Monday, October 31, 2016

Rainy Day’s.


Okay, so, let see; what do I remember of the last few days?

It has been raining off and on ever since Patti and I came back from the cabin so I haven’t been too productive.


I took the old radio out of the van as it has been dead for several years.


I also want to put a radio in there that has a aux input so I can plug in the XM. I found one on line for $ 28.00 that should do the trick. I don’t want to put anything too expensive in the van as it will get the crap beat out of it and won’t last long. I haven’t ordered it yet.

Around 5:00 Joanne and Dave came over, we ordered pizza and played cards.


Bob stopped by in the afternoon. He wanted to take some pictures of the maps I have of the Continental Divide Trail.
He is thinking of coming along on that ride next summer.


We went to best buy to look at radio’s for the RV as that one died on our last trip.
We wanted a CD player as well as a radio with an aux input.
I wanted to look at what they had in person. As it turned out we bought a Pioneer unit. Of course we paid a lot more. $90.00 but I wanted a little better grade stereo in the RV.
We saw some that were approaching $1500. Of course they had a large screen with GPS and a bunch of stuff that I don’t really need. I think this unit will work just fine.

RV Generator Update.

As you may remember we took the RV in for servicing and to get the generator repaired.
This was at the end of September. I got a call from the shop today. They sent the generator out to be repaired. The generator repair has had it for a while and found that the generator is not economically repairable and will have to be replaced $$$$$$$.
I am picking the RV up tomorrow to take it to the generator place. I will leave it there to get the generator installed. We are getting close to going south for the winter so I hope it doesn’t take to long to get the generator in.

A Big Scary Cat.

Our neighbors have a large Halloween blow up cat in their front yard.


Every now and then it move its head back and forth.

It is comical to watch the dog walkers try and coral their dogs as they walk past with the dogs barking and snarling at this enormous, scary cat.

Happy Halloween.

Stay tuned.. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Couple Days at the Cabin



Patti and I arrived at the cabin around noon on Saturday.
Unfortunately the last visitors to the cabin didn’t leave it in the best shape. There were dishes in the dish drainer and food residue on the counter and food on the floor.
Some people just have no respect for others.

The worst thing is the food residue and food on the floor because the food attracts rats, mice and worst of all bears.

We Move in.

Patti and I moved into the cabin and put the dishes away (At least they did wash the dishes), swept the floor and made our beds.

Pipe Repair.

The previous visitors also put a hole in the main water line. I think they may have been target shooting and shot a little low and hit the pipe even though it was buried.

They did try to fix it but obviously didn’t know what they were doing.

I had to cut their repair out. All they needed to do was use a nipple to put the pipe together. At least they tried to fix it.


I replaced this with a piece of pipe and a couple nipples and clamps.


I left the repair exposed until the next day to see if it leaked. There were no leaks Sunday morning so I covered the pipe up.

Fire Ring.

I have been resisting putting a fire ring at the camp but more people are using the place and having fires there any way.
I decided that the only way to be safe and keep all the burning debris confined, a fire ring has become necessary.

Finding a Metal Ring.

In my wanderings around the property over the last 25 years I came across an old round stock trough. I decided that if it was good enough I could use it for the fire ring. If I could find it again.

Patti and I took the jeep down the hill to see if we could find the trough. 
It turned out to be right where I thought it was in some trees above the road to the old homestead. It was once a spring tank for the old homestead but now it is all rusted out.


I drug the trough out of the brush and down the hill to the road.


I’ll come down here with my van to take the trough up the hill to the camp. That will be in a week or so when I come back to get all my stuff out for the winter.

I plan to use about 8 to10 inches of the top for the ring. I’ll probably cut it around the the lower ring just above the label.


Around 7:30 Monday it began to rain and rained steady all day.


Patti and I took our time getting ready to leave.
We put all the dishes away clean, washed down the counters and the stove.
After we had everything packed in the jeep and dry firewood stacked on the tray in the cabin and on the porch; we swept the floor clean of food debris, closed the door and around 2:30 we headed for home.

More Rain.

It rained hard all the way home and continued for the next two days. We didn’t do much during this time.

Okay that’s about it for now.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Visit With Don and Felice.


A Visit With Don.

My friend Don was hoping to get his job in the city done by Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately there were some problems and the job took until Thursday afternoon to complete.
Don finally arrived around 8:00 Thursday evening. We immediately went out to get some dinner as Don hadn’t eaten since early morning.
We visited until around midnight then called it a day.

I was hoping that I could take Don up to the cabin but he had to make a 6:00 flight out of SF on Friday so we didn’t have time to do that.
We spent Friday visiting.

A Visit With Felice

Around 1:00 on Friday my youngest daughter Felice came by for a visit. Don hadn’t seen her since she was about 3 years old.
Don has worked all over the world. Felice had done some extensive travel in Europe so they had a lot to talk about; comparing places they had visited, etc. and places to visit in the future.

It was a good if to short a visit with Don.

Harvey Gets his Drivers License.

Harvey took his driving test Thursday and passed 100%.

Here he is with his car.


Going to the Cabin.

This morning Patti and I are going to the cabin for a couple days, talk to you next week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Couple of Nice Days


The storms have passed and the last couple of days have been clear and warm.

Sealing the windshield.

When it was raining I noticed that the new windshield was leaking. 
During a break in the storms I was able to use some duct tape to temporarily stop the leak. Once the storms went away I removed the tape and let things dry for a day; in the evening I squirted a tube of black silicon in the space between the van and the rubber seal.
I hope that works.

Finishing the Satellite TV Stand.

I put the finishing touches on the antenna stand.

Here it is painted, with the dome siting in position with its rubber feet in the holes on the platform.


The connector comes off the platform and fits in a pocket in the tripod bag along with a couple of bungee's that are for windy conditions so storage shouldn’t be to bad.


Preparing for a Visitor.

My old friend Don who lives in Seattle has to be in SF on business and is going to stop by for a visit for a couple days.
It was a good excuse for Patti and I to get the house spruced up so we spent a good part of the day cleaning.

Okay, that ties up a few loose ends.

Monday, October 17, 2016



It has been raining for the last couple of days so I haven’t been doing much outside.

Stand For Satellite TV Dome.


A while back I started working on a stand for my Satellite TV antenna. (See Post for Sept. 8, 2016 “Getting ready to go to Davis Lake”)

Since the rains are going to stick around for a couple days I decided to finish this project.

The last time I made a couple of washers


and found a part to use to make the connection to the tripod.


Today I found just the right sized piece of 3/4” plywood to use for the platform.


I just had to round off a couple of corners, which I did with a saber saw.

After trimming the board I laid out and drilled the holes I wanted to put in the board.


The center hole is for the bolt to mount the platform to the tripod. The other four holes were going to be for the bolts that hold the rubber feet on the bottom of the dome. I was going to use these bolts to hold the dome to the platform but decided against it.
What I will do is drill the holes out large enough for the feet to fit through them that way I won’t have to bolt and unbolt the dome everytime I want to do something different with it.

Set Screws.

I had to drill 3 holes in the end of the connector (Cylinder) so it can be tightened to the tripod.

Here is the setup.


Welding the Bolt to the Washer.

I drilled a couple small holes in the washer on each side of the center hole. Then I welded the bolt head to the washer.
This gets screwed to the platform.


Here it is assembled.


I still need to drill out the four holes for the feet and paint the whole thing.

Okay that’s it for now. I’ll finish this project tomorrow.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Catching Up.


The Van.

Okay, so I finished the water pump project on the van. I just cut off about 1-1/2” of the end of the upper hose and it went on just fine and didn’t leak.

I also had to get new windshield wipers for the van. It only took two tries at the auto parts store to get the correct one. You can’t just buy wiper refills any more you have to buy a whole new blade and holder.

Working on a Shredder.

I wasted some time trying to fix Patti’s paper shredder but one of the plastic gears that turn the shredder was wiped out so I ended up throwing the whole thing away.

Harvey’s car.

We took Harvey’s car into the shop to find out why it has a strong gas smell when the tank is filled.
They found that a hose was misrouted so they fixed that. We will see if that takes care of the problem.

This morning we are taking the car to get tires. That is the last thing we have to do before Harvey takes over the car.
After that he is on his own.

Today is the beginning of a series of storms that are coming through the area. It is supposed to be raining for several days so we probably won’t be doing anything exciting for a while.

Okay, that catches us up to today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Still Working on the Van.


A Double Pulley.

One of the parts that I got from Bob was a double fan pulley.
I decided that putting on the double pulley was a good Idea. That way there will be two belts instead of only one. It’s a safety thing.

This is the old pulley system. It is actually two pulley’s and is bigger around that the new one.


As you can see the old pulley is quite a bit different from the new one but the new one lines up better with the crank shaft pulley.


Now I have to fine a double pulley for the alternator. I looked around in all my junk cans and after a while of searching I finally found one. I knew that I had seen one some where in the last thirty years.
I love it when I don’t have to buy a part.

It was a little struggle getting the single pulley off the alternator because my impact wrench is slow and a little wimpy. Eventually I got the pulley removed, the new one installed and the alternator back in the van.
Now I need to find a couple of belts that will fit. It took two tries at the parts house before I got belts that fit  the new pulley setup. Eventually I got the right belts installed and everything lined up properly. 


That’s better. Now I don’t have to worry about loosing a fan belt because now there is a backup.

Leaking Hose.

Once I got the radiator filled and burped I noticed that the top hose was leaking at the radiator.
I should have put new hoses on when I did this job but I wasn’t thinking ahead.
I tried tightening the clamp on the upper hose but it still leaks a little. I’ll try a couple other things before I look for a new hose.
I’m sure that the proper hose will be hard to find as the van is 48 years old and all parts are getting hard to find.

Okay, that’s all for today.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Last Three Days



Driving with Harvey.

I picked Harvey at his place around 10:00 and we headed for Healdsburg in his car.
The plan for today was to let Harvey get some practice dealing with the freeway. I decided to go up to Healdsburg to begin because the traffic is a lot less up there.

I drove to Healdsburg and pulled over in town to let Harvey take over.
We went to the north end of town and got on the freeway there. We headed south and took the next exit. We went over the freeway and took the on ramp heading north again. We did this a bunch of times until Harvey felt comfortable entering and leaving the freeway then we headed for Santa Rosa. We took every off ramp and on ramp along the way, even in the heart of the city.
He did very good.
After a while I decided that Harvey could drive me to Guerneville so I could pay Bob for the parts for the Septic system at the cabin.

We stopped at the bank so I could get the money then headed for Bob’s.
I figured that Harvey needed to get some experience on curvy back roads so we drove out Pocket Canyon Road. It is a pretty curvy road and Harvey did just fine and kept his speed down.

We made it to Bob’s, I paid him and we sat around there for a bit.
After a little while we got back in Harvey’s car and headed for home.
Over all Harvey did very good and I think he is ready to get his drivers license.


Working on the Van.

The water pump in the van is starting to go bad, there is play in the shaft.
When Bob swapped the six cylinder engine for a V8 in his van, he had a lot of fairly new 6 cylinder parts available. He gave me some of them. One part was a new water pump so I decided to replace the one on my van with that one.
I only got about half done before I hade to stop.

The water pump is the gray part with the blue goo squeezing out at the edges.


Visiting Mary.

Around 2:00, Patti, Joanne and I went to Petaluma to visit with my sister Mary.
We had a good visit although it was pretty emotional as we spent most of the time discussing Tom’s passing.
Mary will be okay, she is a strong woman and has a lot of support from her children and grandchildren.

We went home around 5:00.

Okay that is all for today.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

New Windshield & Some Sad News.


New Windshield.

Around 9:30 Patti followed me as I drove the van to the windshield place to get the windshield installed. We dropped the van off and Patti took me back home.
We picked the van up around 4:30. The new windshield looks good.

Sad News.

Around 10:30 I got a call from my sister, Mary, informing me that my brother-in law, Tom, had passed around 6:00am. He had been ill for a while
Tom was a very good man and a very good friend.
He is survived by my sister, three adult children and a passel of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Rest in peace Tom. We will miss you.

Okay, that’s all for today.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Doctor Day & Thieves.


Doctors Visit

I had to go to see the cardiologist to have my annual Echo Cardiogram.
I drove to Sebastopol and parked in the parking garage under the doctor’s office.
Spent about an hour in the doctors office.


I left the DR’s and drove back home. When I got out of the jeep and walked around the rear I saw that some SOB had stolen my expensive RotoPax plastic gas can. @#$^&*(!!!Baring teeth smile

I ordered a new can and a locking device so that won’t happen again.

Goofed off the rest of the day.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

10 Days at the Cabin.



I got to the cabin around noon. Bob was already there when I arrived.

The first thing I did was to hook the battery to the refrigerator and turn the propane on.


I had a bunch of frozen meat that had to go into the freezer. I heard the ignitor clicking and then the burner lit. Good, that works so I’ll be able to put the meat in this evening.

Bob Comes Over to Say Hello.

I unloaded a couple things from the Jeep when Bob walked over and I took a break.
We sat on the bench by the big stump and shot the bull for a bit.
Every now and then we would hear a “clunk”. We couldn’t make out what it was.

Refrigerator Problem.

After a bit Bob went back to his camp  to get a drink. I sat there a little longer and could here the refrigerator ignition clicking and the burner light. After a little while I heard that “clunk”. “Hmmm, that doesn’t sound right.”
I went over and checked the fridge and sure enough the ‘check’ light was on.
“Now what?”

At first, I thought that it was a problem with the thermocouple that tells the controller that the flame is on.

I took off the cover of the controller and checked the connections. They had a little corrosion on them so I unplugged and replugged them and all the other connections on the board. I hooked the battery back up and turned the fridge on.

“Click, click, bop, burn, burn, burn, Clunk.”  Fire’s out.

I looked at the burner and saw at once what was wrong. The burner was covered with a pile of rust.
The burner sits at the bottom of a vertical tube and the heat from the burner goes up the tube and through heat and chemical reaction, makes the fridge work.

For some reason rust forms in this tube and falls onto the burner head.
This time the rust was keeping the thermostat from getting warm enough to tell the controller that the flame was lit, so after a specific time the controller shut off the gas. Its a safety thing.

So anyway, I cleaned the burner, turned on the fridge and waited a while. It started right up and worked just as it should.

Fortunately all that meat was in my small propane cooler with a bunch of ice packs and the cooler is set to max.


I’ll wait until tomorrow morning to transfer the meat to the freezer.

Bob went back to his camp for a while and I finished unloading the Jeep and moving into the cabin.

Low Water.

Later in the day we took a ride to check the main water system up the hill. When we got to the tanks we noticed the overflow was not as good as we thought it should be. There are two good springs feeding the tanks so the flow should be better than what we are getting now.

We will have to check that out tomorrow.

OK, that’s about it for today.


Once we got going (around 11:00) I took Bob up the hill so he could check out the upper springs to see why the flow was so low.

I returned to the cabin to start working on the septic tank problem.
First I cut the top out of the drum that was the second chamber of the leach system.


As you can see the barrel is almost full with roots. The roots had grown into the outlet pipe from the digester barrel and plugged up the whole system. We have already cleared the outlet the last time we were here but I wanted to try and remove some of the roots.

Once I got the top off I tried chopping away the roots from the side of the barrel and found it next to impossible.
I managed to clear enough roots to allow the water to flow into the barrel.
At least we can use it for a little while yet.


I’m going to put a top on this barrel and cover the whole mess up for now.

Bob Comes Back With a Spring Report.

As I was working on the barrel Bob came back from checking the upper springs.
He found that indeed one of the springs had washed itself out a little during the winter and he had to do a some repairs. Now both springs are feeding the tanks.

A Solution to the Septic Tank Problem.

Bob had an idea for replacing the septic tank system.
After looking things over good and discussing it for a while I agreed to go for it.

The system will take a little pipe and a couple of new barrels but it should work fine and be easier to maintain than the last one as it will be partially above ground.

By the time we decided what to do, it was too hot to do it, so we spent the rest of the afternoon, shade hopping.
The afternoon temperatures the last few days have been in the mid 90’s. Too hot for old farts to dig ditches.

Backhoe Bob.

After things cooled down a little Bob decided that it was time to dig a ditch.

I decided to watch.

Here is Bob working with his favorite tool, the Polausky.


This is the ditch Bob dug.


We will abandon the old system completely and run a new system down the hill.


working on the toilet.

Today, the goal was to cover up the excavation behind the wash house.
We have an old plastic barrel that had collapsed.
I cut the bottom off the barrel to use as a cover for the barrel that I had opened up in the sump.


We are going to use the rest of the barrel for the leach tank for a new system. The tank had a big dent in it that had to be pounded out.


Here is Bob beating the barrel into submission.


It took a while but eventually we got the tank rounded out enough to use.

The Cover Up.

I put the bottom of the barrel up side down over the one in the hole.


I cut off the vent pipes, capped them and covered the whole thing.


I’ll cover it more later.
We will tie the new system to the 4 inch pipe in the foreground.

Bob continued working on digging the pads and ditches for the new system.


Clearing the Road.

Patti’s brother-in-law, Bobby, is planning to drive his class ‘C’ Motorhome into the cabin area on Thursday.
This evening Bob and I took the jeep up to the top gate. When we got there Bob took over driving while I stood in the back with a pair of loppers. We slowly drove down the road and I cut any branches that looked like they would be a problem for the motorhome. We cleared the road all the way to the cabin.
I think Bobby might be able to make it to the cabin now.

Okay, That’s for today.


Easy Day

I spent a while cleaning all the leaves out of the jeep after clearing the road.

We just hung out BS’ing until around 1:00 when Bob decided it was time to go home.

I had to go to town to get the 10 gallon propane bottle for the fridge filled.

Calling Patti.

When I got to town I pulled into the gas station / hamburger joint and pulled up to the propane tank.

Before I went in to get someone to sell me propane, I called Patti.
I found out that my friend Don was not going to be able to make it.
Also Kathi and Bob were not bringing their motorhome and weren’t sure if they would be here or not.

I guess we didn’t have to clear the road after all. That’s ok, it is always good to trim along the roads up here.

While I was talking to Patti the battery on my cell phone went dead so I didn’t get any more information from her.
At least I don’t have to drive back to SRO to get camping gear for Don and don’t have to worry about Bobby making it to the cabin with his motorhome; although the road looks pretty clear.

The rest of the day I just goofed off. Winking smile


A Cold Morning

It was cold last night and this morning was foggy and cold so I started a fire in the wood stove.The fog didn’t burn off until after 10:00.

Frozen Meat

After breakfast I pulled the frozen tri-tips from the refrigerator. I had taken them out of the freezer yesterday and moved them to the fridge. The were still frozen when I took them out of the fridge so I filled the sink with water and placed the packages of meat in the water to thaw.

Charging the Battery

The new battery has been running the fridge for about four days. Normally the batteries only last about 3 days. I decided to put the battery on the charger today.
That way I won’t need to run the generator while people are here later in the weekend.


Unfortunately the generator ran out of gas around 6:00 pm. before the battery was charged so I’ll have to run it for a while tomorrow.

Stopping Mouse Holes.

While I was sitting at the table, I noticed light coming through some gaps in the roofing where the roof goes over the end rafter.
I went around back and found the calking gun and some calking.
I moved the table out of the way and got on a ladder to fill the gaps.  While I was at that I found a couple more places where light was coming through so I calked them too.
Eventually all the mouse access will be closed. I Hope!Sarcastic smile

Moving Dirt.

After a while I decided to finish covering the old septic system and clean up the area.


Birds Bathing.

I was having a bite of lunch sitting at the table.
As I looked outside I noticed these two birds bathing in the water feature by the stump.

One was showering on the shovel blade and the other was bathing in the old disk.




Marinating the Meat.

By afternoon the meat was finally defrosted so I mixed up my marinade; red wine, soy sauce, Balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Lowerys seasoned salt, pepper, garlic, oregano and basil.
I put each tri-tip in a ziplock bag with some of the mixture. Then put the bags of meat in the small fridge.


The First Arrival.

In the late afternoon I heard a vehicle coming in.
It turned out to be Ray.
We BS’ed for a while and then he went to set up his camp.

Okay that was the Day.


A Fire Pit.

When I dug up the septic system I removed a bunch of rocks. When I filled in the hole I left the rocks out.

This morning I decided to make a camp fire pit. I don’t really like putting my fire in a hole but a rock ring isn’t so bad.

It took three trips with the wheel barrow to get all the rocks to the spot as I had to go up a steep hill with them so I only took small loads.

Just as I was dumping the last load Patti drove up. We unloaded her car and visited for a while, then Patti helped me lay out the fire ring.


More Arrivals.

A little later Doug and two of his drumming buddies (Ted and Mark) showed up.
After visiting for a while they got busy setting up their camp.

Soon, Josie arrived. We visited with her for a while , then she went to get set up.

Around 7:00 Joanne and Dave arrived.

Drumming Around the Fire.

Around 6:30, it was getting cold so the drummers started a fire in the pit.


After supper we all sat around the fire until late, drumming and having a good visit.


Another Good Day.


Party in the Woods.

Today is the day for my 75th birthday celebration.
The day started off cold but clear.
By noon everyone who was going to be here had arrived for the party, except Kris (2pm) and Peter and Gene (5pm).

A hornets nest.

Josie came to the cabin in the morning and informed us that there was a large nest in a tree near where she camped.
We went over to take a look. Sure enough there was a very large nest hanging in a tree close by.


We watched the nest for a while and didn’t notice any activity around it so we figure it has been vacant for a while.

People Came From Far and Near.

The furthest traveled was Kathi and Bob, from Glendale, Oregon.



A little after noon some of us went down to the shooting range to break a few clays.


We were at that for about an hour before we ran out of clay pigeons.

Back at camp.

Back at camp, everyone was hanging out around the fire pit talking and enjoying each others company.


Around 2:30, Dave started the charcoal to cook the tri-tips for supper.


While we sat around waiting for the coals to get hot we made a little music. Even my old friend Swamp took a turn on the guitar.


Dinner Is Served:

By 4:00 the tri-tips were ready and dinner was served in the Dining Hall.


Of course most of us ate siting around the fire.


Someone decided that we needed to dine formally and we had to wear a tie.
You might say that we tied one on.
After dinner we took a group photo.


The Cake.

Patti picked up a cake at Costco. It looks like a refugee from a kids “Barney Party”.Winking smile Cute!


The cake was delicious.


After Dinner.

Peter and Gene showed up around 5:00; by then we had eaten up all the food except for some tri-tip but they were in time for cake.

After dinner, Kathi, Bobby and Swamp left.

We spent the rest of the evening sitting around the fire and drumming into the night.


It was great!


Going Home.

Sunday morning around 6:30am it started to rain; it continued to rain off and on for the rest of the day.
We hung out in the cabin and watched our guests taking down there camps and packing to go home.
By the time they were done they all looked like drowned rats.

Everyone was packed up and gone by 11:00.
Only Joanne, Dave, Patti and I were left.

Later in the day we played cards until dinner time. After dinner we played more cards until bed time.

Okay that was Sunday; pretty low key.


Dave and Joanne Leave.

We woke up to rain on the roof. The rain started about 4:00am.
and continued off and all day.
Joanne and Dave spent the morning loading their truck and about 2:00 they headed for home.

Bob Arrives.

About twenty minutes after J&D left, Bob showed up with all the supplies to finish the septic system.


I guess I know what we will be doing Tuesday.


Patti Leaves.

We loaded up Patti’s car and she left around 11:00.

We get to Work.

After Patti left, Bob and I started installing the new septic system.

We laid out the the first pipe.

Next we had to cut the pipe from the toilet and put in a 45 with a “T” for a cleanout.


We ran the pipe to the digester barrel.
The elbow in the tank is for the outflow. The inflow comes through the top.


We had to make a hole in the top of the sump barrel for the inlet pipe.


We put the sump in place and plumbed the whole system.


Here is the whole system connected. You can only see the digester. the sump is further down the hill, hidden behind the brush.


Next we covered the pipes and camouflaged the system so it doesn’t stand out too much.


We were done by around 4:00 and goofed off the rest of the day.

A good productive day.Smile



Going Home Day

This is the worst day of any trip up here.
Bob left around noon.

I puttered around until almost 3:00, slowly getting things together and loaded into the jeep.
Eventually I couldn’t put off leaving any longer and headed for Santa Rosa.

I got home around 4:30.

It was a fun time at the cabin and a fun birthday. I hope to get at least one more trip up there before we leave for Arizona.