Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 30th

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

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

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

July 29th

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

July 28th

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

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

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

July 27th

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

Monday, July 27, 2020

July 26th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 25th

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

July 19th

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

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

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

July 18th

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

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

July 14th

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

Monday, July 13, 2020

July 12th

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 11th

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

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8th

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

After that, we went out for a little flight.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July 6th

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

Monday, July 6, 2020

July 5th

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

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

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

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

July 4th

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

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

In the evening we watched "Ad Astra".

Friday, July 3, 2020

July 3rd

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

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

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

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

July 2nd

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

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

July 1st

A new month, so here are the solar stats:

Power billed
Power generated

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

June 30th

My regulator finally came in, so after work I went over to the airport and installed it.  Everything seemed fine, and Chris wanted to meet up at Auburn, so I took the plane up for a flight to check it out.  I was early, so I took the long way there :o)

It's funny to see how much power my landing light draws, for example, when I've never even looked at that before.  After standing and chatting for a while, we headed back to Lincoln for some ice cream before Chris headed home.