bad news this morning: the camera equipment order i made last night with my roommate's chinese visa card didn't go through. amazon's e-mail alerted me that i had 3 days to use a different payment method otherwise the order would be cancelled. there's a bunch of reasons for the transaction to fail: maybe the chinese bank flagged it as a suspicious international transaction, maybe it didn't like the mismatched shipping/billing address, or maybe it just went over the daily spending limit. my roommate and i were trying to come up with solutions. the most viable is i order the camera with my own credit card, and once his coworker arrives in town on the 13th, he'll bring the cash all the way from china.

my roommate partially took apart his sony viao laptop to try to fix an abnormally loud internal fan. it's so loud that i can hear it from the living room. i let him borrow my camera lens air blower to knock out the trapped dust. the fan started working better but the computer still ran hot. later i asked him if he wasn't doing anything, if he wanted me to take him on a tour of boston. he said he was fine, that he'd already been in boston a few times already (yeah, but not our most famous sites, just basically meandering around), and maybe once he gets his camera he might take me up on my offer again.

my father called me in the early afternoon, said my uncle matthew came by and dropped off a bunch of bicycle repair equipment. i dug my bicycle out from the basement and rode down to the cafe. there was a truing stand, a spoke wrench, a reflective armband, a chain tool, a bike computer (missing the spoke magnet), a container of chain lube, a copy of "the bicycle wheel" by jobst brandt, and a set of panniers. not included was a crank remover tool, which i will have to acquire somehow if i want to replace my rusted broken crankset. my father was eager to attach the panniers to my bike, but i'm happy with my oversized milk crate. the bags are great but unfortunately they're designed for 26" wheels, which means they drape a little bit too much on my 24" wheels (not so bad on the left side, but it definitely sits on the cassette on the right). my godmother was also at the cafe when i got there. i had some turkey noodle soup for lunch before i returned home. i also brought back some chinese oil rice for dinner.

back at home my roommate jiang helped me replace the bicycle tire on my front wheel (with a new sunlite 24x1.3/8" model 5905). it seems like chinese people of a certain age are all very knowledgeable in bike repairs. to remove the old tire itself jiang said they used to just use a screwdriver but i introduced him to the more rim-friendly tire levers instead. the tire was on pretty tight (stuck to the rim from all these years) and i was afraid we'd puncture the inner tube or break a lever (neither of which happened). after freeing one side, we still had to do the other side before we could take both the tire and the inner tube off. i put the freed rim on the truing stand just to play around with it. there's a very slight wobble to the wheel but nothing that needs any immediate attention.

i brought the naked wheel rim into the kitchen to try and wash off the grime but they were deeply ingrained into the metal finish itself. back outside, we put the inner tube inside the new tire and started to put it back onto the rim. everything was going well until we got to the final section of tire. there was no way we could get it to wrap onto the frame. so we took everything off again, but this time first putting on one face of the tire, inserting the tube, and then pressing the other face into the rim. this method worked better and we managed to fit the whole tire eventually.

jiang left for the supermarket soon afterwards. after getting a taste of market basket last weekend, there was no way he was going back to old star market ever again. he came back an hour later with a rotisserie chicken that he shared with me. i had that and the rice i picked up earlier. for dessert we had some grapes. i also introduced him to the wii; we played 9-holes of golf, some tennis, and some bowling.

later in the evening, after looking over my photos, i went down into the basement and removed the front wheel we'd been fixing earlier. from the pictures i noticed the tire was sitting too low inside the rim, and thought maybe we didn't install it right. but after adjusting it for a while, it seems like the tire was designed that way. i did take the opportunity to remove the spoke beads though. customization is one thing, but that was gussying up gone wrong. i'm hoping to remove the spoke beads from the other wheel when i get the chance.