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.

June 7th

There's a guy on the Vanagon mailing list driving from Massachusetts to California, and I'd offered him a place to stay for the night.  He called from Reno, and I suggested he take 50 rather than 80 to get here.

When he arrived, we compared vans and threw the ball for Tilly until we headed off for dinner.  We ended up chatting until quite late.

June 6th

Tilly's feet are much better - to the point where we played ball in the garden after work.

I'd ordered a new SSD for my laptop... basically my desktop is slow to boot, and there's a problem where I end up waiting for a pile of stuff to time out before I can get anything done.  So I decided I'd get a bigger, faster drive for my laptop, and move that drive into my desktop as the boot drive.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh, right, my new SSD arrived.  They're always so unimpressive, let's go back to huge disc drives, just so I can tell that 256Gb is a lot.  It didn't take that long to install the new drive (from a USB flash drive), and I copied ~23Gb of Warcraft (SSD via USB 2.0 -> SATA-II -> SSD) in ~13 minutes - pretty impressive :o)

I put the SSD into a 2.5" to 3.5" cages, and then went to install it in my desktop, only to find that I need a different power supply connector.  Doy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 5th

I finally finished getting enough commendations to get my new flying donkey in Warcraft.  Yay.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 4th

It rained today.  That's not supposed to happen.

Tilly's feet are still hurting her, but she's better than she was - I carried her out at bedtime, so she'd go potty, rather than wait for her to be desperate to go out at 4am.  Then I carried her back in so she could lie on her bed - she hates the patio when her feet hurt.

June 3rd

I started the day washing the solar panels for the first time in ages.  They were dirty enough that just rinsing them would have helped.

Vic took Tilly to the dog park, so I took the opportunity to spray around the place to kill insects, and was just finishing up cutting the grass when they got back.  Tilly was very tired, and has blisters on all her paws, so we tucked her up on her bed to sleep for a while.

We went to the airfield to try a 10K Ohm resistor on the tach line.  It didn't help.  Still, we left the pattern and flew away for a bit, as it was pretty windy and bumpy near the airfield at circuit height.  When we came back, the jump plane was just taxying out as we were on the downwind leg, and I offered to extend downwind so he could get out before us - he expressed concern that we'd ever get back to the runway, based on the 13mph winds :o)  We were draining the tank so I could set the fuel level probe up when he came over on the electric dolly they use to move the King Air on the ground to chat - seems he used to fly ultralights :o)  We got the probe all set up, and it's reading fine now I have the correction factors configured.

June 2nd

The wind was all kinds of weird, so we just did stuff around the house.

I've bought a new telephone set, as we wanted more handsets and it's cheaper to buy 3 with a base station than it is to buy 2.  The stupid thing is that even though they're all Panasonic DECT handsets, they're not compatible (WTF?).   I spent a little time arguing with a support spreadsheet monkey before giving up.  Still, the new system allows us to hook the cellphone into it, which I've done.  I then had to struggle to pair the old handsets back to the old base station - doy.  I think I'll clear everything out of it and dump sell it on eBay.

Vic watched Hairy Pooter in The Woman in Black, but I lost interest and ended up patching paint in the hallway.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 1st

New month, so here's the electrickery graphs.

Power billed
Power generated