Monday, September 30, 2013

September 29th

We managed to get the adopter to come and pick up our remaining bunny, and then we went down to Los Gatos for Vic's high school's 125th anniversary.

When we got back, we watched the excellent MotoGP race from Aragon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 28th

I started trying to get the van back together, but couldn't get the headliner back in by myself.  I said "screw it" and went to cut the grass, then tried again... this time I was successful, and I got all the insulation back in and buttoned it all up.  I got one of the shelves in before I took the DRZ and went to meet Vic for lunch.

After lunch, I rode over to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for about 50 minutes - it started to blink the "low gas" light at me, so I went back to the airfield.

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 27th

I tried again to run the wires for the solar panel, and struggled with dropping the wires down the door pillar.  That wasn't working, so I took off the other damn shelf, and cut a hole behind it.  I then ran the wires down behind the kitchen, and I ran them out to the charge controller, which instantly started charging :o)

That was enough for the day, so I tidied some stuff up, and put the van back in the garage.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 26th

Before Vic went to work, we lifted the luggage rack with the solar panel onto the roof of the van, then I steeled myself to drill holes in the roof for the wires to run through.  I threw some paint over them to hopefully prevent any rust.  Once I'd put the grommets in, I ran the longassed wires through, then totally failed to get them down the B pillar - I think I need a long wire coat hangar or something.  I put the luggage rack back on, then pulled out the driver's seat so I could wire up the solar controller to the battery array that lives under it.  I then took the new seat from the passenger side and installed it on the driver's side, so the seat back adjuster is on the left hand side.  It's also a pain to do anything on the driver's side, so that's all over and done with - when the new seat shows up, it should be easy to install now I have all the parts out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 25th

We went and dropped off the Prius.  If the rental agreement is correct, we drove 885 miles (it didn't occur to me to figure out how to reset the trip computer when I left), which means we averaged 45.2mpg.  Not bad :o)

After Vic left for work, I started work on the solar panel for the roof of the van.  I took the luggage rack off the front, and made up mounts for the solar panel.  I'm running the wires down one of the water drain holes, so they have to be put in place before I do anything else, as the connector ends are too big to feed through the hole.  I've put garden hose filters over the other 4 holes, so that hopefully the next time I have the rack off, it won't be full of dead insects and foliage.  I also took out half the bloody interior so I could get the headliner out - the wires will be going under this.  While it's out, I've added a few strips of the tar paper, to help quieten things down by changing the resonance.

In the evening, I had an email conversation with the seat (for the van) seller, and they're sending me a replacement.

September 24th

We got up ridonculously early, packed Tilly and one of the foster bunnies and headed down to Los Angeles.  After a long, boring trip, (other than me managing to average >100mpg for 15 minutes coming down the Grapevine) we skipped around the HOV lane on I-405 and got to the rabbit rescue.  I walked Tilly around while Vic took a tour, and then Russ met us.  Tilly barked at Russ, so he pointed out that she's put on a little weight.  We headed out and had lunch, and the rescue called Vic to say that the adopter they'd lined up was insanely happy with the rabbit.

After lunch, we said "tara" to Russ and drove home, getting quite late.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23rd

The washing machine has been doing this thing where it doesn't run the spin cycle, and the latest load wouldn't spin even when I'd taken some stuff out and shuffled it around so it should be able to get it balanced.  The Google makes it seem like the problem is a filter by the drain pump, so I decided to take a look.  It's a filter, meaning that it collects stuff, but you have to take the whole boot off, and it's full of water.  To get to it, you need to remove the front panel, and as the door's coming off, you have to unhook the sealing boot.  To get the panel off, the control unit has to be removed, and the top has to come off too.  So a "simple" fix took a while, but it's fixed now... yay.

In the afternoon, I went and picked up some things and stuff I need for the next van project, then headed over to Freedom Field to check that Vince is still alive.  He was even there, and has just been chilling out and doing as little as possible.

When I got home, we went and picked up a rental car.  I decided to pay the extra and get a Prius, just because I've never driven one.  They're... odd... you press the "start" button, and the car tells you you're ready to go, but the engine isn't running.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22nd

We started the day at the SPCA sorting out the adoption of one of the rabbits.  Joy.  We  decided to go to breakfast on the way home, and took the bikes.  When I got there, the new headlight on the DRZ wasn't working.  I sulked through breakfast, but it was then working when I started the bike and rode home.  Um... whatever.  I'm thinking it must be some sort of loose wiring or somesuch, as the DRZ rattles like a 4 stroke single, which is exactly what it is.

Once home, I started working on the seat into the van project.  There are many, many ways to mount the sliders to the seats, and without any instruction, I must have tried most of them before I found the right way.  I then got to the point where I needed some more hardware, so I went out and did a bit of general shopping that's on my list while I was out.  When I got back, I managed to get the seat mounted to the Vanagon seat base (with a couple of holes drilled), then installed it in the van.  As it was getting dark, I thought I'd just mount the sliders to the second seat, only to find that one of the mounting holes just isn't in the seat.  Couldn't it have been the first seat that I went to install?  Oh, FFS...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21st

I've booked some time off work to do some projects that'll take a bit longer than I usually have, and to fly.  So, it's raining.  As I couldn't get the van out to poke around the roof, I installed a HID kit for the DRZ.  It all went swimmingly, once I'd figured out that the headlight connector was wired wrong - luckily it's the type you can take apart if you're careful.  And I was careful.  I also changed the dashboard to use a permanent power line, as I've been having trouble with it losing the clock and trips - it seems that's a vibration issue where the internal battery loses contact.  Permanent power means you don't need the battery, but we'll see how long the backlight stays on, and if that bothers me.

I've bought some new seats to replace the worn out ones in the van, and I spent some quality time pulling the passenger seat out of the van, cleaning everything up and disassembling it to try and get the slider mechanism to fit on the new seats - no dice.

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 20th

I went for my daily lunchtime cycle (I'm up to 10 miles), and somehow it seemed like I was riding against the wind the whole time.  Surely that can't be possible, can it?  Vince says the only time I'm not heading in to the wind is when I'm landing.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 18th

I went to the EAA monthly meeting, where we had our last barbecue of the year and saw a new avionics system where everything plugs into a central hub, rather than being hardwired together.  It looks like a good idea, but I have no need of something like that - I've (hopefully) finished all my wiring :o)

September 17th

Today is Vic's only evening off this week, so we watched "Epic", and it was OK for a kid's movie.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 15th

We started the day watching the MotoGP race from Misano... it was excellent at the beginning, before it became a bit of a procession at the front, then it got better again.

We did some tidying up in the garden, then headed out to look at things and stuff in the shops.

In the afternoon, we went over to the airfield to barbecue with Sean - we were sitting around chatting when Frank came over to chat, and said he was going to do a test flight of his CozyJet at gross weight and max fuel, to see if he gets off by 3000'.  Sean suggested I go along as ballast, so Frank took out the bag of ballast he keeps in the front and off we went.  6000' climb, and ~200kts... we did a 100' pass with the smoke on, then another at ~20', then landed, and parked.  9 minutes... and 12 gallons of Jet-A at ~$6 a gallon, but I think it was worth it :o)

September 14th

I started the day building up another raised flower bed... yes, I thought I'd built the last one too.

When Vic went to work, I went for a ride on the DRZ... up 193, then a few miles on the freeway to Auburn.  A couple of squids on R6s, wearing shorts and T-shirts came past me, and I caught up to them on the freeway exit.  One had a twisted tail section where he's obviously crashed before, so I figured I wasn't going to race then or anything silly.  At the next light, they filtered up to the front, and I started about 4 cars back.  When we got to the interesting part of 49, heading down into the canyon, I was approaching maybe the third corner when I saw a bike under the railing, and the rider just getting up.  Most of the cars drove past, but a Honda stopped behind the crashed bike, and I stopped my bright yellow bike next to it, so we could be seen.  We dragged the bike out, and upright, then turned it around.  The guy was OK, and his buddy arrived shortly afterwards. They had cell phones, so I thanked the guy in the Honda, and headed out.  I realised that the squid hadn't actually thanked either of us, but screw him.  I went up over the Forest Hill bridge, back on the freeway to 193, then got stuck behind a pickup stuck behind a Harley riding like it was his first ride without the training wheels, but after the morning I'd had, I wasn't in a hurry.

In the evening, I went to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for just over an hour... when I got back, Sean said he had been worried, as I'd been fine for a while, and he's been used to me doing circuits :o)

Once home, we watched "The Expendables 2", which is just as silly as you'd think, but at least the stars are in on the joke.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th

Vic had put the parts of the raised flower beds in place, so I drilled a hole for the watering system to run in, and screwed them all together before we watched "Star Trek Into Darkness".  It's almost as good as the first one, and it's interesting figuring out who all the people are :o)

September 10th

Vic was working late, so I put together the last (maybe) of the raised flower beds, with the usual help from Tilly.

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 8th

I started the day cutting the grass, then I filled up Fred's wastebin (they're away) with cut up wood from the old raised flower beds in the garden.

In the late afternoon, I went over to Lincoln and took the Flightstar out for a while - it was the first time this year I've been away from the circuit, as I'm pretty sure I've nailed the CHT reporting problem.  I flew over Freedom Field, and there was no sign of Vince, then practiced some turns (normal, steep, climbing, descending) before heading back to Lincoln.  As I was taxiing up, Danny was getting his Quicksilver out to go flying.  He and Jack tried to get me to go with them, but I was tired and thought I only had ~3 gallons left in the plane.  They headed out just as it was getting to sunset, and I put the plane away and headed home.  I was almost home when Vic called me - Jack had crunched his ultralight landing it, and wanted me to go and help him out.  I tried to call him, but went straight through to voicemail, so I turned around and headed back... I was about halfway there when I managed to get hold of him, and Danny was there, so he didn't need me after all.  Apparently he'd run out of gas... he was fine though.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 7th

I had a pretty uneventful day, just breaking down the boxes from John's stuff, and tidying up silly things here and there.

Tilly and I played with video a little - after a request from a YouTube user, we shot her bursting a large ball - it lasted 5 minutes, and I have them all on video.  It's a little dull, as the ball just goes down, albeit quickly, so we shot a video of her bursting a balloon.  She's done it before, and I'm pretty sure she hasn't learned anything this time either.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4th

Vic started the day getting the final raised flowerbed finished, and John packed and headed to the airport.  Me?  I worked.

In the evening, we watched "Oblivion", which is pretty good.

September 3rd

Vic started the day taking one of the guinea pigs to the vet for his breathing problems, where it was decided to put him to sleep (this is an ongoing thing, and there's no solution).

While John spent his day getting the car washed and shipping stuff back to Amazon, I worked.  In the late afternoon, I walked the Mook, then we went to the airport so I could fly John around for a couple of circuits - at least now he's seen what it's like to fly the Flightstar :o)

We went to dinner, and Vic joined us there on the way home from work.

September 2nd

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

It was raining on and off, but we got one of the new raised flower beds sorted out, and Vic filled it with soil and plants.

John and Jana arrived back from Burning Man, and we had brunch, then unpacked the car and got Jana packed up to fly home.

We played a little with the last raised flower bed, but ran out of time - John took Jana to the airport, then met us at Lincoln for a barbecue.  In the rain.  Jen showed up, and I haven't seen her for months.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 1st

We started the day taking the very old guinea pig Kenya to the vet to be euthanised - she's been getting frailer for a few months, and this morning wasn't eating, and it looked like her back legs were paralysed, so it was time.

After that, we watched the excellent MotoGP race from Silverstone, then Vic went to work.

I pottered around the house tidying up the garden and pulling out the (still green, in September) tomato plants, and building up the frames for the next raised beds.  I had to stop and charge the battery on my drill, which gave me a rest for an hour or so before finishing the second set.

In the early evening, I went to the airfield to do some more circuits, but the wind was gusty (yesterday it was strong, and a little crosswindy, but this was bumpy) so I gave up after 2 circuits.  There was a plane parked alongside the runway, and I wandered over to watch them finish up changing the flat tyre, and help push it back onto the runway so they could taxi it back.  Sean gave me a ride back to the van, and I drove home via an auto parts store where I managed to get a couple of gas can lids :o)

Oh, it's a new month, so here's the solar statistics:
Power billed
Power generated

And, of course, the DMARC statistics:

August 31st

Vic was working today, so I spent the day doing little chores, and ran a few errands, ending up at the airfield.  I did a little work with some fuel hose on the CHT probes, replacing the old, burnt hose where it _had_ been touching the exhaust, and I made a little stand-off to hopefully stop this happening again.  Looking at the other planes in the hangar, people usually route the probes on the other side of the engine, so I'll bear that in mind if I'm still having problems.  I went home to do some other stuff, then discovered that the lid of one of my gas cans is split when I went to get gas to go back to the airfield.  Oh well, I'll use the lid of the (slightly leaky) backup can for now.  Once at the airfield, I put in several circuits without any worries from the CHT, regardless of how I climbed out.  Sean called me on the radio, but I couldn't understand what he wanted (he was on a handheld), so I landed and taxied over to see what was up, and he wanted to go for a ride.  It was late, and I was low on fuel, so we just did a circuit, but it cheered him up.  Just after I'd put the plane away, Kerosene Dreams went out for a few fast passes as it was getting dark - I snapped a few pictures with my cellphone, but they were, as expected, crappy.