Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30th

I started the day adding more articles to Caroline's archive - I'm over half the way through now.  Phew.

When I went to shave, the trimmer battery went dead just as I was left with a goatee - I managed to leave it a minute, then get enough power to finish trimming a couple of times, but I'll leave it and see what I think.  All the cool kids have them, and I'm thinking of myself as my evil doppelganger :o)

I then spent a fair amount of time getting a bunch of crap valued belongings on Craigslist and eBay, so that hopefully I'll have fewer of these things hanging around and cluttering the place up.  I'm hoping the heavier stuff sells on Craigslist so I don't have to deal with shipping it :o)

In the later afternoon I headed over to Lincoln, where I ran across Larry.  We chatted for a while, hoping the wind was going to die down, and eventually we decided to commit aviation.  I took off, and he got as far as the run up area before bailing out - he crashed his hang glider during the week and his elbow's been giving him gyp.  On my second circuit, the jump plane called a 2 mile final at 4,000'... I offered to extend my downwind, but he's approaching at something like 200mph, so that wasn't necessary.  As I turned base, he went around.  I asked if there was anything I should be worried about (like a dead deer on the runway), but he couldn't get a green light on his nose gear.  I pointed out my nose gear was down and welded, which made him feel better.  Everything looked OK on his downwind, and I was still climbing out when he turned finals - I offered to go for an early crosswind, but he said we should be fine - he'd let me know if they were going around.  They didn't.  In total I did 3 circuits, as it seemed that the wind was picking up.

July 29th

I got the electrickery bill, and was concerned that it's just $11 - that covers water, sewerage and garbage collection.  It's OK, the rebate for the new washing machine (as it's Energy Star rated) has been applied - I'd forgotten about that.  Once again, we have generated more power than we've used:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27th

Hulu has been recommending Ultraviolet to me for a while, so we checked it out.  It's not bad, but there are only 6 episodes in all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26th

The Surewest router barfed, and got progressively worse - first the printer wouldn't connect until eventually a wired machine couldn't connect either.  So, after a brief chat via my Verizon 4G modem, Vic went over and swapped it for a new one so she could watch Hulu.

After work we watched Season Of The Witch, which was actually pretty good.  I think I like movies where Nicholas Cage's character (spoilers!) dies.

After that, we watched Suckerpunch.  Well, we sat through about 15 minutes of Blu-Ray commercials and previews.  And then they wonder why people just download torrents of pirated movies.  Anyway, the movie... WTF?  There were enough explosions for me, but the story was a bit convoluted. 

July 25th

After work I changed the oil in the Jeep - this involved not putting the drain pan far enough away from the sump, so oil hit it and spread across the floor, and dropping the old filter next to my head, so I got oil over my face.  And then only putting in 4 litres and wondering why it was low - last time I used 5 of 6 litres, rather than 4 of 5.

Still, all done now.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24th

Still nailed to the house, so I did a little work, cut the grass and so on.  Then I watched a live stream of the MotoGP race from Laguna Seca.  Not a bad race, per se, but not that thrilling once Stoner had got to the front.

We finished catching up with Dr Who, now we have to wait for the second half of the season in the autumn.

July 23rd

Still nailed to the house, so I did some more work on Caroline's web archive - I've done a crapload more BBC articles, but there are still so many to go :o)

We spent part of the evening watching the new season of Dr Who.

July 22nd

I'm on call this weekend, so pretty much nailed to the house.

In the evening we watched the DVD of Splinter that Vince lent us.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 21st

I rode the DRZ down to San Francisco for work, to see a visiting cow-orker, and bid "adieu" to another who's leaving.  I set off shortly after 5am, with my jacket not quite closed.  It was warming up on the way in, but I had to stop and do my jacket up before I got into the fog in Berkeley.  Boo.  The car park I use now has actual motorbike spaces - they're in a corner you can't get a car into.  They still need to lay down a metal sign to get you a ticket though - my bike's too tall / not metallic enough, so it still needs work.

After work I managed to not lose all my money playing poker for a change, but it was a long old ride home again.

July 20th

The washing machine guy came and looked at our machine - he thinks it's the sensor, but had to order one - they don't keep it in stock.  We'll be seeing him again in a few days, one would hope.

Larry dropped off Vic's harness, with its repacked parachute.  Now we just need to organise going hang gliding some time.

July 19th

The washing machine threw an error code, so we called that in.  Sounds like it thinks it's leaking water, or the sensor's screwed.  There's an engineer coming out to look at it tomorrow.

The DMV said my license would take ~30 days, and gave me a temporary until November, but the new license arrived today.  I look old.

Tilly's feet are a lot better, so she's running around again.

In the evening we watched Red Riding Hood, and spent the whole time trying to guess who the wolf was.  We were wrong :o)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 18th

Tilly's feet are hurting after blistering them by sliding around on the sand and gravel yesterday.  I keep hearing pathetic whining, to find that, for example, she's jumped up on the bed to sleep, and can't get off again.  So I lift her down to the floor.  Again.

Vic got home from her mother's, and Tilly hobbled off to say "hi".

The new bands for the vacuum cleaner arrived, and I spent a few minutes installing one.  So we're now back to having more or less everything working how it should, so I after work I got to fiddle with the settings for the cruise control in the van while Vic washed critter laundry in an effort to break the new washing machine.

Oh, and we watched Fast Food Nation, that Vince had lent us.  It's depressing because it's true.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17th

I started the day getting up on the roof and washing the solar panels.  It seems like they were generating more power when I climbed back down the ladder, but the sun was coming up.  I also hacked some branches off the tree - now they have leaves, they'd hit the van as it goes up the driveway.

I loaded up the new washing machine for it's inaugural run... I had to grab towels and even Tilly's blankie as the new washer is bigger than the old washer - I figured fewer guinea pig laundry runs was a good thing.  It didn't explode, and seems quieter than the old washer.

Tilly and I went to Freedom Field so I could try the new boomerang, and her frisbee.  The boomerang might work when it's not blowing a gale.  I thought Tilly had heat stroke (again), as she was walking all funny, but she actually has a lot of blisters.  She still wanted to chase the frisbee, so I ended up bringing her home.

She ran around the house like an idiot, as Gwen had been in to check the guinea pigs while we were out.

After a brief nap, I went to Lincoln and took the Flightstar up for a few circuits.  It was really bumpy, so I only did 30 minutes.

July 16th

The new washing machine was being delivered.  I checked last night, and they said between 10am and 1pm, which meant I couldn't go with Vince etc for the breakfast fly in at Colusa.  The delivery bods called shortly before 8am to say it'd be with me between 12pm and 3pm, but by then it was too late to head to the airfield.  Oh well.  Vince was whining about having to wear his winter suit anyway :o)

I sat down and converted more of Caroline's news archives to the Google.  Of course, it's still a work in progress as there are many BBC articles still to do, but the Australian stuff is all finished.

They delivered and installed the new washing machine, and Tilly first barked at the pile of stuff from the laundry room that'd been lying in the hallway since last night, then barked at the new machine.  I think she was asleep in the garden when it was delivered :o)  The old machine's now gone - I had thought about taking the motor out to play with, but it looks a lot more complex than the garage door motor I've already got sitting in the garage.

In the evening, Vince and I went to the Chinese buffet place - we rode, and, as usual got split up when he zipped across a changing light when I stopped.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14th

The latches for the van came in today, so after playing with Tilly in the garden, she went to sleep on the driver's seat while I installed one in the hole vacated by the broken one.

I went shopping, and managed to do a deal on a new washing machine.  Hopefully it'll be here on Saturday - I have to call them tomorrow to arrange a time.

July 13th

Vic took the Jeep and headed down to her mother's for a few days off from me and Tilly.  We'll be looking after the guinea pigs though.

Rather than go to the gym at "lunch", I went to the DMV and sorted out my replacement license - the last 2 renewals were done online, so I had to go and get my photo taken and my eyes tested.  30 days, they say, but then give me a temporary license that expires in November, which isn't a good sign.  Still, it's something off my "to do" list.

After work I futzed around with the washing machine in the garage, and sure enough, it's broken.  The motor seems to work, so it's the controller, and that'll be half the price of a new one.  So I'll get a new one, rather than fix a 10 year old one.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 12th

Gwen called to say that the wireless router I've lent her wasn't working, and it sounded like a DNS problem.  I have had the Surewest DNS servers hard coded in the past, so we went over there to find... her cable modem plugged into a LAN rather than the WAN port :o)

We then spent a while getting the roof down on the Jeep, and putting the soft top cover and bikini top on.  I swear the bikini top fit better last year, but what do I know.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11th

The Surewest dude showed up first thing with a new VOIP adapter box.  And, of course, he couldn't just plug the thing in and bloody leave, he had to look at the line and suchlike, which meant downtime.  I used my doohickey so I could stay working, and it's now getting 4G :o)  ~5.6Mb/s down, ~700Kb/s up, 65ms latency.  I reckon I could play Warcraft over that :o)

As it doesn't look like I can just go and buy a new band for the vacuum cleaner, I've ordered a couple.  10 days shipping?  Are they walking here to deliver it themselves?

After work, I threw some paint over the welds on the Vanagon exhaust.  Gwen and Walter came over to pick up a spare wireless router, and play with Tilly.  After they left, I went out and reinstalled the exhaust.  It doesn't seem like it's leaking any more :o)

July 10th

What a crappy day.  I got in the van to go and look for parts for the broken vacuum cleaner, and it's cracked the exhaust.  I took the Jeep, and it looks like I'll need to order the belt.  Bugger.

I managed to get Vince to weld the exhaust back up, now I just have to put it all back together.  We went for pizza afterwards, and when I got home we found that the washing machine is truly broken - I poked and prodded and it looks like the controller's had it, which means it's probably time to replace the thing.  When I've got the van back together, I'll try and get it into the garage so I can take a proper look at it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 9th

The VOIP box for the telephone has stopped working, so I spent half an hour or so talking to Surewest about getting a replacement.  Sadly they don't keep this model at the local repair depot, so I have to wait for an enginerd to come and replace it on Monday.  Bah.

While we were up at Don and Lori's I'd broken the latch on the cooker in the van trying to open it.  It was all covered in a sticky substance, like (probably) Coke.  I spent a while cleaning everything up so I could actually get the cabinet door to move, then managed to jimmy it open with a screwdriver.  I cleaned up the inside and took the latch out.  I've found a replacement on Ebay, I just need to wait for it to get here.

I dropped Vic's hang gliding harness at the airfield, and Tilly wanted to come with me, so she got to ride in the van there and back.  I think she thinks we go for wild parties whenever we leave the house, so I think it was good for her to see that's not the case :o)

In the evening we barbecued, and Vince and Jen came over to eat.

July 8th

As Russ has sent me back my old Eee 701, I decided to set it up for the weather station.  I had to install the FreeWX-Wi 1.02 beta to get the outside temperature (and humidity and pressure) probe to work, but now it's passing data just fine.  I've put the sticker on my home page, but all the data's here.

I think I'm going to see about getting the data from the TED-5000 uploaded somehow, as the Google are giving up on Powermeter.

Having got that working, we sat and watched The Mechanic.

Friday, July 8, 2011

July 7th

I sloped out of work earlier than usual (so, just the 9.5 hours today) and we headed up the hill to meet Don and Lori for pizza

We got there a little early, as I'd assumed that all the traffic was going to be as bad as driving to the Galleria, when once we were past the Galleria, it was smooth sailing all the way there.  So we wandered around the block and ended up looking in an art gallery for a while.
The pizza was better than the Round Table stuff we usually eat, so much so that I actually ate the bready stuff that didn't have meat on it :o)

We went back to their house in Cool so we could see the incredible amount of work they've done on it, and so I could see if my Verizon doohickey works up in the sticks - it does, at almost 400Kb/s both ways :o)  Their poodle, Millie, is getting on a bit - she looks a lot older than I remember as she's going gray around the face, but Tilly's going gray around the face all the time.
When we got home, Tilly was incredibly happy to see us, as it meant she could go to bed :o)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th

The 4th of July is a holiday in America, where they celebrate independence from Great Britain (seriously, look it up) by going shopping, then blowing stuff up.

Early on, before it got hot, I got up in the roof of the house and it doesn't look like we can install a normal whole house fan.  I might look again in the autumn when I have longer to look at things before being boiled alive.

We tinkered around in the garden for a while, playing ball with Tilly to wear her out, then I took the YSR out for a lap of the area.  With the new sprocket, it tops out at around 55mph, but any higher gearing would kill what's left of the acceleration.  For now, I think we'll call this good.  When I got home, I picked up the DRZ and Vic on her V-Star, and we rode up 193, 80 to 49, across the Forest Hill bridge (as used in XXX) and to lunch.  After wearing Tilly out again, we went to the airfield and took the plane out for an hour.  As we were earlier than yesterday, it was a lot bumpier.  We watched Jim flying his S-14 at around 20', and just looked at stuff, like the remains of the recent fire.

In the evening, we watched Toy Story 3 while distracting Tilly from the fireworks.  It was as good as the other films in the franchise, which is rare these days.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3rd

Another grotesquely hot day.  Tilly spent a lot of time either lying on the tile or lying in her paddling pool.  As it was starting to warm up, I got the grass cut, then spent some time moving Vic's website to the Google, which is easier to work with than Microsoft's Small Business Server.  And just as free.

In the afternoon, we went to Lowe's to look at whole house fans.  They had precisely one, so we went and looked in Home Despot.  I now need to get up in the roof to take a good look at things, and do some measuring.  The idea is that we can hopefully cool the house down better in the evenings.  We'll see, it looks like it'll be a lot of work to get one installed.

Having worn Tilly out, we went and got some frozen yogurt, then headed to Lincoln airport to do a bunch of circuits in the Flightstar.  It was probably the best evening I can remember - there were no breezes, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

We got home just as it was getting dark, in time to distract Tilly from the early fireworks.

July 2nd

It was a punishingly hot day, so we mostly stayed inside, out of the heat.  We did run Tilly to the point where she was done a few times, especially when Vic's friend Diane brought over their guinea pig to be looked after while they're in Disneyland.  We also got her paddling pool out so she could lie down in the water to cool off.

I managed to get out into the garage and look at the new sprocket for the YSR.  It looks and measures as the same size as the old one, so I heated it for a few seconds and managed to get it to fit just fine.  Now I just need to remember I've done this when it comes time to take it off :o)

In the evening we went to meet some of the SPCA volunteers for the monthly dinner, this time at a sandwich place.

When we got home, we watched Unstoppable, which Vic saw on the plane to the UK.  She enjoyed it enough on a fuzzy 4" screen to pay $1 to rent it from the Redbox :o)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 1st

After work, we ran Tilly into the ground, then I went to install a new front sprocket on the YSR.  That doesn't bloody fit.  Oh well.  I downed tools, then we went to the airfield, and drove past this.  Larry was at the hangar, so we pulled out our planes and headed out.  We did circuits, but he was taking a friend for a little cruise around.  On the way home, there were still a lot of flames at the fire, but it seems like they're just letting it burn itself out.

Here's the electrickery we've been billed for this month  

And here's what we've generated

June 30th

I'd printed out the stickers for the dash on the Flightstar, and Vic cut them out.  So I went over to the airfield to install them.  I got them all stuck on, but couldn't go and fly as I'd forgotten to bring a jumper - I get cold at 50mph.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.