Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 29th

We got up early and went to the airfield to try and get an early morning flight, but Vince was there doing the annual.  Apparently Thursday morning is the time when Lincoln is hopping - there were a lot of planes coming and going, and doing circuits.  Mum and I ended up going up for 30 minutes at Vince's insistence, and afterwards we went for frozen yogurt.

In the evening, we met Scott and Becky for dinner.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28th

We decided to go up to Apple Hill, mainly to get some apple wine.  We took the van, and it's developed a worrying wobble from the rear end.  I was figuring it had lost a wheel weight, but I couldn't see any sign of this when we got there.  We went to a couple of orchards, and things were a lot worse on the way home - not a wheel weight then.  Running in neutral proved that it was unlikely to be an engine mount, so I was thinking along the lines of a CV joint, or a wheel bearing, and limped home.  Not one, but two of the tyres are starting to separate.  I briefly spoke to Stephan at the Autohaus about the Yokohama Geolandar tyres he's running, and then ordered a set of those.  They're light truck tyres, so are going to be a lot stronger than the passenger tyres I'm currently running, despite the 1600lb per corner weight rating.  Hopefully they'll be in in a couple of days.  In the meantime I'll put the spare on to replace the crappiest tyre, and not drive the van anywhere.

September 27th

Mum and Vic were going to some nursery or other, and looking for shoes, so Dad and I went to see about a test drive in a Chevy Volt.  I came away very impressed, as it's obviously quiet, but it's quick and handles pretty well.  In a perfect world, I'd be looking to drive it with the onboard generator running, to see how noisy that is, but meh.  So, a 20 minute, 12 mile test drive used 3.7KWh - about 90 minutes of absolute peak daylight generation from the solar panels on the roof.  And that, ladies and germs, is why it's so hard to get away from petrol as a fuel source.

On the way back, we stopped at Harbor Freight, so Dad could see how you can buy enough tools to hurt your back carrying them for $25.  Then we went to Fry's, where he ended up with a Macbook Air.  And an iPod Touch to replace his PDA.  Pretty much the rest of the day was spent playing with those - it only took us 15 minutes to figure out how to click on stuff.  I sense a fairly steep learning curve :o)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 26th

Dad and I went over to Freedom Field to check that Vince is still alive - we've not managed to get hold of him for about 2 weeks.  He's blaming his phone.

We went to Best Buy and the Apple store, as it's starting to look like Dad's going to get a Mac, and in the evening met Gwen and Walter for dinner, then went over to their house so Mum and Dad could see it.

September 25th

We got up early and went to Ed Levin, where Vic did one flight from the 1750', and 2 from the 600' launch.  Afterwards we went to her mother's for dinner, and so everybody could meet up.

Tilly was happy to see us when we got home - she'd spent the day with her Aunty Gwen, but she was a little bit off around bed time.  She woke up at 4am and was sick, and was right as rain after that.

September 24th

We just pottered around for the day.  Vic and Mum went to a nursery, and Dad and I went to Fry's to look at toys.  They picked us up and we went to dinner at the Claim Jumper, only to find that they no longer server liver or brisket, so they're probably off our list of things to do next visit.

September 23rd

I got up early and took the Van into San Francisco to work from the office.  Mum and Dad showed up at lunch time, so we threw their stuff in the van and went to lunch.  They wandered off, and after work we headed home again.  It was a pretty long trip back, as it seems everybody was slowing down to look at everything.  When we got home, Tilly ran out into the garage and went to jump into the van, but there was somebody there already, which she found most upsetting :o)  Everything worked out OK, and she spent the rest of her evening playing ball.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 19th

Arrr, ye scurvy dogs, it be Talk Like A Pirate Day.

September 18th

I'd managed to pinch a nerve in my back yesterday, and today this pretty much stopped me from doing anything.  At least I finished my book.

September 17th

I started the day getting up on the roof to wash the solar panels.  Well, first I dropped the ladder on myself, bruising my shoulder and elbow.  Then I found that the window washing stuff that I'd used last time had either leaked out or evaporated away.  Bugger.  I managed to put the squirty hose nozzle back on, but didn't have the usual bucket of soap with me, so I just rinsed them off... that'll do for now.

In the early evening we went to Lincoln and took the Flightstar out for a tootle around the area.  It was cooler than it's been recently, so the plane flew quite nicely, plus it wasn't so bumpy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 16th

We barbecued, and Don and Lori came down the hill to join us, Gwen and Walter.  It was nice to see everybody, and Tillamook had an absolute blast keeping everybody playing ball with her.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 14th

We watched Ironclad, which is a lot more depressing than the other movies we've been watching recently.  Good film, though.

September 13th

I went to the dentist this afternoon, for the usual teeth scraping and counting - apparently my teeth are in good condition, despite the amount of Dr Pepper I drink :o)

We watched Your Highness, and it's nice to see Natalie Portman do something less serious.  The movie was OK, but rude words != humour.

September 12th

We watched Paul on DVD, and wholeheartedly enjoyed it again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

I spent more time looking at the desktop monitor thing, and realised that the 2511x (driven by the HDMI port) was scaled down - I couldn't get the Catalyst Control Centre to see the monitors, so I pulled apart the office, and set it all up again.  The monitors are now driven by VGA and DVI, they just swap between the laptop and the desktop.  I've also put the HP on the left, so it doesn't reflect the back door - it has a shiny screen :o)

I upgraded the graphics drivers and gained control via the CCC, but also lost the scanning line, so imma call that good for the moment :o)

I can't switch between the laptop and the desktop without playing with the monitor inputs, but I pretty much never run them both at the same time anyway.

September 10th

While in San Francisco, I picked up a docking station for the work laptop, and this'll allow me to run 2 external monitors (plus just yank the thing out when I'm headed to the office, rather than spend 20 minutes unplugging everything).  So, I wanted a second monitor.  Sadly everything's 1080 lines these days, but I picked up an HP2511x on sale at Frys.  I plugged that in as a second monitor, and it all appears to work OK, but there's a weird scan line on my desktop on the 2nd monitor (I swapped the monitors over in the control panel, and it moved to the 2nd monitor).  I'll have to look into that at some point, but I don't use the desktop that much in the summer - I'm not playing Warcraft until the weather turns :o)

Walter and Gwen came over to play with Tillamook, and then we headed over to the airport - Gwen has a pop up trailer that she wants to make a rack for, so we picked up the remains of an old hang glider and headed home - Walter and I have a good idea how it'll all go together, we just need to sit down and cut stuff and drill other stuff.

It looks like there's a storm on the way in, so the wind is all manner of pissed off - I decided against flying this evening, so we just sat in and watched TV.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6th

I got up disgracefully early so I could ride the DRZ to San Francisco for work.  It was a weird ride in, and the dense for around Vallejo and an accident that everybody slowed down to gawk at meant I was later into the office than usual, and the traffic was heavier on the Bridge.

In the evening I lost $20 at poker so I was allowed to leave and ride home - Tilly was happy to see me, once I took off my helmet, of course.

September 5th

Today was Labo(u)r Day, when Americans celebrate the successes of the union movement by going shopping.

We took Tilly over to the airfield so she could run and chase her frisbee, boomerang thing and ball, which she did until she was knackered.  On the way home, we found that she'd actually worn one of her toenails down to the quick, so she was bleeding on my shorts.  No sense, no feeling.

In the afternoon we met Larry at Lincoln, and when Vince showed up, we all flew over to Far West Lake, and pottered around the foothills until it was starting to get dark.  I was going to do a straight in approach to 15, but there was somebody else in the area, and he ended up doing a straight in approach to 33 - landing downwind!  I then extended my downwind to let Larry do a straight in approach for 15, and we both scurried along the runway to get out of the way of an incoming Pilatus turbine.  Everything worked out OK in the end :o)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 4th

I managed to get up on the roof and wash the solar panels, and cut the grass, and all the other stuff I've been meaning to do.

I called Vince for a chat, and he said he was waiting for Larry to call him, and he was going to meet him at Lincoln.  Fine, I said, we'll see him there.

We went to Lincoln and threw in an hour of circuits while waiting for Larry to arrive - he didn't, so we packed up and headed home, passing a powered parachute on the way :o)

September 3rd

I tidied up in the garage a little, as there have been too many "projects" lying around undone.  I can see the work surfaces again :o)

After that I rode the DRZ over to see Jeff's new workspace - he's gone from about 600', and having to move customer's bikes outside every day to get to work to having 2400' and having enough space to set up a ping pong table.  Or, it seems, an archery range.  I "helped" him put the motor back in a Honda quad that he's bought - he's put off customers until next week to allow him time to move.

In the evening, we went and met the crazy cat ladies SPCA volunteers for the monthly dinner.  Jen came - we haven't seen her for ages.

September 2nd

We barbecued, but nobody showed up.  If you're hungry, we still have chicken in the fridge.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September 1st

It's a new month, so here are the solar panel reults:

Power used

Power generated

I'm going to say it's been hot, and we've been using the air conditioning a lot.  For grins, here's the year's data from the TED5000 (it's not exact, but it's close enough):

Green is used, blue is generated, purple is the difference :o)

Here's the data for just August 31st, hour by hour:

Not bad, eh?  From 8am to 3pm we generate more power than we use.

Of course, the temperature doesn't peak until ~4pm:

OK, I need to get out more.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 31st

We watched My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.  I wanted "the secret" to be that the Alyssa Milano character used to be a man, but I was denied.

August 30th

I went out an installed a length of pipe insulation in the Jeep, so random junk (like the ignition key) won't end up falling behind the dashboard.  Again.  Of all the stupid...

Vic rented Rio, so we watched that, and Tilly's reaction to that.

August 29th

Fresh Choice are having some sort of "buy one meal, get one free" promotion, so we went and took advantage of that.  As there's a Border's just up the way, we wandered over there to pick over the carcasses and I found a couple of Nick Hornby books that I haven't read yet.  And a Richard Dawkins - I've not read any of his books, but he seems to be an engaging speaker.  Oh, and a Sarah Vowell, and she's always funny on the Daily Show.  Oh, and I Am Legend, which is apparently significantly different to the movie.

At this rate I'll never catch up with my dead tree reading and start using the Kindle again.