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April

April 30th We went to the SPCA "Funny Bones" fundraising event. It was weird seeing people all dressed up. I even shaved!


April 28th I dicked around in World of Warcraft for a while and got my hunter up to level 75.


April 27th I went and peered at the van, I took the oil filter out and found that there was some oil in it, but it wasn't full. I used a plastic tube to push oil up the line to the filter, and into the filter itself, then put it back on. I took out the spark plugs, unplugged the coil and used the starter motor to turn the engine over, but I still don't have any oil pressure. It looks like I'm going to have to take the distributor out and spin the pump that way, if I can.


April 26th I called Stephan's Autohaus about the van, but Stephan's not about. Sara hasn't heard of a pump losing pressure, but she's deferring to the boss.

I've been trying to find signed 64 bit drivers for the USB to serial adapter that I use for the weather station, and so far I've struck out. Looks like I might have to buy a new adapter to get that working again. I need CH340 drivers, if anybody has any handy :o)



April 25th I woke up ridiculously early, then couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and played World of Warcraft and got my hunter up to level 74 while I waited for daylight. Vic was back at the SPCA, so Tilly and I went back to bed, but sleep still wouldn't come. More Warcraft didn't help either, so I've basically wasted the weekend :o(


April 24th Vic was attending the bunny birthday bash that she'd organised at the SPCA, so when she'd gone to do that, I played a bit of World of Warcraft then got started on my day. I went and looked at the van, but I still don't have any oil pressure - I'm starting to think that the pump has lost it's prime, so it's pumping air, rather than oil. That would also explain why the filter was so clean to take off - the oil's all drained down :o( I think I'll call Stephan's Autohaus on Monday.

I rode the DRZ over to the shelter to see how that was going, then went home to fire up the barbie again - Vic had invited some of her friends over. The barbecue didn't want to light, as it was still damp from me putting it out yesterday, so I ended up using a blowtorch to get the charcoal lit. It actually worked pretty well, so I'll have to remember that one.



April 23rd After work, I put the plug in the sump, the new oil filter on and filled the van with oil. Still no pressure, so it could well be that the switch has failed.

Vince came over, and we barbecued - the weather's nicer now, so that'll probably be Fridays sorted out from now on.



April 22nd I went to Autozone and bought some Mobil 1 that they had on sale, then went home and drained the oil out of the van. It has a nice design of oil filter with the engine lying on it's side, where the thing is at the top of the engine, rather than the bottom, so you can take it off without dumping oil all over yourself.

I left it draining, and went and watched the remake of V, which is starting to drag. We haven't even seen them eat a guinea pig yet, and who knows what they're really here for.



April 21st I played a little World of Warcraft and managed to get my hunter up to level 73.


April 20th After work I threw the ball for Tilly until it started raining again. Then I went to look at the van. There's still a ticking that sounds like a valve to me, and the oil pressure light is pretty much on all the time. I checked the plugs, and #1 is sooty, but unhooking the plug lead causes the engine to slow down, so it's firing. I drove around the block, and nothing went away, so I think I'll have to change the oil after all.


April 19th After work, we watched the 2 episodes of Dr Who that I'd got while I was in San Francisco. I wasn't sure that I was going to like the new Doctor and assistant at first, but on reflection, they're not that bad. We'll see if they grow on me :o)


April 18th I played a little World of Warcraft while I waited for the worst of the dew to dry, then hacked my way through the grass. Looks like it's time to start cutting every week, which is a pain :o(

I looked briefly at the van - I'd thought that maybe the oil was contaminated, but it seems OK, and it's still there which is a good sign. I didn't feel much like doing anything else on it at the moment.

Later returning to Warcraft, I managed to get my hunter up to level 72.



April 17th I wasted the day catching up on little tasks around the house and taking the top off the HTPC so we could watch TV. I've ordered a new 9400 based graphics card, so obviously the old one's behaving itself now.


April 16th A bunch of the guys from Europe spent the day getting themselves sorted out to go skiing - they're not going anywhere until Monday at the earliest, so they might as well make the best of it. I managed to slope out just before 4, and got home just before 7, which isn't really at all bad when you take the traffic into account.

Tilly remembered me, and immediately ran around the house for a while then got her ball for me to throw.

We settled down to watch some of the shows the HTPC has recorded over the week, but it's crawling - the fan on the graphics card sometimes doesn't start up, so the PC slows all the way down to stop the system hurting itself. The usual sleeps and restarts didn't fix it, so we gave up trying for the night.



April 15th I was on the phone with Dave, waiting for a teleconference to start when he announced "I've just been rear ended". One would assume that he was in the car. I said "Seriously?", and he said "Yes". I asked if he was OK, but he'd hung up, presumably to drag the other driver out of her car and give her a stern talking to. I called him after the teleconference, and he was fine - the Saab's not even that badly damaged. Still, it's all fun, fun, fun.

Due to the volcano ash from Iceland, nobody's flying anywhere, so we were all in the office all day. After work we played some poker, and when I'd lost my $20 stake, I did a little more work then headed back to the hotel.



April 14th After the summit, we went back to the office for a meeting, then on to the nearest Mexican restaurant for a team meal as some of the guys were heading out on Thursday.


April 13th After the summit, we went to AT&T park, opposite the office, to watch the Giants lose to the Pirates. It wasn't a bad game, but it was bloody cold. After the game Chris and I picked up our stuff from the office and headed back to the hotel - neither of us is up to the constant partying that the others seem to be able to keep up :o)


April 12th I got up at an obscene hour and drove to San Francisco for a tech summit for work. It was nice to finally meet some of the guys from the UK team who I haven't run into in the office before.


April 11th While Vic went and taught her critter class at the SPCA I tinkered with the van. I've discovered that when I was troubleshooting the not starting problem originally, I've reconnected the fuel pump to a feed that cuts power when the starter is turning. Silly me, it doesn't connect to the nice spade connector that's right next to the feed wire, it connects directly to the fusebox. I've put a bullet connector on an extension to the fuse box so that this never happens again. I got the van to stagger to a start, but it sounds like crap and the oil pressure isn't coming up. I'm thinking that all the trying to start it has let fuel drain down into the oil and contaminated it - it's been sitting for almost 2 months after all. I'm not sure what my original problem was though, as both ICUs I have work fine. Must have been the coil. Yes, let's say it was the coil.

I tidied up and put everything back together, as I'm away next week and won't have the time to look at it any further.



April 10th I spent the day on and off fiddling with the van, and eventually figured out that the power to the coil goes away when the starter fires up. With Vic's help, I hotwired the ignition switch differently, and got a spark at the engine - basically it would run if it would start. At least I know where to go now.


April 9th I wasted some time in World of Warcraft, but I did get my hunter up to level 71.


April 8th Today was Vic's last day at the SPCA. She's going to concentrate on her artwork and see if that'll fly. She's still going to teach the critter class from time to time, so she's not going totally cold turkey.


April 7th I went and met Vince for dinner, and Vic, Jen and Geri joined us from the SPCA after work. Vince was celebrating selling his S-12 to a guy from Australia who lives in Thailand. He's shipping it back to Australia for the moment.


April 5th I spoke to Stephan at Stephan's Autohaus, and he's lent us 2 ECUs, 2 ICUs and a distributor to test on the van. None of the plug in parts has solved anything, and I'm loathe to do the distributor as I don't have a timing light to get it all set up correctly again. Who needs another headache at this point?


April 4th We just pottered around the house all day, but I did get my hunter up to level 70.


April 3rd I wasted the morning tidying up in the garden and playing World of Warcraft, getting my hunter up to level 69. In the afternoon we went over to Freedom Field for a barbecue. We took Tilly, and she was just fine until Bob the chihuahua went over to Vic, when Tilly decided she must be protected. As Vic was going off to a SPCA meetup, she dropped Tilly at home. Other than that, a good time was had by all.


April 2nd After work we went out with the multimeter and looked at the van. It still looks like the problem's the ICU, which is irritating.