Ma Blog‎ > ‎2006‎ > ‎

March

March 31st I took Chloe in to the SPCA so that I could have a little talk with Matt, the behaviour specialist. I've been trying to get her to stop pulling on the lead, with little success. Matt suggested that I walk her on my right, and let her get further ahead before I turn and go the other way. I was going to try that during the evening, but it rained :o(

Jason brought the trailer over, and after I took the van out, we got it into the garage and the van back in. Great.



March 30th Of course, when I bought the van, I'd totally forgotten about the track day that Jason and I were aiming to do, so I got to rearrange the garage in such a way that it can accomodate Rich's trailer for a couple of days. I also started the process of getting the Hawk track ready... basically removing the indicators and mirrors, the head and tail light bulbs, and taping the remaining lenses.


March 28th I was going over to Scott and Becky's for dinner, and took Chloe so she could meet their puppy (puppy? The thing weighs more than I do) Daisy. I had planned to take the Subaru, but Chloe jumped into the open van and didn't want to get out, so we took that :o)


March 26th I got up early (couldn't sleep) and took Chloe for a walk, then Becky picked me up and drove me to San Jose (see? I know the way) to pick up the Vanagon. I was expecting a slow drive home, but it merrily trucks along at 75mph, despite having the "small" 1.9l engine. There's a long, long uphill drag out of the Bay Area, and that saw me get down to 50mph, and I have to remember that that's in an empty van with just me in it. Who knows what it'll be like with 40 gallons of water and a few people.

I picked Chloe up from Debbie's on my way past, and she seems to really like the thing. She settled down on the floor or the back seat, but when I got it home and in the garage, she explored all over, and seems to like the passenger seat :o)

Scott and Becky came over to see the thing, and were suitably impressed. I'll have to get to work and put some pictures up soon.



March 25th I started the day at the SPCA. As the weather was wet and windy, most people seemed to be staying at home. For a long time, I was the only dog walker there, so I walked all of the dogs, then helped out in the office with adoptions. Mostly cat adoptions, but there were a few people interested in dogs.

There was one dumbass who brought back a cat that he'd adopted, and decided he didn't want. No biggie, if you'll bring an animal back, we don't want you to have it either. He then did a big deal about getting a refund, despite signing the adoption contract that says, and we highlight to adopters, "no refunds". And as it was during our "get cats out in preparation for kitten season" push, we're talking the princely sum of $25. People sadden me sometimes.

As Debbie was visiting Chloe, we collected Dorothy and went out to dinner. It's getting more and more like the Bay Area here, as the wait was over an hour :o(



March 24th I went to the Bay Area to see the boss, and while I was there, I bought a 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon camper. Watch this space, as I have plans. Big, stupid plans, but first I need to get it home.

I figure I can use it for towing the Hawk to track days, and maybe even go to the MotoGP at Laguna Seca. I'm also hoping that Chloe's happier travelling in it, as there's enough space to put one of her beds :o)

The funniest thing was putting it on a credit card, so I'll get the 1% cash back :o)



March 23rd Having received some precious bounty from eBay, I proceeded into the garage to fit LED bulbs to the Hawk. It didn't work out quite as well as I'd hoped, but the rear brake lights are staying for the moment.

I then received a letter from Fidelity Investments, to do with this. I'm paraphrasing, but basically it says "Due to our incompetence, enough information about you to allow people to steal your identity was on a laptop that was stolen. Oops. Sorry".

Well, at least I get a free credit report out of it :o(

In the evening, I went to the SPCA for a volunteer meeting, where Troy, one of the local Police's Animal Control officers entertained us with stories about his daily schedule. Dealing with people seems to be even worse than dealing with vicious dogs...



March 22nd As it hadn't rained all day, I decided to go to the airfield for a little while. I did the walk around on the plane, and found I only had 3 gallons of fuel. Oh well, I'll just do a couple of circuits, then put it away. Well, the few planes there seemed to be using 33, so I taxied most of the way along the 6000' runway, did my checks, and was just ready to line up when the radio went dead as I went to transmit. By this time, the circuit was clear, and you don't need a radio to fly, so I decided to just listen and do a single circuit, which went pretty well. I scurried off the runway, then watched people taking off in both directions for a while (5mph, directly across the runway).

As I know the fuel level lines aren't that accurate (ie I've been thinking I have 4 gallons of fuel left, but can only get 4 gallons in the 9 gallon tank), I went home and fed Chloe, picked up a bunch of fuel cans and 5 gallons of fuel, and headed back. I drained the tank, to find I had a fair amount more than 3 gallons, and refilled it, marking 2, 3, and so on up to 9 gallons. Excellent :o)



March 20th The first day of spring (being the equinox and all that). That would explain the 0.5" of rain then...


March 19th I got up and went to get some bits and pieces for my watch. Last week at the SPCA, I'd had my hand inside a dog's lead when he pulled at a funny angle, and the lead pulled my watch at a funny angle breaking the pins that hold part of the strap together. Luckily, they weren't the pins that are easily replaced, they were the pins that are totally internal to the strap. One jeweler told me that I need a new strap (none of which fit well, as the face isn't designed for a generic strap), and another said doubtfully that the strap could maybe be drilled out to accept the pins that they usually drive in. After a while, I decided that they all give up too easily, and went and bought a couple of the pins that looked like they could almost fit, and used my Dremel (tm) to drill out the holes in the centre of the strap to fit the smallest pin they had, and put the strap back together that way. Quitters, the lot of them.

Chloe had cracked one of her dew claws, but didn't want me to break the rest of it off for her, so I figured we'd go out and let her break it off herself. I looked up the Marco Dog Park on the web, and it seemed to be open. This is the only area in Roseville where you can let a dog off a lead, so I packed Chloe up so we could go and tire her out. It was locked :o( So, we went to the area where the new Bear Dog Park is going to be, near home, and she stayed on her lead while she dragged me around for a mile or so. I then took her home so she could drink 2 bowls of water (they have water available at the Marco park, so I didn't take any) and pass out for the afternoon :o) She didn't break the claw, but chewed it off by herself later.

While she was doing that, I did a little more work on the YSR rebuild - specifically hanging the frame from a tree in the garden and spraying it. I know, if it's too windy to fly, it should be too windy to throw paint, but this was just a thick coat of primer. I like the look of it in flat gray, but it's going to be black... probably not 100% gloss, but we'll see.



March 18th Another Saturday at the SPCA.

I went home and peered at the YSR parts for a while.



March 16th Last night I watched Innovations on PBS. Did I say that I love my TiVo? Anyways, part of it dealt with using adult stem cells to regenerate nerves for spinal injuries, so I looked things up. I found this article and this article, which say that they're aiming to do tests on volunteers with brachial plexus avulsions early this year. So I looked into it further and found the Raisman group at the Institute of Neurology. I mailed him, and he quickly mailed me back to say that they were looking for people with more recent injuries than mine, but still, it's nice to see that somebody's working on it.


March 15th I did a little more work on the YSR rebuild - basically getting the clutch out to fit the kick start gearing, and getting the flywheel off, to look at refitting the lighting coil to charge the battery.


March 13th A busy day :o)

I talked to Jim at length about new TVs, as he apparently broke his when he dropped it.

I went for pizza with Scott and Becky and had the top pop off a bottle of ketchup and go everywhere. We then went home to prepare the Vespa for Scott to pick it up, but decided he might as well take it then, so he did. I now have lots of space in the garage, and I've started looking for something to fill it :o)



March 12th I spent a fair chunk of the day helping Fred with his networking. We eventually decided that they've had a virus, as the basic networking subsystem doesn't work on either PC. He's reinstalled XP, and everything seems to be running fine.

Now we just need to get the wireless stuff working.



March 11th I spent a little time adding a few articles to Caroline's web archive, then went to the SPCA for the rest of the day. I then went home and spent the evening watching the races from Daytona.


March 10th I decided to do a little work on the YSR rebuild - specifically straightening a bent tab on the frame :o).

Then Chloe and I sat down to watch the season finale of Battlestar Galactica . Now what am I supposed to watch?



March 9th Having watched the pressure and temperature dropping, I decided against flying. Just as well, really, as about 30 minutes after I decided against it, the wind had increased from 3 to 15mph. It didn't rain though.

With an evening to myself, and nothing better to do, I started working on the remaining YSR. I've decided to rebuild it as a street bike - of course, the first step is to take it apart :o)



March 8th I went to the airfield, and pulled out the plane. The tailwheel is now a lot less sticky - the plane taxis a little more skittishly, and turns a lot better. Great, that'll do :o) We'll see how long it lasts this time.

I had a few interesting circuits - a bigassed DeHaviland twin sneaked in front of me to take off when I was on finals, so I ended up going around, because the wake turbulence was a bit exciting, and one guy in a Cessna didn't realise how slowly you have to taxi a plane that takes off at 15mph, so he was over the numbers as I pulled off the runway. No harm done - he came over later and we had a chat about the local area. He has 3 planes, so maybe I should start looking for a 2 seater :o)

I got home and took Chloe for her first walk this week. She hates the rain as much as I do.



March 7th Hail? WTF?

At least it was quick - 0.39", and most of that in a few minutes. It caused a bunch of my gutters to overflow, so I went and unclogged them as soon as it stopped (or I'd forget until the next torrential downpour...).

So much for global warming.



March 6th Rain, rain, go away... 1.02"

I got to go and fix Jim's wireless network... he's been seeing my network, and I've been seeing his, so I've forced each device to connect to the correct network.



March 5th Rain, rain, go away... 0.95"


March 4th Another day at the SPCA, followed by a quick run home to finalise the sale of the YSR. Gee, what am I going to do with that extra 8 square foot of space in the garage?


March 3rd I managed to get the birdcam working again finally, and then went to Scott and Becky's for Scott's 8th annual 29th birthday party. We ended up playing poker again, and I ended up losing $10, and being the first out. Scott actually took 1st place :o)

The family Serne showed up with their puppy Katie, who's doing very well :o)



March 2nd I spent a little time adding the last entry to Mandy's blog.

I went back to the airfield, and fitted the tailwheel back to the plane. Now we just need the wind to drop below 15mph so I can fly the thing. Yes, I know I could just taxi around the hangars to test the tailwheel out, but I can't be bothered to drag those bigassed doors open and not fly.



March 1st As it was really windy, I decided to check the brakes on the plane, as I swear the right one is dragging. Sure enough, it was. Fixed now though. Then I took a look at the dragging tailwheel again (I last looked at this in February, having completely torn the thing apart and cleaned it all up in January. Rather than work on it at the airfield, I took the whole affair off the plane, and brought it home. When I had managed to press it apart (it's got that bad), I found that it looks like there's been some galling in the tube. I got all that cleaned up, and put everything together with as much moly grease as it would stand. When I put it all back together, I found that overtightening the bar on top would distort the tube, causing stiffness, so I made sure not to do that :o) I also found that it looks like the grease nipple might be just touching the shaft of the wheel fork, so I put a washer under that. It's all turning freer than I've ever seen it turn, so now I just need to get out and put it back on the plane.

I also made a start on rebuilding the train set, having been and bought some more track and suchlike.