Thursday, September 1, 2022


Thursday: (09/01) Started by picking the beans, an every morning task. They are really productive. Lou and Dawn were off early to get another estimate to repair the Jeep. Then they went to the rental storage place in Santa Clara to unload the stuff for Dawn’s wall bed from the Jeep. I headed off to meet them but stopped at the bank and Walmart to get a lock. We unloaded the rest of the wall bed and bedroom/office system from the van. It went pretty easily utilizing my flat bed wagon, Lego rubber mats and plywood handles. After lunch I stopped at Sprouts Market on the way home. Our local Sprout’s closed and I must get my green tea and Bee’s Knees peanut butter there. Back home, I put away the tools, moving pads and blankets, wagon, etc. to provide an empty van again. Too hot and tired to do more today. Granola for breakfast. Lunch at Panera Bread, Baja Bowls for all. Leftover onions soup and coconut shrimp with rice for dinner. 

Friday: (09/02) Walk-about day. I was off to catch the 0727 Caltrain to San Francisco. The train arrived on time, I didn't, so I had to run under the underpass and quickly tag on as the doors tried to close in my face. In San Francisco, I had to use the bathroom then caught the next Muni trolley to Golden Gate Park. Again, I arrived late for the free entry into the arboretum. Missed it by 30 seconds. The rest of the day went better. I changed from a walk in the Arboretum to a neighborhood walk. I explored Buena Vista Park on my way down into the Mission District zigging and zagging my way. I had left this morning without my overshirt and it didn’t get above 60 degrees until after noon. Since it was cold most of the day and I didn’t want a late return this evening, I headed home early. I was back in Palo Alto about 1430. I spotted a crane helping to mount precast concrete wall panels on the new Police Building on my way home and that captured my attention for a couple of more hours. I had a Peasant Pie breakfast, a sausage, egg and potato pie. Lunch at La Torta Gorda, a carnitas torta. Leftover shrimp and rice for dinner. 

Saturday: (09/03) A hot day. I made templates and cut two of the three floor panels today. Granola and banana for breakfast. Dawn’s gruel for lunch. Beef noodles with green beans for dinner. 

Sunday: (09/04) A hot day. I cut out the third floor panel then prime painted one side. I prepare hash browned potatoes with a Denver omelet for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Lou made tuna noodle casserole for dinner. 

Monday: (09/05) Labor Day, which means nothing to the retired. I started and ended my work day by painting a coat of primer on the bottom of the floor panels. After the morning coat of paint, I ran out of primer. After a shower, I headed off to Lowe’s and got more primer and some brushes as well as some EMT conduits for Lou to use on the new grape arbor over the swing. I then headed off to look at flooring. The first place was closed due to the holiday. Floors And Decor in Milpitas was open and had a good selection so I bought some click together oak plank vinyl flooring. After a nice nap I painted the second coat and took another shower. It was hot today, about 104 degrees. Leftover hash browned potatoes and Denver omelet for breakfast. A late lunch from China Wok in Sunnyvale. Leftover Chinese food for dinner. 

Tuesday: (09/06) I started my day by painting the top sides of the floor panels with their second coats. After another shower, I prepared an egg, ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast. Today was another record hot day. At least 103 degrees but likely more. After a little hiding inside to cool off I decided I needed some spacers for the floor support so I got out the table saw and cut them then prime painted them. Meanwhile, Lou was at the optometrist to get her glasses adjusted. Our San Jose tenant works there and said her refrigerator was freezing her vegetables in the crisper. I had to drive down to see if I could fix it. Even though Lou had tried previously to just have her adjust it, She evidently didn’t so I set it lower. I checked Dawn’s apartment then picked up a burrito from La Victoria for a late lunch on the way home. I also got gas and stopped at ACE to get some construction adhesive before getting home. I received the gray water tank this afternoon as well. Salad for dinner. PA-SJ-PA trip to check the refrigerator. 

Wednesday: (09/07) Granola for breakfast. I attended my Wednesday webinar. Then I spent some time on the computer and designing van layouts. PBJ toast for lunch. We all went out in the afternoon. Dawn had an appointment and then we dropped her off to shop while I took Lou to an appointment. After the appointment, Lou and I went grocery shopping at Walmart and Smart and Final. I opened the gray water tank and looked it over. I now realize I need to be careful about penetrations through the floor because there is no clearance from the tank. I’ll need to use nutserts in the high part of the ridges to anchor the floor, shower, and cabinets. Dinner from Lucky Chinese Bistro. 

Thursday: (09/08) PBJ toast for breakfast. I installed a stake for a sunflower growing in the blackberries by the rear fence. It is over 12 feet tall and started to lean over as the flowers started to bloom. Then I installed the wire frames on top of the swing for the grapevine to grow onto. Lou made peach blintzes for lunch. 

Friday: (09/09) I tried to get started working on the van a couple of times but managed to convince myself relaxing was a better option. Lou and Dawn were out with appointments and shopping today. The van had one of its spells where it says the battery is dead. It should have been dead with the charger still connected and I measured 13 volts with the jumper before I turned on the battery. Not sure if that is a valid indication but it seems like an odd problem. Onion soup and toast for breakfast. Ham, cheese and hummus sandwich for lunch. Artichokes from our second growth from the garden with macaroni salad for dinner. 

Saturday: (09/10) I made an egg, cheese and bologna breakfast sandwich. Then I scheduled a hike for next Tuesday. This will be the first hike I’ve led since mid May. I decided to head over to the Pleasanton Fairgrounds for a Tiny Fest. A Tiny Fest is all about living small. Tiny homes and converted vans and other vehicles were on display. I enjoyed looking at all the vans and homes and also bought my Moon Shade from the vendor. The Moon Shade is a tent like awning for vans. It is attached to the van by magnet anchors and stands on two legs. It is much more wind resistant than an awning. It can be placed on any side of the van so provides lots of options for shade. On the way over to the Fairgrounds I stopped for lunch at the Asian??? Chinese restaurant for some pork chow mein and walnut honey shrimp. Dinner at home was mostly from the garden. Tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, ham and olives 

Sunday: (09/11) I prepared ham, eggs and toast for breakfast. I set up my new Moon Shade on the van. It’s like an awning but built more like a tent or umbrella so is more compact and more wind proof. I had to go to ACE to get some cable clamps to use as permanent loops on my roof rails rather than using the suction cup anchors provided.. Corn chowder with toast for lunch. In the later afternoon I removed a lot of moldings from the driver side and ran the #6 wires to the vehicle battery which will connect the battery to the solar charger. We had chili verde on ramen noodles for dinner. 

Monday: (09/12) Granola for breakfast. I went to Lowe’s to look for some metal strips to hang the ceiling panels with. I would have liked to use Flanged L-track but it would have cost about $500 to do the ceiling. Soooo, Plan B, use 1 ½”x ⅛” aluminum bars instead. Lowe’s didn’t have appropriate lengths, either too short or too much waste. The waste drove up the cost. SO, plan C. I checked the flooring department and found some aluminum panel couplers that look good, are wide enough, come in 6’ lengths and aren’t expensive. Back home, I cut a ceiling panel and hug it with a couple of the pieces of aluminum and it looks pretty good. I also worked on cutting and fitting the roof framing to attach the ceiling and the front and rear where there are not supports like in the middle. I am still waiting for the bolts to attach the floor panels, They won’t be here until Friday. But I’ve been worried they would be too short for the way I now intend to place the bolts. Metric confuses me. So, I got a similar bolt and yes they would be too short so I ordered some from Amazon. This new order will arrive three days before the first order. I should have just ordered the correct bolts in the first place but I was trying to avoid penetration into the gray water tank. Now, I don't intend to place any bolts in locations where they would have that possibility. I may just add some adhesive if needed. I also received the correct eye bolts for the awning attachment so I installed them. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. French fries with chili and sliced tomatoes from the garden for dinner. 

Tuesday: (09/13) I prepared my usual ham, egg and cheese ciabatta sandwich for breakfast. I went up to Foothills Preserve to lead a hike with the San Jose Mid Week Hikers. I was joined by 20 other hikers. It was only a 7.6 mile hike. Nice day, great views, nice company. For lunch, I stopped at Panda Express for some fried rice and walnut honey shrimp. Lou made roast pork with baked potatoes for dinner. 

Wednesday: (09/14) I worked in the garden to start. Picked the daily bean and tomato crop. I also routed some of the grape vine runners onto the new arbor on the swing. Next, I made a bike run to the market for salads, milk and cheese. The van battery was dead again so I ran the engine for a while, turned off the vent fan and checked that the trickle charger was working. Granola for breakfast. I attended my Wednesday webinar. A salad for lunch. In the afternoon I cut three more ceiling panels for the van. We had roast pork with ramen noodles and garden tomatoes for dinner. 

Thursday: (09/15) Granola for breakfast. I worked on anchoring the first floor panel in the morning. Lou and Dawn were off to the dentist, as I did later. I had a super nacho from Tacos El Grullense for lunch. Lou and Dawn stopped at Applebee’s. I completed attaching the first floor panel. I had lots of trouble with the nutserts. I had leftover salad for dinner. 

Friday: (09/16) Lou made peach blintzes for breakfast. I laid the other two floor panels on the floor. I decided not to use any more nutserts to attach the floor because they haven’t been easy to use and don’t seem to work any better than just using sheet metal screws. Unfortunately, I don't have the required length of flat head screws to use so I have to wait to attach the panels. I did reinstall the two under bed wall panels. I then emptied the van and went shopping with it. I picked up lots more plywood, likely more than I’ll actually use, but it is better to have all I need on hand. Also, the ¼’ plywood will have a similar appearance since it’s coming from the same pallet. I also got some vinyl panels for the shower walls. I stopped for some fried rice and Peking Pork Chops from Wok On restaurant on the way home. Back home, I unloaded the plywood. I used one and cut the last ceiling panel. I then reloaded the van as well as put the materials I had previously left outside back into the van. We have heavy rain forecast for this weekend. 

Saturday: (09/17) Leftover peach blintzes for breakfast. I worked a little in the garden removing some corn stalks and trimming the tomato plant. I also gave myself a hair and beard trim. Fresh garden tomato soup with a ham sandwich for lunch. I worked on the new van. I cut the rear ceiling panel, and installed the last of its framing, a 2x2 with kerf cuts to allow it to bend to conform to the curved roof. I received the screws I need to attach the floor panels and added more screws to the floor. Then I made sure everything was stowed inside the van out of the coming rain. For dinner we had wieners with pickle salad and ramen noodles I was awake at 0400 and at 0500 the rain started. I heard rustling by the new van’s awning. I thought it would withstand the wind. The legs evidently lifted in the breeze and moved away from the concrete blocks used as weights. I tied the posts to the block at the foot. I also found that some wood by my shed had blown down. This storm is mostly wind. I restacked the wood and looked for other things that might need attention. 

Sunday: (09/18) Granola for breakfast. At 0900 our San Jose tenant called and said her refrigerator was not working. A few days ago it was freezing her vegetables in the crisper. Now the fridge is at 70 degrees and the freezer at 30 degrees. I was there at about 1000 and tried adjusting the settings, then waiting and checking the temperature with my heat gun. It didn’t improve. I also vacuumed the coils and underneath the fridge but I don’t expect that to improve a sudden failure. I stopped for pizza for a late lunch at House Of Pizza. While I ate my lunch I considered the options for the refrigerator. I decided to replace it rather than repair it. This is based on our last experience trying the repair the last refrigerator which wasn’t fixed after three visits. The existing refrigerator is only 5.5 years old and it had a 5 year extended warranty. I think there must be some sort of timer in these things. I checked Costco, Lowe’s and Best Buy and decided on Lowe’s which had the best price. This refrigerator can only be replaced with a couple of units due to the cabinet clearances. Only Whirlpool and an LG model will fit. The new unit will be delivered in place Tuesday or Wednesday. PA-SJ-PA to check fridge SJ-Costco-Lowe’s-Best Buy- Lowe’s to locate and buy replacement 

Monday: (09/19) Scrambled eggs with ham and toast for breakfast. Lou was off to an appointment. I checked out all the neighborhood construction projects. Wilton Court apartments is removing scaffolding and putting up the last of the tile siding. The sewer project is preparing for their final pull on Lambert Street. They also started the open trench digging on Matadero. I worked a little on the van. I screwed down the floor panels completing their attachment. I installed the heater pads on the two water tanks and the holding tank. I installed the nutserts for mounting the gray water tank. But, when I tried to mount the tank I found there is an unused bracket that is in the way on my van and not on the one the manufacturer of the tank used to build the tank. I’ll need to grind it off tomorrow. I had leftover pizza for lunch. For dinner Lou made roast chicken with cauliflower potatoes and cherry tomatoes from the garden. 

Tuesday: (09/20) The usual ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I have a hike this morning and the new refrigerator is being delivered to San Jose today as well. Lou will meet them but my phone is the contact phone so Lou and I had to swap phones today. That made me print out my attendance list for the hike, old school. Normally I use Google sheets in offline mode. Nice hike with my 10 fellow SJMW Hikers. I stopped for lunch at Aqui’s restaurant in Saratoga. Dinner was pizza from A State Of Mind nearby. 

Wednesday: (09/21) Granola for breakfast. Busy inspection morning. They finished the tile siding of the building and removed the last of the scaffolding. Also busy landscaping. The sewer project was pulling in the last section on Lambert Street. Also putting in some pipe in the open trench section on Matadero. Salad for lunch. I tried to install the gray water tank. I had to cut off an unused bracket and an unused stud. But I could only install two of the three hangers. The front hanger doesn’t fit. I’ll have to modify or likely make a totally different hanger. Pickled veggies and wieners for dinner. 

Thursday: (09/22) Granola for breakfast. I took a morning walk by all the construction activity first thing. Then I prepared the three hikes I’ll lead in Pinnacles next month and sent out an announcement to keep the date for those hikes. Salad for lunch. In the afternoon I modified the bracket that didn’t fit by twisting it and finished the installation of the gray tank. Lou and I went to ACE hardware to get a couple of plugs for the inlets to the tank. One is surplus for possible future use, the other won’t get plumbed for a while so I want to keep critters out. Corned beef hash for dinner 

Friday: (09/23) We started with the Wilton Ct inspection. I prepared fried eggs and leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. Then the fun began. I did the RV tank duty emptying and filling as appropriate. I spent some time reading how to install the flooring. I determined I prefer to use standard metal edge screw down molding rather than the plastic glue down type. Seems like a better fit, more durable and easier installation. I was off to Lowe’s to get some. On the way, I picked up lunch at China Wok, some pork fried rice and peking pork chops. A hot afternoon so I relaxed the rest of the day. Ramen noodles and ham for dinner. 

Saturday: (09/24) Granola for breakfast. We had a 1000 appointment with the Wilton Ct apartments project manager to get a tour of the building inside. Nice. Lou and I took the four wheel bike to the Grocery Outlet for a few things. I did a little pruning of the lily of the nile plants and some tomatoes. Lunch as a salad. After a post lunch nap, I got to work in the van. I installed the first half of the flooring. Lou and Dawn made pizza for dinner. 

Sunday: (09/25) Granola for breakfast. Lou and I took the four wheeled bike out for a spin. Still weren’t sure of the range. We rode about 8 moles going out to Gunn High School down to San Antonio Shopping Center then back up to University Ave before going home. Still some juice left. Should be good for nearby shopping runs. Ham and cheese sandwich with creamy potato soup for lunch. Later in the afternoon I worked a little on the van and installed most of the rest of the flooring. Still have the left side last run which includes almost every piece needing trimming. Roast chicken and French fries for dinner.

Monday: (09/26) The usual breakfast egg, ham and cheese sandwich to start. I met my six fellow hikers at the Tarwater Trailhead for a hike to Jones Gulch. Nice weather and green forest. A 10.8 mile hike with a climb of 1808 feet. I stopped at Panda Express for lunch of fried rice and honey walnut shrimp, a favorite. I relaxed a while and ate lunch before a nice shower. Then I went to the bank. Lou made zucchini with sausage and onions for dinner.

Tuesday: (09/27) Pumpkin pudding for breakfast. I took Lou to a couple of appointments at Kaiser. While I waited to pick her up I shopped at the Grocery outlet and tinkered on the phone. No work done today. Lunch from the China Wok. leftover zucchini with sausage for dinner.

Wednesday: (09/28) Granola for breakfast. I did a little gardening in the morning. Lou and I checked on the Wilton Ct progress. I attended my usual Wednesday AlphaSoftware webinar. Lou, Dawn and I had lunch at Bajis Cafe. In the afternoon I finished installing the van flooring. Lou prepared steak for me and lamb chops for herself and Dawn all with mashed potatoes and avocado.

Thursday: (09/29) After tea in the garden and a walk around the neighborhood projects, I prepared breakfast, ham, eggs and toast. I replaced the last piece of flooring that I installed yesterday. I considered replacing it due to it leaving more gap on the edge than it should have. When Lou checked it out and mentioned it, so, of course I had to replace it. Then, I installed some caulk tape and then some regular caulk, I’ll check tomorrow to see how each did, then do the rest. Sausage and chips for lunch. I worked in the garden in the afternoon and removed the bean plans from my garden. Not as easy a task as you might think. Lou made breakfast for dinner, steak and eggs with home fried potatoes including a pepper from my garden.

Friday: (09/30) Granola for breakfast. I completed the first course of caulking the floor edge. After it settles it will need more in some places. I also reinstalled the ceiling insulation that had been removed to install the ceiling fans. I also added some reinforcement to the bed platform and cut the vent holes in the platform. I still need to paint the raw edges I created. Salad for lunch. A wet green burrito from Taqueria El Grullense for dinner.