Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August 2023

Tuesday: (08/01) I made an omelet with ham, onions and cheese for breakfast. I met my fellow hikers for a hike at Foothills Nature Preserve. This hike tours most of the trails in the park except the Loas Trancos Trail. About 7.4 miles with a 1400’ climb. A very enjoyable day for this hike with great views, and interesting hikers. Lunch in the shade with a great view and a seat for everyone at the vista point, another plus. After the hike I had Panda Express for lunch. BBQ ribs with green beans from the garden and finger smashed potatoes fried in butter.

Wednesday: (08/02) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I cut and installed the shower side walls in the van. I also wired up the air conditioner but I had ordered the wrong connectors so I wasn't able to upgrade the main buss feed cables. I was able to test run the AC but need to upgrade the cables to be able to run other things. It ran for about three hours in the afternoon and used less than 10% of the battery capacity. BLT sandwiches for lunch with some tomatoes from Lou’s garden. Lou made chili rellenos for dinner.

Thursday: (08/03) Granola and diced apple for breakfast. Chinese food from Wok on restaurant in Sunnyvale for lunch and dinner. Last night i left the air conditioner on the van running set at 78 degrees. This morning the battery was only down to 88%. Probably only ran the fan all night. At 0930 the AC compressor kicked on. The AC ran all day and still recharged the battery to 99%+. In the afternoon I kicked it down to 72 degrees and it was at that temperature in 30 minutes. I then set it to 75 degrees. 72 is too cold, 78 is too warm. I also added the caulk tape to the rear seams of the shower. Unfortunately, one ended up with a ripped corner in two places. I dashed off to Lowe’s and got more tape and replaced it. I also cut a piece of rain gutter and installed it as the threshold. And, finally I cut a bunch of pieces from the scrape of the shower walls and extended the side walls out ¼ to ¾” to the front edge of the walls. The panels were just 24” and the walls 24.5 inch with the rear wall of the shower slanting in a half inch in the first 4 feet and then 4 more inches from there to the top. Now, with the fillers, the shower door can be installed over the patches and still be nice and level and securely glued to the walls. So, tomorrow, maybe I can get the shower door installed and any final caulking done and have a complete shower except for reinstalling the valve and installing a vent.

Friday: (08/04) Granola for breakfast. I upgraded the cables to the main busbar in the van. Then I cleaned up the van and put lots of tools and leftovers away. Lou, Dawn and I headed off to Milpitas and had lunch at the Black Bear Diner. Then there was the customary visit to a nearby thrift store before finally heading over to the Super Walmart there. The purpose of our trip was to return the microwave we bought a couple of weeks ago. Lou doesn’t like the fact it doesn’t have any number keys on the control keyboard. We also did some other grocery shopping there before heading home. I had left the air conditioner running in the van. It basically doesn’t use any power from the batteries most of the day when it is sunny. In fact, it actually charges the battery some. I reinstalled the refrigerator after having tested for hot terminals and connections. None found. Snacks and leftovers for dinner.

Saturday: (08/05) I made French toast and sausage for breakfast. Today, I installed the shower door. Works nice. I also reinstalled the shower valve. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to stop a leak in the cold water valve connection so a little redesign is needed to take the strain off the piping. I made a run to Lowe’s to return some excess materials and look for a solution to the leak. I came up with using flexible hoses instead of piping to the valves. Unfortunately Lowe’s didn’t have the type needed both in threads and length so Amazon will be coming to the rescue. I stopped for lunch at Super Taqueria. We picked up dinner at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. Lou and Dawn’s prime rib and my lasagna.

Sunday: (08/06) I cut out some trim pieces of plywood to trim the front of the shower and for the shower ceiling. And I sanded and started varnishing them. I received the flex hoses for the shower valve but when I located the drop ear ells I thought I had, they were for ¾” pex to ½” pipe thread. No good for my needs. Another Amazon order and day of delay. Mostly relaxed the rest of this hot day. Leftover French toast and sausage for breakfast. Leftover lasagna for lunch. Lou made BLT sandwiches for dinner. I removed the sink in preparation to fix the piping.

Monday: (08/07) I was out early and applied another coat of varnish to the shower trim pieces. Then I made fried eggs and bacon for breakfast. Later another coat of varnish applied. Lou made salads for lunch. Late in the afternoon I received the parts I needed to fix the shower piping and then reinstalled the sink. While it was out, I took measurements for the permanent counter top and swing up table. Just before dinner I applied a final coat of varnish. Lou made BBQ shredded pork over tater tots for dinner. Desert at Dawn’s some kind of carrot pudding, something like pumpkin custard.

Tuesday: (08/08) Chili beans for breakfast. I installed the trim on the front of the shower and prepared the shower ceiling to be installed when it’s dry. I had to make a trip to ACE for some screws. I had lunch at the new location of the Country Inn Restaurant in Los Altos. After lunch I made a board to mount the compost toilet on when it is in the shower space. It should keep the toilet in place bouncing down the road. Its paint is also drying. Leftover lasagna for dinner.

Wednesday: (08/09) Leftover omelet and hash browns from yesterday shared with Lou for breakfast. I painted a final coat of paint on the toilet mounting board and fitted the anchor brackets on it. I needed some sort of padding between the board and the shower base. I tried a towel but was looking for something better. I went out shopping and started with lunch from Panda Express. I was looking for a new bigger swimming noodle as a bump edge for the frame on the storage shelf over the front seats. I was also looking for the shower floor padding. I found the padding at Big Lots but never found a swimming noodle. They must be out of season. I also stopped at Trader Joes for bread and Walmart for some things. I also tried Bruce Bauer Lumber looking for cabinet door slide extrusions. None found. My gray caulk arrived from Amazon as I returned home. But, I rested the rest of the day. Lou made dinner of finger potatoes, tomatoes from the garden, onions, and ground roast beef for dinner. After dinner I prepared the van for use for tomorrow's hike and restocked my pack with water and snacks.

Thursday: (08/10) I enjoyed my pre-hike ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I drove the van to my hike today. We hike many of the trails at Russian Ridge Open Space preserve, about 6 miles and 876 feet of climb. Nice hike with a light breeze and clear sky and views. 14 fellow hikers joined me. After the hike, I prepared ramen noodles and chili for lunch. This could be a new post hike tradition. After the hike and a nice shower at home, I relaxed the rest of the day. Lou and Dawn made peach blintzes for dinner.

Friday: (08/11) Granola for breakfast. I caulked the van shower, white on the inside and gray to match the door on the outside. While it dried I didn’t want to get saw dust on the fresh caulk nor drive the van and shake it loose so I did nothing else the rest of the day. Any excuse. In the afternoon, I took a drive. I looked for the cabinet door slides at a couple of places then got lunch at Super Taqueria about 1530. I made a Grocery Outlet Market run on my bike in the evening. No dinner needed.

Saturday: (08/12) Leftover blintzes and sausage for breakfast. Typical slow Saturday morning watching TV and some Youtube. Later I got outside and removed the sink in the van and cut out the new countertop and the counter extension. I routed the edges and sanded them then added a couple of coats of teak oil. I’m not sure how the finish will turn out but I'm hoping it works well. Lou made a salad for lunch. Spaghetti for dinner. Later I helped Lou assemble her new yard swing bed/couch.

Sunday: (08/13) The usual slow Sunday morning. I gave my countertop boards a light sanding and a light coat of teak oil. They dried in the sun all day. I also cleaned all the VHB tape residue off the bottom of the sink lip. Still waiting for the ½” VHB tape to arrive to reinstall the sink and install the flip up countertop extension. I weeded Lou’s garden for her. Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich for breakfast. Lou’s tomatoes from her garden are excellent. A late lunch at Aqui’s restaurant in Cupertino. Lou made potato salad for dinner.

Monday: (08/14) Granola for breakfast. I took my bike out for a ride. I stopped at Whole Foods downtown for some compost bags then on to the Arizona Garden at Stanford. I was surprised to find a lot of cacti in bloom this late in the summer. I stopped for a chai latte at the Coupa Cafe there. Lou and Dawn were off to Half Moon Bay to look around and be cool. Waiting for my VHB tape to reinstall the sink. I worked in the office updating my laptop and some programs in anticipation of getting back to work on my tax return that needs to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Chili size for lunch. After a nap when I finally got to work in the afternoon, I washed the van, my car, and Lou’s Jeep when she returned. Potato salad, cottage cheese and ham for dinner.

Tuesday: (08/15) I prepared toasted tomato and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. I then installed the new sink countertop and the flip up counter extension. It is also the table top for the reversed front passenger seat. Lou and Dawn were off to an appointment and lunch. I took the van off for an outing. I picked up lunch at China Wok restaurant in Sunnyvale. I then stopped by Lowe's to see about getting some paint to match the stained plywood color. They can’t get a color to match a single spot but just get an average of about a 1” spot. Not a good enough way to match so I didn't get any paint. I then went out to Vasona park and updated my Senior pass vehicles registered to use my pass. I then spent the rest of the day there and worked on the computer. I also ordered some more materials for the van. I do need to replace the breaker from the Solar charger to the battery. While it is rated at 80 amps and is supposed to be a 75 amp fuse, it still trips when it is sunny and I’m driving. It obviously can’t take the full 50 amos continuously. I’// be trying an MANL fuse like it is supposed to be to see it that doesn’t trip. I had leftover Chinese food for dinner there before heading home.

Wednesday: (08/16)Granola for breakfast. I drove all the way over to Bol Park, about ¼ mile to visit the Barron Park Donkeys. I parked there and worked on the computer then had leftover Chinese food for lunch. After lunch I supplemented it with a visit to Harry’s Hofbrau for some soup. Then on up the hill in San Carlos to the Eaton Park Trailhead. I ended up only taking a nap there.Back home we had leftover chicken artichokes over rice for dinner.

Thursday: (08/17) Granola for breakfast. I headed out to Sunnyvale in the van stopping at their city park. I started on the tax preparation but soon found out I wasn't nearly as far done as I thought and I needed some information from home. I returned home and collected information. Shortly, my 5G Home router from T-mobile arrived and I set it up, easy peasy and we were connected. I fired up two tv’s streaming and then did a speed test with 165 down and 35 up which is many times faster than our Sonic fiber connection. We’ll see how steady the connection is and whether the speed is high enough during congested periods. The speed actually went to 205 down and 90 up about 8 pm. No momentary connection losses. I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. I did some more work on the computer in the afternoon before a nice nap. Dawn made tuna stuffed tomatoes for dinner.

Friday: (08/18) Granola for breakfast. I drove the van up to Foothills Preserve and parked at the vista point all day. I had chicken and cheese toast for lunch. It was a cheap frozen item from a Grocery outlet and pretty good for $2. Leftovers for dinner. I had chicken salad for dinner.

Saturday: (08/19) I prepared ham and eggs for breakfast. Then I headed off in the van to a nearby park and worked on the computer. The morning ended up being a wash because I ended up scrambling my data. I had to start the importation after lunch. I left the park and picked up lunch at Panda Express. I do like their super greens as a substitute for my rice or noodles. After lunch I parked on the Stanford campus and continued work on the computer. Because I was parked in the shade I didn't need the air conditioner today even though my thermometer in the van said it was 81 degrees up near the ceiling. I returned home at about 1730. I prepared some chili on ramen noodles for dinner.

Sunday: (08/20) The usual slow Sunday morning. I got oyt to work on the van after 1000. I removed the refrigerator and got into the electrical compartment to replace the circuit breaker that feeds the solar output to the batteries with a fuse. The CB keeps tripping. Hopefully the fuse responds more slowly and doesn’t trip. Lou prepared BBQ ribs, baked potatoes and asparagus for lunch about 1300. I had managed to skip breakfast this morning so I really enjoyed her lunch. I installed two USBc-PD outlets in the van, one by the sink and one by the dinette. They should be good enough to power my laptop computers. Tomato and cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Monday: (08/21) Granola for breakfast. I did some cleanup of the back yard. I also collected some tools for a project tomorrow. Then I was off in the van. I stopped at Harbor Freight for a few things. I also stopped at Marshall’s and found a nice big frying pan to replace my aged non-stick big pan. 12.5 inch pans have not been available for a while. I also stopped at Safeway while I waited for Cost Plus World Market to open at 1100. I wanted to check out World Market for a birthday card. As it turns out I found the perfect BD card at Safeway for a fellow hiker's 80th birthday Wednesday. I also picked up some ciabatta buns. The rain from the effects of hurricane Hillary started. Lunch from the China Wok On restaurant. My hang later was Rengstorff Park in Mountain View. My slab of wood for the dinette table arrived today. We had Dawn’s lentil soup for dinner.

Tuesday: (08/22) P prepared a ham egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast. I then headed off to Meet pete Anderson at his Mountain View house. He needed some help removing a wooden deck, an ell shaped deck about 15x20 and 15x30. We finished removing it and piling the debris in the driveway about 1300. Hus wife Debbie made tuna sandwiches for lunch. Back home I took a nice shower and relaxed for a while. Later I opened up my new telescoping A ladder. It is much heavier than I thought it would be. After some rest I took the van out to get a drink (gas). I stopped at Walmart on the way home and picked up a few things. Back home I had leftover Chinese food for dinner’

Wednesday: (08/23) Granola for breakfast. I headed off early to Santa Cruz for a hike at Wilder Ranch State Park. I met many of my fellow hikers and leaders at a special hike to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of our hikers. It was only a 5.5 mile out and back hike along the bluff above the beach. After the hike there were lots of goodies and birthday cupcakes to enjoy.After the hike I stopped at Safeway and got some clam chowder then drove home. While I was gone my Tuktek kayak arrived. More clam chowder for dinner.

Thursday: (08/24) Tea in the backyard to start the day. Then I brought out my new folding kayak and assembled it for the first time. It is a Tucktek kayak, bright yellow. Fortunately, it was easy to assemble, just a few latches here and there. I don’t have a lake at home so I just sat in the kayak on the lawn for the inaugural photo. The life vest that came with it can be adjusted to fit me but looks more like a bra on me. I’ll be needing to get an appropriate vest when I can. Also tha paddle that came with it won’t lock together so I’ll need to make some adjustments to it or get it replaced. For now it is just tucked away in the van garage. I hope to try it on the water soon. Next I had some granola and a banana for a late breakfast. After breakfast, I got out the table saw and cut the new ash wood panel into the appropriate table top size for the van dinette and the outside tables. Then I routed the edges, sanded them and then added two coats of teak oil. With those tasks done, I then took the van away from the house and parked near stanfords dish hill to work on the computer undisturbed. Upon arrival there I sliced up a tomato from the garden and topped with cheese for lunch. I made some progress on data collection for our tax return. Just as I was about to return home, the radio clicked off. Evidently the starter battery was having one of it’s spells. I had been running the radio for a while but the solar charger should have been trickle charging the starter battery. I thought maybe a fuse had blown and checked the fuse at the battery but it was still good. The battery voltage was about 10.1 volts hut the solar charger still wasn’t charging it. Luckily eventually the battery came up to 11 volts and I was able to start the van. I have to believe I have a bad cell in the battery so I will be replacing it tomorrow. I had been putting off replacing it until I started driving it which I now am but it had been nice and caused no problems since the solar charger was connected to it, until now. Dawn made some nice vegetable soup for dinner.

Friday: (08/25) Lou made soft boiled eggs for breakfast. She wasn’t feeling right so after breakfast I dropped her off at Kaiser Santa Clara to get checked out. I was in the van so, just like most recent days, I found a nice place to park and worked on the taxes. I’m still in the “data collection mode”. When she called a couple of hours later, we returned home. Along the way, we stopped at Togo’s sandwich shop to pick up lunch. I then drove out to a Super Walmart in Milpitas. They had a replacement battery for the van which I bought to install tomorrow. I then stopped at a park near home and did more data collection and took a nap. Leftover vegetable soup for dinner.

Saturday: (08/26) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the van installing the new starter battery. While the project looked formidable, it was actually fairly easy. The van seemed to have more zip when starting the engine now. I then installed the dinette table top. That involved removing the wall panel to prepare for a good anchoring of the panel so it can hold the cantilever table. I had to make wa run to ACE to get some appropriate sized metric bolts and some tee-nuts.I ended up using the bolts but not the tee-nuts because the table seemed to be sturdy enough without them. If the table comes loose then I’ll add the tee-nuts later. We all went to the Country Inn Restaurant in Los Altos for lunch. A nap was needed after lunch. After nap time, I installed the outside flip up table on the sink counter. Leftover lunch, some bacon and avocado omelet with Swedish pancakes, for dinner. I add a green salad to the leftovers.

Sunday: (08/27) Relaxed with the two regular morning TV shows, CBS Sunday Morning and Face The Nation. Then I hopped in the van and headed South. I needed some gas so headed to Sunnyvale to the cheapest gas station anywhere nearby, on Evelyn and Bernardo. Then on South to San Jose. I hadn’t had any breakfast yet.I have been obsessed for a few days wanting a House of Pizza “Confusion pizza. I arrived there at 1030. I was more than pleasantly surprised to check the hours and they opened at 1030. How much is the Lotto? I ordered my pizza and waited in the van. It only took 30 minutes and I picked it up and enjoyed half of the “Very Small” pizza. Very Small is about a 15” pizza. How efficient, breakfast and lunch together. I hung around a while then headed back toward home. I stopped at Washington Park in Sunnyvale to work on the computer. Soup for dinner.

Monday: (08/28) I installed the magnetic latch on the sink tilt up table. Works well. I then escaped to the Vista Hill of Foothills Preserve where I had some leftover pizza for lunch. I then worked on our tax return. I completed the first draft and then returned home after lunch. I collected a little more information and then completed the second draft which may be the final version after a thorough review. We had dinner at Dawn’s place. She made some lentil black bean chili for dinner.

Tuesday: (08/29) Scrambled eggs and cheese with bacon for breakfast. I, finally, got to work on the third passenger seat belt anchors. I started by disassembling much of the third set and cut some of the pieces to allow the metal frame to fit within the constraints of the installed heater and drawers. I then cut the major metal pieces and fit them in place. Lou prepared tuna stuffed tomatoes for lunch. Then, I opened up the replacement welder, which I hope works better than its predecessor. I found that the spool of flux core wire that I left in the old welder ws not something that came with the welder so I headed off to Harbor Freight to get the wire and also came away with some additional deep throat “c” clamps. I picked up dinner on the way home from Lucky Chinese Bistro. After lunch I relaxed for a while. About 1800 I went out and loaded the wire and came to the point of reinstalling the contact tip and found the tips that came with the welder were for 0.030 wire but HF only had 0.035 wire. So I intended to dash out to get the tips but checked the store hours first and only had 15 minutes to go 12 miles so that became a job for tomorrow morning.

Wednesday: (08/30) I was off early toward Harbor Freight. Lou was off to Walmart. I stopped at A Good Morning Cafe to pick up a breakfast burrito. I needed to visit HF to get some contact times, of the correct size, for my welder. I also picked up some replacement wheels for Dawn’s cart. On the return home I stopped at Outdoor Supply Hardware to get some “E” clips. Back home I installed the new wheels on the cart and installed the “E” clip where I had erroneously ground off a crimp-on cap. Then I installed the tips on the welder and did some practice welds. I found that my helmet wasn’t dimming like it should when the arc strikes. I wasn’t ab;e to get it to work so I returned the HF and bought a new helmet. Back home I finally figured out how to get the helmet to dim. It was in grind mode. So, I hope I can return the newer helmet. I did a little more practicing then I welded the seat belt anchor frame. Today the air quality was terrible and Lou wanted me inside so I quit early. I had leftover Chinese food for lunch. Lou made a cold tomato soup for dinner.

Thursday: (08/31) I started the day filling the 10 filtered water bottles that are used in the motorhome. We have a carbon filter on the kitchen sink cold water faucet which is where I fill the bottles. Unfortunately the filter was getting clogged and the flow was extremely slow so I decided to replace the filter. I had purchased spare filters some time back on Amazon. After emptying under the sink and removing the filter I then found the filters were the wrong size. So, I heeded off first to Walmart then to ACE to get the proper filter. I was disappointed when Walmart didn’t have the filter they usually do have. Morning traffic is such a bother. Back home I installed the filter and filled the bottles. Then it was time for breakfast. I prepared a Denver omelet. I worked on making the 3rd seat seatbelt anchor welding a framework for it. I ended up making a run to Harbor Freight and Outdoor supply Hardware for a few things like grinding disks and bolts. Leftover lentil chili for lunch and leftover gazpacho for dinner. I finished welding the frame then put most stuff away. There are clouds in the sky so since I’m through welding, I put all that stuff away. Now I need to drill a bunch of holes in the frame and clean it up and paint it. I’ll hopefully get that done tomorrow.

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