Ma Blog‎ > ‎2006‎ > ‎


April 30th I did some fiddling with van - basically fitting a rear view mirror (the plastic had started to disintegrate on the old one) and a map pocket (the old one had broken the mounts - I figured out that this was due to the previous owner moving it when he fitted some bigger speakers, and not using the longer screws that it really needed) that I bought on eBay.

I've fitted the new clock, too, but the dashboard is still out, seeing as half of the little light bulbs in it are blown. I also cleaned the faces of the clocks, while I could get to them.

I then went to the airfield and fed some wires through the wings of the plane, and put the regulator / rectifier on with the bracket I'd cobbled together for that purpose. Now I just need to get the lights all soldered to the wires, and it's done :o)

I then went and picked up Chloe from Debbie's.

April 29th I went to the airfield first thing in the morning, to allow the hangar people in to fit a new skylight, after the old one above my plane disappeared. I think it was so brittle that it broke out, flew off and disintegrated when it hit the ground. Apparently this one isn't the right size (after I measured the wall the other week, the roof is a different size), but it's sealed, so the rain (hah, it's been sunny all week) won't get in any more.

While I was there, I drilled some holes in the plane and started fitting the LED navigation lights I've had sitting in the kitchen for weeks.

I then went and spent the rest of the day at the SPCA.

April 26th I did a bit more work on the YSR rebuild, we now have some other parts bolted on :o)

April 25th Went over to Jim and Kathy's for dinner - he'd cooked up so much stew that he was desperate to not eat it for the next 5 days :o)

April 24th I did a bit of work on the YSR rebuild, we now have the engine in the frame :o)

April 23rd I wasted the day watching the WSB races and working at cleaning up parts of the van.

I've pulled off all of the seals on the pop-top, so I had to go around and remove all the old glue that the previous owner had used to hold it on. Fun.

April 22nd I went and picked up some mounting hardware for the van, then spent most of the day at the SPCA.

When I got home, I walked Chloe around the block, then settled in to play a little World of Warcraft with all the new toys Jason's sent me from his higher level character. I'm currently at level 20, which isn't too bad. A lot of the time, when I'm playing there aren't that many other people on, which makes it harder to get groups to do quests.

All was going swimmingly until somewhere to the South started having a fireworks display. That always cheers Chloe up - she ends up a quivering wreck under the desk in the office while I'm working, or more or less on my lap if I'm anywhere else. It's funny, if you'd have explained to me when I was a kid that the fireworks traumatise thousands of animals in the area, I'd like to think I could have lived without them.

Then, to cap it off, my internet connection went down, so I took that as an omen to go to bed.

April 21st I went to Brad and Crissy's for this year's Becky's 29th birthday party. Rather than spending the party in the kitchen, I spent half of it helping Brad set up the discs on his Linux machine :o).

It's interesting having to drive somewhere these days. Would it kill people to look before changing lanes? Since I read this, I've given up expecting people to use their indicators, but surely not even looking makes it far too exciting. Oh well, maybe they're distracted. It does seem that a lot of people are having to have constant instruction on how to drive a car - I can't think of another reason why they'd have to be on the phone the whole time they're driving.

There used to be a web page in the Bay Area called "Jerque du jour" - a guy commuting up highway 17 would take pictures of people driving like dicks. With the recent fad for phones having cameras in them, and anonymous web space, I'm surprised that nobody's doing this now. I'd do it, of course, but I'm lazy, and I couldn't do it here for fear of identification. The funny thing is that often I can look at the way a car's being driven, and predict some numb-nuts behaviour is about to take place. I could get some really good pictures if I were to be holding my cellphone all the time I was driving.

April 20th I scuttled out straight after work (yay! Daylight Savings Time!) and went to the airfield and had a little flight in the plane. Craig was there, just putting away the planes after a lesson with Ray (mine sits in front of his). Luckily I got there just after he'd put mine away and closed the big heavy doors, so I got to open the big heavy doors and get the thing out again. I went and did a little playing around to the West of the airport, and then did a crappy landing in the crosswind to call it a day. As I was putting the plane away, Jack wandered over and we stood out chatting and watching people take off and land until it was very, very dark :o)

April 19th While the weather's been good enough to fly for the past couple of days, the dolts I have to deal with at work mean that I've had to work late several nights this week, so no flying :o(

Cheer up, they'll be gone soon :o)

April 16th Oh goody, rain. The equivalent of 2.6" an hour at one point, according to the weather station.

I went out and got the other front shock on the van, then went in and watched some TV, surfed for porn, that sort of thing. After a while I got bored, so I went back out and got the rear shocks and wheels on too, so it's back to being drivable. Interestingly, it had the stock Boge shocks on the front, but aftermarket (and clapped out) KYBs on the back. Bilstein heavy duty all round now :o) I thought the rear was going to be difficult, as Jason had trouble doing his shocks, but I found that a 4800lb van on a jack is more than enough leverage to compress the shocks to where you want them using an axle stand. Jeez, at this rate I'll have run out of things to do by the time it goes in for the new engine :o)

April 15th I got up and started to pull bits off the van so I could clean them - there was so much crap that started to fall out of the roof above the front seats that I decided to back it out onto the drive first. The roof came off without too much stress, and a load of dust, seeds and crap has been washed off :o)

I then decided to get a slow puncture (it's a screw, I can see it) in one of the Subaru tyres fixed, and at the same time get the new tyres fitted to the new wheels for the van.
Sounds simple, but most of the places I called for tyres wanted to put me on passenger car tyres - um, hello? This thing weighs about 5,000lbs - it needs truck tyres. I eventually found a guy who seemed to know what he was talking about, and we went through the catalogue and decided on a set of tyres. 4 hours (yipe!) later they were fitted.

By now it was really too late to go to the SPCA, so I went home and started fiddling with the van. I got one of the new shocks in, the brakes bled through and got the wheel on. The other front shock didn't want to come out, so I sprayed it with WD40 and left it to think about what it'd done.

April 14th I've done a bit of work on the YSR rebuild - basically putting the clutch back together, and the engine back in the frame. Now I just need to touch up all the new scratches in the paint on the frame, and get to work on the electrics. Oh, and spray the forks...

I also scooted over to the the airfield to measure the panels so the hangar owners can replace the missing skylight. It was still sunny, but the wind was blowing at almost 20mph by the time I got there, so I then just turned around and went home.

April 13th Something's gone horribly wrong. The sky's not gray, and there's a big burning ball up there. I took Chloe for a walk, but was careful to cover up in case the burning ball burns my skin. Chloe fairly skipped around the block, as she likes the heat :o)

According to the weather forecast, it won't last. Typical.

April 12th Joy... stuff that I've ordered for the van has started to show up, so I have a pile o' stuff in the living room. Chloe went beserk when she saw a brown camper van show up outside for the delivery - maybe she thought she was going for a ride :o)

Of course, Chloe insists on picking her way through all the parts to lie on the sofa in there, so I really need to start doing stuff with it.

April 11th Rain, rain (0.35") go away...

You know, if this keeps up, I might as well grow gills.

Don't just take my word for it... see this, this and this.

April 10th Rain, rain, go away... I rode the Hawk over to feed Jasmine and Daisy, and got a little wet on the way home :o(

April 9th Having fed Jasmine and Daisy, I met Vince at the the airfield as I'd asked him to check over the plane after Thursday's excitement. Just for peace of mind, rather than anything, and he said everything looked OK.

After watching the MotoGP race from Qatar, I put the indicators and suchlike back on the Hawk, then ran it over to the SPCA for a class on shelter medicine.

April 8th I started the day walking Chloe, and she's getting much better. I then went over to Scott and Becky's to feed Jasmine and Daisy before heading off to the SPCA.

April 6th Well, it finally stopped raining long enough to the airfield and go for a little flight in the plane. Actually, the crosswind was pretty ugly, and I did a bunch of really crappy landings, including one where the right wing came way up just after I touched down. I ended up off the runway (steering into it and suchlike), and I now need to go back and check that I didn't damage anything :o(

More practice needed there, methinks. I'm trying to keep the into wind wing down a little, but it either isn't enough, or I'm levelling the wings as I land, allowing the wind underneath it to pick the wing up :o(
I'd get a lesson and practice with Ray, but it's easier in a heavier plane. I'm going to talk it through with some pilot types though.

April 4th Rain, rain (0.99") go away...

April 3rd As it was raining heavily (0.63", according to the weather station), we bugged out on the track day. When Jason came over to pick up the trailer (somebody else needs to borrow it from Rich this week), he suggested we go-kart instead. So we did. I pretty much sucked, but I beat Rik :o)

Later on, we went to the airfield so Jason could check out the plane, and it looks like there's a section of the roof missing from the hangar :o(

April 2nd I was just starting up my day, when Victoria called from the SPCA to say that they were thin on the counter, so could I come in and help. So, I went in and helped at the counter :o)

I then went home and got all my stuff together for the track day :o)

April 1st Per Matt's instructions last month, I walked Chloe around the block. She was better, and I only did the abrupt turn thing a couple of times. We'll see how long that sticks.

I then spent most of the day at the SPCA, then went to Jason's in the evening to see what all the fuss is about with World of Warcraft. I'm going to look into this, with all my free time :o)