Ma Blog‎ > ‎2007‎ > ‎


September 30th We spent the afternoon hang gliding. Vic passed the requirements for the Hang 1 test, so she's now a novice, rather than a beginner :o) We took the van, and I had the carputer laptop in the back, so George got to see the video I shot of him on a bigger screen than the little thing on the camera :o)

September 29th I didn't feel so great in the morning, so I just shuffled around the house, and did a little work on the YSR that I'm supposed to be getting running for Jason. In the afternoon, I was running Andy through some Western Plaguelands in World of Warcraft as my warrior when we met Becky. She came through that bank of quests, then I picked up my warlock and we ran through Scholomance to get her warlock ready for the epic donkey quest. Now we just need to get a party organised.

September 28th I've been seeing more and more dumbass sig files, and they always piss me off. The latest one, to a two line email, was:


This message is for the named person's use only. It may contain confidential, proprietary or legally privileged information. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any mistransmission.

If you receive this message in error, please immediately delete it and all copies of it from your system, destroy any hard copies of it and notify the sender. You must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print, or copy any part of this message if you are not the intended recipient. -name deleted to protect the guilty- reserves the right to monitor all e-mail communications through its networks.

Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the message states otherwise and the sender is authorized to state them to be the views of any such entity. -name deleted to protect the guilty- accepts no responsibility for the content of any email which is sent by an employee which is of a personal nature.

This message has been scanned for and cleared of known viruses and inappropriate content.

Thank you.

OK, let's start from the top - once a message leaves your system and arrives on mine, I can do whatever I want with it. You can't force a contract on me without my agreement. So you don't get to tell me to delete, destroy, disclose or otherwise do whatever I want with it or not.

Of course the message is the opinion of the sender - the funniest disclaimer in a .sig I saw was:

Of course I don't speak for NASA

but the thing is, it came from your company, so wouldn't your energy be better spent suggesting people use Gmail for posting their opinions?

Then, I'm supposed to believe you that the message has been checked for virii because you've put a piece of dumb text in it to say you've done that? It's not like I'm capable of typing a bit of text at the end of a message I send with a virus in it, is it?

Sheesh, some people...

I spent some time playing World of Warcraft, and had just got my druid up to level 22 when Andy showed up. We ran through Blackfathom Deeps, and when I finished handing in all the quests afterwards, made level 23 :o)

September 27th After another chaotic day at work, I went to the airfield and pulled the Rans out for a little while. I ended up playing with a red and white experimental plane for a little while, then landing back at Lincoln.

At home, I managed to play World of Warcraft for an hour or so, and got my hunter up to level 44.

I put the carputer back together, so that's all ready to go in the van.

September 26th After a chaotic day at work, I went to the airfield and pulled the Rans out of the hangar for the first time in what seems like forever, but is actually only since June. I dusted off the cobwebs, and headed over to look at the new estate that's getting built over by Fiddyment Road. As I was rolling over towards Ray's a white flexwing came up from underneath me. We followed each other around for a while, until I headed back to Lincoln and put the plane away. I should really get out there and wash it some time :o)

When I got home, I spent a little time working on the laptop carputer, I've reversed the screen so it sits on the front, rather than the back, of the laptop. Basically, the idea is that this makes the rest of the thing (like the DVD drive, media slots and the power switch) easier to use. I've had to lengthen some of the wires that run around the screen, so we'll see how well my soldering holds up.

It all works though, which is a bonus :o) Now I just need to trim some plastic, then figure out a way of mounting it in the van that doesn't suck.

September 24th We sat and watched the Motegi MotoGP race, and saw Casey win the championship. It's a shame that the Michelin slicks were so awful - reportedly Hayden saw footage of Rossi's second pit visit and agreed that they felt like the front tyre was flat :o(

Still, at least the poison dwarf can't win :o)

September 23rd I started looking into a 300MA drain on the battery in the van, and figured that it seems to be the central locking controller. The relays seemed to be always dragging power, but testing them on my bench makes it look like they're working OK. I'll send that back, especially as now I've unplugged in and plugged it back in, it's stopped working. Here's hoping it's a warranty job.

In the afternoon, we went for Vic's hang gliding lesson, where she got to fly the Falcon 3, but the too large 195 model. It flies further than the Condor, meaning that there were fewer flights :o)

September 22nd First thing in the morning, we got a call from the SPCA to say that the rabbit that Vic had just taken back with it's babies had had another 2, so she went and picked them up. Later, I finally got around to going in and walking a couple of dogs before my old, aching limbs gave up on me and I came home. It only rained a little sprinkle.

When I got home, I tore apart an old laptop Dad had given me, to use as a GPS device, and a laptop, in the van. I've only pulled the screen apart, so it can be stuck against the back of the body of the thing to cut down on the space it takes up. I'm going to use a wireless keyboard he gave me, too. Vic's said it's starting to look quite good, meaning it doesn't look like an awful bodge like my projects usually turn out - i.e. all duct tape and safety wire.

We also spent a while hacking stuff in the front garden. I gave up thinning trees when the green bin was approaching full, but Vic kept on.

September 21st After redoing the heat sink on my old laptop, I played World of Warcraft for an hour or so, and got my druid up to level 21.

September 20th It looks like summer's officially over - last night it threw it down with rain (about 0.5" in an hour or so), and it's colder today - in the 70s.

I spent a little time in World of Warcraft and got my hunter up to level 43. I'll probably alternate the characters for a while, to keep the rested bonus going :o)

September 19th I be working all day with scurvy swabs. After the ship ties up, I be playing World of Warcraft and got my druid up to level 20. It be harder at lower levels, as that rested bonus be coming up sooner. Arrr....

Don't be telling me you didn't remember it's Talk Like A Pirate Day, ye lily livered land lubber, or I be keel hauling ye all.

September 18th I dropped the 'rents at the airport for their flight home, went home and collapsed. Then got up and started working again. Oh, how I love working.

As Vic was working late, I hit World of Warcraft and got my druid up to level 18. Triffic.

September 17th As I'd had to spend all of Saturday working, I suggested to my boss that it was only fair that I got Monday off to make up for it. He agreed :o)

We watched the excellent MotoGP race from Estoril. Duff clutch = 1.5 seconds back? Sounds like an excuse to me, as I know I suck without a clutch when I'm racing.

We finished fitting the door to the new cupboard in the van, so I should be able to actually use all of the space I have in the back now.

In the afternoon, we just went shopping, where Dad got a Wii. What an irritating user interface. Still, he seems to like it, and that's all that matters, really. In the evening we took Jim out for his birthday, then ate cake.

September 16th I finished loading World of Warcraft on the laptop, and after getting a flying donkey for my warrior (900 gold!!), it crashed. I figure I'll try taking it apart again to make sure that there's enough thermal compound on the CPU before screaming and stamping my feet like a 6 year old.

Dad and I started work on cutting a hole to fit a bigger door on a cupboard in the van. Imagine a 2' x 4' cupboard, with a door on the 2' side. Yup, that's what we've got. I managed to source the panel from the front of a refrigerator door, so we started cutting the hole and working on the trim.

In the afternoon, we went for Vic's hang gliding lesson, where she jumped off the top of the training hill for the first, second and third time. Luckily Dad got a bunch of stills pictures, so I could shoot crappy little videos. We got home pretty late, and pretty tired.

September 15th I got paged before 8am, and got to spend the whole day working on a problem that was nothing to do with our software, but as the customer's expectation had been set that we'd fix anything they wanted, I couldn't say "bugger off" and get away with it :o(

September 14th The new processor showed up for my laptop, so I shoehorned that in, and fired it up. It's spent several hours running a virus scan and downloading updates without crashing, so hopefully that's fixed.
I decided to load World of Warcraft on it, partly because that had always caused a crash, but also because it should play it pretty well... it's a 2GHz P4M, with 1Gb and an ATI All-In-Wonder 9000 graphics card, so we'll see.

September 13th I got another call to pick up the van, so I cycled over. This time, it was a lot better, so I took it home and bolted on the bits I'd taken off for the painting.

I managed to sneak some time playing World of Warcraft. I managed to get my warrior up to level 70 just before Andy got his warrior up to 70 :o)

We met Jim and Kathy for sushi in the evening, then went home and caught up on Stephen Colbert's antics.

September 12th I got the call to pick up the van, so we went over. I looked at the droops, and suggested that maybe they should hang on to it for a while longer :o(

September 11th I was supposed to pick up the van, but they never called. I'm not surprised, the original 1 week paint job took a month.

We went over to Scott and Becky's for a barbie in the evening, so Mum and Dad could fuss their dog Daisy. I think they miss having Chloe follow them all over the house.

September 10th Dad and I were up early, so we ran the van in to have the front paint patched :o)

I pulled a troublesome laptop apart, to find it's using an Intel SL6CL. This means it's socketed, so maybe replacing that'll fix the thing once and for all. Definitely the paste that's supposed to hold the CPU to the heatsink wasn't doing a very good job.

I couldn't figure out if a faster processor would fit (it's only a 400MHz front side bus, for a start) so I just ordered the one that's just come out. $25, shipped, on FleaBay.

September 9th We woke up early in Meeks Bay, in the van. After entertaining the kids for a while, we manged to get away and drive back down the hill. Dad and I took the grille and bumper cover off the van, then we went to Vic's hang gliding lesson, with the whole family to cheer her on. There was a guy there with a little 2 stroke engine to power his glider. The thing seems to be a lot of hassle, but he did get up to around 4,000 ft with it :o)

September 8th We packed the van up, and headed to Meeks Bay, by Lake Tahoe.

September 7th We spent the early evening polishing the foster critters, then went and picked Mum and Dad up from the airport.

September 6th I spent some time in the evening playing World of Warcraft. I managed to get my warrior up to level 69. Woo Hoo.

September 4th I called the paint shop about the paint falling off the front of the van, and they said to bring it in. Having looked at it, we agreed that if I took off the grille and bumper cover, it shouldn't be rocket science to fix it. It's going in next Monday :o)

September 3rd It was Labo(u)r Day here, when Americans celebrate the successes of the unions by going shopping. In the afternoon, we went for Vic's hang gliding lesson. Johnny was there with his Falcon 3, the 170 model that would be the right size. Vic got to play with it a little and had a much easier time than in the much bigger Condor that they use for training. I see a purchase in the future :o)

September 2nd Christina and Valerie were in town for the California State Fair, so we went with them.

September 1st I started the day meeting Andy in Azeroth so we could run some of the group quests we both had in World of Warcraft.

After that, I washed the van, and managed to wash off some paint. I'll need to talk to the paint shop about that, as it doesn't bode well, does it?