Monday, December 28, 2015

December 27th

It was a grubby day, so we wasted it playing Warcraft.  In the evening, we watched "Divergent: Insurgent".  Interestingly it looks like it's not the series ender that it looked like.

I also managed to get CHDK working on the new camera that I bought to replace the one I gave Mum - before I realised how few cameras actually support CHDK :)  The problem was the formatting of the MicroSD card - oh, and Windows won't format an SD card larger than 32Gb as FAT32, so I had to find an application to do that.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 26th

Another day playing Warcraft, and I put together an order for stuff to build a replacement home theatre PC - the current one is having issues, and it's about 9 years old, so I figure it's time.  I think the problem is that the power supply can't handle the new graphics card, so it ends up freezing solid.  I don't think it's worth investing any more time or money into hacking this thing to work any longer.

In the evening we watched "Guardians of the Galaxy".

December 25th

We cooked, and Vince came over and ate.

December 24th

I had the day off, so I wasted it playing Warcraft.  In the evening we watched "Trainwreck" on Blu-ray.  We'd rented it when the DVD version was all out, and I had to spend hours getting the software to play it all sorted out when I found out that the Totalmedia software we had been using doesn't work any more - it looks like the company that wrote it no longer exists.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 22nd

I went down to the office for a visit and to pick up mince pies.  The traffic's getting worse, and that means a lot of people are driving like total pricks, which is making the traffic worse.  There were a couple of cops waving their arms about ineffectually, but they're not actually doing anything to help with the traffic flow.

December 19th

We watched "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation".  Not bad :o)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17th

After clearing a bunch of the leaves from the front garden, I went and did almost an hour in the plane.  Of course it wasn't as cold as it'll be in January, but still, practice.

December 16th

We met Jen for lunch.  She's talking about getting the license plate "VW LIED" for her diesel Golf :o)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 15th

My practical flight test was shifted from 08:00 to 11:00, and eventually we met up at 09:30.  Due to the stupid wind, I just did the oral part - that was fraught, as there were a few things where I didn't understand what he was looking for, but it all worked out right in the end.  We did the pre-flight in the plane, and issued a discontinuance due to the 30mph winds.  I have 60 days to do the flying part of the test, but it'll probably be next year before we can get together and sort that out.  Stupid Christmas.

In the evening, I went and helped Vic get her stuff set up for a presentation about critters to the kids' club thing at the SPCA.

December 14th

I'm topping out my vacation time at work, so I've taken the week off to burn some off.  I did some preparation stuff for the practical flight test, and went over and saw Vince for the first time in months - he's lost a bunch of weight.

December 13th

I pretty much spent the day playing Warcraft and readying stuff for a practical flight test.

December 12th

We went to the airfield so I could play with the compass on the plane - I've come to the conclusion that the problem isn't so much the environment it lives in as it is the angle of the instrument panel - I did some reading, and at around 18 degrees, it'll stop working.  Well, I think the panel's pretty close to that.  I have a couple of compasses now, so I zip tied them in interesting places and went out to test them :o)  After spending about 20 minutes getting them all roughly adjusted, and taxying up and down as the flying monkeys kept changing the runway they were using, I threw in a couple of circuits.  They panel compass seems OK.

In the evening, we went to the EAA Christmas party, where Danny and friends provided the entertainment.

December 11th

John was in the area, so we went out to dinner together.  It's been a while, but he had an early morning flight out, so we let him go early.  Ish.

December 10th

At lunchtime I went and picked up a student pilot's license, and started explaining the nightmare process to the designated pilot examiner.  Heh, we'll see how it goes now :o)

December 9th

I'm getting close to the point where I stop accruing vacation time, so I took the day off to play Warcraft and talk on the phone with the guy about my pilot's practical test.  Seems I need a student pilot's license to take the test, as my FAA medical expired at the end of November (the FAA told me to let it expire, as otherwise I'd need a medical flight test with them, and they didn't want to do it).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 6th

It rained, so we didn't do anything interesting.  Tilly was a lot less upset with me :o)

December 5th

I took Tilly to the vet for her annual.  She passed, but was pissed off at me for the rest of the day - I think the vaccination she had in her shoulder was sore.

I went over to the airfield and tinkered with the plane for a bit before going for a flight.  It was nice out, if a little cold :o)

Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4th

The little man came out and replaced the water heater.  Hopefully the new one will last over 20 years, too.

December 3rd

We went to the Placer SPCA Xmas open house / party thingy.

December 2nd

I went to the EAA board meeting.  It looks like we'll be involved in the Lincoln Airfest in June next year.

December 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:
Power billed

Power generated

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 30th

Early in my work day, I realised I was cold, and that the central heating wasn't working.  Turning it on and off at the thermostat didn't change anything, but flipping the circuit breaker off and on again fixed it.  I think I'll look at cleaning up the contacts on the breaker box when it's warmer.  A lot warmer.  Apparently November has been ~2F colder than average.  Oh, and there's been less rain, too, despite El Nino.

I'd bought a Nest thermostat, as part of my "if it has an IP address, I want one" binge, and it arrived, so I installed it.  It's not markedly better than the old thermostat it replaces, but I can play with the temperature without getting out of my chair.

November 29th

We just pottered around the house, as it's still cold out.  I went out and switched the spiffy JVC stereo (that doesn't work any more) for the old Sony stereo in the Jeep.  We had thought about getting another spiffy stereo, but that's unnecessary really.

In the evening, we watched "Fifty Shades of Grey", and it was disappointing, even for Twilight fan fiction.

November 28th

I put the wheels back on the van and made up a new spare wheel carrier (so I carry the wheel face out, and don't scratch the crap out of the face putting it back on).  Turning the van around, I noticed that there's water coming from the water heater.  Still, I reckon it's over 20 years old so I've had my money's worth out of it.  I don't see where it's leaking from, and it's not under pressure, so I'm not unduly worried - it'll just need replacing.

We went over to Sandra and Cindy's for a meet and greet.  It wasn't terrible getting there - Galt always sounds so far away, but it's out in the sticks, which has Vic thinking about moving out into the sticks again.  It seemed warmer down there, too, which is stupid - it's really not that far.

November 27th

Today was Black Friday, when American who were thankful for what they had yesterday go out and trample each other for more stuff.  I went out and bought some dog food, as Tilly's dog food container was getting low.  Other than that, it was too cold and windy to do anything.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

November 26th

Today was Thanksgiving, when a nation currently scared of Syrian immigrants celebrates when they were all immigrants and were taken in by the locals.

Vic was cooking, so I left her to it and painted the remaining 2 wheels on the van.  It was deathly cold, so I ended up peeling the wheels and respraying them when it warmed up a little, as the paint wasn't too happy to be out either.  The backs were OK, it was just the fronts that needed redoing, and they're all nice and clean now, so it didn't take too long to do.

We discovered that the TV doesn't like getting a 480p signal (from a DVD) on its 2160p input, so I switched it back to an HDMI 1.4 input.  I _can_ do 2160p, I just don't have a reason to just yet (we have nothing that outputs 2160p.  Yet).

In the evening, we watched "Max".  Tilly was very taken with it, but it was a stupid movie.

November 25th

I still couldn't get the new GT730 to install, so I took the PC apart again, and cleaned everything out.  The drivers installed, and the PC immediately changed the resolution to 3840x2160, and Media Center immediately whined that that seemed like a lot.  It works though, so I'll see how it does before (maybe) changing it to an HDMI 1.4 socket on the TV.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 24th

The fan on the graphics card in the home theatre system has been getting louder and louder, so I was looking to replace it.  I found that the nVidia GT7xx cards can fake 2160p without needing HDMI 2.0 (which is a 9xx feature), so I bought a GT730.  It arrived, so I took the PC apart, installed it, then went through the driver installation process about 50 times.  It's obviously working, as I can see the screen, but it's not loading the nVidia drivers.  I think it's something to do with it installing the default VGA drivers, as it's saying it can't find an nVidia card at all.  The problem is that each time I try with the drivers that the card came with, it downloads 280+Mb, so the process is slow.  I left the PC running a chkdsk /f and went to bed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 22nd

I finished stripping and repainting one wheel on the van, and took another off and got that one done too.  I'm leaving the van on a jack stand for the moment while the wheel dries out properly.

November 21st

I went over to the airfield and flew with Mike.  We went and looked at a yard full of old cars, he pointed out a marijuana farm, we chased birds and saw the colours changing along the Feather River.

When we got back, I went over to the pancake breakfast.  It was at the end of the session, so I ended up cooking my own damn breakfast / brunch / lunch, and cooked for a couple of other people who were also waiting.

November 20th

We watched "Jurassic World", and it was OK, even though Chris Pratt wasn't a funny guy.

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 18th

I went to the EAA meeting and got voted back on to the board of directors.  I'd have been happy to be replaced :o)

November 17th

The latest wheel I've painted does have droops, but you just peel the paint off, so I did that.  I'll try again when I have the time to do it properly :o)

November 16th

I put the painted wheel on the van, and cleaned up the one I've taken off.  I painted it, but I was in too much of a hurry in the cold, so it looks like there'll be droops.  We'll see how it comes out.

November 15th

We went over to the airfield so I could replace the compass (that seems sticky) with a new one.  We went and swung the compass so it's about as accurate as it's going to get, but it was way to windy to fly.

I painted one of the wheels on the van with this plasti-dip paint, just to see how it came out.  It looks good, but it'll take quite a while to dry.

In the evening we watched "Terminator: Genisys", which, despite the awful spelling, was pretty good.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 14th

I started the day at the airfield, doing 90 minutes with Mike the instructor, who wouldn't shut up about being cold :o)  When I left him so he could go and get warm, I tinkered about with a few things on the plane before giving up and heading home.

November 11th

Today was Veteran's Day, so the government gets the day off.  The rest of us don't though.

We watched "American Sniper" to get us in the mood.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8th

We watched the last MotoGP race from Valencia.  It was an interesting race, but meh.

November 7th

We went to the motorcycle show in Sacramento, and met up with Sandra and Cindy.  I haven't seen them since the YSR racing collapsed in on itself, back in 2003.

We enjoyed the show, and Vic found a jacket she quite liked.  It was $1500.

In the evening we watched "Spy".

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 5th

I've noticed the buttons on the sprinkler controller are very hard to get to do anything... to the point where I couldn't be bothered to update the clock.  I've now replaced it with a Rainmachine, so I can update the thing from my tablet, and it'll even look after turning off the sprinklers when it's raining.

November 4th

I went to the EAA board meeting.  I think I got away without having anything new on my "to do" list :o)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 3rd

We watched the very silly "San Andreas".  I tried to see the office, in flames, but we were on the wrong side of the ball park.

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:
Power billed

Power generated

The clocks went back, so I spent some time going around the house (and garage) setting those all right.  Tilly was most upset about her breakfast being late, but what are you going to do?

It rained on and off, so I spent the day just sodding about in the house.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October 31st

We drove to Vallejo to meet Vic's niece.  Tilly came along, as it was a nice day out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 25th

We started the day watching the frustrating MotoGP race.  I'm a Rossi fan, but the whole incident was a total mess - the few laps before it looked to me like Marquez was deliberately slowing Rossi down after the press conference where Rossi said Marquez was slowing him down.  Eh, what do I know?  I'm pretty sure Rossi's championship is over after the race direction penalty.

I finished off the pilot's operating handbook, and now it's a lot more legible.  I went to the airfield with a plan to centre the rudder pedals (I'd noticed that the pedals aren't level when steering straight).  Getting the nose wheel straight was pretty simple, but then I decided to get the rudder itself centred - it's off a tiny amount.  I undid the cables, but couldn't get them back together no matter how loudly I swore at them, so I went home.  Vic needed to run some errands, so we did that, and stopped at the airfield and got the cables all sorted out.

October 24th

I spent the morning clearing up stuff at work, then I made a start on typing up the pilot's operating handbook for the plane - the version I have is a bit of a mess, and it a poor quality photocopy, so I'm starting from scratch, and taking out the unnecessary stuff (engines, equipment I don't have and suchlike).

I went to the airfield and played with the fuel probe again.  Still no joy - it's reporting 3V when it should be reporting 5V :o(

I took the plane out for a flight around the patch, and ended up talking to Jack for a while when I got back.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 20th

I went and got the van smogged.  It passed pretty easily - all the measurements were way below what it needed to score.  Yay.  I went home and paid my registration, so now I'm good for another 2 years.

Vic's been good, so I let her help me change the innertube on the bicycle.  I'm trying one of the snot filled tubes - the idea is that the snot plugs the hole before the tyre goes completely flat.

October 19th

I couldn't go for my bicycle ride today, as I had a thorn that's gone through the extra-thick part of the innertube on the front wheel.  Jeez.

I went to try and get the van smogged, but the nearest smog station had gone home early, by which time it was too late to try somewhere else.

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 18th

I started the day really early at the airfield, cooking breakfast at a Young Eagles event.  We (well, they) flew 45 kids after waiting for the cloud cover to raise above 1,000'.

After that I went home and we watched the amazing MotoGp race from Australia, then "Fast & Furious 7".  It rained again in the afternoon, so I felt better about not trying to fly.  Later on, we watched "One Day".

October 17th

I had been aiming to go to the Golden West flyin, but it threw it down with rain most of the early, early morning, and was threatening to rain again.  I went to the airfield anyway, to install new spark plugs (one I took out had the electrode completely blown away, but seems to have still been firing) and a power lead for the fuel level probe.  That's still not working properly, even though it's now getting a good, fat 12v.  I need to investigate further, methinks.

On the way home, I stopped in to try and get the van smogged, to be told that the DMV doesn't seem to have any data on the Executive Order that covers the engine conversion, meaning they can't smog it.  I'll try and find a smog station that doesn't look that closely, or I'll have to talk to a referee, or even look at getting a new damned engine.

In the evening, we watched "Avengers: Age of Ultron".

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 11th

We went to the Aerospace Museum to meet the EAA members and get a tour of the F-4 there.  After being given the impression that there would be a whole load of us, there were only 5 in the end, which was a little disappointing.  Aaanyway... Mike showed us around the whole ramp, and everybody got to climb into the cockpit of the F-4.  Four of us then went for lunch.

In the afternoon, I did a little tinkering on the plane, then took it for a flight.  As it was later in the day, the air was nice and smooth.

After dinner with Richard (his wife's out of town, so he gets to live like a bachelor for a change), we watched the excellent MotoGP race from Motegi.  Sadly anybody but Pedrosa didn't win.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 10th

I got up early and headed to the airport, to join the others flying to the Ragwing Roundup at Sutter.  Hey, it was an excuse for a flight :o)  It took about 30 minutes to get there, with a decent tailwind (I saw a ground speed of almost 70mph!), but it took 45 minutes to get back again (again, I saw a ground speed of 36mph).  There were about 70 aircraft that flew in, so hopefully they'll consider it a success and do it again :o)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 9th

We finally got around to watching the new Mad Max movie :o)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 7th

It was the EAA board meeting, so I bumbled over for that, then stood around outside and talked to Jack for over an hour :o)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6th

The SD card on the Raspberry Pi that looks after DNS and DHCP took a dump, meaning I had to go back to the locked down (and slow) configuration on the router for a while.  In the evening, I rebuilt it (on a later version of Wheezy than it had been running), and even documented what I did, for next time.

I think it's a power problem, as the RPi's sharing a non-powered USB hub for power, so I've used a little USB battery as a UPS - if it needs more than the ~1A it can get from the hub, it can suck up the battery, and in the event of an(other) power supply, it'll be fine for longer than the router's UPS :o)

October 4th

Having pottered around most of the morning, I went over to the airfield hoping to go flying.  I pre-flighted the plane and pulled it out, then saw a fire engine driving up the taxiway.  That's not good.  There was a little crowd forming, so I went over and asked what had happened - Richard had ground looped his biplane on landing, and broken the undercarriage.  When Steve came over looking for levers, we asked him what he needed, and he needed a way of carrying 8' 2x4s, so we threw them in the van and went over to see what was up.  As we got there, they had an engine winch holding up the front of the plane, and they were just breaking the wheel off trying to bend it straight again.  There was damage from a prop strike, and one wing was creased, too.  Richard had a scratch on his arm from climbing out.  We eventually used the engine winch to drag the plane off the runway, so the circling 172 and Citation could land, then pulled it back to Richard's hangar (he used to be in with Jack, but no longer).  At this point, Tony showed up and we put the gliding mob's golf cart behind my plane (they currently have their glider and tow plane in our hangar).  He was flying down to Modesto to drop somebody off, and I didn't feel like flying my plane any more, so I hopped in and went with him.  I haven't flown at night for ages, so that was an experience, too.

October 3rd

We went over to the airport and installed the new fuel probe - hopefully this'll be the last thing I need to do until the next thing I break while screwing around with something completely different :o)

I had intended to go flying in the afternoon, but it was pretty windy, so I decided against that.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October 2nd

After a day in the office, I spent 4 hours driving home.  Joy.  I was happy to get home, and Tilly was happy to get the van back.

October 1st

A new month, so new solar stats:
Power billed

Power generated

Today was the last day of the enginerding conference, so we had a team building exercise - a scavenger hunt around Fisherman's Wharf.

September 30th

Today was the 2nd day of the enginerding conference, so more listening ensued.

September 29th

Today was the first day of the enginerding conference at work, so I spent the day listening to people saying things about stuff.

September 28th

I spent the day in the office, complaining about how much less efficient I am without my home setup.

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 27th

We pottered around the house until Tilly came back from her sleepover (very tired - I'm not sure that she slept much at all), then discovered that there's something wrong with Mum's camera, in that it's overexposing pretty much everything.  I can make it better by setting things manually, but that's not really a solution for a point and shoot camera.  She's taking my SX210 for the moment.

We drove to San Francisco (very slowly, the traffic was appalling) so I could go and do some work, and Mum and Dad can finish up their holiday in the city.  Work, yay.

September 26th

I spent the morning taking apart one of Mum's old cameras to replace the IR filter with visible light filters that'll turn it into an IR camera.  It works OK, but the pictures are out of focus, so I need to tinker with the CCD to lens distance to fix that.  It's OK though, as it looks like it needs more visible light filtering anyway.

In the afternoon we drove down to Los Gatos to have dinner with Vic's family down there.

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25th

We went to Old Sacramento.  Well, eventually, as there are a bunch of detours that don't seem to work.  Having wandered around, we went to the railway museum.

September 24th

In the morning I toddled over to Sacramento and took the Sport Pilot written test.  It took me longer to ride over there than it took to do the test, but I passed (90%, yay).

We went in to the Galleria (again) to get the security tag taken off Mum's new trousers and to get some coffee.

In the evening, we went to a build it how you like pizza place.

September 23rd

We went to the Galleria so Mum could change her yoga trousers.  In the evening we went out to Ruth's Chris for steak.

September 22nd

We went in to Folsom, and wandered around old town, then went to the outlets.  Mum got some different yoga trousers, and were got maybe the worst service I've ever had at a coffee shop.

September 21st

We went to the Galleria and wandered around the shops.  Mum managed to get some yoga trousers.

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 20th

We went and did a photo session that Vic had won at a charity auction, then picked up Tilly and headed to Apple Hill to see the sights and taste wine.  Tilly was quite tired by the time we got back, thankfully.

September 19th

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day.  I had a meeting at the airport with the LRAA about their web site, and managed to not pick that up, and Dad got to go flying with Richard in his Mooney while he waited for me.  We met Mum and Vic for lunch, then pottered around Best Buy for a bit.

September 18th

Mum and Dad came in from the UK.  Their flight to Los Angeles was delayed, it was touch and go as to whether they'd get their connection to us, but they made it.  Tilly and I picked them up and brought them home.

Friday, September 18, 2015

September 16th

We went to the EAA membership meeting to watch the CalStar chopper arrive.  Lots to do coming up, it would seem.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 15th

We had what seems to be the first power cut in years.  It reset all the mains-attached clocks, including the sprinkler controller, which fell back to its default program and started 30 minutes later.  Doy.

September 13th

Vic was at her 30 reunion, so I put the DRZ back together (I've decided I want the proper plug in connectors before I go any further), then waited for her to get back.  Then we watched the excellent MotoGP race :o)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 12th

I got up early and headed to the airfield for the poker run.  It wasn't as well attended as last year, but we look to have at least broken even.  When I got home, my SDR had arrived in the mail, so I then tinkered about with receiving ADSB on the tablet I use in the plane.  It's too smoky (and I was too tired) to fly (a couple of planes in the poker run had given up on getting to Auburn because of the smoke), so I'll test it in the air some other time.

September 11th

I sloped out of work early and headed home.  It took me over 45 minutes to get to the Bay Bridge, confirming my theory that the human race is doomed, as we can't even perform the simplest of tool-based tasks (merging, in this case) without shitting all over ourselves.

September 10th

I got up stupid early and drove to the office.  I was crashing the night at Dave's, so we went for pizza and talked about our electronics projects.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 7th

Today was Labor Day, when Americans celebrate the union movement by going shopping.

I spent most of the day fiddling with my RFID project, and it's not working the way I want it to.  I'd thought about stacked relays, but that doesn't seem to work either.  Bummer.

I went out to the airfield and tested the prop pitch - it seems OK.  The wind was coming from the North, so it was pretty bumpy, so I packed up and went home.

I watched "Dumb and Dumber To" - meh.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

September 6th

We went out to get some supplies, and when we got home I changed the batteries in the ELT for the plane (the batteries needed replacing as of the end of August).  I pulled off all the bodywork on the bike to try and figure out where to put an RFID setup, and realised that my design wasn't going to work quite how I expected it to.  I'll have to do some tinkering, methinks.  Still, I did some soldering on the RFID setup I'll use, and most of that fits into a single box now.

I went to the airfield and took the plane out.  I wasn't getting anything like the rpms I wanted, so I repitched the prop to 0.025", and that made very little difference.  I took it to 0.033", and it was better, so I set it to 0.42", and left it at that as I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes by this point.  There were 3 powered parachutes playing around over by their landing circle, so hopefully that's a thing now.

September 5th

I started the day washing the solar panels (for probably the 3rd time this year), cleaning out the dryer vent and cleaning and refuelling the humming bird feeders.  Exciting stuff, eh?

I did some soldering, and went to the airfield to re-pitch the prop on the plane to try and reduce the EGTs a little.  When I got there, Richard and Charlie were finishing up tinkering with Charlie's RV.  He took it out for a taxi trial, and when he got back I ruined his day by pointing out a bubble in his new tyre.  I re-pitched the prop to 0.02", and headed home.

At home, we watched "Gone Girl".  Jeez, psychopath much?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 2nd

I went over to Lincoln for the EAA board meeting.  Sadly I couldn't get out of everything, so I have some stuff to do.

September 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated

August 31st

We were just sitting down to watch "Torchwood" when Rich called to ask us to pizza.  We'd eaten, but we went over for a chat anyway.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August 30th

I got up early, and went over to the airfield and took the plane to first Woodland and then Sutter, a ~80nm round trip that took me about 2.25 hours.

When I got home, we went and got lunch before we watched the MotoGP race from Silverstone, despite knowing who the winner was (thanks, Facebook news feed).

August 29th

I was aiming to do a cross country flight today, but getting woken up by the work phone at 02:30 and 06:00 sort of screwed that up.  It was then pretty windy, so I went out and got oil, then changed the oil and filter in the Jeep.

Vic's discovered her 30th high school reunion, so we went out looking at dresses and stuff.  Luckily I'm busy that weekend, so I don't need to be dressed up.

In the evening we went over to Gwen's, so Vic could drop off a couple of guinea pig fosters, and I could install their new printer.

August 28th

I was planning to do a cross country flight this weekend, so I went over to the airfield and filled the plane to the brim, and strapped a 5 gallon fuel tank in the passenger seat.  All set :o)

When I got home, we watched "Ex Machina", which was a pretty intense movie.

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 27th

I've been having problems with the brake lights on the van, and today it looked like there's a break in the line from the switches, so I just threw a new bit of wire in there (I'm tired of screwing with this).

I went over to the airfield and did 50 minutes with Mike, and got signed off to do the cross country and written tests.  It was bloody hot out, so the plane didn't fly as well as I'd hope, but it should start cooling down soon.

August 26th

Today was the last of the chronic pain classes.  I'm now just waiting for a proper medical grade TENS unit to show up, so I can shown how to use it properly.

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 23rd

I tinkered about with the RFID stuff that I'm aiming to install on the DRZ.  There's nowhere to put everything, so I'm going to have to take a good, long look at it all, and probably split things up a little.  I'll probably have the bike down for a while, so I'll attack that next weekend, I reckon.

Gwen came over with the kids, and they played with the guinea pigs and threw the ball for Tilly.

I went over to the airfield, and flew most of the way to Woodland (I decided I'd turn back at 19:00, so I'd have ample time to get back and land before it got dark).

August 22nd

Vic went off to a guinea pig event in Marin, and I installed Volkswagen LT style truck mirrors to the van.  They're more stable, but sit in a slightly different place, so will take a little getting used to.

I went over to the airfield, and bought the new sectional map (they came out on Thursday) even though it still doesn't have the freeway on it (it's only been there for ~4 years).  I took the plane up, even though it was bumpy, and didn't have a great time.

I got home just after Vic, as she'd been stuck in traffic.  She had our new helmets that Mike got for us using his contacts and discounts :o)

August 19th

I went to my penultimate chronic pain class.  I was expecting to rush over to the EAA meeting afterwards, but that got cancelled.

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 16th

We watched the processional race from Brno, then went out and got some lunch.

In the evening, I went over to the airfield, and flew over to Marysville and Sutter airports.  I figured I should go home before I ran out of gas, as I hadn't filled up before I left :o)  I added 5 gallons (but not full) when I got back.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 15th

I sat and tinkered with the RFID setup I'm playing with, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm overthinking things :o)  I've been trying to set up a system to reduce the power usage, and everything I have has managed to save me ~20mA.  Eh, why bother?

I took the DRZ over to the airfield for the Norcal Flight Centre pancake breakfast, but being there right at the end meant that I basically missed breakfast :o)  Vic and I went out to get some lunch, after which we pottered about looking at things and stuff until we met Rich at Roseville Honda, where we talked for a while about things and stuff.

August 14th

After work, I went over to the airport and went out to play with Mike :o)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13th

I rode the mountain bike, and it seems maybe a little easier to ride with the new pulleys on it.  It's definitely squeaking less :o)

We celebrated Tilly's birthday this evening, as I was in.  She got a beach ball, and destroyed it in under 20 seconds.

August 12th

I went to my chronic pain class thingy, and listened about stress and mindfulness.

When I got home, I tightened up the oil drain bolts on the DRZ, as there was a little spot under it where it was parked.  I also put a new mounting bolt on the mirror, as I managed to break that tightening it up - I guess I'm lucky it didn't drop off when I was futzing with it while riding :o)  After that, I spent about 10 minutes replacing both pulleys on my mountain bike's rear derailleur - both came in the set, so I figured they could both do with replacing.  There's a plastic bushed one, and a steel bushed one.  I put the steel one in the bottom, as that's what was there before.  While I was at it, I cleaned the rear cogs and re-oiled the chain again, as it was easier than when there's a constant pull on the chain.

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 9th

We killed time until we could watch the excellent MotoGP race from Indianapolis.  I think Valentino needs to work on his qualifying, as he was lapping faster than the leaders for a fair chunk of the race, but it's hard to make your way back from an 8th place start.

I went over to the airfield and finished cleaning the plane, then went out for over an hour and a half - I flew to the Feather River, from there over Far West Lake, and then up to Auburn.  I was going to land there, but there were a couple of planes doing circuits, and landing every few minutes, so I just watched for a while, then went back to the airfield.

While I was up, I'd been getting called for work, despite not being on call - it had pretty much killed my phone's battery.  I spent a while trying to get my phone charged enough that I could answer the call, and when I eventually did, it was a fscking robo-call.  I went home in a huff.

August 8th

I started the day going out to post stuff and get supplies, then changed the oil in the DRZ (it's a pain, as it holds oil in the frame).  I was cleaning the chain on the mountain bike when I found a crack in the lower rear derailleur pulley.  It took me ages to figure out which one I have (apparently there are hundreds of different "Shimano Deore XT" setups) and to order a replacement.  I'm assuming that this has happened at any time in the last 15 years, so I'm not going to stress about it - I'll just replace it when I get the new one.

In the afternoon, I went to the airfield, stopping at the new flight centre to see what they have in stock.  I found out they're having a pancake breakfast next Saturday, so I got them to send me a flyer so we can tell the EAA chapter membership.  When I got to the hangar, it was too windy to fly, so I went with the Jacks to get a root beer float.  When we got back to the airfield, the wind ad calmed down, so I went out for 45 minutes.  The wind (at ground level) was coming from the South, so I headed West, aiming for the Feather River.  The GPS showed a fairly decent ground speed of ~60mph, which made me suspicious - was was showing ~40mph on the way back, having not got as far as the river :o)  When I got back, I made a start on cleaning the plane, as it's got pretty dusty in the hangar.

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 5th

I went to the chronic pain class to listen to a bunch of apocryphal scare stories about medications.  Whatever.  After that, I hammered over to Lincoln for the tail end of the EAA board meeting, then went to the airfield (with pretty much everybody) to see the parts of a Steen Skybolt kit in Jack's hangar - he's trying to get it donated to the chapter, as the owner died a while ago.  I also showed Gary some of the wheels we have on our junk pile at the back of our hangar :o)  It was getting dark on the way home, and the LED headlight on the DRZ seems to work pretty well, but could do with being tilted up slightly (it's lighting up the front mudguard, which is wasted light).

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3rd

I took the day off - it's a comp day for being on call at the weekends.  I cleared out a couple of niggling little things around the house, and played some Warcraft (they've given me a free week to try and get me to come back to playing more regularly).  It seems that you're spending all your time getting resources for the new boat quests, and that's... dull.

I went over to the airfield and fixed Danny's little red cart - we'd used it to move his engine from his side of the hangar to mine, and it was broken then.  Anyway, next time I see him, I'll give it back to him, and he'll be happy, as I think he misses it :o)  It was quite windy, so all the smoke has been blown out.  I went up and did a couple of circuits, but it was a bit late to be doing much else.

August 2nd

I tinkered around the house with various things and stuff, and in the afternoon went over to the airfield and installed a new primer plunger - the old one was leaking when it's being used.  It was a lot less traumatic than I'd expected, and I've taken the old one home to see what the problem is (I bet it's an o-ring that's been dissolved over time by the ethanol in the gas).  If it's easy to fix, that'd be great, but I bought a spare regardless.  Anyway, after that I went out for a flight, and was pretty much kept to a small area by the smoke from the various fires in the area.  I played around with various turns (30 degree, 45 degree, 60 degree, climbing, descending), stalls (I still can't get a good clean break - it just mushes along while losing ~800' a minute) and flying as slowly as I can - just above stall.  When I got back to the airport, I'd been out for an hour and 45 minutes, so I did an extra circuit to make it an even 2 hours when I parked it.  A guy in a pickup came over for a chat - Weston.  He's just bought a Quicksilver ultralight, and is getting ready to fly it in from Woodland.  I told him about the EAA, so here's hoping I see him again :o)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 1st

Power billed
Power generated

I spent most of the day upgrading PCs to Windows 10.  It looks a little bit different, and is maybe a little quicker but it was basically painless.  I did take the time to get the Aten KVM switch on my desktop to work properly - I'd never bothered thinking that the Windows 10 upgrade would fix it.  I had to stop it doing mouse emulation (scroll lock, scroll lock, m, enter) so that the Logitech unifying receiver would work correctly.  On the plus side, it seems to switch a lot faster (not that I ever seem to run both systems at the same time, but if I did...).

July 31st

I looked at the inner tube from the bicycle (in Tilly's paddly pool, which upset her), and it has a tiny pinhole on top - i.e. not where it hits the road.  No idea how that happened, but I'll see if I can get a patch to work.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 30th

No bicycle ride for me today - I have a slow puncture in the front tyre, despite it having one of the thicker section inner tubes in it.  Bugger.

In the evening I put a new tube in, with the usual struggle and cursing due to the V rims.

I tinkered around with my electronics project, but the damned RFID box only seems to put out 3V, which isn't enough to flip a relay, so I'll have to talk to the seller about it.  Maybe I'll just buy another one while I figure this out - they weren't that expensive.

July 29th

It was so hot today that on my bicycle ride, the goats couldn't be bothered to run away from me :o)

In the evening I went to the chronic pain class, and we talked about sleep.  There's a plan where you only allow yourself the number of hours in bed that you sleep for, which sounds interesting but I have no idea how long I sleep, or how many times I wake up.  The thing is, apparently research shows that 4 hours of solid sleep is better than 8 hours of broken sleep.  Maybe I'll  just figure I get 6 hours, and work from there - that'd mean going to bed around midnight, and getting up around 6am.  We'll see.

We discovered that the HTPC wasn't downloading the guide, so it didn't know when stuff was on and record it.  It seems that Microsoft had changed guide providers, and we were one of the systems that didn't catch the change.  I ended up redoing the TV setup to get it to pick up the guide, and it took... a while... to go through all the channels and strip out the stuff we don't get, or want.

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 26th

I played around with some electronics I'm trying to work into a keyless ignition system for the bike.  I've now got it to the point where (on my test harness) I'd pull in the clutch lever to wake the RFID reader, and then have 5 seconds to present the fob to power up an LED.  I've started building the harness for the latching relays that'll actually power up the bike, but I ran out of blue spade connectors so I had to stop.

I went to the airfield and sewed up one of the elastic loops that hold the spare pieces of harness out of the way.  It's, I don't know, stretched maybe, but it's definitely too big.  No longer!  It doesn't slide down and let the loose piece flap around any more.  I was going to play with the compass, but the adjusters are too stiff, so maybe next time.  I took the plane out for almost an hour and a half, and was just starting to put things away when Richard came over to ask for some help putting a Mooney away.  He'd seen me fly over while he was swearing at the electric tug.  We got the plane away, then figured out the problem was the charger built in to the tug, so we left it at that.  After putting my plane away (and filling it up with fuel), I headed home.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 25th

I got up on the roof and washed the solar panels - we're supposed to be saving water, but I figure that's only a couple of buckets' worth, so screw it.  I swear I have ADD.  I was walking down the garden to turn on the water to the hose on the roof... "Oh, dog poop, I'll clear that up.  Is that a weed?".

I installed an LED headlight on the DRZ - I took a bit of time tidying up the wiring and relays and suchlike, as that's another box to keep down there, and there's not that much space.  It looks pretty bright to me, but I'll have to take it out at night to really see if there's a difference.  The light uses 45W, rather than 55 or 60W, and is white rather than yellowish.

We went out to run some errands, and stopped at Roseville Honda to look at some helmets for Vic.  They didn't have the Arai we wanted to look at, but I ran in to Rich, who I haven't seen for years, on his first day working there.  While Rich and I were chatting, Vic found a Shoei she liked, and we played around with that to find it solves a bunch of problems.  I'll investigate it, as I do everything :o)

I went over to the airfield, aiming to tinker with a few things on the plane, but totally failed to do them, and the wind was blowing in almost 90 degrees across the runway, so I gave up.

We met Rich and family for dinner, and ended up standing outside until gone midnight chatting :o)

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 23rd

One of the things I've bought to try on the DRZ is a radial hydraulic clutch lever for a front brake - it fits in smaller and tidier than the one that's on there at the moment.  I took the current one off (luckily not all the way off), and offered up the new radial one.  Him no fit.  It also looks like the stubbier lever wouldn't be long enough.  So, looks like I'll have to buy another bike to use it :)

Thinking about it though, I could maybe put the levers on the other way round - it's currently throttle - switchgear - clutch - brake.  It might fit in throttle - switchgear - brake - clutch.  Something to think about, anyway.  The interesting thing is that I had to get a pressure switch, built in to a banjo fitting.  I didn't know they made those, so live and learn.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 22nd

I went to the chronic pain class, and learned that maybe I should be stopping before I hurt myself when doing things.  Pah, what sort of lesson is that?

July 19th

Russ headed home, and I rested the rest of the day, as I didn't sleep too well.  I'm blaming the new painkiller's interaction with alcohol.

July 18th

Russ was coming up to pick up the trimmed up wing in our garage, so I decided to just tinker with little things, rather than be elbow deep in something when he got here.  I did get an RFID reader to work the way I want it to, so I just need to get the relays and diodes figured out so I can made up a keyless ignition system for the DRZ.

When Russ got here, we went out to dinner, and drinks were quaffed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 16th

I managed to crash on my mountain bike ride, and I've scraped my knees and left elbow.  The left knee took most of the impact, and it's a little sore and stiff at the moment, but hey, at least I know that line through that dip doesn't work :o)

July 15th

I went to the chronic pain class, where I discovered that radio frequency nerve ablation tends to only work for a year or so.

After that, I made it over to the EAA membership meeting in time for the last 20 minutes or so.  We raised just over $8,000 for the chapter at the Tri-motor event :o)

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 12th

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from the Sachsenring.  It's weird to think there's almost a month until the next race :o(

Still on call, I decided to find all the parts for a few tasks on the DRZ I've thought about.  I ordered all manner of electronics stuff and nonsense, so now I just need to wait for it all to show up.

We watched "Chappie".

July 11th

I was on call, and a lot busier than I usually like at the weekend, so I didn't get anything meaningful done.  We did watch "Maggie" though.

July 10th

The Roomba went back together just fine, and I discovered that it'll run on a glass table, so you can check that the brushes are rotating :o)

We watched "Focus".

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 9th

I've been playing with the Roomba, as it's having problems due to a little pin dropping out - it looks like it's now damaged the plate that the pin sits into.  I tried putting some duct tape in to hold the pin in place (it's sliding through the back of the mounting), but it punched through that quickly.
While you can buy the whole gearbox unit, I thought I'd try epoxying the pin in, so it won't move any more, and the gear will spin on it just fine.  I had to take far more apart than I have previously, and I've left it to dry overnight.  Hopefully this fixes it once and for all.

July 8th

I went to my first chronic pain program meetings.  They spent an hour and a half telling us what they'll be telling us from now on, so I'm hoping it'll get better from now.  I did, however, get away at 18:30, so there's a chance I can make the EAA meetings I'd been thinking I was going to miss.  They said they'll be looking at our medical files, so I'm hoping that they'll see that there's a relatively simple procedure (ultrasonic ablation) to fix my pain issues, and I can get that sooner rather than later.

July 7th

We watched "Kingsman".

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 5th

After pottering around the house all day, I went to the airfield and tinkered with the compass on the plane - I need to try again with a non-magnetic screwdriver, as it's a pain waiting for the thing to settle down.  After that I did a circuit, but it was too bumpy to have any sort of fun, so I put everything away and went home after that.

July 4th

Today was Independence Day, when American celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by going shopping, drinking and setting fire to things.

I pottered around in the garage working on things and stuff until it was time to distract Tilly from the fireworks, and we did that by throwing the ball for her and watching "Escape Plan" and "John Wick" - both surprisingly good movies :o)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 3rd

I started the day tinkering with an old digital camera, and taking it apart.  Unfortunately I buggered up one of the connectors, so I gave up and threw it away.  These things aren't supposed to be taken apart, I guess.

In the evening I went over to the airfield and took the plane out for an hour or so.  It wasn't too bumpy at all.  Interestingly, I managed to forget to turn the noise reduction on with the new headset, and it wasn't too bad - I deliberately chose a set where it'd work without power, as there are some where they go completely dead when the batteries fail.

When I got home, we watched "Focus" while distracting Tilly from the fireworks that went off around 21:00.  I expect tomorrow to be much worse.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 1st

It's a new month, so here are the power stats...

Power billed

Power generated

I tinkered with the air conditioner a little, and managed to get the fan to come on.  No compressor though.

Vic had been freaking out about the guinea pigs overheating, so Gwen and Walter came over with a block of ice and a fan to cool the guinea pig room.  Apparently Tilly and I can just suck it up.

I took the capacitors out of the AC, and went to ye olde capacitor shoppe.  The guy there tested both capacitors, and we saw the big (compressor) one wasn't working, while the little (fan) one was OK, as I'd thought.  I put the new big one, and the old little one back in, and the air conditioner came on eventually, and cooled the house down.

June 30th

I got up stupid early and rode to the office for different scenery for a day.  After a hot (>115F) ride home, I found that the air conditioner had stopped working.  Basic tinkering made it look like the contactor (a glorified relay) was the problem.

June 29th

Tilly got in the pond again, and this time started splashing about, which probably isn't good.  We broke down and got her paddly pool out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 28th

I've been trying to get rid of the armoire in the bedroom (long term plan is to mount the TV in the front room on the wall, and put an OLED in there when they drop in price), and a guy came and gave me money for it.  The bedroom is a lot bigger without it :o)

After her usual late afternoon run around the garden, Tilly settled into the pond to cool down.  She's upset that we don't have her paddly pool out (there's a drought - I don't think she's been following the news).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 27th

It's been bloody hot recently, so the chance to have a day where it only got to the low 90s was nice.

We watched the excellent race for Assen - I don't care what anybody says, Marquez wasn't going to make that corner the way he charged up under Rossi, so I'm glad Valentino won.

In the afternoon, I went over to the airfield.  I've been playing around with the idea of noise cancelling headsets, so I've bought one.  I played with it - it's interesting, as it cuts out the lower frequencies, but leaves the higher ones.  That means the engine sounds a little weird, but the microphone doesn't kick in unless I speak, so that's a plus.  Anyway, I was out for an hour, but the updraughts under the clouds were a bit exciting.

June 26th

We went to a bar that Vic goes to with one of her friends and watched a live band play.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 23rd

John and Mike are in town for work, so we went and met them for dinner.  It was funny, as it took forever to get our order, so they brought us something else to tide us over in the meantime.  I have to wonder - if you can cook and bring us salmon, why can't you cook and bring us what we ordered?

June 21st

I started the day installing a winch system that Dad got me for the bicycle.  Interestingly, it seems to want to mount to the 4" wide part of a 2x4, where that'd be the vertical side.  So I used a couple of spare pieces of 2x4, and mounted them to the beams in the garage, then mounted the winch to those.  It's actually a lot of work to winch the bicycle up, and I'd need to find somewhere to mount the holder for the rope (I'd assumed that it'd hold itself, as there's a sort of latching system).  Anyway, I decided that I could hook the thing up to the old hooks quicker than I could winch the thing up, so we took it down.  I am, however, going to look at maybe winching the hang glider up to the roof with it.

Of course, I felt like flying, so it was windy all bloody afternoon.

June 20th

I wasn't really feeling it, so I didn't do anything interesting today.  Yay!

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 14th

We started the day watching the crashtastic MotoGP race from Catalunya, then went out for a shopping expedition (we only seem to have bought animal food).  I tinkered about with various things and stuff, then went to the airfield.  I replaced zip ties, replaced the rear tube in my airfield bicycle (slow puncture, methinks), then took the plane out for just over an hour.  It was still gusty, but I haven't flown for a little while, so I coped :o)  When I got home, we watched the Game of Thrones finale.  All men must die.

June 13th

I spent the morning playing with making a video of the Cozy jet for Frank.

In the afternoon I went over to the airfield and dropped the needles in the carbs in the plane (I raised them when it was colder as I was seeing the EGTs going up).  It was gusty, and I found a couple of old zip ties that needed replacing, so I just went home.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 9th

After spending the morning killing time, I dropped Dad off at the airport, and went home to try and catch up with things and stuff before I go back to work tomorrow.  Boo.

June 8th

Dad and I went out to get him Jelly Belly beans, and look at things and stuff.  When Vic got home, we went out for barbecued meats.

June 7th

At the airshow again, we managed 30 flights, and, we believed, broke the record for the most passengers flown.  OK, we cheated a little, as we sent up a whole bunch of us at the end (I sent Vic and Dad in my stead, as somebody needed to do the safety briefing).

June 6th

When we got to the airfield, it looked like a bomb had gone off.  Luckily there were several guys staying over, and they'd managed to pull the covers off most of the pop-up shelters, but a couple were just mangled metal.  We spent a while figuring out which covers went on which frames, and then started flying people.  Dad was helping out with the plane handling, and I was helping out with the people handling, and we managed to get in 28 flights before we called it a day.  Thunder clouds seemed to be scaring people away, so it was a pretty early evening.

June 5th

We were at the airfield again, and we decided that we weren't going to be selling any pictures, so we pitched in and helped out with managing the public.  In the afternoon, it started to cloud over, and while we were eating pizza, it rained a bit.  Not enough to solve the drought, obviously, but there was thunder and lightning.

June 4th

We spent the day at the airfield, helping out with the media day.  Gary took Dad up in his Pietenpol, and I took Russ up in the Flightstar and terrified him.  Mike joined us, and took pictures, but nobody was buying any.

We all got to take flights in the Tri-motor, and I managed to get the co-pilot seat and fly the thing :o)

In the evening, Vic went out and got us Chinese food for dinner as we were all too damn tired to do anything.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3rd

I spent some time updating the EAA website and writing some documents while Russ and Dad went out to test his new brakes - there'd been smoke on the first test drive yesterday.  Looks like everything works OK now.

We went over to the airfield for the membership barbecue and meeting - Colin, the pilot of the Tri-motor presented information about the aircraft's history.

June 2nd

I went over to the hospital for a check up on my cracked scaphoid, and it seems like it's pretty much healed, so I don't need to wear the splint any more.

We worked on Russ' car most of the day, changing the brake discs and pads all round.  Having done it, we could do it a lot faster now, especially as we now have stuff like a T27 Torx drive and an 18'' spanner.

At the end of the day, we went over to Lincoln to look at the Raspberry Pi I'd built to show slides.  It hadn't worked on Monday, and I couldn't see that there was a problem with the Pi, whereas the projector it was hooked up to didn't want to react to anything other than the power button.  I'd taken my laptop, and that didn't work with it either.

We stopped at Mel's Diner for something to eat on the way home, and when we got home I tested the RPi on my monitor - it worked flawlessly.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed

Power generated

I dicked about touching up paint around the house for a while, then settled in to wait for Russ and Dad to show up.  Show up they did.

May 31st

I started the day over at the airfield helping put the finishing touches to the hangar that the Tri-motor is being stored in.  While we were working, Richard was swapping text messages with the Tri-motor crew and it looked like it was going to be coming in today, rather than Monday.  When all was done, I went and managed to meet Vic and Jen for lunch.  When we got home, we watched "The Theory of Everything" and tooled around the house until Richard texted to say the plane was going to be in around 19:00.  As it got to ~18:00, we were just getting ready to head out when he texted to say it was going to be in around 19:50.  We went out to the airfield, and it finally showed up around 20:20 - just before it got dark.  Richard had driven up to Redding and ridden down in the co-pilot seat of the Tri-motor, the git :o)

May 30th

I spent the morning talking to Comcast about why my internet bill shouldn't double just because it's been a year since we'd had the exact same discussion.  While I was doing that, I knocked together a Raspberry Pi setup to run a slideshow for the Tri-motor events.  I even built a rudimentary case for it out of several layers of Coroplast so I don't have to worry about some dumbass breaking it.

In the afternoon, I went over to the airport and took the Flightstar out for an hour, despite it (still) being quite windy.

When I got home, we watched "The Hunger Games 3".  It was funny, because the way it starts, we thought maybe we'd missed a movie or something.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 27th

I went over to Frank and Lisa's to get a thumb drive full of video of the Cozy - Frank's thumb drive seems to be corrupting files, so I dropped his off and he put the videos on mine.  Maybe I'll get time to look at that at the weekend.

May 25th

Today was Memorial Day, when Americans remember their war dead by going shopping.

Tilly and I went for a long and exciting walk through the park.  She got to steal a tennis ball from a passing toddler, drop it so it rolled off the bridge and then retrieve and return it.  We met Vic at Starbucks on the way home, where she got some whipped cream and water.

We replaced a part of the fence that was rotting - basically we're trying to get the fence to hold on as long as possible before it all needs replacing.

We barbecued in the evening, like pretty much everybody else.  It's a marker for the beginning of summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24th

I collected up the remains of the recycling, and dropped a bunch of it on the floor in the garage, meaning there was broken glass everywhere.  We cleared that up, even getting the vehicles out so the floor is swept and cleaner than it's been since I sealed it.  I then headed out and dropped it off (cardboard goes to one place, cans and bottles go to another).  Eventually I ended up at the airfield, where I dropped off the old pushbike, then decided to take the plane out.  Mind you, it was 11:00, rather than the evening.  The wind hadn't got up yet, but there were a lot of thermals around, so, having passed an eagle at 800' who looked at me like I was crazy, I headed back.

At home I did a bunch of work on the spreadsheet that holds my log book, basically to make it line up with my hard copy log book better (and I can have the computer figure out the totals for everything at the end of the page now).

We had intended to barbecue, but Richard called to ask us to dinner to say "thanks" for me dumping a pile of old model railway stuff I don't need on him, so we had pizza instead :o)

May 23rd

I starred the day in the garage, repairing a puncture on the older pushbike... it's been down with a slow puncture for a while.  I only discovered it when I was thinking about taking it to the airfield for running around, rather than walking everywhere like a schmuck.  Anyway, that's fixed.  I put together the rail for the timelapse setup, now I just need to decide how to drive it.  I knocked apart one of the surplus old pieces of wood with my hand axe, the started work on the van.  I took out the spacers I'd put on the front wheels when I was running 235 section tyres, as now it's down to 215s, I don't think they're necessary.  I then started work on installing a headlight relay.  I already have a high beam relay, as that's 220W that doesn't need to run through the light switch, but I've been thinking that the normal low beams are on more, so now (with Vic's help) that 110V doesn't come through the light switch either.  I was tidying up the recycling when the sliding door on the van rolled all the way back hard enough to break the latch for the sliding window (it was sitting on the sloped driveway at the time), so I got to bring it back in while I fixed that with some longer screws.  It never ends, does it?

I did some tinkering with some videos Frank's given me of the Cozy jet, but I can only read half of them.  I'm blaming him, as I even downloaded the GoPro software, and it couldn't handle them.

In the evening, we watched "Interstellar", which was pretty good.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 20th

We went to the EAA membership meeting, and heard about the final plans for the Tri-motor.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17th

After we watched the excellent Le Mans MotoGP race, I tinkered around with the trolley for the time lapse system I'm building.  Despite having to chase around for more parts (where we tried a new pizza place), I managed to get it all together and working - it rolls just fine.  I still need to build the rails, and figure out the motor system.

Vic's been reorganising all the junk down the side of the house, and I got involved in some of that.

May 16th

I spent some time tinkering in the garage, but needed parts.  We went out to pick up bits, and after that I went over to the airfield.  It was pretty windy, but I took the plane out for about 45 minutes.  When I got back, I ended up chatting to Jack until almost midnight.  Luckily I texted Vic to say I was OK before she called the police :o)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

May 12th

Rolie Polie Olie, our Roomba, hasn't been picking up fluff for a while.  The fan's running, as it's blowing air out the back, but I thought the brushes weren't turning (I can't find a way to test that, as when it's on its back, it won't run), so I took the gearbox apart.  There was a lot of hair in there, but I think one of the pins had slipped out, allowing a cog to freewheel rather than pass the drive to the brushes.  Hopefully that's fixed :o)

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 10th

We dinked around with some stuff for the EAA, and in the afternoon went over to the airfield to reset the fuel probe in the Flightstar.  When we finished, a full tank was registering 100, but after turning it off and on again, it went down to something in the 20s.  I'm pretty sure the probe's buggered, and needs replacing.  Oh well.  We went out for a flight, but the wind's been weird for a couple of weeks, and was still weird, so we gave up after about 40 minutes.

May 9th

Vic's fish tank has been condemned, as it's a) got a snail problem and b) got some sort of bacterial problem.  The vet said to move the fish to a new tank, and destroy this one.  I'm pretty sure bleach and sunlight'll kill most bacteria, but this thing is old, and shows a lot of water damage, so we went and looked at new tanks.  We're currently thinking about a corner tank, which'll obviously need a new stand, lid, pump, lighting etc.  So we'll probably get working on that sooner rather than later, as it'll have to sit and allow everything to settle for a month or so before we can move fish into it.  I'm hoping we can get some sparkly fish too, as the full spectrum LED lights they use now make them light up well.

We took the old TV over to Gwen's (it's too big and heavy to put in a car, after all), and got that all set up.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 6th

I went to the board meeting at the airport, and we got a bunch of Tri-motor stuff decided.  It's less than a month away, so it's all sort of downhill from here :o)

May 4th

I had the day off - originally it had been to drive all the way to Redwood City for a doctor's appointment, but I managed to convince them that a 10 minute phone call would be better on a telephone, rather than after a 3 hour drive.  Yay.  What my GP had described as a cyst on my spinal cord is just scar tissue, so there's no need for an operation there.  I'm being referred to a pain specialist, with the view that I can spend the rest of my life on painkillers rather than get cut in to.  We'll see how that goes, but there are 3 surgical techniques (in increasing order of invasiveness) that we can look at yet.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 3rd

We watched the processional MotoGP race, and wasted the rest of the day - it was too gusty to fly and have fun.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 2nd

I got up early and went to Lincoln to hand out flyers for the EAA Tri-motor event.  We started out with Dusty in a tucked away corner by the garbage cans, and then they put a bouncy castle in front of us.  Bruce went and talked to the organisers, and we moved to a far more prominent place, and started handing out flyers.  There was a car show and a chili cook-off going on, and I should have entered the van as loads of people were looking at it (I could have even cooked chili in it).

When that all rolled up, we folded the wings and headed back to the airfield.  I hadn't originally planned on going back, but I had all the junk in the van, so back I went.  When we'd put Dusty away, I ended up chatting with Frank and helping him mount a couple of cameras to the Cozy.  I finally rolled home in time to go and get a pizza for dinner and catch up on some TV.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 1st

New month...

Power billed

Power generated

In the evening, we went to a local "biker bar", with 1 bike parked outside it, so we could shout at Vic's cow-orker Connie and they could dance.

April 28th

John's in town, and we met him and his cow-orker Michael at the airfield so I could take them both for a quick flight.  It was pretty windy, but my landings weren't terrible.  Afterwards we went to dinner, and we left them driving in sad little circles in the Fry's car park.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 26th

I spent some time in the garage getting the final extra bit cut off the part of the wing I'm hoping to make a table out of.  I'm now out of cutoff wheels for my Dremel, and I've work out the metal cutting bits for my oscillating tool.  Oh, and I broke a couple of drill bits, for good measure.

April 24th

My doctor's been trying to get hold of me (they still had my Mountain View phone number), and finally managed to today.  So, it seems that I have a fractured scaphoid in my right hand, and a cyst growing on my spine by the C7 vertebra... I'm assuming that's partly scar tissue.  So, I went in to get poked and prodded some more, and a fetching splint to immobilise my right hand.  That I'm supposed to wear like 24 hours a day for the next 8 weeks.  Joy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 22nd

I went out and built up a box above the fridge in the van, just so it doesn't look so unfinished.  It's not great, but it's better than the bare hole that was in there before.

While I was working on the van, the postie delivered the mail, including my new pedal covers from Thailand, so immediately stopped what I was doing and fitted the brake one to match the pedal I put on the accelerator years ago :o)

April 21st

On the way out to get a blood test (I'm still supposed to get a tetanus shot - that'll teach me to go to the doctor), I stopped and picked up another 400 stamps.  On the way home, I stopped in at a couple of local breakers' yards to see if I could get a tan panel to work on in the back of the van, but no :o(

It was really windy:

so when I got home I just sat and did the flyers for the EAA - finally finishing the last 400 of the original 1,000 of them.

When Vic got home, we went and swapped the TV, as the dark bit was really bothering me, and dropped off the remaining EAA flyers.

When we got home, I spent some time setting the TV up (it needs an update as soon as you start playing with it, then there's the calibration that takes a while).  I figured out the problems I was having with the HTPC were due to still having the old NVidia drivers, so I removed those and installed the ATI drivers (again), now everything's fine :o)

April 20th

I've been getting nagged about taking some time off at work, so I've taken the week off.

I spent a while folding, labelling and stamping stuff for the EAA while sort of watching TV, then I went to drop those off at the post office (the little post slot thing outside won't hold that many letters).

It's been a while, so I went to see the quack about a few issues I've been having with my right arm.  For the sudden reduction in rotation, I was sent to get x-rays, and for the pain, I was sent to get an MRI.  That's a lot less fun than TV would lead you to believe.  And I was in the noisy machine for over an hour, so I'm expecting a great 3D model to look at :o)  It was kind of nice that the weather was being odd, as I didn't get home until ~17:30, so it would have been a struggle to get to the airfield and get out for a decent amount of time before it started to get dark.

Vic and I watched TV and continued folding and labelling the EAA flyers for the evening.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 19th

I tinkered with the new TV some more, but Vic has pointed out a darker 3" stripe on the right hand side of the screen, so I have a feeling it'll end up going back - we'll see if they have another one (I thought we'd got the last one).  Bugger.

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from Argentina.  I'd written Rossi off for any chance of winning, as he was so far behind, but what do I know?

I spent some time updating the EAA website, and we watched some TV on the new... TV.

April 18th

We went out on an expedition to buy things and stuff, and came back with a new television, amongst other things and stuff.

We went to the Roseville Earth Day event, and looked at all the hippies, while I looked at the electric cars - there weren't any electric motorcycles this year.

When we got back, I got the TV installed, and started the arduous process of calibrating it, and getting the Harmony remote set up to use it.

In the afternoon I went to the airfield, chatted with Richard, Lance and Jim, then went and found that the fuel sender correction factor on the Flightstar was correct, so I'll need to re-initialise that, and possibly replace the damned thing if that doesn't fix it.  When Jim had taken off, I got the plane out and it looked like Jack was going to fly over to Far West Lake, so I started doing some circuits while I waited for him.  Gary and the Danny joined me, but it was getting too close to getting dark when Jack finally took off, so I did a few more circuits and landed.  While I was doing circuits, Vince had arrived in a Rans S-4 that he's just finished tarting up.  We chatted for a while before he had to head out to get home before dark.  Jack and Danny landed just as the sun disappeared over the horizon, and they fly faster than I do, so I figure that was a good decision.

Friday, April 17, 2015

April 15th

I went to the EAA membership meeting / barbecue, and watched Nick's talk about a Czech plane he's going to be importing for sale.

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 12th

I played with the video I shot with Danny, mainly concentrating on the bits you can (just about) see Danny in.  I should get closer to him next time we do this.

We hoisted Russ' wing up to the rafters in the garage, as I've run out of things to do with it for the moment.

We grabbed a takeout lunch and watched the (ho-hum, delayed) MotoGP race from Austin, and later went to the airfield to try and fix the fuel level sender on the plane.  This involves draining and refilling the tank, but didn't take too long.  Although it seemed like it was working correctly, it went from 100% to 33% when we went out for a quick circuit, so I think I need to do that all over again :o(

In the evening, we folded, addressed and stamped 200 letters for the EAA - I'm hoping to get those posted before the membership meeting on Wednesday (that's too many for the little mailbox by the house!).

April 11th

We dropped Vic's Bolt off for a service, then went to breakfast and to look at helmets.  It's weird, she has an Arai Vector at the moment, but the Vector 2 is too big for her.  They didn't have an extra small, but the larger liner made the small uncomfortable.  After lots of helmets tried on, we think the solution is an RX-Q in an extra small.  Oh, but the colour she likes is out of stock, and the distributor doesn't even have any.  Joy.

We went back to pick up the Bolt, but it wasn't ready, so after we'd been home for a while, they called to say we could pick it up.  And pick it up we did.

I then went to the airfield, and set out for a flight with Danny, but he got spooked by the bouncy air and turned back.  I followed him to make sure he was OK, and I've suggested he tighten up his harness a bit, as I don't think that's helping.  I then went out for a flight until it was almost dark before coming home.

Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10th

I got to drill out the remainder of the captive nuts from Russ' wing desk.  Yay.  I'm considering my job done now - it's up to Russ to strip the paint, polish, paint and mount it on legs.

April 9th

I managed to drill out a bunch of the captive nuts from Russ' wing desk.  The problem is that they're smooth fit, and they've been painted over, so it's tricky to figure out where the rivets are.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 8th

It was the latest Tri-motor meeting, so I drove over to Lincoln.  The meeting room we were expecting to be in was double-booked, so we ended up in the regular restaurant, and it was hard to be heard properly, meaning we took a lot longer than we anticipated.

When we left, I went over to the airfield and dropped off the piece of the horizontal stabiliser that I'd cut at the weekend.

April 5th

As the weather was inclement, I tinkered around in the garage and installed the leading edge properly on Russ' future desk, and cut the outer tip off my part of the horizontal stabiliser.  I'll probably shorten the piece I have left, but it's a lot better than the 2 long pieces I started with - I can actually move around in the garage a bit more now.  I have a few things to do on Russ' desk, then I'll try and get it up into the roof of the garage out of the way.

In the evening, we watched "Lucy", which was entertaining enough if you ignore the flawed premise.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 4th

I'd been thinking about the eclipse, so obviously I woke up at around 2am and couldn't get back to sleep.

I quickly set up my happy snap (running CHDK) to take a time-lapse, and went back to bed.

I still couldn't sleep, so I got up again and knocked out a quick video I'd shot of the green grass here at the moment.  Obviously that'll all be dead soon.

When the moon disappeared behind the trees next door, I took some pictures with my DSLR, and knocked up a timelapse of the eclipse.

After dorking around a bit more (we've let the Warcraft subscription lapse for the moment, as we're getting bored of the same daily quests), I went over to the airfield for the Young Eagles event, where it was cold and windy - there were about 20 kids who showed up, but we were expecting more (there were 38 pre-registrations).  Most of the time there were more volunteers than there were kids to be flown, so we stood around shivering and talking.  After that I went on a quest for some gear oil, and eventually found some.  I headed over to the hangar and checked that the drain plug on the gearbox wasn't leaking any more, and it's not.  I took out the level plug, expecting to have to add oil, but it drained out a little oil, so it was fine.  I safety wired everything up and went for a flight to heat cycle the thing.  It was very bumpy, and not really enjoyable at all, but 45 minutes later the landing was pretty good, bearing in mind the gusty conditions.