Friday, August 27, 2021

Shingle/Tarwater Creek Loop Hike

Tuesday: (07/27) Breakfast from Happy Donut in the backyard. I headed off for my hike at about 0800. I led a hike at Pescadero County Park doing the Tarwater Trail Loop. 11 of the 16 people that signed up joined me and we enjoyed one of my favorite hikes, only 5.9 miles and 700’ elevation change. After the hike Stephanie, her husband Les, Jim and Jay joined me in Redwood City at the Freewheel Brew Pub for lunch and a brew. While I was relaxing after my shower, I got a call from our tenant in San Jose that there was no hot water. We all drove down. The pilot light was out on the new water heater. I relit it and waited to be sure it heated up the water and remained lit. It did and we headed off toward home with a stop at Grocery Outlet in Sunnyvale where we bought too much stuff before heading home. Leftovers for dinner.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Dawn's New Trike Battery Test

Wednesday: (07/21) Today was the big pour. I spent several long periods watching the concrete placement and finishing for the first floor floor. PBJ Waffles and sausage for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Super nachos from Tacos El Grullense for dinner.

Thursday: (07/22) Leftover nachos for breakfast. I had to do some inspection of the project down the street. They stripped the forms from the first floor pour today and worked on installing forms for the front floor and first floor walls. We had kabobs with McDonald’s fries for lunch. After lunch I decided to take Dawn’s trike out to try to run down the new battery. It’s a LiFePo4 battery so the charge indicator in the trike won’t work correctly. I had predicted that it would show a full charge until just before it was dead. I wanted to find out how long it lasted. I took off like a dog chasing a rabbit. I continued away from the house all the way to Highway 85 then out to the baylands. When I crossed highway 101 it changed from 100% to 75% indicated. According to my prediction it was about at it’s limit. I had become confident with the 100% showing so I stayed too far from home. I turned toward home and it was dead within a ¼ mile as I crossed one of the Google parking lots. I started pushing it toward home and then decided to attach the cable lock as a leash to pull it home. Much easier but still I had over 6 miles to walk home. I made it home at dinner time. After a shower, we had dinner. Lou made tacos for dinner.

Friday: (07/23) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I checked out the construction site several times during the day. I worked all day, intermittently, rototilling the front garden and removing 16 buckets of hard clay clods. The car is full for a trip tomorrow. Lou made a ham, pineapple green salad for lunch. For dinner, Dawn made rice with a chicken stew topping.

Saturday: (07/24) I made fried bologna with toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast. I took the load of dirt clods to the dump in Sunnyvale. I then filled the buckets with compost for the return trip. I did the grocery shopping on the way home. I visited Walmart, Smart and Final and Nob Hill markets. I also did some construction inspection down the street. They were installing the shot-crete forms for the first floor. I picked up lunch from the Lucky Chinese Bistro. Leftovers for dinner.

Sunday: (07/25) I prepared fried toast with ham and eggs for breakfast. After a lazy morning I finally got outside to work. I rototilled and screened a small section of the new front garden. I was able to empty the compost and refill all the buckets with the screening debris and now ready for another dump trip Monday. Dawn’s squash and chicken soup for lunch. BBQ ribs with baked potato and carrot salad for dinner.

Monday: (07/26) Dawn’s raisin bread toast for breakfast. I made a run to the dump to get rid of my 16 buckets of dirt clods. Back home, I screened more dirt filling 15 buckets. A nice steak and Wensleydale cheese green salad for lunch. I headed off to the dump again at 1530. I had to get rid of the dirt so had to sacrifice the 16th bucket due to the time it would have taken to collect the dirt clods. The dump closes at 1700 and I need the car empty due to driving up the mountain for a hike tomorrow. Back home I took a shower and gave myself a haircut and beard trim. Leftover BBQ ribs with baked potato and squash for dinner.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Tinkering In Shop

Wednesday: (08/18) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. I removed the one piece of form that was used on the concrete a couple of days ago. I also moved the two planters back into position on either side of the porch. I also cleaned off my shop work bench putting things away and throwing things away. Also a little interior shop reorganization. I also attended my usual Wednesday webinar. I managed to get out for a short spin on my ebike to Grocery Outlet. A sausage sandwich for lunch. Leftover bean noodles and steamed red peppers for dinner.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Windy Hill OSP, Razorback Hamm's Gulch Loop Hike

Tuesday: (08/17) The usual hike breakfast from Happy Donut. I led a hike at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. We hiked up Razorback and back on Hamm's Gulch trails stopping for lunch at the top. It was a nice cooler day, compared to recent days, with a nice breeze. In fact, our lunch break at the top was cut short because the breeze was too much and it was cold and a little foggy. 9 other hikers joined me. My hikes 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Water Line To New Front Garden

 Wednesday: (08/11) Lou made ham steak and eggs with avocado for breakfast. I attended my usual Wednesday webinar. I did a little work outside digging out to expose the pipe I need to connect for the new garden faucet. Lou and I headed off to Lowe’s for some pipe fittings I’ll be needing. We also visited a new gas station in Sunnyvale where the gas is a dollar cheaper than our nearby stations and 30 cents less than any others near it. The GasBuddy app is handy sometimes. Then more relaxing. Leftovers for lunch and dinner.

Thursday: (08/12) Granola and banana for breakfast. I hooked up and tested the water line to the new front garden. Then backfilled base rock by the porch where I removed brick tiles and connected the water line to the garden. I’ll be pouring concrete over that. Then I loaded the car with 13 buckets of dirt and headed off to the dump. On the way home I picked up concrete at Lowe’s to pour tomorrow. Back home, I put away all my tools and supplies from the project. Super Taqueria burrito for lunch. Tuna green salad for dinner.

Friday: (08/13) Granola and a banana for breakfast. A nice family drive up El Camino Real. We stopped for lunch in Millbrae and Neal’s Cafe. We then continued North then West to Pacifica and Down to Half Moon Bay. We stopped at several nurseries and bought plants for the garden. Chili beans and sausage for dinner.

Saturday: (08/14) Bacon (Jerky) with fried eggs and toast for breakfast. I heard pork prices were going to skyrocket so I bought several bacon jerky packages. Actually cheaper than bacon itself and ready to eat. A nice morning tinkering in the garden and rear yard. I cleaned off my shop outside workbench that has collected junk from several recent projects. In the afternoon I went to Kaiser for an appointment. I spent some time on Amazon ordering material for the drip system. In the evening I scheduled my Tuesday hike for next week. Leftovers for lunch. Lou made artichoke chicken over mashed potatoes for dinner.

Sunday: (08/15) A relaxing Sunday morning watching the morning TV shows. Then outside for some tinkering in the yard. I intended to pour my concrete but instead digging out the opposite side of the front steps and drilling and setting pins in the edge of the concrete to connect the new and old took up enough of the day to think it was too hot to be out. Lou made ham and eggs for breakfast. Lou made a green tuna salad for lunch. Leftover chicken over rice for dinner.

Monday: (08/16) Granola and banana for breakfast. I mixed and poured the concrete for the former flower beds adjacent to the front porch. I completed the final finishing and cleanup about 1400. Then I gave myself a beard trim and a shower, then relaxed the rest of the day. A hot dog sandwich for lunch. Lou made bean noodles with mushrooms and a guacamole and pico de gallo sauce for dinner.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve Hike

Tuesday: (08/10) The usual hikers breakfast from Happy Donut. I headed up to Los Trancos Open Space preserve to led my hike exploring this earthquake geological site. Evidence of the 1906 earthquake and movement on the San Andreas fault just below is all around. We hike on down to Foothills Preserve, almost. A tree had fallen across the trail and it was basically impossible to go around or through due to a lot of poison oak in the area. We were stopped just 1000’ or so from our turn around point anyway. A 6 mile hike instead of 6.6 miles. It was a warm day and one hiker was having trouble getting back. Back home I had cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. Dawn made spaghetti squash with meatballs for dinner.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Got A Look At The Ekko

Wednesday: (08/04) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. I attended my usual Alphasoftware webinar this morning. After a quick sandwich I went to Kaiser for my annual checkup. Nice quick in and out. Back home I opted to continue my relaxing day. Lou and Dawn made Shepherd’s pie for dinner.

Thursday: (08/05) We went grocery shopping first thing stopping at Smart and Final and Nob hill markets. Back home I prepared a ham egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. I worked all day on rototilling and mixing compost with the screened dirt. I made three trips to pickup 18ea 5 gallon buckets of compost from the city compost pile. I need to make one more compost run to complete the treatment then add some steer manure and cap with wood chips. No lunch. I put pork chops , potatoes and sauerkraut into the slow cooker for our nice dinner.

Friday: (08/06) Granola and banana for breakfast. I made a run to get a load of compost from the city pile. I mixed it into the new front garden spot. I was about half a load short of having a good soil mix so I made another trip for a half load and added it and mixed it in. Then off to lunch at Los Altos Taqueria for lunch on my way to Lowe’s. I got 10 bags of steer manure and back home, added that to the soil. After a good final mixing then some cleanup I called it garden spot. I put away all my tools and enjoyed a good shower. Time to relax. Leftover Shepherd’s pie for dinner.

Saturday: (08/07) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast this morning. I drilled a path under this sidewalk by the garden and installed a couple of pipes, one for a faucet and another for a drip circuit. I finished the pipe but not the end connections, It required two trips to the hardware store. I also picked up two artichoke plants from Summerwinds nursery. I had a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftover pork and sauerkraut with potatoes for dinner.

Sunday: (08/08) Lou fried some eggs and added leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. I almost completed the pipes for the faucet for the new garden, It turns out the water pipe is dry so I need to hook up the pipe near the main valve for the house and be sure it is capped at the side of the house where it should have been hooked to the back yard. I put it in before I put in the sidewalks and intended to take the water to the backyard directly and not through the house piping. Evidently i never got to completing that project. I also picked up four more artichoke plants and planted them in addition to the two from yesterday. I still need to add some wood chips and complete those pipes for the faucet. A nice tuna salad for lunch and leftover pork and sauerkraut with potatoes for dinner. I got a call from the Rec Van salesman after lunch. He said they had a Winnebago Ekko camper in so we all went to see it and their other campers in the late afternoon. The Ekko has been delayed for nearly a year so It’s nice to see one. Unfortunately it is too big for our (my) needs. Looking over all their other models just confirms that I need to build what I want to be satisfied.

Monday: (08/09) I had a morning dental cleaning appointment. Before heading home I stopped by Lowe’s for some pipe fittings, then Kaiser to have a urine test done, then lunch from China Wok eaten at a Sunnyvale park under a huge shade tree, then home. At home I added a pipe fitting to re-hookup the drip sprinklers that I extended to the garden. I also did some digging and filling in preparation to install concrete where we had brick tile that grew nothing but weeds. I also located the source end of the water line I need to hookup. Granola and banana for breakfast. Lunch from the China Wok. Lou’s BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob from our garden for dinner.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Portola SP, Peter's Creek Loop

Tuesday: (08/03) The usual hikers breakfast from Happy Donut. I headed up to Portola Redwoods State Park for a hike. I led a San Jose Mid-week Hikers Group hike to the Peters Creek Grove. It was a 13.5 mile hike with a 2112' ascent that included a look at the old Page Mill site and the Old Tree. It was a warm day but the shade of the trees made it quite nice. It is another favorite hike of mine, and so close. This was a champion group. Everyone who was signed up last night, arrived in plenty of time to start our hike on-time. Group stayed together, mostly, and even braved some poison oak. While I promised a leisurely pace, we actually ended up with an average moving speed of 2.7 mph. About 13.5 miles, 2112' ascent. When I made it back to town I got gas in the car. It was nearing empty when I started out to the hike. I picked up lunch from Los Altos Taqueria before going home. I ate lunch after my shower about 1600. No dinner needed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Front Yard Garden prep

Wednesday: (07/28) Morning tea in the yard and some gardening before breakfast. Soft boiled eggs with bologna for breakfast. It was a little hot today so I didn't work on the front yard garden, I relaxed inside in the morning. Squash and sausage for lunch. Tomato soup and toast for dinner. I installed the new battery monitor in Dawn’s trike. Now I need to calibrate it. When I test drove it it worked fine for a while then went blank for SOC, voltage and current OK. Probably the low battery value I set. For it to be accurate I need to discharge it and charge it a set low and full charge values. I also spent some time inspecting the construction project down the street.

Thursday: (07/29) Granola with banana for breakfast. I got out early to beat some heat. It was forecast to be 86 degrees today. I turned the remainder of the new front yard garden and removed a lot of clay clods and took a load to the dump. I stopped for lunch from Super Taqueria on the way home. Back home it was time for a shower the time to relax. I picked up dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City for dinner.

Friday: (07/30) Granola with banana for breakfast. I hauled a load of dirt clods to the dump then returned home and filled the buckets again and made a second trip to the dump. Bologna and cheese sliders for lunch. Lou’s green ham and tomato salad for dinner.

Saturday: (07/31) I prepared ham and eggs with home fried potatoes for breakfast. After morning tea in the garden and breakfast, I got to work in the from garden. I screened 18 buckets of clay clods and hauled them to the dump. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. Dawn’s soup for dinner.

Sunday: (08/01) Ham and eggs with leftover home fried potatoes. I took Dawn’s trike out for a spine to kill the battery. I cruised the old Fry’s Electronics parking lot until I knew it like family. I relaxed the rest of the day. A chili size for dinner.

Monday: (08/02) Lou made a Denver omelet for breakfast. We all headed out for the day. I drove and Lou and Dawn looked around a bunch of thrift stores. Later Lou had an appointment and Dan explored a bookstore. We had lunch at Marie Calender's. Dan made zucchini soup for dinner. I took Dawn’s trike on a long ride downtown and to the Stanford Cactus Garden then around the neighborhood until the battery was depleted. The State Of Charge Meter worked well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

San Francisco Walk-About

Tuesday: (07/20) Granola for breakfast. Lou saw activity down the street on the construction project. A pumper truck was setting up and they poured the front foundation. I had planned to go take a walk in San Francisco so Lou dropped me off at the train station about 1015. I walked up to Coit Tower then down to Columbus Street. I picked up lunch at Golden Boy Pizza, the best pizza around. I then walked over to AA Bakery in Chinatown for a piece of cheesecake. I continued on up Columbus to the Maritime Museum and along the Fort Mason bluff. I continued up Chestnut Street to the Palace Of Fine Arts and through Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. Then along the Batteries To Bluffs Trail through the Presidio to 15 Avenue, up Clement Street then I caught a bus on Geary Street and a transfer to a bus on Divisadero/Castro Street. When I got off at 24th Street at 1755 I decided to check on the hours of La Torta Gorda where I had intended to have dinner. They closed 17 1800 so I didn't bother getting another bus but just walked the street looking for a new place for dinner. I didn’t find anything along the way. As I passed La Torta Gora I confirmed they were actually closed so I had dinner at their neighbor Rosevelt Tamale. Trying to eat at Roosevelt Tamale was how I found La Torta Gorda. Both are outstanding destination dining, for me anyway. I then walked on to the 22nd Street Caltrain Station and on to home.

Friday, July 16, 2021

RV Windshield Repair And Smog Test

Friday: (07/16) I tried to clean the windshield around noon and the glue wasn’t dry yet. When I tried to clean it in the evening it was so hard it was impossible to get off. In fact, I think it actually etched the glass so it may be a permanent scar but hopefully, at least, the crack should be stopped. I also worked in the office. Lou made steak and eggs with home fried potatoes for breakfast. Chopped salads from our Corner Bakery Cafe for lunch. Baked potatoes for dinner.

Saturday: (07/17) Granola and banana for breakfast. I was off at 0830 with the RV to get the smog test completed. The RV has the cleanest engine of any vehicle I’ve ever had tested. It barely meets the minimum emission both this test and the last test. After the test I stopped and filled the LPG since I was out. It only took 2.7 gallons. Impressive since it’s been months since we last filled it. We received a package from Fedex. It was an early delivery of the new lithium battery for Dawn's scooter. I started the conversion but lunchtime interrupted the job. We all went to lunch at the Country Inn restaurant in Cupertino then Lou and Dawn visited a couple of thrift stores as I caught up on a couple of YouTube videos. Back home I needed a nap and that was it for the day. Ramen noodles with sausage for dinner.

Sunday: (07/18) Dawn made some kind of steamed cheese cake for breakfast. I installed the new LiFePo4 battery and charger in Dawn’s Zappy scooter. The old batteries were charged by an external charger. There was plenty of room for the charger to be onboard now and bringing the AC plug pigtail outside the battery compartment was easier than mounting the DC connector on the housing. It was too big to fit easily. I left it on charge so we can take the first ride this afternoon. For lunch I had a ham and cheese sandwich with avocado dip spread. I worked on the new front yard garden spot. I removed the roots and turned the dirt with the shovel. Then I added some water. I should be able to use the rototiller in a couple of days, then start the removal of bad dirt and debris and add the compost. Dawn made some squash soup for dinner.

Monday: (07/19) I managed to relax all day. I did take a run around the neighborhood on Dawn’s trike to add more use of the battery. Fried toast with PBJ and soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Dawn made some squash soup for lunch. Lou made pasta with peppers and squash and some sausage for dinner.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Tarwater/Shingle Creek Loop

Thursday: (07/15) Lou made scrambled eggs with the pepper from my plant and some onions and ham for breakfast. I headed off to Pescadero County Park to hike the Tarwater Shingle Creek loop trail. The trails there were closed for a year or more due to the CZU fire that burned most of the Western side of the mountain North of Santa Cruz. Parts of the San Mateo Park reopened a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t see any reason for the long closure. No trees burnt nor erosion near my trails today. A tree did fall on the bridge across Pescadero Creek. It’s an old Army Butler bridge about 100 feet long high over the creek. The tree wasn’t all that big, about 30” in diameter where it hit the lactic bridge structure. The bridge collapsed due to the damage. I also explored the Tarwater Campground. It looks like a nice spot for an overnighter sometime. Weather was nice and the trail was almost all shaded until the last ¼ mile of my return. I finished around noon and returned toward home via Alpine Road and Highway 84 rather than the way I came up Page Mill Road. I stopped at Chuck’s Donut shop. They have the best donuts in our area now. Then I picked up lunch from USA Chinese as well. Back home I took a shower then I glued the RV window cracked windshield. It missed the direct sun today but will have tomorrow's sun to cure it before we move the RV Saturday. Lou made Steak with baked potato and green beans for dinner.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Hot Weather

Friday: (07/09) A hot day mostly spent inside. I did try out my new spray washer by washing all the rubber rugs from the RV and washing the Jeep and Hyundai. It works well. In the late afternoon I worked on the drip system adding some emitters for the potted plants in the arbor and the two potted plants I moved to the new front patio. Waffles and sausage for breakfast. A chicken hummus and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftover stuffed squash for dinner.

Saturday: (07/10) PBJ toast and sausage for breakfast. I mounted the new Wifi AP on the garage eve and ran the outdoor cable I had across the roof. It was 10’ short so a longer one is on the way. I also installed the POE for the outdoor AP and ran a flat window cable through the window. Ready for hookup when the new cable arrives. I relaxed most of the rest of the day inside because it was another hot day. A chili size for lunch. In the late afternoon I made a run to Grocery Outlet for a few things. Lou cooked up some zucchini with sausage for dinner.

Sunday: (07/11) I made fried bologna with eggs and toast for breakfast. Another relaxing day. I moved some plants around in the backyard and some other gardening. I also made a grocery run to Smart and Final, Sprout’s and Grocery outlet for a few things. Chips, Guacamole and bologna for lunch. We had dinner delivered from Panera Bread Restaurant.

Monday: (07/12) Zucchini with sausage for breakfast. I took a run out to check on where to get the RV smog check done. My usual place doesn’t do it any more but provided a reference. I checked with them and will likely get it checked this Saturday. I was also looking for a replacement chair for the one I ripped a couple of days ago. Couldn't find any good/cheap chairs. I did pick up some more begonias. I planned some in a pot and placed it by the front table. I also planted a few more in the raised bed in the backyard. Bologna, cheese and hummus sandwich on baguette bread. Amazon delivered my new WIFI cable and replaced the too short one on the roof. Unfortunately, when I connected it, I knocked out the existing repeater and the new one didn’t work. It turns out that I evidently damaged the cable to the original repeater and one of the jumper cables for the new one was bad. I tested both repeaters without the long caves and they worked, however the new one using the new long cable mounted in its intended location does not work. More work for another time. Oatmeal for dinner.

Tuesday: (07/13) Brother Ernie's birthday. We all went to breakfast at the Good Morning Restaurant as a celebration. I attacked yesterday’s failure of adding the second WIFI repeater to serve the RV. Eventually I got both working. I had bought flat jumper cables to pass the cables through the window and, evidently, the new one was bad and the original one failed or they just provide enough signal loss such the with the long cables, it wouldn’t work. That along with the two bad cables yesterday were tending to try my patience. All OK in the end. Nice 50MB downloads to the RV and to Ernie as well as 25MB anywhere in the backyard. A nice bologna, cheese and hummus sandwich for breakfast again. I took Dawn’s Zap Pro scooter apart to see about replacing the batteries. The easy fix would be to just replace the four sealed AGM 12v batteries at $37 each amounting to a cost of around $148+. I wanted to replace them with lithium batteries but the 48v 10ah equivalent batteries were 1.5 inches too long. I’d have to rework the compartment to make it fit. Eventually I found one vendor had one small enough to fit with room to spare at $218. The advantage is that lithium batteries provide full use of the charge so the actual range should be doubled. In addition, this vendor uses LiFePo4 rather than the less safe Lion batteries. If all goes well, Down should be running less empty in about a week. Ramen noodles with sausage for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/14) Leftover zucchini with sausage for breakfast. I started with my usual Wednesday webinar. I washed the RV windows then I got out my Webster broom and cleaned the spider webs from the RV and house. I then got carried away and cleaned all the leaves and debris off the room of the house. That, of course, is a major project involving moving a lot of plants from the sidewalk at the back of the house. The flat room of our sun room usually has a thick layer of leaves and twigs and this time was no exception. It’s also made more difficult because the sunroom can't support my weight so I have to clean from afar with my 10’ long rake. I finished up a little after 1600. Now, the reason I started with washing the windows was because I have to glue up a crack in the windshield. Using the Webster was a diversion to allow time for the windshield to thoroughly dry before I glued it. Unfortunately, the diversion took all day and the gluing will have to wait for tomorrow. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

San Francisco Walk-about

 Thursday: (07/08) Granola and banana for breakfast. I worked in the yard in the morning. I cleaned and put some of the tools and materials away from the front patio project. About 1100 I headed off to San Francisco for a hike. I headed to El Torta Gorda for lunch to start. I had a really nice poblano pepper torta. I also cruised around the Mission, Noe valley and Twin Peaks areas finally stopping to park below Twin Peaks. I took a short 2.5 mile hike up to the peaks and around Sutro Tower. The trail around the tower was very muddy. After the hike I did some more cruising before heading home. I enjoyed seeing some areas of San Francisco I hadn’t seen previously. I stopped at the San Carlos Home Depot. I have sworn off buying anything from HD because the CEO/founder is a Trump supporter. Unfortunately there are two things I usually need to get there because of a commitment to specific products. One is the bricks we used for the walkways around the yard. The other is Ryobi tools. All my battery power tools are Ryobi so I need to use them when adding or replacing tools. Sometimes I can get the tools from Amazon which is not an affiliate of HD but they don’t have all the tools available. I decided I wanted a battery spray washer so I had to visit HD. I wanted the spray washer because it is portable and uses less water to clean sidewalks and cars. Roast chicken with peas and baked potatoes for dinner.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Front Yard Patio Construction Begins

Thursday: (07/01) I set the edge bricks for the front yard patio. Otherwise i relaxed all day. Apricot cobbler for breakfast. Apricot season waits for no one. Leftover pork ribs, as a sandwich, for lunch. Zucchini spaghetti with meatballs for dinner.

Friday: (07/02) Apricot cobbler for breakfast. After doing tank duty on the RV, I was off for a bike ride. I stopped at ACE Hardware to look for a few things. Then I rode out to the baylands and on to the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford before returning home. Ribs for lunch at Chili’s Restaurant. I relaxed all afternoon until the front yard was shaded. Then I backfilled the edge of the new patio and planted a couple of jade plants. Leftovers for dinner.

Saturday: (07/03) Later in the morning I brought out some more baserock and tamped the front patio base at the proper level for about ½” of sand. I moved some bricks out for the patio. I cleaned a few and then my grinder died. In the afternoon, I bought a new grinder. Apricot cobbler for breakfast. Lou’s chopped ham and pineapple green salad for lunch. Lou’s pizza for dinner.

Sunday: (07/04) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I considered cleaning up some bricks for the patio but never got to any real work today. I did strip the remaining apricots off the tree and pruned off some lower branches that are in the way of the path by the tree. Lou and Dawn went shopping. We had roast chicken with potato salad for lunch. Corn on the cob for dinner.

Monday: (07/05) I cleaned bricks in the morning. Before lunch I made a trip to Lowe’s for more sand and picked up lunch on the way home. I required a nap in the afternoon. Later I had to go rescue Dawn who had been out with her scooter and her battery died. Her scooter can’t be loaded into either car and I didn’t want to pull out the hitch rack that we usually carry it on so I met her and we used the inverter in the Jeep to charge the battery. We had to do it twice to make it home but I just watched Youtube videos while I waited. Leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. Lunch and dinner from Lucky Chinese Bistro. In the late afternoon, I cleaned and cut more bricks.

Tuesday: (07/06) I finished cleaning, cutting and laying the bricks for the front yard patio. I then swept mortar into the cracks and voids. Then I cleaned up the area and started putting things away. This was the last of the big jobs undertaken during the pandemic period. I wasn’t allowed to continue the painting project in San Jose so I started the new gardens, patios and dirt pile disposal. I do still need to finish the old garden patio but can’t do much on it until Lou and Dawn finish using the tent that sits there. Granola and banana for breakfast. Ham and cheese with hummus and red peppers for lunch. Chili beans for dinner.

Wednesday: (07/07) A relaxing day except for having to tinker on Dawn’s computer and phone. She needs to make sure her computer has a good backup, which it doesn't seem to have. Google drive sync isn’t working. Also her Google Photos on her iPhone hasn’t backed up photos since last December. Both simply will not work. Quite odd. Ham, eggs and toast for breakfast. Chili rellenos for lunch. Dawn made a stuffed squash for dinner.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Arbor Bricks Installed

Thursday: (06/24) Leftover French toast and sausage for breakfast. I worked on the arbor bricks all day. I finished most of the trimming except the row against the raised bed and the two side extensions. It looks like I don’t have enough bricks to finish. I may need a dozen more because each one I cut is more than half a brick long. I worked late and finished enough to make it usable again including doing some grouting. One of Lou’s chopped green salads for lunch. I picked up Chinese from Lucky Bistro for dinner. They were almost out with my dinners being the last from their fast food side.

Friday: (06/25) Granola for breakfast. I worked outside on the arbor bricks all day except when my inspection talents were needed for the project down the street. I finished cutting and installing the last of the bricks. I had to do some cleanup of the side yard to begin removing the annual collection of leaves amongst the bricks stores beside the house. I located enough bricks to finish the project. Hamburgers for lunch with some banana pudding made with rice krispies. Baked potatoes with beef topping for dinner.

Saturday: (06/26) Fresh baked apricot cobbler for breakfast. I took Dawn down to San Jose to meet Andrea and then we went to lunch at Aqui’s Restaurant for lunch. Then we stopped at a couple of thrift stores on the way home. Lou made Shepherd's pie for dinner. Then Dawn and Andrea went to another thrift store. I did get a tiny bit of work done. I repaired a sprinkler pipe that had broken.

Sunday: (06/27) I worked at moving plants and cleaning leaves from around planters. I finished moving all the extra plants from the sidewalk at the back of the house back to their homes in the arbor. I managed to fill both our 40 gallon compost bins with the leaves from yesterday and today’s cleaning. Apricot cobbler for breakfast. Leftovers for lunch. Grilled veggies with rice and steak for dinner.

Monday: (06/28) I checked out the construction project down the street. They were supposed to be pouring last Friday but were waiting for an inspection which evidently didn’t occur so they weren’t pouring this morning either. It looks like they are doing whatever they can that will be needed for the following phase to keep the crew busy. I cut a couple of bricks and mixed some mortar and installed the key, corner bricks for the new front patio. I can now stretch a strict line using the bricks to try to lay the edge bricks in a straight line tomorrow. Mostly a relaxing afternoon napping and watching TV. A late breakfast of a fresh apricot cobbler. Chopped chef’s salad for lunch. Steak with baked potato and garlic mushrooms for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/29) Morning tea in the yard before a later breakfast. I checked my construction project down the street. Evidently they won’t be pouring concrete until next week. I made a run to Lowe’s to get more mortar and picked up some begonias at ACE Hardware on the way home. I planted the plants in the raised bed for some color. I started to consider laying some bricks in the front yard patio. That was preempted by Lou’s need for a drive. We drove up and through Foothills park then on up to Skyline Drive and on over to Saratoga. We stopped by Sanborn Park for a look at their RV campground. Looks nice o a stay will be needed in the near future. Lou and Dawn inspected the Cupertino Goodwill store on the way home. Apricot cobbler for breakfast. Salads from Subway Sandwiches for lunch. Dinner at Chili’s restaurant. We ate in the restaurant.

Wednesday: (06/30) Granola for breakfast. I drove down to San Jose to watch a tree removal of a limb over our garage from a tree in our neighbors yard. I attended the usual Wednesday webinar as well. I did some grocery shopping on the way home at Walmart neighborhood Market in San Jose and grocery Outlet in Sunnyvale. I also stopped at Harbor Freight for some scissors. Then I picked up lunch at the China Wok in Sunnyvale. It also provided dinner. My afternoon was spent napping.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Henry Coe State Park Hike

Wednesday: (06/23) Up early, off to Happy Donut for breakfast, then on down to Morgan Hill and Henry Coe State Park for a hike. Tara scheduled this hike out to Frog Lake at possibly the last time until this fall when it cools down again. Weather was nice today and we enjoyed the 8 mile hike. After the hike, I took the long way home and stopped in South San Jose at a la Victoria Taqueria for a late lunch. Back home a shower and nap were in order. Lou made chicken and peppers over rice with some green beans from our garden for dinner.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Andrea Visits

Thursday: (06/17) Extremely hot day. I was a chauffeur and personal shopper today. I took Dawn down to San Jose to pick up her friend Andrea. Then they had lunch at John's restaurant and dessert at Dolce Sicilia in Willow Glen. I took a walk and took a nap and then met them for dessert. After dropping them off here at the house in Palo Alto, I went shopping. A visit to Kwik Key to get some keys made, then Smart and Final, then Walgreens, and finally Grocery outlet. About 2000 I drove Andrea home and dropped off the keys with the tenants in San Jose. Waffles with berries and sausage for breakfast. A late lunch of a ham and cheese sandwich. Some leftover BBQ ribs for dinner.

Friday: (06/18) I made scrambled eggs and ham with cheese for breakfast. Mine became a sandwich. Another scorcher day. I did some weeding outside before it got too hot and also installed some drip pipe fittings in my new garden. then had a shower. Lou made hot German potato salad for lunch. About 1400 I took Dawn to pick up a free skeleton, then I took her down to San Jose to look at the thrift store she visited yesterday. She thought there might have been more electronics she could use for her pod casting. She also visited the Hickelby’s bookstore before we returned home. Lou made green salads for dinner.

Saturday: (06/19) Granola for breakfast. I got outside earlier to try to get something accomplished before the heat of the day. I worked on the drip water tubing installation for the raised succulent bed. Completed the installation of the sprinkler pipe to the hanging baskets and raised bed. Laid the red bricks under the hose and sprinkler valve area. Still need to install the bricks that need to be cut to fit. Also need to connect the sprinkler line to the raised bed. I noticed the cooler was weak. I inspected the cooler and tightened the belt. I also put some things away. I quit about 1100 and took a walk down the street to see what they were doing. It looks like they have almost finished the rebar and will likely be pouring concrete again Monday. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. I worked in the backyard in the afternoon. I trimmed the wisteria and prepared for installing the bricks in the arbor by cleaning out the stuff that had been collected. Leftover soup for dinner.

Sunday: (06/20) Breakfast of Huevos Rancheros from down the street at Tacos El Grullense. I tinkered a little in the backyard working on sprinklers and drip lines. I also relaxed in the RV much of the day with Lou who is hiding from pollen. Leftover hot German potato salad with a sausage for a late lunch. BBQ ribs with baked potatoes and a carrot with raisin salad for dinner. The weather was pretty good today, only getting to 80 degrees.

Monday: (06/21) I got out early and worked on the arbor paving. I laid most of the whole bricks, just a couple of rows left and then a lot of cut bricks. Granola for breakfast. Home grown squash and sausage for lunch. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/22) Lou made French toast for breakfast. I got outside and did a little work finishing the last two rows of bricks and cutting and installing most of the threshold bricks. McDonalds fries with BBQ sauce for lunch. After lunch we headed off to Smart and Final and Nob Hill Markets for groceries. Steak with cauliflower for dinner.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Mixing Things Up In The Garden

 Tuesday: (06/01) I picked up breakfast from Happy Donut, my usual sausage, egg and cheese English muffin and a donut. I spent a little time watching the construction project down the street. Another shotcrete installation day. I filtered more dirt and mixed the compost until I ran out of compost. I filtered a bit more dirt into a pile until I filled my 12th bucket with rocks and clods then headed off to the dump to swap the dirt for more compost from the Sunnyvale Smart recycle station. Tomorrow I’ll get another load of compost then process more dirt. Lou made chili rellenos with stewed tomatoes and rice for lunch. Leftovers for dinner. I had rice, carrot raisin salad with a ham sandwich.

Wednesday: {06/02) I Made a run to get more compost and unloaded it. I then made a grocery run and got carrots for Lou and ciabatta buns and waffles for me. Back home, I picked the berries and we had waffles and berries for breakfast. I added sausage. I settled into the RV (man cave) for my Wednesday webinar. I worked on the flower bed rework. I finished mixing the filtered dirt with compost then laid some fabric on the bottom of the raised bed to try to keep the tree roots out. Then I moved all the mixed compost/dirt into the bed. Next I started to prepare the second half of the bed. I setup some plywood barriers to try to keep the tilled soil in the bed.I rototilled some. Lou picked up salads from Subway sandwich shop for lunch. Lou’s chicken soup for dinner. This time it was spicy mexican soup.

Thursday: (06/03) I made a run for more compost to start. I then laid a panel down over the already prepared garden spot to contain the dirt I need to filter from the second half of the raised bed. Next I removed the plans that remained in the raised bed keeping some and getting rid of some. I then tilled and screened all the dirt onto the panel. Tomorrow I’ll cap a drain line that was under the bed then lay some fabric on the bottom. Then I can mix the soil and compost and fill the bed. Granola and banana for breakfast. Lou picked up salads from Subway sandwich shop again for lunch. Beef stroganoff noodles for dinner.

Friday: (06/04) I prepared sausage and eggs with toast for breakfast. I spent much of the morning watching them shoot concrete on the last of the walls in the basement down the street. Back home, I did the last of the digging to find the old drain inlet pipe. I covered it temporarily 15 years or so ago with a piece of plywood. I’ve been worried that the tree roots would enter the pipe and clog it so while I have most of the dirt out already, I exposed it. I filled the last of the buckets I had with dirt and headed off with 15 5 gallon buckets in my little car. I dumped it at the Sunnyvale Transfer Station then filled most of them with compost. Next stop was at Lowe’s for the 4” drain pipe cap and some ½” PVC pipe. Then on to Harbor Freight Tools to get some buckets. I threw two away at the dump and more are wearing out. HFT has red buckets that I can use as cones as well since I won't shop at Home Depot anymore. Then I came back to El Camino Real and picked up a very late lunch (1530) at Super Taqueria then on home. I checked the construction site again and they were doing the final cleanup and had completed the last of the basement walls. At home I unloaded the compost then relaxed. Not too much done today. No dinner needed.

Saturday: (06/05) Granola and banana for breakfast. I got outside and was tinkering on the raised bed area when I got a call about 0830 from the rockery that they were on their way. They were scheduled for 1300-1500 this afternoon. Nice to have it early. I spent the day moving it into the two patio areas and compacting it. I still had about a ½ yard left in the driveway at the end of the day. About noon, I checked the construction project when I noticed some activity. They had a crew working cleaning up and removing form walls. Must be something planned for Monday. Chili beans for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Sunday: (06/06) I prepared ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. I built a retaining wall to contain the extra baserock and then moved it from the driveway to the box on the future garden patio area. I installed the pipe for the drip line to the hanging planters but needed a fitting to complete it. I reinstalled the concrete blocks for the raised bed wall that had been pushed out of alignment by one of the succulents. Leftover chicken soup for lunch. After lunch I dashed over to Ace Hardware to get a ½” PVC tee fitting. Back home, I installed the fitting that completed the piping under and in the raised flower bed. I then laid the fabric and started mixing dirt and compost and filled the raised bed. I used all my compost but still have more screened dirt to use up. Tomorrow I’ll get more compost and mix it then have to figure out where to put it. You made steak and pepper stew over rice for dinner.

Monday: (06/07) I made compost run in the morning. Then we made a trip to the nursery for Lou and Dawn to get some tomato cages. Instead it was me that came away with some vegetables for my new garden spot. Unfortunately I didn’t feel in top shape so I relaxed all afternoon instead of mixing my dirt and mpost and then planting. Later, I drove Lou to an appointment. Granola for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Fish stew over rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/08) I drove Lou to the Kaiser pharmacy to pick up her order. I spent much of the morning watching the construction crew installing the deck to install the concrete first floor. They were ¾ finished by the end of the day. After lunch I finally got to work mixing dirt and compost. I had just enough compost to complete the mix. Then I skimmed off the planter mix I had lid down over the compost/dirt mix. I then distributed the compost/dirt mix that I just completed over the newest garden area and spread the potting soil mix over both the raised planter and the newest garden spot. I was worried I’d not be able to find a home for it all. I did use less factory garden soil mix than I had planned. Now I’ll need to plant the plants I got yesterday in the garden and replant all the succulents in the raised bed. Granola for breakfast. Chili for lunch.

Wednesday: (06/09) Breakfast from Happy Donut, the usual hike breakfast. I went down to Rancho Canada OSP for a hike. Tara led 19 of us around the hills on a 9 mile hike. Great views of the South County, nice weather. I got lunch from Panera bread on the way home. Lou and Dawn had salads from the Corner Bakery Cafe near the house. Dawn made a chicken polenta stew for dinner.

Thursday: (06/10) I was outside early (0730) and noticed the garbage, compost and recycle bins were all already empty. Seemed odd to me so I walked down the street to see if the garbage truck I saw was picking up all of them. I wasn’t able to confirm it but I am suspicious. I was enjoying my supervision duties down the street when our San Jose tennant called to ruin my day. He told me that the water heater was leaking. Actually the pipe to it. He sent me a photo. I picked up breakfast from Happy Donut on my way down. Once there I took a quick look and headed off to Lowe’s to get some parts. I got a few extra parts in case it all fell apart once I started. It went together well but one of the hoses didn’t like the bend that was needed so I returned to Lowe’s to get an elbow to make the bend easier. I also returned the extra parts. I picked up lunch from La Victoria Taqueria on the way home. Back home I relaxed and watch an episode of my new binge series Ms Fischer’s Modern Murder Mystries. Later, I got to work outside and planted some corn, peppers and tomatoes in my new garden space. We had some Pizza Chicago pizza for dinner. 2010 the tenant called to inform me they didn’t have any hot water. I drove down and tried to light the water heater but it wouldn’t light. I had to inform them that they would have hot water until, hopefully, sometime tomorrow. I’ll be busy tomorrow. I left about 2120 and headed home. I had to cancel my attendance on a hike tomorrow.

Friday: (06/11) No breakfast. I headed off early to Lowe’s in San Jose to check if they could replace the water heater in the San Jose house. Their online contact said to check at the store. The store doesn’t know, they say make a phone call, probably to the people I’d already talked to. Their plumbing guy suggested Angi’s list as a contact so I tried their website. Then I requested info from three outfits. The first to call back after about 5 minutes was one of the highest rated and said they could meet me at the house in 15 minutes and could do it today. They actually arrived about an hour later, and had a good price so I had them start removing the old while they waited for the replacement to be delivered. The two guys headed off for lunch, as I did too, while we waited for the tnk to be delivered. It was installed and getting hot just after noon. Possibly a sucker move, but they said I’d get the water heater and installation for free if I had all the water piping replaced. Lots of seeping and leaking piping under there so I said yes. They will be back Monday to do the pipes. I noticed some other wet flooring in the basement ceiling so I checked under the kitchen sink, dishwasher and washer. No leaks found. More to look into. I picked up breakfast/lunch at a nearby pizza joint, Sammy G’s. Supplement leftover soup (Mulligan Stew) from a previous meal for dinner. I received a long outdoor ethernet cable yesterday evening. Tonight I removed the outdoor wifi repeater I had mounted on our TV antenna mast and relocated it, temporarily, to the opposite corner of the house. Now get full speed, 55mbs up and down speeds, close to what is provided in the living room at the fiber modem. Ernie’s been complaining about his speed and now should be much happier.

Saturday: (06/12) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. After breakfast, I took my phone to BestBuy to be looked at. I bought it a little over two months ago and it is unresponsive and has a dark screen but was still working with it’s annoying, un-cancellable alarms. Eventually the batteries died and quiet was restored. I tried to make a Geek Squad appointment but the closest one possible was in Bakersfield. Something wrong with their website. When I got there as they opened, I had to make an appointment. They were able to help me by accepting the phone back. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a replacement but Milpitas did have one so they credited me for the phone, ordered the replacement to be picked up in Milpitas and discounted it to pay for a new 2 year Geek Squad warranty on the new phone. I ended up, for some reason, with a new warranted phone and have a $10 store credit remaining. Nice to have a working phone again. I picked up lunch at New King Eggroll in Milpitas. Back home I moved the Wifi cable that I had laid around the house to the new repeater location up onto the roof. It’s out of the way for now. I may do a rerouting through the attic or gutters later. Then I replanted my succulent garden in the raised bed. Dawn made Basque soup for dinner.

Sunday: (06/13) Leftover corned beef hash with eggs for breakfast. I worked on a couple of bad cameras this morning. Both weren’t working with the AC powered USB power supply and one killed it’s battery quickly. I replaced the one camera and the USB power supply. That seemed to fix the camera. I also updated all the cameras to the proper access points since I moved the one a couple of days ago. I also updated the sprinkler USB interface to use the new wifi. I then repaired the lower panel for our garage people door which fell out a while back. Lou had taped it up but that failed too. I added some metal and plastic to attach it better. Leftover pizza and a stuffed tomato for lunch. Hamburgers for dinner. After dinner, I looked into a problem Dawn was having printing. For some reason, her computer won’t print to the living room printer. I turned on the printer in the study and confirmed it worked and set it as the default printer. Then I grabbed my things and headed toward San Jose. I need to be there in the morning for the plumbers. I stopped on the way and picked up something to snack on and something for lunch tomorrow. I also got two cases of drinking water bottles. I knocked on the door of the house and confirmed they know the water will be off all day after 0900 tomorrow.

Monday: (06/14) Enjoyed my nights rest here in San Jose. I was off for a La Victoria breakfast burrito at 0700. The crew arrived a little after 0800 and was busy preparing to replace all the piping in the house. At 0900 off went the water and they started destroying the old piping system. Then the replacement began including fixing some things as they reinstalled the pipes. It took a while but the water was finally turned on a bit after 1930. Then it was quickly turned off. The piping to the water softener was spurting water. I had them just bypass it with one of the flex pipes and they can return tomorrow to fix the leak. Otherwise no leaks. There was a kinked water supply hose for the kitchen sink that was quickly corrected. All OK at 2030. All went better than I expected. Now all that remains, other than the leaky water softener, is a city inspection in a couple of weeks and for Lou and I to patch the walls under the sinks that were cut open. I had a can of soup for lunch and a Cuban sandwich for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/15) Spent the night in San Jose. Another La Victoria breakfast burrito for breakfast. I took a walk around downtown San Jose to start. Back at the house, i did some inspection and cleanup of the basement. I also place a big fan down there to dry the water and mud. The contractor was supposed to call and come by to correct a few things about noon but never showed up. I called him later in the afternoon when I found his number and he is now supposed to call to meet me there tomorrow. I loaded the car with a bunch of wet stuff from the basement including an old range hood microwave shelf and a dishwasher. Quite a load for the little car. Back home in Palo Alto I added most of the debris to the garbage and recycle bins. The dishwasher will be dropped off at the dump tomorrow. Chips and hummus for lunch. Leftover cabbage soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (06/16) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I headed off after breakfast to the Sunnyvale dump to get rid of the dishwasher. Sal from Triumph called as I was waiting to dump and said they’d be there in 15 minutes. I hurried and met them there. They started to repair the softener but needed parts so I suggested they credit me for the damage repair which they accepted, $200 credit which I’ll use to buy a new saltless softener. They did correct the reversed H+C lines in Dawn's bath sink. I remained to attend my Wednesday Webinar before heading back toward home. On the way home I stopped at Grocery Outlet, Harbor Freight, got gas in Sunnyvale, stopped at Smart and Final and Nob Hill for groceries, then picked up lunch at the Lucky Chinese Bistro. After lunch I took a long nap then it was time for dinner. I joined Lou in the air conditioned RV for the afternoon and evening. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Newer Garden Beginning

Sunday: (05/23) I cleaned out the car from my trip, putting things away. I swept out the RV and garage. I stripped the concrete forms, laid the geo fabric and moved the remaining base rock onto the fabric. I’ll need to get a lot more base rock to finish the fill. Leftover Chinese food for breakfast. Lunch from Piece of Mind Pizza nearby. It’s a newer neighbor and our first time eating there. Not bad. Corned beef and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Monday: (05/24) I made one run to Mountain View Garden Center for 10 buckets of base rock. I threw that into the front yard patio area. I then made a run to the city free compost pile for 10 buckets of compost. I spent some time digging out Mt Donald dirt and mixing it with the compost in the mixer. Granola and banana for breakfast. Corned beef and cheese with hummus sandwich for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Tuesday: (05/25) I made one run to Mountain View Garden Center for 10 buckets of base rock. I threw that into the front yard patio area. It looks like I’d need 20 more buckets to fill the patio area. That’s about ½ cubic yard. I’ll also need 2.5 cubic yards for the garbage area patio as well so I will be getting three yards delivered. I’ll wait to order until I know how much garden mix soil I’ll need. I also made two runs to the compost pile for more compost. Granola and banana for breakfast. Corned beef and cheese with hummus sandwich for lunch. Corned beef and kale soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/26) Up at 0400 to look at the moon eclipse. My that's early. Granola and banana for breakfast. I attended my Wednesday webinar after sleeping in. I never got out to work. Late afternoon I did load my bucket into the car and headed over to get more compost, BUT, I forgot to load a shovel, so nothing gained. Lou and Dawn moved the remaining driveway free sale items out to the curb for pickup tomorrow on our semi annual pickup day. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Lou’s chili for dinner.

Thursday: (05/27) We started by watching the City garbage folks remove all the stuff left over from our free sale this past week. I picked up a couple of loads of compost from the city’s free pile. Lou and I then went to Lowe's to get a couple of 1” conduit sticks. I need to replace the bottom pieces of Dawn’s swing. I also got some garden soil for the garden. I then removed the bad metal from the swing. We also had to watch the construction project down the street that was guniting their basement walls and installing a vault for the cable TV and phone. Chili beans for breakfast. Chinese food from Lucky Chinese Bistro for lunch and dinner.

Friday: (05/28) I cut off the bad section of the swing structure and welded new bottom cross pieces. I ran out of galvanizing compound. I built a ½ screen to filter the dirt for the garden. I then mixed some dirt and compost. Oatmeal and berries for breakfast. Guacamole and chips for lunch. Roast chicken, asparagus and rice for dinner.

Saturday: (05/29) I got out early and tilled the former Mt Donald dirt then mixed some dirt and compost. I determined I’d run out of compost soon so I changed to moving compost from the city free compost pile. I also picked up more galvanizing compound and sprayed the swing again. After it dried, I assembled the three pieces. It’s now ready when a crew is available to raise it up. Later i mixed more dirt and compost. I made ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. Chili for a late lunch. Lou picked up dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau.

Sunday: (05/30) I started by picking some berries for breakfast. Granola and berries for breakfast. I started work by having Ernie and Dawn help me stand the swing on it’s legs. I then drilled the concrete and bolted the conduit clamps on to secure the legs on the garden wall. I then installed the swings and the grills for the grape vine support. I then screened more dirt and mixed the compost until I had filled the new garden space. I added some garden soil from the store as a top coat and it is now ready for Dawn to plant her grape vine. I still have part of the space for the mixer and compost pile until I finish working the raised planter dirt. Lou’s chicken soup for lunch. BBQ ribs with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes for dinner.

Monday: (05/31) A day off. I took a bike ride over to the Arizona Cactus Garden at Stanford in the morning. Lots of nice blooms to be seen. I then rode back home via an extended tour through town. The only work done was to plant Dawn’s grape vine in the new garden. Leftover lasagna for breakfast. Leftover rib and mashed potato and a half a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Mizithra cheese noodles and carrot raisin salad for dinner.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Dave's Ranch

Saturday: (05/22) I enjoyed an early morning hike out to the homesteaders cabin and then explored the North section of the ranch off trail. I had a diced apple with granola for breakfast. After that I drove my car up to a lookout point, setup my lounger chair and enjoyed looking out over the savanna. I had the other half of my burrito for lunch there. Dave and I enjoyed a nice hike on the ridge trail in the afternoon. I left for home about 1900, back home at 2200. I picked up dinner at the China Wok on the way home,

Friday, May 21, 2021

Foothills Preserve Hike

Friday: (05/21) I picked up breakfast at Happy Donut. I drove up to Foothills park and met my fellow hikers there. 18 of us hike up Steep Hollow to the Los Trancos trail and completed the loop back to our cars. I decided to go up to Dave’s ranch this evening. I picked up some food and drove over Mt Hamilton to the ranch. I had half a burrito for dinner. Enjoyed a nice evening campfire with the motorcycle club friends. While I was prepared with my backpacking tent, I just slept on the couch in the ranch house. The SCU fire did burn most of the East side of the ranch but the ranch house and homesteaders cabin areas were spared. The fire burnt the underbrush up to the South side of the lake. It will be a while before it is back like it was but is still a nice area.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Watching the Building Rise

Tuesday: (05/18) All day watching the concrete pour at the building down the street. About 40 people working and 40 truck loads. Lou had a phone appointment with Kaiser about her hay fever and we made a run to the pharmacy to pick up some things. We also delivered a couple of boxes to the Post Office. Dawn was busy all day placing things on a free neighborhood give away Facebook group. Lou made French toast for breakfast. I picked up dinner from Panera Bread.

Wednesday: (05/19) Lou and I headed out grocery shopping early to Smart and Final. A short visit to Nob Hill and then back home. Our construction project down the street was very active too. A crane was there and lowered two forklifts down into the hole as well as tons and tons of rebar and rebar column cages. They also received a bunch of forms for the columns and walls. I was surprised at all the activity on the fresh cement. I attended my Wednesday webinar as well. After lunch I started building the forms for the front patio. It’s ready for the pour tomorrow. I had a roast pork sandwich for lunch. Dawn made beef noodles for dinner.

Thursday: (05/20) Checked the construction site and they are really making progress. The have half of the interior wall forms up and half of the rebar for the exterior walls installed. I was busy pouring the concrete for the edge brick base for the front yard patio. In the afternoon we all took a drive up to Foothills Park so I could look around in preparation for my hike tomorrow. We also went shopping at Best Buy for Dawn and Grocery outlet. Fried corned beef with eggs for breakfast. Corned beef and refried bean sandwich for lunch. Refried beans and chips for dinner.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Windy Hill Hike

 Monday: (05/17) I unloaded the concrete bags from my car. I met my fellow hikers in Portola Valley for a hike at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. We hiked up to the top of the mountain on the Razorback Trail then along the Lost Trail to the picnic area. It was very windy and cold there so after a quick stop we hiked back on the Hamm's Gulch Trail. About an 8.7 mile hike. There was fog and there had been rain along the Lost Trail which was very muddy. I got gas and lunch before heading home. I made a ham and egg sandwich for breakfast. I picked up a late lunch from Los Altos Taqueria. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

New Cement Mixer

 Saturday: (05/01) Granola and banana for breakfast. I assembled my new cement mixer. It wasn't very easy and required some assembly and reassembly to complete it. I finished assembly about noon. After a nice Impossible burger for lunch, I headed off to Lowe’s. I picked up 10 bags of concrete, some rebar, and some PVC fittings that I need. Back home I was instructed to go to Kaiser Pharmacy in Santa Clara to pickup some meds for Lou who isn’t feeling well. I had to stop at Walgreens for an over the counter/under the counter decongestant that Kaiser was out of. Dawn made polenta with shrimp and marinara sauce for dinner.

Sunday: (05/02) I spent the day filtering the topping sand from the garden patio area. I then dug out the clay dirt below and topped off the dumpster. All but full now. Granola for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Monday: (05/03) I leveled off the dumpster and did some final digging in the old garden patio. I plucked out as much of the remaining clay as I could, adding it to the dumpster. The remaining dirt may be added to the garden after screening out the bigger rocks or used as backfill for the newest garden retaining edging. About 1230 I headed off to Lowe’s for another load of concrete and a pipe fitting. I dug a small trench in the newest garden so the gray water and faucet pipes will be below the bottom of the prepared garden so the rototiller doesn’t find them when tilling. Some of that dirt that couldn’t be used as a backfill for the trench went into the dumpster. I called to have the dumpster picked up tomorrow. I made ham, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. Lunch and dinner from Lucky Chinese Bistro.

Tuesday: (05/04) I played on the computer until the wee hours of the morning so I tried to sleep in. I knew that our dumpster would be picked up today so I moved the car out of the way and set cones up to protect the area in front of the dumpster that the truck needed to access the dumpster. I was awakened by Dawn about 0730 and told the truck was here. I dressed and took my camera out and caught a photo as the dumpster was halfway onto the truck. I swept the area and moved the cars back in front of the house. Granola and banana for breakfast. I then continued my nap a little. I took Lou and Dawn out shopping. Lou doesn’t feel like driving. We visited Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and Best Buy. Dawn needed some pajamas. I found some shirts. And we looked for a new computer for Lou. Back home I had a ham and cheese English muffin for lunch then took a nap. I slept until 1530 when Lou woke me up to drive her to a doctor's appointment. Back home I made corned beef hash and eggs for dinner. I was informed that my use of a website included some unusual traffic after my access so I spent some time looking into what it might be.

Wednesday: (05/05) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I attended my Wednesday AlphaSoftware webinar this morning. We all went to lunch then grocery shopping. Back home I couldn’t get into working so relaxed instead. Lunch at Coupa Cafe. I worked a little on the concrete form late in the afternoon. I also extended the gray water and water faucet pipes to be flush with the top of the concrete. Beef over rice for dinner.

Thursday: (05/06) I got up early and put out the trash from the wastebaskets in the house. Forgot to do it last night and the trucks come early. Lou and I headed off to Walmart next to buy her a new computer. The laptop I gave her a couple of years ago died. Back home, I set it up. After that I had a very late breakfast of waffles with PBJ. Then finally outside to work on the concrete form. I did have to go to Lowes to get longer wood stakes. Lou came along and bought fertilizer. I finished the form alignment and rebar installation by about 1530 but decided in favor of a nap rather than mixing concrete. I made Spanish rice glop for dinner.

Friday: (05/07) We all went to A Good Morning for Lou’s Early Mothers Day breakfast. Back home, I mixed and poured the concrete in the form for half of the back edge of the nest garden. I was finished before 1000. After some waiting to do finishing on the concrete, Lou and I went to Lowe’s and I got 10 more bags of concrete. I had used 9 for this morning's pour. About 1530 I stripped the form and installed it for the other half. Lumber is so expensive now that I’m doing this job in sections. Unfortunately, I cracked the first section installing the second. Too much torque applied in attaching and aligning the form. It should be fine, just an early crack. Coconut pudding for lunch. Leftover Spanish rice for dinner.

Saturday: (05/08) I got outside fairly early and started pouring concrete in the form I prepared yesterday afternoon. I was finished pouring before 0930, only 8 bags. I then watched the concrete dry for a while and tinkered with the finishing. Later I started a trench for a lawn sprinkler line that will run to a sprinkler by the new garden. Later , when the concrete had dried sufficiently, I stripped the form and installed it on the North side of the garden ready to pour tomorrow. I prepared eggs with leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. Lou made steak with mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts for lunch. Leftover Spanish rice for dinner.

Sunday: (05/09) Waffles and ham for breakfast. I poured a side of the newest garden spot. Later, I stripped and relocated the form for the final side to be poured tomorrow. In between I dug the trench for a sprinkler pipe for the recircuiting of the sprinklers due to the new garden. I also was busy finishing the cement. I picked up lunch for us all from El Grullense Taqueria. My super veggie burrito was also my dinner.

Monday: (05/10) I poured the final side of the newest garden spot edging. Next I installed the PVC pipe for the lawn sprinkler rework and then cleaned up the area. Ernie wanted to attend his monthly high school reunion group lunch but due to his not feeling top notch, he didn’t want to drive down. I had mentioned to Lou it would be nice to get down to Bakersfield for some good food at their special restaurants. She put the two together and suggested I drive Erne down. So, we’ll drive down Wednesday and return late Thursday. Happy Donut breakfast sandwich and a donut for breakfast. Lou made a tomato, pepper, onion and ham salad for lunch. Lou made cold roast chicken with potato salad and corn on the cob for dinner. After 25 years, or so of hosting the TSA.cc website I finally decided to sell the domain. I’ve never sold a domain before so this might be interesting. The TSA group that i hosted the site for hasn’t updated the site in 3 years and there was no response when i tried to contact them.

Tuesday: (05/11) Not much work today. I cleaned up the newest garden pit. I put away the form materials and cleaned up the concrete debris. I also moved the mixer out of the hole. Later I worked on the sprinklers a little. I had two sprinkler circuits that seemed to be clogged after I rebuilt the valves manifold. Turns out one was “clogged’ because there was a flow restrictor in one of the fittings. The other problem was a clogged rainbird sprinkler. Lou made fried eggs and ham for breakfast. We had chopped salads from our nearby Corner Bakery Cafe. Leftover Spanish rice with bacon rolled asparagus for dinner.

Wednesday: (05/12) Leftover corned beef and eggs for breakfast. On the road before 0900. Lunch at Denny's in Madera. Arrived at motel 1410. While Ernie relaxed in the room, I took a drive around town. Later, we went to dinner at Bill lee’s Bamboo Chopsticks Restaurant.

Thursday: (05/13) I dropped Ernie off at his class get together and took a drive around town. Ernie was finished about 1220 and I picked him up and we stopped at Dewar’s for milk shakes to go and some of their taffy chews. We drop home via minor roads. Highway 33, Highway 198, and Highway 25. Breakfast at Milt’s restaurant. No lunch needed. Pickled up some Chinese food at China Wok in Sunnyvale when we were nearly home.

Friday: (05/14) Busy all day installing sprinklers near the newest garden pot and backfilling the trench. I dug a short trench to locate a sprinkler near the cottage front door. Granola and banana for breakfast. Lunch was leftover Chinese food. Lou made chicken pot pie for dinner. In the evening I prepared and posted two hikes for next week on Monday and Friday.

Saturday: (05/15) I cut some borders for Lou for shelves. I restacked the wood that I moved out of the way yesterday to install the sprinkler by the cottage door. I reconnected the water line to the faucet by the cottage and replaced the concrete block into the flowerbed wall. I then removed a concrete block nearest the cottage end of the flower bed and relocated the water line to the sprinkler there so it goes under the wall rather than above. The sprinkler will now be buried rather than on a pole. Ham and eggs for breakfast. Leftover chicken pot pie for lunch. Pork roast with baked potato and broccoli for dinner.

Sunday: (05/16) I completed the connection of the sprinkler pipes including running a new pipe under the wall without lifting the concrete block. I used an auger and after two attempts at gluing up the pipe, I succeeded. I had to make two runs to Lowe’s to get parts, and lunch. My mental note paper must have been folded and I didn't see the needed sprinkler and flex hose needed for the last sprinkler. I backfilled all but the piping inside the flower bed because I want to assure it doesn't leak or break. It was a tight fit. I then tested and adjusted the sprinklers. Granola and banana for breakfast. Dim sum for lunch. Shepherd’s pie for dinner.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Thinking About An Adventure Vehicle

Saturday: (04/24) Breakfast at the Crepevine Restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. We drove up to San Carlos to Lyngsol Garden Supply but they were closed. The sign on the door didn’t match their website. Of course we stopped at a couple of thrift stores on the way home. Nap time at home. I did measure my little car and there is no way to make a solo camper out of it without removing the right front seat. Better to get a vehicle with room and ground clearance instead. Chili size for my dinner. Lou and Dawn had dinner in Redwood City at a German Restaurant.

Sunday: (04/25) Granola and banana for breakfast. I tinkered in the yard today. We had threats of rain all day. I charged the batteries in three of the outside cameras. Most are supposed to charge by solar, but two aren’t. I put things away here and there and blew the leaves from the walkways. I also removed the bricks from the area just inside the front gate where I needed to dig out and install the baserock for permanent patio. A nice Impossible burger for lunch. I made sauerkraut with potatoes, onion, apple, and pork chops for dinner.

Monday: (04/26) My birthday. Granola and banana for breakfast. I got up and dressed early so I would be ready if the dumpster truck arrived early. The dumpster was picked up about 1030 and returned empty about 1230. After lunch, I headed off to Lyngsol Garden supply and bought my geotextile fabric. I also stopped by ACE hardware and bought some big nails and washers to use to stake the fabric in place and staple the seams. It is only 6 feet wide so I intend to fold and nail the seams. Later, I checked the RV windshield. Lou noticed a chip/crack. I hadn’t seen it yet So I looked and it was across the top of the passenger windshield about 18inches long. I ordered a crack repair kit so I can glue it and stop it’s progression. I also received some USB cables and a charger and installed them on the two cameras that aren’t charging via the solar panels. And I trimmed the other half of the front flower bed geraniums. Super nachos with carnitas for lunch from El Grullense Taqueria. Lou and Dawn went off grocery shopping and Dawn visited the dentist. Leftover dinner from last night with more potatoes and some sausage added.

Tuesday: (04/27) Granola and banana for breakfast. I worked on filling my new dumpster. I finished the first layer of the front patio. I’ll do a final shaving to get to the final depth of 11”. I then started moving the front yard dirt pile into the dumpster. I moved about 1/3rd of it. I picked up lunch from the lucky Chinese Bistro. Lou and Dawn were off to San Jose to pick up something, visit Cecelia and some thrifting. Lou made buttered noodles with mizithra cheese and sausage for dinner.

Wednesday: (04/28) I made ham, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. A relaxing morning before I attended my usual Wednesday webinar. I had my leftover Chinese food for lunch then finally got outside to do some work. I made some good progress on moving the dirt pile into the dumpster. It’s about ¾ moved. Lou made chicken and rice with pineapple for dinner.

Thursday: (04/29) Lou made an omelet in the InstaPot while we took a walk down the street to check on the project activity. They are evidently three weeks behind schedule and will be working Saturday to finish the basement waterproof liner so they can start installing rebar Monday. The street is busy too with the electric crew installing conduit to underground the electrical and remove the two poles near the new building. Then I worked in the morning and finished removing the front yard pile into the dumpster. After lunch, I attended a webinar on the use of the inReach satellite communicator. After a nap, I got back to work and skimmed the front yard patio hole down to a consistent and proper depth. Lunch and dinner were Lou’s tomato, ham, onion, pepper and cheese salad.

Friday: (04/30) I got my breakfast from Happy Donut, my usual sausage, egg and cheese English muffin with a couple of donuts. I tinkered today. I moved the swing out of the way of the news garden spot. I had been intending to work around it in place. I also set level marker stakes on all four corners of the newest garden. I then went to the city compost pile and loaded my buckets with compost. Residents are allowed up to 96 gallons of compost per week when available. I had 10 each 5 gallon buckets so I can do two trips a week. That’s about ½ cubic yard a week. Later, Lou and I headed off for lunch at Aqui’s Restaurant, some beef enchiladas with mashed sweet potatoes and coleslaw. We then found a Harbor Freight with my new cement mixer. We had to drive down to East San Jose to find it. My old mixer reached the end of it’s life with the last batches. Hopefully, this next concrete for the newest garden, the old garden patio and the front patio will be the last concrete work I do. The new mixer will be good for garden mixing as well. I’ll be using it to mix the weak soil I’ve kept with the free compost from the city. BBQ ribs with rice and corn on the cob for dinner.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Four OSP Hike

Monday: (04/19) Dawn made pancakes for breakfast. I worked in the backyard digging out the newest garden. About ⅔ done now. Another super veggie burrito from El Grullense taqueria with a horchata drink. Lou and Dawn were off all day shopping at thrift stores. We went to dinner at Panera bread.

Tuesday: (04/20) Granola and banana for breakfast. I worked on the newest garden dugout all day. Just a little more then on to the other dirt removal projects. I also renewed my AlphSoftware subscription. I keep thinking of ending it but then I’d lose the 75% discount. I’ve been using Alpha for over 40 years. Lou made pizza for lunch. Shrimp polenta for dinner. Justice prevailed today. George Floyd’s killer cop was convicted.

Wednesday: (04/21) I got my breakfast from Happy Donut, my favorite sausage, egg, and cheese English muffin with a maple bar chaser. I headed off to Russian Ridge for my 9am hike. This is the first hike I’ve scheduled since last march. The San Jose Mid-week Hikers just started scheduling small groups of hikers the past couple of weeks since most of us have been vaccinated. These hikes require all hikers to have had their shots. 9 fellow hikers joined me on this 8 mile hike through Russian Ridge, Coal Creek, Monte Bello, and Skyline Open Space Preserves. We started and ended the hike in a little fog but enjoyed nice views in between. After the hike I picked up lunch at Lucky Chinese Bistro then stopped at Smart And Final market for a few things. Back home I relaxed after a nice shower. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Thursday: (04/22) Granola and banana for breakfast. I finished digging out the newest garden spot. Tomorrow I start the front yard patio. Lou’s enchilada for lunch. Dawn made a beef stew over rice for dinner.

Friday: (04/23) I started digging out the area for the front yard patio. I need to add about six inches of baserock under it. I managed to fill the dumpster leaving a little of the patio area left to remove. The dumpster won't be picked up and returned empty until Monday so I’ll be doing some other things this weekend. I made egg, ham and cheese breakfast sandwiches for all this morning. A nice Impossible burger for lunch. Lou made Asparagus with fish and rice for dinner.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Ohlone Wilderness Hike

Monday: (04/12) Granola for breakfast. We were off early to pickup my fellow hiker Art in Sunnyvale. We then headed off to Lake Del Valle where Lou and Dawn dropped Art and I off to start our hike of the Ohlone Wilderness Trail to Rose peak and Mission Peak ending in Fremont. I had tuna and cheese tortilla wraps for lunch. We took a side trip by Murietta Falls even though it was dry. I was much slower than I expected so we didn’t make it to our reserved campsite at Doe Horse Camp. We stopped near Stewarts Camp for the night. I tried a hikers prepared meal with some enchiladas I got at REI. OK.

Tuesday: (04/13) I prepared a breakfast skillet dish for breakfast. Pretty good. We continued up the mountain through some burned areas to Mt Rose. We continued on toward Sunol Park. We stopped at Doe camp for water. I had tuna and cheese tortilla wraps for lunch again. We continued on stopping for the night at Eagles Aerie Camp in Sunol Regional Park. Not where our reservation was for but nice. Quite windy though. I had another package dinner, Beef Stroganoff. It was quite food.

Wednesday: (04/14) Granola and bacon jerky for breakfast. We headed off toward Mission Peak. We had lunch on the way up. We stopped at where we were supposed to be camped last night at Eagle Springs. Our camp last night was better. I had tuna and crackers with bacon jerky for lunch. We then hiked down from Mission Peak after taking photos. We exited at Stanford Avenue in Fremont and Art’s daughter picked us up and drove me home. Nice hike. My cell phone died yesterday so not too many photos. I had some of Dawn’s split pea soup for dinner. It was nice to have a nice shower.

Thursday: (04/15) First job was to setup Ernie’s ramp and porch for use. It’s been drying while I was away. Lou and I went to the Country Inn in Cupertino for breakfast. We stopped at REI for a new flag for Lou’s scooter. Then visited a couple of thrift stores on the way home. Back home I emptied my pack and hung the tent, sleeping pad, ground cloth and sleeping bag out to dry. I cleaned up some other items. I ordered a dumpster for our dirt pile disposal. It arrives tomorrow. I started getting rid of the weeds on one of the areas to be dug out. My dirt must be clean or the disposal costs twice as much. Then I screwed down the plywood on Ernie’s ramp and porch. It is now complete except for an anti tip brace and his porch roof. I received Art’s photos from the hike and uploaded them to Google photos. Not sure when I’ll get the photos from my camera before it died. I had some ramen with spam for lunch. Lou made roast chicken with coconut rice and a carrot raisin salad for dinner. .

Friday: (04/16) Dawn made oatmeal for breakfast. I relaxed inside looking for a new phone online. I also showed Art’s photos from our hike to Lou and Dawn. We went outside later and tinkered. Lou and I did some trimming of trees and the geraniums in the front yard. I was hanging around for the delivery of the dumpster for the dirt. They arrived about 1100. Lou and Dawn were off to the thrift stores. I headed off to look for my phone. Between the T-Mobile store and Best Buy and then confirming online prices and specs, i settled on a Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. It cost a bit more than I’d like but it has good specs, good battery capacity and is waterproof to 3 feet. Unfortunately, the stores don’t have protective cases for it so it’s coming from Amazon tomorrow. I spent the afternoon and evening setting it up and learning how to use it. I got lunch while out at Lucky Chinese Bistro. It was also dinner.

Saturday: (04/17) I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We enjoyed breakfast in the backyard before I got to work. I stripped off the sod in the new garden area. The dirt in my dumpster must be clean, no sod or concrete. Lou took some starts for the good lawn grass that used to be in the front yard and planted them in the bare spots under the oak tree. I worked a while knocking as much dirt for the leftover sod and disposed of the plant material in the compost bin. Too much weight to get it all this week, so I have another pile to do next week. The dirt I get from the sod will be good to backfill the outside of the new garden edge strip after I do the concrete. Then I started digging out the dirt and loading it into the dumpster. Lou made hot chicken sandwiches for lunch and chicken pot pie for dinner. I received the protective case for my new phone today and installed it.

Sunday: (04/18) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. After watching the usual Sunday morning TV, I headed outside to work. I finished a 4 foot wide swath of the new garden area, now about half done with the garden dugout. For lunch, I got a super veggie burrito for El Grullense taqueria down the street. We had tomato soup with toast for dinner.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Rancho San Antonio Hike

Monday: (04/05) Granola and banana for breakfast. I headed off early to meet some fellow hikers at Rancho San Antonio County Park for a hike. This is my first hike with some of the folks I used to hike with in over a year. Many of us are now fully vaccinated for Covid 19 and waited the two weeks post shots. Nice 10.5 mile hike with Alex, Bianca, Danny, and Tara. Nice weather was partially cloudy and breezy. After the hike I stopped by the Lucky Chinese Bistro for lunch. Back home I showered and napped. Art and I are planning to hike the Ohlone Wilderness Trail next week. Art confirmed he got our camping permits for the hike. Later, I headed off for some shopping. I stopped at REI for a couple of backpacker meals. I’ve never used them before, even on my PCT hike so I thought I’d try some. I also stopped at Walmart for some other food items for the hike. Tuna salad envelopes and string cheese. I’ll use those for lunch with tortillas. Breakfast will be granola and bacon jerky. I also visited Lowe’s and bought some plywood for Ernie’s ramp. WOW, plywood prices have jumped during Covid. Now ¾” plywood is $60, was $24 before. Dawn made a fish raisin tomato stew over rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (04/06) I made ham and eggs with leftover potatoes for breakfast. I started fabrication the cross support pieces in the morning. I also had to check on the construction project down the street several times because they were placing gravel on the basement slab with a 130’ conveyor boom struck. Next phase after this gravel placement will be rebar and concrete. I had leftover Chinese food for lunch. Lou and Dawn went out to lunch in Menlo Park. I welded in the cross supports later. I also made a run to ACE hardware for some galvanizing paint. I had a ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Wednesday: (04/07) Granola for breakfast. I attended my usual Wednesday AlphaSoftware webinar. I also spent some time working on my pack load for next week's hike. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. I welded legs on the ramp and levelling bolts on the ramp and platform then painted them with a galvanizing compound. An artichoke for an afternoon snack. After a shower I tinkered in the mancave until dinner. Lou and Dawn made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Thursday: (04/08) Granola for breakfast. I spent the morning cutting the plywood for the ramp and porch floors for Ernie’ ramp. I made a run to ACE Hardware for some screws, longer bolts and glue. A nice torta from Los Altos Taqueria for lunch. Leftover corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

Friday: (04/09) Granola for breakfast. I removed the platform and ramp plywood and set them up on sawhorses for Lou to paint. A tuna green salad for lunch. I worked on the taxes all day. Lou and Dawn also worked at weeding the front yard a little. Corned beef sandwich for dinner.

Saturday: (04/10) Lou made strawberry waffles with bacon for breakfast. I spent the day preparing my pack for Monday’s hike. I carefully weighed each item and added them to a spreadsheet. There was still a 5 lbs error. The sheet says it weighs 31 lbs., my scale, the same one I weighed the items with, says it weighs 35.5 lbs. It’s still way less than my PCT pack load of 65 lbs. Lunch at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. We dined on their outside tables. Chili size for diner.

Sunday: (04/11) Leftovers for breakfast. Mine was vegetable soup. I spent the morning updating our tax return. Lou reviewed it then I eFiled the returns about 1530. An expensive year. I had a trail snack tuna salad with crackers for lunch. Lou painted Ernie’s ramp boards with anti-slip paint from West Marine. After they dried somewhat we placed them back on the ramp supports. They’ll dry a few more days then I’ll put them in place. Nothing more needs to be done except worry that I have everything is ready for my hike tomorrow. Dawn made macaroni and cheese with sausages for dinner. After dinner, I gave myself a hair and beard cut. I don’t want to chew on my mustache on the hike.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Building A Ramp For Ernie

Monday: (03/29) Out early to see them pour concrete in the bottom of the hole down the street. They finished about 1300. I spent way too much time watching them. Another long afternoon nap today. I made breakfast egg, cheese and ham sandwiches with leftover rolls from Harry’s. Lou and Dawn went out to Shake Shack for their brunch. Waffles with bacon for lunch. Lou made steak with baked potatoes and asparagus for dinner. I managed to get the seven new sprinkler timers setup today. I was having trouble getting them attached via Bluetooth to the WIFI host adapter.

Tuesday: (03/30) A little supervision of the project down the street. I dug out the old rear bed sprinkler valve box and started installing the piping for the new valves. I made a trip to Ace for a few things as well. Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Corned beef and cheese sandwich for lunch. Dawn made rice with a stew of ham, chicken, cheese and veggies for dinner.

Wednesday: (03/31) Relaxed this morning inside. I drove Ernie to and from his VA appointment this morning. Attended my Wednesday Webinar. I also stopped at the downtown Ace store for a PVC fitting I had forgotten. All followed by a long afternoon nap. This could be habit forming. Granola and banana for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Iranian chicken salad for dinner.

Thursday: (04/01) Ham, home fried potatoes and eggs for breakfast. I worked a little on cutting pieces for Ernie’s entry platform. I backfilled the new valve hole and completed the installation of the valves minus some fittings that haven't arrived yet. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Leftovers for dinner.

Friday: (04/02) Granola and banana for breakfast. I had a tooth cleaning appointment in the morning. I stopped at Lowe’s for some planter soil and at Sprout’s for bread then picked up lunch at the China Wok restaurant in Sunnyvale. I worked on cutting parts for Ernie’s new entry ramp. I tacked together some of the platform. I received some fittings for the new rear bed sprinkler valves. When I tried to set up the program I couldn’t communicate with them. May have to install another Bluetooth/WIFI adapter. Lou and Dawn went out and got Dawn's #2 Covid shot and explored thrift stores all day. Green beans, baked potatoes and steak for dinner.

Saturday: (04/03) Leftover lasagna for breakfast. Leftover Chinese for lunch. Worked on welding up Ernie’s entry platform/porch for the new ramp to his trailer. Some nice vegetable soup/stew with avocado for dinner. I talked with Art Black about our upcoming backpack trip on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail.

Sunday: (04/04) a cool overcast day but i did sunburn my head due to not wearing my hat because of the on/off use of my welding goggles. I removed the trellis from our back fence that used to hold the honeysuckle vine. I recycled it for use on Ernie’s entrance ramp. I added attachment pins to attach the ramp to the porch and added the handrail to the ramp. I made home fried potatoes with ham and eggs for breakfast. We had fruit chunks with chocolate fondue for Easter lunch. Lou made spaghetti squash and meatballs for dinner.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Trying Electric Welding

Monday: (03/22) I spent too much time watching the haul away the dirt pile from the basement hole at the project down the street. I tidied up the area by my shop to make it easier to work there. I had an old bed frame that I sawed into straight pieces of steel tubing. I moved the dirt from the hole I dug last evening which was stored in four buckets to the front yard dirt pile. And, finally, I setup the welder and made some sparks. I misread the setting chart so my first attempts made me think I was using too much current and had too low of line voltage to be able to weld at my shop which is the furthest point in our yard from our service panel. So I rolled it up front and used power from the RV panel. Same problem. So then I reread the settings and made an adjustment of 10 and started to melt some metal. Still not a good weld but that is technique which I hope to develop. Granola and banana for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Dinner from Chili’s Restaurant, 3for10. I had a hamburger.

Tuesday: (03/23) A very windy day. Rather cold too. I prepared some scrap metal to practice welding. I finally gave up on doing that because of the winds. They weren’t consistent in direction or speed. I decided to replace the garage door lock. I installed the one I bought a couple of days ago. I didn’t locate my rekeying stuff but was able to transfer the lock cylinder from the old to the new. That should have made the job easier. It didn’t because nothing I tried would make either the new nor the old locks work when installed. They worked fine on the table. I finally gave up and found a new lock on the shelf in the shop. I tried stealing some parts from it and then tried installing it. Same problem in any combination. The lock was sticky or inop when installed. I eventually got another new one from the shelf. I installed it in the door using some parts from the original to make it fit and eventually got it to work halfway consistently. The deadbolt would only operate halfway. Out ½” instead of 1”. It will have to do for now. I think I’ll replace the entire door next time. I want a new one that is both a solid door and a screen door in one. Granola and a banana for breakfast. Leftover pot roast for lunch. Meatloaf with baked potato for dinner.

Wednesday: (03/24) I attended my Wednesday webinar with Alphasoftware. Lou was off for a delta appointment at 1100. I did a little tinkering in the yard. When Lou had returned from her appointment, and sufficiently un-numbed, we went to lunch. Back home a little more tinkering but I didn’t feel like working so relaxed the rest of the day in the man-cave (RV). I made ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. We all went to A Good Morning restaurant for lunch, or actually a second breakfast. Artichokes and spice chicken for dinner.

Thursday: (03/25) A windy day with occasional broken wet looking clouds. More neighborhood construction project supervision. I did a few little projects in the yard. I tried to fix the leaking waterline in the backyard but the fix, didn’t. I think I may have found it is not the water line that is leaking but something after the sprinkler valves shutoff valve and the actual sprinkler valves. Tomorrow will tell. If my hole isn’t full of water then I might have it. I also put in some drip watering stuff around the arbor. Granola and banana for breakfast. Chili for lunch for me, pizza for Lou and Dawn. A loaded baked potato for dinner.

Friday: (03/26) I drove Lou to a doctor appointment then I stopped by Harbor Freight to get more stuff for welding, a welding table and torch holder. I picked up Lou and we stopped at Lowe’s for some things and at Grocery Outlet, Smart and Final and Nob Hill Market for groceries. We picked up lunch on the way home. Of course there was some construction project supervision down the street to do. I also tinkered in the shop and assembled the welding table. Granola and banana for breakfast. Chinese from Lucky Chinese Bistro for lunch. Dawn made dinner, some kind of stew with an egg cooked in it.

Saturday: (03/27) I worked on some drip watering system updates. I rode the bike over to Ace Hardware to get some fitting and completed the new drip tube in the old garden. I also worked on trying to activate the new timer in the arbor. There are four and I was only able to get one online. I tried welding later in the afternoon. A lot to learn to be acceptable. A little before 5 pm I noticed there was no power to my fan that I use to blow the fumes away. The fan was plugged into the outlet in my shop. The elder was using power from the arbor. Different circuits. I thought I might have tripped something but couldn’t locate the fault. The other sheds have power and are fed from the same circuit. I decided to shut the welder off and put things away. Shortly thereafter Ernie and Dawn both came out and blamed me for killing all power to the house and trailer. I knew better because I had turned off the welder earlier and also had checked the power to Ernie’s shed. Both were OK when I checked. I looked at our breaker and they were OK so I assumed it was the city power. We stood out front for a while and our neighbors all confirmed they were out too. We decided to get dinner from Harry's. On our way there all the signals were out until we got to Menlo Park. Palo Alto provides its own power delivery. Back home, we confirmed power would be out until 9pm. I found it odd that most of the traffic signals on El Camino Real were out. They should have been all working because they all have battery backup systems that should have powered them for 2-4 hours. Obviously someone hasn’t been doing maintenance. After dinner outside we adjourned to the RV for some TV time. Power was back on about 1945. Nice and early. I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. Dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau.

Sunday: (03/28) Granola and banana for breakfast. We were off early (0700) to San Jose to watch them move a two story apartment building a couple of blocks to a new site to make way for a new high rise building. After they got it onto it's new lot we went by La Victoria taqueria for lunch which we ate on a bench on the San Jose State Campus. Then toward home with a thrift store stop on the way. Back home we caught up on some lost sleep with an afternoon nap. Lou made taco salads with roast chicken for dinner.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Pinnacles Hikes

Monday: (03/15) Lou dropped me off at the Bear Gulch trailhead. I hiked up to the reservoir then up to High Peaks. At the saddle where the trail meets Juniper Trail it was snowing. The valley to the West looked like heavy rain and the wind was blowing hard. The two girls ahead of me on the way up I met coming down and said they thought it was too stormy. I decided to change my plans of going through the High Peaks then down the tunnel and Juniper Trails and instead came down the Condor Gulch Trail. Once off the top I still had squalls of heavy hail. I wasn’t able to stop for lunch Until i was most of the way home when the Bear Gulch Trail Met the Bench Trail. I was home about 1430. After a nice shower I relaxed the rest of the day. It was windy with occasional showers all the rest of the afternoon. Most of the RV’s that were neighbors last night left today. New neighbors filled the campground coming in all afternoon. Leftover burrito for breakfast. Trail snack for a very late lunch. Roast beef with rice and fruit salad for dinner.

Tuesday: (03/16) Our last morning here. It was 28 degrees outside when we awoke at 0700. We relaxed most of the morning. We moved the RV from our campsite over to day use parking by the store. Then I took off about 1100 on an exploratory hike I have titled "North Pig Fence to Three Peaks". I wanted to check out a possible hike route to new areas of the Pinnacles NP. No trails were tread on doing this walk. The route follows the pig fence North of the Entrance Road starting at the Old Entrance Station. When the pig fence route got bad I diverted to some deer trails through the chaparral. I definitely have a lot more respect for the hiking ability of deer now. Getting through chaparral is not easy and route picking only helps so much. I only went up to the first peak but can see that the way to the other two peaks may only involve distance. Lou wanted me back by 2pm and I didn't start until 11 so I had to cut this hike short. Not a hike for tick season. Lou made ham and cheese omelets for breakfast. We had lunch at the Longhouse Restaurant in Gilroy.

Wednesday: (03/17) St Patrick’s Day. Granola for breakfast. I took Ernie over to the VA for an appointment. Back home I just relaxed inside. It was very cold outside and this wimp didn’t go out. I enjoyed a ham sandwich for lunch. I picked Ernie up about 1630. Lou was off this morning to get her 2nd Covid shot in San Jose. She explored thrift stores and visited a friend for lunch. Lou was home when Erne and I returned. Dinner was corned beef and cabbage.

Thursday: (03/18) I made popcorn for breakfast. I was off early to South San Jose to get my 2nd Covid shot. It took about 20 minutes to get through the line and then some observation time and I was out in 50 minutes. I stopped for a donut afterwards and picked up Chinese lunches on the way home. It rained last night and continued throughout the day. I just relaxed inside the rest of the day. Leftovers for dinner.

Friday: (03/19) A rainy day. I did tinker little outside. I turned on the water in the backyard to look for the leak. Nothing showed up immediately. Later in the afternoon it did show some water but looks to be in the middle of the run along the rock wall. I also added some mortar under some of the bricks where they hang over the edge of the base. May help support if it sticks. I transplanted a couple of tomato plants to a larger pot in the greenhouse. And I repaired the broken closet rod hanger again in the RV. And, of course I supervised some of the work on the construction project down the street. Granola and banana for breakfast. Dawn made a squash casserole for lunch. Leftover corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

Saturday: (03/20) No rain but partially cloudy. I made ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. When I got outside I cut some tubing for Ernie’s ramp. Some fine tuning of the jig and learning the technique and it looks doable. I cut enough to weld up part of it, but… This is an opportunity for a new tool. We all headed off to do some shopping. I dropped Lou and dawn off at World Market and I visited Harbor Freight. I bought a multi-process welder and a helmet. I have a gas welding outfit and have always wanted an electric welder as well but power was always one of the problems. This welder can run on a 20 amp 120volt circuit. It does everything: stick, wire feed, MIG, TIG and stick. I’ll be using the wire feed with flux core wire to weld the tubing. I haven’t done any electric welding for 40+ years so this may take a while. This welder, even with the learning curve, should make this project easier. I also have some other projects for it in the future. As I get older, I tend to get new toys as needed and don’t put up a good argument against buying what is wanted for a project, even if other ways are possible. I had a roast beef and cheese sandwich for lunch. Tomorrow is the first day of self teaching. I didn’t even open the box today because I’ll need to set it up outside and about the time I got it set up, I’d have to put it away. Pot roast and the fixings for dinner.

Sunday: (03/21) I reorganized my shop a bit to get the shop workbench/cart out to use for the welder. I managed to make some floor space. I unboxed the welder and set it up on the roll around cart. After reading the manual I headed off to Harbor Freight for a couple of things and ordered a welders apron from Amazon. No sparks made today. Dawn and Lou made ham with fried eggs and some kind of julienne vegetables. I made a hamburger for lunch. Leftover pot roast potatoes and carrots with sausage for dinner.