Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 29th

We took Fred and Marsha out to dinner as a treat for Fred's birthday (last week, everybody's been busy).  When we got back, we fed and dosed the animals, then headed over the street to see their puppy Cashmere.  She's quite funny, all 3.5lbs of her.  I don't think Tilly was ever that small :o)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26th

I wasted the day tinkering around with the YSR and cutting the grass.  Oh, and moving some more stuff to the web site.  In the afternoon, we went over to Freedom Field to pick up a labeller from Vince, then on to Lincoln where I made up some labels for the instrument panel.  We then went for a 55 minute flight around the area, culminating in 2 landings.

June 25th

I started the day washing the solar panels for (I believe) the second time this year.  While I was up on the roof, I decided that now was a good time to hack some parts off the tree that were now touching the house.  I got Vic to help me, and we beat it into submission.  I then got to spend a while cutting everything up to put in the green waste bin.  I'm not sure that there'll be room for me to cut the grass this week, so that might have to wait until the bin's been emptied on Wednesday.  Meh.

I checked the YSR for oil leaks, and there didn't seem to be any.  I put the cover back on the oil pump, and was going to do the fairing but it currently doesn't look like it'll fit easily.  Screw that.  I took it over to see Jeff at work, and "helped" him troubleshoot a bigass quad before riding it home.  I think I'm going to try a smaller rear sprocket, as currently it's pull away, change gear, change gear, change gear, change gear,topped out.  I'm pretty sure it can pull higher gearing if only it doesn't run out of revs.  Oh, and the rev counter needs a new battery, I didn't go above 2500rpm all day :o)  Still, it's a fun thing to ride, I just need to figure out what to do with the clutch basket, as finding neutral is always a pain.

Vic picked up her latest money pit guinea pig from the vet, and she (the guinea pig, not Vic) would seem to have pneumonia.  So she (the guinea pig, not Vic) is on antibiotics for the moment.

In the evening, we barbecued, and Gwen, Walter, Jen and Vince showed up to eat and torment Tilly.  Larry called with some cockamamie plan to fly to Lodi for breakfast tomorrow, but he wants to be leaving at 7am, which is too fscking early for me.  Vince says he's going, which I think will be funny to see, but still, 7am?  On a Sunday?  Is there even a 7am on a Sunday?

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24th

We got up early and headed over to Stephan's to pick up the van.  Again.  This time all was good, and it drove home quite happily.  I stopped en route to fill it with gas so I can see if the fuel economy is all better now.

We had talked about barbecuing, but we were out of charcoal and nobody seemed to be around.  No worries, we'll do that over the weekend, perhaps.

One of the guinea pigs was having trouble breathing, so Vic took her to the vet's.  I stayed home and tormented Tilly.  I went out into the garage and pulled the YSR out, I started it and let it warm up for a while so I can see if I've fixed the oil leaks by changing the hoses.

June 23rd

We got up early and headed over to Stephan's to pick up the van.  Except that somehow we'd missed out the oil change.  We decided to pick it up tomorrow instead of waiting for it to be done.  I had to get to work, and Vic had to get to the shelter, where she spent the day at the Placer county fair.

June 22nd

After work we watched "Battle Los Angeles", which wasn't as bad as we'd been lead to believe :o)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 21st

I spoke to Jon at Stephan's, and the van's timing was out by about 4 degrees.  That would be the cause of the poor fuel economy, but it's strange that I didn't feel anything.  They're going to put in new plugs, as they don't rate the Autolites I put in when it failed the emissions test.  They're still trying to find a leak in the AC, but it's working fine at the moment.  Hopefully I can pick it up on Thursday or Friday.

In the evening we concluded our "Spaced" marathon.  It's been fun trying to catch as many pop culture references as possible :o)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20th

We continued our "Spaced" marathon for a while, and had an early night.

June 19th

I managed to have a lie-in, and dragged myself out of bed after 9am for the first time in as long as I can remember.

I went out into the garage and replaced the oil lines on the YSR.  Of course, this necessitates taking off the clutch cover, which means draining the oil.  Now everything's done, and the oil lines are bled through, we'll see if this fixes the oil leaks I was seeing.  That's the great thing about 2 stroke oil, it's a different colour from the engine oil.

In the afternoon I went to the airfield and snagged the fuel cap out of the tank with the first pass with my "magnet on a stick" tool.  It took me longer to ride there (on the DRZ) than it did to fix it.  As it was really windy, I put the spare fuel into the tank and rode home.

In the evening we started watching "Spaced", something with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost that I've never seen that I found on Hulu.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18th

So, I decided that today I was going to get the tach on the Flightstar sorted out.  Vic was off at some shelter fundraising thing, so I ran Tilly's legs off, then took the DRZ to the airfield and moved the wire to the other side.

All plugged in, and the radio worked, as did the tach, but I couldn't get above about 4,000rpm without the plane moving.  I strapped in and went for a circuit, but the tach was acting crazy again, even worse than before.  It was bumpy as hell, so I landed and put the tach lead on the other input lead to the regulator.  Another circuit, and everything was fine.  Well, electrically... it was still as bumpy as hell.  When I was taxying back, I turned off the strobes, and the tach went crazy - aha, this is the thing - when the battery is fully charged, the regulator shuts down - I need to change the regulator for a non Key West one, but for the moment just leaving the strobes on will do the job :o)

I went home again, and ran Tilly around the garden again, then fed her and headed back to the airfield in the Jeep now the thermals had hopefully calmed down.  After a few circuits, I started to smell petrol, which is a little troubling - I couldn't see any obvious leaks, and the fuel level didn't seem to be dropping, but better safe than sorry.  I pulled up and checked everything to eventually find that the gas cap had unscrewed itself internally, dropping part of it into the tank.  I'm hoping I can fish it out with a magnet, otherwise I'll need to drain the tank and remove it so I can tip it all out.  Bugger.  Ah well, I packed everything away and headed home.

Fred and Marsha came over - they've just got an 8 week old puppy, called Cashmere - Tilly's very interested, so we'll see how that goes when she's a little older :o)

June 17th

After work, we cooked.  Vince came over as usual, and Scott and Becky joined us.  Egads, that means we've seen them twice this year!  Tilly enjoyed all the attention, and showed off her "running into the door chasing the ball" trick until Scott had a headache from watching her :o)

June 15th

We got up early, and ran the van over to Stephan's for an oil change - we'll leave it there for a while so they can check the air conditioning system for leaks (it was totally empty last time it was there, and it was refilled) and they can look at the fuel economy (since the rag in the engine debacle it's been getting 16mpg, rather than the usual 18mpg.  This concerns me).

Vic's friend Christina came up and stayed the night with us, on her way to the Lost Coast.  Tilly loves having visitors :o)  I left them watching Shaun Of The Dead and had an early(ish) night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 14th

We watched the movie It's Kind Of A Funny Story... it was OK, but I'm glad we didn't blow $20 to see this at the cinema.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 13th

We were pretty tired after the weekend (that's the way it's supposed to be, right?), so we stayed in and watched Just Go With It, which was pretty funny.  We were talking about Nicole Kidman, so we ended up watching Practical Magic afterwards.  So much for an early night.

June 12th

I played with Tilly until she was too tired to play any more, then we took the motorcycles up to the Golden West Flyin - it's about 45 minutes away.  It didn't seem to be signposted off the freeway, which was weird, but after one U-turn, we got there.  It was a lot smaller than it's been in recent years, and I didn't get to see any of the stuff I wanted to see, but hey, we were there late.  We left at around the same time as the last of the planes flew out, and rode home a different way. 

When we got home, we kicked around for a little bit, then went over to Lincoln, so I could test the radio.  Sure enough, with the engine off, the radio works, but with the tach line from the regulator plugged in, it doesn't.  Stranger - I unplugged it at the regulator end, and that didn't fix it, it needed to be unplugged at the EIS end too, which suggests that it's an interference problem to me.  I decided to look at this later, and we went and threw in a bunch of circuits.  I was pretty tired, and my landings weren't the greatest, but we did get to play with the climb out to see how hard we could climb.  ~900fpm, but the best we could sustain was around 500fpm.  The jump plane took off at one point, using 33 rather than 15 like the rest of us, so we extended downwind and flew orbits to let him out.  That twin isn't cheap to run, and I didn't want him to have to wait for us to get out of his way as we were doing touch and goes.  Kent had arrived as we were leaving, but didn't get his Flightstar off the ground until we were packing ours away :o)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 11th

I did a little more work on converting the web site to the Google, then went and cut the grass.  It's been about 2 weeks since I last cut it, as it was raining all last weekend.  It took me ages, and required several emptyings of the grass hopper - I usually get away with 2 or maybe 3.  Hopefully the hot weather'll keep the grass growth down for a while.

In the evening we went to the airfield and I put a line in from the regulator to the tach.  We tested it and it reads accurately up to 5500rpm, so we decided to do some circuits.  Well, we were at the runup area when I found that the radio won't transmit.  It wasn't busy, so we did a single big circuit, but swapping the headsets over seems to have fixed that (something not quite plugged in?  Seems strange, as the intercom was working properly).  I'm now wondering if it's interference from the new wire - I'll have to test that out next time.

June 9th

I managed to slope out of work a little early, so I got over the Bay Bridge without too much drama.  Of course, everybody still has to slow down to a crawl to look at every stopped car they see, so I didn't get home until gone 7pm.  Tilly was happy to see the van, bless her.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 6th

I got up horrifyingly early and took the van to the office.  Yay, my first time crossing the bridge with my FastTrak pass.  Um... why are the lines longer when you don't have to stop?  The other thing is that you still have to stop just the other side of the tolls for the filtering traffic lights, as people have obviously proven to be unable to merge by themselves.  Doy.  As it's $54 a night to park at the hotel (and no, I'm not sleeping in the van - that's on top of the room rate), I'm leaving the van in the parking lot by the office.  I figure I was going to walk to and from the hotel anyway (it's under a mile), so a couple of trips carrying my bag aren't going to kill me.  I also get to live on Coke and chocolate for a week, but I'm planning breakfast at McDonalds at least once, as I'll be walking past there anyway.  Maybe just to remind me why I don't eat there that often.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5th

Another rainy day, so I tinkered around with stuff around the house, then we headed to the airfield and installed the resistor.  Didn't work.  As in the tach didn't read at all.  Took it out, and everything's fine, so I think I'll ignore it for the moment, and maybe see about replacing the regulator at some point (you can take the tach feed off the regulator, assuming you don't have a Key West regulator.  Which one do you think I have?).  We put it all back together, and the tach works fine without the resistor.  Bah.

In the evening, we watched I am number 4, which wasn't too awful bad - it looks like there'll be a sequel.  Oooh, I hope it's in 3D </snark>

June 4th

It rained.  Pretty much all day.  So, I ran some errands, including picking up some resistors for the tach feed on the plane... it goes crazy above about 5400rpm, so I spoke to the manufacturer, and they suggested a resistor, so I went and got some because the tach goes crazy above ~5400rpm.

Anyway, I soldered bits of wire to the resistor, then covered everything in heat shrink.  We headed out to the airfield to install it to find that the big tub o' connectors is gone.  Bugger.  Nothing else to do, so we came home again.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 1st

Egads, what a crappy day it was yesterday, weather-wise.  At one point we saw ~3.75" per hour of rain, and for the day we were at over 0.5"... we've had >24" since last summer, and we usually expect 12-16".  I was talking to Fred, who wants to get his trailer back up to his camp site at Emigrant Gap.  It's at ~6,000', and apparently there's still about 10' (yes, feet) of snow up there.  They're hoping to get in for July 4th.

If this is global warming, you can keep it.

Here's the electricity we've been billed for

And here's the electricity we've generated