Ma Blog‎ > ‎2008‎ > ‎


July 30th I spoke to Jeff, and the DRZ is all ready to go. He agreed with me that it was borderline unrideable as it was, but apparently it's a lot betterer now, so I just need to get over and pick it up :o)

July 27th Vic's looking after some rabbits for an adopter while they're on holiday, so they dropped them over today, winding Tilly up until she was running around the house like a mad thing. Which she is.

July 27th I've been thinking it would be nice to take Tilly for walks while I cycle (and I'm still thinking about making a little chariot she can pull me in), so we took her for a walk with Vic on her mountain bike.
We started off with the bike being pushed, but then ridden. I also ran along with Tilly as far as my knee would let me. I'm getting old.

We went for a longer cycle, to check out some of the idiotic local trails that just dead-end into the middle of nowhere, but we know that now.

After dinner, we walked Tilly over to the local ice-cream shop and back. We had a douchebag leading his family cycling (illegally per the DMV) on the pavement on the way back. I stopped, with Tilly between me and the hedge, and he cycled straight at me like he was playing chicken. When it became obvious that I wasn't moving, he swerved around me. He's lucky I didn't have a stick to put through his front wheel.

July 26th We dropped the DRZ off at Jeff's, and it was pretty scary riding it around the car park at the local supermarket on the way, as the clutch seemed to be engaged or disengaged. No slipping. Oh well, we'll see what the weaker spring does.

I got in a little World of Warcraft time, getting my druid up to level 60.

July 25th Vince came over for a barbie and to sit around talking all evening. Tilly managed to burst her new toy, but a post mortem didn't reveal whether it was on the hot metal post for the fence, her dew claw or maybe even a thorn in the flowerbed. Whatever, it is no more. It is an ex-ball.

July 24th I spoke to Jeff about the auto-clutch on the DRZ, and it sounds like the wrong spring's in there for the way I want it to work... there's a softer spring that makes the clutch less harsh, so we're aiming to get that in there on Saturday :o)

In the evening, I went to the airfield and pulled the Rans out for a flight. I was just getting all kitted up with the engine running when a guy (Joe) wandered up to talk to me - he's been talking to Jack about ultralights, and is interested in buying mine from me. I've had the odd thought about getting something like an S-12, so we'll see if anything comes of it. I flew for about 75 minutes, then landed in a 6mph crosswind... I've been a bit freaked out about crosswinds, so I landed a little faster than usual. I was prepared for a go-around, but everything worked out just fine. I talked to Joe again, and when the mosquitoes started biting, we called it a night.

July 23rd After work, I took the DRZ for a ride, and practiced using the auto-clutch. I still hate it. I managed to get to the point where upshifts are fairly smooth, but I have the feeling that I'm not using the clutch at all. Downshifts are still very harsh, and there's nothing really I can see that I can do about that. I think the clutch needs adjusting. Or removing.

July 22nd Jeff called to say that the DRZ was ready, so to come and pick it up. I went and picked it up. I was a bit nervous riding it with the auto-clutch for the first time. Jeff had reattached the push throttle cable, and although we thought it was OK, it seemed to be causing the throttle to stick slightly... so it was revving the crap out of the thing at tickover a few times, and that meant it stalled when I put it in gear (with the front brake on). It changes gear with a bang, but I think that's me more than anything else. I hate it, but I've heard nothing but good things about them, so I'm going to persevere and try to get on with it. Failing that, I have 30 days to return it :o)

We went out to dinner, and on the way back got Tilly a new toy - a large ball that she can't burst. She loves it, and spends a lot of time crying to go out and play with it (it's too big to have in the house).

July 21st I managed to play a little World of Warcraft, getting my hunter up to level 67.

July 20th Having been really tired from a whole day of playing, Tilly slept through until 7am, despite it being her first night away from home. She couldn't get under the bed, so slept next to me. We played outside to avoid waking everybody else up until it was time for her breakfast, then I took her for a pretty long walk.

Back at the house, everybody was starting to get up. We decided we weren't that bothered about the MotoGP race, as getting in and out in the car would be a nightmare, and it was cold. And the tickets were expensive for just Sunday. And we'd see better coverage on the TiVo coverage, and it would be better to not know who'd won.
We headed off for brunch with Mike. Why isn't it called lunfast? Anyway, we left from there and headed home.
We dropped Vince off at Freedom Field, and Tilly ran around with Lucky until he got tired of chasing around. Vic and I headed home, then met Vince and Jack for dinner before coming home and crashing out once and for all.

July 19th We got up pretty early, fed Tilly and went and picked up Vince. Our plan had been to tow the bikes to Mike's, then go to the MotoGP race at Laguna Seca, but Vince's bike is in pieces, and the DRZ is at Jeff's for it's first service. So, we all just piled in the most efficient vehicle we own, the Subaru, and headed out. Tilly got over her disappointment at not stopping at the Bear dog park when she got to play with Lucky at Freedom Field, and did generally OK on the way down until she was sick in the car. Carrots and kibble... mmmm....

At Mike and Colleen's, we played outside with Tilly a lot, as their dogs are

  • old
  • scared
  • nasty
Tilly did chase the nasty one around a few times after being snapped at, and they sort of got along. Not that we would leave them alone together or anything.

Tilly got checked out on stairs for the first time, and ended up going up and down them like a pro, even though they're wooden, rather than carpet, so slippy. Luckily there's a big crash pillow at the bottom in case the old dog falls down the stairs.

July 18th We met a friend for dinner, and I managed to offload one of my old laptops on her :o)

July 17th Another bloody hot day, where I changed the oil in the Subaru and the solar panels crossed 2500KWh generated.

July 16th We dropped the DRZ off at Jeff's, so he can do the first service and fit the auto-clutch. I await it's return with baited breath :o)

July 15th In the evening, we went to Best Buy to get Vic a new laptop. I then spent an hour or so deleting crap and trial versions from it. Jeez...

July 14th After work, we met some of Vic's friends for dinner. A good time was had by all.

July 13th We got up early to 3 more guinea pigs - Cassie the foster has given birth, and, I'm told (I don't feel the need to investigate these things) it wasn't long before we got up, looking at the mess in there. Oh well, I'm up now, so I threw some weedkiller on the garden to finally kill the remains of the lawn, and washed the worst of the smoke residue off the solar panels.

I then took Tilly to the Bear dog park to wear her out before taking her to get her nails cut... that didn't go so well, and when we got home, she rushed outside and went potty, which suggests that her shy bladder stopped her going at the park, and she wanted to go when we got to Petsmart. Doh.

Fred's talked about seeing the plane, so I took him to the airfield while I filled the Rans with gas. He seemed suitably impressed with the plane, less so with the air conditioning in the van - he's soft :o)

When I got home, I fitted the 3.9 (US) gallon tank to the DRZ, as I was getting tired of 90 miles to reserve. I then managed to drop the old steel tank in the garage, scuffing it. Oh well, no use crying about it, it's done now. While I was in there, I took out the charcoal canister nonsense.

July 12th It was a nice clear day, without being ridiculously hot, but it was pretty windy. I rode the DRZ over to Jeff's (via Auburn, to put some more miles on it) for it's first service, and to have the auto-clutch fitted. Unfortunately, he'd had a couple of customers dump bikes on him, so it was pretty obvious it wasn't going to get done today. Rather than leave it there when he's closed on Sunday and Monday, I rode it home again - I went on a couple of twisty roads, rather than the direct route, as I had time.

In the evening, we went over to Fred and Marsha's for dinner - Fred's a lot better since his back surgery, but he still gets tired pretty easily.

July 11th Still pretty smoky, but the wind's picked up a little, hopefully blowing some of the smoke towards Los Angeles where they're used to it, without fanning the flames around here too much. It seems that we've had spare the air days through most of the week, when they suggest you stay in, duct tape all the vents shut and sit under your bed, quietly rocking back and forth to comfort yourself. But if you do need to go out, public transport's free. I've been doing my part by staying in, and eating cheese sandwiches rather than barbecuing (is that how you spell it? Looks like too many vowels to me).

I've been having some weird thoughts though. I'm incredibly lazy, so I have an electric toothbrush. It buzzes every 30 seconds, to let you know to move on to the next quadrant of teeth. How should I split my teeth? Front and back, top and bottom? I do it left and right, top and bottom, but I only have 28 teeth, so mine get an extra few seconds. Assuming that I notice the buzz... I tend to drift off while I'm sitting there, and I often think "hang on, this has been a long time... maybe I missed the buzz". Then I'm panic stricken... this quadrant might be getting 60 seconds, rather than 30 seconds. Would that mean that the other 21 teeth are going to rot and fall out of my head in spite? Should I do every quadrant for 60 seconds, to make up for it? Was that a buzz then, so I should be moving on to the next quadrant?

I hope the sky clears up soon - I really need to get out from under the bed.

July 10th Still very smoky, no wind, but the visibility was down to less than 2 miles most of the day.
I've got a good mind to write to my congressperson. Oh right, I'm not a citizen, therefore don't vote, so they don't care :o(

July 9th The smoke from the fires is back, turning the sky orange. It was ungodly hot (over 110F again) and sticky, as there's very little wind to stir the crap out of here. The AWOS at the airfield was reporting 1.7 miles visibility :o(

At night, even the moon was orange.

July 7th Vic was up early to go hang gliding, but I got to work. Just as well, it's been over 110F today. It seems that everybody had a bad day, so they gave up early and headed for home.

Vic's bike's still starting, so the battery isn't totally dead :o)

July 6th Vic was working today, so she got up early and hopped on the pushbike and headed out. I just wasted the day, then went out to meet her for the ride home. She had to go to the bank and drop off the deposit, so we ended up doing maybe 10 miles for the day as a whole.

July 5th I spent a little time in World of Warcraft, hoping to run Andy through the last part of his epic donkey quest. While I waited (and he didn't show up), I managed to get my hunter to level 66. Wooo...

Vic's talked about cycling to work, so we took the mountain bikes out and cycled over to the SPCA to time it. We went on a longer ride on the way home, so we probably did about 15 miles in total. We played in the garden for a bit, weeding and throwing the ball for Tilly, and I hooked the battery from Vic's bike to the aux battery in the van so I could let it charge for the evening.
We took Jim to dinner as Kathy's away this week, and I wanted to be sure that he'd eaten since the ball game.

After we got home, Vince called to see about flying, so I headed to the airfield and had the Rans out and running when he arrived. We went out and played around over some of the local creeks and fields... it's still quite hazy from the fires. We split up and headed home (me to Lincoln, Vince to Freedom field) as it was getting dark, and I touched down (pretty nicely, I think) at around 20:35 - the latest I've ever been out. BBWeather says that sunset's 20:33 at the moment, and it was pretty dark by the time I left the airfield.

July 4th Today is the day when America celebrates the end of their civilised society by going shopping. This just means a day off work for me, so I started out by getting up on the roof and washing the solar panels.

Vic had managed to leave her bike turned on all night on Wednesday, so the battery was dead. As was the battery tender - I figure the thing burned itself out providing the maximum charge all night and not even coming close to keeping up with just the headlight. I tried to get some power into it, but it's a long job. I then tried to get it to start by jumping it off the Subaru, but it wasn't having it. Poking around, I found a 30A fuse blown, but didn't have a spare for anything larger than 15A. When we ventured forth, I picked up some spares, and managed to jump the bike into life. Now I just need to figure out how to charge the battery so we can see if it'll hold a charge any more.

After last night's excitement, I decided to take Tilly to the Bear dog park for a while, and went into the garage to load her in the Subaru, but she hopped in the van and cried when I dragged her out. Oh well, you can't always get what you want. I used 2 tennis balls for a change, running her until she was pretty tired. I managed to fling both her tennis balls over the fence, so we went and picked them up and headed home.

In the evening, we watched TV with the volume up a bit, and Tilly coped just fine - she barked a couple of times at noises outside, but there was no hiding.

July 3rd After a fairly hot and windy day, Tilly got scared by the local fireworks display. It's not the first time she's heard fireworks, but she spent part of the evening hiding under the table in the living room. Poor stupid little animal.

July 2nd I received the electrickery bill, to find we used 20KWh in June. So, that's $1.68 for electrickery, and $12 to get it here. Outstanding. Still, gotta love the solar panels, even if they can't keep up with the air conditioning. I'm expecting more hot days from now on, so it's likely that July'll be higher usage.

In the evening, I went with Jim and Harvey to see the local minor league baseball team lose a game.