Ma Blog‎ > ‎2005‎ > ‎


Oct 31st Today was Hallowe'en, so all the neighbourhood kids were out begging for toothrotting candy. Rather than have Chloe go berserk every time the doorbell rang, we went out for a long walk around the neighbourhood so she could watch them all troop past in their costumes - you just have to time it so you pass kids as they walk up people's driveways. After this, we went home and snuggled up under a blanket and watched TV.

Oct 30th Got up to a foggy morning and the onerous task of changing all the clocks. That's:
  • 2 in the bedroom
  • 1 in the guest room
  • 2 in the office
  • 2 in the kitchen
  • 2 in the family room
  • 5 in the garage
and that doesn't include the computers that change themselves. Interestingly, my TMobile cellphone didn't change the time until I turned it off and on again. If you set it to "manual" and change it, then set it to "auto", it changes itself back. Morons.

I then went to get Chloe from Debbie's, and got roped into helping her move rocks around the garden. Oh well.

I was upset at having lost an hour's daylight (I'd managed to convince myself that I'd gain an hour somehow. Of course, the runway at Lincoln is closed until 5pm for new lights to be fitted, so that basically means no flying for me until it reopens during the day on (hopefully) Thursday.

Chloe wasn't happy at her supper being half an hour late, either :o)

Oct 29th Having spent most of the morning fighting with web hosting and email issues (hopefully sorted now), I then got to help Jim and Fred put Jim's garage door back together after he'd managed to close it on a table, pushing the door off it's tracks and dumping all the tension in the spring. After quite a lot of fiddling and swearing, we finally got it all done, after both of them had said it was time to call a professional.


Oct 28th Went to a fancy dress party at Scott's. I borrowed Jeff (he's much bigger than me)'s motocross gear, and went as Josh, but the family were off at a race, so they didn't go. Oh well.

Oct 27th Took the KLX for a ride, to find that the speedo is overreading by about 10mph at 55mph. Of course, I almost looped the thing when a traffic light turned red and I started braking the way I usually do on the KLX - namely, squeeze the lever pretty hard and wait for the front to stop diving. Well, with proper tyres and a big disc, it stops. I was almost sitting on the tank thinking "hand, stop braking. STOP braking, hand" and I ended up stopping about 20' short of the line. Needs practice, obviously.

Oct 26th I fitted a bicycle computer to the KLX, so I'd be able to see how far out the speedo really is, now the wheel's that bit smaller :o)

Oct 25th I had to go to San Jose for work, so that buggered up the whole day, and I got nothing done.

Oct 24th I got the missing filling replaced - they now use a high-tech epoxy stuff that sets in light, so when they're ready, they shine a light in your mouth and it sets in a few minutes. Then the dentist takes his Dremel (tm) and smoothes it over. The new filling feels much better than the old one ever did :o)

I got the disc mounted properly on the KLX, then headed out to the airfield and flew the Rans for a while.

I got home, fed Chloe and took the KLX out for another shake-down ride. No problems, finally :o) It's going to take a little getting used to, as the steering's very light, but there seems to be a lot of grip. Strange, that.

Oct 23rd I got up, fully intending to waste the whole day, but hey, I might as well do something while I'm up, eh?

I finished draining the tub, with help from Chloe, who chases the water as you bail it out, and puts muddy footprints on things as you try and clean them up. Everything's a game in Chloeworld, but at least the house now smells of damp dog.

I went and checked my work on the KLX, just to make sure I hadn't done anything spectacularly stupid, then watched Sete Gibernau throw away the lead like last week's newspaper. The guy is startlingly crap under pressure, he really is.

Last year at Qatar, he protested Valentino Rossi (who I like) and Max Biaggi (who I don't) for doing burn-outs on their grid positions with their pit bikes. So, they both started the race right from the back. Rossi made a silly number of places in the first few laps, then crashed. He then issued the Rossi curse, saying that Gibernau would never win another race.
Gibernau has signed up to race for Ducati next year, so it would seem that Rossi was correct :o)

After the race, I went to the airfield and flew the Rans for 30 minutes, until the wind turned from nothing to 5mph across the runway. I asked if I was mouse or man, the mirror cracked, and away I ran. I put the plane away and headed home :o)

I then kitted up and took the KLX out for a shakedown - there was a ticking from the front end, so I headed back home to find that one of the brake buttons is hitting a casting on the caliper. Great. Now I need to figure out what to do about it.
Luckily, it's just scuffed one of the "running in" buttons and the disc carrier, so when this is fixed and I've put the silver buttons in, this won't show too badly :o)

Oct 22nd It was the Free-fur-all fair thingummy at the SPCA, and I got there early with my EZ-Up to help set up. Well, they had enough setter uppers, so I helped get the dogs out so their kennels could be cleaned, then walked them, then spent the day helping interested adopters.

We homed 5 cats, 5 dogs, a rabbit and a guinea pig. Pretty good for one day :o)

I'd had some silly idea about going flying after the SPCA, but I was just too damned tired. Still, Jeff called me to say my wheels were ready for the KLX, so I headed over and picked them up. After a little rest, and to stop me going to sleep at 18:45, I went and fitted the wheels to the bike. Twice. I put them all on, and there was a bit left, so I took first the front, then the rear wheel off in a bid to figure out where it went. For reference, the manual is pretty useless here, and it goes under the sprocket carrier, by the cush drive rubbers.

Oct 21st I had hoped to go flying this evening, but my one and only filling dropped out. While I was eating a Twix (tm). I have no idea where it went, meaning it's probably lacerating it's way through my intestines even as I type - woo hoo.

So, in the evening, I went and found some temporary filling stuff, it's like plastic padding, except it doesn't stick very well, even though I got the "10x" stickier variant. So, I spent the evening poking this stuff into the hole in my tooth, then licking it away with my tongue. Oh yes, the fun, it never stops.

Oct 19th Darren finally showed up to look at the problem I was having with the tub - it required the circulation pump to be replaced, as it was all calcified. Bummer. As it's been a week or so (they told me not to poke around myself last time it went wrong and I called them - that's what a warranty's for), the water's looking awful, so I started draining it. 400 gallons over the lawn turns it into a swamp :o)

In the evening I cleaned up the propeller with Methyl Ethyl Ketone, and stuck on the new prop tape, so that's ready to go now.

Oct 17th Went over to Jeff's in the evening, and mounted the tyres for the KLX. He then cursed my stupidity for leaving the rear disc at home, meaning we couldn't balance the wheels yet. Doh.

Oct 16th Being dogless (geddit?), I had a lie in, not getting out of bed until (gasp) 08:30. I then watched Valentino Rossi clinch the constructor's championship for Yamaha, and generally mooched around until I went to pick up the mutt.

Oct 15th After finishing fixing the nick in the propeller, I just have to wait for the new prop tape to show up.

I then went to the SPCA for a few hours, and got home to find that Debbie had dropped Otis off to play with Chloe while she went shopping. Now she's got him a harness (so he can be restrained in the car - unlike Chloe, he wanders about), she went to put that on him so they could go home, and Chloe thought it was her harness, and she was going with Debbie - she even stuck her big fat head into it, even though there's no way it'd ever fit her. We eventually gave up and Chloe went to spend the night at Debbie's :o)

Oct 14th I went back to the airfield and tidied up the prop fix, and added some more polyester sealant.

Oct 13th Having spoken to the folks who make the propeller, I started work on fixing the nick.

Oct 12th Finally got to go flying. After an uneventful 30 minutes or so of circuits, people started coming back from wherever they were, and things looked like they were going to get busier, so I landed to avoid the fun. I noticed it looks like something's hit the prop, so I'll have to take a closer look at that and see if it can be repaired, or whether I should replace that blade.

As I was putting the plane away (and making a big deal out of it, for some reason), Mike called and offered dinner, so I went home and fed Chloe, dropped off my flying junk, and headed out again.

Oct 11th I'd had some silly ideas about going flying, but I went to the optician's and they dilated my pupils so they could shine really bright lights into my eyes. This meant driving home was enough of an adventure, thanks...

Oct 10th Columbus Day is a holiday here, so I frittered away the day cycling (having fixed my puncture) and fitting some new outside lights to the house, to replace the disgraceful cheap ones fitted by the builder. Of course, I had to work around the usual "I don't live here" crap that the contractors always leave behind... I really want to build a house myself one day.

Anyway, I basically ran out of time to go flying, as it's starting to get dark earlier. Must remember that.

Oct 9th Spent a good portion of the day at Scott's watching the children work in the garden as a punishment for whatever. Still don't want any, thanks, as they seem to need a lot of supervision, and do a pretty substandard job.

Oct 8th After spending the morning at the SPCA, I went to Lincoln to fly the plane. This time, after 2 circuits, the radio battery went dead, so I finished up the circuit I was on without the radio, and parked it. I'll see if the battery'll hold a charge, or if I need to invest in a new one.

Oct 7th Went to go for a cycle, only to find that I had a puncture in the rear tyre. I pulled the wheel, found the hole, and went to patch it, only to find that the rubber cement I have has totally evaporated since I last used it. It sucks to be me sometimes, it really does.

Oct 6th Went to Lincoln to fly the plane, I taxied out to find that the push-to-talk on the radio wasn't working, so I taxied back and picked up the old spare. That worked, so I taxied back, and a gust of wind actually lifted one wing. I flew for a little while, and was busy putting the plane away and filling it up with gas when somebody radioed with an engine problem. They sent out the fire engine, but he landed without any drama.

Oct 4th Had dinner at Scott and Becky's - first time we've seen each other since their trip to New Orleans to take relief stuff to the refugees.

Oct 2nd Went to Lincoln and I flew the plane for a little while - it was a bit bumpy, but I'd left the hangar open, so I couldn't bugger off and do other things elsewhere. Oh well. I did, however, manage to get 2 landings I was happy with (ie both of them). It seems to be that you turn onto finals a bit higher than you'd like, then scream down towards the ground. Then see that you're doing 55mph, when you wanted to be doing 45mph. Use the brakes - panic because they don't work, then remember that they're wheel brakes rather than air brakes, calm down, round out and pull back until the rear wheel touches down just before the front wheels. I think I've been trying to put the front wheels down first, like on the Thruster in the UK.

I then went home and watched the MotoGP race - it's nice to see Gibernau continue to come apart like a cheap Taiwanese watch.

Oct 1st I had a nagging feeling that I'd rebuilt the KLX forks wrong, so I took them apart and did it right... cartridge forks aren't just all thrown in the tubes like the damper rod forks on the Hawk. Doh.