Ma Blog‎ > ‎2006‎ > ‎


January 30th Got a few more updates to Mandy's blog, so I got those added in.

January 29th To start the day, I worked on Mandy's blog.

Then I went to the airfield to fit the compass to the plane, but I found a couple of cracks in the mount before I tightened it down. No worries, as I'm not in a hurry to do anything, so I took it home and glued it all back together again.

I moved the CAT5 cable coming into the office from the wireless router so it's going to a socket on the wall, rather than just being a 8' trailing lead hanging out of the wall. Now I just need to connect it to my router, rather than use the DSL throughout, and I can turn the DSL off :o)

January 28th I didn't go to the SPCA so as not to make them all sick, too. I just fiddled around the house all day, achieving very little.

January 27th Still sick. I'm having an early night. Maybe it is a too-muhr?

January 26th Jim and Fred came over to see the wireless internet connection. It's running at about 2Mbs down and 600Kbs up, as opposed to the DSL that runs at about 3Mbs down and 500Kbs up. The thing is that the wireless connection will save me the cost of 2 phone lines, so I'm seriously considering sticking with it.

Still fighting the dodgy bug. Hateful thing.

January 25th This guy David came to see the YSR I'm trying to sell. He's interested, and is hoping to sell his Italian pocketbike so he can buy this next week. Sweet... then I'll have a bit more space in t'garage.

I've lost the will to scan, as I'm still feeling poorly.

January 24th It was Debbie's birthday, so I took her and Dorothy for Sushi.

I feel like I'm coming down with another damned cold. That's not fair, I only had one a few months ago.

No, it's not a too-muhr.

I did a bit more on the photo scanning project.

January 23rd I'm trying out wireless internet service from these people, so the engineer showed up to install it today. He has a puppy (Sadie) who rides in the car with him, and looks just like Chloe did at that age, but with more of a German Shepherd head. Other than that, they could be sisters. So, we let them run around the garden together while we got everything sorted out. The antenna is on the mast with the weather station, and the wires run through the garage to the office, rather than across the roof :o)

This'll give me a VOIP phone, so we'll see how that goes.

The photo scanning project continues...

January 22nd While waiting in for a guy who was coming to see one of the YSRs, (and who didn't show up), I decided to start scanning in all the photos that I've had lying around in cardboard boxes for years. It's quite a project, but I've started, so I'll finish. Maybe.

The plan is that once I have them all scanned in, I can throw them out (a lot are starting to look crappy), and burn the 600dpi scans onto a CD or three. I'd do them to a DVD, but a few of my machines here won't read a DVD-R :o(

Anyways, it's amazing to see some people back when they were young :o)

January 21st Having had a brainwave about the heater, I got up and found the nicked wire. When I was plugging the unit into the wall bracket, it had nicked the positive wire (don't worry, it's only 24 volts). I tested with the circuit tester, and sure enough, power into this jumper would cause the heater to come on. I screwed about with the wires, plugged it all in and it worked fine :o)

In the late morning / afternoon, the family Kelly came over to fuss Chloe. While they were here, we went out to lunch, bought a TV and let the girls play at the park in the Galleria. Oh, and bought Dave's birthday present, but he doesn't know what that is yet, so I won't spoil the surprise here (it's not what he's expecting though).

January 20th I decided to replace the faulty thermostat for the central heating - it works, but the programming bit doesn't, and it gets old trying to remember to turn the heating on and off, up and down. I got a nice, cheap little Honeywell unit, and wired it in. It's great, as the wiring goes on the wall bracket, then the unit itself plugs in, making it a dodle to install. The thing is, as soon as I plugged it in, the heating turned on, but the unit didn't say it was heating. The wires are all colour coded, so I'm pretty sure it's in there correctly. I took it out, and sat down with the circuit tester and found that it works exactly as I'd thought. I tried leaving it on in case it'd settle down, but after about an hour, it was still running. Hmmm... I'll have to think about this...

January 17th I've spent some time getting the website to use PHP, not to do anything particularly clever, just a bunch of includes to finish making it easier to modify the site without having to modify every single page. I figure it's also saved me some 3Kb per page, which is cool, especially as the site continually gets bigger :o) If you see anything that doesn't work, let me know :o)

January 16th I spent the evening rebuilding the compass that Vince gave me for the plane.

January 15th I went to the airfield and did a little more fiddling with the plane. I had thought about flying a little, but it was a nice day, meaning that there were a few pillocks who haven't flown for months doing some odd things, for example taking off against traffic. I then then went home and wasted the rest of the day doing dumb things like washing the car.

January 14th Woke up early (no surprise there) and worked on Mandy's blog while waiting for it to get light. Great, it's raining, but at least I got to catch up with stuff on the TiVo, like Battlestar Galactica .

January 13th I flew back from Noo Joisey, having driven the Dodge Magnum across the Noo Yoik highway system in the rush hour. I only got screwed up at one of the toll booths, where the famously helpful Noo Yoik drivers won't let you change lanes out of the Fast Track lane into the tolls - meaning I had to wait for the nice ticket lady to come and take my money.

After that excitement, I got to the airport fairly early, as is my usual practice. It had been bright and sunny over the river, but in Noo Yoik it was foggy. The nice United Airlines put me on an earlier flight, but that was delayed because of the fog. As the time for my original flight started to get closer, I asked whether I could get on that flight, but my seat would seem to have been given to somebody else :o( No matter, (dull, duller) Dulles was fogged in too, so there's a good chance that wouldn't work out anyway. They put me on a flight to San Francisco. I got to sit next to Angus James Falkener, from New Zealand, but he was born in New York, and left when he was 3, but he's 6 now, he has a sister Maddy and a brother George, and really really likes puzzle books, but his favourite is probably crosswords, but he can colour in really well too, as long as his pencils are sharp, but Scooby Doo on the Gameboy is great - he's got to the 3rd level lots of times, but only a few times has he made the 4th level, where there are spiders and crabs and ghosts to stomp on, but Scooby can karate kick stuff, he wants a dog when he gets home, even though they're a lot of responsibility, and are we flying yet, or are we taxying, he definitely felt like we're moving, is this the runway, how high are we going to be, and how long will it take to get to San Francisco, why are they serving lunch when he's just had lunch, he wasn't hungry because he'd just eaten a whole pack of Lifesavers. His parents were taken up with the other 2, and the girl on the other side of me said "it's going to be a long flight" and put her headphones on... thanks.

We actually did OK, with the colouring (I was an advisor), crosswords (I helped with the spelling) and games in the puzzle book.

Having arrived in San Francisco, I managed to beg onto the wait list for the next-but-one flight to Sacramento, rather than wait 5 hours. Of course, that was running late, and I managed to get on it, but didn't get back to Sacramento until almost 10pm. It's funny, they suck their teeth and say they doubt you'll get on the flight, then ask you what your seating preferences are when you do get on - there were probably 4 or 5 seats free, even with me on the plane. I got home late, and just toddled off to bed.

January 10th In the Noo Joisey office. Still, Sara took us out in the evening for a very nice Korean meal, and we got to look at the Manhattan skyline across the river. Of course, I didn't bring my camera, because this is a business trip.

January 9th Flew to Noo Joisey with my manager. I managed to convince him to pay the few extra sheckels to rent a Dodge Magnum, but it's got something like a 2 litre engine (they can come with a 6.1 litre Hemi engine, but not in a rental car), so him make lots of noise, but him no go fast. No matter, it looks like something out of Batman, and that's enough for me :o)

January 8th The team Russ' company was sponsoring won the Atlantic rowing race.

January 7th I spent part of the morning at the airfield taking the tailwheel off the plane and cleaning and greasing everything. It's all better now, but I've noticed that the cable outers seem to be pulling out of the stops on the trim tab so I'd better do something about that.

January 6th Dorothy fed me meatloaf :o)

January 5th Caught up with I started the day working on Mandy's blog, then I sloped out of work for a long lunch, and went to the airfield. I put the Garmin GPS mount on and went out for a flight in the plane to see how well it worked. It works OK, but at least one of the NiMH batteries I was using is on it's way out, as the battery meter reports almost fully charged, but the thing keeps turning itself off.

I also played with the trim control for a while, as I'd adjusted the tail, and managed to make the plane very heavy to take off, and very heavy to land, but I didn't get it quite right. I'll have to play with that some time when I'm out of the circuit.

When I landed, I had trouble turning in to the area by the hangars, so I think the grease in the tailwheel's all frozen solid or something, so that's next on my list of "things to do on the plane".

January 4th I went over to Jeff's to see his new KTM, and got to watch him fire up the go-kart motor he was working on in the test stand he's built for running them in. Of course, we got to talking about building some sort of dyno... :o)

January 3rd Finished up the bridge for the train set. Now I can get the basic layout sorted out. Right, I'll get right on that then.

January 2nd I met Vince at the airfield so I could let him into the hangar to do a weight and balance check on Noel's S6. While I was there, I took off the non-functioning strobe light, adjusted the tail and figured out a tentative place to put the GPS unit... now I just need to get a strip of rubber to space the tube out to meet the mounting bracket.

No flying though - it was hammering it down with rain, to the point that I moved the plane so that the drips from the roof weren't landing on it.

After everything was done, several of us went for a late lunch. As it was getting dark, it stopped raining. Typical.

January 1st Happy New Year

I started New Year's day grotesquely early at the SPCA walking dogs. It's kind of cool to see the sun come up on the 1st of January, and not just because I haven't gone to bed yet :o)

In the afternoon, my next door neighbour, Jim and I got to brace the fence between us after the wind (39.8mph, so far, according to the weather station) broke a few of the 4x4 uprights. It's OK, the builders use the cheapest wood they can find, and after 10 years...