peppers with rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/15) Loading and sorting the RV. A rainy day. Leftovers for Breakfast and lunch and dinner from Super Taqueria.
 I trimmed the drain pipes and water lines that were projecting from out from the bricks. No trip hazards left.
Finished enough to leave for a while. i had to place 2x4's next to the bricks to keep them in place until I return to finish the installation. It will be interesting to see how the garden looks when we return.
Wednesday: (01/16) Worked on loading the RV. It was mostly already done. It was raining really hard all day. I went shopping for a smaller printer for the RV and installed it in the RV. I had planned on having the RV priter behind the new front TV having built a cabinet for it there but it’s too difficult to access while printing so with the smaller printer I just stow it in a cabinet above the driver. I also went to the Campbell Home Depot to get a Ryobi 1 gallon battery powered air compressor and set it up. Granola for breakfast. Egg rolls for lunch. Meatloaf and baked potatoes with peas. Thursday: (01/17) I finished some details and stowing in the RV. A few things in the yard like spreading the new garden dirt, and securing my junk wook stack after it was rattled during the concrete work. The squirrels and the wind like to topple things. I also made a run to Harbor Freight to get and air hose and attachments for my new compressor. It’s a 3’ hose, just long enough and includes a snap on connector for the tire side. PBJ toast with a sausage for breakfast. Hamburger salad for lunch. Lou and i went out to dinner at IKEA while Dawn was off to a birthday party/dinner.
A couple of final pictures before leaving. I added some orange tape around the hole I left where the new garden spot will be. I also tied up the boards leaning on the cottage. I'm sure the wind or squirrels will rearrange them soon.