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February 28th I got a reply from my scammer:


Thank you so much for your mail. I am glad the bike is in good shape. I'll take the bike for the firm price which $900. is very okay with me. Please, send your full name/address and telephone number so that payment can be arranged and sent to you this week

I await your response soonest.

Best and kind regards,

So I replied:

Hi there,

> Please, send your full name/address and telephone
> number so that payment can be arranged and sent to
> you this week

Before I send you my details, how are you going to pay me? How is the bike going to get picked up, or do I have to take it somewhere to be shipped? If it's going to be picked up, you could bring cash. If I have to ship it, you'll have to arrange to pay that. Where are you?


Your move, punk :o)

February 27th It started raining. And raining. And raining. According to the weather station, over an inch of rain, and almost 40mph of wind. I don't think I'll be doing much outside for a while.

On a brighter note, while I was doing some grocery shopping, the chick called to say she'll take the YSR. She's going to send me a deposit cheque, and pay the rest when she comes to pick it up. Most excellent :o)

February 26th I spent a little time all but finishing Mandy's blog. I then settled in to watch the WSB races from Losail while for a girl who wanted to look at the YSR I'm trying to sell to get some garage space back.

Well, without spoiling anything, it's nice to see the guy who won race 1 win race 1, but it's a shame he had to win like that :o)

Anyways, she showed up, and while we were looking at it in the garage, Chloe knocked over the mountain bike onto the train set while crashing around. It's effectively destroyed the thing, as the bottom board has come apart. Oh well, I get to start that over again :o|
She's going to think about the YSR, and I've given her a day before I call the next guy on the list...

Now, the YSR has attracted a couple of scam artists - the first one, I just signed up for every spam newsletter I could find after the local FBI office pointed me to the The Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Basically the scam goes that they send you a fake cashier's cheque for a lot more than your item costs, and you arrange shipping and send them the change. The idea is that your bank will almost immediately deposit the money to your account, but take 30 days to figure out that the cheque is fake. Oh, and they always want you to use Western Union to transfer the money back to them, as it's almost untraceable.

I've decided to play with the latest idiot. I wonder if I can get him to send a cheque to the FBI office? Stay tuned. So, here's his message:

Hello, Am keenly interested in purchasing your bike Get back to me with your firm price if its still available. Whats the general condition of this bike? Can you make yourself available for the shipping company when they will come for the pick up? I will be needing the address where the bike is located to determine how much the shipping fee's will cost. Best Regards, Johnson

I waited a suitable amount of time, and, knowing they don't even read the adverts, reponded:

Hi there,

> Get back to me with your firm price if its still
> available.

Per the advert, it's $900.

> Whats the general condition of this bike?

It's an 18 year old, $900 race bike. It's in average condition for such.

> Can you make yourself available for the shipping
> company when they will come for the pick up?

I can probably be available, given enough notice.

> I will be needing the address where the bike is
> located to determine how much the shipping fee's
> will cost.


We'll see what happens next :o)

February 25th I spent the day working on Victoria's Vstar - valve adjustment and carb cleaning. It still runs, so I'll call that a success :o)

February 24th I spent a little time updating Mandy's blog. Looks like they're almost in Belgium, finally.

The weather looks to be getting sucky for a few days, so again I sloped out of work a little early, and went to the airfield. This time I did an hour in the plane, and rather than just do circuits (there were several planes already doing this), I flew around the outskirts of Lincoln - I usually head East, so I figured heading West would make a change :o)

February 23rd I sloped out of work a little early, and went to the airfield and did 45 minutes in the plane. Soon it started to get so busy that I decided to park it. I was just sloshing in the remains of the fuel when Jason called - I'd got him a fairing panel to replace the one the Hawk punched a hole in back on our track day in December. He picked that up, and then we talked about technology and work stuff while Chloe begged for attention.

February 22nd The guys came and fixed the fences... the fence between me and Jim fell down in January, and while the 2x4s holding it up didn't bother me, they were on Jim's side of the fence and bothered him. So we got the fence fixed by concreting in steel supports, and bolting the fence to them. Much stronger, faster and cheaper than replacing the posts. While they were here, I got the to look at the other side, and as I expected, it was being held up by the bushes.

In the evening, I went to the SPCA for a mentor meeting - of all people, I'm on the list of new volunteer mentors :o)

February 20th After puttering around the house organising things, I met Noel and Gregg, who's buying his plane, at the the airfield. I also managed to throw fuel all over the plane when I found out that it wasn't as empty as I thought, and I fiddled with the tail wheel a bit. Dunno if I've fixed anything there...

No flying, as the wind was 10mph, across the runway. I think I learnt my lesson yesterday :o)

February 19th As it's been cold and the wind was generally across the runway at the airfield, I decided to do a little work on the train set. It's been a bit of a case of 2 steps forward, 2 steps back, I'm afraid :o(

Later in the day, I went to the airfield and did a few circuits in a 7mph wind at 220 degrees. The runway's 150 degrees, so this was a little exciting :o) The tail wheel's got all stiff again, so I'm thinking I need to take a closer look at that. There aren't any bearings or anything there, so maybe I've overtightened something getting it all back together. Oh joy, I get to lift the tail again... it's about 70lbs.

February 18th I've finally finished my taxes, so after sending them off, I spent the rest of the day at the SPCA. Some fool had put an advert in the local paper, and we were run off our feet. On a Saturday, 15 adoptions is a lot, and today we did 25!!

I got home, tired, and went to work updating Mandy's blog. Oh, the fun, it never stops.

February 16th There was a volunteer meeting at the SPCA, and I took the KLX. Egads, it's cold, especially after the sun goes down...

February 14th An irritatingly long drive down to San Jose and back, for work. No, I didn't get much else done :o)

February 13th I was woken up before 7am by news helicopters circling around the crash site, where it now seems that the teenage son was asleep in an upstairs bedroom, and was killed :o(

I'm not trying to be funny, but wouldn't you think that when you've covering the aftermath of what happens when everything goes wrong and you're too low over a populated area, it might be an idea not to hover at 300' above a populated area, in case something goes wrong?

My constant argument with people who express concern for my flying is that this goober was:

  • Flying aerobatics over a populated area - illegal
  • Flying aerobatics below 1500' without special permission from the FAA - illegal
  • Flying low enough over a populated area that he couldn't get clear in the event of an engine failure - illegal
I don't think that helps though...

February 12th I'd called Rich about the puppies at the SPCA, as they've been looking for an Australian Shepherd mix puppy. I met them there nice and early, and they visited with the 2 remaining puppies. While we were inside, there was some sort of commotion outside, and when we went back into reception, to do the adoption paperwork, Craig told us that a plane had crashed into a house nearby. I told him I'd been hoping to fly in the afternoon, and maybe I shouldn't now, but he pointed out that the chances of 2 planes crashing into houses in one town in one day are miniscule. That's my kind of logic.

We left and went for lunch, then I went over to Rich's to see the trailerpotamus and beat Josh at basketball (he's 7). On the way home, I was bothered by the helicopters circling near where I live, and then the closed off roads and rubberneckers. Seems the plane crash was around 1/2 a mile from my house.

I thought it was probably one of the local dumbasses who fly too low over Roseville trying to stretch a glide to get to the golf course after an engine failure, but according to the story on CNN, it was even dumber... he'd been doing aerobatics over a built up area at a height of 200' or so. Greeeeeaaaat... people think I'm crazy enough as it is :o(

So, Debbie and I walked the dogs down to Starbucks to see the burnt out house (she was visiting with Otis, and was totally unaware of the whole thing when I got in). Apparently nobody on the ground was hurt, and only 2 houses have damage, so that's a blessing.

February 11th I spent the day at the SPCA. I'd had thoughts about going flying, but we had 7 puppies come up for adoption, and things were just crazy all day. So, I didn't get out in time, but oh well...

The funny thing with the puppies was that they'd named them after a bunch of the volunteers, and "Dug" was the first one adopted :o)

February 10th I've been working on my taxes, and while I have everything ready to send off (seems I owe California some money, and the Federal government owes me some money), there are still changes being made to the tax code.

This is why the tax system is so unfair here - the tax year ended on the 31st December, but they're still changing the tax that you have to pay? That's ridiculous.

I'd be happy if they implemented a flat tax, where everybody pays the same percentage of their salary. From the numbers I've heard, that would need to be around 10%, as there are a lot of really, really rich people who pay significantly less, percentage-wise, than the rest of us. It would, of course, mean that accountants and tax software wouldn't be needed by the entire population, and I think that's a good thing... useless third of humanity and everything.

February 9th As the weather's been so nice, I sloped out of work a bit early and went to the airfield. As I pulled through the door, there was a guy on the other side of the fence trying to flag me down, so I went to see what was up.
He asked if I knew Jim Volk, which I sort of do, as he was supposed to be buying a plane from him. I said that Jim usually flies from Freedom Field, so I gave him directions, and called Ray there to see what he knew. Jim wasn't there, either, but we got another phone number that dropped into voicemail, and found out that Ray's helping sell a few planes, one of them Noel's, in my hangar. It appears Noel's hurt his back, and isn't going to be able to fly for a while. So, I took him down to the hangar and showed him Noel's plane, then draw out directions to Ray's. I also managed to get in 30 minutes' flying. As I pulled up to the runway, the plane in front did a circle to check for traffic, and what looked like water fell out of one wing. I pointed this out to him, and he turned the plane off to check. Cool... I get to go first! On my second circuit, there was a guy who flew straight in and landed on the wrong runway, so I was starting to think about stopping for the day when my radio's battery died and made the decision for me. I'm not worried about the battery, I only charged it for about 30 minutes before heading out, so I'd expected it to give up the ghost.

February 8th Finally finished scanning in all my pictures :o)

The new TV arrived, so I spent some time tidying up wires and getting the VCR out of the stack of equipment. Everything's digital, baby, digital :o)

February 7th More work on the scanning project - I'm down to 1 box of photos left to scan :o)

I also put in a little work on the train set, and I've started laying out some track. Now I just need to check if the corners are too tight, and the hills are too steep :o|

February 5th I started the day working on Mandy's blog, as they've obviously got better connectivity, so the pictures were flowing freely :o)

After that, I spent some time tidying up the garden, then Chloe and I went to the airfield to fit the compass to the plane.

February 4th I spent the day at the SPCA for the first time in ages. I thought it would be quiet in the office, as the new computer system is in, but things were a little crazy from time to time, so after walking a couple of dogs, I whiled away a few hours there.

February 3rd In the evening, I went over to Scott and Becky's to play poker. I usually limp out with no money and, if I'm lucky, my shirt, but this time, I made some money. It was a "winner take all" game, and it came down to me and Jason. We went backwards and forwards for a while, where he was winning, then I was winning, and eventually, when I was only a few chips ahead, I suggested we just split the pot, which we did :o)

February 2nd I've restarted the scanning photos project that I started last month. Can somebody tell me why the HP scanner that I'm using has a tilted bed? It means I've had to use a few post-it pads to try and stop the photos sliding down to the bottom of the glass.

2 boxes of photos left to scan. From 6 boxes, so I think I'm doing pretty well.

What this means is that if you think I have incriminating pictures of you, I've probably already found them :o)