Monday, December 31, 2018

The Nutcracker

10:26 pm:
Yesterday I attended a performance of "The Nutcracker" the music of which was composed by Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. I have been going to "The Nutcracker" performances for many years.

When I was a boy, my home was filled with the sound of classical music. Especially John Philip Sousa marching music! Oh my, how loved Sousa's marches!

Both my Mom and Dad were musicians. My Dad had a huge collection of classical music on 78 RPM records. My Mom ushered at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in order to get free admission. And I went with her.

The love of music had its seed deep in my soul. When I served in the United States Army in the 1960s, I so loved when my battalion was ordered to march in a ceremonial parade. I would step out to the glorious sound of a Sousa march. "The Stars and Stripes Forever!" I knew every note!

The Nutcracker ballet
San Diego Civic Center Theater

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Cooking In Box Van

9:54 am:
This morning I cooked fresh food in my kitchen for the very first time! Hallelujah!

The menu was ham and eggs and rye toast. The ham was from my Christmas supper at John and Mimi's home. The toast was from a loaf of Jewish Rye bread.

My first cooked breakfast in Box Van.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Mac

8:42 am:
I am using new Mac Air that I bought from Apple Computer. It's like a loaner. When my old Mac Air is repaired, I will return this new one.

In the meanwhile, my LastPass file manager which I depend on, does not remember my password! Bummer!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Bed and Paint

9:32 am:
Late last nite I constructed my bench seat that converts into a bed. It came out pretty good and I was proud of it! This morning I went to Blog to you about my new bench seat/bed.

Also last nite, I noticed some white stuff on the sole of my Teva's. What was this white stuff? I could not identify it.

Thursday, December 27, 2018


7:39 am:
Yesterday afternoon I constructed a temporary bed. Next is changing this temporary bed to a convertible bench seat/bed.

A bed is a wonderful thing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Punch List

6:07 am:
The completion of my Box Van project crept up on me like fog on little cat feet.

This morning, I arose out of my bed and sat in my folding chair. Just looking around at the jumble of partially completed work. There was no major item left to do! Box Van had come down to being a punch list!

Where was I when this happened? Was I too involved in my work? Was I having such a good time that stuff began to slip past my conscious mind?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays

8:57 am:
I am sending my wish to you for a happy holiday.

May the year 2019 be your best year yet!

Wearing my flowery holiday shirt for this special day!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Getting The Feel

6:32 am:
Yesterday evening I constructed the right side of the wall which separates my living quarters from my workshop.

This morning when I got out of bed, I was impacted by the how much the feel of Box Van has changed now that the separating wall is in place. Maybe it's the doorway that impacts me most of all!

Before, Box Van was only one room. Now, Box Van is two rooms!

Vive la différence!

Doorway view from my toilet area.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Struggle With Drawers

9:01 am:
This morning I decided to straighten up the mess which had become Box Van. All went well until I began messing with my 9-drawer cabinet!

The slides in all of my drawer cabinets are supposed to be soft close. But four of these drawers do not want to soft close. In fact, those four drawers are difficult to close at all! So, I decided to fix those four drawers.!

I worked on those four drawers for almost five hours! I kid you not!

I was barely able to drive a screw correctly to re-mount the slides! I do not understand what was going on with me being so screw-challenged!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Bench Seat Bed

9:01 am:
All the left side framing is done. Now it's time to begin framing the right side.

After the right side's framing is done, the first thing that I want to build on the right side is my bench seat bed. What I have in mind for this bench seat-to-bed conversion is for the front leg to be hinged.

When I raise the front leg and pull out the hinged bed leg support which is located underneath, the bed will ready for sleeping. Or napping. I figure that two center supports will be required at the head and foot of the bed.

I'll have to purchase the two cushions. One for the bench seat. And the second for the bench seat leg. Both of these cushions will be the same size.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Construction or Exercise?

5:30 am:
This morning I headed out from my Nite Camp bound for the 24-Hour Fitness on Navajo Road. When I arrived at 24-Hour and looked inside Box Van, I saw that both of the grates over my new Insignia gas range were now lying askew!

I figured that perhaps because of the Insignia not being locked down that the entire range may have bounced a bit causing the grates to move.

While I was locking down the feet of the gas range to Box Van's floor, I noticed that the steel brace which secures the counter top to Box Van's wall was hanging loose. Apparently, I had not completely installed that brace

Thursday, December 20, 2018

68-Days To Soup

9:35 am:
It was 68-days ago that a Ford 2007 Box Van came into my life. On that day Saturday, October 13, 2018, Box Van was only a vision in my mind.

And yesterday evening, around 11 pm, I prepared soup on my gas range!

Wow! Double wow with sugar on it!

68-days to clam chowder soup!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

So Many Projects !

11:01 am:
A project as large at my Box Van conversion has many sub-projects. Which one of these sub-projects should I work on?

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to install the wall frame behind my kitchen counter., In order to do that install, the counter, the cabinet, and the attached Nova Kool fridge had to be moved out of the way.

While moving the counter etc, I noticed that the height relationship between the kitchen cabinet and the Nova Kool fridge was wrong. The Nova Kool was low!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sizing My Solar System

5:03 am:
I have not been paying enough attention lately to my solar electric system. With the coming of Winter, the Sun has been getting low in the sky. My Yingli 250 watt solar panel just does not produce enough electricity at this time of the year. As a result, the voltage of my battery bank has turned critically low.

Yesterday afternoon, I asked my friends John and Mimi for permission to use their electric power to charge my house batteries.

John loaned me his huge 200 amp battery charger. I used his charger on its 30 amp setting and that bought my batteries back to the proper voltage.

A little while ago, I returned to John and Mimi's home in order to use their electric power again. This time to top-off my battery bank.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Microwave Installed

8:08 am:
The microwave oven is installed on a shelf which passes thru a wall into my workshop. An additional nogging [Link] will be added over the microwave in order to keep the oven in place.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pass-Thru Frame

8:32 am:
When I attempted to join the parts of my pass-frame with a Kreg Jig, I failed completely! This was the first time that I had used a Kreg Jig.

I am falling back to joining the old-fashioned way. Glue and clamp!

Using Bessey pipe clamps.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Kitchen Counter and Sink Cabinet

11:27 am:
Yesterday at Home Depot, I bought a kitchen counter and sink base-cabinet for my living quarters.

This morning I attached the counter to the sink cabinet. Nova Kool comes with a stainless steel frame just behind its door. The right side's section of that frame will be secured to the left side of the cabinet. Stylish! 😎                    

The latest addition to my living quarters.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Kitchen Progress

11:25 am:
Very often I have to think about a construction item for what seems to be a very long time before figuring the thing out! The kitchen counter with cabinets is one of those items.

I've been consulting with the cabinet lady at Home Depot about my kitchen's layout. I told her that I would likely need a 6-foot long laminate counter with

However, the counter which I want to buy today will be 4-feet long and I will be cutting it down to fit. And, I will be getting only one cabinet for the little bar sink.

The sink cabinet will be installed here.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Nova Kool's First Nite

7:18 am:
Was there enough electric power to get Nova Kool thru the nite? The answer is Yes!

Just before sunlight struck the Yingli solar panel this morning, the voltage bottomed out at 11.7 volts.

Nova Kool's temperature right now is 34℉.

This will be Nova Kool's position in the kitchen.
The gas range will be to the left.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Off Grid Propane Range

8:14 am:
I've just purchased my gas range! It's a Unique Classic 20” Off-Grid Propane Range [Link].

Unique propane gas range 
with battery operated ignition.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Kitchen Wall Frame

5:46 am:
Late yesterday evening, I put up the first part of the kitchen's wall frame. In the pic below, the left side of this frame is the doorway's right frame to my workshop.

There are some places in my living quarters that are hard for me picture. For example, the transition from the left overhead cabinet to the left living quarters closet.

Right now as I type this Blog post to you, I am sitting in the place where the Nova Kool refrigerator will be located. My back is against the left wall of my living quarters. The left living quarters closet that I am wondering about above will be located just to the left of where I am sitting.

Now I am able to picture all of that in my mind!

Kitchen wall frame.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Kitchen Sink

8:02 am:
Yesterday evening, I went to Home Depot to buy a few construction items. On a whim, I went to the kitchen sink area. I never shop there. But I will be needing a sink soon.

Printed on an unopened carton, there was a description of a bar sink. There was a picture too. I opened the carton and looked at the sink. It's small! Perfect for me!

My sink!

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Clearing The Field

8:39 am:
For me, if I am not organized then my life tends towards being chaotic. So, I gotta remember that. And, I must from time-to-time go thru all my stuff, sorting it out and putting things in their place.

Also, there are things that I have that need work. If I set those things aside in order to do something else, eventually those "set-aside" things accumulate.

So! I have to be organized. And, I have to keep up with things that need doing. Otherwise, my life is too chaotic to bear!

I gotta Clear The Field!

Saturday, December 08, 2018

A Large Cabinet

8:41 am:
I think of my living quarters as being very much like a large cabinet. The construction is mostly 1 x 3 lumber. Not 2 x 4s as is used for most construction.

I am able to get away with light duty lumber because of my living quarters being supported by the walls of the Box Van.

Since I understand cabinet construction, I feel comfortable doing my living quarters project.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Order of Construction

Today marks 77 years since the December 7th, 1941 
attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii by the Empire of Japan.

7:36 am:
I'd like to break off from construction in the overhead and work on the kitchen counter. If the kitchen counter was in I would be able to install the Nova Kool fridge.

However, in order to install the kitchen counter the wall behind it must be complete. And that wall cannot be completed without the other walls being completed as well.

So, I am staying with the overhead construction.

Left overhead cabinet.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Marey Water Heater

10:32 am:
My Marey tankless water heater will be installed in the attic, just to the left of the fresh water tank.

The Marey will sit inside a cabinet and extend upward clear of Box Van's ceiling. A vent will go thru Box Van's roof for the Marey's fumes.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Major Construction Zone

8:18 am:
Yesterday evening at the Home Depot in El Cajon, I bought (16) 1 x 3s, 8 feet long. With this purchase, Box Van moved into a Major Construction Zone.

Box Van is now in a Major Construction Zone! 

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Nova Kool

3:20 pm:
Nova Kool, my new 12 volt DC electric refrigerator arrived this afternoon.
It was several weeks ago that I placed my order for the Nova Kool.

I understand that the company keeps production steady. When orders increase, the lead time increases.

Click [Here] to read about this remarkable refrigerator!

Nova Kool R5810

Monday, December 03, 2018

The Great Glue Disaster!

7:43 am:
Yesterday afternoon, I was well into gluing down the Armstrong vinyl. After applying the glue, I went to move from my hands-and-knees position and rolled backwards on to the glued floor!

As I tried to rise up, I could feel the sticky glue gripping the back of my T-shirt. And then I rolled back a second time on to the glue!

Sunday, December 02, 2018

What's Next?

7:27 am:
The pass-thru from the Ford to Box Van has to be cleaned up. I want to put a hardwood door frame there. Maybe light colored oak? There will be no door. Just a throw blanket.

The three electric jacks that I purchased a few weeks ago need installation. Likely use Santee Welding again. A few Readers felt that having jacks would mess with my stealth. I don't think that it will. Box Van's side skirts make jacks hard to see. I really need those jacks. Walking around inside Box Van when it's not level messes with my balance.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Not Solid As A Rock

8:49 am:
When I first began using the 3M VHB tape, I was not aware of how to use it. As a result, I applied the 3M VHB very sparingly. As if it was a valuable commodity.

Then I viewed a 3M VHB demonstration video [Link]. I learned from that video that I had used the 3M VHB incorrectly when I attached the floor frame to Box Van's aluminum deck! And now, some of those bonds have let go.

Not all of the bonds have let go. Which means that I am not able to lift up the floor and then correct the 3M VHB between the frame and the aluminum deck.