Ma Blog‎ > ‎2009‎ > ‎


December 31st Today was a holiday at work, so I wasted the day playing World of Warcraft (death kniggit to level 64) as I didn't feel so hot - I had a headache all day. I did, however, get out and get the water tested for the hot tub, and filled that and fired it up. Now it'll just take 2 days to get it up to temperature. Tilly wasn't happy at not being allowed to come out as I checked the water level - I had visions of her banzaiing into it with her muddy paws again.

December 30th My last day working this year, so I tried to get on top of everything. I think I was somewhere close when I gave up. In the evening I forced myself to watch the pilot for Caprica - a spinoff from Battlestar Galactica. The first 20 minutes are slow, but after that it gets better. I'm hoping they keep showing it on Hulu.

December 29th I played some more World of Warcraft, getting my death kniggit to level 63, and managing to take down Elites in Silithus. Just one more blacksmithing point and I'll head to Outlands to start the hard work of levelling there.

Vic had taken one of her "passing through" guinea pigs to the vet, and called to say that it had died. She stayed at the vet's for an autopsy, which showed fluid in the chest cavity, like what killed Chloe, but probably as the result of an infection. So, the pigs are now on antibiotics just in case. We don't think this had anything to do with Bebe's death.

December 28th After work, I played World of Warcraft, and got my death kniggit to level 62. And almost to the point where I can head into Outlands and use my professions.

December 27th I was feeling a bit betterer today, so in between playing World of Warcraft (death kniggit to level 61), I took the van loaded with the polystyrene from the hot tub cover over to the recycling centre. It was nice that they didn't have the tiny doors that they do on everything else - I only had to break it up into 3 or 4 pieces to get it in there. Unfortunately it looks like the Van's leaking ATF again :o(

We also made mince pies with pre-built pastry and the mincemeat that the current Mrs Kelly sent us. They're pretty good, but the pastry's nothing like the stuff that Nan used to make.

December 26th I was, if anything, worse today than yesterday. Yesterday I was worried I might die - today I'm worried I might live. I think if we have another night of me coughing and sneezing I won't have to worry about that, as Vic'll smother me with a pillow.

Vic buried Bebe in the garden, and planted flowers over his grave next to his vegetable garden. Tilly knows something's going on, as she's not pestering Vic as much to play ball when she's out in the garden.

I spent a few hours playing World of Warcraft, and got my death kniggit up to level 60 still chasing around working on professions.

December 25th Happy Saturnalia all. After a poor night's sleep - I'm sick - we unwrapped our gifts, watched Tilly pull the rope off the toy Mum and Dad got her, and set out to eat chocolate all day.

I did manage to get into the garage and back the van up on it's levelling stands so I could tighten up the transaxle cover a bit more - it's still been leaking ATF on the floor, which I don't like.

I did a little work on Vic's website - it's using Microsoft Live services, so it's free, but involves using their limited tools to design the thing.

As it's pretty obvious that I'm not going to be going anywhere over the weekend, I resubscribed to World of Warcraft, and got my death kniggit up to level 59 while chasing around mining.

December 24th Vic went off to work, but got the call from the vet. I cycled over to the SPCA - it nearly killed me - so we could throw the bike in the Subaru and drive over together. Bebe's kidneys weren't functioning at all, and in his state he wasn't strong enough for any sort of operation. She held him while he drifed off to sleep. He'll be buried in the garden.

In the afternoon we went to see Avatar. It's good, but not as game changing as some seem to think. We ended up seeing the 3D version due to the time we got there, but while it was cool, it seems to be hard on the eyes.

I'm definitely coming down with something. I've started sneezing and coughing, which sucks - I'd hoped to fly this weekend, and it doesn't look like that's in the cards.

December 23rd Mum and Dad packed up and headed back to Los Angeles to spend Xmas with Russ and his first wife. I was in the garage looking at their broken case (the screws for the pop up handle were pulled straight through the side) when Fred knocked on the garage door. As Tilly was playing in the van at the time, we went into the house to see him. It seems that the foam from the hot tub can be dropped off at the recycling centres, so I'll look into that - it'll save me a lot of aggravation, that's for sure. After she got home from work, Vic got a call from the vet about Bebe - he's not doing well, as his kidneys aren't producing urine despite them plugging him full of fluids.

I think I'm getting sick, as the back of my throat feels scratchy and I keep sneezing. Great, just in time for the 4 day weekend.

December 22nd Dad and I were up early enough to break up one of the foams from the old hot tub cover, and get it into the bin and across the road for the second sweep through the 'hood. That's 2/3 of one side dealt with.

When she got home from work, Vic dropped Bebe, her male guinea pig, off at the vet's, as he didn't seem well - he was cold, and not eating. After dinner, we went on a quest for Russ' Xmas present at Best Buy, but the Roseville one didn't have it. So we dropped Vic off at home and headed over to the Citrus Heights store, which did have it. I wouldn't mind so much if Russ was 6 years old, and this was a Tickle Me Elmo :o)

December 21st Happy Winter Solstice - hopefully the nights'll start getting shorter, and soon.

December 20th In between upgrading Mum's laptop to Windows 7, I (hopefully) fixed an oil leak on the van (loose cover) and cleaned out the hot tub, ready for filling when I get the chemicals I need.

December 19th The highlight of the day was installing the new cover on the hot tub. While the old one was off, and before the new one was on, Tilly leapt into it, expecting it to be full of water. It wasn't. She was a little stunned after this, but seems to be OK now.

While Mum and Vic were out looking at art supplies, Dad and I went to the airfield so Dad could see the Flightstar. Hopefully I'll have the intercom fitted, and be competent at flying the thing next time they're over.

In the evening, we went and met Vince for dinner.

December 18th Mum and Dad went shopping at the Galleria. I spent the day working, but managed to take delivery of the new hot tub cover. It's about 2" thicker than the old one, but luckily doesn't have the exposed stitching that caused that one's demise.

December 16th In the evening, I took the newly all back together van to the airport and picked up Mum and Dad - they flew in from Los Angeles. Oh, and one of the headlights has a bad connection, in that it didn't want to start up. Still, that's the final excuse I needed to install a relay, as I'll be running new wire anyway. Tilly was very happy to see them, after she'd finished barking at them, of course.

December 14th At lunch, we got out and finished fitting the new tent to the van. It was bloody tight, but looks great now it's all finished. I'm hoping to never have to do this again, as life's too short.

December 13th It rained basically all day, precluding any work on the van. I did manage to clear leaves from the garden. In the rain. They're heavy when they're wet :o(

December 12th We had a restless night, due to the new guinea pigs squeaking on and off all night. When we got up, it wasn't raining, so we headed out and managed to fit the rest of the top of the tent for the van. As we'd spent 2 hours on it, and it looked like it was going to rain soon, we called it a day. While Vic carried on painting, I headed over to the airfield and put new rivets in the elevator trim tab - I'd noticed that it was loose. After that, I headed over to Jeff's to drop off some stuff and stand around and chat. Business is doing well for him, and he's managed to clear out a lot of bikes.

After dinner I went out into the garage and poked around on the Subaru. The noise from the fan seems to be because it's basically unbalanced, and short of replacing it, there's not a lot I can do with this. There was some leaf wreckage in there, so maybe something fell in and buggered it up, and was then ejected into the rest of the ventilation system. I'm prepared to ignore it for the moment, at least until the fan stops working.

December 11th It was a long rainy day, and Vic went to the SPCA to pick up 10 guinea pigs that we'll be fostering for a bit. The old dear who had them didn't understand how 2 "female" guinea pigs kept giving birth. Duh...

On an impulse, we've registered a domain for Vic. I'm waiting for us to have the time, and DNS to catch up, and she'll have her own web site for her paintings.

In the evening, we went to dinner with Vince. I'm too lazy to cook tonight.

December 10th Vic came home to say that the fan motor in the Subaru is making a funny noise. Great, it's winter and the heater's stuck?

December 8th I woke up this morning to find the temperature at 25F. So much for this global warming I've been hearing so much about.

December 7th With Vic's help at lunch time, we managed to get the top rear of the tent installed in the van, but it was a bit of a struggle.

December 6th As Vic was working today, and it was blowing a gale, I decided to work on things. First I got the front of the tent installed in the van, then I discovered that it was going to be fecking tight to get the rear in. So I unhooked the front, and went to try and get the rear in. Um, no, not by myself.

I then decided to get the Tiny Tach installed on the DRZ - it doesn't come with one from the factory, so I thought it would be cool to install one from a plane :o) I decided it would fit to the top handlebar mount, and spent a while making up a little plate to sit behind the mount. And then realised that the mount would no longer fit. So I put it in place with zip ties and called it good - I could probably have done that without taking the mount off. Still, I had to get the seat and tank off to get the cable down to the spark plug lead anyway.

December 5th I went to the airfield and reinstalled the compass and the new VSI on the Flightstar, then sat around looking at the wind until it was too late to fly. I went home and decided to take the old tent out of the van. I'll state that again, for the cheap seats. It's too windy to fly, so this genius decides to remove a huge piece of cloth from a van in his driveway. Eventually I got that done just as it was getting dark, then we went to dinner with some of the SPCA volunteers.

December 4th Last night we went to watch TV, and the HTPC was just black screened and hung. As I woke up at 4am, I decided to look at it a little before starting work. I managed to get it to boot into safe mode, so it wasn't too broken, but anything above VGA resolution caused it to crash. The POST messages from the BIOS were in gibbersish, so I figured it was a BIOS problem, but no, I couldn't reflash the damn BIOS. Eventually I took it apart and pulled the graphics card. Problem solved. I put the graphics card back in - problem back again. I replaced the old 7300 with the 8400 that I'd been trying to play World of Warcraft with, and it's working fine, if a little noisily. I'm going to look into getting a fanless card, so I don't have to listen to it spinning up like a Jumbo jet.

And in the evening, the Warcraft 7 days free thingy had expired. Oh well. I have a 60 day card, I'm just waiting for the weather to turn to crap so I can use it all day at the weekends :o)

We went to dinner with Fred and Marsha, then watched some of the TV that the hung HTPC had missed on Hulu.

December 3rd The new graphics card arrived for my PC, and that's taken me from 30fps in World of Warcraft with more or less everything turned down to 0 to 35fps with everything turned up to 11. I'm very happy with it, but it seems crazy that my 6Gb PC needs 1Gb on the graphics card.

In the evening, it was the SPCA's open house, so I went and met Vic there, where a couple of her paintings sold to raise funds.

December 2nd I rebuilt the compass for the Flightstar, as it's obviously been leaking. I'm going to leave it a few days to make sure it's not still leaking, as it's some noname Airpath clone, and the Airpath kit was a little bit the wrong size.

I also moved the van tent so we can park the Subaru back in the garage while we let it dry out thoroughly.

December 1st Checking the solar panels shows that we generated 321KWh last month. The bill's come in, and we generated 82KWh more than we used... the least since March. Stupid working at home.

I pulled out the new tent for the van, and got that waterproofed. Well, sprayed with waterproofer... it'll take a while to dry in this colder weather. Tilly licked some of the spray off the floor before I chased her out of the garage, and it made her sick, which is better than poisoning her. Still, it could have been from all the excitement of running around like a lunatic.