Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 29th

I pottered around the house for most of the morning, then went over to see if Vince is still alive... he is.  I then took myself over to the airfield and took the plane up for about 45 minutes - it would have been longer, but it was getting dark (stupid time change).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28th

It's Thanksgiving here, when Americans gloss over the genocide of the Native Americans by eating a dinosaur that's evolved over millions of years to fit in an oven.

We cooked a turkey, and failed to rouse Vince, so screw that guy.  Tilly got to try all manner of things, from celery (eww) to turkey (nom), and we ate at lunch time, rather than late.  We then watched "After Earth", which I thought was spoiled by the annoyingly bad acting of Will Smith's son, and "The Croods", which was pretty good.

November 27th

These 2 day work weeks are killing me.

November 26th

Russ is looking to employ a new guy, so we spent most of the day struggling with the awful search system in LinkedIn to see if we could add a few names to the list of people he has that he's interested in.

In the evening we went to dinner when Vic got home from work.

November 25th

Russ drove up from L.A., and we spent the evening looking at the boot lock on his car... I don't know, you drive a Mercedes, you expect it to work.  Anyway - you click the boot shut and it's supposed to close it the rest of the way, but hasn't been.  He's got the instructions on how to fix it, he's just been too much of a pussy to take stuff apart.  I have tools, too, so we took the leaking (it's pneumatic) pump out, tracked down the leak with soapy water (there were what looked like cracks in it), then epoxied the crap out of it.  Sorted.

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 24th

I went out and ran a bunch of errands and bought stuff.  One of the things I wanted to get was some CREE LED bulbs to try, and Home Depot has them on sale.  Well, sort of - it looks like they're being instantly rebated by some electricity providers, but not others.  When I went to the nearby Home Depot, Roseville Electric doesn't seem to be taking part.  In the parking lot, I ended up talking to an elderly couple who have a diesel Vanagon, and he seems interested in buying mine :o)  So, on the way to the airfield, I went to Lincoln's Home Depot, where they are on sale, but they only had 1 (opened) on the shelf.  I asked the nearby staff member if they had any more, and their inventory system said they had 24 more.  We wandered around and couldn't find them.  They checked out the back, and couldn't find them.  So, I ended up buying them there, to be picked up in the Roseville branch, at the Lincoln (slightly less than half) price.

I went to the airfield and did an hour in the plane - it was chillier than I'd been expecting.

On the way home, I stopped and collected my LED bulbs, and when I got home put them in the family room light, and in the critter room - I figure these are the most used bulbs in the house, so they'll make the most difference.

November 23rd

As it's been rainy:

and windy:

recently, I spent most of the day clearing leaves from around the house.  After I cut the grass, the green waste bin was completely full.  Having been completely empty when I started.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 20th

In the evening I went to the EAA monthly meeting.  We had a talk on the DeLorme inReach system, which looks interesting, but I never go anywhere I can't get a cellphone signal :o)  I gave Jack an LED strobe setup I've got left over from my playing - I ordered 2 red, 2 white and 2 green LEDs, and I've set them up as white and red and white and green, so I had a red and green setup left over, so I've given it to him for his ultralight.  I think he spent the whole evening waiting to play with them with a 12v battery :o)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19th

I got the optician's reports sorted out and sent them over to the doctor in Phoenix.  Hopefully we're well on the way to getting everything sorted out :o)

In the evening, we went out to dinner with Jen.  The plan had been to go to Costco, so I was expecting a hot dog, but we didn't go to Costco, so we had Mexican.

November 18th

We got up early, and went to the airport, where I hopped on an early flight to Phoenix.  Once there, I picked up a rental car and drove to Scottsdale, to get flying medicals sorted out - I went to the address on the CAA web site, and the old dear there said "he's not usually in on a Monday", but suggested I waited.  I waited. After 30 minutes, I was asking if she had any idea where he'd be, and she said he has another office... jeez, if she'd told me that when I got there...

Anyway, I drove over to the other address, and did the medicals.  I have some forms to get filled out by my optician, but it sounds like I'll be fine with the FAA medical, and we're doing some investigation for the CAA medical - his suggestion is that I get a student license medical, then a checkride should solve this problem permanently.

I toddled back to the airport, and managed to get on an earlier flight home, yay!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17th

After playing Warcraft for a while, I went and got the parts I needed to finish up the van.  I got everything wired up, but was getting some of behaviour, where I got the same voltage from both positions on the switch.  I even backed the van out into the sun to see if that changed anything.  I pulled the switch out again, and did a bunch of testing, and it seemed the problem is down to having the grounds joined together.  I did some testing, and it looked like it'd work if I switched the grounds rather than the positive, so I cut a bunch of connectors off and rewired it all - success!  I put everything back together and tidied up so I could call it a day.

November 16th

I've decided to wire up a little voltmeter in the can so I can see the voltage that the solar panel is producing.  I got a 3 way switch (left, right, off), so the plan is to be able to check the solar panels and the house battery.  Later, I'll do another one for the house vs the car battery, but I need the meter to show up to do that.  Anyway, I ran some wires down to the solar charge controller, and hooked them up to the switch and the voltmeter.  When I hooked the ground wire together, there seemed to be a charge running through, which was odd.  I played around for a while, and gave up and went and asked Fred whether what I was doing would work, and he said yes, it should, so that would suggest that I have the writes the wrong way somewhere.  At that point, I have up as I had arranged to meet Vic for lunch.  As the van was full of tools (I'd been cutting holes in things), I took the DRZ, and wore my new motorcycle jacket for the first time.  I'd forgotten what it's like to have to break in a new jacket, as my old stuff is nice and soft.  Anyway, when I got back, I decided to use the PWM controller rather than the MPPT controller that I think is suspect.  It's sort of working in my tests, but I need to get some crimps to wire it all up properly.

November 15th

Staples were having a $50 off tablets sale, so I've ordered myself a new Nexus 7.  I figure the old one can be just for the moving map GPS in the plane, and I'll just get rid of the old Dell Streak that I've been using for that.  Anybody want a Dell Streak?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 12th

The solar inverter went to generating basically no power for a few minutes, and I went out to see it resetting itself.  It did it again, a short while later.  I called the solar company, and somebody's going to call me back.

The light blue line is the solar generation, and you can see at around 11:20 and 12:15 it goes to 0.  Great - I believe the inverter should still be under warranty, but I haven't dug out the paperwork to see yet.

November 10th

I spent the morning tidying the garden, and cutting the grass (it's green waste this week).  Then I went to the airfield to play with the Flightstar a little, and in the evening we sat in the hot tub for the first time in over a year.

November 9th

I spent the morning playing Warcraft, then ran some errands and spent the afternoon cleaning out the hot tub and throwing water at Tilly, who thinks cleaning out the hot tub is the greatest game ever.  Then filling the hot tub with water, and dumping in all the chemicals.  I turned it on, expecting it to scream about "flow" because the filter was still soaking, but it started to heat the water just fine.  Now it just needs a day to heat the water up.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 4th

I called the FAA to talk to somebody about sorting out a US pilot's license.  The guy I spoke to was very helpful, unlike almost everybody I spoke to at the CAA.  Basically I have to fill in forms and send stuff around and wait, but it sounds pretty straightforward - they'll issue me a US license based on my UK license.  Sadly the CAA are involved, so I'm fully expecting this to turn into a total clusterf*ck.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 3rd

I started the day wandering around the house changing clocks to normal time.  Bah, what a waste of effort.

Vic went to Oakland to go to a wedding, and, as it's gusty today, I made a start on cleaning out the hot tub.

November 2nd

I started the day playing Warcraft, then took the DRZ for a bit of a ride on the way to Lincoln.  It was earlier than I usually fly, so it was a bit bumpy and gusty in places, but still, it was nice to fly after not being able to last weekend.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 1st

A new month, so here are the solar statistics:

Power we've paid for
Power we've generated

And, of course, the DMARC stats:

So, Jack at the airfield can weld aluminum, which I believe is like aluminium.  I called him to see if he could weld my cracked wheel, and he offered to swap a perfectly good one for my wheel, so I can fly this weekend.  Also, he can weld it up at his leisure.  Even better, he was at the airfield when we spoke, so he left the wheel in the hangar by my plane.  I went over after work and put it all together and installed it with the better tyre I'd dug out for it.  Progress at last :o)

October 31st

I called Aircraft Spruce, and they don't stock the wheel I need for the plane, so they gave me the number for the manufacturer.  I called them, and they don't make that wheel any more - I need a 2.75" bead width, and the smallest they do is a 3".

In the evening we went and picked one of the guinea pigs up from the vet... she had a lump on her bottom lip that needed removing.

October 30th

The new wheel for the plane arrived, and it was the wrong one.  Of course.