Friday, March 31, 2023

March 30th

I put together a short video from my flight at the weekend.

Monday, March 27, 2023

March 26th

I went to the airport and flew up to Lake Oroville to see it pretty much full.  It was getting more turbulent, so I flew back down the other side of Beale Air Force base and on to Auburn to meet Chris and Vic for lunch.  Because I was low and in the middle of nowhere, there's no track for me :o(

It was still quite sporty on the way home, and I could probably have landed on one of the East / West taxiways if there hadn't been anybody around :o)

Oh, and Tilly likes the gourmet French squirty cream, if anybody was wondering.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

March 25th

I went to the airport early and flew a couple of Young Eagles...

The second one was longer because there was a Citation in the pattern and three of us extended South to let him in :o)  I ended up on a 3 mile final.  Into a 15kt headwind.

Afterwards, I hung around for the Air Traffic presentation at the EAA, then headed home.

The inverter for the solar panels has been cutting out...

(The lighter blue line is the solar output, the big jump is the car charging)

so I'd called the manufacturer (because the company that installed it has gone out of business.)  SMA told me to get an installer to work with me, and they came out and looked at it today.  Billy wasn't impressed with the factory wiring - it seems they've wired the ground to the neutral - but he's aiming to talk to SMA, and fix some of their bad wiring.  The fact that it's run fine for 9 years suggests that it's the AC board though, so that'll probably end up needing to be replaced.  I'm expecting an argument about the warranty, based on my call with them - the inverter was manufactured 12/12, but wasn't installed until 5/14.

Monday, March 20, 2023

March 19th

It was raining, so we went and met Chris and Randy for lunch, then I mostly did dumb paperwork for the afternoon.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

March 18th

John came up, and we went to the airport to meet Don and Matt.  Shane and Liza were there with the family, and when everybody had taken off again, we pulled the plane out and went for a short flight - Shane actually landed as we were taxying out.

Don and Matt had headed back to Cameron Park, but the rest of us met Vic for lunch, then headed our separate ways.

In the evening, we watched "Violent Night," even though it (like this) is an Xmas movie.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

March 15th

While I'm working, I generally have cup after cup of Lift, and Tilly comes into the kitchen hoping for a treat while I'm boiling the kettle.  So this time I give her a baby (cut) carrot, and go on with my day.

A little while later I looked at her, and she had a lump on the side of her face.  We went through the usual "don't touch me" thing when there's something I want to look at, and it was a hard lump... I was having visions of getting to take her to the vet and so on.  I pressed on it a little harder, and it moved.  Moved?

It was a piece of carrot stuck between the top of her teeth and her cheek.  It fell down into her mouth, and she ran off happily, as it was free carrot.

Monday, March 13, 2023

March 12th

It was another crappy day, so we ran Tilly through a game for the Dog Aging Project.  Basically it was a test of remembering where the treat was between 3 boxes.  Tilly did about as well as you'd expect a random sampling to do... she remembered pretty much none of them.  I'm so proud.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

March 11th

We'd been hoping to fly up to Oroville for their March Madness fly-in but the weather sucked.  Still, I went to the airport to tinker with the plane, and Shane and Liza arrived to test out their new intercom.

When I got tired of changing zip ties, we went and got lunch.

In the evening, Vic and I watched "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

March 6th

We had a "Wellness Day" at work.  Well, most people had it on Friday, but I get it the following Monday so whoever's on call doesn't have to worry about support from 14:00 when the guys on the East Coast leave.

I got up early and went to get the 30,000 service (an inspection and a wheel rotation) done on the car, then went home for a nap.  On the way home, I stopped and picked up some envelopes to post the taxes (state is $20 online with the software we use, federal is free.)  When you put in your phone number at the checkout for whatever discounts, you'll get these coupons to correct your buying.  Anyway, I got a coupon for gourmet, French style whipped creme.  We buy the whipped cream for Tilly.

After my nap, I went and posted our state taxes.  Sadly I couldn't charge the car while waiting to get to the counter as the Chargepoint charger was down.  Again.

At home, I pulled the door of the van apart to try and figure out why the central locking wasn't working.  Then I pulled the dashboard apart and couldn't get the fuse for the controller out.  All the force I put into it seems to have made it work again, so it's probably corrosion and I'll need to look at it harder at some point, but for now that's fixed.

Monday, March 6, 2023

March 5th

It was another odd weather day, where it looks fine then rains, so we drove up to Auburn to meet Chris and Jeff for breakfast.  Jeff wandered in from the flight line, making me think he's flown the RV-6A he's in a group with, but he'd just got there early and been looking around.

When I got home, I knuckled down and finished my taxes.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

March 4th

I went out to the hangar to work on Shane's intercom.  Getting there before him, I plugged my headsets in and they worked just fine.  When he got there, we plugged his headsets in and they squealed.  We went through the dip switches on the headsets, setting them to stereo and changing the mic gain to match mine, and everything worked fine.

After testing everything worked, we installed the jacks into the tub and one ear piece stopped working.  We futzed about for a while and bent the jack slightly to make connection, then everything worked again and we could zip it all up.  A final test showed everything on the gyro working as expected, so we went home to install the headsets into the helmets.

We got part of the way through, only to find I didn't have the tiny Torx bit we needed, so we went over to Shane's and rounded the tip off of his T6 bit.  We figured it wasn't going to be easy to refit the headsets to the headbands anyway (there are parts you have to cut out,) so we broke them apart and fitted them to the helmets.  Now we just need an aircraft to test them, and then test the whole setup in the air.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

March 1st

A new month, so here's the power stats...

Power billed

Power generated

After work Shane picked me up and we went back to the airport.

We fiddled with the radio connections to get that transmitting and receiving correctly, then installed the pilot sockets.  We were testing the passenger sockets again when we got the awful squeal, and couldn't immediately figure it out.  It was cold, so we called it a night and headed home.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

February 28th

After work Shane picked me up and we went to the airport.  He's finished the wiring for the radio connector, and I spent about 30 minutes figuring out how to get it all back together.

We plugged everything in and got a nasty squeal that we eventually figured out was the headset connectors touching (it sounded like a feedback loop but we thought that was unlikely when we were wearing the headsets.)  After that we swapped the audio out from the radio and everything's working as hoped.

Shane drilled the holes in the tub, and we decided to call it a night there - there's not an awful lot left to do now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February 26th

We went and met Shane and Liza for brunch at Karen's, then Shane and I went to the airport and carried on working on his plane.  We had everything set up and working, but it was quiet, so we ass-u-med it was the really high gauge (so, uh, thin) wiring that was on the radio, so we pulled the radio wiring and went home - Shane's going to install thicker wire and we'll try again.

I'd been asked to join a conference thing by Insta360, and I thought it was something to do with the cameras.  It wasn't, it was feedback about their web site.  I stayed on, and now it looks like they're going to send me a battery, a selfie stick and a bicycle mount :o)

Sunday, February 26, 2023

February 25th

I went and met Shane at the airport, where we started working on installing his intercom.  First of all, we tore out the old one, then went to the EAA for lunch.

We made a fair amount of progress, including being interrupted by Chris and PJ, then Brent, then John.  We finally got most of the setup done and went home.

At home, we went out to get supplies for the airport (zip ties, mostly) and to Costco to buy cheese.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

February 24th

One of the (fairly new) toilets has started filling itself in the middle of the night, meaning there's a leak somewhere.  There's no water on the floor, so it's either leaking at the newfangled version of a flapper valve, or where the cistern meets the base.  I turned the water off, flushed it and left it.  That saw it leak down to the flapper valve, so that was the problem.  We went to Lowe's for supplies, and I swapped it with a new one from Korky... I'm not putting a new Kohler one in if they leak this soon.

Do ya think this could have been the problem?

Still, all's well that ends well - it's holding water just fine now.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

February 22nd

Shane picked me up after work and we drove (through some snow!) to Cameron Park for a ground school session on the gyroplanes - Don has 3 students getting ready to do their endorsement checkrides, and wanted us to help him get them prepared for the oral part of the test.

Afterwards we went to Wally's with Chris for a beer and pizza before heading home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

February 20th

Today was President's Day, when Americans celebrate George Washington's and Abe Lincoln's birthdays by going shopping.

I didn't sleep too well, so I decided against flying.  Still, Shane came and picked me up and we went to the airport and worked on the planes, even cleaning them up a little.

February 19th

Randy was late getting to the airport, so he texted me to say he'd meet us up at Auburn.  I headed out a little early, hoping to tootle around on the way, but instead I got to sit and wait for 15 minutes for the 2 Cessnas in front of me to take off so I could depart.

I met Vic there, and as I was walking away from the gyro, Don and Mark arrived from Cameron Park.  Randy showed up even later.

After lunch, we ran down the North Fork of the American River canyon to show Don and Mark what it was like, then circled Chris' house as he was having lunch with his grandchildren.  He didn't hear us and come out and wave :o(

It was a nice day, so Randy and I followed Don and Mark over to Cameron Park to chat about his trim (it won't go back far enough.)

Jeff showed up for his lesson with Don, so Randy and I headed back to Lincoln to leave them to it.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

February 18th

Randy and I flew to Woodland for their first display day of the year.

There weren't a load of planes there, but there were quite a few classic cars.  We were milling around when Tony, Tim and Marty showed up in their Cubs (Legend, Carbon and Cuby respectively.)

We hung around with them for a short while, and they decided to wait for Mark (another Carbon Cub) and go to lunch at the golf club, so we flew back to Lincoln to meet Shane and Liza for lunch.

Just before I got back, I received a text message, and when I'd parked up, Tony and co were coming back to Lincoln, as the golf club weren't open yet.  We told Shane to expect 6of us and went and had lunch.

After lunch, Shane, Liza and I went back to the hangar, where we tested his new headsets (they work) and the wiring on the new intercom (it looks like it'll work when we have push-to-talk circuits in.)  We then took our chairs outside to watch Don and Jeff arrive from Cameron Park.  We sat and watched Jeff practice emergency landings until the eventually headed back to Cameron Park, and it was time to head home.

Monday, February 13, 2023

February 12th

Shane came and took us for lunch, then we spent a while soldering a DB25 connector for his new intercom.

Oh, and it was the Superb Owl.  Didn't watch it.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

February 11th

I'm on call this weekend, so I cleared the queue then went to the airport for the EAA breakfast.  After breakfast, I took the plane out for a little flight, but it looks like I was too low to show up much.

I was pottering around over by the Feather River when my phone rang, so I figured I should go back to Lincoln in case it was work.  It was Bruce, asking for the registration of the Starduster in our hangar that he's hoping to have donated to the EAA.

When I got home, I tinkered around and made a short video of my landing...

Monday, February 6, 2023

February 5th

It started off raining, then there were a bunch of towering cumulus clouds, meaning it was going to be bumpy, so I decided against flying.

Vic and I went and had lunch, then did a little shopping, then went home and I went through the goat sacrifice to get the Alienware Alpha that I'd lent Randy working again.

For reference, you need to:

  • Take it all apart
  • Remove the CMOS battery for 10 minutes
  • Plug the CMOS battery back in
  • Move the blue jumper from the side of the motherboard to the reset pins (vertical) in the middle of the motherboard
  • Power up
  • Press the power button to shut it down
  • Move the blue jumper back
  • Put it all back together

Finally I got to do the BIOS setup and it booted through to the logon prompt.  Yay.

Randy came and picked it up to do a software update on his scooter.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

February 4th

I went and picked up Shane, then we flew to Auburn to meet John, Chris and PJ for brunch.

That kink to the South was when I saw Don's gyro coming in to Lincoln, and thought maybe Chris had rented it to fly to brunch.  Then I heard the radio call and realised it wasn't Don or Chris flying it, and went back to heading to Auburn.  Chris and PJ drove :o)

We'd been at Wings for a short while when Don showed up with his student Matt and hung out for a short while.

After lunch, we flew back to Lincoln, though it was a bit bumpy.

In the evening, we watched "Jennifer's Body."

Thursday, February 2, 2023

February 1st

A new month, so here are the power stats:

Power billed
Power generated

My Camp Far West Lake Reservoir video finally has more views than Vic's most watched hang gliding video :o)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January 29th

It was cloudy most of the day, with Lincoln showing marginal VFR, so I stayed in and did nothing.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

January 28th

I got up shockingly early and went to the airport to fly Young Eagles.  I would have thought it would have been too cold, but sure enough we flew 10 kids, of which I flew 3.

I had to do 1 more flight than the 4 seaters, as there was a kid who wanted to fly in the gyroplane - apparently I flew his sister last year :o)

Danielle, who I also flew last year in the gyroplane, was cooking lunch - she told me she preferred the Magni to Dan's RV-10 :o)

I went home and sorted out the CMOS battery on the Alienware, and while it's fixed that particular problem, it still doesn't want to boot.  I'll look at it some more tomorrow maybe, but I think it'll want me to sacrifice a chicken or something.

January 27th

The final part I needed to get the new monitor working (USB-C to HDMI adapter) arrived, so I got that all set up.  It's nice being back to 2 monitors, even though they're taking up a lot of desk space.  I haven't really got used to all the screen space yet, but give it time.

Interestingly, the DisplayPort from my desktop gives a better looking image than HDMI - I swapped them, and the better image followed the cable.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

January 25th

We went to the airport and did the getting to be regular replacement of the push to talk switch on the radio.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

January 24th

I pulled apart the PC I'd lent Randy, and sure enough the 3v CMOS battery was showing 1.7v.  I guess I'll order a replacement (it's a CR2032 with connections clipped directly to it, so I can't just replace it.)

January 23rd

Randy brought over a PC I'd lent him that now refuses to boot up.  I think it's the CMOS battery, but I didn't feel like taking it apart just yet, so Vic showed him World of Warcraft :o)

Monday, January 23, 2023

January 22nd

I met Randy at the airport.  We'd talked about flying to Oroville for lunch, but once we were in the air (with a 30kt headwind) we decided to just do a lap of Camp Far West Lake reservoir.

I was apparently too low to be tracked the whole way :o)

Shane and Liza came out and met us for lunch in Lincoln.

When I got home, I threw together a couple of videos...

My takeoff in the gusty wind

Flying over the Camp Far West Lake spillway

My landing in the gusty wind

Sunday, January 22, 2023

January 21st

I met Shane and Randy at the airport, and after waiting forever to get onto the runway, we flew to Auburn to meet Chris and Jeff for lunch.

Only Chris and Jeff didn't make it, due to some problem with the gyro :o(

We pottered back, flying over Ken's house on the way for fun.

Friday, January 20, 2023

January 19th

I took the day off to go to the dentist, and as I'd be in Lincoln, hoped to fly.  Well, the visibility was less than a mile when I got there to fill the plane with gas, and when I was done at the dentist, the cloud base was still 300', so I gave up and went home.

I've got another monitor, so I spent some time pulling my desk apart and moving it closer to the window - I'd aimed to still be able to see the weather station on the wall, but even after moving the desk I couldn't.

Anyway, I got everything back together so I'd be able to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

January 16th

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

It was still grey and windy and rainy, so I did pretty much nothing.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

January 14th

It was throwing it down with rain, so I pretty much gave up on getting anything else done.

I went and met Chris for lunch, and it was just cloudy and cold on the way home.

It's funny, I was out in the garden trying to figure out where this line of seeds and leaves and stuff came from before figuring out it was the high tide line from that side of the house flooding :o)

My Camp Far West Lake Reservoir video has had a crazy (for me) number of views... more even than Tilly bursting a beach ball, but not as many as Vic's most watched hang gliding video (from 2008!)

Monday, January 9, 2023

January 8th

The weather forecast was all over the place for today, and it started off by raining, with thunder and nearby lightning.  While it did dry up, I decided against flying just because of how changeable everything was.

I tinkered about with another Camp Far West Lake Reservoir video, and posted that up.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

January 7th

I started the day working on a video from yesterday's flight...

We went out to the airport and tinkered with the plane some more - we got the wiring done and tested the radio frequency changing via the GPS.  We then got the dash back together and went to meet Chris, Randy, Shane, Liza and Jeff for lunch.

After lunch we went back to the airport and pulled the plane so I could test the hardwired ADS-B receiver, then when I saw that worked, we put the windscreen back on and tidied everything away and went home.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

January 6th

I went out to the airport, and as it wasn't throwing it down with rain for a bit, took the plane out for a quick flight to look at the flooding.

I spent a few hours working on the dashboard for the plane, getting the old GPS wiring out.

January 5th

I went and met Chris for lunch.  When I got home, the wiring loom I'd ordered for the GPS on the plane had arrived, so I spent a little time getting that all sorted out and ready to go.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

January 3rd

I've taken the week off, because I didn't know when we'd be able to get Don's gyro done.  The weather sucks, so I just worked out some wiring stuff I want to do on the plane when the wiring looms arrive - I could have probably cut apart one of the old sets I have for the proprietary connectors I'll need, but I figured this would be easier.

When Vic finished work, we went to see the new Smurf movie she's been looking forward to seeing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

January 2nd

There were another couple of loud fireworks in the evening, so it was another fraught night with Tilly.

Today was a day off work, as New Year's Day was on Sunday.  But I was on call :o(

I went to the airport and met Don, then Shane, at the hangar before Randy showed up and we did the annual condition inspection on Don's gyroplane.  Because he'd done so much work beforehand, we were done early enough for them to take a quick test flight before Don headed back to Cameron Park and we headed out for pizza.

I got home and cleared out some stuff for work.

Monday, January 2, 2023

January 1st

Merry New Year.

Sadly it had stopped raining by midnight, so the fireworks scared Tilly.  She went out and peed, then spent a while pacing around the house before I put her up on the bed with me.  It took a while, but she finally settled down and slept on and off until it was time to wake me up properly.  Yay.

Here are the solar stats:

Power billed
Power generated

Xfinity are still reporting the interweb is down, but my map popped to life around 07:10, so we're currently OK.

We went and met Chris, Shane and Liza for lunch, then I went and met Don and Mark at the airport to put his wheel back on, and to drop off my (updated) GPS.

Vic and I had been talking about my last Far West Lake video, and following her suggestions, I put together a new, much shorter one:

Sunday, January 1, 2023

December 31st

I met Don, and later Shane (and Sara, and Shaymus,) at the airport so we could finish prepping his gyro for its annual inspection, then go to lunch.  It was throwing it down with rain to the point it was hard to hear in the hangar :o(

At home, the internet stopped working in the middle of a Zoom call with Chris :o(

Here's everywhere (I think) I've flown this year.