Monday, December 31, 2012

December 30th

After playing Warcraft while the weather outside warmed up a little, I went out and took the (vacuum controlled) cruise control off the Vanagon.  It's never been able to work at freeway speeds, and I think there's just not enough vacuum being generated, or maybe not enough cable movement in the control box.  I've ordered an electric one to play with, so for the moment all the wiring etc is staying in place.  Worst case, I wire it up in the front to pull the pedal down, as this is what the GoWesty kit does.  The GoWesty kit looks to be the same Rostra kit that I've ordered, but I have a VSS and the control switch already.

We went out so Vic could return some boots she doesn't like, and I picked up a tool box - I'm tired of not being able to find stuff / get it out of the rack I have at the moment.  I took the wall unit down, and put the box in its place - the lid has to be open, meaning it takes up a bit  more space than I'd thought it was going to, but it's now holding tools.  Fewer tools than I'd expected, but that's because I haven't just piled them in - hopefully I'll be able to easily find them, too.

In the evening, we watched the new "Total Recall" - it's not bad, and of course they have their transit system going through Earth's core rather than the whole outlandish space ship to Mars thing.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 29th

We wasted the day playing Warcraft, then went to dinner with Vince, who's getting over a cold.

December 28th

I finally managed to get the laptop working correctly, after several attempts at deleting the drivers and rebooting - Windows just reloaded the incorrect drivers, then wouldn't let me overwrite them with older ones.  Safe mode couldn't see both graphics cards, so it wouldn't let me load the drivers.  Sheesh.  I managed to interrupt the driver install and get the old, old drivers on there, and I'm leaving it at that and calling it good.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 27th

I played with my laptop, and it'll work with the old, old, old Dell graphics drivers, but when I try anything newer, it's upset.  The problem seems to be that there are actually 2 adapters, the 335GT, and the onboard Intel Series 4.  More work needed, methinks.

On a plus note, I did get the old Eee 701 running Android :o)  I'm going to look at building a shelf to hold it in the garage next.

December 26th

After work (no Boxing Day in the US) I went over and installed an SSD in Jim's PC.  I've left him to install Windows 7 on it, having lent him the media and a bootable USB drive.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 25th

After unwrapping gifts, we spent the day playing Warcraft and fiddling with stuff.  I managed to get my hunter to level 90, and I've now failed to install Chromium on the Eee.  I might end up going back to Xubuntu.

In the evening we watched "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side" again :o)

A bloody Windows security update seems to have stopped my laptop's graphics card from working - I'll look at that when I get time :o(

December 24th

It was another cold, wet, miserable day, so we played Warcraft, and in the evening watched "The Dark Knight Rises".  It's a pretty good movie.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23rd

It threw it down with rain all day, so we played Warcraft.

I made a start on getting the old 7" Eee running as a system for in the garage, but for some reason the sound's not working.  One of the things I wanted to do was have it stream music, so the dodgy radio I'm using at the moment can finally be tossed out :o(

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 22nd

I woke up early, then couldn't get back to sleep because of the rain.  So I started looking at the weather station on the Raspberry Pi.  I've ended up dumping the database from the Eee out to SQL format, deleting the database on the Pi and reloading the data when it's rebuilt it.  It's letting me look at the web pages, and I left it loading in the old data (there's a lot of it), but that caused it to stop working.  After reinstalling the software a couple of times, I gave up and decided to just start with an empty database.

I went out in the garage and did a little wiring on the van - I've rewired the rear lights so that the fog light section (that isn't used here) now lights up with the rear lights.  So, I have 4 rear lights, and 4 brake lights (high 3rd light, and a light in the tow hitch).

I decided to cut the grass, as it's supposed to rain for the next few days, but that only brought on the rain early.  I finished up, and we threw seed on the bare patches (thank you, Tilly) so that they'll hopefully start growing in all the rain we're getting.

In the evening we watched MIB3, which was distracting with the cartoony CGI effects.

December 21st

So much for the Mayan apocalypse, eh?

I sat and played with the Raspberry Pi as the weather station, and finally got it working.  I think it's actually been working, it's just that the archiving doesn't work - it's now publishing my data to Weather Underground.  I just can't look at it through the local web server, which is a shame, as it holds a lot of useful data from the past.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 20th

I got up ridiculously early and drove to San Francisco for work.

After work, we played poker, and I managed to win $31 - I think that's a record this year, as Rachel usually takes all my money.

It was a longassed drive home, and I ended up getting in around 9pm.

December 19th

Mum and Dad had sent us a package for Xmas, and the post office tried to deliver it on Saturday, but there was nobody in.  They didn't try again on Monday, so I went to their web site and requested a redelivery attempt on Tuesday.  I saw the postie on Tuesday, and she knew nothing about it.  It also didn't arrive today, so I called them.  They said they'd try and deliver it on Thursday, when I was going to be out all day, but that'd be 5 days, so it would be returned.  Doy.  I skipped going to the gym and went and picked the bloody thing up from the post office.

I tinkered around with the newly cased Raspberry Pi, but it doesn't seem to want to start up WView with the weather station attached, but that might be because I tried copying the database from the Eee that's currently running it.  I'll look into this more when I have some time to play with it.

I went to the new Lincoln EAA chapter meeting, and might have got roped in to helping out with the web site.  They had a Pietenpol there, along with its builder - who even made his own prop!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 18th

I had to go and rescue Vic when her bike wouldn't start.  Basically the trip to work isn't far enough to charge the battery, so if it doesn't start right away at home, it doesn't really stand a chance of restarting at work.  I popped the battery cover, plugged it in to the Jeep and it fired up OK.  We left it until it was warm, then unplugged everything and headed home again, where we unplugged the DRZ from the battery tender and plugged it in to charge up fully.

Note to self - you can charge it through the battery tender wire that's already connected to the battery, if you remember to bring the clip connector :o)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16th

It was another rain-ish day, so I played Warcraft, getting my Hunter up to level 88.  Vic had been tidying in the garden, so I went and cut some lumps off the trees in the front - I'll be doing that until they start getting leaves again, methinks.

I got out into the garage and made up a case for the Raspberry Pi.

It's not as elaborate as I'd first planned, but screw it - it's there and allows me to move on to getting it all working :o)

December 15th

Tilly had her annual inspection, which she passed with flying colours.  We'll wait for the heartworm test results, but she takes the tablet every month, so I'm sure she's fine.

I played a fair amount of Warcraft, as it was raining or threatening to rain all day.  I did change the hook-ups for the van to the new ones that GoWesty has started making.  Basically the old ones are a pain, and the new ones are better made.  Rather than having to try and screw a hose onto the city water connection (I tried once, and gave up as I could never stop water running all down the side of the van), it uses a standard quick release plug - it's the same for the internal tank filler, rather than just a tube.  Why hasn't anybody thought of this before?  I also replaced the electric hookup, to make the set complete, but I didn't realise how crappy and loose the old one was inside.  Yay.

In the evening we watched Idiocracy - it's been a while since we've seen it.

December 14th

I tidied up the wiring as much as I could, and tested all the lights.  Everything works, except the extra brake lights that I wired in ages ago where the factory fog lights would go.  I think that's most likely to be my soldering in the light units, as the main brake lights work just fine.  I buttoned everything up, tested it all again and called it "good" :o)

I've bought new wiper blades, so I installed those while it was relatively easy to do.  I've kept the fittings to see if they'll work on Gwen's Jeep.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 13th

I went and worked on the van a little after work, and got the passenger side light all wired up.  I've put in bullet connectors to the high level brake light and the cut-out for the cruise control (I'm actually wondering if this is why the cruise control has been a pain recently).  Now I just need to tidy up the looms and test everything before calling it "done".

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12th

One of the smoke alarms needs a new battery, so it's been beeping about once a day.  Which, of course, makes it really easy to find.  Well, it started to beep a little more often, and it scared Tilly - she got out of her bed and woke me up, and it took a while before it beeped again.  I tracked it to Vic's art room and unplugged it, but then had to wait for the internal battery to give out in a series of increasingly pathetic beeps.  By then I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd play Warcraft, thinking that the realm had rolled over so I could do the daily quests again.  Nope, but I swear I've done this after the new realm day (at 10pm Pacific).  Anyway, I eventually went back to bed at around 3am.

After work, I went out and worked on the van a little - I got the driver's side all wired up, and pulled the new wire through for the passenger side light.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 9th

Some Warcraft was played, before I got Vic to help me with some soldering under the van.  Never let it be said that I don't know how to show a girl a good time.  I also tidied up most of the damage I've done "fixing" things.

I got up on the roof and cleared out all of the gutters before sweeping up all the leaves and cutting the grass.

December 8th

I started the day playing Warcraft, and even got my hunter to level 87.

I spent a little time under the van, pulling wire towards the front.  A quick test showed 8V after the fuel tank, and 12v in front of it, so I'm calling that good - getting into the loom by the instrument cluster is a nightmare.

In the evening we watched Kick-Ass - I picked it up on Blu-Ray on sale a while back, and just haven't had the time to watch it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 6th

We went to the Xmas open house at the SPCA, where we ate, drank and were merry.  There's a raffle there, and I usually buy a bunch of tickets and win nothing.  This year though, they had a system where you put your tickets in a little box in front of the prize you want to win.  We ended up winning a hamper with a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates and a teddy bear.  Well, it also has a voucher for a tour and wine tasting at a winery in Los Gatos.  Not sure what we'll do with that.

Tilly decided that the teddy bear was for her, so I ended up letting her have it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 4th

I worked on the van some more, and managed to break a wire that was nothing to do with the brake lights.  So, now the tail lights won't work until I replace that bit of wire.  Bugger.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 3rd

It's a new month, and the new electrickery bill is in... not my fault, it's late :o)
Power I've paid for

Power I've generated

In the evening, I went and looked at the van, as I'm trying to yank a new wire through.  I found a connector that doesn't appear in the manual, and pulled the new wire through to it.  Want to bet that's the cause of the problem?  Well, I'll have to solder new wires and stuff there when I'm feeling more up to it - this is now all happening in the cramped engine bay.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 2nd

I went and tidied up all my junk, then reversed the van into the garage (the wiring runs down the driver's side) to make working on the van easier.  I've crawled around underneath it, and pulled bits of wire around to discover where it is.  It's looking like it'll be a pain to pull wire through the stock tubing, but I'm going to give it a go... I've cut the wire at the rear, and soldered the new wire to it.  I did start trying to pull it through, but I was obviously trying to pull it too far, so I'll try cutting a hole nearer the engine bay and pulling from there.  At least I can now work in the garage in the evenings, rather than having to drop the van out of the garage to do anything.

I cleared up a bunch of the leaves out the front of the house - at least until the green waste bin was full.  And the pick up is the week after next, so here's hoping that the storms are done with - the sun came out in the afternoon and cheered everything up, Tilly and I went for a walk.

December 1st

It's been an absolutely grim day, with lots of rain causing some of the gutters to overflow.  I got out to clear them in what I thought was a quiet period, but standing on a ladder is obviously tempting the rain gods.  Still, I got the gutters cleared, but the downspouts couldn't cope with the flow, so they were still overflowing.

The garden flooded down the side of the house, like it usually does when we get a lot of rain, but this time the water cleared after it stopped, so the drain we dug this year has obviously helped :o)

There was a lot of time spent playing Warcraft, where I got my hunter to level 86, and I looked at the van again before the worst of the rain showed up - I've noticed that I have 13v at the brake light switches, and 10v at the back of the van, and that drops to 0v when a load is applied.  It's looking more and more like a wiring issue.  The stock wiring isn't that thick, so I'll probably end up running a new wire from the front to the rear of the van.  Joy.

November 29th

Thanks to all the rain, the anemometer's stopped working on the weather station.  The interesting thing is that looking on Weather Underground, I see that the nearest weather station to me also isn't registering wind speeds, so I'm guessing that they're also running a WMR-968.  Still, I'll try and remember to look into it when it isn't cold, wet, windy and raining :o)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28th

I was truly glad that I raked up all the leaves in the front garden over the weekend, as a storm's come through and dumped new leaves over bloody everything.  I raked the worst of the leaves off the path onto the grass and left them there.

I took a look at the brake lights on the van.  I figure the system goes power - fuse - switch - wire - bulb - earth.  I checked the fuse, and it's fine.  I checked the bulbs, and they're fine (I thought so, there are 6 in total, and none of them work, but still...).  I took the dash out, and jumpering the switches (there are 2, one a backup) doesn't do anything, and there's definitely power there, so it would appear to be a wiring problem.  Now I just have to figure out where the wire goes.  It can't be an earth problem, as all the lights use the same earthing point, and the rest of them work just fine.  Wiring... that'll be fun to track down.

November 27th

I spoke to a couple of guys about the engine for the Flightstar, and the consensus seems to be that it can be rebuilt fairly easily, and for not too much money.

In the evening I spoke to Vince, and he's going to look into what he can get the parts for - I'd rather throw money at him than ship the engine to Florida :o)

November 26th

I went over to the airfield and took the exhaust off the plane so I could look up the ports.  On the front cylinder, I saw this.  Click to embiggen, and you'll see there's a nick on the cylinder wall (where you can see the honing marks, FFS!) with a little bit of dead metal above it.  I'm thinking that's my problem right there.

Oh, I also discovered that the brake lights aren't working on the van.  It never rains, does it?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 25th

I went out and raked leaves and cut the grass.  Oh yes, the fun here, it never stops.

In the afternoon, we went to the airfield in threw in some circuits.  It was pretty busy, and we started using 33 and ended up using 15.  On the final take off, the engine made a strange sound, and I thought it was just that my hand had slipped on the throttle, but it wouldn't rev the way it normally does, so we did a short circuit (downwind along the taxi way) and a precautionary landing.  Thinking about it carefully, I think it was a partial seizure.  Back at the hangar, I swear I could hear a slight clinking noise every now and then when turning it over by hand.  We chatted to Larry for a bit before he headed out, and then we met Vince for dinner.  He thinks it could be a ring or something, but I need to take a look at it (no tools, as I wasn't expecting to do anything).  So, for now Xmas is cancelled while I fret about a new engine (this one has just over 400 hours on it, so it's due a total rebuild anyway).

In the evening we watched "Seeking a Friend For The End of The World", which is a sweet take on Armageddon.  Hey, three and a half weeks to go!

November 24th

I started the day playing Warcraft while my iPod finished syncing... it seemed to be running a ways faster, as I'd been expecting the final ~1000 songs to take all day.

The TV antenna is struggling to keep the channels, as its listed as 40 miles range, and the antennae it's talking to are ~39 miles away.  I got into the roof and took out the old antenna, which was smaller than I remembered it being.  I got up on the roof, and bolted it to the pole up there, so it's about 8' higher than it was in the roof.  It seems to be getting everything pretty well, so we'll see how it does over time.

I spent some time getting the screen protector on my Nexus - if you have a house with no pets, you have no idea how hard this can be :o)

In the afternoon, we went to the airfield and took the plane out for a spin, using the Nexus as the inflight GPS.  I'm starting to think I'll keep the Streak as a plane device, as the Nexus can't run OpenFlight GPS, it goes to sleep in Avare, and I almost tore the back off it pulling it off the velcro on the dash :o)  It was a busy day, so I enjoyed doing a bunch of circuits in and around everybody.  Larry showed up towards the end of our hour, so we said "hi" over the radio, but that was about it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 23rd

Today was Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when Americans forget everything they're thankful for and go shopping.  I had won a gift voucher for Apple, so I went to the store in Roseville and picked up an iPod Nano.  I didn't go as the doors opened, so I wandered in there and just bought one.  While it was busy, the biggest problem was parking - the Galleria closed about half of their parking, and had loads of people pointing you in the only way you could actually go, which seemed a little pointless.

I got home and left the awful iTunes transferring music to the iPod.  I need to to some looking into things, as it seems to have transferred everything over in 256Kb/s MP3 format, rather than converting it to 128Kb/s AAC, but what do I know.

November 22nd

I started out playing a little Warcraft, and then went out to make up some shorter battery cables for the bus bars in the van.

Once I'd done that, I did a little bit of cooking for Thanksgiving.  Vic was cooking the turkey and so on, and I cooked Yorkshire puddings (and Toad-in-the-hole for dinner later) and roast potatoes. Vince and Jen came over and joined us for dinner.

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 18th

I did a bit of work on the case for the Raspberry Pi, but then found out that the heat from filing it had melted the levels together, so I just gave up and threw it away.  I need a plan C, methinks.

I vacuumed up the wreckage, and saw a piece of my model kit go into the vacuum cleaner, so I went through the collector and found it.  And a part of the driver's seat unit in the van, so I had to take that bloody thing out again to put it back in.

I went out and spent a long time raking up the leaves from the trees in the front garden, and dumping them in the green waste bin.  This'll be an ongoing task for the next few months :o(

November 17th

It rained on and off all day, so I spent the day playing Warcraft and rattling around the house doing things.

November 16th

We were going to dinner with Gwen, and she drove.  She's just replaced the wipers on her Jeep, and there's some weird screwup where they weren't staying in the arms properly... they ended up flopping sideways.  We managed to get the driver's side to sit properly, and used a hair band to get the passenger side to not fall over and scratch the windscreen.  When we got home, I zip tied them on, so they should be fine for the moment.  I need to replace the wipers on the van at some point, and they seem to use the same mountings, so we'll try and use my old ones, or the new ones that come with my new blades.  Or, more likely, Gwen'll drive around with zip ties on her wiper blades until she replaces them :o)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11th

We met Vince for brunch, then came home and cut the grass before going to Cycle Gear to look for a rain suit for Vic.  She wants a one piece to replace hers, that isn't held together with duct tape.  The only one piece they had was a glorified bin liner - she's also hoping for something with a little padding, to keep her warm as it gets colder here.  We looked at other jackets, and of course the only one she liked was a $700 Dainese - a men's jacket, so the armour's in the wrong place.  Oh well, interwebs, here we come.

In the evening, we watched the end of season MotoGP crashfest from Valencia.  Yipe.

November 10th

I started the day playing Warcraft, and got my Death Kniggit up to level 90.  I've started doing Klaxxi quests to work on my blacksmithing.

I'd finally got all the bits together for the batteries in the Vanagon, so I fitted them.  The 6 gauge cables on the bus bars are a lot stiffer than I'd thought, so they don't lie as nicely as I'd intended, so I might redo them at some point to make them shorter.  I did make a start at making some 10 gauge wires (after all they're really short, so they don't need to be as thick as I've made them), but that wire's even stiffer and harder to work with.  Anyway, with an automatic charge relay connecting the battery array (4x UB12220 wheelchair batteries giving 88Ah) to the house battery, everything should work better.  I have an onboard charger for the batteries, and when I plugged it in, the house batteries were green (full charged) and the car battery was red (needs charging).  A little while later, the house battery was green and red (low level charging) and the car battery was red, so both chargers were charging the batteries, joined up.  A little while later both batteries were green and red, so charging at a lower level, and by the time I went to bed, they were both green.

In the evening we watched Prometheus... it was OK, I guess, but it did disappoint me a little with some of the "huh?" moments.  We agreed that it was worth the $1.30 to rent it, but we'd be disappointed if we'd paid full price to see it at the cinema.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 5th

I've grown dissatisfied with the light over the mirror in the master bathroom, as it uses 2 150W halogen bulbs (well, it's supposed to use 3, but I broke one taking it one out years ago).  It's very, very bright and hot, and it hurts my eyes, and I don't like the fact that it uses more power than my office.

Well, I've just installed 2 6W LED arrays.  They're (understandably) not as bright as the halogen bulbs, but they're very white.  We'll see how we like them - there's a chance I could end up getting another one for the middle bulb holder if we want a bit more light.

November 4th

I started the day playing Warcraft, getting my Death Kniggit up to level 89.  Vic was off at an SPCA thing, so I had the space in the garage to throw tools - I got some work done on battery cables, but managed to bugger up several drills work hardening a couple of pieces of stainless steel I wanted to use as bus bars, so I'm a little dead in the water now until I get some more drills.  And some more stainless steel, by the looks of things.

I took the DRZ down the new freeway to Lincoln and took the Flightstar out for a while.  The "experimental jet" showed up again - I like it when he "slows it right down to 160mph" to join the circuit :o)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3rd

I was aiming to get the Vanagon back together, or at least driveable, but I forgot to plug in the battery charger for my little chop saw.  That I'd broken the blade on (I bought some new blades - they come in packs of 5, so I'm assuming they break often), so I can't carry on at the moment.

I started fiddling with the Raspberry Pi again, but this time I've plugged it into the wired network and used PuTTY to ssh to it from my desktop, so MrEngman's script just ran and downloaded what it needed.

I've added to the /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb wheezy main contrib non-free rpi
deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free rpi

Then it's just a matter of, as root:
$ wget -O - | apt-key add -
$ sudo apt-get update

and installing it:
$ wget -O
$ chmod +x ; ./

That took a while (as there are a lot of dependencies), so I went and played Warcraft while it was installing.

I'd ordered a new Dremel type thing - it's a Black and Decker, with (supposedly) a lot of torque.  My original Dremel was cordless, and had possibly the most retarded battery connection system I've ever seen, and the cheapie I got to replace it sucks.  Well, the new B&D arrived this morning, so I used it to cut lumps out of the van.  I threw paint over the bare metal, and called that good.

I went to the airfield and did a bunch of circuits, and got the plane to 400 hours - I've done less than 100 of them.  Jack and Ken were there, and we got into discussions about an electric ultralight they're building.  I declined to be the test pilot on Thursday (I'm probably 50lbs lighter than either of them) as I have to work :o)

In the evening I went around and adjusted the clocks so I won't have to do it tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2nd

I couldn't sleep, so I was up at midnight playing Warcraft.  Still, I got my Death Kniggit to level 88.

In the evening, I decided to start playing with the Raspberry Pi again.  As the latest drop of Wheezy doesn't seem to work, I've installed the 08-16 version, that supposedly does.

08-16 doesn't support the Edimax WiFi card, so I've been trying to get MrEngman's script to run.  Of course, I've been working on it at my desk, so it doesn't have a connection to the Interwebs, so I'm using my laptop to download stuff that it needs onto a memory stick, and plugging that in.  Lots of reboots later, and we're closer, but it still isn't working.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st

Another month, so more data:

Power I've paid for

Power I've generated

In the evening, Vince came over to fill in the log book for the plane - it's passed its annual inspection without any problems.  To celebrate, we went out to dinner.

October 30th

After work, we went to dinner with Vince - he's been rebuilding a plane, so he's been busy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 28th

Vic was at an SPCA thing, so I wasted the day playing Warcraft, tinkering with the case for the Raspberry Pi and cutting the grass.

When she got back, we watched the ho-hum race from Phillip Island.  At least the poison dwarf crashed, throwing away his best chance of a MotoGP world championship (assuming Lorenzo crashed out a race, of course) yet.

October 27th

I played some Warcraft in the morning and got my Death Kniggit up to level 87.

We went out and got some supplies for the van house battery project, and had lunch, then went home and tinkered around with that for a while.

In the late afternoon, I went to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for a few circuits.  We were using 33 for some reason (it was calm, so we should have been using 15), and the high point of the day was an experimental jet arriving in the circuit - he called 12 miles out, and was 5 miles out by the time I'd flown the length of the runway :o)

I'm not sure, but from the circuit, it looked like one of these.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24th

Just screwing around on the Google, I found that Tilly is on street view :o)

October 22nd

After threatening to rain all day yesterday, if finally rained today - almost 1" according to the weather station.  And the side of the house didn't flood, which is good news.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 21st

I did a little hacking with stuff in the garage, then we watched the (spoilers - shortened) MotoGP race from Sepang.

We went and had a late lunch / early dinner with Vince, then came home and carried on doing little things and playing Warcraft.  I got my Death Kniggit up to level 86.

October 20th

It's been 3,000 miles again already, so I changed the oil on the Jeep.  Other than overfilling the empty oil bottles with the used oil, I managed to do it without making too much mess.

I played a little Warcraft, getting my Death Kniggit up to level 86, and Dave and I ran through Ahn'Qiraj like it was nothing :o)

I did a little fiddling with the case for the Raspberry Pi, but was limited by using cordless tools - the 7.2v battery on my little reciprocating saw doesn't last very long at all.

In the evening, we went and picked up some parts I need, and looked at the new iPods Touch and Nano.  There are a pile of things that I'm playing with in my head at the moment, but my MP3 player is going to need replacing pretty soon, as the screen's blank more often than it's showing anything.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 17th

Vic went to Autozone in the morning, to see what the state of the van's battery is.  It's dead, Jim.  It's OK, I'm not going to replace it just yet, as I have a cunning plan.

In the evening we watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, an excellent character drama.

October 16th

Tilly and I were part way through our evening constitutional when Vic drove past on her way home - at this point Tilly decided she wanted to ride in the Jeep, so we got a ride home.  Silly girl.

After Tilly'd had her supper, we went out and dropped the van's battery at Autozone.  As expected, it was too low to test, so they were going to leave it on their honking great charger to see if they could get it to 12 volts.

October 14th

We watched Felix Baumgartner's jump, then we went to lunch with Vince.  We dinked about the house for a while, then went to dinner with Fred and Marsha, who are just back from their Pacific Northwest trip with their fifth wheel.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 13th

I figured that this weekend's for trying to get done some tasks that have been hanging around for a while, so I got the fridge back in the van, only to discover that the stereo's stopped working.  It's unrelated - I think it's a battery problem, as the auxiliary battery is below 12 volts.  Of course, I swapped in the CD changer that will one day, maybe, get into the Jeep (I need to figure out where to put it) and that didn't work either, so I'm pretty sure that the problem's not the stereo itself.  Hopefully some time on charge will fix that.

I cut some polycarbonate sheet into blocks to (hopefully) make the case for the Raspberry Pi.  Of course, then I got paged for work, and spent some time looking into a problem at a customer site.

I spent some quality time trying to cover the filler on the Wallace and Gromit kit.  I've put many layers of paint over it with the airbrush, but it's almost like it sucks up paint.  We'll see how awful it looks when it's dried.

In the evening, we watched the new Snow White movie, where, as expected, the CGI out-acted Kristen Stewart.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 11th

Rather than watch the Vice-presidential debate (which sounds like it was a ways more interesting than I'd expected), we watched "The Avengers" and really enjoyed it.

October 10th

I got up ridonculously early and rode to San Francisco to spend the day in the office.  Looking at the weather, I think that any more trips this year will be in the van :o)

October 9th

In Warcraft, I managed to get my warrior to level 90.  Now it's just a continuing quest for better gear :o)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 8th

I've been playing with the Raspberry Pi, and it looks like the OS I have doesn't like to run the WView software.  I'm thinking I'll look at a prebuilt OS package that seems to work, but it wants a 16Gb card, and I only have 32Gb and 8Gb cards.  Hopefully I can install it on a 32Gb memory stick, then shrink it to 8Gb and dd it to a new card, but that sounds like a lot of work.  We'll see.

October 7th

Vic was at Barktoberfest, so I pottered around at home for a while before throwing Tilly in the van and heading to the airfield to pick up some junk.  We stopped by the wasteland outside the airfield and I threw the Aerobie for her until she hid under the van to stop me throwing it any more, then we drove down the new I-65 Lincoln bypass to see Vic at the show.

After we got tired / bored, we headed home so Tilly could sleep while I cut the grass.

In the evening we met Vince for dinner.

October 6th

Vic was getting herself ready for an SPCA event, so I wasted the day playing Warcraft, getting my warrior up to level 89 :o)

I played with making a case for the Raspberry Pi, but lost interest when the wood I was working with cracked through.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 4th

So, I started playing with the Raspberry Pi with a different 8Gb card, and it installed and booted just fine.  The root partition extend was quick and painless, and then the thing worked with the Edimax Wifi dongle straight out of the box - no extra software required.  Of course, this was fun to configure as there are 2 USB ports, so I was having to switch off between the mouse and keyboard and WiFi dongle.  Now it's all set up so I can just plug it in and SSH to it over my network.  I've installed Apache and PHP, and the next step is to get the WView software compiled to run on Wheezy.  Joy :o)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 3rd

I started playing with the Raspberry Pi again, formatting and rebuilding the SD card before booting the thing up.  After several tries, it's still throwing card errors from time to time, so I'm going to try again with another SD card - sadly the faster cards (this one is class 8, and the other one I'm going to try is a class 10) have been reported as causing problems, and I don't have anything slower at the moment.

October 2nd

Dad brought me over a Raspberry Pi, so I started playing with it.  Hooked up to a USB charger and keyboard, and an HDMI link into a monitor, I tried booting it up from an 8GB SD card I'd installed Wheezy on.  Now, the documentation shows that Wheezy is designed for a 4Gb card, so I'd expanded that to fill the card, which seemed like a good idea until the thing couldn't build a swap partition.  Doh.

I rebuilt the card (formatting it in my camera, as Windows only sees the ~60Mb boot partition), and didn't expand it.  I figured I'd expand it once I'd got the thing running.  One of the options in the first boot script is to expand the root partition to fill the card.  Doy.  I did that (it took ages on the ARM processor), then remounted the card on my Linux box to copy the WiFi card drivers and suchlike to it.  It then threw a card error when rebooting in the Pi.  Doy.  I assumed that this was due to Ubuntu's odd thing where it doesn't sync the card when you write to it, but when it bloody well feels like it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed
Power generated

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30th

I dropped Mum and Dad at the train station for their trip back to Los Angeles, then spent the rest of the day cutting grass or playing Warcraft.  I got my warrior to level 87 :o)

September 29th

We spent the day pottering around the house and playing Warcraft - I got my warrior to level 86.

I took a look at the fridge from the van, then Dad and I swapped the awful fan on the back with a computer fan I had in my "one day this crap will be useful for something" box.  At some point, I'll figure out how to test if it's working :o)

September 28th

Dad and I took the fridge out of the van, so it can sit upside down for a while - hopefully this'll help get the ammonia flowing better, so it cools better.

In the evening, Dad and I went to the airfield and took the plane out for a jaunt.  An hour later, we'd had no problems, so it would seem that the earth straps we put in fixed everything there :o)

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 27th

I went to Dennis' funeral, and everybody else went shopping.  The Mists of Pandaria Warcraft expansion pack arrived, so we played that for a while in the evening.

September 26th

We went and did various bits of shopping around the place.

September 25th

We had a barbecue, and Gwen, Walter, Jen, Vince and Geri came.  Jen brought her bloody great '67 Cadillac.

September 24th

We went to Folsom.  Eventually.  I haven't been there for at least a year, so managed to turn the wrong way on one road, meaning we got a tour of the business park on the way in.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 23rd

Dad and I looked at the plane.  Much testing later, it looks like the problem was an earthing issue.  We've dropped in 2 new earths, and if it wasn't early afternoon, we'd have gone up and tested it.  Maybe later.

September 22nd

We piled into the Malibu and headed back to Roseville.  Yay.

September 21st

I got to try and figure out why Sophos wasn't working on Russ' network, and then we watched the Space Shuttle Endeavour get delivered to LAX from the roof of Russ' office building.  Many pictures were taken.  Few were chosen.

September 20th

I picked up a rental car (a Chevy Malibu - I'd reserved a smaller car but they didn't have any, so they upgraded me) and drove down to Russ' in Redondo Beach.  The thing was about half full when I picked it up, so I threw $20 of gas in it and it made it all the way there (almost 400 miles) without stopping :o)

September 19th

I'm off work this week, so I've been pottering around doing things and wasting time playing Warcraft and suchlike.

This afternoon, we went to the airfield and installed a new battery on to the plane.  We took it up for a while, and everything was fine for the first half an hour or so, but later on the electrics started playing up again.  We had a few people tell us the radio sucks when we were back in the circuit, and after we'd landed I managed to get the whole panel to go dark by wiggling the wires around.  That's not good.  As the fuel pump and strobes still work, I'm suspecting the switch.

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 16th

I'd been aiming to run a raid in Warcraft with Dave, but he didn't show up, so I ran Ice Crown Citadel solo - the new patch must have made things easier, as I could never get past the first wing before.

I got up on the roof and washed the solar panels for the first time in ages.

We went and had lunch with Vince, then came home and pottered around the house doing stuff.

We watched the MotoGP race from Misano - it was a bit of a procession, but it was nice to see Rossi on the podium and the poison dwarf on the floor :o)

I used some of Vic's good paint, and airbrushed the Wallance and Gromit model some more - it went a lot better than the crappy paint.

In the evening we walked Tilly down to Starbucks for some whipped cream (we had normal drinks, but Tilly loves the cream there), then watched The Lorax when we got home.

September 15th

Vic was in the Bay Area for a guinea pig function, so Tilly and I just wasted the day playing Warcraft and throwing the ball.

When Vic got home, we went to the opening of a new restaurant in Roseville - they were donating the profits from their first 3 hours' business to the SPCA.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 10th

Gwen came and picked up her pushbike.  She was riding it around the road, and hearing the rear brake rubbing.  I looked at it, and it was fine.  The problem was the wheel bearing, which deflects sideways :o(  If I adjust the brakes to allow that, they won't bloody work.  Bah.  She's going to carry on beating the thing to death, and when it finally dies, we'll shed no tears.

We put the light up again in the guest bathroom - the base painting's finished, and Vic's working on the rest of the detail stuff.  So, now you can sit on the toilet and pretend you're taking a dump on the beach :o)

September 9th

We tidied up stuff around the house, cut the grass, all that good, fun stuff.

I got a new tube for the rear wheel of Gwen's bike - I took the old one out and it was weeping along one of the seams.  Chinese rubbish.

In the evening we watched the director's cut of The Return of the King.  And spent every charging into battle scene calling out "Leeeroy Jenkins" :o) (For those who don't play Warcraft... this should explain some of that).

September 8th

Dave and I went in to Ahn Quiraj, post the Pandaria patch and the new talent system.  And got our asses handed to us by the twins.  Bugger.

I did a little bit of spraying - the paint was still very thin, so I lost patience and gave up.  I spent a bit of time cleaning everything in the airbrush, as it seems to be a little clogged to me.

Vic was at an SPCA thing, so I took the DRZ for a ride, and dropped in on them on the way back, just to say "hi".

In the evening, we watched the director's cut of The Two Towers.

September 7th

We watched The Fellowship of the Ring - the director's cut.  It came out 11 years ago.  I feel old.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 3rd

Today was Labo(u)r Day, where Americans celebrate the successes of the unions by going shopping.

We spent the day around the house doing chores, painting in the guest bathroom and taking Tillamook for a walk to Starbucks so she could get some whipped cream.

I managed to get some airbrushing done in the afternoon, but I think I mixed the paint too thin, as it's not coated very well.  Oh well.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September 2nd

I woke up early, so I played some Warcraft until the rest of the house woke up.  We went out to get some supplies, then I changed a couple of sprinkler heads to try and fix some dead spots in the front garden, and down the side in the back.

I did a little painting in the guest bathroom - Vic's starting the walls, so I'm trying to get the door, frame and baseboards painted.

I tinkered with my model for a while, sanding down the filler I applied yesterday.

In the evening we went over to the airfield and took the plane up for an hour.  The sky was full of crap, and we think there's a fire somewhere nearby.  The EIS did alert on voltage a couple of times, when I was transmitting on the radio, so I think it's quite possible that the battery either needs a goodly charge, or is on its way out.

September 1st

It's a new month, so new stats:

Power billed

Power generated

So here's an interesting thing - I keep reading about how it's unseasonably hot, and this month we used more power (generated and paid for) than at any time since January 2009.  The only thing in the house that uses that much power is the air conditioner, and despite the whole house fan (that we didn't get to use as much, as it never cooled down), we seemed to spend a lot on cooling the house.

We went and looked in a new hobby shop, where I got some modelling filler so I can smooth out some awful gaps in the model I'm currently tinkering with.

I did a little tinkering in the van, removing a power supply and a USB GPS unit that was in there for the carputer - I'm using the Dell Streak for that now, and it works just fine, so I'm going to stop there.

I started on the guest bathroom, sealing the baseboards.

I did some work on my Wallace and Gromit model - I've filled the gaps that needed filling, and pulled out all the parts that need to be sprayed red.

In the evening I went to the airfield and installed the ELT with it's new batteries, then took the plane out for an hour and a half.  As it was just me, I did a bunch of practice 30, 45 and 60 degree turns, climbing turns, descending turns, stalls (not that the thing stalls for crap with just me in it) and a few landings.  It's good to blow the cobwebs out from time to time.  The EIS behaved itself, so I'm hoping that was just an earthing problem to the regulator.

August 31st

We watched one of the best cowboy movies ever made, Unforgiven.  It's been years since I've seen it, but can you believe it's 20 years old?  I feel ancient.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27th

I'd bought a copy of Corel Paintshop Pro that came with a rebate.  Now, I'm good with rebates, and very careful to fill in all the forms correctly.  So, imagine my surprise when they said I'd sent the wrong UPC code.  I ended up in an interweb chat session with somebody who rectified that and told me my cheque will be sent in the next 30 days, but still, it looks like they're hoping to thin out a bunch of valid submissions as people won't read the stuff they've been sent until it's too late to do anything.  And that sucks :o(

August 26th

I finished the Vanagon kit, and started looking at the next one I'm going to do - it's a Wallace and Gromit kit I got years ago, couldn't paint and gave up on.  Basically I've sanded it down (so I shouldn't need as much paint) and sprayed the main part of it red - would you believe that the cheapo paint it came with was a) still liquid and b) thinned for spraying really well?  Who'd have thought it?

We watched the MotoGP race from Brno, and the last few laps were great.  I wasn't even too upset that the poison dwarf won, as long as he doesn't win the championship.

Vic's rearranging the art room (again), so I took the opportunity to bend the supports for one of the shelves - it droops.  Sadly it looks like it's been too low because it was welded up badly, so I needed to put a fair amount of force into it.  Still, it looks straighter now.

In the evening we went over to the airfield and I added the earth line from the regulator to the engine grounding point.  It was too gusty to fly (yeah, like yesterday was perfect), so we did a static test, and if all's to be believed, everything's fixed now.  I took the opportunity to pull off the ELT, as it needs new batteries and I want to do them before the inspection in October.

August 25th

I dinked around with the Vanagon model for a little while, and got it almost finished.  I'm still unhappy with the body being twisted, but Don said it wasn't totally noticeable until I pointed it out to him.  That in mind, I went and bought some shinny silver paint to do the wheels and bumpers.  The acrylic stuff of Vic's has blocked my airbrush twice, so I've given up on mixing that well enough.  Wheels and bumpers painted.

I played with the fairing mount on the YSR for a bit, and I think it's a lot closer than it was.  Still not perfect, but the only thing that shows that is the stay that mounts to the head stock - I might well just put a thick washer under that and call it good :o)

In the evening, I went over to the airfield to play with the electrical problem I'm having on the plane.  Basically the engine information system keeps resetting itself - Ken suggested that it sounds like an earthing problem, so I tried tying the two earths on the instrument panel together.  I went for a quick circuit, and that hasn't fixed it.  I then played with the battery connections, and tried again.  Nope, still no luck, but I think I've figured out what the problem is - the earth from the regulator, seeing as that was the last thing I played with.  Of course, I didn't have the tools necessary to fix any of that stuff, so I called it a night.

August 24th

We barbecued after work, and Vince, Don and Lori came to eat and entertain Tilly.  Tilly was actually quite well behaved, despite being desperate to sit on Don's lap.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 20th

I started building the van model up a bit, but the body's twisted, and there are a couple of windows missing.  I've tried to get the body to fit properly, but the back's still not looking good, so I clamped in in place so it somewhat fits, and I'm leaving it like that :o(

August 19th

I'd got Gwen to bring her pushbike over, as it needs new tyres.  So, I fitted new tyres to that.

In the evening we went flying, and were up for over an hour.  I did a pretty miserable landing, and I think the wind was doing some weird things, as it seemed to be blowing a lot harder than the AWOS (and windsock) said - it took us forever to get anywhere flying upwind.

August 18th

We watched "The Hunger Games", which I thought was conceptually similar to "Rollerball", just in the woods with medieval weapons rather than rollerskates.

August 17th

We barbecued, and Gwen and Walter came over to play with Tilly. Vince was supposed to be coming over, but didn't show up, so screw him, he can go hungry.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 12th

Vic dropped the bloody rabbit off at the SPCA, and while she was out I looked at the fairing mount on the YSR - it's holding the fairing too high and  too far out, from what I can tell.  I've drilled the holes bigger to make it easier to relocate, but it's still not playing nice.

We went to lunch with Vince, and as it's Tilly's birthday, got her some special treats, a large beach ball (that she burst) and a bubble maker.  I'd have taken her to the airfield and thrown the frisbee for her for a while, but she's hurt her leg somehow (I can't see anything wrong with it, but she's limping from time to time).


In the evening I went and played with the airbrush some more.  I mixed the paint a little thicker this time, and it went on just fine.

August 11th

I spent the day pottering around at home... I played with the airbrush a little, and was just throwing a few coats of paint on my model when Fred came over - Vic was at the SPCA teaching a "petting zoo" class, and was trying to call me, but I was in the garage with my compressor running and couldn't hear her :o)  I took the bag she'd forgotten over, and all was well again.

August 10th

After work we went to dinner at the Outback. Vic likes her steak just this side of charcoal, so when it came from the kitchen bleeding, she sent it back.  The manager came and apologised, and it came back still very pink.  At that point, she gave up.  The manager showed up again, and apologised profusely and comped dinner.  Yay.  After that we went to the Automall so I could look at the Chevy Volt again - they've just had 27 delivered, so Vic got to take a test drive.  I'd really like one of these, but have nowhere to put it at the moment, and they only have the drab colours - I wanted to see a blue or red one, as I'm not that grown up just yet.

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6th

I finished the first coat of paint on the woodwork in the hallway.  Yay.

August 5th

I did a bunch of fiddling around in the garden, cutting the grass and suchlike.  I then painted some of the woodwork in the hallway - just the first coat, and despite what it says on the tin, I think it'll need another.

In the evening, Vic cooked a brisket, and Vince came over to annoy Tilly and eat.

August 4th

I've bought myself a little airbrush, in a series of comical events.  So I started out with the base kit, only to find some parts missing.  I also found it had a single stage trigger, so it'd be like using a spray can.  I took that back and upgraded to the "deluxe kit", that has a 2 stage trigger (air and paint), but when I opened it I found that it had no air hose.  I was starting to knock something up with 1/8" fuel hose that I had left over from working on the plane when I said "screw it" and went back and bought an air hose.

When we got back from that, we rotated the wheels on the Jeep, so that hopefully all 5 wear out together, rather than end up replacing a spare tyre because it's old and cracked, rather than it's run out of tread.  It does, of course, mean that the tyres are (even) noisier for a little while while they wear in going the other way.

I started playing with the airbrush - from what I've read, I should be able to use Windex(tm) to thin out the acrylic paint that Vic uses, and spray that.  That works for me, as I doubt I'll use much paint, and she has every colour known to mankind.  First I needed to clear off the paint I'd brushed on (with a fork, by the look of things), and after a suggestion from Don, I used degreaser - it takes the paint off without destroying the plastic.  Yay.  Anyway, when it came to throwing paint, it doesn't look like the Windex works... all I threw was very watery, and then the brush blocked.  Still, it's nice to have taken it apart to see how it works, and how to clean it all up.  I then spent a happy little time spraying water on myself.

In the evening we went to dinner with Vince - it's been a little while since we've seen him, as he'd either eaten something bad or had beer flu last weekend.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 3rd

After work, we went to dinner with Jim and Kathy.

August 1st

New month, so the solar statistics:

Power we paid for

Power generated

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jan 29th

I cut the grass, and pretty much killed time until the MotoGP race from Laguna Seca.  The race wasn't bad, but could have done with being a bit closer.

After the race, I went out into the garden to look at cutting back a shrubby thing that we want to replace, and ended up managing to take the whole thing out.  It's on top of a pile of rocks, with roots feeding through them, which makes me think that it was never really supposed to be there.  Well, too bad, it's not there any longer.

We were pottering around organising stuff when Larry called to see if we were going to the airfield - we were, and we pulled up not long after he did - he'd got the hangar open, bless him.  He was there with his son Trevor and his son's new girlfriend, so Larry took her up, and I took Trevor, and we went and flew over the lake.

After getting home, Dave and I hit Ahn'Quiraj in Warcraft, and managed to kill the old god at the end of the raid, so it's done and done.  Finally.

July 28th

Vic got up early and went to buy some canvasses for the art stuff.  There's been a sale on, where you buy one canvas and get another for 1c, but they were selling off some that they didn't want at 80% off.  She managed to then get a second one of those at 1c too, so she got ~$2000 in canvas for ~$200.  Sadly the rear hatch release on the van didn't work, but when I looked at it, it was because the wires for the relay in the hatch had been pulled out.  Probably during the AC work.  Doy - I then got  to spend a couple of hours pulling bodywork so I could get to the inside of the van and redo that connection, and tada, it works again.

In the evening, we went ton the airfield and did an hour of pottering around, then of circuits.

July 27th

We went and picked the Van up from Stephan's - there had been a few challenges in replacing the evaporator core, and then the expansion valve, but it's all charged up and ready to go now.  The traffic was absolutely terrible on the way there, so we went to a little Mexican place that Stephan had recommended for dinner, and to kill time on the way home.  I even had cold air on the way home, but it was only 90F out there.

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 22nd

I got the grass cut for the first time in 2 weeks - it needed it.

We took the bikes out for a run - I rode the YSR, with a couple of the cameras on it.  The rear doesn't seem particularly interesting, and the front's battery went dead pretty soon.  Doh.  Still, the ride was fun, and we'll just have to do it again some time.  Hopefully leaving earlier, as it was bloody hot.

In the evening Dave and I hit Ahn'Qiraj in Warcraft, and killed the twins.  Sadly we then wiped on the final boss, so we need to get our heads around how to kill that.  Before my subscription runs out at the end of the month :o)

July 21st

I started the day washing to solar panels for the first time in ages.

I sat and fiddled withe the YSR, and got the fairing to fit - I still think the top is a little too high, but that involves more bending of things to fix.  I washed it, and when that didn't clean it very well, used some paint thinner to strip off the worst of the accumulated crap.

In the evening we went to the airfield and went flying - it was a gorgeous evening to fly.  We had been planning to fly a friend of Vic's, but his mother's sick.  Due to Shaun using 33, we took off to the North, so we went and flew over the lake for a while.  On coming back, there was some guy on a long, long final to 33 while I was downwind for 15, which upsets me as I never know exactly what's happening.

July 20th

We watched Lockout, which is Escape from New York on a space station.  Oh, right, spoilers.

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 19th

We watched Wanderlust, which wasn't at all bad :o)

July 17th

In the evening we watched Star Wars: Revisited.  Greedo shot first :o)

July 15th

I spent the morning finishing editing the go kart race videos from the TS summit.

Vic and I bent back the fairing mount on the YSR by using a big screwdriver and levering (carefully) against the engine.  Looks like it'll work when I run out of things to do and get back to fitting the fairing.

In the evening, we went to the airfield and played with the fuel level sensor again (it was reading high, which is a pain - now, if anything, it reads low) then took the plane out for a while.  We've been playing with a few cameras mounted to it, as I'm supposed to be taking a friend of Vic's up for a flight next weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 14th

While poking around online looking for people who've fixed problems with their Microsoft Arc Mouse, I found that there was a known problem.  I posted the mouse back to Microsoft - hopefully it won't be too long, as it's a pain moving my remaining mouse from system to system :o)

I spent a while on the computer, getting Star Wars: Revisited all sorted out and burnt to DVD, and working on videos of the go-kart practice from way back at the TS summit.

I tried to fit the fairing lower back on the YSR, but there's no way it'll fit.  I poked around and looked at stuff, and one of the fairing mounts is bent.  Bummer.  I'm hoping I won't have to drop the engine to get to it and straighten it up.

In the evening, we went to the airfield and took the plane out for 30 minutes.  The sky's full of smoke from the fire up at Forest Hill, but it was a nice evening to fly, even with the 6mph crosswind.  We did a few orbits on the dead side to let the skydivers get down, but other than that the airfield was pretty much all ours.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 13th

We went to dinner at the Chinese buffet place with Vince, and to tempt fate, we took the bikes.  Nothing untoward, other than catching pretty much every traffic light, both ways.  Doy.

July 11th

We dropped the van off at Stephan's to have the air conditioning evaporator replaced.  When we got home, there was ATF on the floor of the garage.  That's never a good sign :o(

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 9th

We watched another one of Vince's movies, "The Ledge".  It was quite good, even though it had no robots.  I think Liv Tyler's acting could use some work though.

July 8th

Dave and I wiped at Ahn'Qiraj, but we were _so_ close.  Oh well.

We met Vince for lunch - he's still talking about getting an R1150GSA, so I've make encouraging noises.  He's fixed so much on his old R1100GS that a complete systems failure can't be that far away :o)

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from Germany.

I've wired the rev counter in to the YSR's loom - I found that there's actually a lighting circuit that had been cut back.  I've wired that in too.  I still need to get the bodywork to fit back on again.  Then patch it all up and look at maybe painting it :o)

July 7th

Dave and I wiped in Ahn'Qiraj a couple of times, so we stepped down to the 10 man raid and killed every living thing in there.

The van's going in for the air conditioning evaporator to be changed, so I tried to get the old one out.  Nope, not happening.  Oh well, I guess I get to pay for that to be done.

I did a little tinkering with the YSR - I was sure that the rev counter would work on 12v, rather than constantly draining 9v batteries.  It did, so I've started wiring it into the loom.

In the evening, we watched "Wrath of the Titans", which Vic enjoyed, but I thought was a mash up of a lot of little bits of story - it didn't seem to flow very well to me.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 6th

I got up at around 5am, got sorted and headed to San Francisco for work.  It was a long day, but the trip wasn't too bad, other than me carrying 2 laptops (I was taking the old one back) and a docking station in my backpack.  Dan's taking ~2 months off, so we took him to lunch and wished him luck.

Seeing as I left on time, and didn't hit too much traffic, we watched "World's Greatest Dad", one of Vince's films.  It's really good.

July 5th

After work I checked the oil level in the DRZ - it's a dry sump, so a complicated process - you basically run the bike for 3 minutes, then turn it off for 3 minutes and then check the level.  It's at the top mark, so I'll call that good.

We watched "Safe House", then I packed up all my junk to go to work tomorrow.

July 4th

Today's a holiday in the US, where they celebrate the end of civilisation by going shopping.

Dave and I wiped out on the 40 man Ahn'Qiraj raid again, several times, and eventually went and killed every living thing in the 10 man raid just to achieve something.

In the evening we watched "Big Miracle", which is based on a real story that Vic vaguely remembers.

When it got dark and Tilly was already hiding under the bed from the kids sparklers, we went up on the roof to try and take pictures of the fireworks at the fairgrounds.  Sadly there's a tree in the way, so we gave up after watching several explosions filtered by the leaves.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 2nd

We started the day with the excitement of me seeing a yellow lab running around the road in front of the house.  I was working, so Vic went and grabbed him (he was very happy to see her), setting Tilly off into frantic yowling as she could see all this unfolding through the front window.  As he had no collar, she called animal control as they carry microchip scanners.  She was waiting for John to show up when the Comcast guy arrived to hook us up to their internet service, which is cheaper and faster than Surewest.  Vic called to check on John, and he was going to be a while as they were having a lot of calls.  She loaded the dog into the van (he was quite scared of this) and took him to the SPCA to use their microchip scanner.  He has a microchip, his name is Boomer and he lives in the close over the road from us - she took him over there, and it appears he's being house sat by people who were unaware that he was even missing.  We got the Comcast stuff all finished up, and everything converted over to it.

I've been getting annoyed with my little weather station PC, as it hangs up from time to time.  I've had it restarting every day, but occasionally the restart fails to reconnect to everything, so it stops sending data until either I realise it's not working, or until it restarts.  I think a lot of that is that the software isn't really designed to work over the USB-serial connection, which is a bit of a hack.

Aaaanyway, I decided to try running a Linux release on there, as that natively supports the USB-serial connection.  I started out with Ubuntu 12.04, the latest release.  I got that installed, along with Wview, and it all works.  Sort of.  You have to install Apache and PHP to administer the thing, and by the time everything was said and done, I had basically no disc space left - the EEE 701 only has a 4Gb SSD.  "Aha", I thought, "I'll just throw an SD card in there, and move /var and suchlike to it".  "No you won't" said life, as the EEE doesn't support SDHC, and I can't find an SD card > 64Mb.  Doy.  So, I installed Xubuntu, which is a lot smaller (and seems to have installed a bunch of crap that I didn't ask for, so I might be able to get even more space back).  It's all set up and working now, and I can ssh to it, rather than trying to use the 7" screen, and connect to it over the network to see what it's reading.  Yay.

In the evening we watched "Ray", which Vince has lent us - it's a very good film, and doesn't seem to hide his dark side.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 1st

Wow, half the year's gone already.

Being the first, here's the solar / electricity graphs:

Electricity billed

Electricity generated

I plonked around the house, changing the oil on the DRZ (although I think I might have put too much in) and cutting the grass, then we went to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for an hour.  Mark was there, and is moving to Oregon.  We swapped a TinyTach for an easel for Vic :o)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30th

I played a little Warcraft in the morning, then did a little tinkering in the roof before getting everything set up for (hopefully) Comcast interweb access on Monday.  It's going to be a lot cheaper than Surewest, and apparently twice the speed :o)

I went and got some parts so I can change the oil in the DRZ, and picked up a 220 ohm resistor while I was out - that's to allow the 6V oil warning light in the YSR's speedo to work off 12V :o)

We watched the MotoGP race from Assen -  it was a shame that tyres seem to have decided the winner.  Again.

I went over to the airfield to do some tinkering on the plane, but forgot to take anything that would let me actually fly - sunglasses, hat, shoes etc - I was on the DRZ.  Doh.

In the evening, we watched "A Little Bit of Heaven" - it wasn't awful, for a chick flick.

June 29th

We barbecued burgers,and Vince came over to eat them.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 27th

I changed the oil in the Jeep.  Joy.  Still, while I was doing it, I heard an advert on the radio for a free oil filter if you bring the old one in for recycling this Saturday.  Bonus.

June 26th

We watched Dr Who in "The Decoy Bride".  There wasn't a single Dalek, but it was moderately enjoyable regardless.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24th

We decided to try and get the new TV antenna working today.  I thought we'd see if we could run both antennas at the same time (this is possible if the cable runs are the same length, but the one that's already in there has a little cable hanging out, making that pretty hard to set up).  Nope, that didn't work, but having it inside meant it was about as good as the 8' antenna - this one is maybe 6" tall :o)

I did a little more painting, seeing as a bunch of stuff's masked up at the moment.

We decided to move the antenna outside, but that required me making up a ~30' cable, so a trip to Lowe's to pick up the ends (I still have a bunch of coax).  Once we got that, I set everything up, and it works fine.  We have ABC, but we've lost one of the ION repeat channels - meh, whatever.

Driving to Lowe's and back I played with my new toy - a bluetooth OBDII adapter.  I'm using it with Torque on my little Android tablet.  I can see all manner of crap from the ECU on the Jeep.  I'm thinking I'll probably end up getting the full version.  Sadly the Van isn't ODBII, it's VAG-COM (and that requires a $250 piece of software to read it) :o(.

June 23rd

Vic was at an SPCA thing at the fairgrounds, so Tilly and I pottered around the house getting stuff done.

We installed Windows 7 on an old laptop that's going to a friend, made up a USB charge cable for my bluetooth headset, so I don't need it's unique charger when I'm pottering around, I can just use my little cable.

I went up on the roof and patched some tiles together with glue, so the broken bits don't just slide off the roof in the wind, and while I was up there I looked at mounting a new TV antenna to the pole that's up on the roof, so we can hopefully get ABC this season.

I've pulled the top fairing off the YSR so I can try and figure out what I need to do to get the lower half fitted - it looks like there's going to be some bending and fabbing required.  I'm also hoping to get a couple of mirrors fitted, but we'll see.

I even got some painting done on the front door - it'll need another coat though.

June 22nd

We got up on the roof and nailed the tiles back in place - I'd had to drill a hole through my fibreglass patch on the broken tile, as I'd managed to cover the original nail hole.  It looks like the rest of the roof now, and I'm going to forget this ever happened :o)

We barbecued up a pile of chicken, so we can make sandwiches, quesadillas and suchlike easily.  Vince didn't answer his phone, so screw that guy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 21st

I got up on the roof to make sure my patch wood fits, only to find I've painted the wrong piece.  I made sure that the other piece fit (I had to do a little trimming), threw some paint on it and epoxied it in place.  Then I went and bought some nails and some filler.  When I got home, I put a few nails in to hold the wood solidly in place, then filled it and took some paint up to paint the filler.  It's been really windy, and my little pot of paint was blown over, so after I'd painted everything, I then hosed the paint off the roof.

June 20th

I painted the parts of my patching wood that I'd missed before, then we watched "Sherlock Homes II", which I thought was excellent.

June 19th

I cut the wood I need for the fascia, and Vic got me some paint for it, so I painted it.

We then watched "Red Tails", and it was enjoyable despite a bunch of the normal Hollywood crap.

June 18th

We got up on the roof and pulled the tiles off the fascia panel.  Ah, this is going to be harder than I thought, as this is under that is under that and so on until we'll have to undo half of the roof.  I hammered all the rotten stuff out, and cut away the good wood to make a squarish hole, and we'll patch it, seeing as it's not structural.

I found the paint for the fascia, but it's old so it's gone hard.  Of course.  Still, we have a paint code, so we should be able to get more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17th

I started the day rinsing the solar panels, and looking at where the tile has fallen off the roof.  The wood it was nailed to seems rotten, so I think I'll end up just yanking the tiles off there and replacing that beam - it's just a facing panel after all.  Still, it's going to be a pain to do, especially in the heat.

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from Silverstone - just think, if it had rained, maybe Rossi would have been higher than mid-pack :o|

We did various tinkering around in the garden, then watched "John Carter" in the evening - I enjoyed it, but that might be because I had low hopes going in.  Tilly liked Woola, which is funny, as she's a lot like him / her / it.

June 16th

We got up early and went up in the roof - the whole house fan has been squeaking from time to time, making me think the belt might be a little loose.  We tightened it as much as we could, but just turning it, it squeaked. I peered at it, to find that the pullets aren't aligned, so we fixed that and all is well.

We then went to breakfast with Vince... we rode, so I took the YSR - I was siphoning gas out of the DRZ when he arrived, as I didn't think I had enough to get to the nearest gas station :o)  I think everybody had fun watching me in a race tuck so I could reach the dizzying heights of... 55mph :o)

In the afternoon, Vic went to a cat charity whatever, and I stayed and rebuilt the broken tile from the roof.  In the evening we went to Sacramento to meet her brother and his family, and her dad for dinner.  I've met David and Kamiko (sp?) before, but it was ~5.5 years ago.  I think time's been better to them than me, I feel a lot older.  A fun time was had by all.

June 15th

Vic found one of the edging tiles from the roof in pieces in a flower bed.  Joy.  Still, it gives me something to do this weekend.

We just had a quiet evening in and watched "The Grey".  I don't think they used real wolf noises, as Tilly pretty much ignored it.  It's an interesting look at pack society - us and them.

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 14th

Vic and Jen went to spend the day in San Francisco, so at lunch I nipped over to a local parts place and picked up a new capacitor for the down air conditioner.  I plugged it all in and... nothing, so I gave up and called a repair place.  They'd had a cancellation, so arrived this afternoon.  We looked at the air conditioner, but that wasn't getting power.  I'd already tried the breakers, but he took the cover off the circuit breaker panel, and one of the bloody wires wasn't plugged in.  We have no idea how that happened, as there's no sign it's been arcing or anything.  All plugged in, and it works again.  I managed to decline the $150 a year maintenance contract, but it does look like this 17 year old system is going to need replacing sooner rather than later.  Joy.

Tilly and I relaxed for the evening, and waited for Vic to get home - the traffic was appalling (a baseball game and a fire on the BART...), so we ended up going to bed before she got home.

June 13th

It's been really hot out, but the air conditioner didn't kick in.  We've signed up for this thing where Roseville can turn off the condensor if there's too much power being used (to hopefully prevent brown outs), so I assumed it was that.

In the evening, we watched "Ghost Rider II", which was pretty meh.  Vic enjoyed it, but there were a lot of things that annoyed me.  Still no A/C.

I went out to take a look at the condenser, and it didn't seem to be getting power.  I took the cover off and found one of the capacitors was all kinds of burnt up, with 2 of the wires burnt, one completely off, and another burnt through the insulation.  I unplugged everything and tidied up the mess.  Vic helped me crimp on new connectors, and now I just need to replace the capacitor and hopefully everything will be right with the world.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12th

After work, I took out a malfunctioning light switch (that just fell apart), then we went to the airfield and took the plane out to test the tach.  That works great, but sadly the fuel gauge seems to not work - it started at 101with just over 10 gallons, and ended at 93, with 7 gallons.  Doy.  Still, something to fiddle with :o)

June 11th

We went to the MetroPCS store after work, and while we had to wait for a while, the guy in there was very helpful.  I believe that the phone number change is all underway, but it can take a few days to finish up completely.  Yay.

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 10th

Vic took Tilly to the park again, and wore her feet out again, while I cleared up the dead wood around the house and cut the grass.  Oh yes, the fun here never stops.

In the afternoon we went to the airfield to fiddle with the tach lines to the EIS.  The first thing I always do is verify the problem, so I can see changes.  Well, it didn't work with the resistor, so I took that out.  It still didn't work, so we swapped it to the other regulator line and it worked.  Hang on, what?  We plugged everything in hard, and it still worked.  We taped everything up and zip tied it in place, and it still worked.  We taxied a little (it was still too windy to fly) and it still worked.  Yay, fixed!

June 9th

It was a bit too blowy to fly (>20mph), so we went and looked at cell phones - I'm thinking we'll convert the house phone to a cell, as MetroPCS currently have a deal where unlimited talk and text is roughly the same price as we're playing for the landline.  We'd looked previously at the little local dealer, and they only had one of the four phones that qualify, so we went to the corporate store to look at all the phones.  Vic decided that she wanted the phone that they have in the little local store after all, and we were ready to get it at the corporate store.  When we were told that you can only port your current number to the cell phone when you bought it, and that the port could take 7 days, but if you don't like the phone (i.e. it doesn't work in the house) you have 7 days to take it back, and then you port your phone number back to the phone you've just cancelled.  Basically, if the phone doesn't work in your house, kiss your number goodbye.  We declined to do that, and went to the little local store, where they told us the corporate drones were full of shit and that you can port the number after you've bought the phone.  So we bought the phone.  And it does work in the house after all.

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8th

Dave tidied his van up and headed off to collect his wife from SFO while I worked.

In the evening we watched "The Descendants", which was OK.  I then went and started playing with my desktop, having bought a Molex -> SATA power lead that, it seems, I didn't bloody need after all.  Anyways, I installed the SSD and got that all working, then went to install the larger of the 2 spinning hard drives, only to find that I hadn't been mirroring them as I thought.  Oh well, I put the smaller one, the one with all the data on it, in, and got stuff to point to it.  I'm leaving the operating system on there as a backup, so I can boot off it if anything were to go wrong.  I copied the Warcraft files to the SSD, and HD -> SSD via SATA-II took significantly longer than it did with the SSD -> SSD on the laptop :o)  Over the next few months, I'm assuming that I'll find stuff I haven't installed and install it, but at the moment it seems to be generally working.  And it boots a lot faster, and is instantly ready to go.