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August 29th A quick run in the Subaru proved that it's all working fine :o)

August 28th Autozone called to say that the spark plug leads were in for the Subaru, so I picked them up and got it running properly. I'd left the battery disconnected to reset the ECU, and the car started straight up, and ran without any warning lights, misfiring or anything. I have yet to take it for a drive, but I'm quietly confident that it's fixed.

1 out of 5 vehicles working properly :o)

I went over to Jeff's in the evening to get lectured about the front wheel spindle being loose (I've been blaming all my front end problems on the rim not being central) and to centre up the front rim on the KLX. All went well, and it didn't even take that long. On the way home, I tried some heavy braking, and nothing's touching, so we'll call that 2 of 5 vehicles working properly :o)

August 27th I just pottered around the garden, weeding and cutting lumps off the trees. When Vic came over after work, we went to Scott's for Birthdaypalooza - Jackie, Jim and Bo were celebrating their birthdays :o)

August 26th I went for a ride on the Hawk with Jason and his brother in law, Randy. Randy recently passed his test and got an EX250, but he's a pretty good rider already, so the ride wasn't too hectic, or too slow.
At one of our break stops, Jason pointed out that the left fork seal's leaking. Great. That's back to 0 out of 5 vehicles working properly :o(

I went to pick up the spark plug leads for the Subaru, only to find out that "tomorrow" actually means "Tuesday" :o(

August 25th I got up early (couldn't sleep) and changed the spark plugs on the Subaru - they were OK, but #1 cylinder was obviously not firing. When I started the car with the bonnet open, I could see a big purple spark coming off the #1 plug lead, so I ran out to a few local car parts places on the Hawk, but nobody had a set in stock. I took a generic lead, and ordered the set, but the generic lead didn't really work out, so it'll go in the "spares" pile. It's funny to have 5 vehicles, and only 1 of them works properly :o)

Vince came and picked up Mike to go and get his plane with the trailer, and head back to Salinas, and my day went back to something like normal.

In the evening, I met Vic at TGI Fridays, and Jason and Nicole joined us for dinner. When we got home, Jason and I joined up in World of Warcraft so he could make a couple of levels with his priest, and I could hit a couple of quests that need a party.

I'm tired.

August 24th Mike called to say he was on his way up from Salinas, to Freedom Field for the annual trip to Pismo Beach. As it's a few hundred miles, I didn't want to go in the Rans - it would take all day, and several fuel stops. Anyway, about the time he was supposed to be here, he called to say he was actually at New Jerusalem airport, about 15 miles south of Stockton, after an engine failure. Great. So, I got the GPS co-ordinates (it's in the middle of bloody nowhere), and went to get some stakes and tiedowns from Vince at Freedom Field.

When I got there, Vince was walking around with his hand all bandaged up - seems they'd been playing with an autogyro, and he'd been hand spinning the rotor, and put his hand into the (running) prop :o(
He lost his little finger, and almost totally severed the next 2 fingers. They rushed him to hospital, while Dennis stayed to try and find the finger. Eventually, they got Lucky, the airport mutt, to look for it. He searched around, then zig-zagged off and "pointed" to it :o) They rushed that to the hospital to join Vince on his $34,000 helicopter flight to Stanford to have everything reattached. They're hoping it'll all heal up OK, but he might lose the ability to bend his little finger downwind of the cut.

Anyways, he had nothing to do, so we headed South to get Mike, who kept ringing us to ask where we were. As we got closer, the "Check Engine" light came on in the Subaru, but it would run OK above 3200rpms. Hmmm.

We eventually got to within 3 miles of him, and drove around in circles until we found him. We pulled the plane off the 5000' runway, and tied it down before heading home.

August 21st I'd dropped the yokes on the KLX as far as I could - a few mm, but it seems to have finally solved the steering problems. The bike's still stable up to 65mph (didn't go any faster on the way to lunch), and turns OK at slow speeds. I still need to get the front wheel hub centred, but that'll involve a quick run over to Jeff's :o)

Chloe's biscuit ball was discovered, hidden behind the toilet in the guest bathroom. Stupid dog.

August 20th We went to the California State Fair and saw everything from an hour old calf staggering to his feet to a hypnotist. It was a pretty tiring day, and we got home knackered. We waved Valerie and Christina off, then ended up watching the MotoGP race from Brno. It looked to me like Valentino slowed Nicky down so that everybody else could jump him, then settled for 2nd :o) I was happy to see Capirossi win on the Ducati, especially after the season he's had since the big crash in Barcelona, but happier to see Valentino draw in 13 points closer to the championship lead. It means that this is going to be a very interesting five races until the end of the season.

Chloe's biscuit ball is still missing. Stupid dog.

August 19th There was talk of a mentor's meeting at the SPCA, so I arrived early. Not early enough for the meeting, but early enough to walk several of the bigger dogs before the doors opened.

After the shelter, I raced home and let Jim's mutts back in the house and showered in time to meet Vic's friends, and head off to dinner. After dinner, we all sat around in the hot tub for a while.

At some point, Chloe lost her biscuit ball. I couldn't find it anywhere, and she was acting like she had no idea what we were looking for.

August 18th I rode the KLX to lunch, and it's a lot better. I might try dropping the yokes to see if I can make it a squidge quicker steering, but right now it's stable up to 65mph (I wouldn't know about any faster, officer, as that's the highest speed limit near here).

August 17th I've been playing a little World of Warcraft, and now both my toons are level 42. The warlock gets a horsie from a quest, which is nice, as it allowed me to pool all my gold to get the tiger mount for my warrior. I know, most people get their mount the second they hit level 40 (I know Scott did), but I couldn't afford it :o(

August 16th It's been a little while since I've taken any pain medication for my tonsils, so I rode the KLX to lunch. I was intending to take the Hawk, but it wouldn't start - the battery tender's been on the KLX.

I'd installed the lowering links after thinking it was a bit twitchy the last time I rode it, so now it rides like a chopper :o( I hated it, as it won't hold a line or anything. I have no idea how those guys ride raked out bikes, other than "slowly". When I got home, I jacked the rear preload up as far as it'll go, as the sag is all wrong for a start - the bike sinks several inches when I take it off the stand. We'll have to see if this fixes, or breaks things :o). I can also drop the yokes a little to steepen up the steering, but I'm tempted to go back to the standard links and just get used to the light steering if it's no better with the rear stiffer. Of course, then I get to look into getting a steering damper :o)

August 14th After meeting Jeff for lunch (so he could meet Vic), I picked up the chemicals I needed to get the tub running properly. That's done, and it's up to temperature, sweet :o)

August 13th I carried on applying chemicals to the tub, until I ran out of Calcium Hardness Increaser - I'll have to go and get some more, but I'll probably retest the water while I'm at it, to see how close I am now :o)

August 12th I got started early, cleaning the hot tub shell and cover, bailing out all the water that didn't just drain out, then refilled it. I took an untreated water sample in to be checked for Ph, hardness etc, and got a long, long list of things to do to it.

I went to the SPCA for a few hours, then went home and started adding chemicals to the tub, waiting at least 30 minutes between each dose. I split several of the doses, as they were pretty large. It was at 76F when I left it for the night :o)

August 11th I decided to change the water in the hot tub, so I left it draining overnight.

August 10th Chloe had her 10,000 mile service, and everything was pronounced "fine". That's always good news.

August 6th After running a few errands, we decided it was a Chloe day, so we went to the park for an hour or so, then stopped at Jamba Juice on the way home... Chloe got a cup of crushed ice, and to watch all the people walking around, which she loves.

Later we went to the airfield to see that the Rans is OK, and that the door still hasn't been fixed. As the Beech has gone, we're all ultralights in there now and there's a lot of space to wander around :o)

August 5th After helping Jim install a fan in the roof of his garage, I went to the SPCA for a few hours. In the evening, we were waiting in the bar for a dinner table when I fleetingly saw this, on ESPN news, but I didn't realise Travis had pulled off a double until I checked my mail later.

August 4th In the evening, we went over to Scott and Becky's for chocolate cake, and to let them inspect Vic. Everything went well. Chloe provided the entertainment... she was lying between a table and chair on the patio, and when Rich knocked on the patio door, she backed up to go and bark at him, and half fell into the pool.


August 3rd I went to the quack for my 2 week throat checkup. I'm doing fine, and he was even impressed with how well my throat's healing, and how little pain I seem to be feeling.
I think it's because I have a pretty high pain threshold :o)

Anyways, it seems I have another 6 weeks of healing, then I'll be right as rain. My tonsils were reportedly pretty bad, so it's nice to know that the operation and subsequent recovery were worth it :o)