Wednesday, November 1, 2023

November 2023

Wednesday: (11/01) Granola for breakfast. I loaded a dumpster with leaf debris from behind our tent and cottage. I cut my hair and beard. Then I worked in the van doing some reorganization. Leftovers for lunch. I replaced some batteries in sprinkler valves. I washed the van, Hyundai, and Jeep. Shepherd's pie with baked potato for dinner.

Thursday: (11/02) Granola and applesauce for breakfast. I checked with my insurance carrier about changing the van to a motorhome. They said thy had to remove it from the existing policy and create a new policy. That new policy could not have comprehensive and wouldn’t cover the improvements. So effectively only liability to 200/year. I decided not to do anything while I checked on other carriers. I tried Progressive and they would have been around $1000/year but wouldn’t cover the improvements. I also tried Roamly insurance, a DIY van specialist but their online form didn’t give me an estimate. I went outside to work. While I was outside I got a text that I responded to later. They gave me an estimate of less than $700/year for everything I want. I also wanted to get an estimate from State Farm that also supposedly covers DIY vans. Once i get the quote for SF and confirm it actually covers the improvements, I’ll decide on who to go with. BBQ sloppy joe sandwich for lunch. When working outside I cleaned up the area where I’ll assemble a shed for the four wheel bike made from used solar panels. Lots of junk to move and/or dispose of. Macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Friday: (11/03) I prepared scrambled eggs with shredded pork, tomatoes from the garden, and cheese with some hash browned potatoes for breakfast. My project of the day was to visit a place I hate to visit because I’m boycotting it, Home Depot, to get some paving bricks to match our walkways. I’m finishing up a little patio area that I deferred until now. The patio will also contains a garage for the four wheeled bike. I had to make two runs to get 40 bricks each trip as a start for the project. When I get that initial area paved, I’ll move a bunch of retired solar panels onto that patio. Then I can dig out to add base rock to the remaining area of the patio. Before oing the first section I need to move a small pile of base rock and shave off about 2.5-3 inches of base rock. When I placed the rock I brought it to the patio top height. Now I need to make a final trip, likely to Lowe’s to get some sand. While I was napping outside the HD store before loading the second bunch of bricks, I got a call from the neighbor. Their sprinklers were not working and their yardman couldn’t fix them. From the description, the timer appeared to be working and none of the valves worked. I suspected a problem with the 24VAC possibly no 24vac or an open common. The latter was the problem. Sometime a month or so back, they had a problem with the freezer in the garage while they were traveling. The person that fixed it also unplugged the sprinkler timer but didn’t plug it back in. I plugged it in and all is well. Nice break from moving bricks. No lunch needed due to a late breakfast. Tamales for dinner. I needed to make a grocery Outlet market visit to get some salsa for the tamales.

Saturday: (11/04) Granola for breakfast. I worked on preparing a spreadsheet for the van buildout. I needed to send it and a copy of the bill of sale to the new insurance company for the van. I relaxed a while after that. Dawn made chicken celery soup for lunch. We went to her apartment to eat lunch. I then went to Lowe’s to get some sand. Then I stopped at the Grocery Outlet to resupply my ice cream bars. Chili beans for dinner.

Sunday: (11/05) Granola for breakfast. I worked in the morning assembling the miscellaneous solar panel mounting racks. Chicken pot pie without the crust for lunch. In the afternoon I removed the pigtails from the solar panels and cleaned up the panels. A nice tri-tip tomato and cheese sandwich for dinner.

Monday: (11/06) Granola for breakfast. It rained pretty good last night and continued with some showers in the morning. All good enough to not do any work today. We all went to lunch at Aqui’s restaurant in Cupertino. In the afternoon I did more nothing. Lou made spaghetti squash with mizithra cheese and corn on the cob.

Tuesday: (11/07) Granola for breakfast. I worked on the patio extension in the morning. I removed, cleaned and stacked the paver bricks that were there. They are cheap weak 12x12 concrete pavers that once were the floor in Lous pottery shop then later a floor for a storage tent. They have been relocated twice. Now they are fragile and at the wrong elevation for proper drainage. As part of building the storage shed for the 4 wheeled bike, I’m finishing the patio. Not really a patio, more of a garbage recycling and junk area. When I completed the removal, I went for a hike. I drove up to Foothills Park and hiked up and over the hill on Fern, Constoan, Los Trancos, Trappers Fire Road, and Steep Hollow trails. About a 4.5 mile loop hike. Lunch from Panda Express. Relaxing in the afternoon. Lou made fried eggs with smoked pork chops and home fried potatoes for dinner. Dawn finally got a buyer for the washing machine and it was picked up this evening.

Wednesday: (11/08) Granola for breakfast. I made a shopping run. I visited Home Depot. That is where I got the trench drain I used for all the rest of the driveway and walkway. Unfortunately, they no longer have it. I then stopped by Harbor Freight to get some red buckets. I used to get the orange Home Depot buckets but since I won't buy anything I don’t absolutely have to from Home Depot any more, red will have to do. Next stop was Lowe’s to see if they had the trench drain but thy didn’t either. I did get a similar drain to use. Panda Express for lunch. Some king of leftover for dinner.

Thursday: (11/09) Granola for breakfast. I Did some leaf cleanup in the backyard and relocated a plant to where the old washer had been by the arbor. Later, I scraped the sand off the top of where the patio will be. I also did a test dig and found that under the sand seems to be about an inch of clay and then good soil. Hopefully that is like that all over the dig. I also cleared some garden space and tested the bike approach into the shed. It looks like I’ll need a new plan and possibly a modification to the bike. I went to lunch at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City. I had some stuffed bell peppers. Dawn’s Toscana Zuppa for dinner.

Friday: (11/10) Happy birthday Dawn. When Lou went outside for here early morning walk at 0600 she found a flooding garden spot next to where I’m working on the patio. I had removed a branch of the drip tubing and it started watering at 0500 so the 640 gallons that flowed out made a mess. No more work there until it dries out some. Granola for breakfast. Later in the morning we all went to breakfast, # 2 for me, at A Good Morning restaurant. Back home, Lou and Dawn headed out for a thrifting trip around the East bay and Dublin. I tinkered on the van a little. I installed a cup holder by Lous side of the bed on one of the back doors. I also installed the new 90# magnet on the passenger table. That took way too long to get it in place and holding. I also installed a 40# magnet latch on the outside table. I didn’t need lunch. For dinner I had leftover mac and cheese and a couple of wieners. In the evening I watched a very interesting interview with Chuck Peddle, a prolific engineer and business executive responsible for much of the existence of the personal computer. Then developed the 6502 chip that led to the Apple 2, hard drives on PC’s cheap computers like the PET, Vic20, C64, and Victor computers. Also involved in the development of 2 sided floppy and hard drives.

Saturday: (11/11) Granola for breakfast. I worked outside cleaning up things. Mostly, I cleaned out the tent and made room for the four wheeled bike. I ended up filling the two compost bins and the recycle bin. Dawn’s celery soup for lunch. After lunch and a rest, I got to work on the van. I installed the ultrasonic pest device under the van's hood. I also cleaned the bedding by tossing in the dryer. Dawn and Lou made chicken pot pies for dinner.

Sunday: (11/12) The usual slow Sunday morning. Lou prepared fried eggs with leftover chicken pie filling and leftover French fries. Leftover soup for lunch. I did a little work on the van. I finally wired up the fan over the refrigerator, no simple task because I have to remove the refrigerator any time I want to access the fuse panel. Who designed this van? Chile with ramen for dinner.

Monday: (11/13) I grabbed breakfast from Happy donut on my way to Portola Valley for a hike at Windy Hill Preserve. Patty, a new leader with SJMWH lead her first hike up Hamm's Gulch trail to the top and back. Perfect weather with a rare windless picnic at the top. On the way home I stopped at Ray’s Grill on the Stanford campus for some asada fries. Excellent. Back home I took a short nap. Then I hurried down to San Jose to Russ Equipment to see them about the motorhome shock absorbers. They don't seem to provide any damping. I got there just before 1600 and found them closed for the day. I did get to speak to the boss for a moment and he asked me to call back in 2-3 days because they were extremely busy now. So, I should have called but actually that was only one reason for the drive. I stopped by House Of Pizza for a Confusion Pizza. I enjoyed some of it in their parking lot then put the rest away for a couple more mels in the future. This Extremely Small Pizza feeds me for three meals. I relaxed in the parking lot because i hate driving in commute traffic so I was waiting for traffic to die down.

Tuesday: (11/14) Leftover asada fries for breakfast. I loaded a bunch of buckets with dirt from where I’m expanding the patio. 14 buckets turns out to be 700 pounds of dirt per the scale at the dump. My little car carries a pretty good load.. Back home I loaded the buckets again and started to head back to the dump about 1230. But then I thought I should check to see what their hours are. They are 6am-2pm so I returned home with my laid and have something to do tomorrow morning. I took a nap instead. Lou and Dawn were out at a doctor's appointment and thrifting. They had lunch at the New York Cheesecake Factory. In the evening, after traffic died down, I went to Harbor Freight to get some tools for another tool bag for the van. I like each vehicle to have their own tool kit. Then I stopped by Walmart neighborhood Market nearby, for some things. Leftover pizza for lunch and dinner.

Wednesday: (11/15) I headed off about 0730 to take my download of dirt to the dump in Santa Clara. When I got back Ernie called to say his refrigerator in the trailer had failed. I checked it and it had power and was hot. It is also 20 years old. He found one in San Jose at Best Buy. I started feeling bad when I got home from the dump. I think I had food poisoning. I threw up several times. So, when we got home, Lou made me relax. She and Dawn put out all the garbage and the stuff for cleanup day. I started feeling a little better about 1800. Still no eating today.

Thursday: (11/16) More relaxing today with no eating, until a late salad in the afternoon. I evidently had a quick passing food poisoning. In the afternoon i did work on removing Ernie’s old refrigerator which required figuring out how it was attached. Then I cut off the coils in the rear to make it narrow enough to get out through the door. That caused some excitement when it started spewing the ammonia gas. All was well after a lot of ventilation by running the cooler. We unboxed the new refrigerator and placed it into its space. More fitting to be done tomorrow.

Friday: (11/17) Tamales for breakfast. I finished the installation of Ernie’s refrigerator. I got the table saw out, since we had a break in the rain this morning. I cut a 2x2 to extend the bottom platform that supports the refrigerator and installed it. Now the door can swing fully open. I also cut some trim since the new refrigerator is 3 inches shorter and narrower. I installed some brackets to keep the refrigerator from moving back in the space. I oil finished all the wood pieces. Salad for lunch. After lunch I went to ACE to get a cap for the old gas line to the refrigerator. With it installed the job is done. I headed off in the van to Felton to attend a show by Jenny And The Mexicats. I left Palo Alto at 1400 to avoid traffic and find a parking space. Nice rain starting at 1600. The show is at 2000. I took a walk along the street. I picked up my dinner at a Chinese Bistro, some pork egg foo yung. Very good. I also visited a thrift store across the street, exploring for Lou. At 1900 I went into the Music Hall. I found one of the few chairs and claimed it. The room holds about 270 people so there won't be a huge crowd for the show. The warmup band was more like a disc spinner but did play an accordion, the guitar and a synthesizer. Later a drummer joined him. I really didn’t enjoy them. The Mexicats were totally different. They play all the favorites. This show was much better than the show I attended in San Francisco. They seemed to be having a lot of fun and the audience was too. Great show. Their show was over 1.5 hours. I left Felton about 2300. In Mountain View I stopped by the back to get cash and then the gas station for gas. I also warmed up my leftovers from dinner.

Saturday: (11/18) I had granola and one of Lou’s breakfast biscuits to start. A little rain today.I never got going relaxing all day. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Spaghetti and meatballs with baked squash for dinner.

Sunday: (11/19) A nice day. The usual slow Sunday morning. Granola for breakfast. Lou and i took a walk before lunch. We walked over to the Bol Park Donkeys to say hi. Lou picked up a little girl for a ride on her scooter on the path to the donkeys. We then walked over to the Stanford campus to pick up lunch at Ray's Grill, two nice tri-tip burritos. We brought them back home and had lunch with Dawn. I’ll get to enjoy the other half of my burrito tomorrow morning. A nice nap in the afternoon. A little reorganizing in the van. We had chicken hamburgers for dinner. In the evening we went to Dawn’s to attend the Tellabration via Zoom where Dawn told one of the stories.

Monday: (11/20) I picked up breakfast at Happy Donut on my way up the hill to the Los Trancos OSP. I relaxed there and enjoyed my tea and breakfast as I waited for my fellow hikers to arrive. I led a 7.5 mile hike on the trails in Los Trancos preserve and down into Foothills park, then back. Our hike in the preserve shows some signs of earthquake activity in the past including a fence that was offset six feet by the fault movement below. Seven people joined me for this hike. On the way home, I stopped at Ray’s Grill again and got some chow mein for lunch. Back Home I relaxed the rest of the day. I had the leftover half a burrito for dinner.

Tuesday: (11/21) I prepared a ham, egg and cheese sandwich this morning. With this cold weather, I really am not inspired to get outside and do anything. Possibly in a day or two after more drying out, I will get back to the patio. Lou made tri-tip with baked potatoes and peas for lunch. In the evening, I drove Meili’s car to Harbor Freight and Walmart neighborhood Market to give it some exercise and get a few things I needed. Salad for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/22) Lou made an omelet for breakfast. I had a doctor's video visit in the morning. We went up to Redwood City for lunch at Harry’ Hofbrau. However, being the day before Thanksgiving, there was a line out the door for people picking up their dinner for tomorrow. We decided to go to Appelbee’s restaurant instead. That was followed by a visit to the thrift store, the library and Grocery outlet. Lou and Dawn had stuffing for their dinner. My dinner is unknown.

Thursday: (11/23) Leftover omelet for breakfast. I tinkered on the computer all morning. We had our Thanksgiving meal after 1400.

Friday: (11/24) Granola for breakfast. I cleaned the leaves up in ours and our neighbors front yards. The leaves kept falling and we had room in the dumpster so I filled them. Also, when I cleaned up leaves last week, I couldn’t clean under a parked car in front of the neighbors house that was not there this morning. Chili beans for lunch. I filled my 14 5 gallon buckets and loaded them in the car with the intent to do a dump run and fill them again today. I mentioned to Lou that Kaiser had gotten back to me about my podiatry referral and they wanted me to get some x-rays of my feet. She wanted me to do them right away so off we went. It took no time to get them done today, no line no wait. However, that made me too late to make a dump run before they closed at 1400 so I got to relax the rest of the day. Asparagus soup with toast for dinner.

Saturday: (11/25) I made scrambled eggs with ham for breakfast. I got the rototiller out and broke up some dirt to refill the buckets on Monday for a second trip after I dump the current load. Lou made fried eggs with bacon and home fried potatoes for lunch. For dinner, we went to Harry's Hofbrau where Lou and Dawn got their birthday dinner of prime rib.

Sunday: (11/26) Granola for breakfast. The usual slow Sunday morning. I started cutting up the old refrigerator from Ernie’s trailer to add it to the garbage bin. It will take a week or two to get rid of it. Leftover lasagna for lunch. I took an outing in the afternoon. I went to Stanford mall and walked around. It’s been a while since I visited it and I wanted to see what was there. I also went over the the Stanford Arizona Garden . It is always a nice place to visit. From there i headed down to the Westgate shopping area. I looked around REI and other stores there. Then I stopped by the Walmart Neighborhood Market and Harbor Freight on the way home. HF actually closed five minutes after i got there but I got what I came for, I just didn’t get to look around and get all the things I didn’t come for. I ate my dinner in their parking lot, a salad, before continuing on home. Salad for dinner.

Monday: (11/27) I was fasting this morning. I headed off early to the dump, Mission Trails Garbage in Santa Clara, the self disposal site for Palo Alto. Not a short drive. I dumped my 14 buckets, 700 pounds of dirt. It was a slow process even though I was the sixth person in line. With that complete, I stopped by the Kaiser Clinic in Mountain View to drop off some blood. Back home I prepared some ham and eggs for my breakfast. I then loaded up another load of dirt and headed off to the dump again. Back home again, Lou had prepared sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob for lunch. I relaxed for a while then loaded up 15 more buckets of dirt into the car for tomorrow. For dinner I had salad and yogurt. In the evening we visited our nearby ACE store to get a replacement duplex outlet to replace a bad outlet in our living room.

Tuesday: (11/28) Fried eggs and ham for Lou and my breakfast. After breakfast i headed off to the dump. I arrived and there was one truck in front of me. I checked for my wallet and it was at home. So no ID to prove where the load was coming from and no credit card to pay to dump, so a quick U-turn and back homer to get my wallet. Only 15 miles between the dump and home. I returned and had to wait for the now 10 trucks ahead of me, about 40 minutes. With that task done I headed down to San Jose and visited the canopy shop to get a new roof and wall tarps for the tent in our backyard. I stopped by House Of Pizza in San Jose for a Very Small Confusion pizza for lunch about 1300. It is good for 3-4 of my lunches. I ate it in the lot and relaxed a while there before heading home. On the way i stopped at REI and bought a small bear vault (BV425) to use for overnight backpack trips. My BV500 is much too big for a night or two. Back home I put everything away and settled in to relax. Lou made vegetable soup for dinner.

Wednesday: (11/29) A good rain last night. Pizza for breakfast. I went to Kaiser for a podiatry appointment. I wanted to get my feet checked out due to some spreading numbness on the soles of my feet that started when I started the PCT hike 10 years ago. It seems to be expanding recently. Evidently nothing to worry about. The doctor recommended taking some vitamin B complex pills to help the nerves. Pretty much what I learned from Youtube. Good to know the facts though. I did some shopping after my appointment. I stopped at a new Savers Thrift store across the street from Kaiser. I found some glass mugs like i use for my tea. We all have out own versions. Clear for Lou, green for Dawn and thin clear for me. The cups are like mason jars with handles and my thin ones originally came with jelly. I was down to only three and I needed a couple in the van, a couple in the Rv and a couple in the house. I need two because I brew up a second cup of tea while drinking the first cup of tea. Green tea takes some time to brew and I don’t like hot tea so the tea is perfect after brewing and cooling for a while. I also visited the Grocery outlet next door for a couple of things, I stopped on my way home for lunch from Panda Express. Then I stopped at EVL Motor, an electric bicycle shop to look at electric scooters. Nothing just right. I may change from hauling my electric bicycle to hauling an electric scooter to save room in the van. Lou made Shepherd’s Pie for dinner with Brussels sprouts for dinner.

Thursday: (11/30) Threat of rain today. Dawn made corn buns with ham and cheese for breakfast. I work in the van this morning fitting my medium sized marmot backpack, a 37L pack, with all the stuff from my larger 65L pack I used on the PCT hike. My intent is a nice overnighter backpack. The new BV425 bear canister fits nicely. I had leftover pizza for lunch.

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