Thursday, June 23, 2016

Getting Ready to go to the Cabin Again


The last couple of days we have been getting stuff ready to go to the cabin.
I am going up Friday (tomorrow morning) and will be there until Tuesday the fifth. That’s 10 days I think.

Patti Is going to Oregon for three days to help her daughter Becki move stuff  back to California.

Patti will be coming to the cabin on July 1 for the 4th of July weekend.

You won’t hear from me until after the 4th of July.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Shopping Day


Off to Freidman Bros. Hardware

Around 10:00 I headed for the south end of SRO to Freidman Brothers Hardware. I wanted to purchase a Makita cordless reciprocating saw, some calking, some paint and a new cap for the wood stove at the cabin. 

I have wanted a Makita ‘saws all’ ever since I got the Makita drill and driver set last year. I can’t buy batteries for my old Harbor Freight saw so I tossed it. They had one at F.B.H. so I bought it and some extra blades.

I got some calking and paint to try and fix the intermittent leak near the roof jack for the wood stove.

Bat Guano.

There is a bat living in the cabin and I cant pin down where it is getting in so some of the calk is to seal up any place that looks like a bat could possibly get through.

New Battery.

Last year I put one of the deep cycle batteries that I use to power the cabin, in the van so now I needed to buy a new one for the cabin. I went to Walmart and Pep Boys and neither one had the battery I wanted so on the way home I stopped at O’Reilly's Auto Parts and found one that would work.

Oops! I Forgot Something.

When I got home I realized that I had forgotten to get a new cap for the wood stove pipe. Maybe I’ll go get one today.

Patti’s Stitches.

While I was out running around Patti went to get the stitches removed from her forehead. Her scar looks a lot better with the stitches out.


Ok, that was our Monday.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend at the Cabin.



Headed up to the cabin around 8:00. It was raining off and on the whole trip. The rain slacked by the time I got to Boonville.

Chewed Fuel Containers.

When I pulled up to the cabin I noticed that the gas can that I use for the chainsaw gas was laying in the middle of the camp. I went over to check it out and found teeth marks and punctures in the plastic can. Most of the gas had drained out.


I walked around to the back of the cabin where I have another plastic gas container and found that it also was chewed up.
This is the second time I have found fuel containers that have been chewed up.
I don’t know what the attraction the fuel offers or what kind of animal is chewing up the containers. I can’t imagine drinking gasoline. I’ll bet whatever did it is having a bad stomach ache.

Barbeque Fix.

Once I got my stuff moved into the cabin. I decided to put the heat deflector on the barbeque. It fit good.


This will extend the life of the old cheep grill for a couple more years.

Joanne, Dave, Loraine, Patti and Dina Arrive.

About  9:30 Joanne, Loraine and Dave showed up. We sat around and visited for a bit then Joanne and Dave went to their camp to get moved in.
Patti and Dina showed up about 30 minutes after J & D.

After a while we all went down to J&D’s and sat around there visiting.

New keys for the lower gate.

After a bit Dave and I decided to go down the hill to see if our new keys to the gate worked. They did work so we continued down the hill and across the creek to the grove. Just after going through the grove gate we came to a downed tree. Fortunately I had a chain saw in the jeep so Dave and I cleared the tree and continued to the swimming hole to check it out. Every year it changes with the winter rains.
This year the hole is deeper but a little smaller. Unfortunately I didn’t think to bring the camera so there aren’t any pictures.

After checking everything out we headed back to camp. The ladies were still in the same place visiting.

Fixing the Water Feature.

After a little while Dave and I went to check out the water feature by the stump. Some thing had pulled the pipe back and had bitten a hole in the plastic line to the water feature. Probably the same critter that chewed the gas cans.


It was an easy fix, I just cut the line and inserted a plastic coupler.


Around 4:00 it began to rain lightly. Patti Loraine and Dina left by 4:30.

For dinner I grilled a steak and heated a yam on the grill. It worked just right.

OH! I almost forgot.

Something (probably the same critter) knocked down the cherry tree and broke it at the base.


I went ahead and finished the job. I was bummed. The tree was the first one that I planted up here. It was kind of sickly and the cherries were no good but the flowers were nice in the spring.


Sweeping the Roof.

After breakfast I got up on the roof to sweep off all the redwood litter that has collected on the roof over the year.


I also wanted to check out the flue pipe for the stove.
There has been an intermittent leak around the roof jack. It looks like I will have to do some calking up there next time.

Cleaning up.

Dave and I removed the picnic table from the dining hall


so that Joanne could do some cleaning.


Joanne also cleaned the wash house.


Weed Whacking.

Later in the day, Dave and I did some weed whacking.


Joanne and Dave packed up and left around 4:00.



Fixing the Cook Stove.

After breakfast I did some work on the cook stove in the cabin. One of the jets was leaking and it would burn outside the burner. It only took a little Teflon tape around the threads to fix the problem. I had a little trouble getting the jet adjusted. Eventually I swapped burners and that fixed the problem.

Going Home.

Around noon I started packing the jeep to go home.
I left the cabin around 1:00 and got home by 2:30.

Dinner and a visit to J&D’s.

We decided to try a new Mexican restaurant In Windsor. The restaurant is called “Me Pueblo” in the Raley's Shopping Center.
Patti had the chicken fajita’s and I had enchiladas. The food was good and the price was average.

After dinner since we were in Windsor we decided to stop by Joanne and Dave’s for a visit. Their children were there for Father’s Day so we got to visit with our great nephew Matt, his wife, Elisa and their 2 year old daughter (our great, great niece) Riley and our other Great nephew, Ryan.

We all sat around and watched the Golden State Warriors loose the Championship.

Okay, that was my weekend at the cabin.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pick Up the Jeep and Pack for the Cabin


The Jeep.

Yesterday we picked the jeep up at 4wheel Parts.
They installed a new heavy duty steering system (tie rods and tie rod ends), new heavy duty front track bar and new steering damper.


They also replaced the broken transmission mount and motor mounts.
I also had them install the new thermostat and housing. The old thermostat was not working properly and the housing was cracked.

I noticed on the way home that the bumping sound that was comming from the back of the jeep when I take off, is gone and the jeep just feels like it is more connected to the wheels. Of course I will have to see how it does on the freeway.

Packing for the cabin.

We spent some of today getting ready to go to the cabin.
I have everything that I will need packed except cooler stuff and last minute items.
Tomorrow morning I will head up there around 8:30. Patti will be coming up later with her daughter, Dina. They are only staying for the day but I will be staying until Sunday.

Talk to you again in a few days.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Last Couple Days.



Patti’s Surgery.

Patti had some more surgery for skin cancer on her forehead.
She has one nasty looking scar on her forehead.


I told her she should tell people that it is a dueling scar and maybe wear an eye patch and say “aarrrr” a lot.

Visit to the DMV.

Around 8:30 Monday morning I drove over to my grandson’s (Harvey) to pick him up and take him to the DMV so he could get hid learning permit.
Harvey had a 9:20 appointment. We got there in plenty of time and it still took over an hour for him to get out of there.

Just puttered around for the rest of the day.


Drop Off the Jeep

Around 9:00 we dropped off the jeep to 4wheel Parts to get the work done on it.
As of this morning they still have the jeep. Hopefully it be will done today.

Around noon we went to Costco to stock up on meat and have lunch.

Later I made a new heat shield for the small barbeque at the cabin. It was just a mater of cutting a piece of sheet metal 4-1/2” by 15” and bending it a little along the long axes so it looks kind of like a little roof.


It will cover the burner on the barbeque to keep the grease from getting on the burner and rotting it out.

Well, that’s it for now. We don’t have much planned for today. We are just waiting to get the jeep back so I can start getting things packed to go to the cabin for the weekend.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Finish the Winch and Dinner With the Family.


Finish the Winch Project.

I have been wondering how I was going to connect the power cables from the winch to the battery.

There aren’t any available connections at the battery without changing the battery cable ends to a type that has a couple of bolts on it.

Like the ones below.


Or this type.


The down side to both of these approaches is that I would have to cut the cables, strip the ends and put new connectors on the ends.

After some thought I decided to just drill and tap a hole in each original connector and bolt the winch cables to the battery that way.

Here is how it turned out.


I think this should work just fine. I tested the winch and it works.

Here is the completed project.


I am probably going to change the fairlead with a different type that won’t stick out as far. The one that came with the winch won’t allow the tow bar to be folded up when moving the jeep with the tow bar connected.

Getting Some Work Done on the Jeep.

I am taking the jeep to 4Wheel Parts to get some work done on it.
It has a broken transmission and motor mount and the transfer case pops out of low range. There are some loose tie rod ends that need to be replaced so I am having the shop upgrade the steering to a heavier duty system.
I will be taking it in tomorrow.

Dinner With the Family.

My daughter Gaby came up for a visit. She wanted to see my younger daughter Felice and my sister Mary. So we decided to all meet at Mary’s for a visit and then go out to dinner.

It was a good visit and we went to a Chinese place in Petaluma called Lili Kie for dinner. The food was excellent and very reasonable.

We forgot to bring a camera but the girls took a couple of pictures on their cell phones. They promised to email the pictures to me but as of this post I haven’t received any pictures.


Okay, that’s it for now.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dinner with John and Cindy



We got to Sparks, Nevada around 1:00 and checked into our room at The Nugget Hotel Casino.

The room was nice, with one King sized bed. Unfortunately the bed wasn’t very comfortable.


Patti went in search of a blackjack game and I took a nap. She came back to the room about 2:30, $75 dollars poorer.

We called John and he said that he would pick us up at the hotel in about an hour.

We met John at one of the street entrances to the hotel and he took us to his place. We hung around there until Cindy got home from work. After visiting for a while we went to Applebee’s for dinner.

The food and the service were quite good.

After dinner we went back to John and Cindy’s for more visiting.


Around 9:45 we said good by to Cindy and John took us back to the hotel. We were in bed by 10:00 watching the 10:00 news.

The guests in the next room were playing a boom-box with rap music at max volume. Fortunately they turned off about the time the news was over. At least we didn’t have to listen to that crap all night.


Around 9:00 this morning (Saturday) we had breakfast at one of the hotels restaurants and by 10:30 we were on I-80 heading west for home.
It was pretty clear sailing over the Sierras but once we got to Sacramento we started hitting backups. The first and worst was where Highway 50 and I-80 merge.
We hit several more back ups on I-80 and even Highway 12 all the way to Napa. We turned off 12 at Old Napa Road and finally got away from the traffic. Even with all the traffic we still made it home by 3:15

Okay, that was the highlights of our trip to Nevada. We had a good time.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Trunk and a Reunion of Sorts



We went back to Scot and Cindy’s to finish going through the trunk.

Yesterday we contacted my nephew John, who lives in Sparks and invited him to come to Fallon for visit. 
As it turned out, John went to school with Scot’s wife Cindy, and knew a lot of the same people.
His best friend from high school “Kevin”, lives in  Fallon.


Kevin is also one of Scot’s best friends so Scot called him up and told him that John was here so he came by to visit.
They had a great time reminiscing about old times at Ukiah High. Eventually it dawned on us that John and Scot are actually cousins through my marriage to Patti. Our Family just increased by several individuals.

John went home around 4:30. Around 6:00 we put some burgers on the grill.

Around 8:00 we said our goodbye's to Scot and Cindy


and went back to the motel. As I write this Patti is in the casino paying her Nevada taxes.

Today (Friday)

We went to breakfast with Kathi and Bob. They are leaving to go back to Oregon.


We are going to Sparks where we will go out to dinner and visit with John and Cindy. Yeah I know It gets kind of confusing with John and Scot both having a wife named Cindy.

It has been a great visit and a lot of fun learning new stuff about Patti’s family history.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Going Through the Trunk.


Around 10:00 we went to Scot and Cindy’s to begin the task of going through this beautiful old trunk.




The trunk was full to the top with old pictures and other family history.


There were a lot of stories told and lots of laughs and even some tears as Patti and Kathi went through the pictures.


Around 6:00 we barbequed some steaks for dinner and left to go back to our motel around 8:00. On the way we were treated to a nice Nevada sunset.


Back at the motel Patti and Kathi wanted do a little gambling and we had some free drink coupons so Bob and I each got a cocktail.

Bob had a Bloody Mary. I am not used to ordering cocktails and couldn’t decide what to have. I finally decided to have a Margarita.
It was pretty weak but at least it quenched my thirst.

Okay that’s it for today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The ride to Fallon, Nevada.

The Route.

We left home around 8:35 and followed Hwy 12 to I-80 where we headed east. We decided that instead of following I-80 over Donner Summit – through Reno and Sparks- then to Fallon, we would take Highway 50 through South Lake Tahoe all the way to Fallon. This route takes a little longer but it is a much nicer drive and a lot less stressful.

The views.

The highway follows the south fork of he American River on the west side of the Sierras.


I haven’t driven through this part of the Sierras in a while and had forgotten how beautiful it is.


Wagon Train.

Just west of Strawberry we came across a wagon train heading west over the mountains.


This happens every year. They start at Lake Tahoe and drive all the way to Placerville. It’s kind of cool but I don’t think I would like to be in a wagon train driving down a major Highway.

Echo Summit.

We continued our climb up the west slope of the Sierras past the historic lodge at Strawberry.


As you cross over the mountains at Echo Summit you go around a curve and see the Tahoe Valley and the lake below you.


Snow in the Mountains.

There is still some snow on the mountains and higher peaks.


South Shore of Lake Tahoe.

We stopped in South Tahoe for lunch at the Cold Water Brewery & Grill. We each had their Tri-Tip Dip Sandwich.
The sandwich was good if a bit pricy.

After lunch we continued through State Line and the casino area.


Cave Rock.

We drove through Cave Rock and noticed that they had bored a new tunnel through the rock.


You can just make out the old tunnel to the left of the new one.


We arrived in Fallon around 3:15 and met up with Patti’s sister Kathi and brother-in-law Bob at the Bonanza Casino and Super 8 Motel where we had rooms reserved.

After getting checked in. Patti and Kathi went into the casino to pay their Nevada taxes. I took a nap.


Around 6:00 we went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant called The Wok. We ordered way too much food. Its hard to find good Chinese food away from the SF Bay Area. This place was okay (not great). We had four take out boxes and a container of soup when we were done.

Why We Are Here.

We came to Fallon to visit Patti’s nephew Scott and his wife Cindy.
Scott has a large trunk left by Patti’s late sister Dianne. The trunk is filled with pictures, letters and other family stuff.

We were here so that Patti, Kathi, and Scott can go through the stuff in the trunk and decide what to do with it all.

After dinner we went to Scott’s place and they started going through the trunk. In just a short time they had uncovered several letters that cleared up a lot of questions they had about their family history.

Around 10:00 we left Scotts and went back to the motel. We will go back today and spent the day going through the trunk. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

More Winch Project.


Holes in the bumper.

The first thing I had to do on the winch project was to drill two large holes in the bumper to make room for the winch mounting bolt heads. I used a 1” hole saw on my Makita cordless drill. It was almost too easy.


Expensive bolts.

Next I had to get a couple of bolts for the mount so I went to The True Value Hardware close to home.

I needed two 10MM bolts about 2” long. They were a buck each.
wow! I hadn't realized how much hardware had increased in price in the last few years. 
I don’t normally have to buy nuts and bolts because I always remove hardware of anything I discard and I don’t use metric bolts for anything I build. The jeep has both SAE and metric bolts holding stuff together. It’s a pain in the butt but that is just how it is.

I am just glad that I only needed two bolts.

Mounting the Winch.

Once I was back home I mounted the winch to the mounting plate and then mounted it on the jeep. All the holes lined up just right.


A jeep just looks better with a winch on the front. Without one they just look unfinished.

Wiring the winch.

The next thing to do is the wiring. I got some of the wiring done but there are some things that I have to work out.

We are leaving tomorrow to go to Fallon so the rest of the wiring will have to wait until I get back.

That’s all for today.

Winch Project Continued.


Drilling the Mounting Holes.

The first thing I did yesterday was to drill the mounting holes for the winch.

I measured, double checked and measured again.


Finally I set up the drill press and drilled the four holes.



Even with all the measuring and checking I still managed to get one of the holes in the wrong spot. It was about half a hole off so instead of having to torch 2 holes I had 3 holes to torch. After torching the holes I finished them up with a large round file.

A test fitting.

It took a few attempts but eventually I got all the holes in the right spot.

Here is the final test fitting.


This shows the hole that I drilled wrong and had to torch at the top.


Everything seems to fit so now I have to get some grade 8 metric bolts to bolt it down permanently.

I still have to bolt the winch to the mounting plate. The heads of the front bolts stick down below the plate so I will have to drill a couple of large holes in the top of the bumper to accommodate them. Maybe I can get this done today.


Tomorrow we are leaving on a trip to Fallon, Nevada to visit relatives. We won’t be back until next Saturday.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Stiches Removed, Sick Days, and Installing The Winch



I got the stiches removed from my hand a few days ago.


It is still a little tender but I am starting to use it more every day.

Sick Days.

I am not sure what’s going on but I have been feeling sick to my stomach for about a week. Not violently but just un-well. As a result I have been just sleeping and reading and making frequent visits to the loo. It is getting better every day.

Installing the Winch.

As you may recall, I purchased a 9000 lb. winch from Harbor Freight. At the same time I got a “universal” winch mounting plate.

I have been feeling better the last couple of days so yesterday I started the process of installing the new winch on the jeep.

Mounting Plate.

The mounting plate has a buzzilian holes drilled in it. Unfortunately none of the holes in the plate match up with the mounting points on the jeep. Fortunately the holes for the winch to mount to the plate do match up with the winch.


Sway Bar.

Friday I found that the winch plate won’t sit flat on the front of the jeep unless the sway bar is removed.
Shortly after I bought the jeep I disconnected the front sway bar to improve articulation and to improve the ride when off road.
I haven’t noticed any adverse affect on the jeeps handling so Friday I removed the sway bar.


I spent yesterday mapping out the holes that I will need to drill in the plate to mount it. Two of the original holes in the plate come to within 1/4” of lining up with the jeeps holes so I will just have to turn those holes into slots. I am not sure if I will file the slots or use a torch. My hand is sill tender so I may use the torch.

I will likely drill the holes today and maybe even mount the winch.


More later.