i spent the next half hour getting lost in cambridge and boston. i thought i was being clever by taking a short cut to belmont, but i ended up just circling around the MIT area, then making it across the mass ave bridge into boston and the kenmore square area, suddenly realizing this was the big weekend were all the college kids move back to town, so traffic grounded to a halt. i ended up backtracking and returning to kendall square via storrow drive, getting to belmont via the usual route, the route i should've gone from the start.
i got a chance to further examine the motorcycle when i arrived in belmont. i knew the left-side muffler was bent and pushed into the bike. what was causing that grinding sound was the noise of the drive chain rubbing up against the muffler bracket, also smooshed into the bike. i couldn't bend the muffler exhaust tube (chrome-plated steel, go figure) but if i could remove the muffler bracket then it wouldn't grind against the chain and i could theoretically ride my motorcycle again. it took a whole series of tools, banging on the muffler with a rubber mallet, crawling on my back to loosen a few nuts beneath the bike, greasing up my hands, bloodying a knuckle or two. after that was done, i washed the bike. although i could ride for short trips, the motorcycle definitely needs a visit to the mechanic, and i didn't want the bike to be dirty when it did. at least now there isn't a rush to get it fixed for riding, i can take a few days to sort out the insurance and claim adjustment. i was thinking i could finally get back into bicycling again, but i'll have time for that when the motorcycle goes into the shop for repairs.
with my mechanic work done, it was time to enjoy one of my favorite summer past times, inspecting the garden and taking photos. there are even more bottle gourds than last weekend, and one of them has gotten so heavy (easily weighing several pounds) it's already sunk to the ground, tugging at the rest of the vine. elsewhere, a single sunflower has bloomed amongst the corn field. normally it'd be the tallest thing in the garden, but this season it's easily dwarfed by the much taller corn stalks.
for dinner we had some sweet corn. in the past we've slathered them in barbecue sauce and cooked over the grill, which had masked the corn true flavor. eating them boiled, i was amazed how sweet they were, almost like eating candy.
with the bike fixed, i made it back to cambridge on my own. my roommate came home around 10:00. he asked if i could do him a favor and order a pair of fisher price toy laptops online for him, and he'd pay me back in cash. he also wanted to get a kindle from amazon but didn't have enough cash on hand to pay me, so he's going to get his advisor to order for him. i found out he's leaving september 14th (monday), and i told him i could drive him to the airport (it's a 6:00 morning flight anyway, there won't be any traffic). we had one of our longest chat yet, about the chinese language, different input methods, how mandarin is gaining popularity here in america, driving in the US compared to europe and china, and crime rates in the cities. before he retired for bed, he told me to help myself to some cheese cake in the refrigerator.