Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December 31st

As I was off work, I played Warcraft for a while, then went out and tinkered with the van.  When I replaced the headlights, I gained a little blue bulb at the bottom of the housing that I'd quickly tried to wire up to the high beams (but they hadn't worked because the earth I'd used wasn't great).  I've taken those out, and put in some little white 3W LEDs, and wired those to the side lights (that are in the indicators).  The last time I was sitting in traffic, I noticed how much of a load the headlights put on the battery (it's about 1V lower voltage when the lights are on), so hopefully this'll let me use the side lights in that situation.

In the evening, we went and saw "The Hobbit 3" with Jen.  Who knew Billy Connolly was in it?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 28th

After the usual Warcraft session in the morning, Tilly and I went out and did a little thinning of the pomegranate tree, then I went to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for some circuits.

December 27th

It wasn't as windy today, so I went to the airfield and installed new EGT probes on the plane - one of the old ones had stopped working.  I tested them with a lighter, only to find that both worked.  I discovered that it reads OK up to ~180F, and then goes back to 0.  Which is great, except the exhaust should be ~1100F.  When I wired the new probe in, I went red -> white, black to black and they didn't work.  Wiring black -> white and red -> black worked, and I have a feeling I've done this before.  By the time I was done, the wind was blowing directly across the runway (people were taking off and landing both ways, which also cheers me up no end), and I just wasn't feeling it, so I went home.

December 26th

I was still off work, so I wasted the day playing around on the computer.  I now have a DHCP server running on the Raspberry Pi.  I'm toying with turning off the one on the router, so I can point to my own choice of DNS servers - Comcast's seem to be... problematic quite often.

I've dumped sold some stuff on eBay, and I had just finished boxing it up when I heard the posty arrive, so I managed to get those shipped out.  Yay.

December 25th

Happy Saturnalia!

After playing Warcraft for a while, we went out and found a restaurant open for lunch.  The traditional English Xmas meal of fish and chips.

Jen came over to play with Tilly and drop off some ginger cookies.

December 24th

I had the day off (I only realised this on Monday), so I wasted the day pottering around tidying stuff in the garage and playing Warcraft.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 21st

I played yet more Warcraft, and played about with the time lapse controller Raspberry Pi.  I now have it sorted out to the point where it'll control the camera, so it's an intervalometer.  Yay.

I did some tidying in the garage (and managed to dump my remaining fluorescent tubes on Fred, now I have LED strips everywhere), and cut the grass.  Poor grass has been flooded out for a while, but at least the trees seem to have run out of leaves for the moment.

December 20th

I played a bit of Warcraft, and dinked about with the time lapse controller stuff on the 2nd Raspberry Pi.  No real progress there though.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 18th

Vic's joined the Roseville Fine Arts Society, so we went to their Xmas meeting.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 17th

We went to the EAA Xmas party.  A fun time was had by all, and the entertainment was provided by Danny, an ex-Doobie Brother.

December 16th

I got up stupid early to go to the office in San Francisco, and waited around 45 minutes to get on to the Bay Bridge.  I hate the fact that this is cheerfully due to the toll booths, rather than anything wrong with the bridge itself, and that even Fastpass doesn't help.

I got stuck on a long teleconference (long in that my bluetooth headset battery died, charged, then almost died again), so I didn't get away until almost 19:00.  And the traffic in the city was still terrible - it took almost 30 minutes just to get to the bridge.  People can't drive like normal human beings when it's raining, it seems.

December 14th

I wasted the day playing Warcraft.  Hit level 100 with my Death Knight though.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13th

I wasted the morning playing Warcraft (level 98!) and working (it's my weekend on call).  I also got out into the garage and got a few minor tasks done on the van, and converted the remaining fluorescent fixtures to run LED lights.  Now I just need to get rid of the old bulbs.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 7th

After playing Warcraft for a while, I packed up all the recycling in the van and went and dropped it off, then went to the airport for an hour of circuits.  My last landing wasn't great, probably because of the sudden 8mph crosswind, so I parked it then.  On the way home I stopped in at the Petsmart in Lincoln on my way to Home Depot, and managed to pick up some guinea pig treats that we have to order as Roseville no longer carry them.  And a really big biscuit for Tilly - it was as big as her fat head.  Home Depot in Lincoln didn't have the bench grinder I wanted, but the one in Roseville did.  Now I just need to clear up the junk all over the bench so I have somewhere to put it.

December 6th

The weather was... odd, so while it wasn't "about to rain", I went out and cut the leaves and grass and filled the green bin.

I've got Warlord of Draenor, the new Warcraft expansion, so I spent a bunch of time playing that.  The new quests seem fairly easy, and the Garrison stuff looks like the old Warcraft II and III stuff.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December 3rd

It was the last EAA chapter board meeting of the year, so I went over to Lincoln in the rain for it.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November 30th

It was another rainy day, so I wasted time on my new desktop, and playing around a bit with a remote shutter release for my DSLR, that I'll use for the time lapse project.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 29th

I spent the day installing, updating, transferring and installing my new PC.  It's surprising how fast the thing boots :o)

After dinner, I moved my old desktop into Vic's office, and deleted a bunch of the junk on it.  I hadn't really thought about it not having speakers or a microphone, so maybe I'll have to go and get those for it.  Oh well...

November 28th

Today was Black Friday, when Americans remember how thankful they were yesterday by punching each other to save a few dollars off some plastic geegaw that they don't need.

We pottered around, getting stuff done, then took Tilly to the vet for her annual inspection.  She got a bunch of shots, and elected to get a baseline blood test done, as she's now entering what the vet calls "senior dog" status.  When we got home, she was feeling a little sorry for herself, and was a little bit swollen at one of her injection sites, so we let her cuddle up on the sofa and sleep that off.

I took a few hours to build (and rebuild, and rebuild) my new PC, and everything worked OK when I turned it on, other than one fan squeaking.  I've ended up taking that fan out, as it's not really that necessary, and I wanted to press ahead and get the thing working.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27th

Today's Thanksgiving, where Americans remember decimating the indigenous population by eating turkeys.  Hmmm...

We started the day by watching "Planes: Fire and Rescue".  I got some work done, and swapped out a broken LED running light on the DRZ with a new one before we took the Mook and went over to Gwen's for dinner.  A fun time was had by all, but after Tilly fell asleep on the kitchen floor, we figured we should probably head home :o)

November 26th

We watched "The Expendables 3".  It wasn't as good as #2, but it was still entertaining.

November 25th

We went out to dinner with Fred and Marsha, so we could catch up with their cross country trip several weeks ago (they got back when I was in the UK, but Fred's been sick).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 23rd

We spent the morning clearing leaves in the garden.  The back is all done, but there's a pile of leaves in the front garden, as we ran out of space to put them.  Luckily the green waste is this week, so we'll have an empty green bin again on Wednesday.

In the afternoon, I spent a little time figuring out what parts I need to order in for the time lapse controller I haven't been working on.  Those should be here by Xmas, as everything seems to ship from China these days.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 22nd

It was a miserable day, what with the rain and the wind.  Oh, the anemometer's stopped working (again) as it's got water inside it.

Vic has a tree in a pot by the front door, and that managed to fall over, so we pulled it upright and repacked it.

We wasted the day playing Warcraft and watching "Edge of Tomorrow".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 19th

It was the EAA membership meeting.  There were only about 25 people there, and I briefly showed the web site in an attempt to get people to use it more :o)

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 16th

I got up on the roof and cleared the tumble drier vent, and the gutters, then spent a while raking leaves - this is going to be a regular thing for the next few months, I reckon.

When all that was done, I went over to the airfield and spoke to Jack - he thought he had a spare EGT probe, but it's a different fitting to the ones I have, so eh.  Danny pulled is Quicksilver out, and the battery was dead, so we jump started it.  It wasn't running very well, and it looked like it wasn't getting gas to the rear cylinder as the fuel hose was full of air.  We re-jump started it, and he ran it at full throttle with Jack and me holding it back until that cleared, then he went out for a low hop.  I pulled the Flightstar out and managed a couple of circuits before it was starting to get dark.  And cold, it was cooling down quickly too.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 15th

After playing Warcraft for a while in the morning, we pottered around for a bit, then I went to the airfield.  All the EGT wires look to be plugged in OK, and when I took the plane out, one still wasn't working, so Houston, we have a problem.  I spent the flight just doing circuits, and everything was a little busy, so I was doing full stops rather than touch and goes.  I was just taxying over to park up, when Jack and Danny came over - Danny wanted to go for a flight :o)  We got him strapped in while Jack grabbed the passenger headset, then we went for a quick circuit (visibility was starting to suck, and poor Danny was just in a T-shirt, so getting cold).  He had a great time, it would seem :o)

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 12th

Gwen came over after work, and was playing with the guinea pigs when Tilly and I got in from our walk.  Tilly went ballistic :o)

November 11th

Today was Veteran's Day, when Americans celebrate their veterans by working.  Government workers are free to go shopping though, which confuses me every time I wonder why there's been no post delivered.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 9th

We watched the excellent MotoGP finale from Valencia.  It was interesting to watch people's reaction to the spits of rain, and I thought Lorenzo's gamble on swapping to rain tyres was a good decision, bearing in mind his terrible position at the time.  It didn't cost him anything, even thought he didn't finish the race, but it could have meant he won if the rain started the fall properly.

I took the front fairing of the DRZ apart, as one of the little LED lights I've put on has stopped working.  Seems like the problem is the LED, rather than my wiring, so I'll have to look for a new LED :o(

November 8th

Oh, the days, they grow short.

After playing Warcraft for a little while (I'm just doing a couple of profession things most days, as I've run out of meaningful stuff to do for the moment), I cut the grass, then went to the airfield.  I discovered (again) that one of the exhaust gas temperature probes isn't reading properly, so I need to look into that - I had thought that the probe wasn't reading, but I'm now wondering if it might just be unplugged in the wing root.  Anyway, I went and flew about for a while, and saw turkey vultures just hanging out at around 800', and a couple of ultralight type aircraft over by Freedom Field - a Hurricane looking thing and a Kitten looking thing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 5th

I rode over to Lincoln for the EAA board meeting.  Much was discussed, and things are afoot :o)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 3rd

I got up stupidly early to go in to the office so I could give Dave some Cadbury's chocolate, say "so long" to Don, who's leaving, and let Dave play with my Dremel clone Black and Decker RTX.  He liked it so much he's ordered one.

November 2nd

Having been dug out of bed an hour early by Tillamook, I went around and updated all the clocks.  Hopefully she'll look at those come supper time.

I took Vic's laptop apart (with Vic's help, after we'd thrown some choice language at it).  The cooling fan shrieks, and I'm not expecting it to last much longer.  She's had it shut down once due to overheating, so I just wanted to see if there was anything obviously wrong.  Cleaning it has helped a little, but I've ordered a new fan (rather than a new laptop right now).

November 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats...

Power billed

Power generated

Richard was having a barbecue at the airfield, so we went over for that.  Vic got to go for a ride in the RV-6A - I should have got the Flightstar out and offered rides, but I didn't realise that was a thing we were doing :o)

October 31st

It rained, and by rained, I mean threw it down.  Drought officially solved :o)

October 30th

I managed to get out on my mountain bike at lunchtime, and hit a dead tree branch hard enough to dislodge the magnet for the speedo.  I didn't notice until I was almost home, so there's a few miles I haven't got credit for - I'm lucky it didn't fall off :o)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 29th

At lunchtime I rode the DRZ over to the bank and picked up a new debit card.  It was nice to get out on the bike for a change, and the weather's being pleasant before it rains all weekend (according to the forecast).

October 28th

I got a call from my bank to tell me that my debit card has been used in Idaho.  So they cancelled it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 26th

While it wasn't raining, it was bloody windy, so I just caught up with (some) TV.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 25th

I wasted the day catching up with things and stuff around the house, as I was tired, and it was raining :o)

October 24th

I got up early, and headed to the airport.  Again the United computer refused to let me check in because "D. Smith" isn't "Dug Smith" or "Douglas Smith".  Imma look into that when I have nothing better to do.

I got to watch "Appleseed: Alpha", "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and the incomprehensible new "Transformers" movie.

The flight out of Heathrow was delayed a little, then the immigration process took forever, and having just got off a plane, obviously we had to go through security.  I pounded through the airport to get to my connecting flight, but that was delayed too.  Joy.

The  flight from Dulles didn't have seat back movies, but you can watch some of their TV programmes on your tablet (more if you have an iPad, obviously).  I watched a couple of episodes of "The Walking Dead", and found it dull.

Anyway, I got home eventually, and Tilly was mildly happy to see me.

October 23rd

After sorting out some bank stuff, I went out to dinner with Mum and Dad.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 22nd

I spent a goodly chunk of the day transferring Mum's email up to the Google, and in the evening went and met Paul, Steve and Poke for beers.

October 21st

Jason picked me up, and we went to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.  In the evening, we met Fiona for dinner.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20th

We replaced the power switch for the shower (that I broke, it seems), and did some shopping for chocolate and Lift.  Steve and Poke brought their dog, Siggy, over to say "hi".

October 19th

Sodded about all day, then met Emma and Terry for dinner.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 18th

Sue picked me up, and we toddled in to Staines to see Jason.  He wasn't about, so we wandered in to the high street, and tripped over Guy.  Upon wandering back, Jason was home.  We ended up looking through old photos until he had a party for important people, so we went and ate at Pizza Hut.

October 17th

Sue has come down from Manchester, and we went to Chiswick to meet Caroline and her boyfriend for dinner.  While the food was terrible, at least the service was bad.

October 16th

Pretty much putzed about all day, then went out to find with Phil and Russ.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15th

Dad and I went in to Staines (upon Thames) to try and deal with the mortgage on the flat.  Apparently the mortgage number isn't enough to make a payment, so we gave up on that, went home and did it by phone.  Jeez.

In the evening I went out to dinner with Emma.

October 14th

I got to the UK fairly early, and spent the day trying to stay awake.  I did get to have a steak and kidney pie for dinner.

October 13th

We got up early and headed to the airport, where I flew from Sacramento to San Francisco and on to London.  I had fun at check in, as my credit card (D Smith) and passport (Douglas Smith) don't match my United air miles account name (Dug Smith), and apparently nobody there understands that this could be the same person.  It's weird, as this has never been a problem before.

I got to watch the new "Captain America", "X-Men" and " Godzilla" movies, along with "Edge of Tomorrow".

October 12th

I had intended to go flying, but it was all gusty, so I gave up on that.  I packed for my trip to the UK, and Tilly sulked.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 11th

I was pretty tired after the last week, so I just got some stuff done around the house - I cut the grass, caught up on TV and wired up a few fluorescent fixtures for LED bulbs.  I've got 2 fluorescents left, but a pile of bulbs, so I'll probably leave them for a while.

My stomach muscles hurt after the zip lining yesterday :o)

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10th

We had a team building exercise, and I picked the van up and drove to the office to pick up Dave, just to find out that he was stuck working, so wasn't coming.  I then drove up to the middle of nowhere to join everybody else for a ziplining afternoon - it was a little more intense than I'd thought, but I managed to run the 7 zip lines, 2 rope bridges and the rappelling line without passing out, then drove home.  In 4 hours.  Stupid traffic.

October 9th

Another day at the engineering summit.  Afterwards, we went to the DNS product launch party.  After _that_, we ended up wandering around, and I got to watch everybody else eat Indian food (I wasn't that hungry), and when they headed for Karaoke, I made my excuses and went back to my hotel suite.

October 8th

I got up stupidly early and drove to San Francisco for the engineering summit.  On the "good news" side, I did get to see the end of the lunar eclipse as I drove in.  After talking about things and stuff, a couple of us went shooting with Rachel - we left after running out of .45 and .40 ammo.  I checked in to the hotel really late, and ended up with a huge room, with a sitting room, dressing room, wet bar and 2 TVs.

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 5th

We started the day riding over and meeting Shean for breakfast / lunch, then after wasting the day doing nothing, I went over to the airfield and took the plane up for a quick flight (it was getting dark).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October 4th

It was the poker run at the airport, and I went along to help out.  As there weren't that many entries, I managed to get an entry, but had Ken pick up the cards for me (we agreed that it would take around 4 hours for me to fly the loop).  Just before we opened the cards, Jack Parks suggested that the 4 of us "in" the plane share any winnings, so we did that.  Which was funny, as I had the highest hard (three 10s), and Jack White had the lowest (absolute crap).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1st

A new month, so here's the solar stats:

Power we've paid for

Power generated

September 30th

We went and tried the buffet at the local casino for dinner.  It wasn't bad at all :o)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 28th

The high point of the day was going to the Tesla dealer to look at the Model S.  I'm still waiting for the Model 3 though.

September 27th

We were all tired, so we pretty much spent the day throwing the ball for Tilly.

September 26th

I met Mum and Dad for coffee / hot chocolate at around lunchtime, and dumped their stuff in the van, then drove them back to Roseville after work.  There was rain on the way, and an accident, so it took a lot longer than I was hoping.  Tilly was happy to see the van back again.

September 24th

After work, we went to South San Francisco and went shooting.  It was cool, especially as a couple of the guys have never shot before, and they did really well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 23rd

I got up in the dark and drove to San Francisco for some DNS training.  Yay.

September 21st

I managed to wash the solar panels.  Of course, the sky is still full of smoke, so they'll be dirty again in a few minutes...

September 20th

Ever have one of those weekends when you don't want to do anything?  Yeah, i'm having one of those.

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 17th

After work, I scurried over to the airport to cook burgers at the EAA chapter meeting.  We ended up using the van as a wind break again - lucky I'd taken it, eh?  The meeting was busier than normal, which is a good sign :o)

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 14th

After doing my Warcraft daily tasks, we watched the excellent MotoGP race from San Marino.

I think Rossi would have won even if Marquez had stayed on.

We went out and cut a few large limbs from the shrubs in the garden, and got the green waste bin pretty close to full.

In the late afternoon, I went to the airfield and took the plane out for an hour and 20 minutes, just pottering about looking at things :o)  I was almost all the way home when I remembered that I didn't put the gas cap back on after filling the tank.  Bugger.  I grabbed the DRZ and went back and fixed that.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 13th

Vic was at a guinea pig event in the Bay Area, so after playing Warcraft, I did a few tasks around the house, then went out to run some errands on the way to the airfield.  I was dropping off some oil to be recycled, and a dead motorcycle battery, and they gave me a $5 merchandise card (usually there's a $10 core charge on a battery).  I wasn't expecting that, so I'll put that aside for the next Jeep oil change :o)

At the airfield, I tinkered with the plane a bit, then did some circuits.  It started out a little windy, but that dropped to zero while I was out.  I ended up doing just over an hour and a half - usually my back's aching by then, but no problems today :o)

September 11th

After my bicycle ride, I was getting in to the shower only to find some sort of insect stinger hanging out of my chest.  It's on the right side, so stinging me was a waste of time, as I won't have felt it, but I will in the next few days, I'm sure.  There's quite the lump formed under the sting, so I expect a few days of taking antihistamines at bedtime :o(

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 7th

After playing Warcraft in the morning, I went over to the airfield in the afternoon and switched the carbs out.  It was a little more complicated than I'd originally thought, so it took longer.  I still managed to do several circuits of test flying without anything falling off or any sort of forced landing, which is a nice change of pace :o)

September 6th

I wasted the morning playing Warcraft, then spent some time tinkering with the EAA website - I've created a form in Wordpress to do Young Eagles pre-registrations.  I recently set up a Faceberk page, too, so I kept an eye on that.

I had an enlightening (for him) conversation with the sales guy at the local Chevrolet dealer, where I explained to him that the 2015 Spark EV has a smaller battery (and a different manufacturer) and different gearing than the 2014.  I always find it funny when I know more about the product they're trying to sell me than they do :o)

We were wandering around the Galleria when Vince called to say the carbs were ready, so we stopped in and picked those up on the way home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3rd

I spoke to Vince, and the new spare carbs are older than we thought, and are jetted as single carbs.  Duh, they'd have run like crap in that case.  Aaanyway, they're quite worn, too, so we've decided to just break down and order the parts.  The good news is that he ran a compression test, and dry, the engine hit ~110psi.  With a little oil in the pistons, it hit ~135psi, so there doesn't seem to be any sign of damage in the engine.  I'll be very watchful of it for a few flights though, once the carbs are all fixed up :o)

September 2nd

I spoke to Vince about my engine woes, and he thinks the problem could be the carbs - Danny's had a problem where the pin through the floats has ovalled, and it's caused the floats to stick down, to the point where they flood and gas pisses out of the carbs.  He thinks the reverse could be true here, with the floats sticking up, so the "I've run out of fuel" feeling could be me running out of fuel, rather than a partial seizure.  He's going to fly over to Lincoln and pick up my new spare carbs to see about cleaning them out for use.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 1st

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

Power billed

Power generated

Today was Labor Day, when Americans celebrate the advances in working conditions fought for by the union movement by going shopping.

We went into the garden, and Vic hacked a load of shrubbery, and I cut the grass.  I then cleaned up some cooling shrouds for the spare 503 engine (they'd arrived covered in burnt oil, which annoyed me) and moved some parts from one fan cooling tower (the one that will fit my engine) to the other (that won't fit my engine).  It's a long story.

I ended up going to Lincoln and working on balancing the prop a little, then talking to Ron for a while about his new plane, then took my plane up to see how the prop was behaving.  I had what felt like a partial seizure on my first take off, so I turned back, put the thing away and headed home.  FML.

August 31st

Kathy invited us to see "The November Man", so we went and watched that.  On the way home, I picked up some parts, and then after watching the excellent MotoGP race, I went to the airfield and installed a static air line up into one of the wing spars - the air speed indicator seems to overread sometimes, and this fixed that problem.  I took the plane out for an hour to test it, and it was a really nice evening to fly.

August 30th

I pottered around the house, playing Warcraft and watching the MotoGP qualifying.  I changed the oil in the Jeep, then in the early evening went to Lincoln and took the Flightstar out for an hour or so.  It was quite windy up, and on takeoff I was seeing around 55mph air speed, but 27mph ground speed.  I also noticed that I was crabbed about 30 degrees following teh road back to the airfield, but I did hit 75mph ground speed on the downwind leg :o)

Friday, August 29, 2014

August 28th

I sloped out of work a little early and met an FAA Flight Instructor Examiner at Lincoln, where we went through a list of exercises that the CAA want me to go through for a restricted 2nd class medical.  We then went over to the hangar, where he watched me preflight the plane, then we went out for about 45 minutes including 3 practice engine failures, and 3 complete landings.  It was a hot old day, and the density altitude was just crazy, meaning the plane struggled to climb with both of us in it, but we managed to get all of the exercises crossed off, and the forms filled in.  When I got home, I scanned and emailed them to the CAA, so I'm hoping for the medical to be sorted out before too long.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August 27th

After work, I went over to the airfield to pick up some stuff I'd left there the last time I was flying, and while there I filled the plane with gas and <gasp> washed it.  Well, not spanky gleaming washed, just getting the worst of the dust it accumulates in the hangar washed.  As I was finishing up, Richard showed up in his RV-6A, just back from some formation flying, and after he'd put it away, we went and got a burger.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 24th

I took Tilly, and went to see the Mustang kit that Vince is working on.  It's coming along nicely, and I wore Tilly out completely, after she stole a turkey baster from Vince's tool pile as a toy.

In the evening, Christine showed up on her way to Oregon.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 23rd

After wasting the morning playing Warcraft, I went over to the airfield and repitched the prop on the Flightstar.  I've never seen more than 6100rpm, and the 503 doesn't produce its maximum power until 6500rpm.  The Powerfin prop blades are measured using a 1/4" rod in a hole, then using a feeler gauge to check the pitch, rather than a pitch protractor (which I don't have).  I removed 1mm of pitch (it was basically as far forward as it should go.  When I went out for a test flight, it climbed at around 6300rpm, which I'm happy with.  The interesting thing is that now I cruise around at around 5000rpm, rather than 4800rpm, but that puts the engine a bit further into the power band, meaning it's a bit peppier.  I doubt it'll change the fuel consumption by much, as the Rotax manual claims the best economy is around 5200-5500rpm.  The main thing is that the CHTs are now down to ~400F on takeoff, and the EGTs are above 1000F (it's a bit of a balancing act).  I'm considering that pretty close to perfect, so it's done :o)

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 21st

The other day, Vic had said that the Jeep was hard to start, so I'd recharged the battery.  Well, today it didn't start at all, so I had to go and collect her.  When we went back to get the battery out of it, it started, so we drove to Sears and got a new battery fitted.  The old one is over 4 years old, so I'm not particularly upset.  The new battery comes with a 4 year warranty, so hopefully we won't have to think about this again for a while.

August 20th

I went to the airfield for the EAA meeting.  I was aiming to help with the barbecue, but Jack had gone to his sister's, so I ended up cooking.  The Airventure presentations went well, and nobody got sick, so yay!

August 19th

I went to the airfield hoping to fly, but the wind was picking up.  A lot.  Still, I did get to see Danny's new Eurofox.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 17th

I went to the airfield pretty early, and took the plane out for a few circuits (before it got too damned bumpy to be having any fun).  So, the new engine seems to run just fine, and I didn't see any CHTs above 375F, where the old engine was getting well above 400F on take-off.  Of course, it was cooler, so that'd make a difference :o)  I set the trigger for the warning light to 435F (Rotax say 480F is the absolute red line), and I'll keep an eye on it for a bit.

In the early evening, I went back to the airfield and did another 80 minutes of circuits in >90F, and the CHT never went above 425F.  I think we'll call that fixed :o)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

August 16th

Early in the morning, I played a little Warcraft and cut the video for Richard's EAA presentation.  When Vince called to say the Flightstar was all set up, I went over to the airfield to check stuff out, and drop off Richard's memory stick.  Jack and I went and picked up supplies for the EAA barbecue on Wednesday, then dropped that off at his hangar.  Everybody then decamped to Pizza Roundup for lunch, then we all went our separate ways.  It was still pretty damned hot, so I just screwed around on the computer for the evening.

August 15th

The new fan cooling stuff for the Rotax 503 arrived, and Vince called to say he was going to be free on Saturday, so we dropped that off at the airport, and picked up a memory stick from Richard with another video for his EAA presentation.

The CD player has stopped working in the van, so I swapped that for the spare one I have from the Subaru (which never made it into the Jeep).  I'll have to take the damn thing apart to my CDs back :o(

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 13th

We went and met Richard for dinner, as he was on his way back from Marysville.  I gave him his memory stick with his Powerpoint presentation on it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 12th

Today was Tilly's 7th birthday, so in dog years she's now older than I am.  In the morning, I gave her a new rope toy that she promptly destroyed and she got whipped cream on her breakfast.  When Vic got home, we gave her a large beach ball, which lasted almost _6_  minutes, then walked her down to Starbucks so she could have some whipped cream there.  All in all, a good day for the doggie.

August 11th

We watched the new "Robocop".  Eh, it wasn't as good as the original, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 10th

I went over to the airfield early in the day, so I could catch everybody there.  Danny arrived, and I paid him for the engine, and we dragged it over to my side of the hangar.  Then Richard got back from a formation flight, and gave me the videos I needed for his EAA presentation.  He suggested an early lunch, and we were half way there when a friend of his arrived at the airport, and we all went back.  We ended up all going for lunch at the nearest Subway, then I went along in Richard's RV-6A for some more formation work.  After that, he needed to run Lance's Mooney up to ~6500' to check so maintenance work that they recently had done.  I got to fly it a little, though there wasn't much to do.  We then went up in the RV-6A again, and I flew it over to Folsom Lake, where we did a bit of maneuvering before I flew it back to Lincoln.  Richard took over for the landing :o)

When I got home, we watched the excellent MotoGP race from Indianapolis.

In the evening, I pulled the punctured tube from my mountain bike, and found that the hole I've patched twice was leaking again.  So I threw the tube in the bin and put a new one in.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

August 9th

I spent part of the day haggling around with Jack and Danny, and ended up buying a low hours Rotax 503 fan cooled engine that's missing some of the cooling parts.  Now I just need to find those, and I'll be rocking a new engine on the plane, with the current one as a spare.  I'm hoping to find the missing parts quickly, otherwise I'll get Vince to fix the current engine, and fly on that for the moment.

I spent some time playing with video files to create a Powerpoint presentation for Richard to give at the next EAA member's meeting.

About a quarter of the stuff I put on Ebay sold, so I spent a bit of time boxing that stuff up and getting the things I've been paid for shipped out.  Yay.

August 8th

I had another (my third) puncture on my bicycle ride.  Time to put a new tube in the rear tyre, while I see what's going on.  I have a feeling that the patch I put on the second hole in the first "push the bloody thing home" incident has started to leak, like the first patch did in the second "I'll still have to walk home even if I set fire to the thing right here" incident.  Got all that?  Those "peel and stick" patches aren't as good as the old glue ons, methinks.

In the evening, we watched "Divergent".  Needs more space battles.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 5th

We met Jen for dinner, then went to see "Guardians of the Galaxy".  It was a good flick, especially as I don't have much idea who the characters were :o)  I am, however, horrified at the possibility of a "Howard the Duck" remake.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 4th

We watched "The Wolf of Wall Street", which was entertaining and depressing (because it's pretty much true) at the same time.

August 3rd

I spent the day tinkering around the house.  I even got the grass cut.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 2nd

It's weird, not planning for going flying in the evening... it's like I don't know what to do with myself.  So, today I tore apart an old laptop that's broken, and put the few "useful" parts on Ebay, then I went through a box of YSR parts and put most of them on Ebay too (I hit the limit of free listings, so I stopped there).  The main thing with the YSR parts is that it's an old, old bike, so I don't want to remove these bits for the world by dropping them into a landfill if somebody can use them.  Once these things are gone, they're gone.
Hopefully I can get some of this junk out of here, and I can make a few shekels to spend on other junk to replace it.  It takes ages to list a bunch of stuff, which is why I've been putting this off for so long :o)  I also tossed out a bunch of stuff I have no use for, that I don't think anybody else will either.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 1st

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

Power paid for

Power generated

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30th

I called one of the aircraft shops who don't have the parts I need to find that they actually have most of them, so I ordered those, and the remaining parts somewhere else.  If I'm lucky, they'll be here sooner rather than later.

I put some paint over the thin parts I can now see in the bathroom.

July 29th

I spoke to Vince in the morning, and it seems that the rear cylinder seized on the Flightstar.  He's suggested that I try and find the gubbins to convert the engine from free-air to fan cooling, so I'll add that to my list of things to do.  I can't find anybody who has the parts we need for the fix for the piston yet, but I'll keep trying :o(  Of course, anybody who's anybody's at Oshkosh this week, and that's slowing everything down.

There was a request in the suggestions box for a brighter light over the shower in the bathroom.  I've had a 60W incandescent, 14W fluorescent and (currently) 6W LED bulb in the housing, so I've decided that the housing is the problem.  In the evening, I installed a 9W LED fixture that's so bright I can see smudges and thin bits in the paint on the opposite wall.  And a ghost image of the fixture in the eyes for about 10 minutes after looking at it.

July 28th

I got another puncture on my bicycle ride, but at least this time I only had to push it 2 miles or so home.

In the evening we wrested the tyre off, and the last patch I applied wasn't holding the air in.  I peeled it off, scuffed the remains away and put a new patch on it, with lots of glue (the last one was one of the new "peel and stick" types, and I must say I'm not impressed).

July 27th

Frank got back to me to say that the article on the Cozy Jet looked good (he made a few minor tweaks), so I went ahead and posted it.  Of course, anybody who's anybody's at Oshkosh this week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 26th

After playing Warcraft for a while, I wrote up my notes from talking to Frank yesterday.  I finished painting the bits around the windows in the bathroom, but I've screwed up my favourite paint brush - the paint dried on it when I was painting the other day :o(

We went over to the local Honda dealer, and looked at the Grom they have in stock.  I've never seen one in real life, and it's a bit taller than I thought.  Vic likes it, so it looks like we'd need two if we're going to get any :o)

In the evening, we watched the original "Jurassic Park" for the first time in ages.  We were pointing out the plot holes and inaccuracies :o)

July 25th

I went over to Lincoln and talked to Frank about the Cozy Jet, so I can write it up for the EAA chapter web site.

July 24th

I did yet more painting in the bedroom... the bit around the windows that's hard to get to because of the shutters.  Of course, it looks like it'll need another coat :o(

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23rd

After work, I horked it over to Lincoln to go up for a lesson With Shean.  We got to about 400' when we had what felt like a partial seizure, so we turned back.  At least we booked it as a practice engine failure on take-off :o)

July 22nd

We watched "300: Rise of an Empire", which wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be :o)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20th

I didn't sleep at all well, so I played Warcraft for a while, then threw some white paint at doors in the bedroom.
I recently bought a Chromecast, so I got that working in the bedroom (the main TV doesn't have an HDMI port, y'see - one of the reasons I'd still like to replace it).  After that, I tried to service the bicycle - it's been getting noisier, and less likely to change gears.  It's better than it was, but it's still unhappy at the maximum crosswise extensions of the gears (lowest front, highest rear, that sort of thing).  Screw it, I can ride it in the gears I generally use.  I installed a couple of D rings in the back of the van, so I can bungee stuff like the gas can for the plane to stop it sliding all over back there.  As it was cloudy, and my arm's playing up, I decided against flying.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19th

We got up stupid early and rode to the airfield for the Young Eagles event.  I helped Jack with the cooking while others flew 25 boy scouts.  It seems to have been a success :o)

In the early evening, I went back to the airfield to commit a little aviation.  It seemed windy on the freeway as I got there, but undaunted, I took off in the 10mph wind.  I did a bumpy circuit, then took off again in the 13mph wind.  When the wind was showing 14mph, gusting 17mph, I packed the plane away and went home.

July 16th

I went to the EAA chapter meeting at Lincoln - we basically talked about the upcoming Young Eagles event, and started watching the Oshkosh video from last year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 15th

On my lunchtime bicycle ride, I ended up getting a puncture, and got to push my pushbike ~3.5 miles home.  Joy.  At least it wasn't as hot as yesterday.

In the evening, I struggled to get the rear tyre off (damned deep V rims), found a sodding great hole and patched it.  I put a new tyre on, put the wheel back on and changed the front tyre.  When I'd finished that, I discovered the rear tyre was flat again.  I put air in it, and checked again later, and it was flat again, so I figured that the patch wasn't holding, and pulled the wheel again.  The patch was fine, there was another damned hole.  I fixed that, and it looks like everything's fine now.

July 14th

I really struggled on my lunchtime bicycle ride, then got home to find out that it was 106F.  That'd cover it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 13th

I did some patching in the bedroom and bathroom, and put another coat of white on the (remarkably not white) doors.

We watched the (again, excellent) German MotoGP race.

In the evening, we watched "Kick Ass 2", which was a lot better than we expected.

July 12th

I pretty much wasted the day playing Warcraft, as I didn't feel like painting.

July 11th

Yet more painting.  I've thrown paint everywhere now, so I put some hardware back together, while I wait for the strength to get back on the ladder to patch bits I've missed.

Danny called to say a black widow had jumped out at him at the hangar, so he'd used a bug bomb.  I decided to put off flying for the moment :o)

July 10th

More painting, I'm afraid.

July 9th

I painted some more.

In the evening, Vic watched "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" while I read my Sport Pilot knowledge test book.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8th

I started the day by taking the hardware off the bedroom doors, masking up and throwing paint around.  Then, because you only live once, I cut the grass.  I was just trying to figure out a stupid new game on my tablet when Shean texted me to say he was free at the airport, so I drove over so we could chat about my goal to get a US Sport Pilot license.  We went up in the Flightstar, but it was stupidly bumpy, meaning I couldn't maintain height in level flight, let alone in turns around a point and S turns.  We gave up shortly after that, and I then got to land in a 7mph crosswind at 90 degrees to the runway.  Still, any landing you can walk away from, right?

I got home and the house was quiet.  No sign of Tilly, or Rolie Polie Olie, the Roomba.  Suspiciously, the bedroom door was shut.  That was a little troubling, as all the hardware was in the bedroom, so I had to take the stuff off another door to get in there, and let Tilly out.  She was very grateful.  Olie had tangled itself up in the bath mat and turned itself off.

July 7th

In the bedroom, I moved the bed so I could paint behind it, and decided to paint the bathroom while I was at it.

July 6th

I mostly just tidied up the bathroom and the van after the excitement of the last few days.

We went out and got some supplies and stuff, so I picked up a little roller to get between windows and walls in the bedroom, then masked and painted those parts.

In the evening, I went over to Lincoln and went out in the plane for about an hour and ten minutes.  I've been thinking about doing a cross country flight, so I measured about 40 miles in that time, on about 3 gallons of gas.  An 80 mile cross country should be easily do-able with a 10 gallon tank, but I'd probably look at taking an extra 5 gallons in a can, and my little hand pump to transfer it to the main tank at a stop somewhere.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 5th

We went out and got lunch, and the sky's filthy with smoke from a couple of fires near us.

I touched up the paint behind the dresser in the bedroom, then re-hung the mirror and pushed the dresser back to the wall.  Egads, the bedroom's big now.  There's still a lot of painting to be done, but now I have the space to move things to get to the unpainted bits.  Joy.

In the evening I went to Lincoln and took the Flightstar out for what turned out to be an hour and three quarters.  It was weird - we're ringed in smoke from the fires, but the air's clear over us, as it's been a bit windy.  2 landings in a 70 degree, 5 mph crosswind, and I put everything away and headed home.  I stopped to put some gas in the van, and it wouldn't start - the engine coughed over and then everything went dark.  I checked with the built in voltmeter, and it didn't even light up.  Uh oh... I thought the battery had shorted out internally or something, so I turned the passenger seat round and popped the battery cover to find the earth lead wasn't on very tight.  I tightened that up with a pair of pliers and the van started and drove home just fine.  Once home, I tightened the clamp with a proper spanner.  I wonder how long that's been going on?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4th

Today is Independence Day, when Americans celebrate their country's birthday by going shopping.  Me?  I threw paint in the bedroom, then in the evening we watched "Watchmen", which we haven't watched for ages.  Part of the reason was there are a lot of whooshes and bangs, and it distracts Tilly from the fireworks outside.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3rd

I installed a new (DOCSIS 3.0) cable modem/router, to take advantage of a 50Mb/s cable upgrade.  I'll be honest, I didn't really think it out very well, so I just plugged it in and got it working with Comcast.  Then I remembered the port forwarding, reserved DHCP addresses and suchlike I'd had set up.  I started the old router, so I could copy down the old configuration and reconfigure the weather station to use the new router.  I couldn't get the TED5000 to work, so there was a lot of testing things, trying other things and so on until I discovered that the CAT-5e cable was the problem.  Unfortunately I only had 6' cables (other than this one 10' cable), so I ended up moving the router closer so I could plug in the old cable, and everything now works.  The only thing I miss is the ability to have my own DNS configuration, for when Comcast's is playing up - I like to have one of the servers configured to an OpenDNS server as a backup, but meh.

July 2nd

I went to Lincoln for the EAA board of director's meeting.  The guy who's running the Young Eagles event on the 19th got stuck in traffic in Wheatland, so we're hoping he's got everything in hand :o|

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1st

A new month...

Power paid for

Power generated

We got a cracked sprinkler pipe all fixed up, so that hopefully that part of the garden won't flood, and other parts of the garden'll get water.  I even remembered to turn that segment back on at the controller.

June 29th

Other than throwing a bit more paint (from atop a ladder), I did pretty much nothing all day.  Just as it should be.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 28th

After dealing with Tilly throwing up a whole peach pip, I started the day playing Warcraft (hey, it's Saturday), then we watched the most excellent MotoGP race from Assen.  It wa good to see Rossi come from pretty much dead last, and the panics as it stopped raining :o)

I turned off the water to the house, and with Vic's help, pulled one of the supply fittings off my sink in the bathroom.  We then went out and bought supplies (supplies!), and some more fish for the indoor tanks.  When we got home, we installed the new fittings, to replace one that was leaking (so has been turned off for weeks), and got the new water circulation pump fitted.  It runs a bit longer than the old one, but it's a _lot_ quieter, and is much better made.  I've left a newspaper on the floor of the cabinet, so hopefully I'll be able to see any leaks easily, but so far (touch wood laminate) it's fine.

I had planned to fly in the evening, to test the work I've done on the plane recently, but I was just too tired - Tilly didn't sleep well last night, probably because she had a peach pip in her stomach.  I decided to throw some of the paint I've bought for the bedroom, just to see what it looks like.  It looks like it's going to need 2 coats, that's what it looks like.

June 27th

After work, we watched "9", a good, but odd, movie.

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 26th

The replacement cylinder head temperature probe came in, so we went to the airfield and worked on the plane - lengthening the wires that are there, and installing the new probes.  It took a bit longer than I'd hoped (I ended up talking to John for a while in the middle of everything), so I didn't get to start the plane and test it afterwards, but hey, it's done.

June 25th

I managed to crash my bicycle on my lunch time ride - there's a brick sticking out of the dirt on a corner, and it's always been there.  This time, somehow, I managed to clip it with my back wheel, and down I went.  Doh.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 22nd

We started the day going to the airfield do I could fix the broken earth connection, even though I don't think it was affecting anything.  We did some shopping and got breakfast, then went home.

In the evening, we went to dinner with Gwen again, to find out that the Fresh Choice we usually go to has closed down.  Bah.

June 21st

We got up early and went to the airport for the EAA breakfast and flyin.  I went over and taxied the Flightstar over to the ramp with all the other planes, then spent time talking to oglers and Mike from the RC club - he gave us a talk on his 7' Phantom replica.

After I put the plane away, I went to replace the CHT probes, only to find that the wires on the new ones are too short.  I figured I could easily lengthen them (when I have wire, that is), but then one of the new probes is 12mm, rather than 14mm, so I couldn't get the spark plug through it.  Bob Sagget!  I also found a broken earth line, so I put the old probes on and we went home.

In the afternoon, we went to the Fieldhaven cat rescue fund raiser.  It wasn't as dull as the usual SPCA events.

June 20th

After work, we went to dinner with Gwen, due to a miscommunication between her and Vic :o)

June 19th

I did some more work on the RPi, and the time lapse software is now all working.  I just need to make it work with an LED transmitter for the Sony.  This might be a little tricky :o)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 18th

I got Vic to help me with the soldering for the touchscreen controller on my new RPi, and now it all works with the testing.  On to better things, when I get some parts that I'm expecting :o)

June 16th

Vic and Christine got back from their camping trip in Tahoe, to the joy of Tillamook, who's been missing the van.

I did some tinkering with the plumbing in the bathroom, and tested a new hot water recycling pump.  It works, but I managed to leak some water, then leave the (dripping) hot connection off the top, forgetting that water can get from one side to the other when you turn the tap on.  So now I just need to replace the plumbing fittings from the wall, which means turning off the water to the house.

We also got to watch the most excellent MotoGP race from the weekend.  Yay.

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 15th

As usual, I started the day playing Warcraft, then I started playing with the Raspberry Pi and the TFT screen.  I got the screen working, but the touchscreen doesn't work, which makes me suspect that the soldering was less than perfect.  Bugger.

I did some painting in the bedroom - one wall is now purple.  I have a bunch still to do, but I'm going to get a different colour for that.

I went out and bought some supplies that I've been meaning to get for a while - 2 stroke oil (for the plane) and some puncture repair kits.

June 14th

I started the day off in Warcraft for a while, then started playing around with another Raspberry Pi I've bought to tinker with.  The first 8GB SD card I started playing with wouldn't show up in any computer I have, so I'm pretty sure that's dead.  The next one wouldn't accept the RPi image (of course, I didn't realise that it hadn't worked until I tried to boot from it).  Finally a 4Gb card I'd had in an old tablet worked, and everything seems great.  I went to start playing with a little TFT screen, but sadly it needs some soldering, so I put that aside.

I started throwing some paint in the bedroom - I started on the baseboards that I've already prepared.  I also started on the doors - it's amazing how many whites there are, so it looks like they'll need several coats.

Gwen arrived and did some tidying in the critter room, until I managed to convince her that I can run the tumble dryer by myself :o)

In the evening, I played with soldering the TFT panel for the RPi.  Jeez, that was fiddly.

June 13th

Vic and Christina headed out to Tahoe in the van.  Tilly was inconsolable, as she wanted to go camping with them :o)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 11th

I've discovered a problem with the LED light bulbs - they don't charge my solar powered watch :o)  I found that the watch was dead, and I couldn't revive it by leaving it in the sun.  I emailed Citizen support, and they told me how to do a total reset (turn the selector to CHR, then pull out the bezel for ~30 seconds) and that brought it back, but I'm going to have to remember to leave it in the sun from time to time :o)

Christina's in town, as Vic and she are going on an adventure, so we had a barbecue in the evening.  Geri, Larry, Jamie and Gwen came over and entertained Tilly.

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 8th

Vic went out to run some errands, so I tidied up a little in the garage while looking for a battery tender lead, which I installed on her bike.

We then tried bending the bottom of the garage door straighter, and succeeded a little.

I went and dropped off the recycling, then went to the airfield to tinker - the airspeed indicator stopped working in the last flight, as the hose from the pitot tube cracked due to age.  I replaced that.  I also tinkered with the wiring, as I now think the problems I'm having with the EIS freaking out are the live, not the ground (as it doesn't affect anything else).  Some of the switches weren't working the way I expected, so I took them all out to find that it looks like there's been a problem with electrons doing whatever the hell they want, rather than what I've told them to.  I've taped all that up to trap them in.  Finally, one of the cylinder head temperature probes seems to read high, so I swapped them over.  If it continues to read high, I'll break down and just buy new ones.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 7th

We puttered around the house, watching Game of Thrones, then went and did some shopping.  In the afternoon, we went over to the airfield and took the plane up for an hour - it was a beautiful night, as it wasn't bumpy at all.

June 4th

After work I went to the EAA board meeting in Lincoln.  I was pretty pissed off when I got there, as there's some work being done to put in a new bridge on Nelson Road, and for some reason they've started hosing the road down, meaning me and the DRZ were filthy by the time I got to the pizza place.  Aynway, the meeting went ahead fine - I took a few actions, and made a few points.  On the way home, I stopped at the Catlett Road radio control club, and spoke to Mike there about coming out to our next meeting and showing off his models.

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 1st

A new month, new solar statistics.

Power we've paid for
Power generated
I had to estimate the values, as the inverter was replaced part way through the month, but the TED5000 is usually within a few KWh.

In the afternoon we watched the epic MotoGP race from Mugello.

In the late afternoon, we went out to the airfield, but the wind was straight across the runway, so we ended up going for frozen yoghurt instead.

May 31st

I went to pick up my new glasses, and took the DRZ.  The new front sprocket seems to make a bigger difference than I'd thought, as it's calmed the bike down a lot.  I might go back to the 15 tooth at some point, just for the lulz.  I did find, however, a weird noise from the rear brake just before stopping, and I think the rear wheel isn't quite in alignment, so I took all that apart and did it with calipers to be sure :o)

Friday, May 30, 2014

May 29th

We barbecued for the first time this year, and Geri, Jen, Jim, Kathy and Gwen showed up to throw the ball for Tillamook.  John and Jana came over when they were finished flying trikes in Lodi, and before doing anything else, John took Vic's Bolt out for a test ride and pronounced it acceptable.

After discovering that the marinade was flammable, it looks like I'll be eating chicken for the next few days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 27th

Vic's been watching "Game of Thrones" clips on Youtube, so we got the first 3 seasons on DVD, and started watching them.

May 26th

Today was the day off for Memorial Day, when Americans celebrate their war dead by going shopping.  I fixed the central locking on the van (the sliding door had stopped working, and it turned out to be a bad earth), and cut the grass.  Good times.

May 25th

We were both tired after a long day yesterday, so we watched "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "I, Frankenstein".  Both good films, but I think they're trying to build Frankenstein into a series.

May 24th

We went to San Rafael for Jim's 50th birthday party.  Well, his birthday was months ago, but that was the excuse.  There were a bunch of kids there, playing in the pool, including a fully clothed John.  We saw some people I haven't seen in years and years, so it was nice to get out of the house :o)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 23rd

I'd managed to get an invitation to the BMW i3 launch event at Roseville, so we went over and took a look at those.  They're interesting to drive, as when you take your foot off the gas, it starts regenerative braking.  I think I only used the brakes a couple of times on the test drive.  I like it, and would probably go for the middle of the range "Giga" version, as the cloth seats seem more practical in this climate.  I wanted to see the range extender in action, but they're not around just yet.

On the way home, we did some shopping, and got some pots and a dragon statue for the garden.

We then watched "Gravity", which was a good movie.  I did wonder if they ever found her though :o)

Later, I went to Lincoln and changed the spark plugs for the plane, and re-routed the cylinder head temperature gauge probes, as one of them still seems to read stupidly high some times.  I took the plane out for an hour or so, and if the gauge is to be believed, one cylinder still seems to read a fair bit higher than the other one - not into the red though, so I'm not overly worried yet.  I think it needs a new probe.

When I got home, I threw the pictures I have into a couple of timelapses:

While I was up, I saw this, and from a distance, it looks like a crashed plane.

As I got closer though, it doesn't look as real.  I found it on Google Maps, so it's been there for a while.  I think it's a sculpture :o)

May 22nd

I've discovered that the faucet fitting under the sink in the bathroom is leaking somewhere, so I replaced the washer on the cold tap side.  I've left newspaper on the bottom of the cabinet so I can hopefully see where it's coming from (I'm not convinced that it was the cold tap).

In the afternoon I went over to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for a bit.  It was an odd day, with the wind coming from the West, but it wasn't too bad while I was up.  After I'd landed, I was putting the plane away when Vince showed up.  You can see our hangar door is open from miles away, so he'd come over to see what I was doing.  Jim Volk also appeared, as it seems he's got a Piper in a hangar at Lincoln now, and doesn't have a rag and pole plane at Freedom Field any more.  We agreed to meet at the house, and went for a (late) dinner with Vince.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 21st

I'm supposed to be staying out of the sun, so I just tinkered around the house all day.  I did ride the DRZ up and down the road, and the new front sprocket doesn't seem to be causing any sort of problem.

In the evening, John came over, and we went out for a late dinner and drinks.

May 20th

After tooling around in Warcraft for a while, I went and got a couple of new tattoos.  I managed to get home just in time for a teleconference at work, then spent the rest of the day playing around on the computer.

May 19th

I'm off this week, as I'm running up on the vacation time cap (again).  I went and got my eyes tested in the morning, and the pupil dilation meant I was pretty much unable to do anything meaningful for the rest of the day.  That's my excuse for playing Warcraft most of the day, and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 18th

We woke up pretty early, and after breakfast packed everything into the van to drive up to the launch zone and see everybody before heading home.

We didn't do a whole lot once we got home, as we were all pretty tired.

May 17th

We all woke up a bit later than we thought in the van and got everything packed up and to the launch zone.  Vic went in the speed glide, but didn't banzai down the hill (or into the flag pole, eh John?) so she was probably 3rd.  After that, we watched the rest of the flying, while Tilly played with her new friend Tucker, an 8 month old silver Labrador.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16th

They came an installed the new inverter.  Now I just need to watch it to make sure it's all betterer.  The new one looks slightly smaller to me, but it's still 3KW, so that's all that matters.

After work, we packed the van and Tilly up and headed to Lake McClure for the Coyote Howl, getting there pretty late.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 12th

I installed a 16 tooth front sprocket on the DRZ.  After notching the chain guard on the swingarm.  I then had to trim the case saver.  The idea is that this'll stop the poor little thing screaming its guts out at freeway speeds, and not cause the chain to be too long like going to a smaller rear sprocket.  Now I just need to get the time / inclination to test ride it.

May 11th

It was still to gusty to think about flying, so I just wasted the day pottering around the house and playing Warcraft.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 10th

It was stupidly windy, so I wasted the day playing Warcraft, catching up on TV and cutting the grass (I'm hoping it'll be better tomorrow and I can go flying or something...).

In the evening, we watched The Dark Knight.

May 9th

I emailed my CAA letter to my aviation doctor, and he said it looked fine, so he'll send that on to them.  No, I don't know why they won't work directly with me, as it's not like he can add any value at the moment.

In the evening, we went to Scott's to see Jason, who's in town for the weekend.  It was cool to see a bunch of people we haven't seen for ages.

Friday, May 9, 2014

May 8th

I've been battling with the Campaign Against Aviation about my medical, and they've finally started listening.  I need to send them a letter explaining how I fly (really?), so we went to the airfield to take pictures of the modifications to the Flightstar.  Hopefully I can get that sent to my doctor tomorrow, and he can send it on to them so we can argue about it next week.

On the way back from Lincoln, we stopped at Lowe's to look for some rubber cone grommets that fit on the hose into the tap in the bathroom - it's started leaking.  Home Depot didn't have anything last time I checked, and Lowe's at least have them on their website.  The Lincoln store said they'd stopped stocking them about 3 months ago, and on the drive to the Roseville store, I looked them up on my phone.  They couldn't find any, and the search for the part number was fruitless.  At ACE Hardware, we found them, so I bought enough to replace every one in the house and still have spares.

May 7th

I went to the EAA board meeting.  Sounds like we're moving forward well with the Young Eagles program, and should be flying kids in July.

I belted home to meet John for dinner :o)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 5th

I've been tracking the problems with the inverter, and sending screenshots like this:
Light blue is solar generation.
to the manufacturer and the installer.  Today I sent them loads, and the new support guy on the ticket at the manufacturer said we should just replace it, and he's going to send a replacement to the installer :o)

May 4th

Happy Star Wars Day.  We watched the excellent MotoGP race from Jerez.  We also tried the Walkydog with the Mook and Vic running - we'd cycle past her, then turn around and chase after her.  While she's still not all out running, Tilly's getting faster than the trot she usually adopts when bolted to my pushbike.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3rd

I spent a little time removing the hot water pump in the bathroom, so I can send it back to be fixed... it seems to have a problem with one of the circuit boards, and I'm just done dealing with it.

I started out trying to install a 2 DIN JVC stereo that John gave us in the Jeep.  I took the old Sony out, only to find that I needed an adapter, as there's no surround to connect the cage.  I put the Sony back in.  We went to lunch and stopped at Frys to pick the adapter kit up.  When we got back, I installed the adapter on the JVC, and took the Sony out again.  I then took the CANBUS adapter off the Sony, cut the wires and soldered that to the JVC loom, then went to install it in the Jeep to find that there are a couple of brackets that make this impossible.  I'm not the first to find this, so it looked like I'd be doing some cutting in there.  Joy.

After a bit of concentration, I figured out how to remove the mounting bracket at the back, and jam the stereo under the plastic bracket, without any cutting.  With Vic's help, we managed to get everything plugged in and mounted.  Yay us.  It even works how it's supposed to :o)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1st

It's a new month, so here's the solar statistics.

Power billed
Power generated

April 30th

I went with Vic to watch her water aerobics class.  It's the first time I've been to the facility, and it's pretty good.

John's in town, and we met up briefly in the evening.

April 27th

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from Argentina.

I just wasted the day, as it was a weird weather time, but I did get out and cut the grass.  It was full of leaves, so that took ages, and filled the green waste bin to the top.

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 21st

I called the support guys for the inverter on my solar system, that seems to be having the occasional problem where it drops to 0.  They're guessing that the problem is that the grid power goes "out of sync" somehow - I pointed out that I have the voltages, and they're not changing, so they're blaming phase frequencies and things and stuff, which sounds a lot like "it's complicated, don't worry your pretty little head about it".  Oh well, we'll see if it happens again - I've only caught it doing this twice.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 20th

After discovering that the Chilipepper appliance isn't working properly, I went over to the airfield and took the plane out for a while, looking for a dog that the SPCA has lost (I didn't see it).

April 19th

After playing Warcraft for a while, I put together the Chilipepper appliance for the bathroom with a new gearbox, and spent a while reinstalling it.  It seemed to work, so I then went to the airfield for the Safety Team presentation.  The presentation was about dissimilar aircraft operations, so we heard from powered parachute to corporate jet pilots.

After that, I got myself all sorted out and took the plane out.  There was a Jet Prop and 2 RVs in the run up area, so I waited for them to leave, then did my run up checks.  I then waited for somebody to land, and pulled out of the way to let the parachute jump plane go.  I was waiting for the Jet Prop to land, and watching the RVs doing an overhead break when the Jet Prop ran off the runway.  I taxied over there, but they were out of the plane when I got there.  It looks like the front gear came out, but didn't rotate to be pointing the right way, as there was a big black stripe on the runway from it.  When the gear hit a lump of dirt, it broke, and the prop seems to have kept the nose from too much damage.  We spent a while trying to figure out what to do with the plane, and ended up leaving it there.  I had been thinking I was going to drive them up to Auburn (where they came from), but Byron offered to fly them back up (as it's a lot quicker).  After all that, I didn't feel like flying any more :o)

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 17th

Once it had warmed up, I went over to the airfield to work on the plane - sadly with all the ideas I'd had about fitting stuff, it didn't work out how I'd intended, but I've fitted the LED navigation lights (I had thought about adding 2 strobes, but there isn't any space for them at the end of the wing).  I figured out how to mount them, made the bracketry up for the left wing, then tried to push my spare cable inner wire down the tube, to pull the electrical wire.  It kept hitting mounts inside the tube, and I was trying to figure out how I could run the wire inside the wing instead.  That wasn't going to work, so I worked on straightening my cable, with a little bend at the end, and that eventually went in.  I pulled the wire through without any problems, and soldered everything up at the wing end.  I cut the zip ties for the side cover, and got the switched 12V power line for the strobes sorted out, and soldered the resistor to the end of the (3V) strobe line.  Testing it, it worked just fine, so I moved on to the right wing.  I got the bracketry sorted for the end all sorted out, pushed the cable down (first time!) but then had the electrical wire catch several times and come unhooked.  I eventually got that sorted out, and soldered everything up, but I was having trouble getting the earth connection for both wires in the connector, so I soldered them together, making it that bit easier.  Everything works, so I put everything back together and headed home.

April 16th

Still off work, so I spent the morning playing Warcraft while I waited for it to warm up a bit.

I noticed that there was a problem (again) with the solar power:

I spent a bit of time talking to the installers, and they're going to talk to the inverter manufacturer to see if this is anything they've seen before.

I tinkered around in the garage, and made up some brackets for the plane, but I need to get some tiny screws.

In the evening I rode over to Lincoln for Corl's talk on ADS-B / NexGen, which was quite interesting.  Doesn't look like I'll need to do anything for where I fly, which is just as well as I don't think I have the power to run transponders, WAAS GPS and the transmitter system :o)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15th

I've taken a few days off to kill off some holiday, as I'm no longer accruing any :o(

I started out looking at the camera (that had been taking pictures of the eclipse), and the bloody thing stopped taking pictures after about 2 hours.  All I got of the eclipse was this.  Bah, at least there are 3 more eclipses in the next 18 months.

Jim came over with his friend Michael, who has a brachial plexus injury, too.  He's wanting to look at getting back onto a motorcycle, so he looked at the DRZ at length.  He has a mountain bike with linked hydraulic brakes, so I'm interested to see how that works :o)

April 14th

After work, we watched the MotoGP race.  WTF?  At least <anybody but Pedrosa> won :o)

I set up the camera to take pictures of the eclipse, then went to bed.

April 13th

We spent the morning doing things and stuff waiting to watch the MotoGP race from Austin.  Well, after the race was over, we could watch the highlights and the interviews after the race, but not the race itself :o(

We went down to Elk Grove to meet John and Jim, where we sat in a bar and talked for 6 hours.  Tilly's dinner was... late :o)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 12th

After the obligatory Warcraft session, we took the Bolt over to the Yamaha dealer - there's a little bit of rust on the exhaust system, and I'm pretty sure that shouldn't happen after getting wet once.  They said they'd refer it to Yamaha, but I'm pretty sure it'll get replaced.

We pulled some stuff out of the storage space / attic in the garage, and put a couple of doors up there.  I then broke down a bunch of old boxes, and ran them to the recycling drop off.

I slogged through and cut the grass, but I'm still feeling a bit chesty from my cold, so I didn't feel the need to brave the gusty wind and go flying.

The Yamaha dealer called in the afternoon to say they'd be ordering the exhaust on Monday :o)

April 11th

We went out to dinner with John.

April 10th

John's in town, so he came over and... did some laundry :o)

April 9th

I started putting Gwen's laptop back together, but there's a broken internal connector that I'm pretty sure I won't be able to solder.  Bugger.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 8th

I went to the dentist, and my teeth are still fine.  On the way home, there was a young woman broken down in traffic at a major (for Roseville) junction, and everybody was getting all pissy and forcing their way into the other lane to get around her.  I parked the DRZ behind her, and said "hey, let's move it".  While we were waiting for the lights to change, a kid came up from another car somewhere behind us and joined in, and when we had the car safely parked up over the junction, there were 2 more kids pushing my bike over to me :o)

The power plug adapter for Gwen's old laptop showed up a few days ago, so I spent a bit of time soldering it to the motherboard.  Now I just need to fix the other end of the power line - the plug is caked with burnt plastic by the look of things.

April 6th

I'm still feeling a little under the weather, so we went to IKEA to get Tilly a new cookie jar with a lid (to match my cookie jar, with a lid).  In the afternoon, I spent a few hours loading drivers and patches onto Gwen's PC, so that's good to go now.  Yay.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April 5th

I've been bothered with the HID light on the DRZ, as it cuts out from time to time, usually at high revs.  I'm not sure if it's a voltage thing, or a vibration thing, or a just not built very well thing, so I've put the halogen bulb back in to stop me worrying about it.  It looks awfully yellow, now :o)

I took a look at Gwen's busted PC, and it looks to me like the problem's the graphics card.  I put an old one in, and it's been booting up just fine, so when I get the password to load the drivers, we'll probably call that good.

April 3rd

John's in town, so we got together for dinner, and for him to dump some more junk in the guest room for when he gets time to deal with it :o)

April 1st

It's a new month, so here's what we did with the solar panels last month:
Power billed

Power generated

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March 31st

After work, we went over to the Yamaha dealer and picked up Vic's Bolt.  In the rain.  I followed her home in the Jeep, and despite the new bike and new tyres, there was nary a twitch :o)

March 30th

It wasn't raining for a change, so I cut the grass while I could.

I also went out for some parts for a project I have in my head for the plane - yesterday I'd been looked at like I had 2 heads when I asked for P clamps in Lowes... well, Home Depot know what I'm talking about, so I went and picked some up.  There are a few more things I need yet, so I need to spend some time fabbing stuff, methinks.

Other than that, it was just tinkering around the house.  I think I'm coming down with a cold :o(