Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31st

As the 1/8" fuel line for the plane had come in, we went and bought the 1/4" line and went over to the airfield.  The guy seemed to think that 20' was a lot, and even gave me a little extra.  Well, in your face, counter boy, we used pretty much 20', and 18 of the 20 hose clamps (I've only safety wired the 1/8" line).  We were scuppered by not having the drill, so we couldn't do the breather hoses, and by me breaking the old plastic 1/8" tee fitting for the primer lines, but that can be done later - it was too late to fly anyway.

After a shower we headed out to get some dinner - Outback were quoting a 2.5 hour wait (who the hell waits 2.5 hours for dinner?  I'm hungry _now_), so we ended up at the almost empty Fresh Choice, eating healthily.  It's OK, that means 2012 can be spent eating chocolate and donuts.  Right?

Oh, I was pottering around in the garage and noticed that the old window winders from the van were different, and the unbroken one matches the ones that I've put in.  Seems I'm not the first hamfisted idiot to wind up the windows :o)

We went to bed fairly early, as it had been a long day.  Tilly usually goes to bed before 10, so she ended up getting up on the bed when the fireworks at Sun City started.

December 30th

It was a day off here, so I wasted it playing Warcraft until the post showed up... I managed to break one of the window winders the last time I drove the van (hey, they're 26 years old...), so I ordered new ones (the brown ones seem to be unobtanium, and the black ones were $1.99 each).  They were here, so Tilly and I went into the garage to replace them.  Tilly's used to sitting in the passenger seat, but sits in the driver's seat when she can.  So, I confused her by sitting in the passenger seat to change the passenger side winder.  She came and sat on my lap, which wasn't particularly helpful.  Anyway, job done.  I'd ordered a few curtain hooks while I was at it, and there were 9 rather than the 10 I'd asked for.  Oh well, I'm not going to get into an argument over 45c of curtain hooks.  I now have the ends of all the curtains hooked up, which is the main thing.  I keep threatening to make (or get Vic to make) new curtains, but this is less important now :o)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27th

The furnace wouldn't start again this morning, so I finally managed to get somebody to come and look at it.  They obviously read my blog, as they think it's the pressure switch, and have ordered one for me - it should be here in a few days.

December 26th

We went to see Vic's father in his retirement home, only to find that he'd had a fall in the morning, and had been taken to the hospital to be checked up.  So we had lunch then came home again.

We wasted the rest of day eating cookies and leftovers and playing computer games.  I've done all the instances I can solo from Wrath of the Lich King and Burning Crusade, so I'm now tending to run them to get equipment and stuff for Vic's druid.
I played with the remote control that Dad got me for my camera, and couldn't get it to work.  The manuals don't help, and I was ploughing through the menus when I discovered that you have to tell the camera to expect to receive commands from the remote.  Duh.

December 25th

I started the day tinkering in the garage with a mount for the new camcorder on the hang glider, then came in and sorted out the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings to go with the turkey that Vic had already cooked.  Cooking the turkey first worked out well, as it meant I could have the oven hot enough that everything cooked well without soaking up too much oil.  Vince came and joined us for dinner, and there were very few leftovers - he took the wings and legs to strip and give to Lucky at the airfield :o)

December 24th

I spent some time in Warcraft, then started playing with the videos we've shot of Vic's hang gliding, ending up with this.  I'm quite happy with it, but we've agreed that we're going to look at actually shooting with an eye to making videos when we get a chance.  As the source is everything from 640x480 to 1920x1080 video, and stills up to 16mp, it's ended up at 480p.  I'm hoping to do something with just hi-def next time.  Movie Maker isn't really up to what I'm trying to do, based on the resolution, and I don't think Live Movie Maker is going to be that good to use.  I'll try Sony Vegas (it's available on a time limited free trial download) when we actually have something to work with.

Once it was past 4pm (midnight in the UK), we opened presents from the UK.  I threw the Kong frisbee for Tilly once before she ran off with it and started tearing it to pieces.  Yay.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23rd

We get today off, but sadly a lot of people don't, so I did some work in the morning.  I'm working my way through all the instances in Warcraft, and I've done everything in Burning Crusade (I forgot to do the Isle of Quel'Danas one, so I'll have to go back for that).  Today I started on the Wrath of the Lich King dungeons.

We went out to do a little shopping, and things are chaotic outside, so we got just the essentials, fake Jaffa Cakes and Mike's Hard Lemonada - we'll wait until after the weekend for all the nonsense like bread and meat.

I've started editing the videos from last weekend, and the first thing I need to do is get them into .wmv format so I can get them into Movie Maker 2.6 - I want to try a few little tricks to make up a short video that Vic can show people.  Anyway, I uploaded the cropped videos here, here, here, here and here.  I'll look at hacking about with the videos maybe tomorrow.

December 22nd

I got up disgracefully early and drove to San Francisco for work.  I'm thinking that a lot of people are taking the week off, as I got to the Bay Bridge before the metering lights were on.  Sadly that just meant the traffic over the bridge sucked, rather than queuing to get onto the bridge.

We had our Xmas lunch, and cleared the outstanding stuff, then I headed out, with a big tin of mince pies from the current Mrs Kelly that'll probably last me 3 days.  Traffic sucked and sucked the whole way home - getting out of the city was a miserable experience, compounded by queue jumpers whose time is obviously far more important than everybody else's.  There was a back up at pretty much every major freeway interchange, and then a long backup just outside Davis so everybody could slow down and stare at two cars being towed away.  It took me almost 4 hours to get home :o(

December 19th

I'd tried calling Vince a couple of times recently, and today he called us.  He's managed to bork his laptop, so we had a discussion about replacements (I suggested he order an i3 based one from Wallyworld, rather than just buy the in store Pentium for the same price, as it's a much better spec).  We went out to dinner, to discover that our Mexican restaurant is closed on Mondays, so we had Teriyaki.

We went home afterwards, and I hacked up Vince's old laptop to work with a fresh install of Windows XP so he can sell it, and lent him an old laptop of mine (that maybe I should sell) :o)

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 18th

We got up appallingly early and headed down to Ed Levin so Vic could go hang gliding.  There was pretty much nobody there when we arrived, so we ran Tilly for a while to get some of her energy out of her.  I dropped Vic off at the 600', and was wandering back to the Jeep when her instructor, Rich, showed up.  He'd seen her flight, and gave her another of her spot landings.  The next 600' launch gave her the last of the landings she needed, so now she just needs to pass the written test to have her Hang 3 certificate.

We loaded the Jeep with Vic, Don (Rich's other student), Rich and 2 gliders, and they drove up to the top launch while Tilly and I sat around and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  There were a lot of people up there, so we watched gliders, tandem gliders and paragliders launch until eventually Don and then Vic launched.  When everybody had done the chatting and congratulating (it was Don's first flight from the 1750' launch), we packed up and headed home.

We skimmed through the pictures (many) and video from the day, and I'm impressed at how well the camera works - you can read the logo on the harness from a fair distance away, for example.  We also took pictures of Tilly wearing a Santa hat, as she was too tired to put up much of a fight :o)


December 17th

We didn't really do a lot - mostly I was playing with the furnace trying to get the damned thing to start.  It looked like the burners weren't firing, so it wasn't working at all.  I climbed back down, and was calling around to try and find an HVAC place that was open when the bastard thing started up.  I've figured out that it only runs when the ladder's leaning against the wall.  Ah well, I can try and find somebody to come and look at it during the week, and not have to pay an emergency call out fee :o)

The high point of my day was finding the replacement for the video cameras I bought for hang gliding on sale for less than half price, with free overnight (=Monday) shipping.  I bought one, and am fully expecting a message to say "there's been a horrible mistake, sorry".

I played with some of the mounts in the garage, and then we got the Jeep all set up to go hang gliding.

Update - I've got a tracking number, so I'm getting it :o)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 11th

I spent the morning tinkering with Warcraft, finishing ripping the CDs and then doing chores, like cutting the grass.  Oh, the fun it never starts.

I've started using the weather station to send my MP3s to Google Music, so I can listen to everything on my tablet, laptop and work machine via the interwebs, rather than having to copy everything everywhere.  It's on all the time anyway, so I'm hoping I canget everything uploaded overnight.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10th

I started the day tinkering with the computer and playing Warcraft while ripping CDs.  5 drawers down now, 3 to go.  I ran the Oculus solo, which is great until the last quest where you're stuck on a dragon, so you need a group.  Oh well...

We went to the airfield, where we did 6 circuits and came down when it started to get busy.  We were pulling the BRS parachute off when Larry showed up.  He helped me get the last carabiner off, then I pulled the Flightstar out of the hangar again so he could go flying in his wobbly with Vince.  We swapping in the new carb boots - the old ones were starting to crack, so this is just in time.

Vic went to a candle / housewarming party in the evening.  We had intended to go to other things later in the evening, but when she got home, neither of us felt up to venturing out again.  I sat and took pictures of my feet with the new camera to see what the different settings do.

December 8th

Vic's started playing World of Warcraft, so now we can squabble over who gets to play, when.  She's set up a Worgen character, because I don't have one, so I've never done the background quests.  She's a druid, and I already have one of those :o)

December 7th

We watched the last of the Hairy Potter movies.  The effects were OK, but I found the whole thing pretty dull, to be honest.

December 5th

My new camera arrived, so I spent a little time unboxing it and playing about with it.  The manual's not as big as I'd have thought, so chances are it's mostly on the CD that came with the camera.  Great, more clutter to install.

We went out to dinner with John, and Jen showed up from just buying her new diesel Golf.  She claims it doesn't sound like a bag of hammers, but we'll see how long before she fills it up with petrol :o)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4th

I started the day playing Warcraft while ripping CDs - talking to Andy has made me realise that there's a lot o' stuff I don't have on MP3s.  I did one of 8 drawers full of CDs before going out and clearing the leaves on the patio.

I went to Autozone and had them test the house battery from the van, and it's OK, just in a low state of charge.  When I went to pick Mum and Dad up, the stereo had lost all its settings, but the battery seemed to charge OK (at least, I could listen to the stereo).  When we went camping, after a ~3 hour drive, the battery was on charge for about a day.  I reckon it went flat sitting for so long, and the extra amperage has damage the 30A charge relay somehow.  I changed the relay (I'll test the old one sometime) and put everything back together.

John's in town, and crashing with us.  When he showed up, we went over to Gwen's for dinner, as a belated Thanksgiving thing :o)

December 3rd

I started out trying to rake up the leaves from the wind storms we've had this week, but decided to just get the worst of it when the wind started to pick up again.  Stupid weather.

I took Tilly for her annual inspection, where she got several shots.  She was all manner of clingy, but seemed OK.  A crazy old woman in reception was telling me how clever "he" was and how I should show "him", while not really understanding that _she_ was a mutt and was 4 years old, not a puppy :o)

I've started playing with Mint as a possible replacement for Quicken.  I dunno, I'm using Quicken to make sure I don't go overdrawn or something, and Mint just shows you what the banks know about.  Still, it does look like less work than updating a bunch of Quicken stuff by hand.

As the weather's been sucky, I resubbed to Warcraft, only to not really have any defined goals.  Well, I guess I can work on maxing out my toons' trades, and maybe run a few lower level dungeons solo.

I've decided that the house battery in the van is dead, as it was charging for about a day when we went camping last week.  The standard van battery is a group 41, which is getting harder to find, but I've put a higher capacity group 48 in the driving battery.  So, I took the van to pieces so I could get both batteries out, and the 48 will fit in the house battery spot under the driver's seat.  While it was out, I noticed that while it was ~5 years old, it has a pro-rated warranty to 100 months, so I called Sears (where I bought it) and they said I'd get ~$40 off a $170 replacement battery.  I'll look into that a little more tomorrow, I think.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 1st

It was the SPCA open house, so we went and mingled.

New month, so the electrickery:

Power billed, as the hot tub is on again

Power generated

Oh, I got to register the YSR again - has it really been a year?  Oh, that's right, it hasn't, as it took forever to sort everything out last year.  Also, how come 2 tons of Vanagon is $90, but 200lbs of YSR is $80?  Jeez, anybody'd think the system's stupid.