Ma Blog‎ > ‎2007‎ > ‎


February 28th The new mirrors arrived for the van, so I spent a little while fitting them. The bases are plastic, so they wobble a bit. I'm thinking about trying to get the old metal base grafted on to a new mirror, as hopefully that'll solve this. Bah.

February 25th As I've had a bit of an upset stomach recently, I just hung around the house watching TV and playing World of Warcraft. I've been working on Vic's hunter, and she's now level 20, which means she gets "aspect of the cheetah". This means she can run between areas quicker. Just as well, I've got so use to using my horse / tiger mount that I've been deathly bored waiting to get places.

February 24th It was Saturday, so I went to the SPCA. We managed to adopt out 3 dogs and a rabbit. Oh, and some cats, but who cares about them?

February 23rd Going to the gym still hurts, hopefully I'll die soon, and won't have to put myself through this. If I give up smoking, drinking and loose women, I won't live any longer, it'll just seem like it.

As it was Dorothy my next-door neighbour's birthday earlier in the week, we took her to her favourite restaurant, Red Lobster, for dinner. She's going to be selling her house and moving in with her daughter. She's given me her car keys so I can run her car for her a few times while she's away, before they get around to selling it. I pointed out that it's probably early enough to enter the Baja 1000, but she didn't bite :o)

February 22nd My new graphics card showed up - a low profile GeForce 7300GS. Obviously, I instantly shut down my PC and installed it, but not before cursing the designers - you have to remove the normal size mounting bracket (like anybody'd use it) and install the low profile one. That's trivial, but now there isn't anywhere for the VGA connector, and my monitor only supports 1280x1024 through the single DVI connector. So, I've ended up with the VGA connector hanging out the spare slot while I wait for me to get around to finding a DVI-VGA adapter. Still, it does now allow me to play World of Warcraft with all the settings turned up, so it was worth the $65 or so :o)

I was fiddling around in the garage with the van and decided to change the light bulb for the front indicator / running light - the running light portion didn't work. So, I put in a spare bulb, to find that it still didn't work. The old bulb was definitely burnt out, but the whole bulb holder was rusty. I enlisted Vic's help to yank the thing apart, and then I cleaned everything up and Dremelled the rust off. After installing it, it still didn't work, so I sat there with the circuit tester, making sure everything was OK. The last thing I tested was the bulb, to find out that the running light filament was broken. Doh. Luckily, I had another bulb lying around, from when I converted the Hawk to LED bulbs in the taillight, so I plugged that in and everything is now fine. Triffic.
I also decided to tighten up the mirror mounts, as the mirrors (especially the passenger side) seem to slowly move to the point that I can't see out of them. As I was starting to tighten it up, the bolt snapped, so I spent some quality time taking the whole mount to pieces. Only to find that I'll need to buy a new mirror. Rather than have them not match, I ordered a pair :o| As I can't see a bloody thing out of the rear window, I'll have to wait for them to come in before I drive the van again, I reckon ;o(

February 21st We went to Stephan's Autohaus, and picked up the van. It's nice to have it cluttering up the garage again :o)

In the evening, we went to the gym. Yes, it still hurts. They've removed one of the machines I used, so I guessed at the weights to put on a similar machine... I think I guessed a bit high :o)

February 20th I bought a large screen Pocket PC doohickey on eBay, and that's arrived. I'm aiming to try and get some sort of GPS working through it, but it'll be a little tricky as it doesn't seem to have a proper USB connector. Luckily it's designed for car use, so the car cradle has a 12V input, and a serial connector. I'm going to try and get it to talk to the Garmin GPSIII+ I currently use.

Of course, I don't have a 12V adapter capable of pushing the couple of amps that this thing wants, so I hooked it up to the Subaru to charge it's battery. Now I need to dig through all my crap for a null modem serial cable, and find somebody with a serial port on their PC to sync stuff through to it - almost nothing's available as a .CAB file to install locally :o| Still, if it works, it'll be great, as with no hard disc and an 8" touchscreen display, it should work well in the van.

February 19th We went and walked Valerie's dogs, Alaska the tail-less German Shepherd and Mr Sundance the tubby border collie cross at Fort Ord, then drove the 4 hours home. My back's killing me, as the Subaru's seats are nowhere near as comfortable as those in the van. Oh well, hopefully I can get that back on Wednesday :o)

February 18th Vic was off, so we drove down to Monterey to see friends of hers. We'd intended to take the van, but it's a) not here, and b) not proved itself reliable yet, so we took the Subaru and stayed in a motel.

Once we were there, we met up and went for a walk along the rocks by the shore, then had dinner in a posh restaurant.

February 17th It was Saturday, so I was at the SPCA. The high point was 2 of the guinea pups we'd fostered getting adopted. No dogs, though.

February 16th I spoke to Stephan at Stephan's Autohaus, and the van's ready to come home, but Ivan took it home to put some miles on it, and now has food poisoning. I said not to worry, I'll pick it up next week :o)

February 15th We went to the gym again, as some of my previous aches and pains have started to go away. Later on, Jason showed up with a Linux system on a Compact Flash card, so I can try and figure out how to get a laptop to boot off it. Great, I love a challenge :o) We met Scott for lunch, then ended up going back to his place to see the new wall that's being built in his back garden. It'll be great when the tractor's not running up and down the side of the house, levelling the dirt and breaking things.

February 14th Ivan called from Stephan's Autohaus, to say that the door latch on the van is on it's way out, and that's why it broke the weld for the pin that it connects to. They're going to find and install another one (they're not available new any more). Hopefully I'll get the van back early next week. Ivan's going to drive it around a little, to make sure there are no leaks, so hopefully we can get it up to the mileage needed for the first oil and filter change :o)

February 13th I spent some time working on the YSR - I'd found that the oil injector pump didn't return freely, unlike the others I had in a box in the garage. So I'd taken that side panel off and sorted out the old race one with the oil pump. I had to knock out the JB Weld over the oil pump and kickstart holes, and I've managed to get everything put back together. Now we'll see if it leaks oil when it's all sorted out. I still have some wiring to look into (most notably fixing and refitting the wiring coil), but the engine's almost done.

I also finally got around to working on the ramp and door for the cavy condo so that the guineas can run upstairs. I need to get some carpet or something to stop them falling through the holes in the mesh, but the cutting and shaping's done.

February 12th We've been looking after one of the pregnant guineas (Snowbear) that the SPCA adopted out, as the owners were freaked out about it giving birth. Well, this morning there were 2 guinea pigs in the cage, rather than the 1 there was yesterday. It's a little white thing... they're all starting to look the same to me :o)

We went to gym to find out that yes, exercise still hurts.

While I was wasting time playing World of Warcraft, Vic managed to get the new guinea pig adopted, and run Snowbear and her new baby back to their home. The plan is currently that we'll get the baby back in 2 weeks or so, but we'll see if they fall in love with it first :o)

February 11th I decided to rip a couple of CDs I've just bought on the new PC. What a fabulous idea until I discovered that the Media Player that comes with XP Media Centre Edition doesn't know how to rip anything other than WMA (tschya, right, I'll use that). So, I ended up installing iTunes, as I need it to copy tunes to my phone anyway. Hours of fun, really. I've decided that there's still something wrong with the PC's setup, as there's this dumbass Windows Dancer toy that says there's no music playing, even with Media Player running. The CNN website also won't let me watch their videos in Firefox as it doesn't think I have Media Player installed. Who'd get a computer?

February 10th Another day full of rain (over an inch), so I posted my taxes and spent the day at the SPCA. There was another guinea pig brought in, as it was small and "wouldn't eat". It ended up in the critter room at home, and eats just fine, thank you.

February 9th I went to the gym, despite the fact that I haven't stopped aching from the last visit. I guess it'll help to re-stretch everything. I figure the list of things I've been given'll take me around 30 minutes when I remember where everything is, but today it took closer to an hour, as I wandered about trying to figure out what a "Pec Deck" looks like.

In the evening, I got my taxes finished. Woo hoo! As usual, the government owes me money, but I guess that's better than the other way around where they can actually apply a penalty :o( Now all I need to do is post them off and forget about them for another year.

February 8th I got around to installing Office on the new PC. First I installed 2000, and upgraded that to XP. Everything except Outlook seems to work, Outlook gives a C++ Runtime error on starting. I deleted it and tried again, with the same result. Hmmm... it looks like a problem with Symantec, but I can't seem to stop it running. I installed 2003, and it crashed the first time I ran it, then asked if I wanted to disable Symantec's anti-spam stuff. "Sure". Now it works.

Egads, 2003 sucks. Still, I'll get used to it. Eventually.

It rained again... 0.28". If it keeps this up, I might even get to ski this year ;o)

February 7th My new PC arrived today. Woo hoo! I spent a few hours deleting all manner of crap off the hard drive (MS Works? Does anybody really use that?). I then spent a few hours copying data (thank you, network) between systems and installing the 9(!) CDs for World of Warcraft and the Burning Crusasde. I then went and played that in all it's 1920x1200 goodness. Still can't turn all the settings all the way up, so maybe I'll get a cheapie graphics card with more memory than a hard disc 10 years ago. Progress, I believe they call it.

It also rained (0.16"). Not a bad thing, as we should expect 3" of rain in January, but got less than 0.1". Good for the grass, I'm told.

February 6th I went to the gym for a session with a trainer. Mainly to stop me from losing a finger screwing with the machines, or paying my monthly dues to just go in there and read Motorcyclist magazine.

I'm expecting the soreness to go away in a few weeks.

February 5th First thing in the morning I called Stephan's Autohaus, and they said to bring the van in. I set about using a cam buckle tie down to hold the sliding door closed, and filling the powered steering pump reservoir, then we ran it in there. Vic followed in the Subaru, and could see the ATF dripping on the exhaust as I drove along the freeway. I was registering 70mph, keeping up with the traffic, and she was registering closer to 60. I'll probably look at marking the correct speeds on the speedo, but I'll use the GPS to get it exact :o)

I already have the new powered steering pump, so they'll figure out why it's leaking.

In the afternoon I went and had my teeth scraped at the fang quack. Why is it that they think you'll feel robbed if you walk out without blood in your mouth? Oh well...

February 4th I spent the morning fiddling around the house, then went over to the airfield and took the Rans out for an hour. It was a bit misty, and cold, but I was still number 3 on the downwind leg when it was time to land :o)

When I got home and unpacked the car, I realised that I'd left the pox-ridden radio at the airfield again. I knew Dorothy wanted to see the plane, and as I was only going to be there for 5 minutes, rather than the usual 90, I went and asked if she wanted to come along for the ride. She did, and now she's seen it in the rags and poles.

When I got home again, I fiddled about with the van, regreasing the sliding door so it runs easier, and figuring out that the powered steering pump's leaking ATF. Triffic. So, tomorrow I'll call Stephan's Autohaus about upgrading that to a Golf type one.

February 3rd After wasting the morning watching TV, I rode the KLX to the SPCA. We managed to get 4 dogs adopted, which is good news. We stayed a little late to finish the adoption for Betsy, a nervous dog who really needed to go home rather than spend another night at the shelter. One of the animal care staff had told the adopter to come back tomorrow, but I chased her down in the car park and brought her in to do the paperwork :o)

February 2nd We went to the gym, for Vic to talk to a sports medicine trainer about her sore back. I just played with a couple of the machines, then read a few magazines while I waited. On the way home, we stopped off to get some dinner and some envelopes for the tax stuff, and I broke the weld on the sliding door on the van. I guess that'll be back to Stephan's Autohaus next week then :o( We drove home with Vic sitting in the back holding the door shut. I'll use tie downs to hold it shut for the trip to Sacramento to get it fixed. And I guess they'll go in the emergency tool kit, too, as I had no other way of getting it home short of driving with the door open.

February 1st I finally got pissed off enough with my craptop crashing while I was trying to book some flights for Russ that I've ordered a new one. Hang the expense. So, I should have an E6400 powered machine to play the Burning Crusasde when that shows up. I totalled the cost of parts, and a whole system worked out cheaper. I know it'll be harder to upgrade, but other than adding memory, I never do upgrade systems. I'm lazy, so sue me.

Thank Bob for Firefox's "restore previous session" feature - it didn't take long to get Russ's flights booked.

We drove over to Stephan's Autohaus, and picked up the van. On the way back, I accelerated a little to let some traffic entering the freeway join behind me, rather than force me into the tuck alongside me. Once that drama was over, I looked down to see I was doing an indicated 85mph :o) I think the speedo over-reads, but still...:o)

Vic brought a customer home from the SPCA, and she adopted Twinkle, the guinea pup born on New Year's Eve. Now we just have 4 guineas here - one mother, her 2 babies and a possible pregnant female.