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January

January 30th Vic went out to the SPCA and went out on the Petmobile, while I stayed in and played World of Warcraft. I got my warrior to level 84, and into Uldum.

In the evening we watched Red, which was pretty good - I'm liking these old stars playing older people :o)



January 29th I started the day playing World of Warcraft and got my warrior to level 83, while I waited for it to warm up a little, then went to the airfield to do a little bit of fiddling on the Flightstar - I filed the pod a little more to accommodate the 12V accessory sockets, and put electrical tape on the EGT probe connectors. I had talked about flying, but the cloudbase was 800', so maybe not.

In the evening we really enjoyed Dinner for Schmucks.



January 28th It was nice to work from home, having got my office all set up again. The DSL modem's complaining about the battery, but it seems to be working OK. It seems that I can just take it to the engineering centre (about 3 miles away) and they'll swap it out. I might see about getting an upgrade to 10Mb/s, or maybe look at the cable internet deals that are available at the moment.

I checked the hot tub to find that the reason it was at 98F is because it was set to 98F. I've increased that to 103F again, and we'll see how that does. I also need to get the clock sorted out, as it's totally wrong again.

Fred came over, and we got his laptop tethered to his iPhone via Bluetooth, and set up an ad-hoc WiFi network so he can share his network connection with Marsha. This means that he can have the interwebs when he's out camping.



January 27th Another day in San Francisco, but I decided to come home after work as everybody was heading out. After work, I threw away $20 quickly in poker, then hopped in the van and drove home. I got in around 9pm, and Tilly was happy to see the van was back. Again.


January 26th I worked from the office, and in the evening we had a company meeting, to be told that we'd made our sales targets for last year. There's going to be a board meeting to decide on this year's targets in the next few days.


January 25th Rachel was working from home giving us support coverage, so we spent the day doing summity type things, then headed into San Francisco to meet the sales team for dinner. We also checked into the hotel in San Francisco.


January 24th Today we discovered that not only can you not get AT&T coverage in Fairfax, you also can't get Verizon coverage. The support engineers headed out in the van at lunchtime to get some work done, and when the battery went dead on the MiFi, we gave up and dropped Dave at the hotel before heading back. I went and picked him up before the evening's fun started. I managed to lose $20 in poker pretty quickly, so I didn't buy in again.

At home the maintenance guy came and looked at the hot tub, and it's behaving itself. He's seen the problem happen, so he believes us, it's just not happening now. It was left to warm up.



January 23rd I spent a little time playing World of Warcraft and got my warrior to level 82, then packed myself into the van and headed to Larkspur for the Tech Services summit at work.


January 22nd I spent the morning playing World of Warcraft and got my warrior to Vashj'ir. When it had warmed up a bit outside, I went into the garage and fixed the steering wheel shrouds on the van with epoxy and a little Bondo to make up the missing part.

Eventually we went to the airfield and got the new EGT probes fitted to the Flightstar, and the 12V accessory ports wired in. I pulled it out and fired the engine up to test that everything was working, and sure enough, it was :o)

We went home and spent the evening catching up on TV from last week.



January 21st Still in San Francisco, I woke up pretty early and headed to the office in the van, only to find that the guy at the hotel who'd parked it had managed to break the steering wheel housing. It was broken before, but now it won't even hold together, so I couldn't signal right properly. Seeing as people here don't use their turn signals, this wasn't too much of a problem, but after I parked at the office I taped it together with electrical tape so it'll be fine until I get to look at it.

After work I threw away $20 playing poker in about 10 minutes, so decided to call it a night and head home. Tilly was happier to see the van than she was to see me :o|



January 20th I got up at an appalling time in the morning and headed to San Francisco for some training in a new product. I got to meet the new Hong Kong based support team member too. It was a crushingly long day, and after work I managed to win $3 in poker before I had to get the van out of the car park before it was locked. I went to the hotel and had an early night.


January 19th After work, I filled the van with fuel and all my junk, then played some World of Warcraft and got my death kniggit to level 85. Woo hoo.


January 17th Today was Martin Luther King day, when Americans celebrate the civil rights pioneer by going shopping.

We trimmed the speedo cable plastic by a lot, and plugged it back in. Hopefully this will finally stop it skipping. We also tested everything on the cruise control, and it looks like it should be working. When running a few errands, the cruise control worked and the speedo didn't jump around any more. Yay!

We went to look at the Chevrolet Volt as I'm interested in the technology, but apparently they're selling them as fast as they can get them in, so I couldn't get in it or take a test drive. Oh well.
We went home and met Gwen, so she could pick up her PCs... I now have a lot more space in the office :o)



January 16th I tinkered about in World of Warcraft for a bit, then looked at Gwen's PCs - I'm taking bits off one with a broken motherboard to put into a new system, most notable the hard disc. Well, that was the plan, but the "new" system is IDE, and the "old" system is SATA. I ended up using an old external hard disc I had lying around that was IDE internally, and had a load of stuff hanging out of the side of my PC for a while. Still, all done. In the evening, we watched Legend of the Guardians and The A-Team. Both were pretty good, all told.

I was intrigued to hear the hot tub running at 9pm, and went out to investigate. It looks like the temperature sensor has failed again, as it's cooling down, but thinks it's at 112F :o( I turned it off, and we'll see if that resets it, or if it needs a new sensor.



January 15th I started the day in World of Warcraft, and got my death kniggit up to level 84.

We went over to the airfield in the van, so I could find out that the cruise control still doesn't work, and that the speedo's jumping again. Great. Still, we looked at the Flightstar only to find that the EGT leads were too short, and the CHTs weren't registering even if the polarity was reset. I had new CHTs, so we took the air scoop off the engine and put the new ones on, but that took a lot longer than we'd thought, as it's a pain to get to everything. While I was up there, I replaced the spark plugs. I'll have to order new EGTs.



January 13th Vic cooked, and Vince came over to eat dinner and entertain Tilly.


January 12th I went out and put new hoses in the van for the cruise control. I've tightened everything up, and if I'm lucky the cruise control will work a little better than it did. Enough to stop me thinking about it, anyway :o)

I then made a start on my taxes - I've had nothing come in yet, so it was just importing last year's data and entering the rental stuff. I then went through and scanned all my older forms (1998 - 2002) and shredded the paperwork. I'll try and get the rest of the returns scanned, so every year I can just shred the oldest year. I'm trying not to hang on to quite so much crap :o)



January 10th Gwen came over, and we watched Inception, which was pretty good, considering it came from an episode of Duck Tales :o)


January 9th As it's still pretty cold, I started the day playing World of Warcraft, and got my death kniggit to level 83.

We then went and ran some errands, and took the van so I could discover that the cruise control, she no work.
When we got home, I dinked around in Azeroth for a while, then decided to take the vacuum pump for cruise control out again - I need to get some more hose (having cut this set up), but I'll have the cruise control for around town rather than not at all - who knows, maybe eventually I'll find an electric stepper motor version.

I then went to the airfield, and looked at the EGT probes on the Flightstar - reversing the polarity on one made it work when I put a blowtorch to it, so that's the problem, methinks. As one of the EGT probes doesn't work, I pulled them both off, and I'll sort out the connectors and reinstall them later. I'm going to look at swapping the polarity for the CHT probes under the panel, and install new spark plugs (which is overdue) at the same time, so I can test those, too. While I was there, I got the 12V accessory sockets installed (I had to trim the fibreglass a little), but not wired up yet - need to get the master switch out to hook them up to it.

I went home, and we watched The Expendables, which was actually quite good :o)



January 8th I started the day playing World of Warcraft, and got to the end of the Vashj'ir quests with my death kniggit. It's weird, it just sort of dumps you at the end, and leaves you with no idea what to do next.

I did some work on the van - the cruise control doesn't work above about 60mph, and I've decided that there isn't enough vacuum, so I've installed a vacuum pump on a separate circuit for just the cruise control. The stock Vanagon cruise control does this, but the vacuum pump comes from the same system on a SAAB.
While I was out in the cold, and already cold, I cut some branches off the trees in the front garden - they're getting all tangled up, so I decided to cut some of the lower branches that are the worst for this. Bloody hell, it was cold out there.

I then played some more Warcraft, and got my Death Kniggit to Deepholm, the next big adventuring area.

In the evening, we sat in the hot tub to warm us through to the bone - it felt like my feet were burning when I first got in, I was so cold :o)



January 7th After work, I took the van for a run with the GPS to see how accurate the new speedo is. It's pretty much spot on.

We met Vince for dinner, but when the mariachi band started up we headed over to the local Starbucks so we could hear ourselves think.



January 5th The new speedo came in for the van, so I busied myself installing it (I'm down to about 15 minutes to take a speedo out and put it back in). Vic took the van around the block and said it worked, but seems to be reading low, but it's quite possible that that's due to the old one over reading all the time. Whatever. The one thing I need to do is figure out what I want to do with the mileage, as the new one's at 9 miles, rather than the 168K of the original one. I'll probably leave it.

We went and met a bunch from the SPCA for dinner, and a good time was had by all.



January 4th I finally broke down and ordered a reconditioned speedo for the van. They're only in Santa Cruz, so hopefully it'll be here soon.

In the evening, I played a little World of Warcraft, and got my death kniggit up to level 82.



January 3rd I spent the morning tinkering with the speedo on the van - it's been getting worse, and either waves at me enthusiastically or sulks at the 0 mph line. The mileage is generally going up, so I know it's not the cable. I couldn't get it to play ball, so I've given up for the moment - it looks like I need to get a new speedo.

I went over to the airfield, and pulled the Flightstar out to sort out the EIS. The tach was overreading wildly, but I got that figured out. I can't get the CHT or EGT to work, so either the probes are the wroing type (K rather than J) or the polarity is reversed (I had black and red wires, and yellow/white and red wires - I connected the red wires together). It was too cold to screw with any more, so I'll come out some other time with tools and a blowtorch to play with this stuff and see what seems to be the problem.



January 2nd It was another cold and wet day, so we stayed in. I played World of Warcraft, and started working on my warrior so my death kniggit can build up a rested bonus again. I took her into Hyjal, and made it to level 81 :o)


January 1st Merry New Year!

We went to the airfield and got the instrument panel wired in the Flightstar, it all seems to work OK, I just need to get some time when it's not raining to set the limits, and start the engine to make sure everything works OK. I'm pretty sure that at least one probe will need to be replaced, as it wasn't working before I started all this work.

In the evening we went and met the SPCA volunteers for dinner.