Wednesday, June 1, 2022


Wednesday: (06/01) Granola and berries for breakfast. Salad for lunch. I made a run to deliver some van paperwork to Fedex related to vehicle registration. I then went to Walmart to buy the microwave convection, air fryer oven. Only $99. May simplify my electric kitchen. I also received a bunch of stuff from Amazon for the van. Leftover sauerkraut with potatoes and pork for dinner.

Thursday: (06/02) Lou made sauerkraut potatoes with uncured beef bacon and eggs for breakfast. Lots more materials for the van arrived today. Salad for lunch. While trying to determine what gray water tank would be best, I determined that the van layout needed to be reversed so that the shower is on the passenger side. Now the refrigerator will be under the counter behind Dawn’s seat and the sink next to the shower in the doorway. That way all the plumbing can be on one side and all the electrical on one side. No crossovers needed under the floor. Leftover chicken soup over rice for dinner. Lots more studying on the van build.

Friday: (06/03) No breakfast. Tinkered in the yard. Removed the bad motor from the cooler and tried to fix it. The starter doesn’t work. I burnished and adjusted the starter contacts. Then I had trouble getting it back together with a free spinning armature. I determined that the 35 year old motor served us well and will be laid to rest. I located reasonable cost replacement motors at Ace Hardware and Home Depot. ACE was more expensive and a few days before delivery. Home Depot claimed to have 4 in stock in East Palo Alto for less. I decided to try Home Depot even though I don’t like shopping there because of their founder's politics. After bunch of leftover chili and soup, we went to get the motor. In the end, I ordered it from ACE. There were none at Home Depot, even the row and shelf that their online presence claimed they were at didn’t exist. Dawn came with me and looked around the garden shop and got a few items. We stopped at the Grocery Outlet on the way home for milk. Leftover sauerkraut potatoes with grilled bangers for dinner. I received more van materials like the sink, a water tank, and the water filter.

Saturday: (06/04) Rice with honey and trail mix for breakfast. Green salad with crab meat for lunch. Strawberry waffles for dinner. More parts received. I got some Kreg tools for the cabinet construction. The BT2 (bluetooth modem) for the inverter monitor. More van planning. Inow plan on a convertible bed that sets up as a couch in either the forward or backward direction. The mattress will lift ,aided by gas struts, to provide the seatback and also access to storage under the bed. All the utilities have been relocated from under the bed. The water heater,pump, accumulator and water filter will be under the sink. The batteries, inverter, charger, and other electrical will be under the refrigerator. In addition, the bed will be removable as will the drawer cabinet under the bed so that the van can be used to haul long tall objects, limited by about 40” wide by 132” long. I’ll be installing L-track in the floor and garage walls to secure loads. I also spent a lot of time studying the gray water tank placement and decided where the inlets should be located.

Sunday: (06/05) Sausage for breakfast. I received the van refrigerator and some caulk today. Couldn’t check it’s operation for 24 hours so the fluids can settle. It seems to fit nicely. Otherwise, I spent the day thinking about the van floor installation, electrical, framing and watching videos about those things. Home grown artichokes for lunch. A burrito for dinner.

Monday: (06/06) Dawn made ham and cheese arepas for breakfast. I made a run to Lowe’s for some wood. I got 7 sheets of plywood. No problem to carry in the van. We tried to get lunch from Lucky Bistro but found they are now closed on Mondays. I was set on Chinese so we stopped by the China Wok and I got some rice and shrimp. Lou doesn’t trust that they are safe for her to eat. She is sensitive to any cottonseed oil, MSG and Star anise that many restaurants use. Dawn made another chicken soup from her chicken soups from around the world cookbook for dinner. It was served with hard boiled eggs and was very good.

Tuesday: (06/07) Up early and collected what I thought I’d need for the repairs in San Jose. I even took a shower though , since I’ll be working on a toilet, that may have been wasted. I stopped for a breakfast burrito at La Victoria before going to the house. Rick was there and said the problem was that the toilet didn’t fill with water and the water didn’t seem to be flowing into the tank. I confirmed the flow was good to the float valve and then headed off to get a new valve. No need to waste time trying to fix a $15 valve. The valve went in nicely, no leaks. All I needed was a crescent wrench and my wet/dry vacuum. All those snakes and wrenches weren’t needed, fortunately. I took El Camino Real home. I prefer not driving on freeways, especially during heavier traffic. I picked up some dim sum on the way back. Back home I found my inverter and cooler motor had arrived. I checked on my two projects, the city sewer replacement and the apartment building down the street. Then, I tried to install the motor but I broke the pulley trying to get it off the old motor. None available locally so I ordered from Amazon and have to wait a couple of days to continue. I also received my electric sheet metal shear, 8020 rail couplers, reflective self adhesive insulation, and aluminum foil tape. Lunch was dim sum and leftover chinese rice and shrimp. Lou picked up more Chinese food from Lucky Bistro on her way home. We all dropped our ballots off at our polling place as good citizens. \

Wednesday: (06/08) I did some checks on the van and ordered the gray water tank. I also made a run to the dump to cash in Dawn’s cans and bottles. Then more research on van materials and parts. I received the second water tank today. Leftover hot and soup soup for breakfast and lunch. Also leftover salad for lunch. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Thursday: (06/09) I emptied the plywood and tanks from inside the van. I slowly made the decision and ordered the windows for the van. I also received the batteries today. An, to make Lou happier, I received the pulley for the cooler and installed the new motor and pulley and it works fine now. Granola with a banana for breakfast. Lou made fried sauerkrauted potatoes with ham and eggs for lunch. Green salad for dinner. Lou and Dawn started dog sitting today. Momo from across the street is our guest for a few days.

Friday: (06/10) Breakfast from Happy Donut, a sausage egg and cheese English muffin and a donut. I met Alex at his house and we picked up Bianca and headed up to Bonny Doon Ecological Preserve for our hike. The area suffered fires in 2008 and 2020 but was still nice. Lots of plants and animals only exist on these sand islands in the area. This was the hottest recent day in the high 90’s but the hiking group of 13 didn’t complain and all seemed to enjoy the hike. On the way home I picked up lunch at Los Altos Taqueria then relaxed the rest of the day. No dinner needed due to the late lunch.

Saturday: (06/11) Another hot day. Early in the morning, I got my chainsaw out and removed the two tree shafts that remain after having removed all the dead limbs of two of the trees over the shop. I relaxed inside and planned the van’s electrical system most of the day. I received my shower pan about 2045. Chicken and rice stew for breakfast. Salad with some bologna and cheese for lunch. Mushroom rice soup with egg for dinner. At 2045, my shower pan arrived.

Sunday: (06/12) I brought the table saw out of the shop and ripped some pieces of hardboard to use as templates for the van floor installation. Then I got distracted and worked on the two electric saws that needed repair. My 48 year old saw was rather noisy when you stopped it. It sounded like it would fall apart but worked well otherwise. I cleaned it up and also removed and replaced the grease in the gearbox. Works well now. The other saw was an expensive Milwaukee saw that I’ve used for years as my concrete cutting saw. It lost power and also the blade safety protection was frozen. I cleaned it up and changed its grease as well. I also tightened up the depth mechanism. It worked well in all ways after my repairs, except it still had no power. Must be a bad motor winding so I tossed it. In the afternoon I received my two Arctic Tern windows for the van. Now I really need to get to work. Only the compost toilet hasn’t arrived yet. Leftover rice mushroom soup for breakfast. Nachos for lunch from Tacos El Grullense down the street. Artichokes with waffle potatoes and baked fish for dinner.

Monday: (06/13) Leftover sauerkrauted hash browns with ham and eggs for breakfast. I installed the roof rails on the van. I needed to get some M6 hex bolts to install the rail couplers so I rode the bike over to ACE hardware then stopped at the Grocery Outlet for eggs and milk. Of course I left with a lot more and had lots of fun securing the load on the bike. Back home, I had some of Dawn’s congee for lunch. Evidently, what I’ve been calling rice soup is congee. A relaxing afternoon. I received the spacers for the rear roof fan so I’ll be installing the fans soon. Lou made ribs with green beans and tater tots for dinner.

Tuesday: (06/14) I had a PT appointment at Kaiser to learn how to reduce my back pain. There is always hope. Lou had a dental appointment. We did some grocery shopping at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on the way home. Back home, I relaxed the rest of the day. Granola with banana for breakfast. Chili over leftover breakfast hash browns for lunch. Sauerbraten over baked potato for dinner

Wednesday: (06/15) I received two of my three solar panels today. I also pruned the maple tree by the driveway to clear my new van. I installed a couple of bricks to let Lou slip by the front porch in her wheelchair. And I worked on my van construction spreadsheet. Granola and banana for breakfast. Leftover chili and rice for lunch. Leftover sauerbraten over baked potato for dinner. I ordered more materials for the van.

Thursday: (06/16) I received my reflectix insulation this morning. Otherwise I studied some of the equipment manuals in preparation for installations. About 1400 I showered and at 1500 drive up to San Bruno and caught the BART train to San Francisco. BART doesn’t come to our area and it is most convenient for my late return tonight. I got off at the 24th street station and walk over to La Torta Gorda for my dinner. I had a poblano, onion, avocado and cheese torta. They make the absolute best tortas. I then wasted some time walking around the area. I was there to attend an 8pm concert at The Chapel by Jenny and The Mexicats. The doors were supposed to open at 7pm and I arrived some time after that and waited. The doors finally opened at 8:10pm. The concert didn’t start until 9pm. The warmup band was Suenatron, OK. Very energetic but a muddy sound. Fortunately Jenny and her Mexicats were just as expected from their Youtube videos. They did all their favorites and provided an excellent show. The Chapel provides an intimate venue. Their show ended at 1130 and I had to dash off to catch my train. I got home very late at 2am. Scrambled eggs, ham and cheese sandwich for brunch. Dinner at La Torta Gorda on 24th Street in San Francisco. Here is a sample.