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October 31st Hallowe'en. Great. We took Chloe to the Bear dog park, where we managed to get her to go through the short tunnel, once. We then went to Starbucks, where we blagged some whipped cream for her, and walked home on a long circuitous route to see the dressed up kids and decorated houses. Chloe was wearing her new coat, and people seemed to think it was a costume, so maybe I need to find a Superman "S" to go on the back or something.

Now, I'd had to struggle to get it done up around her belly, which has been looking a little tubby recently, but no big deal. In the evening, she was making noises breathing. She's been doing that for a few days, and I even had a vet's appointment for Wednesday to check it out (both the vets I wanted her to see were in surgery or out of the office until then), but she seemed a bit distressed. Great. We packed everything up and took her to the emergency vet, where an X-ray showed that they couldn't see her heart for the fluid in her chest cavity. Great, a pleural effusion. They shaved her sides, and used a catheter to drain out almost a litre of fluid. This was sent off to be examined, but showed no sign of a bacterial infection.

She got to spend the night at the vet.

October 29th The clocks went back, so I got to spend some quality time adjusting clocks all over the house, and losing an hour of daylight when I want it. I know that the poor children have to walk to school in the dark in the winter if we don't change the clocks, but these days when their parents drive them to school, all they're really doing is walking from the car to the door. I'm pretty sure even 21st century children can manage that.

The most irritating thing is always my Toshiba PDA, that proudly tells me that it's changed the clock all by itself. I'm so proud if it. The PCs are all set up with NTP, so I don't have to deal with them all telling me how clever they are.

After breakfast, Vic and I headed off to Apple Hill to look at the leaves falling, eat apples and be merrie.

We weren't too late home, so managed to watch the last MotoGP race of the year. It was a bit of an anti-climax, to be honest. It was nice to see Bayliss win his first MotoGP race, I'm OK with Hayden winning the championship, overjoyed that Pedrosa didn't do better than 5th, but saddened that Rossi crashed out of this race. It was looking to be a really good race, but I ended up doing interminable sums to see what could happen if this, that or the other happened - none of which did. It was a bit of a procession to the line.

Anyways, after that, we were pretty wiped out, so had an early night.

October 28th After running some errands, I went to the SPCA for the day. Vic had some stuff to do with the car in the evening, so she dropped me and Chloe at the just opened Bear dog park. I say just, the grand opening was today, but I found out today that it's been open all week. Nobody tells me anything. Anyway, Chloe played there for a bit, then we walked home, it's about a mile. They have a few agility toys there - tunnels and suchlike. I managed to get her to jump over the little jump, but she didn't want to go through the tunnels. She doesn't understand what you want from her, and I'm not going to crawl through and drag her behind me.

In the evening, we watched Battlestar Galactica , but I'm having an increasingly difficult task getting Vic enthused, as it's still dragging. We want explosions and space battles, damnit!

October 27th I went to the airfield and bashed out a couple of circuits in the Rans, my last opportunity to do so after work this year. Unless I can skip out early, of course ;o)

October 25th In the 25+ mph winds, my next door neighbours' tree dumped one of it's big branches on the front of his house. Of course, he's in San Diego, so Fred and I chopped the branches up until we could drag it all into his front garden. Luckily, it looks like the only damage is a few scrapes in the paint, and a few bent gutters. This is the same tree that dropped a branch a couple of years ago, tearing a branch out of one of my trees. It's now looking like we'll have to bring the rest of it down at some point, as it's getting weaker every time this happens.

Of course, I only thought to take a picture when I was half way through cutting branches to get some weight off the roof. Doh :o)

October 23rd After work, I scurried off to the airfield and did two circuits in the Rans before it started to get dark. The winds were listed as "calm", which means that we should use the default 15 runway, but there was a 172 doing circuits on 33. So, I taxied all the way down to the threshold for 33, just in time for him to leave the circuit. As there was nobody else about, I took off on 33, did a long left hand circuit and then joined on the crosswind leg for 15. There was a Piper Warrior who joined the circuit at the same time as I did, but everything went fine, without problems.

I suddenly remembered that the clocks go back this weekend, so this is my last week of being able to fly after work, bummer :o(

I looked at Jack's electric starter kit, but it's for a 582, so it won't fit. It's also a GPL kit, and I've read some bad things about tolerances and cracked cases, but the Rotax kit doesn't look like it'll fit, so maybe I'll shelve that idea...

October 22nd As Chloe's all better, I went to the SPCA today. There were 4 dog adoptions, which is always nice to see. We went home and watched Battlestar Galactica , it's still a bit slow, but it looks like it should get going now. Some nice effects, especially the whole warp jumping into the atmosphere thing :o)

October 21st Chloe got me up at 3am, so I wasn't in any state to go to the SPCA.

After a few hours' sleep, I went to the airfield and did a few circuits in the Rans. The wind was calm when I took off, but the last 2 landings were in a 3mph crosswind, and weren't overly exciting, so maybe I'm getting back into the swing of things. There was a brief moment with a Piper Seneca who didn't hear me on the radio, and joined the circuit in the wrong place, but I had him in sight the whole time, it just made him jump :o)

I've been offered a deal on an electric starter for the plane - I just need to see if it's the right one (it was bought for a 582, and I have a 447). I like the idea of an electric start, even if it means rewiring everything :o)

October 20th I've been having a bunch of problems with my laptop, it crashes from time to time for no obvious reason. I reseated everything I could, and that didn't help. I replaced the memory (hey, an upgrade to 1Gb seemed like a good idea anyway), and that didn't help. My last try was a new hard disc - a 120Gb, 5400rpm unit I picked up for $90 new. After several hours installing things, it crashed again, so I've decided to go back to the original 30Gb, 5400rpm unit. I'll get an external disc enclosure for the new disc - there are some really clever ones that you can use without a laptop to dump all the pictures off your digital camera, so I'll probably look at something like that :o)

October 19th Chloe slept through the night, finally :o)

The MotoGP debate runs along, after the weekend's crashfest. We also saw this posted online. The mind boggles.

I spoke to Stephan about the van, it seems that they opened the crate with the engine in it to find the head was cracked, so we're waiting for a new one to show up. We're hoping for something in the next week or so...

October 18th Chloe had a restless night, but we didn't need to go out. Also, there are lumps in the garden that could be picked up with the poop scoop, rather than being hosed off :o)

October 17th Today the US population crossed the 300 million mark.

I wonder if that includes illegal immigrants, as, depending on who you listen to, there could be between 20 and 30,000,000 of them. Stupid politicians.

Chloe got me up again, but didn't even go out :o)

October 16th Chloe got me up during the night, but I think it's more through habit and that she's figured that she can than because she needed to go out. We'll see...

It's interesting to read some of the other comments about the weekend's MotoGP excitement :o)

October 15th Chloe still got me up during the night, but she seems pretty much back to normal, personality-wise. I think she's figured out that a lot of whining will get me up to let her out at any time of night, so hopefully she'll be fully normal soon, so I can get a proper night of sleep.

During the day, I put the new fork seal in the Hawk, it went straight in without any sort of fuss. I then set about filling the fork with oil, with it back on the bike, so I didn't have to worry about it falling over or anything silly. The manual says 502ml of oil, leaving a 128mm air gap at the top. So, I put 502ml in, and got, at the back of the fork (ie less than at a level point), 104mm. Even after bouncing the forks a lot, I couldn't do any better than that, so I gave up and set the other fork (not just rebuilt to 104mm - it lost a bit of oil when I fired the fork cap across the garage, chipping the paint on the tank a while back. It wasn't until later on that I remembered the cartridge emulators... they were still in the forks, and you'd usually measure the air gap without them. Doh.

In the evening, Vic came over and we watched the MotoGP race from Estoril. Egads, what a race! So much for team orders... one race to go, and it all to play for :o)

October 14th As Chloe got me up a couple of times during the night, I decided against going to the SPCA. I thought that would give me a chance to catch up with some sleep, but I only managed to catch up with some TiVo recordings. Oh well, every little helps :o)

October 13th We got up several times during the night, so despite the fact that she seemed at lot better, first thing in the morning, I called the vet, and took Chloe in. They don't think there's anything actually wrong with her, but she's on a bland diet, meaning rice, cottage cheese and boiled chicken. Several times a day. She thinks it's Xmas.

Of course, I didn't have any of the stuff at home, so I went shopping. I bought a 5lb bag of rice, thinking that should be enough. I boiled up 2 cups, which looks like it'll be enough for the next week, and stirred in some cottage cheese. I'm keeping the chicken separate, as I can use that as treats on the few times a week she does something good.

October 12th After she got me up several times during the night, Chloe was stumbling around like a little old woman, but seemed just very tired. I figured a day of sleep would do her some good, and I had to go to San Jose to see the boss. On the way home, I dropped in at Kelly Towers for dinner, and to drop off some chocolate in exchange for Lift and Garibaldi biscuits.

I got home pretty late, but Vic came over on her way home from work, cleared up the explosive diarrhea again (sorry, dear) and fed Chloe.

October 11th After getting up several times during the night with Chloe, I cancelled a planned trip to San Jose. By the end of the day, she was seeing a bit better, and running around the garden barking at flies again.

I decided to investigate my mailing / hosting problems, and found out at that my domain registration had expired. I paid the bill, and magically everything started to flow again :o)

October 10th I got up to find that Chloe had had explosive diarrhea during the night, and spent a while clearing that up. Joy. She was obviously very upset about it, so I kept an eye on her all day.

October 9th I started having ISP problems again in the afternoon :o(

After work, I went to the airfield and looked at the wind there. There was the occasional crosswind gust, but it was basically calm, so I took my time inspecting the Rans and went for a few circuits. The engine started a lot better than I expected it to, and the plane flew really well now it's not so hot (it was around 100F last time I flew, nearly 3 months ago, and it's around 80F now). A good time was had by all. My (4) landings weren't the best ever, but they were all good enough to walk away from, so I was happy :o)

October 8th I went to the airfield with ideas about taking the Rans out, but there was a 5 mile an hour crosswind. As I've not flown for a while, I'm hoping to get in a few landings with the wind calm, or at least down the runway, to get my confidence back. So, I washed the plane instead, as it desperately needed it :o)

In the afternoon, Vic and I went for a little bicycle ride, which turned out being about 11 miles or so, on some of the trails that you can still get to - there's a bunch of building going on, meaning that I can't get to a load of my favourite dirt trails :o(

In the evening, we rolled Vic up a World of Warcraft character, and got her to level 6 :o)

October 7th I went to the airfield to see what was going on - the AWOS was reporting that there was a temporary control tower in operation.

There was a little airport day, the first. There wasn't an awful lot there, but hopefully next year it'll be a bigger deal.

In the evening, we caught up with Battlestar Galactica , and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

October 5th I didn't get to take the Rans out, but it was interesting listening to the airfield AWOS reporting everything was clear below 600 feet :o)

October 4th Finally, my ISP sent a guy out to replace the box on the roof. Now, the connection's staying up all day without any problems. This means that not only can I get some work done, but also I've managed to play a little World of Warcraft... I've got both my toons to level 47 :o)

In the evening, South Park had an episode about Warcraft, so Vic and I watched it. Other than a few mistaiks (you can't kill millions of boar to go up levels, they stop giving XP when you're about level 10, and Stan's Dad was wielding the magic sword, so it would have been soulbound) it was pretty accurate :o)

Later in the night, it rained. Finally... the weather's been all screwed up recently, as we've been waiting for the rain to come along. Maybe tomorrow I can try and get some time in the Rans :o)

October 3rd With their 17th MotoGP Constructor's World Championship in the bag, and next season's new 800cc rules making it obsolete, HRC has put the RC211V's innards on display for all - see it at Gizmag.

October 2nd The internet connection was flaky again after 12:30, so I called them and suggested that it maybe wasn't the power supply. They're going to look into it in a bit more detail. Excellent

October 1st As the ISP had sent me a new power adapter, I plugged it in. My connection's still very slow, so I'll call them on the morrow and see if they can tweak it a little, or whether it needs to be replaced. I'm leaning towards the latter, myself, but the former would be a much quicker fix, so let's hope for that. I did manage to stumble around in World of Warcraft for a little while, until the disconnects got too irritating. I'd also thought about flying, but the early morning winds were gusting at 6mph, and they generally don't get better until the late afternoon.