Thursday, December 1, 2022

December 2022

Thursday: (12/01) Granola for breakfast. We all came to the realization that the wall bed may not be best for Dawn. First, it is a pretty heavy object that has to be securely fastened to the wall. It also doesn’t fit as well as hoped to provide access on both sides of the bed when down., So, we decided to go look at convertible sofa beds. We went to IKEA to look at beds and other things for the apartment. Before we left we got meatball sundaes for lunch. We wondered where else to see a good variety of beds and found a Living Spaces store in Fremont. Very big store but didn’t have what we really wanted and also too high priced for our budget. On the way back home we stopped at the Habitat Reuse Store. Thinking positive thoughts, we walked in and immediately found a perfect like new condition sofa bed for $550, ⅓ the cost of a new one and a much better design. We bought it but couldn’t pick it up in the Jeep then and it was too late to be able to return today. Great find considering we hadn’t started looking until today. Congee soup for dinner.

Friday: (12/02) While waiting for breakfast I tried to open the van but it’s doors were frozen shut. It took a while to get them open, I hope it isn’t a regular problem. Oatmeal for breakfast. Lou and I drove the van down to San Jose to the Habitat Restore to pick up Dawn’s new convertible sofa bed. Two strong guys tossed it into the van for us. Back up to Dawn;s apartment it was up to me, myself and I to unload it and bring it up to her apartment. Fortunately, the elevator was working. Lunch was chili sizes. In the afternoon I cut some wood to help put Dawn's furniture into the apartment. I also started to cut off the counter that is a coupl;e of feet too long. The desktop is made of particle board with plastic edges. I sawed off the edge on the end I’m cutting off. Unfortunately I forgot the length so I returned to the apartment and got distracted installing some of the pieces I had cut and rearranging some furniture and I forgot to take the measurement again. We had some ham, rice, pepper and onion stir fry for dinner. Tomorrow is another day, maybe more productive.

Saturday: (12/03) Lou made nice breakfast bowls for breakfast. Heavy continuous rain most of the day so I worked inside the van trying to cut the desktop but the saw blade wandered. I figured it had damaged teeth only on one side so one side was cutting, the other not. The neighbor has been sick and wanted me to drive her car and get gas in it. So I used it to go to ACE hardware to get a new saw blade and some fresh wood glue. I stopped by the Grocery outlet on the way back home. The new blade worked properly and zipped through the panel nice and straight. I completed sawing off the desktop for Dawn’s apartment. I then reattached the end piece. It turned out pretty nice. After lunch of a nice broccoli salad, I drove the van down to the apartment and rolled the desktop up to the apartment. I spent the rest of the day assembling Dawn’s desk furniture. I finished all but anchoring the two tall bookcases to the wall and finding out why the two small drawers in the big tall bookcase don't seem to fit. Something for tomorrow. I packed out the leftover wall bed panels and pieces and loaded them into the van in the rain. Tomorrow I will be finishing up at the apartment and cleaning the van up. Lou made a nice stale chip casserole for dinner.

Sunday: (12/04) Granola for breakfast. We all headed over to Dawn;s apartment and got to work. First order of business was to anchor the small bookcase. I bent an l-bracket to allow attaching the back of the bookcase to the closet curtain rod base. I’m trying to minimize poking holes in the walls since it is prohibited but we are in earthquake country so the walls loose. Next I started to repair some structural damage that the big cabinet had. It had evidently been dropped when the guy we got it from had removed it. I had to correct a nu;lge on both sides and find ways to reattach where some particle board wood had been fractured. After a lot of work it was back in alignment. I then found that one side panel was ¾” shorter than the other so I added a spaced block under it. With the cabinet level, I was able to anchor it to the wall and baseboard. That realignment straightened the cabinet doors so they met correctly. Next, I needed to modify the drawers so they fit. The original installation had one drawer modified to be a pull out end table. With the position we had placed it next to the sofa/bed, the table needed to be on the left side of the cabinet rather than the right side. The drawer fronts were not centered on the drawers so I needed to reverse them end to end to make them fit. Next I installed the kick plate under the front of the cabinet. I also cut out an opening in the back of the cabinet for access to the electrical outlet. My final project was to install another brace to the junction of the two desktops and install a keyboard drawer. Then I brought all the residual cabinet materials back to the house. We had a forecast of some intermittent showers for today but didn’t seem to get any. Salad for lunch. A casserole with rice, pork, peppers, onions and pineapple for dinner. Now all I have to do is find a properly sized hole saw and cut two cable access holes, one in the center of the desktop and another in the side of the bookcase/cabinet I had to rebuild next to the outlet where I had cut a hole in the back. Then it’s all up to Dawn and Lou to setup her kitchen, bath and closet.

Monday: (12/05) Granola for breakfast. We all made a Costo run to their Redwood City store for a few things like Dawn's new pot and pan set. We stopped for lunch at Tacos El Grullense where I got a Veggie burrito. Lou and Dawn shared a Super Nachos. Then I dropped them off for a quick Savers Thrift store visit. Back home I cleaned out the van and moved the materials back into it. I also received my Webasto gasoline heater. I started reading the directions. Lou made salmon soup and toast for dinner.

Tuesday: (12/06) We went to IKEA to get Dawn’s dining table and a few other trinkets. Lou and Dawn met with the contractors, building manager and maintenance man. Dawn has a problem with strobe lights and loud noises. Her doorbell provides both. The sound is more of a screech. The light and sound are there because they think that vision and hearing impaired people need the same features. Dawn is startled by loud sounds and it is a severe strain on her if someone pushes the doorbell. The result of the meeting with the contractor was that her doorbell somehow failed and everyone was happy, or so we hoped. Dawn got a message from one of the three project managers for her housing and the end result is that she may need to change apartments. Not good since it will take days to disassemble,relocate and reinstall her furniture, even more if the floor plan is different. Lou and I are not looking forward to having to do it. I made scrambled eggs with ham and chili for breakfast. . Lunch at IKEA. leftover breakfast hash for dinner.

Wednesday: (12/07) Up early, showered, dressed for the trail, prepared my trail sandwich breakfast and headed off toward Half Moon Bay and on to Purisima Creek Redwoods OSP Higgins Road Trailhead. This is a hike led by Rani, one of the San Jose Midweek Hikers organizers. It’s her neighborhood. The trails were beautiful after the recent rains. Lots of banana slugs, some salamanders, ferns, redwoods, misty tails and a load of mushrooms. It was only a 7.3 mile hike but a perfect test hike. I wore a back brace belt because my back was acting up. No problems with the back though. I drove up vis Highway 92 and returned on Highway 84. I stopped at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City for a soup and sandwich lunch. Then I stopped at the RWC Grocery Outlet before heading home. Back home, Dawn was anxious to show me her new apartment. It is the apartment one floor below her current apartment so has the same layout and the furniture should fit. It also has a traditional doorbell and no strobe light so she can survive living in it, unlike the previous apartment. After a shower, I got to work moving her furniture down one floor. I got everything except the sofa which I’ll need some help with. Lou made more squash with onions and sausage for dinner.

Thursday: (12/08) Lou made sausage with home fried potatoes and eggs for breakfast. I spent the day finishing the furniture reinstallation, I also assembled Dawn's dining table. About 1000 We all attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. Dawn was one of the speakers. Lunch from the Lucky Chinese Bistro. Leftovers for dinner.

Friday: (12/09) Lou roused me from bed at 0630. She gets up much earlier so I guess it wasn't as bad as it could have been. She suggested we dash down to Dawn’s apartment to see if the elevator was working. It was so we were able to move the sofa bed down to her new apartment. We were lucky. We finished the move and had returned up to the 3rd floor to bring the cushions down as well. When we went to leave moments later, the elevator wasn’t working again. Hopefully they eventually get it fixed. Lou dashed off to a couple of appointments. I relaxed my back. Lou and Dawn returned later and finished the final cleanup of her former apartment. We returned the keys later in the day. All moved and back to where we were a week ago.

Scrambled eggs with ham for breakfast. We went to Aqui’s restaurant in Cupertino for lunch. Ramen noodles with sausage for dinner.

Saturday: (12/10) Lou prepared a nice chicken dinner for breakfast. Roast chicken, corn on the cob and mashed potatoes with fresh orange cranberry sauce for breakfast. A rainy day, all day. I stayed inside the RV working. I got the desk cleared. In the evening, I got the long distance lan link working, for the distance from the house to the RV. The antennas were not at all aligned and communicated extremely well. I did need to buy a new WiFi AP for Dawn’s apartment. I should be able to complete the installation Wednesday when the AP gets here. Meanwhile, I can get the antennas installed and aligned. I had a salad for lunch. Lou made some chicken ramen noodles for dinner. Lou and Dawn made several trips to her apartment to deliver things. They also gave tours to some neighbors and friends.

Sunday: (12/11) Lou made Shepherd’s pie for breakfast. After breakfast Dawn and I drove down to San Jose. It was a combined shopping run. We stopped at our local Walmart to look at TVs. Next stop at Smart and Final for some things like my granola and hummus and other items. Then on to San Jose to Roby’s Tarp store. I’ve shopped there before and Google confirmed they are open 9-9 today. Not so. Looks like they may be gone. Next stop was at Dawn’s old apartment to pick up some things. Then a stop at the Walmart Market in Santa Clara. A lot of people there but I got through fairly quickly. Next, a stop at Harbor Freight to get a tarp. I had hoped Roby’s had a better selection of sizes. I got the closest size I could find at HF. Then a stop to get lunch to go at the Wok On Chinese restaurant in Sunnyvale. And finally a last stop at the Mountain View Best Buy to look at TVs. I pretty much know the brand and type of TV I want for Dawn but size and picture quality would be good to confirm with Dawn before buying it. Back home at 1400 it was time for lunch. It had been showering, some heavy showers all day. I took a nap the rest of the afternoon. Dawn made quesadillas for dinner.

Monday: (12/12) I tinkered outside in the morning. I relocated a camera that was mounted under our little library to view our front door. The artichokes are to big to get good views. The other front yard camera can’t get a charge from the solar panel. I replaced it with the one removed. I also stole the lan cable from an outside AP that fed the RV and used it for Dawn’s point to point master mounted on our TV antenna. Even with it pointed to Dawn’s apartment directly opposite the RV, the slave unit pointed up sill gets a really good signal. I will install the slave at Dawn’s apartment as son as I receive the new Access Point to go with it. The point to point just acts like a lan cable but doesn’t provide wifi. The AP should arrive before 10 pm tomorrow. I plan on adding two more similar units to serve Ernie’s trailer and our RV. The up and down speeds of the completely mis aligned units is still 20mbs each way. Faster than the current wifi. Leftover salad for lunch. Chili beans with ramen noodles for dinner.

Tuesday: (12/13) Lou made dinner for breakfast. I think this will be the norm from now on. It was Brussels sprouts with rice and salmon. I did some pruning of the neighbors wisteria that protruded into our yard. I installed the rubber rain gutter over the van sliding, passenger and drivers doors. Not much else accomplished. I mostly relaxed in the RV. Some ham with ramen noodles for lunch. In the evening, I received the WiFi Access Point and the TV mount. I took them down to Dawn’s. I installed the Point to Point transceiver and the AP and they connected but my phone said there was no Internet. When I was back home the phone still couldn;t connect with the Internet. After restarting the phone it did connect so the problem may not be the P2P but just a phone problem. Granola for dinner. Went over after dinner and yes, it was my phone but the connection is still too slow. I need a better line of sight so i need to raise the antenna at the house.

Wednesday: (12/14) Lou made a carnitas roast and roasted potatoes for breakfast. I attended my Wednesday webinar. I was called to help jump start a car at Dawn’s apartment with my trusty lithium battery jumper. I cut off the sample wastebasket I had picked up at the Reuse store when we found the sofa bed. I found it easy to cut at the appropriate height for the under bed storage. I’ll also use it for the clothes closet. I headed down to San Jose to the Reuse store again and bought 20 more baskets. The baskets cost $2 each and the container I found at the Container Store cost $18 each. Even more importantly, the basket is a standard size and has been available for many years unlike most specialty products. On the way home I picked up lunch at the Wok On Chinese restaurant and then visited Lowe’s to get some conduit and clamps for a tarp installation on Ernie’s trailer. While I was gone Dawn’s TV was delivered from Walmart. I set it up at Dawn’s apartment and prepared the mount as well but couldn’t install the mount until I return with a drill to put hole in the desktop. Breakfast granola for dinner with some vegetable juice on the side.

Thursday: (12/15) Lou made carnitas sandwiches for breakfast. I had a dentist appointment to get my teeth cleaned. Back home, after lunch of leftover Chinese food, I got busy on improving the point to point connection for Dawn. I raised the P2P antenna 10 feet higher and installed longer cables into the LAN switch. Then I headed to Dawn’s apartment and was disappointed that I didn’t even have the weak signal I had before raising the antenna. I have to admit defeat however, I do have a much better signal in the RV now using the spill over signal from the P2P antenna that is pointed to Dawn’s That darned two story apartment is too much of an obstacle now that Dawn moved down from the third floor to the second floor. I loaned Dawn my Verizon Mifi modem from the RV to use until something better can be arranged. May have to bite the bullet and use Xfinity if they ever recognize that the building exists. Granola for dinner.

Friday: (12/16) I had a slow start to the day possible due to a very cold morning. About 1000 I got busy removing the old tattered tarp from the roof of Ernie’s trailer. Then cut a couple of pipes and welded a top rail to support the tarp as an awning over Ernie's ramp and deck. And finally, I pulled the new tarp up into place. Sounds simple but takes a lot of time. I had the tarp in place and enough ties on to keep it in place overnight as it got dark. Then I had to put away all the tools, welder and such back into the shop. Enough work for the day. Lou made pork roast with sauerkraut and potatoes for breakfast. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. Scrambled eggs and ham for dinner.

Saturday: (12/17) Lou made bacon and eggs with sauerkraut home fried potatoes. Broccoli salad for lunch. It was cold today and I was lazy, and cold, which ended with my not getting outside until after lunch, well after lunch. I finally went out and finished tying down the tarp on Ernie's trailer. Chili for dinner. Lou and Dawn went out shopping a couple of times. I received a couple of wire shelves for Dawn's apartment kitchen which she and Lou installed.

Sunday: (12/18) Cold morning but a nice clear day. Unfortunately, my back is still disagreeable so I relaxed inside all day. Dawn invited us to her apartment for breakfast of roast chicken and potatoes. Leftover salad for lunch. Brussels sprouts for dinner, apple pie for dessert.

Monday: (12/19) My back is still bothering me so I had to cancel my Tuesday hike. I just can’t trust that I’d make the 10 mile hike. I did prepare corned beef hash and eggs for our breakfast. Another do nothing day. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Granola and ramen noodles for dinner.

Tuesday: (12/20) Nice day, not sunny but not really cloudy either. We were all up early and I prepared some eggs and leftover hash for breakfast. Lou and Dawn were off toward Reno, Nevada at 0700 to pick up some kind of bookcase. I remained home to continue relaxing. More leftover hash for lunch. Lou and Dawn were headed back with their load by 1300. I picked up dinner from Los Altos Taqueria. They returned about 2000.

Wednesday: (12/21) Granola and banana for breakfast. Chinese food for lunch. Kale with shrimp for dinner. My only accomplishment was to go to Harbor Freight and prepare a tool pouch for Dawn’s apartment.

Thursday: (12/22) Lou made spaghetti for breakfast. I had chips and hummus with fresh pineapple for lunch. Leftover Chinese food for dinner. Another day of rest. I did take about a 3 mile walk stopping at the Grocery Outlet market on the way home. My list had two items, mayonnaise and pie crust mixes, neither of which they had. However, that didn’t stop me from leaving with a full bag of other items. I also went down to Dawn’s to help them raise the reassembled bookcase into place in her closet. After that they went up to Jack’s restaurant in San Mateo as a reward, I remained home relaxing. They stopped by a thrift store on the way home and enjoyed a lot of traffic on there travels.

Friday: (12/23) Scrambled egg with ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Roast chicken for lunch. Leftover spaghetti for dinner. After lunch I went outside and tinkered in the van. I cut the 10 former waste baskets for the over the wheel storage. I still have 10 more for the clothes closet when I build it. I also did some organization of the materials. And I made a run to ACE hardware for some screws I need for the electrical cabinet. There was an old bed frame a lock or so down the street that I saw yesterday. Today I brought it all home to salvage the wood for other projects, like the van build.

Saturday: (12/24) Granola for breakfast. Broccoli salad and a ham sandwich for lunch. I worked on the van installing all the electronics into the most efficient locations for operation and cable routing. Now to start wairing. Roast chicken, mashed potatoes and fresh cranberry orange sauce for dinner.

Sunday: (12/25) Christmas. I had a ham egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I worked on the van between breakfast and dinner. I reorganized my materials and collected the electrical items to start wiring. I also punched some holes in the AC electric panels and mounted them. Mid afternoon we went to Dawn’s new apartment for Christmas dinner. Ernie made scalloped potatoes and green beans. Lou backed a ham, Dawn and her made dressing and cranberry orange sauce and Safeway provided ambrosia salad. Dinner later in the evening was a choice of pie. A little after 2000 the neighbor advised us of some activity in front of our house. I stepped outside and found about nine police cars in the street with lights ablaze. It turns out Mountain View police were chasing a stolen car that ran away. Police responded from Palo Alto and Menlo Park as well. One departing officer stopped and told us what had happened and wished us Merry Christmas. We thought the Christmas lights were rather bright and suggested they add some green lights as well. We were quite surprised when a Mountain View police car returned with the owners of the car. There was no damage to the car, Seemed unusual from my previous experience where the car would have been towed away to impound.

Monday: (12/26) Scrambled eggs with mashed potatoes and chili for breakfast. I worked on the van continuing modification of the AC electric panels and doing cable routing and installation to the panels. I had to go to ACE to get some parts and on my return stopped at Smart and Final for a few things. Back home, after lunch, I continued the installation of the panels. Still more wiring to do but I needed to stop early. It’s been cold today and the clouds were getting heavier. I needed to break down the bed that I picked up the other day to get it inside out of the rain. It should provide some nice usable hardwood for some future project. I finished up a little after 1600 and went inside. The rain started at 1700 with some sprinkles but shortly became very heavy rain. Broccoli salad for lunch. Ham and mashed potatoes for dinner.

Tuesday: (12/27) Heavy rain all night and morning. I had scrambled eggs with mashed potatoes and chili for breakfast again. I considered going out to work on the van but decided to stay inside and dry so I relaxed all morning. Broccoli salad for lunch. About 1400 I decided to go buy some Mega Lotto tickets because the jackpot is irresistible at over $600M. I then caught a but toward San Jose. I made a stop at LTV Electric Bikes in Santa Clara for a look around then continued to the San Jose house. I checked that the sump pump was working well. If there had been a problem it would have been obvious with these heavy rains. No problems. I then walked through San Jose State University into downtown San Jose then out the Alameda neighborhood until I was tired and caught a bus home. Lou called and said she wanted more cranberries so I stopped in Mountain View at the Whole Foods Market to get some before continuing home. I fixed a plate of leftover chicken, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and dressing for dinner.

Wednesday: (12/28) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van making the big cables for the battery and inverter today. Dawn made some Baked Boston ham bone lentils for lunch. Baked potato, ham, and Brussels sprouts for dinner.

Thursday: (12/29) We went out to Bajis Cafe for breakfast. Leftover potatoes, chili and diced ham for lunch. A nice PBJ sandwich for dinner. I worked on the van a little splicing the wires from the Alternator to make them longer to reach the solar/alternator charger (Renogy DCC50S). I also tried to tidy up the temporary DC wiring but ran into a problem with the connectors I had gotten on Amazon. They are not too good and the ring size is too big, and I think I need spade connectors rather than ring connectors to make installation and maintenance easier. I’m really having difficulty get the wires on the terminals and getting the screw in place. So I went over to Ace to get better/proper connectors. No need to fight the installation due to a bad original plan.

Friday: (12/30) An early shopping run to Grocery Outlet, Walmart and Whole Foods. Lou made some potato soup for breakfast. I worked in the van landing all the DC wires to the main fuse block after cutting to the final length and installing the new, proper spade lugs. Much easier with the spade lugs over trying to use ring lugs. I hope they stay in place. I also removed the AC panels and installed the ground terminal blocks into the panels. Amazon delivered some #10 butt splices so I finished extending the solar wires to the charge controller area. Still need some appropriate ring connectors. Later, Lou and I went to Dawn’s to start installing some closet shelves. I needed to go to ACE to get some butt connectors for a tank heater and some screws to hang the closet shelf bars. Back to the apartment I installed the bars then needed to locate some ⅞” screws to attach the shelf boards to the brackets. Dawn and Lou went shopping and picked up soup for dinner. I had a ham and cheese sandwich while I waited for their return with soup. We had dinner at Dawn’s place and I installed screws on the lower shelf I had installed. Unfortunately, the missing shelf bracket for the second shelf was the wrong type so It will need to be replaced.

Saturday: (12/31) We’ve had steady rain for the past couple of days. Our back yard had lots of standing water and saturated ground but the pump and drain systems were working properly. It takes awhile for the water to pass through the clay soil and into the perforated pipes if it doesn’t make it into a drain inlet. Lou made hamburgers for breakfast. This morning, during breakfast, we received a high water notice on our phones. The Chaucer street Bridge was overflowing. We took a drive around town looking at the creeks. Interesting to see the water lapping against the top of the bridge and seeing the mud tracks and debris where it had been over the bridge. We picked up lunch from Lucky Chinese Bistro. Leftover Chinese for dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022


Tuesday: (11/01) The usual hikers sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I met 13 adventurous fellow hikers, members of the San Jose Mid-week Hikers Meetup Group, that dared to join me on today’s hike. The weather forecast mentioned about ½ inch of rain during the hike. Those pesky forecasters are getting really good with their predictions. The rain did hold off for 30 additional minutes so we completed most of our hike without heavy rain. Just the last trail, an uphill stretch, was in heavy rain making the water flow down the trail like a stream and lots of slippery mud. This turned out to be a nice day for a hike. Our tour of the Los Trancos Preserve was really pretty showing off the vivid green of the trees and other greenery, all washed clean. Actually, it's nice to see some rain on our dry hills. Back home, I did have to get out of my soggy clothes. I had leftover corned beef hash for lunch. Lou made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/02) A little rain showers today in the morning. Lou made strawberry pancakes for breakfast. I attended my Alpha Software webinar in the morning. We drove up to Costco in Redwood City. On the way there, we stopped at Harry’s Hofbrau for lunch. We all had pastrami. Lou and Dawn a dinner and myself soup and sandwich. I installed the new parts of the van bed support and tank box. Dawn made a squash and chicken stew for dinner.

Thursday: (11/03) I worked on the van cutting down the bed panels into smaller center boards and small cabinet doors for the ends. I had to make a run to Lowe’s for some screws and hinged so , of course, I picked up lunch on the way. I also picked up some things at Sprout’s and Walmart Neighborhood Market. When I got back home, I was able to cut the small cabinet panels to width. Their width depended on the type and placement of the hinges I got. Granola for breakfast. Chinese food from China Wok for lunch and dinner. My favorite pork fried rice, Peking pork ribs, and salt and pepper fish.

Friday: (11/04) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van this morning, reworking some things I did yesterday. I decided that some of the wood pieces I installed yesterday may put too much strain on the tanks so I removed them and increased the space by trimming /4” off the pieces. After trimming I reassembled everything. Lou and Dawn had been out all morning with appointments. We had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. After lunch we all went down to San Jose with Meili to pick up her car from the transmission shop. She doesn’t like driving far from home so I was the driver of her car. Lou and Dawn continued on doing some thrifting on their way home. I made paper templates for some of the small wall panels yet to be installed by the rear doors. Lou made chili rellenos with peppers from the garden. They were served with roast chicken and Brussel’s sprouts. It was a fairly nice, no rain day but quite cold in the morning.

Saturday: (11/05) PBJ leftover pancakes for breakfast. Lou and I went to the Smart and Final store for a few things. They have my favorite granola and I was out. We also got some good meat from their manager's special bin. Later, we all drove down to the nearest Walmart that had a battery for the Jeep. Lou has had to jump start her jeep several times recently. It’s about 4 years old now so it has had a good life. I took advantage of the trip to return some molding I needed to return to the Floor and Decor Store there. We also took advantage of the fact it was a Super Walmart that has lots of things our local store doesn’t have. Afterwards, we had lunch at the Black Bear Restaurant in Milpitas. And of course, we stopped at a thrift store heading home. Kabob vegetables with roast chicken and pickled vegetables. Overcast and misty day today. I posted a hike for Monday.

Sunday: (11/06) Granola and banana for breakfast. The usual slow morning of TV news and politics. I spent most of the day cutting out small panels for around the rear doors. I also put a couple of coats of varnish on them. Salads with chicken for lunch. We had Dawn’s baked beans for dinner.

Monday: (11/07) I prepared my usual hikers breakfast ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. At 0900 I met 7 fellow San Jose Mid-week hikers at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. We did a short 6 mile loop hike around the preserve. We had heavy rain last night and the chance of rain after noon is 45 % so that is the reason for the shorter hike. Nice clear skies, beautiful green hills, and nice fellow hikers making a good hike. I planned this hike for a new route through this preserve. It is a nice route. We finished before 1130 and I was home by noon. Salad for lunch. I painted a third coat of varnish on the van panels I’m preparing. Lou made sauerkraut with potatoes and pork chops for dinner. I had to also go out and by some PowerBall tickets because two billion dollars is two billion dollars.

Tuesday: (11/08) Election day and a heavy rain day. I spent all day inside. We all went down to the T-Mobile store to get apple watches for Lou and Dawn. I also, finally, set myself up for the military discount which saves us $30 dollars per month. Granola and banana for breakfast. Salad and grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Ramen noodles and chicken for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/09) Still quite wet out after more rain overnight. Granola and banana for breakfast. I tinkered on the computer and attended my Wednesday AlphaSoftware webinar. Salad with half a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. In the afternoon I finally installed the new battery in Lou’s Jeep. I also added insulation in the small channels around the rear doors and installed the panels over the door. Still need to install the power outlets and side panels. Leftover sauerkraut with potatoes and pork chops for dinner.

Thursday: (11/10) Dawn’s birthday. I prepared sauerkraut potato hash with ham and eggs for breakfast. Later, we all headed off stopping at several thrift stores on our way to a visit to the Great Mall in Milpitas. It’s a big mall and we only covered half of it before we stopped for lunch, about 1430, at the Olive Garden Restaurant. I had an embarrassing moment when I tried to check out at the Burlington Outlet store. I had found a nice crepe pan and some bamboo spoons and when I tried to pay for them, I found that I didn’t have my wallet. I had to get Lou to come and save me. My wallet was residing in the bottom of the clothes washer at home having been run through a rinse before running a full load today. I really need to do a better check before I throw clothes into the laundry. I had taken thai off to rinse to get some of the insulation debris off of them before they get washed with other clothes. Now, everything in the wallet is placed out to dry. I’m a money launderer again. Also, there were several lotto tickets in the wallet waiting to be cashed in, each worth $2-7, my portion of the $2 billion dollar jackpot. Fortunately, the paper they use seems to be similar to that of money and did not disintegrate. No dinner needed due to the late lunch.

Friday: (11/11) Nice day today. Leftover sauerkraut potato hash with ham and eggs for breakfast. I made a run to ACE hardware for a couple of electrical boxes. I wanted plastic boxes and I had gotten metal boxes thinking they would fit better. I reconsidered. I installed the boxes in the rear column panels. I couldn’t finish the left panel because I need a properly sized 1 ⅛” hole saw to install the USB and cigarette lighter outlets so i ordered it on Amazon to be delivered tomorrow. I also ordered a replacement tarp to cover Ernie’s trailer’s roof. I still haven’t resealed the seams and won’t be getting to it soon. I also stopped by Grocery Outlet for some goodies on my way home from ACE. I didn't accomplish much today. In the evening Lou and I went to the Grocery Outlet and did real grocery shopping. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Dawn’s squash and sausage stew for dinner.

Saturday: (11/12) Nice but colder day. Leftover sauerkraut potato hash with ham and eggs for my breakfast. I worked in the van s usual. In the morning I added the vinyl fabric cover to the foot of the bed wall panel. Unfortunately I could do more of that because I was short fabric because I’m doing more panels now. I didn’t want to cut the piece I do have because the remainder, over half of it, would be usable on the other panel that is blocked by material stored in the van. That material will move out of the way to the rear of the van when I complete the rear. I only need to install the outlets in the electrical boxes in the rear columns. I couldn;t install the left rear column panel until I received some parts in the afternoon. When the cigarette lighter outlets and hole saw kit arrived, I installed the panel. Salad for lunch. Roast beef with squash fettuccine for dinner.

Sunday: (11/13) Granola and banana for breakfast. Lunch from the Wok On Chinese restaurant in Sunnyvale. I do like their Peking pork chops with pork fried rice and salt and pepper fish. I was out to get more vinyl fabric for the van. I stopped at REI for some energy gummies and at Sprout’s for some ciabatta rolls on the way. I couldn’t find the color of vinyl I had purchased before in the store where I got It. Fortunately, they have a separate storefront nearby and in the back corner at the very bottom, they had what I needed. Only about 3 more yards left now. I hope I don't need more. I also looked for fabric for the mattress cover and seat cushions. I’m thinking of perforated heavy vinyl. I couldn’t find anything like that. I stopped at the Sunnyvale Grocery Outlet market on the way home. I haven’t found any cheap ice cream treats at our store but they had them there. Lou made steak with mashed potatoes for dinner. I received a water leak monitor that I ordered. I’ll install it tomorrow. Our utility company says we use 468 gallons per day which seems way high for our seemingly conservative usage. We’ll see what the culprit is. The monitor records usage and has AI to identify what’s using it and whether it should be using it.

Monday: (11/14) Granola and banana for breakfast. I installed the Flume 2 water flow meter first thing. It seems to be reading our usage well. There was a 56 gallon usage at noon that I’ll have to look into what it was and whether it’s appropriate. Next thing, I upholstered and installed the two wall panels. They look pretty good. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. Chili for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/15) The usual sausage, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I led a hike at Windy Hill Open Space Preserve. It was 10 miles and had a 1600’ climb. 10 fellow hikers from San Jose Mid-week Hikers joined me. We had nice weather, nice trail conditions, and no mud. The went quite fast at 2.6mph and finished early. We had lunch at the top. Back home, I had some salad for lunch. I rested the rest of the day. Lou and Dawn made squash lasagna for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/16) Granola and banana for breakfast. A slow morning. I did some desk tidy up before I attended my Wednesday Alpha Software webinar. I then had an early lunch with the intention of getting to uninterrupted work on my van. But, that was not to be. Lo and Dawn were off early to an appointment at Stanford to get Lou’s phone and watch connected. They returned with word that the phone was too old for the watch. Lou had made an appointment with the manager of the Tmobile store where they bought the watches for 1300 and wanted me to go since I am the account owner for our phones. The T Mobile manager confirmed that the phone should work if it is upgraded to IOS15 so they tried to do that the rest of the afternoon but it failed. We looked around downtown Palo Alto as we waited, and waited, and waited. And then went home unsuccessful. Tostadas for dinner.

Thursday: (11/17) Scrambled eggs and ham with toast for breakfast. I took a walk by all my neighborhood projects then got busy with the van. Today turned out to be most a material acquisition and thinking day. I needed more 2x2” boards so i went down to the San Jose house to get more wood out of the attic. Lots of 2x6”x12’ boards were leftover and stored there for 20 years. I removed the last of them today and brought them home for this project. I then went by the Milpitas Walmart store and returned the battery core from the Jeep. Incidentally, since the new battery was installed and it has learned about it, the Start/Stop function works again. In the past 8 years we’ve owned this jeep, the Start/Stop function has only worked about a total of one year. Hopefully it likes this battery better and keeps working. I also returned a crepe pan I had gotten from Marshalls at the Great Mall. On the way home, I stopped for lunch from the Wok On Restaurant in Sunnyvale. Back home and more planning and thinking how to build the refrigerator cabinet and dinette seat. Leftover Chinese for dinner.

Friday: (11/18) Granola and banana for breakfast. My procrastination won so i took a drive over to CVS to get some mouthwash for Dawn. I then went to the city recreation office and tried to get my free veterans park pass but no one was in the office. Evidently they are only there on tue wed and thu. Too bad it doesn’t mention that on their website. Next stop was ACE hardware where I got some steel angle iron and paint. And finally, I filled the gas tank. Then it was time for leftover squash lasagna for lunch. That brought about nap time. Later I cleaned up my workbench which was piled up with residue from recent projects. And finally, i got out the table sawn and ripped some 2x2 boards to build the van cabinet framework. Lou made mashed potatoes with sauerbraten for dinner.

Saturday: (11/19) Granola for breakfast. I post a hike for Tuesday. Leftover squash lasagna for lunch. I worked on the van starting to build the refrigerator cabinet. After a lot of thinking and rethinking and a false start, I think I have all the pieces cut and ready to assemble after I get some appropriate screws. Received my long awaited composting toilet for the van. It’s a new product called Cuddy supposedly a modern design and cheaper. We’ll see how it works and holds up to regular use. Lou made squash with onions and sausage for dinner.

Sunday: (11/20) Leftover Sauerbraten over mashed potatoes for breakfast. I worked all day on the van, after a slow Sunday morning. I assembled the refrigerator cabinet. I then pondered how to place all the electrical equipment. I put everything in place, the refrigerator, the inverter, snd the two batteries. Popcorn for lunch. I made a list of material I needed from the Lowe’s. After an afternoon nap, We all went to Lowe’s. I picked up lots of different screws, some aluminum channel, other hardware, and some paint primer. Chili sizes for dinner.

Monday: (11/21) I prepared ham and eggs with toast for breakfast. After breakfast Lou and I took a short walk up the block. Back home, I got busy on the van. I spent more time studying the potential layout to maximize function and efficient storage. I then got busy making modifications to the cabinet. At the end of the day I had made progress. It’s ready for painting. After all the paint dries, I'll start mounting all the components. Lou made macaroni and cheese for lunch.

Artichoke chicken with rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/22) I made my usual hikers breakfast ham egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich. I met 16 fellow hikers at Monte Bello Open Space Preserve to lead a hike up to the top of Black Mountain. A strenuous 5.8 mile loop hike with 1100’ of climb. On the way home I had a severe sneezing attack. I must be allergic to something that is outside now. I ended up relaxing and blowing my nose the rest of the day. Roast chicken with artichokes and baked potato for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/23) Lou’s birthday. Granola and banana for breakfast. Dawn and Lou went down and signed the lease for her apartment at the building we’ve been watching be built this past year or two. Her studio apartment there at Wilton Court is really nice. Now the work begins to move her furniture from storage into the apartment. Looks Like I may be doing it by myself. Lunch at the Gourmet Haus Staudt restaurant in Redwood City. Of course, Lou and Dawn stopped off at the Savers Thrift store. Lou found a Bolt of upholstery fabric there that is a nice complementary color for the van. Just snacks for dinner.

Thursday: (11/24) Thanksgiving day. Granola and a banana for breakfast. I worked on the van again. I cut out and assembled the drawer for the electrical cabinet. I also painted a prime coat on the cabinet and drawer. We had a nice holiday dinner about 1430 of three kinds of chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, yams, creamed peas with onions, fresh cranberry sauce, ambrosia, all topped off later by Lou’s apple pie. More than a typical dinner but way less than the usual Thanksgiving meal.

Friday: (11/25) Breakfast was granola with a banana. Lunch was left over Thanksgiving dinner (creamed peas and onions, chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh cranberry orange sauce.) For dinner I prepared chili with scrambled eggs and cheese. I worked on doing the color top coat painting of the cabinet for the refrigerator and electrical equipment ,and then in the evening, I placed it all in the Van to avoid it getting wet.

Saturday: (11/26) More chili with scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast. Tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. BBQ ribs with baked potato and green beans for dinner. I worked on the van installing the electrical/refrigerator cabinet. I also trimmed the drawer and installed it into the cabinet. I didn’t feel good today so I didn't schedule a hike for Tuesday. My knees and hips were complaining.

Sunday: (11/27) Granola for breakfast. Pulled pork and cheese sandwich for lunch. I installed the electrical panel board into the cabinet. I also started emptying the van to make room to carry cargo. Roast chicken with mashed potatoes for dinner.

Monday: (11/28) I completed removing uninstalled materials from the van in preparation to carry cargo. I collected the dollies and blankets and headed off to meet Lou and Dawn at her storage cubby in Santa Clara. Lou and Dawn had been to a dental appointment. I loaded all the cabinets and a bookcase into the van with assistance of the small things like drawers and such by Lou and Dawn. Another trip is needed to bring the panels like the countertop and cabinet doors. After lunch we emptied the van into her apartment. Granola for breakfast. Pulled pork and cheese sandwich for lunch. Chili with scrambled egg and cheese for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/29) Granola for breakfast. I took the van over to the Palo Alto Parks office and got my free Veterans permit. Now I’ll be able to enter Foothills park without paying. Lou and Dawn had an appointment and then met me at the storage site. We loaded up the remaining parts for her bedroom set. One large standing cabinet and all the desktops and door panels. We went to the new Country Inn location in Cupertino. Their old location burnt down a few months ago. I stopped to get gas at a cheap station in Sunnyvale, only $4.39 rather than the typical low priced station price of $4.69 and definitely less than our local stations $5.29. I also stopped by the bank. We emptied the van and moved all the furniture up to Dawn’s apartment except for one desktop panel that is too heavy and too long for me to handle by myself. Lou and Dawn can’t help lifting heavy items. I had leftovers from lunch for my dinner.

Wednesday: (11/30) Lou made deviled eggs for breakfast. We went down to the apartment to think about how and where to install the different items. After a few bad starts we came up with a play that installs a desk that is 9 feet long on two walls. It also locates the wall bed so that it has room to walk around it when it is down. And it uses a previously wall hung cabinet as a floor mounted bookcase. Amazingly, this wall bed office furniture system, which was received for free two months before Dawn got her apartment or had any idea of how the floorplan might be, ended up fitting so well. Tomorrow, I do need to cut off two feet of the large desktop that I couldn’t get up to the apartment with all the rest. After it is shortened, it will fit the wall placement and also fit into the elevator and not be so heavy I can’t handle it by myself. We finished the planning and general placement about 1330 and noticed we were very hungry. We went to Super Taqueria for lunch. We then relaxed the rest of the day. Lou made squash with onions and sausage for dinner.

Saturday, October 1, 2022


Saturday: (10/01) Granola for breakfast. Tea in the garden. We all took a bike rie through Stanford University this morning. I was on my ebike, Lou and Dawn on the quad bike. We checked out the Arizona Cactus Garden, the Rock Creek, and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden. We had lunch and chia latte at Coupa Cafe there. We followed the bike trail along Park Avenue and beside the railroad tracks to the Stanford Shopping Mall. We returned home through the College Terrace neighborhood and through some business parking lots to stay off the busy streets. Good weather for our ride. Back home, I put a couple of coats of varnish on the back of the ceiling panels. That determined the consumption of the varnish so I headed off to Lowe’s for more varnish. Tomorrow I can flip the panels over and give the panels 3-4 coats on the side we’ll be seeing. The back was painted for moisture protection. I’ve been waiting to do any painting because of the winds recently. It was nice today and hopefully for the next couple of days as well. Dawn made vegetable soup for dinner. My onions didn’t really get big but my carrots did. They are about 3 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall. Not at all normal, but typical for my garden.

Sunday: (10/02) Granola and a sausage for breakfast. I painted three coats of varnish on the display side of the ceiling panels. They appear to be ready to install. Chili with onions and cheese for lunch. Dawn made pizza for dinner.

Monday: (10/03) Granola for breakfast. I painted the van bed platform that I modified with ventilation holes and extra bracing. Leftover vegetable soup for lunch. After lunch, I worked on pulling in the wiring for the overhead bed lights and installed the rear two ceiling panels. I also trimmed and installed the rear fan edge cover. The panels look nice. Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Tuesday: (10/04) Ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. I headed off early to lead a hike at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve with 17 friends, members of San Jose Mid-week Hikers Group. It was 8.4 miles on a great day with beautiful views. The hilltops below were islands in a low cloud cover. Lunch was a super nachos from our neighborhood Taqueria El Gruellense. We made trips to the Grocery Outlet Market for a few things. Lou and I went at different times for different things. My trip included ice cream. For dinner I made a rice and bell peppers with sausage casserole, sort of like diced stuffed bell peppers.

Wednesday: (10/05) I was up and off early toward San Francisco. I wanted to have two adjacent hike days with some good climbs to be sure my back will be able to do the three Pinnacles hikes coming up. I was up at 0545 and caught the 0650 train to San Francisco. The reason for the early rise is because that gets me to the SF Arboretum in Golden Gate park before 0900 while the entry is free. I picked up a nice breakfast sausage, egg and potato pie before entering. I wandered about to get a good view of the fall sights, about 2-3 miles. Then I caught buses up to Sausalito. My intent was to go through a tunnel that exists just after the exit from Hwy 101 into Sausalito. Unfortunately more research should have been done. It was a long single lane, one direction at a time tunnel that did not allow pedestrians, only cars and bikes. So I walked on into Sausalito. I picked up a bacon, tomato and cheese sandwich for lunch before walking on through Sausalito climbing through the neighborhoods sometimes on hidden stairways and paths until I got to the Spenser Road parking area and took the Morning Sun Trail up to Alta Trail, then onto the Bobcat Trail to Hawk Campground. I wanted to check out the camp because I intend to backpack from the Presidio up to Sam Taylor State Park someday a,d this might be one of the stops. Nice campsites but no water available. I retraced my path but continued past the Morning Sun Trail on to the SCA Trail and the Coastal Trail to the Golden Gate Bridge. I walked across the bridge then caught the #28 bus to the Fisherman’s Wharf area. I walked up to Columbus Avenue and got a slice of pizza at Golden Boy Pizza. I enjoyed it in a nearby park then caught the #30 to the Caltrain Depot. I made it to Palo Alto about 1853 and caught the #22 bus home arriving about 1930. Long day, about 16 miles walked, 1931 feet ascent, more than I planned but a good test.

Thursday: (10/06) I had leftover Spanish rice/bell pepper casserole for breakfast. Our neighbor Meili brought over some Chinese fried rice for lunch. I checked on the sewer line project in the morning and tinkered with the RV after that. We dropped off the Jeep at the collision repair shop in the afternoon. More leftover Spanish rice for dinner. No work on the van today.

Friday: (10/07) Granola for breakfast. Salad for lunch. BBQ ribs with new potatoes and fresh tomatoes from the garden for dinner. Lou and I rode the four wheeler to Safeway for a few things. I worked on the van, mostly wiring and ceiling panel preparation.

Saturday: (10/08) I prepared scrambled eggs with toast and ham for breakfast. I tinkered on the computer in the morning. Later we attempted to go to the local high school flea market but they changed from the 2nd Saturday to the 3rd Saturday. So we just did some produce shopping on the way back home. Chili and wieners for lunch. I worked on the van in the afternoon. I troubleshot why the ceiling lites I installed didn’t work. Found a bad connector. I installed the rest of the panels. I still need to install the front fan shroud. And, more light problems. Now the ceiling lights turn on but not off nor will they dim. We had macaroni with cheese and chili rellenos for dinner. The peppers were from Dawn’s garden.

Sunday: (10/09) Leftover macaroni and cheese for breakfast. Tomato soup with toast for lunch. Shepherd’s pie for dinner. I worked on the van cutting panels for the walls. Wednesday I’ll be busy varnishing these panels.

Monday: (10/10) The usual hikers breakfast ham, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I led a hike from Picchetti Ranch up through Stevens Creek County park and Fremont Older Preserve, a 9.4 mile loop. I only had four other hikers join me for this hike. We had good weather and conversations along the trails. After the hike I stopped by the Chinese Township restaurant for lunch of fried rice and coconut shrimp. Back home I had a nice shower and relaxed. Lou made roast chicken with mashed potatoes and homemade orange cranberry sauce.

Tuesday: (10/11) Leftover rice and a sausage for breakfast. Chili beans and chips for lunch. Pizza for dinner. I decided to try to donate a bunch of used solar panels I have. I tried Habitat For Humanity but they didn’t want them due to their age (10 years old). They referred me to the Builders Resource in San Francisco. I emailed the details and am waiting for a response. I finished cutting a wall panel for the van and then sanded all the panels I cut yesterday and today. Ready to paint or varnish as appropriate tomorrow.

Wednesday: (10/12) Lou made French toast for breakfast to which I added some sausage. A broccoli salad for lunch. Lou made stuffed peppers from our garden. It was served with asparagus and a baked potato. Lou believes in efficient time in the kitchen. The pepper filling was a was a common mix that she uses for Shepherd’s pie ground beef, zucchini, and onions with some peas and other things. I attended my usual Wednesday webinar then got to work painting. I did two coats of paint or varnish on the backs of all the panels and one coat on the finished side. More to do tomorrow. While the panels were drying, I headed off to Lowes to get more varnish, brushes, screws, electrical connectors and boxes. I also stopped at Grocery Outlet and Walmart Neighborhood Market for a few things.

Thursday: (10/13) I put a couple of coats of varnish on the good side of the van panels. In the afternoon, while stuff was drying we all took a ride out to see the donkeys. Lou and I in the quad bike and Dawn on her Zappy trike. Dawn had trouble coming up a hill so Lou went to ride the bike up and he managed to fall off and have the bike fall on her. We had a nice visit with the donkeys who were out of their pen going for a walk in the park. Back home, Lou decided to go to Emergency to have her ribs checked. We got home about 2130 after a cat scan. No problems, just bruises. I just waited in the car near a Safeway and watched videos on my phone. Seems like if I do go toward home I never make it home before getting the call to return for pickup. I did get the van ready to roll tomorrow. Lou needs the car for a couple of appointments and I have a hike leaders hike tomorrow. French toast and sausage leftovers for breakfast. Broccoli salad and a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Soup from Safeway and a burger from Jack In The Box for dinner.

Friday: (10/14) A hiker’s breakfast ham, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast.I drove the van to Los Gatos to meet Tara for a ride to Felton for a hoke. Rich hosted a group of hike leaders at his property where he had constructed a maze of trails during the Covid shutdown. He also led us through some neighboring trails and showed us the (10back gurn area near his house that stopped the CZU fire before it got to his house. After the hike we had lunch on his patio and discussed all sorts of things including leading hikes. The van drove well and was quiet with no unusual noises with the ceiling and floor installed. After a rest I got to work on the van and installed most of the wall panels that I had recently finished. Lou made pizza for dinner.

Saturday: (10/15) Granola and a banana for breakfast. I needed to plan the closet so I wanted to go to The Container Store to look at containers. Dawn joined me. Most are too fragile or too weak. I wanted containers for clothing which will all be rolled. I wanted containers of a little less than a cubic foot, soft, ventilated, and sturdy. It also must be a common brand and type so it can be replaced. I found one that matches all the requirements. Seems to be the only one that does. We then went to the IKEA store to check there. Nothing was found there but Dawn enjoyed a lunch for breakfast. Back home I checked and it seems like it will work. I’ll just need 7 more after I get the closet built. I also installed the bed wall panel that will be partially covered by the closet. I also installed the foam and fabric on the headboard wall panel and installed it. Then I installed the dinette wall panel. Ham and cheese sandwich and broccoli cheese soup for lunch. Chinese food for dinner from Lucky Chinese Bistro.

Sunday: (10/16) PBJ toast for breakfast. I tinkered in the van in the morning. I did a little trimming to fit the water tanks against the wall and then stared at things trying to determine how to build the water tank boxes and secure the tanks. I had leftover Chinese for lunch than took Dawn out to make a pickup of Free Stuff. Then I was off to Lowe’s to look at things where i bought some aluminum angle to use to secure the tanks as well as some electrical parts and screws and washers. Lou made tamale pie for dinner.

Monday: (10/17) Leftover tamale pie with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Dawn made stew and I added toast for dinner. After the usual project inspections I got to work on the Van. I made aluminum channels to hold the tanks and cut the plywood for the box over the tanks. I also cut a wall panel for above the refrigerator. Then I painted the panels.

Tuesday: (10/18) Up early to attend the Alpha DevCon. It started 0600 because it is online and on the East Coast. It lasted all day. I had granola for breakfast, salad for lunch, and macaroni salad for dinner. The DevCon ended early at 1400. I then got to work on the van and painted the color coat on the panels it primed yesterday.

Wednesday: (10/19) Day two of the Alpha DeCon today. Another early rise to start at 0600. Granola for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Macaroni salad for dinner. More work on the van in the afternoon. I completed the installation of the water tanks. I had to ride the bike over to ACE to get more brackets. Because the platform for the bed is more than difficult to get in place and upon completion of the upper cabinets and shower it would be impossible. And because the platform won;t tilt up because the walls are too slanted, i have decided to redesign the bed with hinged side panels allowing access to the storage over the tanks and a hinged couch like middle section that will then be short enough to remove and with enough clearance to actually swing up. Basically it’s mostly a matter of changing the support for the platform and slicing the platform. It also provides an opportunity to fix an error I made for the end panels of the tanks which are 1.5 inches too short. In the evening I moved all the materials out of the motorhome into the van. The RV needs to be ready to roll Sunday to the Pinnacles for our visit and hikes next week.

Thursday: (10/20) Day three of the Alpha DeCon today. Another early rise to start at 0600. Today’s session was longer going until 2 pm after which I needed a nap so no work on the van today. I did a little more cleanup of the RV. Scrambled eggs, sausage and toast for breakfast. Ramen noodles for lunch. Chili relleno with asparagus and refried beans for dinner.

Friday: (10/21) Day four of the Alpha DevCon today with another 0600 start. Interesting things presented but I’m glad I didn’t travel to it and see it in person. These past three years it has been virtual. Later in the afternoon we all went grocery shopping at Grocery Outlet, Smart and Final and Nob Hill markets. When you’re picky, you have to go several places. Granola and banana for breakfast. Lou’s clam fettuccine blob for lunch. The noodles fused together likely because they are gluten free. I supplemented them with more cheese and some salsa and it was quite good. Chinese food from Lucky Chinese Bistro for dinner.

Saturday: (10/22) Busy in the morning preparing to leave. Fill the water, drain the holding tanks, wash the windows, unload unneeded items and restock needed items. A change of plans affected the loading. I’ll be going solo this trip. Lou and Dawn had a change of plans. Since they didn’t have to pack to go they were busy planting the winter garden. Granola and a banana for breakfast. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. I picked up dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau.

Sunday: (10/23) I took a final good shower, folded up the RV and rolled off the leveling block. After tea in the yard and breakfast, I departed a little after 1030. One reason to leave later was to wait for my favorite restaurants to open. I picked up a Super Burrito from Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale. Next stop was at Safeway for some drinks, Wok On Chinese restaurant for a combination of peking ribs, salt and pepper fish and pork fried rice then REI for some electrolytes all at this one stop. Then I phoned in an order for a pizza at House of Pizza in San Jose. I drove down and it was ready for pickup. I learned that the RV’s shocks are bad again. It’s back to an increasing wobble side to side when a bump is encountered. Couldn’t safely go faster than 50 mph so I decided to not take the freeway but stay on minor roads. I stopped at a park on Santa Teresa Blvd to enjoy some pizza for lunch. I continued down to Hollister and took a nap before continuing on to the park. I was all settled in at 1630. Flan for breakfast. Pizza from House of Pizza for lunch. Chinese food for dinner.

Monday: (10/24) The usual hikers breakfast sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I met my 16 fellow San Jose Mid Week Hikers at the camp store and we drove up to Bear Gulch parking to start our hike. We hiked up through Bear Gulch caves to the reservoir then up through the High peaks rocks and back down on the Condor Gulch Trail. All hikers survived. Trail lunch of canned tuna salad and crackers. Late lunch back at the RV of leftover pizza. I spent the evening at another hikers camp looking at the condors flying around the ridge above camp and chatting. Dinner was leftover lasagna.

Tuesday: (10/25) The usual hikers breakfast sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I was joined by 20 fellow San Jose Mid-week hikers for another hike here at Pinnacles NP. I call the hike the Grand Loop, only 10.6 miles. Nice weather, nice views , and nice conversation.Trail lunch of canned tuna salad and crackers. Late lunch back at the RV of Chinese food. Dinner was leftover hot and sour soup and pizza.

Wednesday: (10/26) The usual hikers breakfast sausage, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. Only seven of us hiked the North Wilderness loop today. Nice cozy small group. So much easier to not lose anyone. The usual trail lunch of canned tuna salad and crackers. Back at the RV, I had half of a Super Burrito for a late lunch and dinner.

Thursday: (10/27) Leftover fettuccine with added cheese and salsa for breakfast. I prepared to roll and moved the RV out to the High Peaks Viewing Area lot. I decided to make my bonus hike to the top of Mount Defiance. The way up is off trail for three miles. Finding the start of the way up took two tries. Since I couldn't find a way through the brambles to start where I had planned, I opted to start at a little steeper location just behind a wild pig trap. The track is not obvious for the first half mile and disappears often. Much of the trail is through sticking brambles and over loose gravel and sand and is very steep most of the way. I almost decided to admit defeat at about 2 miles up because it was already noon. But, I decided to continue and turn around by 1400. I made it to the top about 1330 and had my lunch of the usual tuna salad and crackers. Nice views of the High peaks area and everything else in any direction. I added my name to the register book. The last registration was last April. Not too many people come up here or not many register. While I got a few pokes and cuts by the brush on the way up it appears going up is with the grain and going down against the grain. Going down was like losing a fight with Edward scissor Hands. My arms were cut everywhere. My favorite hat was shredded. Mt Defiance was very defiant. I made it back to the RV at 1630 and took a shower. Then I cooked corned beef hash for dinner before leaving. Since I had to keep my speed down due to the bad shocks, I didn’t get on any freeways. I departed after 1800 and arrived home about 2100.

Friday: (10/28) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for all this morning. Leftover fettuccine with salsa and cheese for lunch. Dinner from Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City for dinner. I had a nice French dip sandwich. Lou and Dawn were busy with a housing appointment and a Social Security office visit today. I added a brace to Dawn’s squash whose trellis was falling over.

Saturday: (10/29) PBJ toasted sesame dinner rolls for breakfast.I spent some time inside preparing my mail in ballot. I also drafted a hike to post for Tuesday. I still have to check with the boss to be sure I can go. Lou and Dawn were off to a story telling memorial for a member of Dawn’s storytelling group. Broccoli salad for lunch. In the afternoon I pruned the artichokes and front yard geraniums.

Sunday: (10/30) Granola for breakfast. I relaxed all day today except for some tinkering , thinking about, and demolition of the van bed. Meili prepared our lunch of a curry stew over rice. Leftovers for dinner.

Monday: (10/31) Up early to drive our neighbor’s car down to San Jose for some work on the transmission. We stopped by Dawn’s apartment at the San Jose house on the way back home. I made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. I rechecked my measurements for the van bed and cut some new, better fitting pieces for the modification of the bed. I got the pieces cut out and primer painted. We expect rain tomorrow so I put everything away before dark. Salad for lunch. We got to pick up the Jeep after 1700 from the body shop. It looks pretty good with a couple of items awaiting parts or missed that will be corrected later. Dinner from Super Taqueria in Sunnyvale, a super burrito for me and nachos for Lou and Dawn.