Ma Blog‎ > ‎2008‎ > ‎


September 29th The hangar door guys rang to say they were headed to the airfield to fix the door, and wanted me to go and let them in. I checked with Jack, who wanted to stand and watch them to make sure that they did it right, and he went. They showed up, counted the brackets, and left, leaving Jack fuming. We then spent a while calling various people to try and see what's going to happen about fixing these doors, and everybody supposed to be calling us back.

I spoke to Sara at Stephan's Autohaus, and apparently the van's still leaking a little ATF, so they're going to fix that and test it again before we get it back, hopefully by the end of the week.

I managed to get a PC ordered for a volunteer at the SPCA who asked me to sort one out, and then promptly slipped and broke her leg. It should be there in a week or so, and I'll go and set it up so she can at least surf for porn while her leg heals.

Fred came over to say that we can't go camping at the weekend as they've turned off the water to the camp site due to a leak. I suggested that we could just drink beer, but apparently they want everybody out so they can dig everything up. Oh, and the old PC we gave him to replace his broken PC has stopped working, so I'll see if I can get that sorted out, then stop him from ever touching it again.

My World of Warcraft subscription expired today - I'm going to leave it for the moment, at least until it starts getting cold and rainy, and I'm bored.

September 28th Vic went to Ed Levin park, so she could go hang gliding, leaving me and Tilly to dig weeds, test connections on the YSR and lounge around watching TV. When she got home, we watched the MotoGP race from Motegi, where Valentino Rossi won his 8th world championship. Apparently he's the first person to win a championship back after 2 years since Agostini. There's talk of everybody being on a spec tyre for next year, so that might be interesting. The Poison Dwarf came in third in the race, his second on Bridgestones, but everybody seems to be forgetting that Honda had a lot of setup data for them, so he was at less of a disadvantage than Rossi was at the beginning of the year.

September 27th I started the day by getting up on the roof and washing the solar panels, as it's been a while. As it's cooled down a bit, we're hardly using the air conditioning, so I'm hoping that maybe next month we'll break even. The trouble is the length of the day... it is long enough to get enough power generated? As it cools down, the panel efficiency should go up, and that'll help out.

I fiddled with the YSR, and put a new lighting coil in, but the results are the same. That would suggest that either the regulator's fried (the manual says if you can't figure out why the charging's not working, replace the regulator) or the battery's so dead that it won't take a charge. Hmmm...

September 25th We went out to dinner at our favourite fondue place, with Scott, Becky, Bug and Vic's friend Gwen. It was nice to see them all, as it's been over a month since we saw family Hadaway.

September 24th In the evening we went to a cheerleading meeting for the SPCA fundraisers. There we were sipping wine and eating cheese when a stray dog wandered up. Matt and Tiffany grabbed it and walked it home :o)

September 23rd Vince dropped over on his way to the DMV to show me his new bike - it's 12 years old, but the previous owner was far more retentive than either of us, so it's in good shape.

After work, I scurried over to the airfield to meet Jack, as he's suddenly desperate to see me fly the Rans. On the way over, I called Vince, and he met us there. I managed to get the doors open and get the plane out, and was taxying up to the runway when Vince arrived in the pattern. I took off, followed him around the circuit and landed behind him before taxying over to say "hi" to Jack. We then took off and flew around a little until I headed back to land just as it was getting dark - I might have stretched it out another 5 minutes, but I think I timed it pretty well :o) I stood around talking to Jack and his son, Trevor, before we all humped the doors closed again. Yup, they need fixing, and badly - I don't think I could have closed them by myself.

September 22nd The hangar door guy called up to say that I should meet him at the airfield at 2pm. I've played this game before, so I suggested he call me when he was about 30 minutes away. Needless to say, he didn't call. Or show up, to the best of my knowledge.

DirecTV seem desperate to upgrade us from our current DirecTiVos to their new DVRs. I've not really cared up to now, but they're shutting down the MPEG2 HD channels, not that we watch any of them, and going to MPEG4. Looking at our account, it seems that we're getting complimentary HD, so the upgrade will allow us to watch Animal Planet, Speed and SciFi in glorious high definition. Oh, go on then. They should be out in about a month (eek!), and can't just mail me the receivers because they need to change the dish, too.

September 21st While Vic went hang gliding, Tilly and I stayed home. We watched TV, played in the garden and played a little World of Warcraft, getting my druid up to level 63.

September 20th Vic went to the SPCA for the Ren adoption drive - they're trying to get him out of there this weekend. I fiddled with the YSR a little, and I'm not convinced that the lighting coil is wired up properly. It's supposed to have a resistance of 0.34 - 0.36 ohms, and my stupid digital multimeter says 0000.3 to 0000.5 (why doesn't it shift the decimal place, I hear you ask - me too). So I'd expect it to work, but it's not obviously putting out any voltage. Maybe I need to get Jeff or Vince's opinion in the week... they're much better at this crap than I am.

There's been a load of talking on the Vanagon list about aftermarket cruise control kits. I've thought about it, but when I stumbled across the kit on clearance on the interweb, I decided to buy one. Not only was it $55 rather than the list price of almost $200, but there was a $5 off coupon if you were picking it up yourself. Off I went to pick it up... only the first place I went didn't have it in stock, so they sent me to the next one down the road that had one. Off I went. Only to find that the one unit they had there was a return. With hundreds of parts, I wasn't about to hope that everything was there, so they redirected me to another shop locally with 2 in stock. Off I went, into the ghetto. The last shop had them, but couldn't find any mention of my order in their computer. So we agreed to let me have it at the web site price (the in store price was quite a bit higher), and I cancelled the order when I got home. I then went to pick up the other stuff I'd ordered at my local shop, only to find that they'd lost all record of it, so I decided to give up and head home. Still, I have a lot of work to do to fit this kit, from the looks of it.

September 19th I spoke to Stephan about the van, apparently it's all back together and ready to go. They're going to drive it around for the weekend to make sure that everything's OK, and we'll see about picking it up next week.

September 18th I tried the YSR to see if it's charging the battery now, but I'm getting some strange results from my multimeter. I think that it's charging, as the rear light has come on, but the battery is so discharged that it's hard to tell for sure. I might run the battery over to Jeff's and charge it up, as I don't have a 6v charger :o(

September 17th Great news - another financial company dealing with HP staff managed to lose a backup tape with personal financial data on it, so I get another sign up for credit monitoring in case my identity gets stolen. I honestly think these idiots should be forced to give $100 to each person whos details they lose, so that they'd take better care of it. The last loss was about 135,000 people's data, so it'll soon mount up. There's no indication about how many people this affects, but it happened in bloody February and I'm just hearing about it now!

I went out into the garage and started looking at the lighting coil for the YSR. I was trying to see how the old coil was wired up only to see that it wasn't wired in on one end - d'ya think that might be why the battery isn't charging?
I soldered that up, and put everything back together again.

September 15th After a miserable day at work (some dumbass - his words, not mine - breaking things faster than I could fix them until he went home), Vince came over in the evening to show off his newly put back together KLR650, and stayed for the Indianapolis MotoGP race. I figure if Rossi comes 3rd in the next race, he can sit out the last 3 and still win by 2 points, even if Stoner wins them all :o) As the race was red flagged, I was wondering if we'd recorded the end of it - luckily they decided to call it good. And scrapped the 250s because of the weather... sheesh.

September 14th Vic went hang gliding, while Tilly and I stayed home and tidied up. She got around 10 minutes of flying time, and has apparently reached the limits of what she can be taught on the trailer. Tilly and I managed to change the fuel tap on the YSR - one of the 3 things I think needs doing to finish it. Now I just need to fix the oil leak (new clutch cover gasket should fix this, with a lot of gasket goo) and get a new lighting coil so I can test out the electrics.

September 13th We took Tilly out to get some new toys - she's destroyed a lot recently - and met Vince for lunch. Afterwards, we went home and she tore one of her new toys to pieces. That was money well spent then, wasn't it?

In the evening while filling the Subaru, I went over to the airfield and put some fuel in the Rans in case they ever fix the doors. One of the rail support brackets is broken, meaning that with my luck I'll pull the door off the rail if I try and open it. When I got home, we loaded up so Vic could leave early to go hang gliding in the morning.

September 12th Well, they didn't show up to fix the hangar doors at the airfield. Bugger.

September 11th We took the van in to Stephan's for the gearbox to be repaired. Hopefully it'll be back at the end of next week :o)

Jack called from the airfield to say that the hangar door was broken again - apparently he caught the guys who fix the doors there, and asked them to look at it, and they proceeded to break it off part of the track. They're aiming to come out tomorrow morning and fix it. Again.

September 10th Jason called in the morning to say he was in Yosemite, and had just over a day with the car left, so wasn't going to be able to get to Reno. Just as well, really, as I was concentrating on holding down a couple of slices of dry toast :o) I just wasted the rest of the day.

September 9th I've taken Wednesday off, in the hope of meeting Jason at the Reno air races, so for some reason drank far too much this evening and spent the night being sick. Apparently Tilly was most concerned - I don't remember :o)

September 8th Vic went hang gliding, and used Rich's new invention - a 16'x 16' trailer behind a pickup... they're tethered to the trailer, and can fly along at a few feet and practice getting in and out of their harnesses, landings and suchlike. She got 18 minutes of air time - that's more than she's got up to now.

September 7th I spent the day moving stuff around in the garage to align things differently - previously the Subaru had been in the shorter bay, but now the bikes are over there, with the van against the wall, and the Subaru in the middle. This is so we can load it up with the ladder and suchlike and still get it in the garage. This way, when Victoria's going hang gliding, she can load up the night before, get in and go in the morning. We did this once with the van spending the night outside, but now it doesn't have to be left out. We have to reverse the Subaru in when it's loaded, but that's hardly a deal breaker. It also means that I don't have to unload the car the night she gets back if I don't feel like it. I had hoped that the kite could be put on the long wall, but the water heater gets in the way. I'll put some more thought into this.

Being too tired to do anything, I played a little World of Warcraft, and managed to get my druid up to level 62.

In the evening we watched the WSB race from Donington. I don't usually watch the WSB races, as this week, for example, race 2 isn't being shown until Tuesday. That and the name change in the schedule to "FIM racing" means the Tivo doesn't catch it under "motorcycle racing" :o( Anyways, I'd read that it was a wet weather crashfest, and sure enough, it was... most interesting to watch. With the temperature over 100F here :o)

September 6th I got up early and used my newly aquired squeegee mop to clean the solar panels - hopefully they're as clean as clean can be, so I'll generate as much power as possible. It's still bloody hot here, but I'm hoping to use the air conditioning less this month, and maybe even get close to breaking even for the month :o)

I sat and played with the strut mounts for the van, and got those, along with the rear roof rack mounts all sorted out. Now I just need to build the roof rack and all's well. After that was finished up, we went to Freedom Field to meet Vince and Larry - a hang glider pilot who's bought a Quicksilver - for lunch. A late lunch, as we waited for a customer of Vince's to show up with a leaky engine.

September 5th Vince came over in the evening and we had charred beast :o)

September 4th I spoke to Stephan about the gearbox in the van, and it's going in next week for another rebuild, but using a different torque converter company. I'm also getting a 10,000 mile warranty on it - that's about 4 years, based on the mileage I'm currently doing, but who knows, if it works properly, we might be able to go places :o)

September 3rd Electrickery bill time, and this month we used 175KW/h - I was surprised, as I thought the air conditioning would handily kill any extra power that the solar panels could generate, but I guess it wasn't on as often as I thought.

I spoke to Stephan about the gearbox in the van, and it seems that the Tiico option isn't an exchange - they'd send my gearbox out to get it rebuilt, and that'll take a while (their rebuilder is on the East coast somewhere). It appears that the current gearbox rebuilder and the torque converter builders want another go at it, so I've suggested a written 10,000 mile warranty, with a guarantee of a rebuild by somebody else (probably Tiico) being paid for in the event of a failure. We'll see what happens next - Stephan's hoping to talk to the guy this afternoon / tomorrow morning, so it could be going in as soon as Friday :o)

September 1st Today was Labo(u)r Day here, when Americans celebrate the successes of the unions by going shopping. I was off on Friday, so I got to work.
After work, we went out so I could get some parts to screw about with the roof on the van, only to find it was very smoky out - there was another fire up by Lincoln. Great, brown sky for a while. Luckily (?) it's been gusting up to 30mph, so the smoke shouldn't hang around for too long.