Monday, September 21, 2020

September 20th

I'd mentioned to Jen about going to Auburn for breakfast, as she'd found the trip to Oroville a bit too long, so she came over and we flew to Auburn.

Randy took his younger daughter, and Vic rode her motorcycle up and joined us.  A good time was had by all.

September 19th

The smoke seemed to have finally cleared, so Randy and I met at the airport.  The smoke was looking pretty bad, so we gave up on going to Petaluma and decided to just loop Beale.  Well, as we got under Beale airspace, I suggested we turn around, as the visibility was getting noticeably worse.  We decided to head for Far West Lake to the East of us, but gave up on that soon, too.  We thought we'd go South and fly over our houses, and eventually had to give up on that and just went back to the airport, where we parked up and went for lunch at Mary's.

Friday, September 18, 2020

September 16th

 I went to the EAA membership meeting in Zoom.  We had a talk about flying the RQ-4 Global Hawk, which sounds like something from a 1980s flight simulator.

Monday, September 14, 2020

September 14th

 Tilly got me up early to go out and pee, and I noticed that I could see the moon and Venus.  Maybe the smoke's clearing a little?  No, later on the visibility was crap.  No big deal, it's not like I could fly anyway, as:

a) I'm working

b) there's a TFR over McClellan airport, pretty much grounding everything in the area.  The president's visiting the fire control people

Randy called to say the electric skateboard controller is under warranty until the 7th of October, so he was going to the airport to pull that and send it in :o)

September 13th

Having done nothing all day yesterday because of the smoke, I'd hoped to be able to fly today.  No such luck... the visibility was possibly even worse than yesterday.

Chris and Randy had suggested we meet for brunch, so I picked Randy up and we met Chris over in Folsom.  On the way back we decided to go to the airport, as Chris had fallen off Randy's electric skateboard and broken one of the control cables.  Chris thought we could solder it back together, but I suggested just buying a new cable.  Well, with the new cable, it doesn't work, so I suggested we test the new cable to make sure there wasn't a short or something inside it.  I thought I had a multimeter at the airport, but I didn't, so we grabbed the cable and took it home and tested it.  All the wires are connected to something at the other end, which suggests the controller board has failed - there's pretty much nothing else it can be, as the battery is holding voltage.

Vic had taken Tilly to the dog park again, and this time they come home when Tilly was rolled off her feet by a German Shepherd puppy.  She's not as sore as last weekend, but she's still a little stiff.

Randy texted me later in the day to say he'd found the testing procedure for the controller board, and it seemed simple enough.  Even later, he went out and tested the board and it looks like that's dead.  He's not sure, but he thinks it might still be under warranty, which'll save Chris another headache.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

September 8th

The wind has really picked up today, which I'd hoped would blow the smoke out so we can see better when we're flying.

However, it's just got darker and started looking like Mars again :o(

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

September 7th

Today was Labo(u)r Day, when Americans celebrate the success of their unions by going shopping.  Even if it's only on Amazon.

Tilly was a lot better this morning - she's still sore, but she's walking when she doesn't have to, which is a positive.

I went and met Chris for lunch at Lincoln, and we took a quick flight before he headed back to Cameron Park and I went home to get some work done :o(

September 6th

Vic took Tilly to the dog park, and she ran until she started to fall over.  I had to lift her out of the van when they got back, and she (Tilly) spent most of the day lying in the same spot, sleeping.

Randy suggested we fly, rather than drive over to meet Chris for lunch, so I picked him up and we headed over there.  The visibility was actually better than we've seen for a while - there was a layer of crap at around 750', but once we'd flown through that, we could see Folsom Lake.

He'd finished putting the patch on his fuel tank, so we went for lunch, then flew back to Lincoln.  The visibility hadn't got any worse, and we could see the casino from the lake.

When I got home, Tilly was all kinds of sore, so we spent the evening helping her out to the garden and suchlike.  Has she learned not to overdo it?  I very much doubt it.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

September 5th

It's still pretty smoky here.  We'd talked about flying to Oroville and Brownsville, but we ended up just flying to Auburn.

We also flew back.

At Lincoln, we tinkered around with Chris' gyro, as he has a slight fuel leak.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 1st

A new month, so here are the stats:

Power billed
Power generated

I went ahead and deleted the Faceberk app from my phone and tablet, as it doesn't look like they'll be letting me back on their platform.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

August 30th

We went to the airport early, and convinced Todd and Randy to join us up at Auburn for breakfast.  The visibility was listed at 10 miles, but I'd say we were struggling to see 5.

After lunch we flew back, but I'd say the visibility was even worse after we'd passed the ridge by Bald Hill.  Oh well, we knew where we were going :o)

When we got back, we left Todd and Randy working on the hangar doors, and headed home so I could finish the on call work day.

Oh, I've had a response from Faceberk about my account.  I think they're upset about me calling myself Dug.  You know the name I've been using forever, that isn't the name on my state issued ID.  I've downloaded my data and skimmed through it, and can't see anything I've done that would violate their terms of service.

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August 29th

I'm on call this weekend, so after clearing out the stuff that came in overnight, I found out that Faceberk had disabled my account for some bullshit reason or another.  I made a start on the recovery process, then went to the airport for the display day.

I chatted to Ken for a bit, and he mentioned maybe looking at buying my old plane, but it hasn't been up for sale for a while.  I said I still have the buyer's phone number somewhere, but decided to check the registration - it's been sold and moved to Princeton, CA, which is sort of between Colusa and Willows - maybe I'll see it flying again if we ever get to have the Colusa fly in again.

I got the plane out, and taxied down for the display day stuff - I was the first one there, so yay.  I've had a grinding noise from one of the brakes, and I thought I'd fixed it, but getting to taxi at a faster speed, I really haven't.  After the display stuff was all done with, I taxied back to the hangar and took a look at the brakes - the pads looked the same as always, but I reckon they're shot, so I put on a spare set I had from Greg at Magni.  He'd never replaced a set, so he thought they might be bonded on or something, but they came off easily enough with an Allen wrench.  The new ones were significantly thicker, and I put everything back together and took the plane out for a little flight.  While the new brakes are bedding in they don't work well at all, but they're getting better all the time - at first they'd barely hold the thing still at 2,000rpm, but now they're holding it at 2,500rpm, so they're almost normal now.

I went home and got everything up to date with work, and jumped through the various hoops for Faceberk, but I'm actually not bothered about jettisoning it if they make this too difficult - I've been reading about people who couldn't re-enable their account, and then couldn't create a new account without changing their name or something.  I'd be interested to know what exactly has caused this.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

August 23rd

It's still really smoky, but Chris said he was going to fly over from Cameron Park for lunch, so I went and met him.  Randy showed up too, but we agreed that flying for the sake of flying wasn't going to be much fun, so neither of us did.

August 22nd

Thanks to all the fires, it's really smoky here, meaning I didn't get to fly - I just pottered around the house working on things.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

August 19th

I woke up stupidly early, so I started the day by updating the EAA website, then after work I had the EAA online meeting.

Monday, August 17, 2020

August 17th

There was a massive thunderstorm overnight, so we didn't get much sleep.

Proofpoint had Friday off as a company holiday, but obviously the entire support organisation couldn't be off all at once, so I got today off.

Randy wasn't working, so he came over and we worked on a wooden spacer bracket for his instrument panel.  We then went back to the airport, greased the rotor bearings on both planes, and tinkered around with the new bracket.  We then went home to make a few changes to it, then went back to the airport and installed it.

I ran the engine for a bit to test one of the brakes that had been dragging.  Everything seems to be fine now.

August 16th

I went over to the airport and worked on the plane for a while, getting the flex cable all greased and back together.  It was ridiculously hot, so I ended up heading home early without flying or anything.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

August 15th

I'd agreed to fly Steve's future father in law, so I started the day going to the airport and off we went.  We flew around in a big circle, and flew over Gladding McBean in Lincoln, as he wanted to do that, but Steve can't fly over stuff in his powered parachute.


When we got back, I took his girlfriend up for a quick circuit, as she didn't want to fly for long.  Eh, the plane was out, so it wasn't a big deal.

Randy rejoined us at the airport, and after Steve and co had left, we flew up to Auburn to meet Chris for lunch.

After lunch, we flew back to Lincoln, where I started doing some servicing on the plane.

I changed the oil, spark plugs, main tyres, cleaned the air filter, retorqued stuff until I was pretty much done with the damn stupid heat.

August 13th

We watched "Bad Boys For Life."

Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 12th

Today is Tilly's birthday.  She's 13.  She didn't want any toys (she has rope toys and tennis balls already) so we gave her a big peanut butter cookie, which is pretty much her favourite thing :o)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

August 11th

It was pretty windy, which means that the temperature wasn't too high, so I went out and worked on the DRZ first - I've replaced the vacuum operated petrol tap with a stupid on/off one, and that means that the fuel line can be shorter.  The old fuel line didn't want to go over the output line from the petrol tap, and the new fuel line (from what I haven't used on the plane) is too thick for the clamps to work, so I ended up using screw on clamps.  I then had to take all that off so I could take the tank off to put a piece of folded over vacuum hose on the carb to cap that off.  It all looks like it should work, but I want to get some fresh fuel to test it with, as it's pretty old now.

I then went and worked on the power window line on the van again - it had forced the guide off again, so I reinstalled that.  Again.

Monday, August 10, 2020

August 9th

Something (I thought mosquito, but now I'm starting to think maybe a spider) has bitten me on the hand, and despite taking a Benadryl (tm) last night, I woke up with a swollen hand.  It doesn't hurt, it's just a bit itchy and swollen :(

Jen had expressed an interest in flying Oroville with us for lunch, so she met me at home and I drove us to the airport.  We took off and played around waiting for Randy and Mehul to get in the air.  We then pottered up to Oroville.

Chris met us up there in his RV, landing just before did.

We flew back along the Feather River, but for some reason we don't seem to have shown up on anybody's radar on the way home.

In the early evening, Gwen came and picked up her PC (that I couldn't find anything wrong with), so I'm starting to get to the point where I can look at the DRZ :o)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

August 8th

First thing, we got up in the attic and took down the fan in there that's started screeching.  I think the bearings are failing, and there's what looks like oil on the motor.  I'll see about replacing the motor or just throw the thing away and get a new one.

I pottered around the house for the rest of the day, then went for a flight in the early evening.  I flew over Todd's house, didn't see anybody, so I flew over home, Randy's, then over to Chris', then went home.  At 2500' it was fairly cool, but descending to 1000' at Lincoln, it was a lot warmer.

August 7th

I spent some time steeling myself to drill a bigassed hole in the wall of the laundry room, then went ahead and did it.  That went surprisingly well, so we went ahead and built the OpenEVSE adapter, then got ready to plug it in.  The car tells us when it'll be fully charged, so I plugged it in and it said it'd be fully charged by 03:30.  I then plugged in the new charger, and it said it'd be ready in an hour :o)  I think we'll call that done - OK, it's running at 24a, where the car can accept 32a (and the charger supports 48a, for a later, faster charging car), but it's still something like 5x faster.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

August 5th

Gwen and CJ came over after work with Jazebra to pick up their laptop that I'd got working.  I hadn't had a chance to look at the desktop, but a quick squint after they'd left showed it seeming to work - I just need the password now :o)

I watched an online meeting about flying in to Truckee airport, as one day I might get around to doing that.

I managed to get to Lowe's to pick up some face plates for the OpenEVSE charger project, so hopefully now I'll manage to make some more progress on that and even get it built and installed :o)

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

August 4th

I got a reply from the OpenEVSE people, and they said the connector was fine, I just need to use the screw in blocks for them.  Their instructions aren't up to date.

Randy texted me to say that the family were playing in Chris' swimmy pool, and it would be cool if I could fly over them.  So, after work, I went over to the airport and dragged the plane out.  I flew over to Chris', and spent a short while finding the house, then did a couple of laps - there was nobody in the pool, so I headed back.

I texted Randy when I'd landed, and they left Chris' shortly before I got there :o(

On the way home I stopped and picked up some switch plate blanks for the car charger project, then got a text message from Gwen - their laptop's died, so could I take a look at it.  I stopped in there on the way home and picked it, and a desktop that's not working, up.  I'll try and look at them tomorrow :o)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August 3rd

My OpenEVSE finally arrived, and I made a start on building it.  I got stuck by a connector that's missing a couple of pins, so I'll have to log a support ticket with them in the morning.

Monday, August 3, 2020

August 2nd

After tidying up work, I went and met Randy so we could fly to Auburn for breakfast.

After breakfast we flew back again.

We tinkered with Randy's plane a little before heading home so I could catch up with work.

In the evening, we watched "Birds of Prey".  It was not a good movie, IMHO.

August 1st

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

Power billed

Power generated

I started the day working, as I was on call, then went to the airfield, doing my biennial flight review with Ken.  It was pretty quiet at the airfield, so we managed to do everything pretty close in :o)

Once that was all over and done with, Randy had shown up with a couple of people he was taking for a flight, so I took one of them, Laurel, and we flew around Beale Air Force Base.

Chris showed up (in the car - he wasn't feeling well) just as we were done, so we met Vic at the Spitfire Cafe for lunch.  Afterwards, we tinkered around with Randy's plane for a little bit, then headed home so I could catch up on work again.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

July 31st

I got up early and went to the airport.  I got to take a look at a Bristell that Ken was working on, then took the gyro out for a flight to practice some maneuvres.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 30th

I started the day cutting the grass.  I think I should start doing this more often, as it seems to be growing faster these days :o(

I've had a few mechanical problems to look at recently - the driver's side electric window in the van has been causing a weird buzzing noise in the speaker at a certain point, and that's causing the speaker to then cut out.  I took the door apart, and all the connections looked OK, but on winding the window up and down, I found that the geared cable had pushed out of its guide, meaning it could flail around inside the door and (probably) short the speaker to ground.  I got the guide all back in place and put in a couple of zip ties to hold it there, and I'm calling that fixed.

Next up was the fuel tap on the DRZ, which started running like crap the last time I had it out.  I've decided that it's a fuelling problem, so I drained the tank and took the tap out.  It's behaving really strangely, for example pulsing rather than just letting fuel flow, so I've decided to just replace the damn thing.  Rather than get another Suzuki vacuum switched copy, I've just ordered a Yamaha part that Thumpertalk recommends - it cuts out the vacuum circuit and just has on, off and reserve.  I'll cap the vacuum line and things'll be that little bit simpler, and hopefully an OEM part will last longer.

July 29th

In the late afternoon, I went to the airport via the gas station.  I'd planned to fly with Todd, and I was going to text him from the gas station before I headed out (to limit the time he'd have to stand around waiting for me), but the attendant started talking about the van and I got distracted, so I didn't text Todd until I was at the airport.  I got to clean the propeller and rotors while I waited for him, then I flew him over to his house, where we did a quick circle before heading back to the airport.

July 28th

One of us got sprayed in the face for shouting at a skunk last night, so it wasn't a very comfortable night.

I got up on the roof and washed the solar panels for the first time in forever.  While I was up there, I unplugged the dryer vent and some of the gutters.  I need to wear newer shoes up there though, as the old ones I have don't seem to grip at all :o(

When stuff had opened, I went and got some hydrogen peroxide to wash the skunk off of one of us.

July 27th

I've taken the week off to do things and stuff, and pretty much did nothing all day.  I did replace an electrical socket as part of my big idea for getting a better charger installed for the car.

Monday, July 27, 2020

July 26th

I got up early and went to the airport to heckle Ken and Chris working on Chris' radio.  They found the antenna on the bottom wasn't bolted in great, so I got to lie on the floor under the plane while they futzed around with that.

Randy and I changed one of his coolant hoses - I suggested he park it on the grass so we didn't have to clean up the coolant on the hangar floor :o)  He only dumped a little coolant all over me, but we got that all finished and buttoned up.  While people were tidying up, I got the inner tube changed on my bicycle.  We then had to decide what to do for lunch, as Randy wasn't available all day.  We went down to Mary's, but she'd had to close because 3 of her staff hadn't shown up.  Rob was flying in from near Cameron Park (he has his own runway), so, we figured we'd all go to Auburn.  Randy went with Chris in his RV-6A, as it's faster than the gyros, and I took the gyro.  Tony joined us at the last minute in his Legend Cub - he took off in front of me at Lincoln from half way down the runway, but I can usually outclimb him :o)

While we were standing waiting to order, Tony pointed out somebody standing by the gyro.  It was a woman and a little kid, so I figured they were just looking at it, but Tony badgered me to go and talk to them, so I asked him to order me lunch, and headed over there.  Henry is 2, and was very excited to sit in the gyro.  I pointed out the other planes, and asked if he wanted to sit in any of those as well, and he wanted to sit in the one with the shark's mouth on it.  I went to get Rob, but he said I could show them the plane, and Tony asked if they wanted to see the Cub.  I said currently they wanted to look at Rob's plane, so went back and we had him sit in that.  He was OK with sitting in the Cub, so I called Tony, but he said I should show it, as lunch was supposed to be arriving soon.  Fine, I showed off Tony's Cub.

After lunch, Rob flew Randy back to Lincoln, and I figured I'd fly over Randy's house then back to the airport along the freeway so he'd see me.

Rob was leaving Lincoln as I got there, so I wished him a good day and parked the plane.

I went home and pottered around doing stuff, and Randy texted that he wanted to fly in the evening, as he'd been flown, but not flown himself.  Fine - I picked him up on the way, and we flew over to Chris' because we know how to get there, then went and found Rob's, as I've only ever seen it flying out of Cameron Park, and Randy's never noticed it.  The little jiggle to the South is when we had a Fire Department helicopter flying on an intersecting path, so we did that to just go behind him.

We got back and put the planes away as it was just starting to get dark :o)

July 25th

We took Tilly to the dog park to wear her out - when we got to the point where she was walking 10' and then lying down to rest, we went home.  I don't want to wear her out to the point that she can't walk for several days.

I headed to the airport and pulled the plane out.  I'd agreed to meet Chris at Auburn for brunch, but was running a little early, so I tried to find Vic riding up on her motorcycle.  That didn't work, so I flew over Folsom Lake until I saw Chris on ADS-B, then I headed over towards Auburn.  On the way in, I saw there was a guy heading towards me on the ADS-B display, but I couldn't see him - I was constantly calling out my position and altitude, and he didn't say a word.  I finally saw him and dived away from him (he was climbing), so he passed within 500' of me.  I was not happy.  Anyway, the rest of the flight there was uneventful.

After lunch, I headed back to Lincoln and decided to change the inner tube on my bicycle.  The new tube was also holed, so I tidied everything away and went to try and find a new one.  There seems to be a local lack of 26" tubes, so I'll have to use the expensive slime coated spare I have in the garage - patching bicycle inner tubes doesn't seem to work any more :o(

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 19th

Randy and I flew to Oroville and met Chris for lunch.  Jackie flew with him in the RV-6A for the first time.

Randy and I flew back over the lake (and Flightaware missed most of that).

In the evening, we went and met Randy and family at Chris', so Vic and the kids could swim in the pool, and I could dangle my feet in the water.  I got to play "Half Life: Alyx" on Chris' VR setup for a few minutes.  Maybe one day I'll build a VR system.

July 18th

I went to the airport and took the plane out for a flight before meeting Chris and Randy for lunch.

After Chris flew home, we did a bit of work on Randy's plane.  We noticed a bulge on one of his tyres, so we swapped that for a new one and I decided I should take the time to contact Aircraft Spruce about that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

July 14th

Randy and I met at the airport and went out for a little evening flight.

Monday, July 13, 2020

July 12th

We got to the airport fairly early and met Randy, then flew to Willows Glen for brunch.  It took a while, and interestingly Flightaware don't seem to have good ADS-B coverage up there.

Vic thinks this is just over her comfortable range as a passenger, so I'll look at a higher / wider screen at some point.  The waitress thought the planes looked funny, and asked if we pedalled them up there :o)

On the way back, we went the other side of the Sutter Buttes, and I was able to spot the other missile silos that were part of Beale Air Force Base.  Again, Flightaware missed a chunk of the journey.

It was pretty damned hot, so we put the planes away and went home, where I put the new newsletter up on the EAA website.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 11th

I was on call today, so I pottered around the house, checking work from time to time.  In the afternoon I went out to the airport and took the plane out.  I flew up to Nevada County, and had thought about going on to Blue Canyon, but it was a bit bumpy, and I wanted to go and see the private Alta Sierra air park, so I flew past that on the way home.  I'd intended to go straight back to Lincoln (so about an hour in the air) but decided to fly over the house first, so I was up for an hour and a half all told.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8th

I went and picked Randy up and headed to the airport, where we finished up replacing labels on our instrument panels.

After that, we went out for a little flight.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July 6th

I went over to the airport and tinkered around with the plane for a while.  Randy was there, so we just chatted more than anything :o)

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 5th

Tilly and I slept a little better, probably because we were so tired.  People were still blowing things up, after all.

We left the house early and met Chris and Tim at Lincoln (Chris was filling an oxygen tank for a trip next weekend), then flew to Auburn for breakfast.

After breakfast, Chris and Tim headed off North in Chris' RV, and Vic and I headed South - she's never seen Cameron Park, so we flew over it so she could see the wide roads and personal hangars before we headed home.

In the evening, we watched "Quantum of Solace".

July 4th

Today was Independence Day, when Americans celebrate the end of society by blowing things up and (usually) going shopping.

Unfortunately, last night's blowing things up meant that Tilly and I hardly slept, so we just mooched around the house all day achieving nothing.

In the evening we watched "Ad Astra".

Friday, July 3, 2020

July 3rd

It was a holiday here, as tomorrow's July 4th, some sort of big thing here, usually.  So, as I didn't have to go to work, I went to the airport and met Randy.  We were supposed to meet Chris at Auburn at 12:00, but we were early, so we took off and headed towards Cameron Park with the aim of meeting Chris en route and following him.

As we got near to Cameron Park, we could hear a plane leaving, but it wasn't Chris.  I figured we should head to Auburn so as not to be late, and when we were about 12 miles out, we heard Chris joining the pattern there.  Oh well.

We met a bunch of Chris' friends from Intel, and after lunch Randy and I headed back to Lincoln.

We did a couple of little things on the gyros, and sat around eating ice cream until we figured we'd head home.

July 2nd

After work, I went to the airfield and ran into Randy. We discussed Jamie's new gyro, and how she couldn't get it to start.  Because she'd disconnected the (flat) battery, and not reconnected it properly.  We marvelled that she'd managed to get through the whole startup sequence without seeing a single light come up, or hear the fuel pump running, and still thought she had an engine problem.  Oh well, we were snapped at a while back for picking up some cigarette butts that were in the pod, so we're staying out of it for now.  It's probably just as well the engine didn't start, as she hasn't installed the battery strap to stop it falling out, either.  I believe she's going to get Ken to look at it, so I've told him what the problem is :o)

We went for a flight, as it was a nice night.  It's funny, as it was quite windy, but of course you hardly notice that in the gyro :o)

July 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed
Power generated

In the evening, I attended the IMC club meeting via Webex.  I wish people would learn to mute their microphones.