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July 22, 2006

Cooking in the heat

Rancho Oso(TT)
Recordbreaking High TemperatureThe record-breaking heat wave has arrived! Everyday the temperature during daytime becomes higher and higher. Then finally today, our thermometer indicates "beyond belief" 120'F. OMG. This is insane. If Rancho Oso is this hot, what's the temperature in Valley? 130'F? It's way too hot to go outside. If you think so, imagine how HOT it will be to use BBQ grill in this blazing heat? Are you willing to try? Isn't it kinda torture?

Well, Keath decided to cook sweet corns on BBQ in 120'F crazy hot temperature. I almost told him just leave corns outside for 20mins and it will be ready to eat. Me? Of course, I did cook them in boiling water which raised the temperature inside RV for a short time, but I didn't have to cook myself in 120'F heat. Anyway, sweet corns were really delicious. Now I really feel the summer has come.

Wrap corns w/ husks in tin foil Grill on BBQ, then... Generous potion of butter. Yum!

Big bite!

Crabs, puppy dog and meAround 7:30pm, outside temperature finally cooled down to 97'F. As soon as it became cooler, flies start annoying people. Wow. That means even flies couldn’t stand the heat!

Tonight's dinner is CRABS! Yes, crabs! I got Dungeness crab and Keath got King crab. At the store, shop clerk told us 1 leg of King crab is usually enough for an adult. Guess how many legs Keath got? 3! Three! Tres! The result, he did finish all 3 legs with little bit of my help. Hey Kodiak. Careful! You are making a big puddle on the floor.

Big thunderhead Too hot for poor Kodiak Crab, crab more crab

July 20, 2006

Bugs Paradise

Big bug with big mouthRancho Oso in Spring was happy Raccoons fun place. Well, summer in Rancho Oso seems to be Bug Paradise.

The night we got here, Keath found a huge Potato Bug running like crazy. I know there are lots and lots of people who hate this bug. Some people even have nightmare. (Really!) I've never seen this bug before. What a weird looking bug. It's somewhere between Hornet without wings, cricket and spider mixed altogether in one.

Yesterday morning, went to kitchen to brew fresh coffee and noticed that tiny black dots are moving along the sink. OMG! Ants attack! I don't mind Potato Bug, but DO mind ants in the house. We tried to figure out where they came from as they go up the wall and walk across the rig all the way to the front and disappear into a small opening between embedded speaker and wall. Hhhmmm… They must have come from the roof. Keath quickly went up to the roof and cut tree branches touching our RV and wipe the hundreds of the rest of wonderers inside RV with wet paper towels. Problem solved within 30 minutes. Good team work, Keath & Mikki!

Before we went to bed, Keath volunteered to take trash out to prevent another ants attack. Then I heard him calling me and told me to grab box or something. What the heck he's doing outside in the middle of night? 1 minute later, Keath came back with a big bug inside plastic container. Wow! This is the bug we saw in Yosemite last summer! Keath and I were talking about this bug not long ago. It's called California Prionus, belong to a family of beetle. Sounds like this bug is listed as one of pest infesting trees especially cherry. Cherry!? Oh-no! That's not good. I found out the fact after releasing him. Maybe we should have kept it to save cherry tree (beautiful cherry blossom, fresh cherry, smoke chips, etc. It's got a lot of important use!!).

Nothing can stop us! I woke up with nightmare this morning. The nightmare of ants attack happened again and they took over our house completely. Oh, did I ever mention that I cannot stand watching massive amount of little tiny creatures piled up each other, marching to somewhere or moving around some objects? Yes, ants, honey bees, mosquitoes, maggots, what else? If Discovery TV has "The mystery of Army Ants" or whatever ants stories, I just look other way and only listen the story. I can handle each individual ant, bee, other little guys. Just big crowd of these bugs make me want to run away. (hhmm… Am I crowd phobia?)

Anyway, heading to kitchen hoping there's no ants, then found out I was dreaming. No, no. I mean my nightmare came true. There, another ants attack and this time, they got sugar pot. Not only that, but they were all over on the clean dish I washed the night before. It's not clean anymore. I have to re-wash them again… I miss dishwasher…. * sigh * Team K & M shown the great work again. We took care of the ant problem within 15 min. Now that’s our record time! I hope I don’t need to break this record tomorrow. Ants, find other food / water resources, please.

Road to stove secret path to sugar Nothing can stop us

July 4, 2006

Happy July 4th!

Safe and Sane FireworksIt's really strange to see fireworks show from distance. Since I came to the States, I worked for a July 4th Fireworks Show somewhere in So Cal every year. It's not easy job. Carrying heavy mortars, hammering boards onto boxes, wiring, etc, etc. It's solid work all day in the raging hot sun. But once the show starts, you'll forget about the entire ordeal. Looking up the sky, and here goes fireworks displays right above you with loud thundering shooting sound. That's really rewarding and only pyrotechnitians can enjoy / share the gorgeous view.

I didn't feel like watching fireworks show in crowd. So, we had a great time with neighbor kids. (These are Safe and Sane fireworks)

Thanks Antonio and kids.

changing color & effects 1 changing color & effects 2 changing color & effects 3

July 3, 2006

Outdoor Tempra

To purify the horrible experience at a sushi restaurant in Morgan Hill, I promised to cook some "good" Ten-zaru for Keath. There was some minor issue like we forgot to buy gas for our handy Ninja stove. Don't worry. Mr. outdoor – Keath has a nice camping stove set which works great outside. Fabulous. Oh-oh! We are running low on oil. Tempura use a lot of oil… Well, worst case, just go to next rig and borrow some oil.

Go to town and get some more Tempurable ingredients: shrimp – this is MUST and I got really good deal! Yum or sweet potato – taste incredible. Onion – very sweet. Shiitake mushroom – nice. Zucchini – yummy! Cut these ingredients into thin slices. Make Tempura batter. We all set!

As sun goes down, temperature drops quickly. Nice view of deer and turkies hunging out in the field right in front of us. Perfect for sitting outside and have some fresh Tempura. The dipping sauce is REAL Japanese Soba sauce. To celebrate the dinner and Independence Day, we popped open a bottle of really good Sake from Japan. Drink cold. Yeah! This is the way it should be! Now we are in heaven. Look at big smile on Keath's face. That makes me happy, too.

I thought cooking Tempura needs lots of preparation and cleanup. Well, I was wrong. This is just like Fondue. Cut veggies, dip them in batter and fry. If you cook outside, don't need to deal with messy kitchen, oil splashed on the wall, fire, etc. What? Calories? What calories? It's mostly vegetables. Good for your health. (At least home cook Tempura is better than French fries from fast food restaurants)


Outdoor Tempra the best! I want some... yum *big smile*

July 1, 2006

Sudden appear of busy tent village

TT Morgan Hill is a one of the most family-oriented park in the system I have ever seen so far. Always see more kids running around and BBQ going inside the park. But, this last weekend was something. Because this years July 4th is on weekday, last weekend was the family day-out weekend to celebrate Independence Day.

We parked our RV at the end of row where our front door faces huge lawn and we can have nice view of field. Of course, it's far enough to be bit quieter from kids squeaking voices. (I love kids. Just imagine hundreds of kids on vacation and screaming, laughing, crying, etc around you all day). See? Needed a little bit quieter.

It's kinda convenient to us that the next site to us has broken water faucet. People rather park at different site with good condition water/power setup. So we didn't have neighbor for a while.

Saturday morning, I noticed 2 Indian guys were setting up a big tent in the site next to us. Then, they took off. About 20 minutes later, 6 Indians came back and disappear again. Next Keath saw 6 men and 2 women there. After that, we realized more Indians – kids and women – are walking towards us. What is going on there? It's way too many people that 1 camp site can allow to have.

While we were wondering how many people will be, some of them started building their tents. By the time they finished, back of our RV became sudden busy tent village just like the one in Yosemite. Not only tents, but they nicely requested Keath the permission to use the side of our site so that they can spread blanket and sit down under tree. Well, it shouldn't be a problem. Just to make sure kids won't knock over our brand new Data Satellite system (finally, it worked!) with soccer ball.

Tent village - side Tent village - back

Big family reunion all kids were friends smile

Keath had to go to Santa Cruz that night to see his long time friend Chris and have dinner with him. I didn't feel comfortable surrounded by big group that looks like majority of people (over 20 people?) will stay overnight around our RV. Now they took over almost 1/3 of our front yard. They were loud, their dog barked at me and Kodiak. When Keath got home late, he was surprised to see 5 cars parked along the front lawn.

That night, their teenager boys were chatting all night and kept Keath up.

Early morning, Keath went outside and talked to the head of family. As usual, Keath became friend of the group and invited to join their breakfast. We thought it's just courtesy invitation. But they meant it. A woman with plateful of egg covered fried toast shown up at our door with big smile. So we joined them. They were really nice, friendly people. They are families, relatives and coworkers.

While talking, we found out among large group of Indians, 1 guy was actually from Sri Lanka. Keath loves Sri Lankan food so they start talking a lot. So much for the quiet weekend. But what an interesting weekend it was. This young Sri Lankan guy named Sam is also RV full-timer like us. After that weekend we got together with Sam and had lunch. Keath and Sam are computer people and speak a completely strange language