Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28th

We got up fairly early, loaded the Jeep with the hang glider, stuff and Tillamook, and headed down to Ed Levin.

On the way, the "Low Tyre Pressure" warning light went off, and I had to buy a pressure gauge at a Chevron, as their air pumps don't include one.  Screw you, we'll buy our gas somewhere else, dicks!  As the tyres were all OK, but the light didn't go off, we've agreed that it's probably the spare - I never bother yanking the cover off to check the pressure, so now maybe I will.

Once there, Tilly and I went to play in the dog park while Vic managed to lose the Jeep key behind the dash - no, I don't know why there's a horking great gap there.  After throwing a tantrum, I managed to get the key out with a borrowed magnet on a stick, but for a while there it was touch and go - we'd left through the garage, so I didn't have my spare, and we didn't take the spare downtubes, so we had no tools either.  Oh well.

I drove Vic up to the 1750' launch, and managed to get the Jeep into 4-Lo easily while waiting for her to open one of the cattle gates (you need the Jeep to be in neutral to change it).  Tilly and I ran around the top of the hill until she was knackered, then I threw Vic off the top and headed back down.  We were experimenting with a ContourHD camera mounted to her helmet, so everybody's interested to see how that turned out.

After a long drive home, we checked out the video - it looks excellent, but editing out the dead space at the beginning and end in Movie Maker seems to have reduced the quality a little - it might be time to investigate some proper editing software.  Anyway, it's here - select 1080p :o)

August 27th

I spent a chunk of the day working on the ladder that we use for mounting the hang glider to the Jeep - hacking it to try and make it fit better and more solidly. 

After all that, we went to the airfield where I wanted to change the spark plug caps for the Flightstar.  One of the caps hasn't been clipping down properly, and caps are cheap, so screw it.  Well, it seems the problem is that the nipple thing on the spark plug had come unscrewed, but I didn't figure this out until I'd changed the caps.  I then decided that now was as good a time as any to put in some new plugs - I've bought some of the gold tipped BR8EVs, to replace the Autolite equivalent of the BR8ESs that I put in at the beginning of the year.  I hadn't gapped them, so I had to squirrel around until I found some feeler gauges, so this whole process took a bit longer than I'd anticipated.  I threw in a few circuits while Vic watched from the ground, then we went home and put the roof back on the Jeep before we mounted the ladder.  It's still not perfect, but it's good enough for now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 25th

We watched Dylan Dog, which is sort of a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Men In Black.  It was okay.

August 24th

The SPCA had a thing on where the local Chili's was donating 15% of their take for the day, so we went over there.  It was a lot busier than we'd expected, probably because there were a lot of evacuees from the fire in Lincoln staying in the nearby hotel.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 23rd

I had thought about going flying, but then this happened :o)

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 21st

We went to breakfast, collected supplies and loaded up the Jeep before heading to Ed Levin to go hang gliding.  Vic's mother and her boyfriend Roger followed us, and got to watch a bunch of paragliders before we headed up the hill.  Roger came up with us, as it's an exciting drive - this is the first time the Jeep's been properly off road, and I left in in 4-Hi where it should probably have been in 4-Lo.  The transmission oil temperature warning went off as we were nearing the summit, so I ignored it - after all, what was I going to do, just stop there?  We got to the top without any problems, and launched Vic and a couple of other gliders, then Roger and I headed back down.  The gliders had got down way before we did.  After the one flight, the wind was starting to pick up, so everybody packed up and headed home.  We got home and Gwen and Walter were at the house with Tilly, so we chatted to them as we unloaded everything.  When they headed off to the "music in the park" thing, we had a quiet evening before crashing early.

August 20th

I started the day going around looking to try and find an HP Touchpad for $99 (or even $149 for the 32Gb version).  No luck - Staples had sold all 4 (woo!) that they had as soon as their doors opened, and Best Buy were sending all theirs back to HP rather than selling them to the great unwashed.  Whatever.  Maybe I'll be able to gt one of the returns from the HP web site, when they're listed as back in stock.

We were going to Los Gatos, so Gwen came and picked up the Mook for the weekend.  We went out to load up the Jeep, and Gwen had called to say Tilly was getting on OK with their cats - as I'd expected, she got smacked in the face and decided to give them a wider berth :o)

We modified stuff to mount the ladder on the Jeep a little differently, with the brace that I'd made on the front.  It's now got 3 support points - the front, the rear and it rests on the light bar by the windscreen - when the hang glider's on the ladder, I strap it around the light bar there, so everything's held down well.  Having finished loading up, we headed on down, with the roof down, and it wasn't too noisy after all.

We unloaded the Jeep and got changed at Vic's mother's, then went to her 25th high school reunion.  It was shared among 6 different years, and most were from the 2 years after Vic - there were a whole 3 people from her year.  At one point I was sitting near the dance floor, and a girl who was obviously something special at school came and asked if I remembered her - I looked at her for a second, then said "no".  If her boyfriend (who I was talking to at the time( hadn't told her I was a guest, I'm sure she'd have been crushed :o)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14th

I started the day on the roof, washing the solar panels - they looked a lot grubbier from the ground than they did from the roof, but meh, I was up there by then.

We watched the new version of Arthur, which is a lot worse than the original - Russell Brand is a lot less likeable than Dudley Moore, and he seems more arrogant about being rich.

So, it's the rental version, which means before the movie starts, you have to watch (ie you can't skip through):
  • A piracy warning
  • A Blu-Ray advert
  • A WB Rewards advert
  • 3 movie trailers
  • A Film Foundation advert
  • 3 upcoming DVD trailers
And then they wonder why people download movies.

In the late afternoon we went to the airfield and threw in a couple of long circuits.  We spent a bunch of time orbiting to keep out of the way of the parachutists and the jump plane - there was a fair amount of crosswind, and I had visions of them being blown further over than usual.  As it was none of the jumpers landed near their target mark :o)

August 13th

I just did stuff around the house and garden, and in the evening we watched the last episode of Green Wing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12th

John had crashed the night, so when we were all awake, I gave Tilly her new red collar and beach ball.  She crashed around the house (as usual, she can't control something that big), so I sent her outside with it.  Shortly afterwards, it was burst - I'm leaning towards it being pushed against the roses.  Anyway, her job done, Tilly came in and went back to bed.

In the afternoon, Vic bought her another beach ball, and I videoed her playing with it.  For 49 seconds, until she burst it.  That was money well spent then :o)

August 11th

Vic and Jen went to San Francisco for the day, leaving me and Tilly to entertain each other.

John was town, so he dropped over to say "hi".  We went to the airfield so he could see (and sit in) the Flightstar, then we met Vince for dinner.

August 10th

After work, we went over to the airfield so I could replace a rivet in the tail trim on the Flightstar.  I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time I've done this.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 8th

After work I went and met up with a clown guy who was buying an old tablet PC I'm selling.  After waiting 30 minutes, I called him and work him up.  Then he took a while to get to the place we were meeting, but he bought it in the end.  He's going to (try and) install Windows 7 on it - um, good luck with that, as it has 512Mb of memory and a 30Gb disc.  More space on my desk to carry on clearing out old junk :o)

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 7th

I started the day on the roof, rinsing the solar panels (they didn't look bad enough to need a scrub, they've just not been generating as much power as I think they should recently).  I did the usual Sunday chores around the house, and got some more junk stuff on eBay, then took Tillamook to the dog park to run her legs off.  She was upset that there were no paddling pools out, so lay in any small body of water to cool off - including a small puddle in the corner of the area where you can hose her off after she's been lying in the mud.  So, I took home a tired, damp dog, who immediately wanted to go out again.

In the evening I went to the airfield, and took the plane out for an hour's circuits.  The guy in the jump plane had obviously got used to me being fine with getting out of his way, as he asked me to get out of his way so he could take off sooner - he'd pulled on to the runway at about 1/3 distance rather than taxi to the end.  I pulled an early crosswind leg, and did the quickest circuit I've ever done there :o)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 6th

I finished up finishing moving Caroline's web stuff to the Google while watching The Green Wing.  In the evening we went to see the SPCA volunteers for dinner, then I sat and spent a bunch of time arranging the shipping of some junk stuff I've sold on eBay.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 4th

I managed to get Vic's new laptop all ship shape and working, with everything I could think of installed.  Now I just need to make sure everything needed is on it, and we can see about getting rid of the old one.  It's generating some pretty good benchmarks, so that was (hopefully) money and time well spent :o)

I also spent about 3 hours on the phone with Russ (hi, Russ!) as he drank a bottle of wine - he's out of beer, so it was that or the hand sanitiser.

August 3rd

As Vic's beaten her old laptop to death, We ordered her a new one.  It's never shown up on UPS' tracking, but it arrived today.  I spent the usual 2 hours installing updates and rebooting, and was just copying files when I thought "hang on, where's the Program Files (x86) directory?

Doh, it's running 32 bit Windows 7 (Professional, woo).

Bummer.  So, I'd been wasting my time.  I decided to install the extra memory I'd bought (it has 2Gb, and 4Gb was $50 more.  I bought 8Gb for $50), and couldn't get the cover off.  Everything I could find made it sound simple - just pop the battery, and the cover should drop off.  Having struggled with it for about 20 minutes, we finally found that running your thumbnail under the cover at the front releases it.  Good to know.  I'd reply to the forum posts where people are complaining about not being able to get the cover off if I didn't have to bloody subscribe to do it.

Anyways, I reinstalled it with 64 bit Home Premium, then immediately used the "anytime upgrade" to get it to Professional, using the code that came with the laptop.  I'll install the drivers and suchlike tomorrow.  Damnit.

August 2nd

After work we watched Soul Surfer.  If you fast forward through the religious bits, it's distinctly mediocre.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1st

The day started early (like 4am) with Tilly hearing something in the garden.  I let her out just to shut her up, and she ran around like a mad thing.  We later found footprints in the vegetable garden, so we think it was a raccoon.

After work we barbecued a bunch of chicken, so we have chicken if anybody's hungry.

Power we generated in July

July 31st

I spent the day checking my stuff on eBay and watching for mail from Craigslist without success.  Oh well. 

In the evening we went to the airfield and took the plane out for about 80 minutes - we flew along the new bypass they're slowly building around Lincoln, to see what it looks like up close, and were over Freedom Field as Vince was pulling his trike out.  We circled for a while, then headed a bit away to circle some more so as not to annoy Ray's neighbours.  Vince showed up and was heading to the river.  We were going to follow him, but then I figured that we only had about an hour's fuel left, so should really be toddling back.  I executed a not great landing, and we packed everything away as the last parachute jumpers of the day were landing into the sunset.