Ma Blog‎ > ‎2007‎ > ‎


October 31st I met Andy in World of Warcraft, and we (and my new guild) did a run on Scarlet Monastery.
Easy, with a level 70 in the group :o) Afterwards, I tidied up a bit, and my druid made level 29. I'll rest him for a bit, to get the rested bonus next time I take him out.

October 29th I had the sales guy from the solar power company come out so we could get everything sorted out for the panels on the roof. I'm getting a 2.5KW system, and hopefully it'll be installed by the end of the year. There are a couple incentives that I can take advantage of at the moment, so I'm paying a bit more than half of what it would normally cost to buy a system of this size. It'll roughly halve our summertime electrickery bill, when it's most expensive due to the air conditioning usage. I might look at adding more panels in a few years, so that's going to be taken into account in the design of the system. I'm quite looking forward to getting it in, and looking at the indoor monitor that tells you how much power you're generating at that second :o)

I got in a little World of Warcraft time, and my druid made level 28.

In the evening, we had thunderstorms and some rain - it's nice to see that Tilly isn't afraid of noises like Chloe was :o)

October 28th I took Tilly out of the bedroom to give Vic a chance to sleep in, and after a while went to help Jim with his garage door. When that seemed like it's working, we crated Tilly and headed off to go hang gliding in the van. As she was so loud, we had to pull her out of the crate, and she ended up sitting on Vic's lap most of the way there, looking out of the window. This was the first time she's seen dogs bigger than her since being adopted, and she did pretty well. Again, she was like a little sack of bones when we got her home.
Vic didn't get to fly, as the tow winch blew a hydraulic hose, rendering it inoperable. We still didn't get away before dark though :o)

October 27th As we had visitors, Tilly was actually behaving pretty well. Simon and Anne-Louise's son, Ben, and Tilly wound each other up a few times, and had to be separated, but generally things went fine.

October 26th We waited for Simon and family to arrive, then sat around chatting until the wee small hours of the morning. I tried to keep Tilly awake, but eventually she was just this little sack of bones that I could shake and poke without any sign of life.

October 25th Tilly got to go to the vet's for her first check-up. They pronounced her seaworthy, and gave her a couple of shots and sent her on her way. She then pooped and peed in the van on the way home, as I was too busy driving to stop her. Oh well.

October 24th Tilly was introduced to next door's dogs, and got to play with Molly while Alex and Ellie were shut in, so she wasn't outnumbered.

October 23rd I had another solar power guy in to quote for panels on the roof. I'm just waiting for their quote, and then I'll decide who gets the order. In a perfect world, it'd get fitted this year, as there's a tax rebate that I can take, and the tax year ends in December :o)

I managed to get in a little World of Warcraft time, and my druid made level 27. I want to be able to get his tailoring up to the point where I can make biiiig bags for the rest of my toons.

October 22nd After a pretty miserable night, we had a pretty quiet day, with Tilly helping Vic in the garden a lot. She seems to have decided that she wants to be a goldfish when she grows up - at least, we have to drag her away from the pond a lot :o)

I saw that the FAA have finished the investigation of the plane crash just over the back of our house last year.
Pilot error. Error? Aerobatics at 200 - 800' over a built up area? Sounds more like suicide to me, but what do I know?

October 21st Tilly's 10 weeks old today. We'll see if she makes 11.

It was too windy to go hang gliding so we, and I mean all three of us, worked in the garden, before going to lunch at a place with outdoor seating. We got Tilly a new toy at the local PetsMart - the thing is it crinkles and squeaks when she bites it, so she constantly sounds like that guy behind you at the cinema trying to open a bag of crisps without making a noise.

When we got home, we watched the MotoGP race for Malaysia, and got an early night.

October 20th Tilly's house training seems to have taken a nose-dive, with "accidents" for most of the morning. The strange thing is that she doesn't even whine to go out, she just stops where she is and pees. I finally figured out that she thinks the bedroom and the office are part of our den, but she doesn't spend enough time in the family room to think of that as not to be peed in. Dumbass. She's still biting everything in sight, so I'm tempted to pick up her bed(s), wash the house to about 18" in Bitter Apple.
On the plus side, she's whining and waking me up every 3 hours or so to go out at night, so she's got the basic idea of house training. We're working on staying in the crate for a while from time to time. One of the problems there is that she's used to free feeding, which is great from a "lots of puppies in a cage, discouraging food aggression" point of view, but sucks from a house training point of view. I'm trying to get her to eat twice a day, rather than her current Hobbit-like breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch kind of model.

Dog food companies piss me off - there's a big pet obesity problem here, and I find it amazing that the puppy food label says that at her age (6-11 weeks) and weight (up to 15 lbs), she should get 2.5 cups of food a day. Even free feeding, she doesn't take much more than a cup a day, and then she walks around with a fat belly, and poops a lot more often. Hmmm... conflict of interest?

I managed to play World of Warcraft for a while and my druid made level 26.

October 19th Vic was going to be puttering about in the garden, Tilly-proofing the vegetable area, so I managed to get to the gym for a change.

Tilly and I were playing in the garden when one of these (I think) came over at a few hundred feet and scared the crap out of her. It was bright red (could even have been this one), and sounds weird.

I managed to play World of Warcraft for a while and my druid made level 25.

October 18th Tilly and I had a pretty good day... she slept a lot, and listened to most of what I said. I even managed to play a little World of Warcraft with her asleep on my lap, or watching the screen. No levels though.

October 17th Ever eaten a pomegranate? What a miserable fruit that is.
I planted a tree in the garden several years ago, and this year it bore fruit. It's an awful lot of work to get the fruit covered seeds out - I think this'll be like celery, and take more calories than it gives. Jeez.

Tilly continues to work on her house training - she's actually doing pretty well when you figure she's only been here for a few days. I also think she's starting to learn her name, as she perked up when I was watching a little video I shot and she heard me call her name :o)

October 16th Obviously, I'm an idiot. At about 10pm last night, Tilly was whining, so I put her on her bed. Where she promptly peed. Lesson - if the dog's whining, take her out even if she peed 15 minutes ago :o)

She spent the day with me in the office - chewing paper, standing on keyboards, the usual office behaviour.

The central locking controller came in for the van, so I spent all of 5 minutes plugging it back in.

Speed had deigned to show the MotoGP race from the weekend, so we watched that, in between trips to the garden. They never showed this which I thought was hilarious :o) For the uninitiated, they were practising starts. Modern MotoGP bikes have traction control, so they use a setting of this, called launch control, to allow them to pretty much go full throttle, and just dump the clutch. This is what happened to the poison dwarf when launch control didn't work :o)

October 15th I spent most of the day with Tilly either sleeping on my lap or stealing bits of paper off my desk.

Vic's foster guinea pig, Stewart the Winky, who lost an eye to an infection he's been fighting for several months now, had to be put to sleep - he wasn't eating or drinking, and he was having real trouble breathing. Once he started to get cold, and couldn't control himself, it looked like the infection was in his brain. We took him back to the SPCA :o(

October 14th As Vic had to work today, I went to California Animal Shelter Friends with Jim in the van to take a look at a litter of lab mix puppies, and ended up bringing one home with us. Tillamook, like the cheese, or more often Tilly.

Bill over the road had asked me to look at draining the fluids out of his grandson's XR 50 so it can be shipped to Wisconsin in the week. I said to bring it over, but I'd be out on Sunday afternoon. I got home to find him cutting and edging the grass in the front garden :o) I said it wasn't necessary, but he finished up, then brought the bike over. It took me maybe 10 minutes to drain the oil and gas, and the float bowl. I felt guilty, but I've fixed this bike before, so I guess we're even now :o)

October 13th I started the day at the SPCA, but it was pretty quiet, and there were a load of dog walkers, so I came home and played World of Warcraft for a while. I ran through Zul'Farrak with my hunter and a pick up group, and managed to do all but 1 of the quests in there, and got up to level 46.

October 12th I had a guy come to talk to me about solar panels on the roof. I'm looking at a roughly 2.5KW system, as that should more than halve my electrickery bill. Plus I get to feel like I'm doing something to help the environment.

It's funny, when you start asking for quotes, everybody wants to know what your bill is, rather than how much power you use - here in Roseville, power's apparently very cheap (at the moment - there's talk about it going up. We'll see if I think I can afford it :o)

October 11th I managed to spend some time in World of Warcraft, and managed to get my hunter up to level 45.

October 10th I spoke to Stephan, and sent him copies of everything about the van's smog failure. We'll see what can be sorted out now. We have until December to get it fixed, as that's when the registration runs out.

October 9th I took the van to a State appointed referee to get the smog test done. Oh dear. First, it scored too high on the nitric oxide emissions - investigation shows that could be due to overheating in the test warehouse (they backed it in, meaning the cooling fans were blowing on the engine, rather than the radiator) and it being almost out of petrol. More importantly the intake manifold and ECU part numbers don't match what's approved to be installed on that engine in this upgrade. Oh, and it needs a "check engine" light and a vented fuel cap (why, it has an expansion tank for the fuel?). Anyways, I drove home and called Stephan - he said they've had problems like this with Tiico before, so he'll talk to them and see what can be done to get this all sorted out. Hey, if I'm lucky, maybe I can get the new turbodiesel engine installed instead :o)

October 8th I started the day off by tweaking my shoulder with a pinched nerve, so I'm expecting that to slow me down for the next week until it either goes away or I get used to it :o(

October 7th I spent part of the morning trying to track down a knocking noise that sometimes shows up on the Subaru without success, then we went hang gliding. Vic got to get towed for the first time... she didn't seem to be in the air a lot longer, but she travelled a lot further :o)

October 6th I watched some TV, then went to the SPCA for most of the day. I walked a couple of dogs that people thought I might like to adopt, but I didn't really get attached to them. Or the 8 week old labrador mix puppy that was there. I'm starting to wonder whether I'm ready to get another dog after Chloe yet, or maybe I've just myself trained to not get attached to animals at the shelter perhaps a little too well.

We stopped and got a takeaway on the way home, and watched a movie and Dr Who before passing out.

October 5th I took the van over to Stephan's for it's oil change. I need to do this for the first year to maintain the warranty, but it's always good to see Stephan and talk about Vanagons :o)

After work, we went and met a bunch of volunteers from the SPCA for dinner. It was pretty relaxing, really... Heather, the ex volunteer coordinator organised it.

October 4th I took the van to get it smogged, and they have no idea how to do it. It looks like I need to get it to a referee to get it all set up, then anybody can smog it. Triffic.

I went back to the airfield and finished with the rotating the tyres on the Rans. Because of the way the wheels bolt on, as I'd tightened it up, I'd been unscrewing the stud, rather than tightening up the nut. Doh. I took the wheel off and tightened up the stud again, and it all went back together easily. I've run in a wire to run / charge the radio when I'm flying too. I've been getting a little paranoid about flying with anything other than a fully charged radio, as people have said they can't hear me. The next step is an external antenna.

October 3rd I went to the airfield and took a look at rotating the tyres on the Rans. Because of the way the wheels sit at an angle, the tyres wear along one edge only, so I decided to turn them around. Getting the wheels off turned out to be a lot easier than I thought, but getting the tyres off the split rims was really difficult. The first one probably took me an hour, and involved splitting the rim, putting it back together and splitting it again. The second one took about 20 minutes. I put everything back together, only to find that one wheel wouldn't spin properly. I thought that the rim might be bent a bit, as it passes very close to the brake cable mounting, but I was too tired to screw with it any longer.

October 1st I spent a bunch of time integrating an area on Vic's hang gliding into the flying pages.

I also ran across this, which could very well be about World of Warcraft.