GBM called me this morning. $270 for a total carburetor overhaul. $220 for an annual tune-up. i was hoping for something a little less expensive. "what do i have to do to fix the backfiring problem?" i asked the mechanic. he said just the carburetor overall. i told him to let me think about it.

i slept on my back wrong and woke up this morning with terrible neck and shoulder aches. it was painful enough that i couldn't turn my neck, and walked around the house like frankenstein monster. slightly immobilized, i was still able to make an egg & ham muffin sandwich for breakfast.

it was so quiet outside, i was surprised to find cleber with his ladders painting the house. he'd already painted the upper gutter on the eastern face and primed the windows. guy works fast!

i had to be at my parents' place this afternoon to wait for the HDTV delivery. i got my bicycle out from the basement and rode off. it was exciting because i've never rode the bicycle from my house to belmont before. i wore my $2 bike helmet this time, more for style than any actual safety concerns. i like straightaways and right hand turns. i don't like turning left at intersections, but fortunately i only had to do that once. since i was riding on the right side of the road, i was a bit nervous every time i passed by parked cars, fearful of a sudden open door. i went to the cafe first, where both my parents were laughing to see me on the bicycle. it took me 10 more minutes to get to belmont. it was an easy ride, a lot of downhills, but i knew it'd be rough coming back.

i called back GBM and told them to go ahead with the carburetor overhaul. if i was more of a grease monkey, maybe i could've taken the thing apart myself and cleaned the insides, but alas, i am not. this new used motorcycle has ended up costing me about a $1000 more than what i originally paid, just to get it running on the road. hopefully once the carburetor is fixed, it'll run like new again, and i can do some autumn riding before it starts snowing. GBM told me the bike could be ready as soon as tomorrow.

the special delivery company said the shipment would arrive between 1 and 5. they showed up around 3:00, phoning first to make sure somebody was home. i helped the delivery guy bring the box into the house. we opened it up to make sure there was no damage before i signed the release form. my sister helped me put on the base before we lifted the HDTV onto a cabinet table. the tv didn't come with any cables other than the power cord. i managed to hook up the verizon FIOS cable box through the component ports (Y, PB, PR, audio L and R) using some makeshift RCA cables. i then made a quick pitstop at the watertown best buy to pick up a pair of HDMI cables. the cheapest ones were $30 (6ft strand), the more expensive $80+. what a ripoff! i got them anyway, making sure i saved the receipt so i can return them as soon as i found some cheaper HDMI cables. once i got back, i connected the cable box to the HDTV via HDMI. i couldn't really tell the difference, other than the fact that there was less cables (just 1 HDMI compared to the 5 component cables).

i think it was a smart decision going with the 40" samsung: not too small to make us wish for something larger, not too large that it overwhelms the living room. i love the swivel base, which is good, because the whole family can watch television during dinner and then pan it in the other direction when everyone's in the living room area. news shows seem to be the biggest broadcaster of HD content, whether it's local, sports, or financial news. the sharpness is sort of disorienting, like somebody going overboard with the photoshop sharpen filter. i'm sort of lukewarm about the clarity aspect though. what i do like is the larger size, and the widescreen aspect ratio. it feels like i'm getting more television (which i am), and widescreen movies look great and natural on the HDTV. i also realized that verizon FIOS only broadcasts their HD in 1080i, so the 1080p television is a more than what's required (not that i can really tell the difference between interlaced and progressive).

my father had to work so i had dinner in belmont with just my mother and sister. afterwards i gathered up my things and bicycled back to cambridge. i don't remember ever biking in the dark, or if i did, it wasn't with any additional lights other than my reflectors. tonight was different though. i've been preparing for weeks. i had the planet bike beamer 3 headlight in the front and a blackburn mars 3.0 flasher in the back (one that i'd actually found on the street a while back). i couldn't really tell if the flasher was working or not, but the headlight was pretty cool, shining a flashing spotlight ahead of me. it took me just 7 minutes to get to within a minute more of the cafe, which is weird, because there was a lot more uphill riding than before. from there it was another 9 minutes before i got back home. instead of dealing with the hassle of putting the bicycle in the basement, i just brought the bicycle into the house. i spent some time later cleaning up the bike a little bit, after seeing how rusty the chain ring and chains were.

even though it was dark, i could still see that cleber had completely finished the eastern side of the house, painting all the shingles and priming all the windows. looking at the color scheme, i was suddenly struck with the feeling that i've seen this before. and then it hit me: space battleship yamato! AKA that spaceship in star blazers! all i need are some space cannons in the windows and i will have the ultimate homage abode to otaku mythology!

finally, went ahead and ordered a bunch of stuff from amazon. found some just-as-good HDMI cables for $10/each (5 star rating based on almost 400 customer reviews can't be wrong). also decided to go with an onguard u-lock versus a kryptonite, just because it was cheaper and came with a coil of security cable. i wasn't so sure about the size (it's a mini lock) but smaller means lighter, and i don't want to carry more weight than necessary.