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.