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October

October 31st I started the day taking the van over to West Sacramento to get a new catalytic converter fitted. I drove the thing onto the ramp for them, and said we were going to breakfast, so no rush. The cat itself was probably red hot after a trip like that anyway. So, we come back about an hour later, and they've not done it. They showed me why... the catalytic converter that they'd ordered was listed for a Vanagon, but it's about 16" long, where the stock one is 12". We think we could trim stuff, and weld it directly to the header rather than to the flange, and put a shorter tail pipe in, allowing us to move the silencer over, so it would fit lengthways. The problem comes with the mounting for the cat itself - the stock cat is round, and the replacement is oval, and a lot bigger. It'd be touching the body of the van, which wouldn't work. They're going to call the company on Monday, so I took the van home again, undone.

Vic's doing a painting with bubbles in it, and we were discussing what they look like. Rather than try and figure it out, we went outside and looked at what they look like. Vic wanted to take some pictures to refer to, so we then had the ridiculous situation where Vic was trying to take pictures of bubbles before Tilly caught them. This took a while.

I went over to Fred's to try and get the LAN bridge to work. We tried everything we could think of, and him no work. It says it's connected, and the router once saw it connect, but that's about it. On the plus side, we had to reset the router to put the admin password in, so he knows what that is now.

In the evening I caught up with Hulu while Tilly barked at trick-or-treaters. We'd left the porch light off, as you do when you're not interested in feeding the childhood obesity epidemic, but one bunch were determined that we were going to open the door, so Vic did, and told them to sod off. Looking forward to seeing the house on fire for that one :o)



October 30th Ken and Vince have decided that I should pass the Rans on to Ken and buy a 2 seat Flightstar. I'm seriously considering it, as I'd like to take Vic flying, but obviously can't in a single seater.


October 28th I got the electrickery bill, and thanks to the solar panels, we generated 150KWh more than we used this month... cool!


October 25th I spent the day pottering around the house - we went to lunch with Vince, but other than that it was just surfing the web and chores. I did get the LAN bridge to look like it should work, but it can't see Fred's network from the kitchen. Strangely my netbook can, so I'll go and sit in the middle of the road and see if that works better one evening.


October 24th I got my office all sorted out for work, and made sure I could connect to the main office in San Francisco. I also went over to Fred's and tried to get a LAN bridge to connect to his DVR, without luck. First we were using a newer version of the setup program (the older version isn't available) which allows WPA when the device doesn't support it. We set up a separate network using an older router, then couldn't connect to that either. I'll have to look into it to figure out what's going on, but I have a feeling it's not passing the DHCP requests properly.


October 23rd I left San Francisco just before 5pm, and spent the next 3 hours driving home. Yawn. Still, Tilly remembered me this week :o)


October 19th I got up at 4:15am, tripped over Tilly and headed to San Francisco to work. I figured I could either get there at about 7:30 or 9:30, but not in between. I chose 7:30, as we have a 9am teleconference. Having stumbled through the day at work, I headed off to the hotel to watch TV until I could realistically go to bed.


October 18th We got up at a decent hour, and headed to Ed Levin park to go hang gliding. Tilly was overjoyed to get there. The family Kelly met us there, and caught the landings of the one flight that the gang took - the wind was picking up. We had lunch and headed home, with the sad little sack of tired dog.


October 16th On my last day in the office this week, I managed to slope out early. A mere 3.5 hours later, I was home, and Tilly was happy to see me when I got there. Well, she was standing alert as I came through the door, like she'd forgotten that anybody else lives here, but luckily she remembered who I was before she attacked :o)


October 15th On the news this morning was the statistic that since putting in the "S" curve on the Bay Bridge 37 days ago, there have been 29 accidents. It seems that one of the things they're going to try is putting some grippy stuff on the steel plates on the road. Um... duh.

Driving back to the hotel was a nightmare, as the President had seen fit to visit San Francisco today. He was far away by the time I joined the melee, but that didn't seem to help.



October 14th After a hard day in the office, there was a poker game in the office. I lost $40, and I'm figuring that's a good way of sucking up to management.


October 13th Well, so much for walking to work - it was throwing it down in San Francisco - like an inch of rain an hour, and a lot of the sidewalk / pavement was flooded. So I drove, and it probably took me almost as long as walking by the time I'd found somewhere to park. Still, a new day in the office.


October 12th Dave and I drove in to San Francisco to the office, and spent the day doing worky type stuff. There were lots of introductions, meetings and so on, as there's a lot of the employees in the main office from all over. It was nice that they organised everybody just so that they could come and meet me :o) In the evening I drove the car to a hotel about a mile and a half from the office, and I'm hoping to be able to hoof it the rest of the week.


October 11th We went to breakfast with Vince, then I headed up to Millbrae to crash the night with the family Kelly before my first day of work in months.


October 10th Vic had been intending to go hang gliding, but had an early morning vertigo attack, so obviously couldn't fly. As I'd managed to pick up some parts, I did a little work on the van - replacing the air filter and spark plugs, and disconnecting the vacuum hose to the cruise control just in case that has anything to do with the smog fail.

I rode the DRZ over to Jeff's to break the news that I was going to be working next week, so we couldn't go shooting as we'd planned. I also discovered that the catalytic converter that the web site says is legal on the van isn't, so they won't be sending it. And one that the website says isn't legal, is, but that one's out of stock. It'll be a while while I figure out how to get around this.



October 9th I managed to find the air filter for the van, picked up some spark plugs and hose clamps that'll hopefully fit the air filter better.


October 8th I spent hours trying to get my head around the catalytic converter situation for the van. Basically the law changed at the beginning of the year, and older vehicles now have to pass the same smog test as post 1995 OBDII vehicles. That's all well and good, but they also brought in California specific requirements for the catalytic converters - it sounds like a lot of them generally last 6 months, so now they have to be come with a 5 year warranty. That's all well and good, but nobody's going to pay to certify their catalytic converters on a 25 year old van when there aren't that many of them around. So, there are a lot of universal ones that you can use, but they're often too big (i.e. 16" long, where the stock one is 11.5") to fit. I've found a direct bolt on that looks like it'll fit, and ordered one :o)


October 7th I spoke to the headhunter, and got offered the job I interviewed for ages ago in San Francisco. I went and met Vic for lunch, to tell her the good news, then spent the rest of the day signing forms and sending information in. Looks like I'll be starting Monday, unless I hear otherwise :o)


October 6th I decided to start looking at getting the van sorted out for it's smog (re)test, and I totally struck out getting an air filter for it. I ended up dropping in on Jeff and helping him strip a Banshee ATV's clutch out. I had aimed to just pass through, but we closed the shop up (late). When I got home, I found a message on the machine from the headhunter about the job I interviewed for in San Francisco back in August. I hope it's good news :o)


October 5th I washed the Subaru. I mention this because it's a rare event :o)


October 3rd Vince and I rode over to A & S BMW to see the vintage bike show that happened last weekend (doh). We then went on to the Lincoln Airshow, but we got split up on the way - the DRZ isn't as quick as his BMW, especially with me on it. In the evening, we went to dinner with some of the SPCA volunteers.


October 1st Checking the solar panels shows that we generated 476KWh last month - that's over $40 worth of electrickery, right there.

Vince and I went to an RV equipment sale, but there was nothing there particularly interesting, so we just left and went to lunch. He wanted to get up on the roof of his trailer and fiddle, so I left him to it, and eventually ended up at the airfield. I took the Rans out for a spin, then ended up packing it away in it's new hangar - hopefully that's the end of the fiddling. Ray showed up at Lincoln, having seen me fly over Freedom Field, and on the way home I saw the powered parachute guys were out at Athens - they weren't when I flew over earlier.