Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23rd

We went to IKEA in Sacramento so Vic could get some storage stuff, and stopped at Costco (I love you) on the way back.  I think I'll be living on peanuts from now until the big tub I bought is finished.

I went over to the airfield and talked to Vince about Jack's projects, then changed the front tyre before going up for a short flight.  It was warm enough to not wear a jacket, but a bit bumpy, so I ended up not staying out for very long.

April 22nd

Today was Earth Day, so Tilly and I went over to Mahaney Park to see the show.  Roseville Electric confirmed that you can't have a permit to generate more than 100% of your power usage.  We didn't hang around for long, as Tilly wasn't happy with the running fire engine and garbage truck.

I went over to the airfield and chatted with Chris about some of Jack's junk^H^H^H^Hproject aircraft.  I reckon the Flighstar that was never finished would do him just fine.  I tidied up a bit of the wiring for the strobe controller (that I've taken off for the moment), then took the plane out for a bunch of circuits.

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 19th

I went over to the airport for the EAA meeting about instrument approaches.  They're very complicated :o)

April 16th

The forecast was for rain, but the Warcraft servers were down, so Tilly and I went over to the airfield and reinstalled the compass, and took the strobe controller (that's stopped working) off the plane.

Shortly after lunch, it started raining, but the Warcraft servers were back up, so it wasn't an awful day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 15th

We started the day with Vic renting a carpet cleaner while I put the family room rug out on the patio, and then we spent a few hours washing it to try and get the fish emulsion smell out.  We seem to have been pretty successful.

In the afternoon, I went to the airfield with a couple of things to look at.  I took the compass out to try and refill it, but couldn't get the cap off, so I went for a bunch of circuits (almost 2 hours!) and took the compass home.  I managed to get the cap off and fill it most of the way.

April 14th

The rear brake pads needed changing on the Jeep - the fronts don't look too bad at all.  The pads arrived, so I got those installed in the evening (it doesn't get dark until 19:30 or so).

April 9th

The weather wasn't too bad, but I just didn't feel great, so I wasted the day playing on the computer.

April 8th

It was raining on and off, so I just played Warcraft.

One of us ate a load of fish emulsion that was being used in the garden, and then threw it up on the rug in the family room, so I spent a fair amount of the day trying to get that cleaned out.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 5th

I called Roseville Electric about putting more solar panels on the roof, for a possible electric car.  I'm not allowed to generate more power than I've used in the previous year, so basically I'd have to get the car, use the electrickery, then after a year I could look at putting up enough panels to generate more power.

Right now I think I'm ~500W of panels from breaking even, so basically it isn't going to happen until after I maybe get an electric car.

In the evening, I went to Lincoln for the EAA Board meeting.  Fun times.

April 4th

I got out on the pushbike at lunchtime, and I've figured out a new route... it's about 11.5 miles, and there are bits I can add in if I want to go a little further.

I had intended to go flying in the evening, but there was a wall of dark cloud approaching Lincoln, so I gave up on that idea.

April 2nd

Another windy day, so I stayed home and played Warcraft.

April 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed

Power generated

I started the day at the airfield cooking breakfast at the EAA hangar.  It looked like the wind was going to pick up so I scratched any idea of flying, and went and did stuff around the house.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 29th

We went over to Vic's storage unit to hand over some stuff to Gwen and Walter for their garage sales to fund a swing set for the kids.  After that, we went to dinner :o)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 28th

I managed to get out on my bicycle for the first time this year.  A lot of the trails I use have been buggered up by the rain over the last few months, so I'm going to have to work out new routes.

In the evening, I went over to the Chevy dealer to see the orange Bolt in normal sunlight (it was overcast on Sunday when we looked at it).  No, still copper.

I got called for work in the evening, and spent hours working on a problem until I could pass it off to the Europeans to look at.  I need a vacation.

March 26th

We went and did some running around, and ended up at the Chevrolet dealer so I could see the Bolt in orange.  It looks copper, so meh.  We had a long chat with a sales dude (who admitted he didn't know much about the car, which was refreshing).  I got to show Vic the view from above thing on the Premium model, and she really liked it.  We're negotiating, as the Jeep is coming up on 7 years old now :o)

March 25th

Vince came over so I could pay him for the annual on the plane, and give him a toy Mini, and we spent a few hours putting the world to rights.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 19th

We pottered around doing nothing much, as I was still pretty tired from yesterday being a long assed day.

March 18th

I flew to Salt Lake City, then on to Sacramento.  SLC is actually pretty efficient as a first port into the US, at least a lot faster than Los Angeles.  Tilly kind of remembered me.

March 17th

We went to the Retreat, at the end of Mum and Dad's road, where we ran into Vince while we were waiting for Caroline, Rom and Juno the dog to arrive.

Friday, March 17, 2017

March 16th

I met Jason, Fiona and Rob for dinner in Staines.

March 15th

I took the train in to Wokingham to see Phil and Andy, a couple of guys I used to work with at HP, and Samsung in Andy's case.

March 14th

I had been aiming to see Terry, Vince and Emma, but her mum was sick, so i just had a quiet night.

March 13th

We went and had dinner with Barry and Veronica, who I haven't seen for years.

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 12th

We went down to Sussex to see an aunt I haven't seen for over 20 years.

March 10th

Sue was supposed to be coming down, but didn't.  I went and met Jason and Laura.  Eventually.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 8th

I met Jason for dinner. When I got home, I got to try and help Caroline get her new printer working.  Over Facebook messenger. I think we were successful.

March 7th

We went to the chippie :o)

March 6th

We rewired one of Dad's storage heaters, as the switch had failed.  In the evening, I went out to dinner with Emma.

March 5th

I arrived in the UK, and spent the day eating bacon sandwiches and drinking Lift.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March 4th

I started the day at the airfield, cooking breakfasts.

Then I went and caught a plane to Salt Lake City, where I sat next to a very entertaining drunk girl, and on to Heathrow, where I had a row to myself :o)

March 1st

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

Power generated

In the evening, I went to the EAA board meeting.  We had it at a restaurant in Lincoln, rather than the usual pizza place, as the pizza place is shutting down :o(

Monday, February 27, 2017

February 25th

We (including Tilly) went to Sacramento for a van meetup.  Tilly was wiped out by the time we came home :o)

February 20th

Today was President's Day, when Americans celebrate George Washington's birthday by going shopping.

It was wet and blowy, so I celebrated George Washington's birthday by playing Warcraft.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 18th

The weather's pretty crappy, so all I achieved today was posting my state taxes (I submitted the Federal stuff online).

February 15th

The last tax form was posted, so I got my taxes finished.  Thanks to the £'s drop in value due to the Brexit, I'll be getting a refund from the Feds and the state this year :o)

February 12th

I spent the day farting around on the computer, then went flying, where I flew over the Feather Rive to see how the flooding looks at the moment.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 11th

The highlight of my day was changing the oil in the Jeep - I did some other minor tweaks while I was looking at it.

In the evening, we watched "Sully" - an entertaining enough film, but massively inaccurate about the role of the NTSB.

Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10th

I took the van over for a wheel alignment.  It was steering to the right, and the tyres were making scuffing noises, so I'm glad the road was wet, and it's only a few miles to the alignment place.  It took an hour or so, and everything's great now.

February 9th

I went out into the garage, mounted the speed cable to the dust cover, and installed that on the van.  Then I bled up the brake caliper on that side (all the brake fluid had run out of the open line), and reinstalled the wheel.  Then I put all the tools away and took the van off the axle stand for the first time in weeks and weeks.  I took the van out for a short drive, and it seemed OK, with a little scrubbing on the tyres.  I've made an appointment for a wheel alignment :o)

February 8th

When Vic had left for work (so I had the space), I went out and mounted the hub, disc and caliper to the van.  Sadly, the mount for the brake line wouldn't mount like it had on the old upper ball joint, so I had to wait for Vic to get home to help me take the ball joint mounting bolt off and put the brake line bracket underneath it, then put it all back on again.  We then struggled, and eventually managed, to get the brake line connected to the caliper.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 7th

Once it had warmed up a little, I went out into the garage and tidied up the spindle, masked it off and threw some Rustoleum paint on it. While waiting for that to dry, I turned down an old bearing race and used it as a drift to mount the races in the hub.  Then I went inside and watched a movie while killing time.  I went back out, and mounted the lower ball joint on the ball joint adapter, but I didn't think that the ball joint would rotate on itself - luckily there's an 11mm straight edge so you can hold the ball joint still while tightening it up.  I found the tie rod end and the upper ball joint had a 5mm Allen fitting, and got the tie rod done, but not the upper ball joint as I just couldn't get everything to line up.  I greased up the bearings and put them in the hub, then waited for Vic to get home so I could get a hand to mount the upper ball joint.  Progress is being made :o)

February 6th

I've taken the week off to stop me capping out my holiday.

I checked The Green Button forum, and people are starting to see guide data appear in Windows Media Center.  I started an update, and lo and behold, it worked.  I like it when I don't really have to do anything :o)

I ran Vic to work in the rainstorm so I'd have the use of the Jeep, and she wouldn't get soaked riding in.

Tony has a hydraulic press, so I went over to press out the ball joint I need to replace on the spindle for the van.  It's tricky to get the thing all lined up, so he ended up just hitting everything with a large lump hammer to get it all apart, and tapping the new ball joint in with a drift made from a piece of steel tube.  Hey, it works :o)

I was almost on the freeway when he called to say his lunch appointment had cancelled, so I turned around and headed back.  We picked up Bruce and went to lunch.

At home, I got the ball joint adapter back on the van, and put the new bearings in the freezer to make them easier to fit.

I even remembered to pick Vic up from work :o)

We watched "Seventh Son" in the evening.

February 5th

The weather sucked, and I'm out of things I can do on the van for the moment, so I pretty much wasted the day.

There's been a problem with the Windows Media Center guide download for the last few week, and I've been following progress on The Green Button forum.  It's funny that the first few pages are people talking about the problem, workarounds, what they've done, then there are 10 pages of people saying "me too" and whining about Microsoft when if they'd read the whole thread, they'd have seen it's a Rovi problem that's affecting Microsoft.  They've just noticed because WMC popped up and told them they only had 3 days of guide data left.  Anyway, here's hoping they get it fixed before it runs out on Tuesday so I don't have to spend Tuesday figuring out EPG123.

In the evening, we watched "The Huntsman: Winter'sWar".

February 4th

I started the day at the airport cooking breakfasts - the weather was crappy, but Tim's Carbon Cub was out of the hangar for maintenance, so we didn't have to feel bad about it sitting in the rain.

We ran about picking stuff up and running errands.  We stopped by the Chevy dealer, as their website shows that they have an orange Bolt, but they don't have an orange Bolt.

I picked up a ball joint splitter, and found that it wasn't big enough to fit the ball joint I wanted to split with it, so I went and swapped it for a pickle fork - a split wedge chisel, basically.  We used that and broke one ball joint on the van out, but I couldn't get it to work on the other one I wanted to split.  Oh well.

Friday, February 3, 2017

February 2nd

I got Vic's taxes all ready to go.  I'm still waiting for stuff so I can do mine, and it looks like that'll be another couple of weeks.  FML.

February 1st

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

Power generated

In the evening, I went to the EAA board meeting.  Looks like we'll need to find another place for these, as Pizza Round-Up's probably closing soon.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 31st

I've been sent a VOIP phone for work, so I've got that set up using ethernet over powerline to my desk, then power over ethernet into the phone.  I don't know why, but that makes me smile, as it's totally stupidly overcomplicated.  They don't seem to have WiFi phones, or I'd have tried for one of those.

January 30th

A guy on the Faceberk Van page was looking for a zip for the tent, so I cut up the old tent that I'd managed to tear a hole in, and sent the front panel to him.  Hopefully he'll get that by the middle of the week, as I dropped it off at a post box to go tomorrow.

I went to the airfield, did some circuits, went away for a bit, came back and did a couple more circuits then parked the plane for the day.  I'm thinking I need to replace the front tyre soon, but I want to get the van fixed first - I hate having more than one thing broken at any one time.

January 28th

The replacement spindle for the van came in during the week, with a lot of unnecessary crap on it, so I spent some time taking that apart.  Sadly the ball joints are ruined, so I'll have to get somebody to press those out and press new ones in.  Oh well.

As the weather was nice, I went out to the airfield and went out for a look around.  It wasn't too cold, but I was wearing my ski pants :o)  The fields are flooded for the birds to nest, and there are a lot of birds about.  Usually I'm a ways above them, but there was one long chain of birds that caused me to climb above them (while staying under the Beale controlled airspace step).

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 22nd

It was another crappy day (good for ducks, as they say), so I stayed in and played Warcraft.

January 21st

The weather station has been reading low on rainfall.  I thought it had stopped working when it was reading 0 during a rainstorm, but there look to be bug fixes for this behaviour.  Applying the new firmware reset the whole bloody thing, meaning I got to go through all the setup process again.  Anyway, it's done now, so let's see how it does going forward.

I went out to get some stuff, and ended up at the Chevy dealer and test driving a Bolt.  It's smaller than I'd thought, but it drives like a normal car.  The heater seems to knock off a fair bit of mileage though - I think we drove maybe 10 miles, and took over 20 miles off the range.  They're going to call me when they get an orange one in, so I can go and see the colour :o)

I tried heating up the brake hub of the van to get the bearing race out, and it wasn't budging.  It looks fine, so I think I'll probably just leave it in there now.  I just have to wait for the replacement spindle to get here, and that seems like it's taking forever.

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 18th

I went to the EAA membership meeting, where we had a talk about Billy Mitchell, the father of the USAF.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 16th

Today was Martin Luther King day, when Americans celebrate a civil rights pioneer by going shopping.

In the afternoon, I took the Jeep over to Lincoln and took the plane up for some circuits.  There was a helicopter in the pattern, and then a bunch of people started coming back from wherever they'd gone, so I gave up a little early and went home so Vic could use the car to go to the vet.

In the evening, Valerie came up from Monterrey to crash with us so she can go and argue with the contractor's board in Sacramento in the morning.

January 15th

Lincoln was listed as marginal VFR, so I spent the day playing Warcraft and watching TV, including the awful Point Break remake.  The photography was awesome, the script... not.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January 14th

After it had warmed up a little, we went out into the garage and managed to get the remaining bearings out of the wheel hub, and get the spindle off the van.  The ball joints are still attached, as getting them off will destroy them, and I'm currently figuring I'll end up replacing them anyway.  Once I get the new spindle, I can figure out what needs to be replaced, based on what comes with it.

January 13th

I decided to make a start on the hub for the Van... based on how the inner bearing races were welded to the spindle, I've been putting this off, but the first (and failed) one came off without too much argument, so I'm hoping that's a good sign.  We went out to get dinner to celebrate :o)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 8th

It rained again, so I spent the day tinkering with the computer and playing Warcraft.

I did get out and look at the van, and undid a bunch of bolts that are going to have to come out to swap the spindle.  The bad news is that I'll have to replace the tie rod end on that side, too, as supposedly you can take the castellated nut off, turn it over, put it back on and then hammer the thing out.  All I managed to do is bugger up the threads, so yay.  Still, it shouldn't be too bad to change, and I was figuring on needing a wheel alignment anyway.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

January 7th

We're supposed to be having a biblical flood and storms this weekend, so we've cancelled the pancake breakfast at the airport.  I stayed in and played Warcraft most of the day, but we did go and try to cut the bearing race off the front wheel spindle on the van... no dice.  I cut a slot in it, and we hammered a chisel into that, but it never cracked off.  I've given up for now, and started hunting down a used spindle to just replace it.  I'm going to see if the bearings will come out of the hub, and maybe I'll get to replace that, too.

January 4th

I borrowed the Jeep and went to the EAA board meeting.  It sounds like we're going to get Brian Shul for our March meeting :o)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 3rd

Back to work.  Joy.

It's been bothering me that the HTPC doesn't drive the TV down to black, as the new TV is capable of displaying total black, rather than gray.  I found that the NVidia graphics card sees a monitor on HDMI, and ass-u-mes it's an LCD TV, so goes into "limited RGB", rather than full RGB mode.  That was just a tweak in the NVidia control panel (after updating it to get that to work) and now I'm getting proper black.  Now I'll have to recalibrate the TV...

I managed to get the hub off the front wheel spindle on the van, but I have a feeling that the bearing race is pretty much welded on now.  We'll see.

January 2nd

It's still cold and wet, so I played Warcraft, but I did get some more of the bearing race cut away on the van, as it looks like it's going to be hard to find a new setup (I have a line on one, but the guy doesn't want to pull the parts just yet, as it's immovable then - I did offer to send him my old, broken parts to help).  That went swimmingly until the Dremel failed, so in the evening when we went out to get something to eat, I got a new one.

January 1st

It's a new month (and year), so here are the power stats.

Power billed

Power generated

I spent most of the day playing Warcraft, but I did get out and start cutting away the bearing race on the van.  Well, until it got cold and I got bored of it, anyway.