my father came by this morning to take me to GBM in arlington to pick up my motorcycle. first we made a wide detour and went to the burlington market basket. then we took a peek at the nearby h mart, the recently-opened (as of last friday) korean supermarket. h mart is actually a supermarket chain with over 30 stores scattered across the united states. even if you're not going to buy anything, it's worth a visit just to see the largest kimchi department i've seen in my life. finally i got dropped off at GBM.

$90 for the diagnostics alone, $270 for the carburetor overhaul ("CARB OH" on my invoice), and a few bucks for brand new spark plugs. i also paid $15 to get a spare key made, but instead of a nice genuine honda motorcycle key, it was just made on a standard blank (which i could've gotten for less at the porter square lock store). the first thing i did after i left was to get some gas. to my surprise, they'd already filled the tank. riding back, the engine never backfired once. i was riding with the choke turned on, and plugged it back in once i got close to fresh pond. that's when the engine died on me a few times. it could just be because it's cold. i may also need to play around with the idle knob.

cleber was working the back (southern) side of the house today. he was still in shorts, even though today was the coldest day we've had so far. i still don't know how he managed to set up all that scaffolding by himself. i saw him perched on the backyard deck and twirl this 12ft long ladder like it was a twig. we talked a little bit about his background. originally from belo horizonte in brazil, he's been painting since he was 17 years old, and been doing it for the past 9 years. he keeps pretty busy, and once it gets too cold to paint outdoors, he's booked for the winter doing interior painting. i called carlos the carpenter again today, finally got him. he said he'd been busy with other projects and hadn't had time to write up the estimate, but promised he'd e-mail it to me tonight. i told cleber, who gave me the name of another general contractor. i called daniel and we made arrangements for him to drop by in the early to take a look at the house.

when evening arrived, there was no estimate from carlos and daniel never came by. is it that hard to get a carpenter these days? maybe i need to ride around the neighborhood looking for these guys and ask them to come over to do an impromptu estimate.

at least 3 packages that i know of are enroute to my place. all from different parts of the united states, and in one case, canada. there's one in whitestone, indiana, another in forest park, georgia, and finally concord, ontario (canada). i check their status religiously, almost trying to will them to arrive sooner than scheduled.

my bucklite 422BK that i won on ebay arrived today. not sure what the "BK" stands for but it's a 1994 bucklite 422. it smelled a little musty - like it'd been in storage in a basement - but it's in absolutely mint condition. i got a pretty good deal for $20, considering i saw a similar bucklite selling for $60+ in a bidding war (and that was without a box). after i checked to see it'd never been used, i put it back into its holster and returned it to its original buck knife box. is it weird to buy something that i'm never going to use? but now i can finally put this ugly saga of replacing my damaged bucklite to rest.

a made a clam sauce linguine for dinner tonight. i had to run across the street and buy an onion. i wanted to add a dash of wine but the old opened bottle that i had had already precipitated and was now more vinegar than wine so i dumped it. i noticed there was a lot less clams in the cans, with most of the content just being clam juice which i usually just drain. i watched flashforward followed by fringe. thursday nights has become the night of televised weirdness.