Ma Blog‎ > ‎2009‎ > ‎

June

June 30th We chased people about our road trip, and I chased about the van tent. Apparently the manager needs to talk to the owner about the situation. We've agreed to continue this in email while we're away.

In the evening, we went to Roseville Downtown Tuesday Night and hung out for a while.



June 29th Still too hot to do anything, but I did call up about the tent for the van. They'll have the manager call me back.


June 28th It was deathly hot, so we didn't really do much of anything. Record temperatures were set all over the valley. We had talked about going flying, but couldn't face opening the hangar in the heat.


June 27th We started out the day by refitting the old tent back into the van. This means that we can now use the van to camp in again... we also patched the hole in the tent with a stick-on vinyl repair patch, so the mosquitoes can't get in. Dad washed the van while I shortened a couple of bolts that look like they've been rubbing on the tent when it's folded up.

In the afternoon we went to a barbecue at Jason's sister's - he and Nicole are in town this week, and are trying to see everybody before they head off in all directions.



June 26th We decided to work on the van. We swapped the wheels over, so I have a new tyre on the front, rather than hanging on the rear door as a spare. We fitted air bags, to level the rear end. We removed the tent, then tried to fit the new one. Now, bearing in mind that I installed the current tent by myself in a couple of hours, after a few hours of struggling, Dad and I gave up and measured the tents. The new one is 5" shorter on the height, 4" shorter on the length and about 0.75" shorter on the width. i.e. it's not for a Vanagon. We found screw holes in the canvas where somebody else has tried to install it on a Vanagon, too, so we were pretty pissed off.

I got the electrickery bill, and the solar panels generated 214Kw/h more than we used this month - long days, and only a few of them hot enough to require the air conditioner - it's all downhill from here.

In the evening, we barbecued - there's nothing like dead charred beast and flavoured malt beverages to make you feel better after a hard day's work.



June 25th Dad and I drove to San Francisco to meet Caroline at the airport, take her to lunch then release her into the wild by Pier 39 so she could find her friends. Then we drove all the way home again. Joy.


June 24th We went out and stopped at the tyre place so they could eventually air chisel off the seriously overtightened locking wheel nut. We then toodled around techy shops, managing to get Dad 4Gb for his laptop.


June 23rd Dad arrived today, so I spent the day tidying up a little before picking him up from the airport. I then changed the oil on the Subaru (putting too much in it) and tried to swap a wheel on the van, only to find that the locking wheel nut had been so overtightened that I couldn't. I dropped off the recycling on the way to the airport, then brought Dad home so that Tilly could bark at him.


June 22nd After the weekend, we were all pretty tired, even Tilly. Still, I brightened up when the new tent, arrived for the van. I hung it in the garage and doused it with waterproofer. It'll take a couple of days to dry out completely before I can get it installed.
In the evening, I tinkered with some more stuff on the van - more fiddling with the speed sensor for the cruise control.


June 21st We were camping in the van, and Tilly got me up early. Again. As we wandered back, Fred was out looking for us on his quad - he'd seen us walking past. Tilly ended up riding back to the van on Uncle Fred's quad, and then I cooked breakfast, poorly, for us all. Apparently I'm the first person other than Fred and Marsha to cook in their trailer's kitchen.

After breakfast we went for another quad ride, then tidied up and headed home. We were all pretty tired, and other than freaking Tilly out with the air conditioner in the van, it was a quiet trip back down the mountain.



June 20th We were camping in the van, and Tilly got me up early. I ended up taking her for a long walk, getting back in time for Fred to cook breakfast. Well, Tilly got kibble.

After breakfast, we took the quads and went to look at the damage from last year's fire, while Tilly stayed with her Auntie Marsha.

Fred cooked dinner, and we played a couple of board games before heading back to the van and crashing for the night.



June 19th We were going camping today, so we packed up the van, and Tilly, and headed for Fred's campsite in Yuba Gap. Having immediately got bitten by a bunch of mosquitoes, I spent a lot of time trying to tire out Tilly, and she had a grand old time, being walked around and around.


June 18th I tinkered around with the van, and got the cruise control to work in "manual" mode - so that now suggests that the problem is the Vehicle Speed Sensor.

In the evening, I went to the airfield and dug the Rans out. Jack was there, moving all of his junk, and my plane was already outside. I got it started, and headed over to Freedom Field to see if Vince was home and flying, but didn't see him. I ended up flying over to Far West Lake, then back to Lincoln to put the plane away. I eventually got away from chatting with Jack about an hour later than I'd hoped :o)



June 17th After going to the gym, I took Tilly to the Bear dog park. We walked there, so when she started lying down in the water more than chasing around like a lunatic, we headed off - after all, we had a mile to walk home, and I didn't fancy doing it carrying a damp dog.

After a little rest at home, I went to the airfield and dug the Rans out of all Jack's junk, rearranged the hangar so I could put the Rans back where it belongs, then went for a flight. It was all pretty cool, and everybody was courteous when I got back to LHM air space. I like flying in the week :o) It's supposed to be high pressure tomorrow, too, so hopefully I can get out again.



June 16th Tilly and I had a quiet day after yesterday's excitement. I did get time to look at the cruise control on the van, but it's now not doing anything at all. I think I need a hand to test everything to make sure I haven't broken something in my recent testing :o(


June 15th We got up fairly early and loaded up the Subaru and headed to Ed Levin park for a couple of hang gliding sled runs. When we first got there, Tilly towed me to the dog park as usual, but a guy there pointed out what he thought was a rattlesnake, so I left her on her lead. When Vic and John arrived, they decided it was a Gopher snake, and John used a shovel to get it out of the dog area so that Tilly could play.


June 14th I spent the morning fiddling with the AppleTV, and getting the remote control working with it. I then synced my silly sized music library and some pictures with it.

In the evening, Vince came over and we rode the bikes to dinner.



June 13th I took the DRZ and picked up an AppleTV running hacks such as Boxee. My plan is that this'll let me watch stuff like Hulu on the TV in the family room, rather than on a PC. The oil leak seems to have been conquered :o)

I quickly set up the new toy, then we went out to the SPCA volunteer dinner in the arse end of nowhere - it took longer to drive there and back than it did to eat :o). After getting home, I worked some more on the home entertainment - I've found that the DVD player in the family room only outputs colo(u)r on the component leads, and it was being demoted to S-Video. So I swapped it with the one in the bedroom that we never use :o)



June 12th After going to the gym, and between rain shower sprinkles, I pulled the DRZ apart and cleaned, then instant gasketted the valve cover gasket. Hopefully that'll kill off that little oil leak there.


June 11th After waving goodbye to Christina and Valerie, I went for a ride on the DRZ, and ended up at Jeff's. I helped him work on a quad with a leaking O ring in the carb, and on my way out, Jeff pointed out a small oil leak that seems to be coming from the valve cover gasket. Bugger... I'll have to look at that :o(


June 10th Christina and Valerie arrived back from spending the night in a cabin in Coloma, and Christina'd managed to get water in her camera. We left it out on the hot tub (by Tilly, sunning herself) to try and dry it out, but it's still full of condensation. I've given her my old SLR that I never use, as she likes using the old chemical cameras. When Vic got home from work, we all went out for sushi, but nobody actually ate cold raw dead fish.


June 9th We headed up to Coloma with Christina and Valerie and went white water rafting for the day. Strangely enough, the other people in the boat were from Sheffield. He was an investment banker, but we let him stay in the boat for the rapids anyway. Apparently later in the year when the water's lower you can raft the whole way to Folsom, but we ended up getting towed the last few miles by a jetski.


June 8th A couple of Vic's friends from Monterrey arrived, as they're staying with us tonight. We had a barbecue, and Vince came over to help us eat the mountains of food we'd prepared :o)


June 7th I got Vic to help me look at the cruise control for the van. I've made some progress, testing things with it all apart. It looks like it should be working - the revving then cutting out thing is, I believe, because the overrev circuit is cutting in when it sees the revs rise quickly. With the controller in my hand, it seems to work, at least it holds against me pulling the throttle cable until we turn it off. We tested the speed sensor, and while I have no idea if it's correct, it is at least sensing something - there's a voltage being generated there. More testing needed, as I'm not really sure what's going on now.

I supervised Fred cutting bits off a tree in his front garden - it's blocking his satellite dish. After we'd cleared that away, I headed home.



June 6th Fred came over while I was peering into the engine compartment of the van, and went and got his vacuum gauge. I now know that I don't have a vacuum leak, and that I'm getting about 15" of mercury's worth of vacuum from the engine, so that should be enough to make the cruise control work. I took the thing apart, and it all seems OK, so I don't really know what the problem is at the moment.


June 5th I managed to hurt my shoulder a few days ago, and it's still causing me problems, so I took it easy at the gym. I spent more time chatting with Buddy than I did doing any actual exercise. When I got home, I just read in tje afternoon, and tried to take things easy. In the evening, we cooked up some ribs that I'd bought, but they were a bitter disappointment.


June 4th None of us had slept too well, what with the rain and lightning storms last night, so I had a slow day. I did try the vacuum reservoir on the van, but it's changed nothing. Hmmm. I need to look at that more some other time.

Satya, my old boss at Samsung, came over with a friend of his who's looking at selling some sort of USB email client appliance. I threw in a couple of ideas, just to prove that my brain still works :o)



June 3rd After the normal playing with Tilly, I went out to try and get a vacuum reservoir for the cruise control for the van. I ended up with one from a Volvo 240 - they have a reservoir up for the factory cruise control. Who knew? I also picked up a spare side mirror while I was there - the aftermarket one I have wobbles.

In the evening, we had a very impressive lightning storm, that lasted on and off into the wee small hours.



June 2nd I spent the day tidying up the garden and fiddling around with the van. I've decided that the problem must have something to do with vacuum, so I spent some time looking for a vacuum reservoir. There's also a problem with the speed sensor, but I'll get that figured out soon. I hope.

In the evening, Vince came over and I cooked.



June 1st I started the day talking to a moron at Audiovox about the cruise control. He told me that the testing I was doing in the driveway wouldn't work, as even with it being set up to use just the tach pickup, it wouldn't work. He said it won't work even on a lift with the wheels spinning in the air, but couldn't explain to me why it wouldn't work. I pointed out that the only input it has is the tach, so how would it know it wasn't in gear? He said that wouldn't work, and eventually told me that he has no idea why it's not working in the van. Apparently there's nobody else there who can help, and he has no supervisor. I asked if he owns the company, but he doesn't. </sigh>