i dropped my motorcycle today. for those who don't speak the lingo, that means letting the bike fall over on its side. it's not something you can easily do with a car, but with a motorcycle - where balance is crucial - dumping your ride is something that can happen from time to time.

how did it happen? with a possible snowstorm arriving tomorrow, i was considering put the bike away for the season. even if i didn't, it'd be nice to wash it on this mild 50+ degrees day. after checking my parents' garage for car washing stuff, i pulled out of the driveway. the bike was in neutral while i was backing it out. the front wheel started to turn in on itself (like a jack knife) and before i knew it, the steering wheel had locked up. had i had the bike in first gear i could've accelerated and straightened the bike, but i made the mistake of rolling down an incline on neutral. i tipped over on my left side, the 500 lbs. of motorcycle pinning me to the ground. i don't know how but i managed to push the bike back up.

motorcycles are not designed to lie on their sides. so when it happens, it's a bad thing and there's always damage. the left rearview mirror was snapped off its mount, scratches on the end of the left handlebar, scratches on the rear suspension springs, and a twisted left rear direction signal light. in the grand scheme of things, it could've been worse. at least the fuel tank was unscathed. and i didn't brake any bones from having been pinned underneath the bike (i think i wrenched my neck though). having been down on my bike a few times, i smelled the familiar aroma of leaking gasoline. this is perfectly normal.

to add insults to injuries, when i tried to push back the rear directional signal light, it snapped off it mount and i punched myself in the eye, scratching up my glasses.

i called my parents to let them know what happened. with a detached rear view mirror and a rear signal light, the motorcycle was temporarily out of commission. it'd appear a decision to keep the bike in storage was made for me. no time to properly clean out the garage, i instead pushed the motorcycle into the backyard. it wasn't the best of days to be stranded, but my sister was home, and i got a ride with her to the cafe, where she was having her jewelry show. my father then dropped me off at home when he went to borrow my full-length mirror for my sister.

started working on client S's project, managed to get one bug fixed before i left earlier in the day (before the accident). my roommate slept to almost 11:00. he's gotten used to eating out in the living room (AKA my home office) and sheepishly confessed that he overslept while noisily slurping his noodle soup for breakfast. i didn't really respond. i prefer not to see my roommates in the morning, so i can pretend i'm still living alone. the fact that this particular roommate is always here makes me irritated, but only during the day, when is normally my private time when roommates are supposed to be at work (in a perfect world that is). he left for his office sometime after noon.

i bicycled to the cafe in the late afternoon. my sister asked me to take some photos for her. i'm not sure how much she has to sell in order to recoup her spending cost, but there were a lot of people at her show, so i think she probably made out okay. after my initial photos, i spent the rest of the time in the back office surfing the web for used motorcycle parts on ebay. i'm looking for a replacement mirror (brand new $50, used $15/pair) and a new clutch bracket housing (brand new $25, used $10-15) to mount the mirror on. as for the rear signal light, my father (who saw the damage when he went home to pick up some stuff for my sister) said the bracket can easily be soldered back onto the metal frame beneath the rear fender. i'll take his word for it. if it's not something we can do, it's probably something any auto-mechanic can fix with a simple welding tool. a new frame (which includes the mounting bracket for the rear light) costs something like $90.

after this latest incident, i'm back to seriously reconsidering selling the bike in the spring. i love the power of the 750cc engine, but the honda shadow spirit is big and heavy. i prefer a smaller motorcycle, with better handling. a smaller bike (250cc) may not go on the faster highways, but highways are for cars anyway, taking a motorcycle is just too dangerous. my father really wants to keep this bike though, but it's like a thoroughbred that wants to be out in the highways, and like i said before, highways are dangerous on a motorcycle. so i don't know, i'll need to sleep on it for a while.

i left the cafe close to 7:00, rode my bicycle to belmont to feed the dog. i brought back some beef noodle soup that i heated up over the stove while watching the director's cut of hostel on FIOS on-demand. this was my first meal of the day. i wasn't particularly hungry earlier, but just sort of tired. i wonder if my lack of energy somehow contributed to my accident? i did snack some on a few appetizers at the cafe though. at 8:00 i watched the 2-hour back-to-back episodes of dollhouse (recently cancelled) before riding back to cambridge. it was the coldest ride yet (temperature in the 40's). i could really feel it in my arms, but after a few minutes of pedaling, i warmed right up.

finally, earlier today i put up my christmas lights. i was glad to see some colors around the window when i came home. i'm the only neighbor in the vicinity that has any holiday decorations. am i just living in a neighborhood of scrooges? my roommate didn't say anything about the lights. visiting astrophysicists rarely comment on decoration changes i made in the house. maybe it's a cultural thing, or maybe they think it's so garish they rather say nothing at all.

i found my backup glasses and replaced my scratched pair. i'll have to visit my sister's friend michael next week to see if i can get new lenses for them. or, i may get my eyes checked first though. it's been 2-3 years since my last checkup, maybe my prescriptions changed. still trying to adjust to these new glasses though.

my roommate is traveling south for a few days tomorrow morning visiting friends, giving me some much needed privacy for a change. he's going to new york city, but also maryland and washington dc. he won't be back until late monday night. i'm letting him borrow a lens pouch, a camera pouch, and a 58mm uv filter. he showed me some of the snapshots he took today, his first photo outing. only a dozen pictures, images of squirrels (they don't see much of those in china), blue sky with clouds (nor these), and a few self-portrait in his office. he asked why there was a distracting shadow behind him when he used the flash with timer and if there any way of getting rid of it. i showed him how the embedded camera flash is incapable of taking well-lit interior photos, and demonstrated this with a snapshot using my external flash. later in the evening i heard him practicing in his bedroom because his camera beeps every time he shoots (i turned it off for him, but he said he found the audio feedback useful).