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September

September 30th We woke up earlyish in the van, I got up and took Tilly for a quick walk, then we met the parents. After using the facilities, we went for a wander into the the town for breakfast. We then wandered down towards the seafront, but dogs aren't allowed on the bike trail, let alone the beach. We wandered along the path overlooking the beach for a while, then headed back to Russ' to sit down for a bit. We decided that we'd head out early to avoid the worst of the traffic. 405 wasn't generally too bad, but there was a big slowdown for a broken down truck - it seems that Los Angeles drivers can't just pass a vehicle at the side of the road without slowing down to look at it any better than Sacramento drivers. We stopped in exactly the same places as we'd stopped on the way down, and got home around 9pm. We were all pretty tired, as even Tilly hadn't slept much on the way back, so we headed to bed early.


September 29th We packed up the parents, our stuff and Tilly into the van and headed down to see Russ and Deepah in Los Angeles. The van ran great the whole way, even struggling up the Grapevine. I did discover that there's not enough vacuum above about 60mph to run the cruise control, so I think I'll end up making a tank with a valve at some point to fix that.

Once at Russ', we dropped the van off and walked Tilly into the little town to have a drink while we waited for Russ and Deeps to show up. After a dinner at a sidewalk cafe table (where Tilly had her own chair so she could see everything) we went back to the house, where we slept in the van as the rental agreement forbids even visiting pets from being inside - that's a shame as I'd have liked to see Tilly storming around all the stairs - she's not used to being able to see through them.



September 28th After a day running around getting emergency supplies, we went over to meet Vince at the airfield, where he took Mum up, and I took Dad in the Flightstar. On take-off, I thought Vince was just flying low as usual, but he ended up turning back and making a precautionary landing as his engine was overheating a bit due to all the extra weight :o) When he was sure everything was OK, we all headed out and flew over Far West Lake, then over towards the river. We lost sight of them when we were turning over a little crop duster field, and ended up heading home. We landed just before sunset, and we were close to being all packed up when Vince showed up... he dropped Mum and bolted back to Freedom Field.


September 27th We went over to Folsom to wander down Sutter Street. It's a shame it's all torn up - they're rebuilding everything, by the look of things. We had lunch, then headed over to the outlet stores. After that, we headed home, where Gwen called to say that she was hoping we could all go to the airfield - Dad and I headed over to get the Flightstar out and checked out. We went up for a quick circuit while we waited for everybody else to show up, then I took CJ for a quick flight. When we got back, we managed to get Gwen to sit in the plane while I taxied it around the hangar. Maybe one day we'll even try a low hop :o)


September 26th Vic and Mum went to a SPCA function, while Dad and I drove around looking at gadgets.

In the evening, Gwen was hoping we'd take her daughter CJ up in the Flightstar, but we were all pretty wiped out, so we just stayed home.



September 25th We had a barbecue at the airfield, and a bunch of the guys showed up. Afterwards, I took Mum and Dad up (individually) in the Flightstar. Vince took Jen and Vic up in his wobbly. There was a powered parachute fly-in at Athens, so the sky was full of them :o)


September 24th We went to a family Italian restaurant for dinner. Vince was busy "tidying up", so missed dinner.


September 23rd In the evening we went and picked up Mum and Dad from Sacramento airport - they'd got in early, and they've totally screwed up the traffic flow around the terminals. Oh well, they're here now.


September 22nd Tilly has a deserved squirty botty after eating half her body weight in chicken yesterday. Do we think she'll remember this next time she gets a chance to steal chicken? Will she heckaslike.


September 21st We put some (cooked) chicken out to defrost for dinner, then decided to get some tortillas to make quesadillas. What did we forget? Yes, Tilly totally devoured them while we were out, to the point that we thought we'd hidden them from her so well we'd forgotten where they were. Cheese quesadillas it is, then.


September 20th The Jeep has been bleating about wanting its first oil change, so Vic took it to the dealer. Partly because we want to keep the warranty intact, but mostly because they sent us a coupon for a free oil change. I can do the changes in future as long as I keep the receipts and so on to prove they've been done.


September 19th Arr, happy Talk Like a Pirate Day ye lubbers.

It was raining for a change, so we spent the day mostly inside. I did manage to get out into the garage and do a little work on the YSR. The other flasher relay seems to work better than the one that was on there, so I'm assuming that'll actually flash when the engine's running. Vic helped me tape up the wiring loom, and then I put the tank and seat back on.

We also got a new ceiling fan to replace the one in Vic's art room, and fitted that before we lost interest and relegated it to just being a box in the corner.



September 18th I burnt the pictures Vic had taken of Larry on Saturday, and headed over to the airfield to drop the CD off on Larry's plane (his ISP was letting me send him just 2 pictures at a time, and I got bored). While I was there, I reset the hour meter for the engine, so I know how long it's been since the last service, rather than just have it reading a random time. I picked up the wheelie stand from the Rans, then joined the guys for lunch.
After lunch, I headed over to Freedom Field, to get Vince to weld up the crack in the exhaust for the YSR, drop off the wheelie stand for Ivan (the latest owner of the S-17) and pick up the EIS that I'm going to install in the Flightstar as a winter project. I then sat around in the sun chatting with Vince until it seemed like time to head home again.


September 17th Vince called and said he'd finished up the engine on the Flightstar.

In the evening, we barbecued, and Vince came over to play with Tilly.



September 16th Vince called to say that I wouldn't be taking the Flightstar out this evening, as the engine's all over the place. He's doing a top end service on it for me :o)


September 15th Larry's been itching to go flying together, so straight after work we headed over to the airfield and pulled the Flightstar out, so we could go flying with him in his trike. Vic took pictures, I just concentrated on not hitting him :o)


September 14th Vince came over and picked up the gasket kit I've bought for the Flightstar - he's going to service the engine and do the annual inspection for me some time this week. Not tomorrow, he's got to go to Lodi and look at Doug's trike, apparently it needs some engine work, and the airframe needs looking at after a hefty landing. We went out to dinner, then he headed home.


September 12th After work I sat and played with the home theatre PC - I've got sick of the TV not being the correct resolution (it's either 1366x806 @ 60Hz, or 1366x768 @ 57Hz). I've sat and modified the EDID to be the correct 1366x768 @ 60Hz, and rebooted several times without problems. It also seems that the problem where it wakes up to do something, but never goes to sleep afterwards could be because it belongs to a homegroup. I've disabled this, and we'll see if that's fixed it.


September 11th Vic's last day at the Gold Country Fair with the SPCA, and I went out to the garage to see her off. As she pulled out in the Jeep, I could see the great big puddle of oil under the YSR. Bugger, I guess I'll work on that first then. I pulled the oil pump, cleaned everything and gooped it up before reinstalling it. Leak fixed. I then ran it up to see what was going on with the filler, and I think it's been leaking when the carb's oil pump line was leaking air, as I can't get it to leak any more. I've bled the oil pump up, and it seems like it's pushing oil just fine. Now I just need to get the adjustment on the pump sorted out and I'll be good to go, mechanically.

I've had the wiring loom for plugging the old stereo into the Jeep in the kitchen for ages, so I sat and soldered that to the stereo - if nothing else it'll stop Vince playing with it all the time. I'd thought that the power and lighting lines were missing, but that's not the case - the new stereo uses CAN-BUS, a glorified network, to tell it what to do. I'll have to tap power from other stuff to get it to work, not a big deal.



September 11th Vic's still at the Gold Country Fair with the SPCA, so I got up on the roof and washed the solar panels. I then tinkered around with the YSR - fixing the oil leak on the case, and replacing the oil pump. When I ran it, I found that the new pump's leaking at the base, so needs to be gooped in, and the oil filler plug is leaking - oil comes gushing out there, so I'm not really sure what to do with that. It looks like there's much too much oil in there, but that doesn't seem right when I had the clutch cover off, so it should have been empty. Still, very little progress was made :o)

In the early afternoon, I wore Tilly out, then took the van over to the airfield and took the Flightstar up for just over an hour. It was beautiful, and other than the jump plane and a couple of transients, I had the sky to myself.
There's an airshow on at Mather Field, and somebody'd dumped a CH-47 in the transient parking area at Lincoln. While I was flying, there was a CH-47 calling that he was transitting through Calaveras County airspace, so I thought the one at Lincoln had left. It was still there when I got back, so these things are apparently a lot more common than I'd thought :o)



September 10th The visiting guinea pigs were collected in the morning.

Vic's still at the Gold Country Fair with the SPCA, so I wore Tilly out, then took the DRZ and met Vince for dinner. When I got home, I spent the rest of the evening playing ball.



September 9th Vic was off to the Gold Country Fair with the SPCA, so Tilly and I spent the evening playing ball and watching the least crappy stuff on TV.


September 6th Today was Labo(u)r Day, when Americans celebrate the victories of the organised unions by going shopping. And putting away their white trousers, whatever that's all about. I spent the day tinkering with stuff - I looked at the oil leak on the YSR, to figure out that the oil's leaking out of the case still, and running down the carb drain tube. So I'll have to take the cover off again and try to seal it. It's not that big a deal, as I looked at the 2 stroke oil pump to see if I could stop mixing oil in the gas while I'm testing it - it's been pumping oil into it's cover, as the output joint is leaking. I have other oil pumps in my box o' stuff, so I'll just replace it and see if that helps, rather than bodge it and end up seizing the engine at some point.

Vic's going to look after some guinea pigs for a friend, so we were waiting in for them to be dropped off. They're not really dog people, so Tilly and I were playing in the garden when they called to say they were running late. We had hoped to go to the airfield, but that was out now :o(



September 5th We took the van and went to Bugorama, where we watched The Red Baron do a 180mph standing quarter mile.

Thanks to the sun, we were pretty much wiped out when we got home, so we watched Extraordinary Measures, which was pretty good, and Batman: Under the Red Hood, which was a cartoon. Starring Neil Patrick Harris.



September 4th Finally, the weekend. I went out and pottered around with the YSR for a bit, to try and figure it all out. What I thought was an oil leak is actually oil coming from a drain tube, so it looks like there's probably a bit too much oil in there. I'll put on a catch tank while I try and figure out why the indicators have stopped working. I think that's probably some sort of earth problem.

I also finally got around to rehanging the garder gate - it's been dragging on the floor for ages, and now doesn't :o)



September 3rd The mural continues - it has colour now.

I agreed to a recommended video driver download for the HTPC, then lost the resolution I need for the TV (1366x768 at 60Hz). The closest I could get was 1366x806 at 57Hz, which looked like crap. Really? I've never seen a 16:10 screen at that resolution. I stayed in and fought with that while Vic went to the SPCA volunteer dinner.

I finally got it all sorted out, but it still has a tendency to switch again when waking up from sleep - the stuff I can find on the Google about this has people giving up and buying new TVs to fix this. My Panasonic is old enough to have been built in Japan, so it'll probably live forever :o)



September 2nd Vic's started painting a Snoopy mural on the fence in the garden. Tilly has been most intrigued, and has spent most of the day sitting, with her ball, watching :o)