Ma Blog‎ > ‎2008‎ > ‎

June

June 30th We met Jeff for lunch so I could give him some money to order me a Rekluse z-Start clutch for the DRZ.

Vic's been working on her mural - she's basically started all over again after ignoring it for a year.



June 29th We had a quiet day, just toddling around.

We watched the MotoGP race from Assen (yes, those cretins at Speed show it on Sunday, even though it's run on Saturday. Every year), and were disappointed to see Vale crash out, and the poison dwarf take over the lead in the championship. Of course, Stoner's starting to look like he's going to win every single race from now on.

As we can now see the sky, despite a reported 1420 fires still burning in Northern California, we decided to have a barbie in the evening.



June 28th I went for a ride on the DRZ, stopping at Good Times Motorcycles so they could see the conversion. I also went via Jeff's shop, so he could see the bike and talk me into finally pulling the trigger on the Rekluse z-Start. Now I just need to hand him fistfuls of cash so he can order me one :o)


June 27th We went to dinner with some of the volunteers from the SPCA at a place that's closing down. It was fairly chaotic in there, as they were only charging $5 a meal. Feh, if it was down to me I'd pay more and go somewhere with fewer people :o)

The smoke from the fires has been worse again. The AWOS at the airfield has reported the visibility down to 2.5 miles, but I saw clouds for the first time this week on the way back from dinner.

I replaced the wheel on the bottom of the screen door that Tilly has broken by continually crashing through it. I use the nylon ones, as they're cheap, relatively easy to replace (it takes longer to get the door out) and they act as a fuse - if I put brass wheels in there, who knows what would break instead.



June 26th The smoke from the fires is worse again, and everything's back to orange. The AWOS at the airfield is reporting the visibility down to 3 miles.


June 25th The guy from Good Times Motorcycles who sold me the DRZ called to ask me to bring it into the shop so they can see how I've converted it. I realised that it's approaching the first service, so I asked about booking that there. The earliest they can get me in is August 19th. Yes, 7 weeks away. Not going to happen, so I'll find somewhere else that can do it.

I checked with the AWOS at the airfield and it's reported the visibility as "missing", then 3 miles, then 5 miles, then 7 miles (it was getting dark by then), so hopefully this'll be blowing through soon.



June 24th I got the time to play a little World of Warcraft, and got my hunter up to level 65.


June 23rd The smoke from the fires is in the sky now, and everything looks orange because of it. The AWOS at the airfield is reporting the visibility down to 5 miles, so, you know it's gross up there. Still, it seems to be keeping the temperatures down a bit.


June 22nd I clambered up on the roof again to wash the solar panels. I'd again thought about flying, but there are some fires nearby, so the sky's full of crap - I could see the East end of our road as being all misty this morning. We just wasted the day pottering around the house doing chores.


June 21st I managed to get my Blackberry hooked up to a laptop quite easily, but now I find out that using it that way is an extra $30 a month, on top of the $150 a month "unlimited everything" (right, everything but this...) plan. I'm plotting to see if I can do what I want without using the Verizon software, probably on a Linux box, so hopefully avoid this extra charge.

We had talked about going flying with Vince, but the weather was just stupidly windy and changeable, so we gave up on that idea and just had dinner with him.



June 20th I took the DRZ over to the airfield to let the maintenance guy in to look at the door rubbers on the hangar, but he didn't show up. Seems he broke his drill yesterday, and nobody thought to tell me. Oh well. Still, I did get to put some more miles on the bike, and I pondered how nice the Suzuki gearbox is - it's true what they say about them being smooth as butter.

Vic took Twinkle to the vet, where unfortunately she died from the infection :o(



June 19th We went over and picked up the van from Stephan's Autohaus. It feels slooow again, so I need to get back into driving it everywhere :o)

I called the office at the airfield and got the gate code, but it'll soon be back to being too cross-windy to fly again :o(

After work, the wind had dropped a fair bit, so I went to the airfield, and took the assorted spiders that have set up residence in the Rans (since I washed them out the other week) for a ride around. All in all, it was a pleasant evening, warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, and my landings didn't suck as badly as I thought they would. I saw the local powered parachute guys playing, and flew over Vince's at Freedom Field for grins, but he was probably out flying himself.

Vic brought home Twinkle from the SPCA - she was surrendered due to an infection after a cat clawed her, so Vic'll nurse her back to health. She was the first guinea pig born here, back in December 2006.



June 18th Having managed to torch my old cellphone last week, I finally got a new one today. The boss had asked what I wanted, to which I'd replied "anything but another Treo"... I now have a Blackberry. I'm going to sit and figure out how to use it as a broadband access device so I can play World of Warcraft on a laptop while sitting in the van in the middle of a field. Hey, you have your dreams, and I'll have mine.
Speaking of the van, I spoke to Stephan, and it's ready to be picked up - seems they just had to tighten up some stuff that the gearbox guy missed. Grrr.

I went to the airfield to see if I could figure out the gate code, or get it from the guys at Atkin Air. They were closed, and I tried for about 10 minutes to get in without luck, then gave up and went home.



June 17th I got my hopes up about going to the airfield and flying, but as soon as I finished work, the wind started to pick up. Mahvellous. Oh, and it seems that the gate code has been changed, but currently none of us know what the new number is, so I can't even get in :o(

Today was the release of the new version of Firefox. They'd hoped for a million downloads, but it seems they got over 8 million in the first day, some sort of a record. I installed it on my machines, and it's nicer than v2, which seems to have slowed down for me recently.



June 16th While I slogged away at work, Vic headed out to go hang gliding - not at the tow site, but just jumping from the bunny hill for the practice.

While I waited for her to come home, I played a little World of Warcraft. I've got my hunter up to level 64 now :o)

The solar panels hit 2000KWh generated today. You're welcome.



June 15th Vic was teaching a critter class at the SPCA, so I hopped on the DRZ fairly early in the morning, and headed out to get gas before going over to pick up Vince and head to the Isleton Crawdad Festival. Of course, I ran out of fuel and coasted into the station - 98 miles to a full tank, but at around 55 - 60 mpg. We got to the festival, and it was really quiet. Crawdads are like little lobster, and are a lot of work for not a lot of meat. I left Vince to eat them :o)

We stopped at Cycle Gear on the way home so Vince could look at vented jackets, then headed home to have our first barbecue of the year... I've been lazy.
Tilly wasn't too happy about the smoke from the barbie, but she got over it, playing in her paddling pool while we ate, bless her.



June 14th As the hang gliding mob had gone out to Hat Creek to do some grown up flying, so Vic couldn't do anything even if the wind had co-operated. I kept checking the weather, and it was looking good right up until about 5pm, when it started to veer across the runway and pick up in strength. Triffic.
The forecast is for lower temperatures, which means more wind.


June 13th To pay me back for working all weekend once last month, I got today off.
I basically pissed the day away playing World of Warcraft, fiddling around with stuff on the DRZ and playing with Tilly - taking her to get her claws cut again.

Vic took her baby rabbit over to some new foster parents, who have rabbits, so they can socialise it.

I had hoped to go to the airfield and fly, but the wind was blowing at 7mph right across the runway, so I scrapped that idea.

In the evening, I watched Battlestar Galactica - they've finally got to Earth, but it's all fallen apart and there's nobody there. I wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, but that wouldn't be taking it seriously, would it?



June 12th Vic took her foster guinea pigs to the SPCA today, and they were adopted out together.
Now we just have the baby rabbit.


June 10th We got the promised winds - I saw around 25mph on the weather station, and a big branch broke off one of Bill's trees and fell across the fence. I went out with Tilly to get the mail, and she saw the branch and freaked out :o) I cut bits off it until I could pull it off the fence, and filled my green waste bin with as much as I could fit in. It's strange wood, and I can see why it fell - it's incredibly brittle. If I can get the cutters around a branch, I can break it, easy. As Bill's green bin was already full, I borrowed Jim's and finished tidying up. The joys of home ownership.


June 9th Vic was hoping to go hang gliding, so headed out in the early afternoon.

After work, I played with the brakes on the DRZ, and tightened up the throttle cable a little, then headed over to Vince's to go for a little trip in his wobbly. I must be out of my mind :o)

Vince's wobbly is something he built himself, and slapped a wing on. It's got a Rotax 912 on it, and cruises at about 45mph and 2gph - pretty similar to the Rans I have, but his'll carry 2 people, doesn't burn 2 stroke oil, and has a much less intensive maintenance schedule. I flew it a little, but it's hard trying to work out what you want to do, then how to do it... I don't have the training on one of these, but Vince reckons it's about 10 hours. Seems like fun, but he wants to build something more like this, and wants me to build one too. We'll see - it would fit in the van and on the roof, so I could take it with us when we go further afield with the hang gliding.
We flew over the house, and I flailed the camera over the right side to take some pictures. Only one was of our house, and it's not too bad.
We flew twice, parking the plane when it was getting dark. We then went for a pizza, and I got home just after Vic - she'd stood around waiting for the wind to drop again. It's forecast to be blowing a gale until at least Thursday now...



June 8th We called George about hang gliding, and it sounded like there was going to be flying. I seriously had my doubts, so while Vic stayed home to call again later and check before heading out, I took the DRZ over to Vince's, and we headed off to the Golden West Fly-in. While it was quieter than the last time I went, we got to drink a lot of soda and eat hotdogs while watching some flying. I figured that there were a few tweaks still needed on the DRZ - the rear brake seems grabby, which makes me think the lever's sitting a little too high, and the throttle is twitchy, so I'm going to make sure all of the slack's taken out.

Vic wasn't at home when I got there, so it seemed like she'd gone flying after all. Tilly was overjoyed to see me, as she'd been alone for about 3 hours.

Vic got in shortly afterwards, as they'd just been standing around waiting for the wind to die down. We were just unloading the car and suchlike, when Vince flew over in his wobbly, much to the amusement of the local kids.

We watched the MotoGP race from Catalunya. It's a shame the Spanish fans didn't invade the track like they did for Alex Criville back in the day, as then maybe Valentino is his gopping leathers could have won it from the poison dwarf. Still, 2nd from 9th on the grid is a pretty decent showing.



June 7th I started the day on the roof, washing the solar panels. They weren't that bad at all, but it's been a while since I last did it, and it takes me longer to get the ladder out than it does to wash them.

I worked on getting Ubuntu 8.04 installed on an old laptop that I'm going to give to Heather, then Tilly and I went to the Bear dog park, but only for about 45 minutes, as she started limping a little on that troublesome right front leg. It doesn't seem to bother her, but it bothers me, watching her, so we went home so she could take it easy.

I watched Battlestar Galactica - at last, space battles. It wasn't too bad an episode, either.

In the evening, we went to a get-together for some of the volunteers at the SPCA, but Heather wasn't there, so I couldn't offload the laptop onto her.



June 6th We went and saw Jeff for lunch. Business is doing well, so he's started taking 2 days a week off (Sunday and Monday). He wants to do more riding, and pestered me about getting a Rekluse z-Start clutch, so I can turn my DRZ into a shopping moped :o) I'm considering it, as he's a dealer, so he'll do me a good deal on one. If I don't like it, I can just take it out and give it back. Cool.

In the evening, I played a little World of Warcraft, helping a couple of warlocks get their epic donkeys. There were several wipes, where I didn't think we should have wiped, but what do you expect with a party of 3 warlocks, a hunter and a priest :o)



June 5th I played a little World of Warcraft. I've got my warrior and warlock up to exalted with the Shattered Sun on Quel'Danas, so I worked on my hunter, getting her up to level 63.


June 4th We dropped off the van at Stephan's Autohaus.
It's interesting, it only seems to leak when it's been running, and it's turned off. There's nothing on the drive, and once it had puked about a cupful on the floor, it seemed to have stopped dripping. That suggests some sort of pressure relief problem to me, but what does i kno?

The baby rabbit has been exploring. Vic found it in the guinea condo, then later running around the floor tormenting Tilly, who's not allowed in there. To her credit, Tilly didn't go into the critter room, she just watched the squeak toy run around on the floor.



June 3rd Got the electrickery bill for May, and we generated 35KWh for the month from the solar panels. The hot tub was empty for half of the month, but took a lot to get started and up to temperature. As it's been pretty cold and windy recently, the air conditioning only came on a couple of days last month. Apparently, that helps a lot. I doubt we'll have net generating months until maybe, maybe October or November, assuming the days are long enough :o)

I spoke to Sarah at Stephan's Autohaus, and they said to bring the van in at our earliest convenience.

I received the front mudguard I'd ordered for the DRZ, and fitted it. It's a shame that it doesn't look like the handguards are going to fit :o(

Vic brought home a 2 to 3 week old rabbit that somebody found just eating grass - we'll see if it survives long enough to get adopted.



June 2nd I drove the van to the gym, and got cornered by some old guy who's interested in campers. I pointed out that it's significantly not stock, so my experience wasn't necessarily normal :o)

Ken from the hangar at the airfield called and asked me to show the hangar, so I went over there after work and sorted that out. They're an interesting couple - he's a corporate jet pilot, and she's a flight instructor at Auburn. They're working on aerobatics, so they're parking their new to them, pretty little Pitts Special in our hangar, having moved it up from Salinas.

While I was there, I washed the Rans. Still too cross-windy to fly :o(

The van is leaking ATF. Again. I'm pretty discouraged about this, but it'll go back to Stephan's Autohaus so they can hopefully get their gearbox rebuilder to fix it yet again.



June 1st I spent the morning working on tidying up the garage. I know I have workspaces, but I can't see them under all the crap that I've just been loading onto them. I tossed out a load of stuff that I don't need, and I feel a lot better in there :o)

In the evening, we watched the MotoGP race from Mugello. So, Rossi's back at the top of his form. There are mutterings about him signing with Yamaha for another year or two, so I just hope he can keep this up - I'd hate to see him retire as an also-ran.