i woke up this morning, getting ready to go into the office, opening the blinds in the living room when i saw my motorcycle was lying on its side outside. i put on a shirt, kicked on my shoes, and ran outside to see what happened. it looked like it'd been thrown, half of it was on the sidewalk, half of it was on the street. i uprighted the bike and did a quick check to see what kind of damage. besides the scratches, the handlebar seemed to be slightly misaligned from the front wheel, the left rear blinker light looked crooked, and the kickstand was bent in an awkward position. as a matter of fact, the kickstand actually dragged on the street, leaving a deep scratch mark. even though the kickstand was contorted, if i teeter balanced the bike just right, i could get it to stand up precariously. i started up the engine and it sounded fine. after several more minutes of inspection, i went inside, found the number of the cambridge police, and called them. minutes later my father showed up, after i tried to call him earlier but didn't reach him. while we were outside looking at the damage, an officer driving a big police SUV arrived. a nice guy, really big hands, reminded me of puddy from seinfeld. i described how i found the bike. because there wasn't a lot of damage other than what happened during the drag and subsequent topple, the officer though maybe some drunk guys had some fun late last night. the fact that the license plate was also missing further boosted his theory. he was kind of surprised that it happened at all, and told me they don't get a lot of calls from my street, which is usually pretty quiet. just hearing him talk, it was obvious he's done some riding as well, and said he's seen my bike before, and gave me a bunch of advice on how i could fix the damage without going to a shop, which would cost me some money, and the insurance wouldn't even pay for it because of the deductible. he suggested that if possible, i should roll the bike into my backyard, for added security in the future. after he left, my father and i came up with our own theory as to what happened: somebody must've hit it while backing up (almost certainly a neighbor). the force of the impact pushed the bike onto the sidewalk, after dragging it several feet, which caused the kickstand to bend like that. as to the missing license plate though, that probably happened before the accident, and i just didn't notice it, the plate was already sort of ready to fall off anyway, and it was just a coincidence that i'm only now noticing that it's gone. it kind of sucks that i have no idea who did this, but that's the very nature of these hit and run accidents. i know i said i think maybe a neighbor did it, but i'm hoping i'm wrong, that i don't live next to people who would damage my ride without taking responsibility. who ever did this better hope i never find out, because i can be vindictive and cruel, plus with my newfound free time, who knows what kind of vengeful evil i'm capable of committing. it could definitely be worse, the bike could've been totally trashed, and it's one of those rare bike accidents where i don't suffer a single scratch (although it would allow me to find out who did it).
the bike still worked fine, despite the slightly misaligned handlebars. i couldn't very well ride around town without a license plate, so i made a temporary one out of cardboard (the cop gave me that idea, so i figured it was okay, besides, i had a good alibi). i rode it down to the galleria mall, where i tried to get a new plate. unfortunately the RMV at the mall isn't a full service RMV, and i either had to go to chinatown or watertown to get that done. i had already used up a lot of time taking care of my bike business when i should've been working, so i headed into the office to do a few hours of debugging. i had a list of 11 bugs to fix, i got them done in less than 3 hours. i even had time to get something to eat, some gnocchi from that italian eatery near the longfellow bridge.
as soon as i was done with the debugging, i rode to the watertown RMV to get a new license plate. the RMV is the ultimate civic melting pot. doesn't matter if you're young or old, pretty or ugly, skinny or fat, rich or poor, everyone has to visit the RMV sooner or later. it's a great place for people watching. i saw a guy reading a vespa manual, here to get a plate as well (is that right? do scooters even need licenses?). he left, cradling his helmet, while i obviously ignored him, with one hand on my own helmet. bikers and scooter riders don't mix. bikers see scooters as trendy two-wheeling wannabes who ride toys that can't barely keep up with normal traffic speed. likewise, scooter people must think bikers are crude and ugly, loud and smelly, no sense of style, an uncultured lot. A169 was my number and when i got called i paid the $20 and got a new license plate for the bike.
back in belmont, my father came home and i helped him take the kickstand off of the bike after we elevated the motorcycle with hydraulic jacks. with the back of an axe and a pair of pliers, my father worked away on that piece of chrome metal shaped like a shiny femur bone, banging at it, trying to knock it straight again. he got as far as he could go, but that thing's still curved when it should be straight. so tomorrow morning i'm off to visit a few motorcycle dealerships to see if they can order a spare honda rebel CMX250 kickstand part for me. with the bike still on the hydraulic lift, we moved it into the garage for temporary storage.
i went with my parents to get some supplies at the waltham costco. the level of bargains and savings is intoxicating at these wholesale warehouses. this particular costco is unfortunately weak in the computers/electronics department, which is my favorite aisles to browse, besides the books section. i couldn't believe it but they're actually selling apple ipods now (although it's through hewlett-packard).
i took a photo with my camera phone (which i won't be able to retrieve until i get a bluetooth adapter, which i saw for sale at the watertown best buy, but it was $40 and i've seen cheap ones going for $20, i digress). this is perhaps my very first instance of using the camera phone when i don't have my regular camera. i haven't used the son ericsson for evil yet, but give me some time. after buying a cartload of food, we bought a combo pizza for $10 from the snack bar and went back to belmont for dinner while watching the red sox game.
i ended up driving back to cambridge, borrowing one of the cars so i can make my kickstand hunting rounds tomorrow. the red sox lost in an exciting finish, with the yankees coming to town tomorrow for the weekend series. i had my father's powerbook 3400 and set it up for wireless after receiving an used orinoco pcmcia wireless card from an ebay store. rob came back home later in the evening, we popped in another french new wave movie he'd rented, jean-luc godard's my life to live, with anna karina. for a story about a french prostitute, it's fairly tame. after seeing one godard movie already (a band of outsiders), it's easy to pick up on his tricks, how he purposely shoots scenes in a way that a film teacher would tell you never to do, like shooting the back of people's heads when they're talking, rigid panning, irregular composition framing, and a story that slowly unfolds instead of the more traditional linear narrative. sound familiar? these are also tricks tarantino uses in his films. it's interesting to study godard, but hard to really sit back and enjoy. rob started to fall asleep, and paused the movie before stumbling into his bedroom again, which has now become his nightly ritual, while i diligently remained in the living room, finishing a can of soda because i want to get fat, turning off the television, and writing today's weblog entry.