Sunday, January 1, 2023

January 2023

Sunday: (01/01) Granola for breakfast. Relaxing New Year's Sunday morning watching the morning shows. A sausage and broccoli salad for lunch. This is the only dry day that we get to count on during these recent two weeks. Ramen noodles and sausage for dinner. I tinkered only a tiny bit, putting a few things away in the van. Otherwise relaxed.

Monday: (01/02) Lou made shrimp and steamed kale for breakfast. Lou and I were off by 0930 to the Lowe’s home improvement store in San Bruno. I was looking for a shower wall surround kit and found something a a good price, space efficient and trimmable at Lowe’s and they had one ins stock in San Bruno. I had some difficulty locating it but finally found it and opened the box to confirm it was right for the job, so I bought it. Unfortunately, we were in the Jeep and it did not fit inside so I had to tie it on the roof. The unfortunate part is that we then had to hurry home due to impending rain. We had planned on a little shopping and looking around on our return home and probably lunch. Guacamole and chips with leftover pork and beans and sausage for lunch. The sprinkles and light rain came just as I started to unload the box from the roof. I relaxed in the afternoon. Leftover broccoli salad for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/03) Lou and Dawn were off to Costco early. I was off to Harbor Freight early (for me). I wanted to get a hardware compartment system going. I ended up getting a four tray each with 18 compartments and a small toolbox top. I’ve been having a problem locating some hardware and this kit will be good in the future for spare parts in this van. On the way home I stopped at Lowe’s to return the incorrect shelf bracket that Lou had picked up. I also looked around for some molding to protect my head from the storage shelf over the cockpit area that I keep bumping into. Nothing found. I picked up my breakfast/lunch about 1100 on the way home. I had to wait a little for two of my items to get to the fast food trays. Back home I loaded up the new bins and inspected the new shower walls and read the installation instructions. Today there were some sprinkles and threat of rain all day though it was actually pretty nice.

Wednesday: (01/04) A very rainy day. No breakfast. I’m trying to reduce food intake so I’m trying to eliminate breakfast. Iworked in the van a little before my Wednesday webinar. Then attended my webinar. And then returned to the van to install cable lugs and cables. I also went to get some keys for Dawn’s apartment. Breakfast and dinner were some leftover Chinese food from yesterday. Peking pork chops. 5 flavor chicken and pork fried rice. One dinner takes care of three meals for me.

Thursday: (01/05) A very rainy day. I relaxed inside much of the bay. In the afternoon, I made a run to Walmart and bought a pair of Levi's. It looks like I need more long pants, for a while. About 1615 i received the #10 SO cord that I need for the van’s AC power connections. I worked on installing that cable to get power to and from the inverter. Granola for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Roast chicken with Spanish rice for dinner.

Friday: (01/06) Nice clear day. I prepared scrambled eggs with ham and toast for breakfast. I was working on the van connecting wires when Dawn needed her computer system moved from the house to her apartment. I had to move and install the monitor and its articulate pole mount. I also had to cut two cable holes. One was used to mount her articulated arm mounted microphone. She spent the afternoon finalizing the system to her needs. Unfortunately I forgot about an additional hole that is needed so I have to return tomorrow. In today's shipments that were received along with crimp lugs, shrink tubing and terminal blocks, I received a RFID dongle reader/programmer and some dongles. I had hoped I might be able to clone Dawn’s apartment dongle but, alas, it doesn’t seem to have worked. Lou picked up burritos from Super Taqueria for lunch. For dinner Dawn made baked potatoes with grilled onions and cheese.

Saturday: (01/07) A nice morning before expected rain. Lou made tortilla soup and chili. We had soup for breakfast and chili for lunch. I went over to Dawn’s apartment and sawed the last cable hole in her desk top. Back home I completed connecting the available wires at the Main and load panels and the inverter. I discovered I made a serious error and extended the solar cables with #10 wire rather than #8 as needed. I ordered the #8 cable and removed the improper wires, after having completed their termination and connection. 1517 I called the city about a sewer blockage to the street for our house. A little over an hour later a tech responded and checked the line with his camera. Unfortunately it was somewhat clear at the park strip cleanout but still to the top at the exit from the house cleanout. He opened the manhole and it was almost to the top clogged up. Seven or more feet deep. After they get that cleared I’ll still have to clear our line from the house to the park strip. So, too bad the RV tanks have a week's use on them already. An hour or more later I saw lots of flashing lights down the street and down stream. They were hydro cleaning the sewer line. They said they had already cleaned past our house. I sprayed a stream of water down our cleanout. The water level never rose higher but it never went down either. More work tomorrow. Toast and chili for dinner.

Sunday: (01/08) I had a bowl of chili for breakfast/ They, i had to get to work on the sewer problem. I tried a snake and it went in 15 feet before it started folding. It doidn’t help. I tried a hose bladder but it didn’t expand big enough for the 4’ pipe. I used to have a bigger one but can’t find it now. I gave up and called for service. The first appointment is tomorrow morning. I took a shower outside. Fortunately, the weather is nice today. More chili for lunch. I worked in the van installing some shrink tubing on my connectors. I also spent some time looking and thinking. Leftover tortilla soup for dinner.

Monday: (01/09) Granola for breakfast. I got a call at 0715 from the plumbers to confirm our appointment. They arrived about 0900 and cleaned the line. Of course, the price quoted online wasn’t the actual price charged but they did find roots in our line so i relented and more to get it razor cleaned, not just opened. Cute. However, it does point out one of my future projects will be to replace the main drain line across the front yard to the park strip cleanout. They quoted around $10,000 to do that which is ridiculous. Of course, that assumes I’m still up to moving a bunch of dirt. Lou took the Jeep off early to the body shop to get some touch up work done on the repairs it had done earlier. One of the seams was improper and they were awaiting a reflector. She had to wait there for Ernie to pass by and pick her up. All flowing nicely by 1100. I replaced a bunch of sprinkler control valve batteries after that. In the Afternoon I headed off shopping. I went to Lowe’s for some needed van parts. On the return, I stopped for gas in the car, stopped at Sprout’s Market for tea, Bee’s Knees peanut butter, and ciabatta rolls. They have the best green tea and ciabatta rolls. We do miss them since they closed the Mountain View store. Next stop was at the Wok On Chinese restaurant to get lunch. From there I stopped at the Grocery Outlet Market for a couple of items. Always best to do a route when out and about. For dinner we got pizza from our nearby State Of Mind Pizza joint.

Tuesday: (01/10) Avocado toast for breakfast. Lou and I went over to Dawn’s apartment. Lou was busy hanging pictures on her walls. I installed a usb dual monitor adapter so now she can display her work on three screens. I also troubleshoot her video editing application. She was having difficulty getting it to see her camera. I fumbled with it until it worked again. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. I worked on the van in the afternoon. I hooked up the solar and alternator connections. Ready to possibly energize the electrical system tomorrow. Broccoli salad and a sausage for dinner.

Wednesday: (01/11) Another rainy day. I prepared corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Today was another webinar Wednesday so I attended my Alpha Software webinar. After that I worked on our taxes a little. Salads for lunch. I was worn out from doing so little so I took a nap. Later I drove Lou over to pick up the jeep from the body shop. Its final touch up and missing reflector were corrected. Back home, I did a little wiring in the van. Lou made sauerbraten with roasted potatoes for dinner.

Thursday: (01/12) Today was a window day, the only non stormy day within a two week period. Not only not stormy but nice, warm and sunny. I took advantage of it and caught the train up to San Francisco. I then rode the new Chinaton extension of the T Muni train route. It makes quick work of getting to Chinatown, the direction I usually head when heading off toward the Presidio. From the end of the track, I walked out Columbus Avenue stopping for a late breakfast at a cafe getting a bacon, spinach and egg burrito. Then on to the Palace of Fine Arts I like making a loop around the pond there. Next, I hike up the Lyon Street Steps. Lots of stairs to get to the top of Russian hill. Half way up you pass Senator Pelosci’s house which has been in the news recently. I continued over to the East end of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle. I walked through it and on through the park to the beach. I then caught the N train over to Judah street and enjoyed a beef potato peasant pie and chickpea lentil soup combo for a late lunch / dinner. Then back on the N train to the Caltrain station to catch the train home. Leftover salad for dinner.

Friday: (01/13) I provide transport to an appointment for Ernie. I did some work on the van completing all but on DC circuit breaker that is still on the way here. I also installed teo AC outlets, one for a heater that does not pass through the inverter and the second an AC outlet for the refrigerator. The refrigerator will be DC powered but has an AC option. I also reconnected the solar panel cables on the roof and installed the fuse from the alternator. They I connected the batteries and turned on the batteries and the breakers to the Solar charger and the house circuits. They all seem to work properly. I did not close the breakers from the alternator nor from the solar panels yet because I wanted to study the manuals and be ready to adjust or confirm the settings of the chargers and also have the bluetooth monitoring running as well. I need to locate a tiny screwdriver to make some final connections and install the battery temperature probes as well. Then I might have power. Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Cottage and fruit for lunch. Tamales for dinner.

Saturday: (01/14) I took Ernie to another appointment first thing today. Back home, after breakfast of granola and a banana, I got to work on the van. I finished up the last of the wiring including installing a breaker that arrived yesterday, I also hooked up all the monitoring equipment. I tested the solar charger and it worked fine providing about 7 amps. I then enabled the alternator charging and it provided 24 amps. When I turned off the solar, the alternator provided 51 amps, for a while, then it’s breaker tripped. I experienced the same problem with the charger in the motorhome which I corrected by installing a larger breaker. We had leftover sauerbraten with baked potatoes and corn on the cb for lunch. With the solar / alternator charger working well I then tested the inverter / charger. I fully charged the batteries which took about 2.5 hours charging at 75 amps. With that current through the terminals and cables I checked for hot spots with my thermal scanner. All really good except either terminal on the main fuse. When the charge was through I tightened the terminals some more. Then I tested the inverter. It works but I didn’t check it for a big load which I’ll do tomorrow with the heater. Tonight I’m testing the trickle consumption with the inverter on but no load. It looks like it might use 20 amp hours overnight. I had a couple of sweet tamales for dinner.

Sunday: (01/15) Leftover corned beef hash for breakfast. I picked up Chinese food for lunch from the Wok On restaurant for me and from Lucky Bistro for Lou. I love the peking BBQ ribs from Wok On while Lou can’t eat there due to their use of cottonseed oil. I was out to get some storage containers at Lowe’s and a big tool bag from Harbor Freight. I worked on the Van some testing for a heavy load running an electric heater for 30 minutes. I also ran another test of the vehicle alternator charging. I replaced the breaker that tripped previously that comes from the alternator. After about 15 minutes, the alternator/solar charger output breaker tripped. I think it was possibly due to the terminals being ever so slightly loose and heat buildup from that. I think I’ll replace that breaker with a fuse later since it doesn’t need to be switchable. Now I just need a nice sunny day to test the solar output. And there is another problem with the fact that I can’t monitor the inverter with bluetooth. The batteries and solar charger are working fine. I’ll need to contact the manufacturer to see if it was my error doing the setup that caused it. Leftover lunch for dinner.

Monday: (01/16) Leftover corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We had some really heave rain last night and good intermittent rain in the morning. I worked in the van. I cut the electrical cabinet top to fit now that the circuit breaker panels were installed. I also installed a pigtail cord for the DC power to the refrigerator. Then I moved the refrigerator into the van. In the afternoon we had a little sun and the refrigerator ran off the sun as well as the batteries getting topped off. My back was really bad today so I didn’t do too much more. Orange carrots and ham for lunch. Dawn made a pork roast with sweet potatoes and apples for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/17) I prepared a ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich using the induction cooktop in the van. Another test passed. I worked most of the day moving stuff that I won't be needing anymore from the van to storage in my shop. Next project is plumbing. I cut off the two side bed storage lids to fit behind the front cabinet line and reinstalled the lids. The end result is that I could take the van out once I get the mattress and get the bedside of the shower walls done. Having water for that would be nice but not required. Leftover hot and sour soup with cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. For dinner we had pot roast with the usual potatoes, carrots and some green beans for our garden.

Wednesday: (01/18) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. I Attended my Wednesday webinar. I also jumped a car for another resident at Dawn’s apartment. And I started working on installing plumbing. Unfortunately, I can't get started on cabinetry like the shower, the sink nor the closet, the microwave cabinet, the other overhead cabinets. Salad for lunch. After lunch I went up to Foothills Park for a short walk up Chamise Trail up to Arbolejo Lookout and the Vista Hill then back down to Boronda Lake then up and down the Toyon Trail back to the start. Possibly a 4 mile hike. It was nice to see some flowing water in the creeks. I then went off to Lowe’s to pick up some plumbing stuff for the van. On the way home I bought our dinner at Super Taqueria.

Thursday: (01/19) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. It rained well last night but today there is little chance of more rain. Since it was wet we decided to head toward Santa Cruz to look around. That plan ended when Ernie confirmed he’d need a ride about noon. So we headed off to Ikea to look at things, in particular a mattress for the van. Meatball lunch at Ikea. I picked up Ernie after lunch. Pot roast for dinner.

Friday: (01/20) Leftover pot roast for breakfast. Lou and I headed off first thing to Lowe’s. I got a few parts for the van. We also stopped at ACE to get items not found at Lowe’s. Back home I assembled the valve manifold for the water system that, hopefully, allows the one pump to transfer water from tank to tank and to the house for use. I had to return to Lowe’s again. I made a couple of online orders for pickup. Some of these items were things I couldn’t find on the shelves. On the way home I picked up lunch from Wok on and Lucky Bistro. I ate Chinese food for lunch. After lunch I unpacked the new microwave. I gave the one I bought for the van to Dawn so I had to get another. I didn’t get it tested today. Salad and cottage cheese for dinner.

Saturday: (01/21) Granola for breakfast. I went to Dawn’s apartment to look into a problem with her monitor and TV. The TV plug strip was turned off. Easy fix. Her monitor was flashing and ticking occasionally. I played with the resolution settings and all became well. While there our San Jose tennant called and said they had no hot water. I drove down to San Jose and found the pilot light out. I relit it and hung around for it to cycle before leaving. While waiting I picked up a pizza for lunch. I stopped at Harbor freight for a ⅜” allen wrench and ended up getting a micro hammer and a new wire stripper because mine has a bad cutter on it. I stopped at Lowe’s for a couple of 1 ½” PVC plugs, some teflon tape, and silicon spray. Back home I fixed the squeak in my sliding door with a couple of squirts on the door rollers. House Of Pizza pizza for lunch. I trimmed my beard and hair this afternoon. It was postponed from this morning. Leftover Chinese food for dinner.

Sunday: (01/22) Lou made bacon and eggs with oven baked home fries for breakfast. I worked on the van in the morning. I removed the driver side water tank so that I could tighten the unused plugs on the front of the tank. I did leave holes into the electrical cabinet to access the area of the plugs but in order to access the lower plug I'd need to remove the Inverter so removing the tank was easier. With all the unused holes in the two water tanks plugged, I then pulled in a water line through the rear columns and over the rear doors to connect the two tanks. Water will be pumped either direction between the two tanks through the water line. The right side tank will be the primary tank and water will be pumped from the left to the right tanks as needed. Leftover pizza for lunch. After my late 1400 lunch I relaxed until about 1600 when I was called over to Dawn;s apartment. I helped assemble the IKEA bathroom cabinet they had bought yesterday. We had stuffed bell peppers with mashed potatoes for dinner.

Monday: (01/23) Granola for breakfast. I installed some abrasion protection on some sharp spots near the water line between the tanks. About 1000, Lou Dawn and I took off toward Santa Cruz. We explored Capitola, along the bluffs by the ocean, and downtown Santa Cruz. I got my lunch from Panda Express while they got their lunches from Togo’s. We drove home via Highway 1 toward Half Moon Bay. Enroute, Dan said she got word that the Half Moon Bay bookstore, and all HMB was in lockdown due to an active shooter. It was getting dark so we turned off toward home through Pescadero. Along the way we passed three police cars headed toward the coast. At home I saw news of another mass shooting that turned out to be the shooter in HMB. Do we bring these disasters on? Last time we took this trip to Santa Cruz and came home this way we passed the beginning of the CZU fire that burned most of the mountains from Santa Cruz to HMB. This time a mass shooting. This may be our last trip. Too dangerous. Leftovers for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/24) Granola for breakfast. I helped Lou hang pictures at Dawn;s apartment. I am the master hammerer. I then worked on the van. I performed a test of the ability of the pump to bring water up to the roof and back down to confirm I’ll be able to transfer from tank to tank. It worked well. I also did some other pipe fitting. Ham and cheese sandwich with leftover hot and sour soup for lunch. In the afternoon I brought the table saw out and cut some plywood for the top and end of the water tanks. I need the end piece to mount the water manifold on. Broccoli salad with mashed potato and diced ham for dinner.

Wednesday: (01/25) Lou and I went to A Good Morning restaurant for breakfast. We then headed over to Pleasanton to the fairground for an RV show. We looked over all the available RV’s and vans and confirmed nothing as good as what mine is planned to be. After we had our fill we stopped at a couple of thrift stores. We also got to fill up our gas tank, which was all but empty, with the cheapest gas in the bay area, only $3.49. It was 60 cents cheaper than the cheap gas near home. We had Safeway soup for lunch. Ham and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Thursday: (01/26) Granola for breakfast. I finished installing the water tank vents. My original plan of using a PEX pipe for the vent had to change. It is too rigid to make it through the rear column to get outside. I had to go to ACE and get some vinyl tubing. I had to visit another ACE to finally locate one step PVC cement. I also painted the color coat on the panels I cut the other day. French toast and bacon for lunch. Lou made chicken pot pie for dinner.

Friday: (01/27) Leftover French toast and ham for breakfast. I started the day by doing a couple of tasks that have been on my todo list for a while. I went to the key shop to get a couple of copies of keys for the van ring (The motorhome door key and the house key). Now I don’t have to carry two sets of keys. Next, I got out the table saw and cut some boards to trim the bottom of the compartment above the water tanks. Then I primed the boards. Our neighbor made a nice vegetable soup for lunch. In the afternoon I painted the color coat on the boards I primed this morning. Later I made a run to Lowe’s to pick up some parts I ordered for the van. For dinner, I made baked potato chili sizes.

Saturday: (01/28) A foggy morning but sunny later. Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van. I disassembled the passenger side water tank cabinet to allow me to lift the tank and be able to install the outlet pipe fitting. I couldn’t spin the ell that was attached to the tank. I then built a bottom for the cabinet over the tank. I also installed some tee nuts to allow installing the hot water tank to the wall of the cabinet. Then I reassembled the cabinet. Finally I installed a new cover for the rear of the tank where the valve manifold will be attached. After rearranging all the supplies that were crammed on the driver side over to the passenger side, I then did the same to the driver side cabinet. This took all day with a short nap after lunch. Ham and cheese sandwich and some broccoli salad for lunch. Three bean chicken salad noodles for dinner. Lou made some chocolate flan for dessert.

Sunday: (01/29) Lou made oven omelets for breakfast. After watching the Sunday morning shows I went over to Dawn’s apartment. I installed a cable organizer channel to make her desk neater. Back home I did some more plumbing hookups. Super burrito for lunch. It was cold and breezy today so after lunch I just relaxed inside. Beef stew for dinner.

Monday: (01/30) Lou’s sweet potato pie for breakfast. I took a walk over to see the Barron Park donkeys and through the Stanford campus. Around an 8 mile hike. Nice to see Lake Lagunita full. Along the way I stopped at Coupa Cafe for a Tiger Spice Chai. I caught the bus home. Leftover omelet for lunch when I got home. Macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/31) Leftover macaroni and cheese for breakfast. Leftover omelet for lunch and dinner. I spent the cold (24 degree) morning relaxing. I also made a couple of camping reservations. One for Coyote Lake County park in Gilroy in a couple of weeks. We haven’t camped there before. I also made a reservation at Hendy Woods State Park in April. Lou wants to get away to camp for a while. In the afternoon I finally got to work on the van. I started framing the shower. The first problem was to level the van. It’s hard to align walls in a van with curved walls. I used my new leveling blocks to get it close to level. I managed to get the front and rear walls up.