Ma Blog‎ > ‎2010‎ > ‎


June 30th We went out into the garage, and got the Flightstar wheels back together. There were a couple of fraught points where we had the inner tubes pinched, but a little air in them helped out there.

June 29th We went over to Stephan's Autohaus and collected the van. It was noisy on the way home, as I hadn't put the cushion over the engine cover - to the point where I stopped to check the back door was actually closed :o)

In the evening, we went to the airfield with jack stands, moved the Flightstar to the back of the hangar and pulled the wheels off and brought them home to play with at my leisure. I ended up playing with them on the drive, and discovered that if I put one foot on each side of the tyre, I could use one of my motorcycle tyre levers to break the bead away. I did this four times, and had both tyres off in less than an hour. I couldn't get everything to line up to put the new tyres on, so I left it for the night.

June 28th I spoke to Stephan at Stephan's Autohaus about the van - it's ready to pick up :o)

In the evening I tidied up in the garage, bringing the roof rack for the Jeep into the house, and dropping off the recycling that's been accumulating on that side of the garage.

June 27th It was bloody hot again. In the afternoon I got to drive the Jeep to the airfield and took one of the wheels off the Flightstar to try and change the tyre. We couldn't break the bead, and I now remember Ken saying he had to cut the tyres off his wheels, so we put it all back together for now. Maybe I'll put the plane up on stands and cut the tyres off at some point, but I should really put it at the back of the hangar for that. That way if Todd wants to fly, he's not trapped in by our plane.

June 26th With very little to do for once, I sat and read in the garden for long enough to turn my legs pink (rather than their usual pale blue). I played about in the Jeep long enough to figure out what sort of wiring I was going to have to get in place for the stereo to fit, and mount one of my steering wheel knobs. I threw the ball for Tilly long enough that she wouldn't bring it back to me.

In the late afternoon, we went to the airfield and took the Flightstar out for a trip around. I had planned to take the wheels off to replace the tyres, but was basically too tired after over an hour in the air. We put Todd's plane at the back of the hangar, so I only have to move Ken's Quicksilver out to get the Flightstar out. We'll see how often Todd needs to move my plane, but I'm hoping to continue flying more often than he does :o)

June 25th Rather than barbecue again this week, we went and met Gwen for pizza.

June 24th Vic and Christina popped in and out most of the day, leaving Tilly quite tired from the excitement. Christina left in the evening, so Tilly could settle down and get a proper nap.

June 23rd Vic's friend Christina came to visit Tilly while I barbecued. After dinner, they watched Avatar while I tidied up stuff on the computer.

June 22nd We went to the airfield after work and took the Flightstar out for almost an hour, just flying around looking at stuff.

June 21st We took Fred out to dinner to celebrate his birthday :o)

June 20th We spent the day pottering around the house, tidying up this and that in the garden and garage (so the van'll have somewhere to park), and had planned to go out to the airfield later in the afternoon. One of the guinea pigs (Marie) had a prolapse, and had to be rushed to the vet to be euthanised :o(

June 19th We started out the day playing with the roof rack for the Jeep, and managed to get it all together before we found out that the rear bumper interferes with the rear mounting. Which is annoying as the store called the factory to make sure that they'd work together. So we took the whole bloody thing back off. I called the store, and they're going to see what can work with this roof rack, as the roof rack is more important than the bumpers.

June 18th Now the Jeep is all back in one piece, Vic picked up the missing box for the roof rack.

I swapped emails with Sara at Stephan's Autohaus - apparently the van's running, but they want to drive it around for a few days before giving it back. I'm happy to let them - better it seizes on them than me :o)

Jen's left the SPCA, so we took her and a couple of her erstwhile cow-orkers out for dinner to celebrate.

June 17th After a series of emails that involved measurements and photos, it was discovered that the winch plate for the new bumper was slightly wrong - the manufacturer said it had probably warped when it was welded up. So, rather than put the stock bumper back on the Jeep, we put the new front one on without the winch plate. I put the stock plastic frame rail cover on and called it good. It'll all have to come off again to install the winch plate (I'm aiming to use that as a front mount for a support for the ladder when we go hang gliding).

As it was fairly early, we watched Legion, which was OK, but no Prophecy.

June 16th We opened the first box of toys for the Jeep, and took off the rear bumper, as it needs to come off before anything can be done with the roof rack. We got the new bumper all in place, then opened the box for the roof rack. Hang on, I thought, it's not all here. Sure enough, we were missing box 1 of 2. Bugger. Anyway, we pressed on and got the rear bumper all bolted up, and started in on the front bumper. After a lot of rude words were uttered, the stock plastic one was removed, but the new one wouldn't mount up. We pulled the Jeep back into the garage and called it a day - I emailed the bumper manufacturer to say "WTF?"

June 15th I spent part of the morning assuring people that rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated :o(

As we were going to be without the van for a while, Vic borrowed Vince's pickup and went and got the parts for the Jeep. We took Vince to dinner to say thanks, then tidied up in the garden as it's green waste tomorrow.

June 14th I spoke to Sara at Stephan's Autohaus about the van, and it seems that the new oil pump held pressure for about 15 seconds. Then the conversation went something like:
Did you take the valve cover off?
No, why would I?
In that case we'll cover this rebuild.
Why's that then?
We found a rag in the engine.
Um... that'd be the problem. And clearing it out could be a bit of a trial. Still, I'm glad we know what the problem was - I was never happy with "it just got clogged up".

After a quiet evening, I was reading in bed when Jen called to make sure that this wasn't us. It wasn't, but it was a couple we know :o(

June 13th We just puttered around doing chores in the garden. I peered at the Jeep and decided that the CD changer probably won't fit under the seat as I'd hoped - apparently the seat throws an error code if you take it out, so it would be a nightmare to fit something under there anyway. I'm going to ponder on it a bit longer, but I'm still thinking I'll replace the stock stereo - the Sony we have is better, and has a removable face. We'd also gain a storage slot, as the stock stereo is 2 DIN high.

In the evening we watched Surrogates, which isn't bad, even though it does raise a few questions.

June 12th We started the day by running in to Sacramento to pick up some parts for the Jeep, but they won't fit in it - we'll have to wait until we get the van back - hopefully early next week.

We brought Jeff lunch on the way home - I haven't seen him in months, so it was nice to chat while he changed tyres for a customer.

After wasting most of the day, I took the DRZ out for a little run, and ended up doing about 50 miles. The Corbin's a lot better, in that I didn't realise that I was a little sore until I was on my way home on a flat, dull bit of road. I then found that I can move around on this seat, so I can mitigate that. Excellent.

In the evening we watched The Usual Suspects, it's a good flick, and you realise how far we've come from story lines once CGI took over :o(

June 11th I spoke to Sara at Stephan's Autohaus, and it seems that the oil pump is in for the van, so it won't be long before I never get to drive the Jeep at all :o)

I'd figured that I'll probably be doing runs to the Bay Area on the DRZ, but the seat is downright painful. Today the Corbin arrived, and after a little fiddling with the mount on the (non stock) tank, was fitted :o)

We barbecued, and Vince came over to eat roast beast.

June 9th Orders can now be placed for the 2011 Jeep Wrangler, and while there are interior differences, the engine is staying the same - that was the thing we were waiting to hear about. So, while we've missed out on a leather covered gear shifter, we've got the colour we wanted (Surf Blue isn't listed any more).

June 8th In the evening we watched Shutter Island. It was pretty good, but I think they could have pushed the mystery a bit further, like Total Recall.

June 7th Ken called to say that the B-24 and the B-17 were parked at the airfield, so we wandered over in the Jeep. Vince arrived shortly after we got there, and then everybody left, so we headed home again.

June 6th I got up and checked the news, and the poison dwarf won the MotoGP. Whatever.

We folded the roof up on the Jeep, and folded the seats down. We haven't put the windows back in, so it's still breezy, we're just less likely to get sunburnt faces driving around :o)

We picked up some home repair stuff, and Vic set to work painting the fence in the back garden while I tried to patch some of the grass - we'll see how successful I was in a week or so.

We went over to the airfield, and took the Flightstar out for a while. There was just us and the parachute jump plane around, it seemed, and when we landed in a bit of a crosswind, maybe I can see why :o) It was bumpier than yesterday, too, but that's just everything getting used to the new hot weather.

June 5th I got up and checked the news, and in the MotoGP practice at Mugello, Valentino Rossi crashed and broke his leg. This'll be the first race he's missed since 1996, and there'll be a few of them :o( It'll be interesting to see the effect this has on the GPs, as a lot of people are Rossi fans, rather than racing fans, Vic included.

I took the advertising license plates off the Jeep, and tucked away the jump leads and suchlike - you can't bump start an automagic, and it doesn't turn the lights off when you take the key out like the Subaru, so I'm expecting at least one dead battery :o)

I washed the solar panels for (I believe) the first time this year - it's been raining a lot.

We went over to the airfield, and it seemed that there were a lot of the guys meeting up to fly in the evening, so we left and went home to get stuff done. I drained the hot tub, and Vic played in the flooded garden with Tilly to tire her out. We then went to the SPCA volunteer dinner, then went back and pulled the Flightstar out for a while. We'd all talked about heading to Far West Lake, but it was really bumpy with the rice fields full of water, so we all kind of scattered and headed in all directions. Some went to Freedom Field, but we went and flew over the house, where Vic got some blurry pictures - it was starting to get dark. She got some stellar pictures of the sunset though.

June 4th I spoke to Sara at Stephan's Autohaus - they haven't looked at the van as they're really busy at the moment. My van's scheduled to be worked on on Monday. I pointed out that we have no plans, so to get anything important done first.

In the evening, Vic made spaghetti and meatballs, but everybody else was busy. We had talked about going to the airfield, but eventually gave up and just relaxed.

June 3rd Vic went out and took the top down on the Jeep before heading out to run errands. She likes driving around topless, apparently :o)

June 2nd We've been looking at roof racks for the Jeep, and they all seem to need you to drill holes in the bodywork, or replace the rear bumper. We went to a local 4x4 place and talked to them about it - I like the Body Armor rack, but their bumpers are fugly. They're going to talk to the manufacturer to see if we can use the bumpers we like.