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January

January 31st Vic's guineas, Lucky and Bebe have been visiting, and Bebe was a bit off this morning. He was moving his head and eyes side to side, continually. A visit to the vet makes this sound like a simple ear infection - with such short legs, he can't fall over or stagger around the place. He's got some anti-biotics, and should be right as rain in no time.

I spoke to Stephan at Stephan's Autohaus, and the van still isn't leaking oil. It is, however, leaking a little coolant - I'd thought it was the ancient and cracked up overflow bottle, but it sounds like it's a valve for the heater in the front. I've asked him to fix this, and I should be good to pick it up tomorrow :o)

Dorothy next door brought over her tax junk, and I threw it into TaxCut. As she's retired, her taxes are easy... I believe it takes longer to print them than it does to enter the data :o)



January 30th We started the day with 2 more guinea pups - Marie dropped a tan and a white, both Abyssinian looking. Just one more possibly pregnant now :o)

I finally broke down and ordered the Warcraft expansion pack, as I figure I'm never going to get rich at about 4 gold a quest, and the experience I'm giving up is a shame - I could be level 61 by now :o)

In the afternoon, I played a little World of Warcraft, as Scott had got a group together to hit Scholomance. Well, we ended up hitting Stratholme Dead, until one of the players had collected everything he wanted there... the douchebag just bailed out on us, meaning we didn't really have a big enough party to continue. We just bailed out and went home. I was pretty annoyed by this, so I gave up for the day.

In the evening, I worked on the YSR a little. I hacked the Japanese headlight mount to work with the US frame, and threw some paint at it to stop it rusting.



January 29th Met Jeff for lunch, and found out he has the much cheaper (and removable) Rekluse automagic clutch. Hmmm... unlike Revloc, they do them for street bikes, it's just they only do Hardleys :o(

I finally joined the nearest gym, as they were having a special deal. Vic's already a member there, so hopefully we'll drag each other along there and actually get a little fit :o) I played with a few of the machines, but I've booked a session with one of the trainers to work out a starting routine.



January 28th Vic took some of the guineas from our critter room to the SPCA, and called me at lunchtime to say that two of them had been adopted already. Great, at this rate, we'll almost keep up with the rate that they're being born :o) Of course, now they're separated by sex, there shouldn't be any more pregnancies.

I spent a little quality time with TaxCut, and my taxes are nearly done. I just need to wait for a few other bits o' paper, and I can send in for this year's refund.

I played a bit of World of Warcraft, working on getting the dreadsteed for my warlock. I ran hither and yon, killing, maiming and tricking to find that I don't have enough gold to buy a single component that I need for the summoning ritual. Great. At this rate, it seems like I'll need to get around 600 gold, and I'm getting gold very, very slowly. I was thinking I'd ignore this mount, get the expansion pack and work towards the flying mount, but it seems like you can't skip the middle one. Oh, and you need 6000 gold for the flying mount. Yipe! Maybe I'll just get used to using the slower horsey :o)



January 27th I wasn't feeling like infecting everyone at the SPCA with my cold, so I stayed in and played World of Warcraft, caught up on some stuff around the house and worked on the YSR wiring loom. It's looking better - I just need to hack the main key switch off the YZF600 top yoke I bought and modify the Japanese headlight mount to work with the US frame, and I can hopefully get it all taped up and start testing it. I have a new 6v battery, so I just have to pour the acid in it, but I also need a bunch of 6v bulbs, which might be a little interesting. We'll see.


January 25th I finally took the KLX over to see Jeff's new bike. It's a good piece of equipment, with some nice detail touches, but he's already set about making a bunch of upgrades. One thing he keeps rattling about, and is quite interesting, is the Revloc automagic clutch, that turns your dirt bike into a twist and go shopping moped. Still, it's an interesting device, and when I win the lottery, maybe I'll look at getting one of the KLX. And maybe modifying one for the Hawk if it's as good as he says it is :o)


January 24th Despite having a cold, I pulled the Hawk out to ride over and see Jeff's new bike. This is a big deal, as with Vic's wide-assed cruiser in the garage, the Hawk sits in front of the KLX, making it harder to get out, even without the van in the garage. Jeff wasn't in. On the way home, I pulled up next to a 196* Mustang, and as I started to pull away, he gassed it.
What's that? A race you say? Certainly.
I punched it, and was looking at him in the mirror when his head gasket blew. I felt sorry for him, as it was a really nice looking car, other than the white cloud behind him. Not sorry enough to stop and risk a beating, but sorry, nonetheless.

For you non-bike riders out there, even a fairly slow bike like the Hawk will kill anything short of a Ferrari in a drag race. It's all about power to weight ratios, and trust me, even a 250hp Mustang weighing a ton can't live with a 50hp Hawk weighing 400lbs.

They've put up a digital speed sign just up the road (North of me on Woodcreek Oaks, before Safeways, if you're local). It's funny to watch it go red if you're breaking the speed limit by as much as 1mph. My bicycle speedo on the Hawk is pretty much spot on, and I think I'll try the speedo on the Van, as I think it's overreading a bit.



January 23rd I spoke to Stephan at Stephan's Autohaus about the van - he can see that it has leaked oil, but it isn't doing so now. We're speculating that it's something as the gasket seats, but he'll drive it around for a little while longer before I get it back.

As the wind's died down, I'm now coming down with a cold :o(

Jeff called to say he had finally buckled under the pressure and bought himself a new bike, good lad, and requested that I come and "ooh" and "aah" over it. As I was stuck at work, we went over after Vic got home from work, but as we pulled into Jeff's road, we saw him pulling out. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.



January 22nd I was thinking of going to the airfield and taking the Rans out for a spin, but the wind started to get up - it went from calm to 5mph in 30 minutes, so I shelved that idea, as it looked like it was getting worse. Of course, it then died down, but with no clouds, it's hard to tell that. At least the temperatures are a bit more realistic, hitting the 60s, rather than staying below 40F.


January 21st Vic was off work - the first time we've had a day off together for as long as I can remember, so we went to breakfast. Then we went and did some shopping, ending up in getting her a warm jacket for skiing and our trip to England. It was nice to just not do anything for a while.

I had intended to go to the airfield and take the Rans out, but it was suddenly very windy, between 10 and 20mph.

What did suck was coming back to the Subaru to find that some motherlover had doored it. The white paint should polish off, but it looks like there's a light crease in the metal :o(



January 20th I futzed around the house for a while, then dropped off the broken PC to be shipped back to Fry's on my way to the SPCA. It was a long day, that didn't see any dogs get adopted. Oh well, there's always next week.


January 19th My new PC showed up early, against all expectations. The thing is, there was obviously something heavy clanking about in the case, so I opened it up to take a look. The heatsink / CPU fan assembly mount was broken, so that was flailing around inside. Great. So, I call Fry's, and they tell me that I can ship it back to them at my expense. Oh, and they're out of stock, so I'll get a refund rather than a replacement. Hmmm... after a short pause, they said they'd refund my shipping, so now I'm just out the drive to the post office to ship it. Oh, and they won't cover shipping insurance.
It's already broken, why would I insure it?

Joy of joys, my first 2006 tax year stuff arrived today, so I get to start spending quality time with the craptop and TaxCut. And backing up regularly.

It's funny, they sent me the CD of the program, you just have to pay to register it so you can use it. I looked on eBay, and half the world seems to be selling these CDs. Registration is the same price as walking into a store and buying the program, and more expensive than ordering it from Amazon, so why do people bother?



January 18th Apparently my new PC will be here on Tuesday. Woo hoo. Good, as I spent a great chunk of the day working on a Powerpoint presentation, then losing almost an hour's work when the thing cratered on me.
Back up that data regularly, kiddies.

In the evening we watched Stephen Colbert on Bill O'Reilly's show, and then Bill on Stephen's show. Bill's a pompous, far right wing dick, and Stephen's show is totally based on spoofing him, so I was expecting it to be a lot funnier than it ended up being.



January 17th We ran the van back to Stephan's Autohaus. Ivan was hoping they could take a look at it soon, but the gearbox will probably have to go back to the people who reconditioned it. Apparently Stephan drove around 200 miles in it without a problem, so I wonder what I'm differently. At this rate, I'll get them to do the 500 mile oil change while it's there :o)

I finally got tired of my old laptop crashing dead for no apparent reason, and broke down and ordered a new PC. I figure by March, I should be able to get it running properly. I'll probably install Ubuntu Linux on the craptop, and we'll see how that does for itself :o)



January 16th I made a start on the light switch wiring for the YSR. I've also decided to try and wire the main key switch so that it cuts out the coil, rather than just earthing it. On old Yamaha looms, you just had to disconnect one bullet connector, and the damn things would run :o( Not this one, hopefully.


January 15th After a quick trip out, I saw a little spotting of ATF under the rear end of the van, so I think that'll have to go back to Stephan's Autohaus in the near future. Maybe the torque converter buggered up more than we thought :o(


January 14th I made a start on the wiring for the YSR. At first, I was sure that I didn't have a YSR loom, as nothing seemed to match up, but I traced stuff through, and found that what I was missing was the entire ignition system. I pulled an old race wiring loom, and started there. I'm cutting stuff off the old loom, and adding it to the bike as I go along. Right now, it has the ignition and charging systems... the complex lights come next. Of course, I've decided that I want to try and use the RC3o switch gear I have in the garage, so I'll have to figure out how that works, so I can integrate it instead of the stock Yamaha stuff. I also have a lock set from a YZF600 to use, as it cost me less than what most people want for a YSR ignition switch. I need to figure out what the changes are, and integrate that, too. Hopefully this won't be the daunting task I seem to have built it up into being in my head :o)


January 13th I sat down and put some concerted effort into getting the crittercam working. The software's there, the old laptop it's hooked up to shuts down and restarts by itself on schedule, now I just need to get the picture to be betterer.

I was going to go to the SPCA, but Vince called to say Mike was flying up from Prunetucky, so I met with them. I'd have flown too, but the temperature's terrifyingly cold - like below freezing at 9am. I'm just not interested in that, thanks.

So much for global warming.



January 12th We went to Stephan's Autohaus and picked up the van. It drove fine on the way home, and not leaving any oil puddles when we stopped for lunch, or when it got back into the garage. I plugged it in to charge up the batteries overnight, and fitted a little magnet to the bottom of the table to hopefully stop it wobbling around when I'm driving (everybody complains about this, apparently).

In the evening, I joined Jason for a bit of screwing around in World of Warcraft. We couldn't get a group together to run a big dungeon, so we just killed lots of things in Silithus for a couple of quests and the reputation with the Cenarious. The expansion pack goes live on Tuesday, so I'll have to decide if I want to get that and try to make level 70. It'll be tough, as more or less every level 60 out there has better equipment than I do, so I'll struggle a bit. Anyways...



January 11th We started the day with 3 new guinea pigs in the critter room. Mama Cass had given birth... there was a 4th, but it was dead. The remaining 3 look fine and healthy, and are running around quite happily.

In the afternoon, I heard from Stephan at Stephan's Autohaus - the van's ready to come home :o)

In the evening, I took a look at the nightmare of wiring on the YSR. Pat gave me a chopped around wiring loom he sourced from somewhere or other, so I've been trying to figure out what's been done to it, and why. Hopefully I can get enough of that figured out to make it work. It shouldn't be that hard, as it's just lights and charging systems after all - there's no electric start, fuel injection or other trickery on this thing. Still, it'll keep me busy over the cold weekend - they're saying that temperatures will be in the 40s, and as cold as it's been recently, I believe them.



January 9th I heard from Ivan at Stephan's Autohaus - it appears that the oil seal on the van was taken out by the torque converter, so that's been replaced under warranty. Stephan wants to drive the van around for the evening, so if it fails in the first 50 miles or so again, he'll already have it with him :o)

I also played a little World of Warcraft, getting my warlock up to level 60. Woo hoo :o)



January 7th I got all keyed up to go to the airfield and take the Rans out to see how high I'd have to go before my head exploded (I think I'm over my cold). I got all the way there, with a can of fuel, when I realised that I'd left my jacket hanging in the closet. It was too cold to fly without it, so I just filled the tank, did a quick walk-round inspection and watched the aircraft in the pattern. There were a lot of them, so maybe it was better that I didn't fly anyway. Vince says to be very careful on sunny weekends in the winter, as a lot of people won't have flown for a while, and are too rusty to look out of the window or listen to the radio.


January 6th I ran some errands, dropped off the recycling and went to the SPCA for a few hours. Two of our longer-staying residents went home, causing tears and celebration all round. Just as I was getting ready to leave, Laura from Animal Control came in and dumped a 6 or 7 week old puppy on me while she filled in the paperwork. He was dumped, and it looks like he'll need de-worming, as he had a very fat little belly. I'm hoping we can get away without fostering him, to :o)


January 5th Having moved the train set into the house, I tidied up the garage a bit. Even when the YSR goes back in there, I should have a reasonable amount of space. That won't be bad, the Subaru, the van, four motorcycles and 2 mountain bikes. Most of my neighbours seem unable to get a car in their garages :o)


January 4th I got a message from Stephan's Autohaus to say that they think the oil leak's due to the front main seal. Hopefully that won't take too long to fix, and then I can have the van back :o)


January 3rd I rode over to Jeff's, and we took his bigassed pickup to rent a huge trailer to tow the van over to Stephan's Autohaus for them to look at the ATF leak. We then took the trailer back, and I rode the KLX home again. Cool. In the evening I got the train set basically finished and in the table :o) Now I just need to clear up in the garage, and I'll have loads of space, even with the van back in there :o)


January 2nd I've been playing World of Warcraft a bit recently, trying to get my Warrior to level 60. I'd hoped to do it by the end of 2006, but I finally made it today. Using /played, there's almost 13 days of my life I'll never get back :o)


January 1st Happy New Year :o)

I wasted the day, just playing around with the website, various computers (trying (unsuccessfully) to get a very old laptop to run as a webcam server) and doing a little work on the train set. It's taking a while to make progress there, as I glue things down, then have to wait for the glue to dry before tipping the table to get extra "stuff" off. Still, I did make the battery shelf, now I just need to get the track all clean and dust free so I can try to run the train around it on the battery.

I can see light at the end of the tunnel :o)