i woke up 10 minutes before 6:00 to drive my roommate to the airport. i wonder if he was worried that i wouldn't wake up and was probably minutes away from knocking on my bedroom door. it was dark and cold outside, which always seems to be the case when driving somebody to the airport. i thought there'd be less traffic but already the streets were buzzing with cars. regardless, we still managed to make it to logan in about 15 minutes. neither of us said very much during the ride; i was silent mostly because i haven't driven in a while and was too busy focusing on the road. i dropped him off at gate A for an 8:30 continental flight to newark then shanghai. we said our good byes and then i drove off. for some reason i was swearing under my breath, not because i was angry, but rather relieved that i didn't have a roommate anymore, however brief that may be.

heading to belmont via storrow drive to return the car, i admired the boston skyline as i passed through the city. it was the start of dawn as the night transitioned into sunrise. arriving at my parents' house, nobody came to greet me except the dog, who came out from the living room with a rawhide chew in her mouth (hailey eats breakfast every morning at 6:00, that's why she was up). i dropped off the keys and got on my bicycle, right where i parked it yesterday morning.

if dropping off the roommate was the first event in my morning triathlon, then riding the bicycle back home to cambridge was the second event. by then it was clear enough to see, but i still put on my lights as a precaution. the temperature was in the 20's, but i warmed up as soon as i started pedaling, with just my fingers and the back of my neck feeling the wintery chill. i was nervous about my rear light popping off (like it did the last time i biked at night) but it stayed put until i was a few blocks away from my house and the light suddenly clattered onto mass ave. fortunately there were no cars behind me and i was able to turn around and retrieve the light, still blinking on the pavement.

i got back a few minutes past 7:00. the final triathlon event was to clean the house, specifically the guest bedroom, where in a matter of hours my next roommate would arrive (only staying here for 8 days). i removed all the sheet and threw them into the washer. i dusted and vacuumed, then tidied up the rest of my place as well. i ended up doing 3 loads of laundry. i couldn't go back to sleep since the new roommate could arrive at any moment. he didn't show up until 9:30, calling first to let me know he was coming. i watched as he came down the street with his carry-on suitcase and rescued him when i opened the door because it seemed like he forgot where i lived. he also carried with him a gallon of milk and a shopping bag full of food which he promptly put into the fridge. he dropped off the rest of his stuff, wrote me a check, and was out the door to go to work.

roommates always leave a little bit of themselves behind. this last roommate was pretty good about taking most of his belongings - a little too good though: i was hoping he'd leave a few packages of special chinese ramen but apparently he took those with him (he's actually going to another conference in hunan when he gets back to china, so maybe that's why he kept his instant noodles). everything he left behind was on purpose (he asked if i wanted those things) with the exception of the braun appliance oil, which i found behind the computer desk when i was vacuuming. it must've been from the shaver he bought the first week that he was here.

the good thing about starting the day so early is the day becomes so long that it begins to feel like 2 days. after having some leftover mexican tortilla soup for lunch, i fell asleep on the couch in the early afternoon. it was this exhausted sort of sleep, but i kept on waking up because i can never sleep well on the sofa. i finally woke up around 2:30 feeling cold, and decided i didn't want to just waste the rest of the day sleeping, so i got dressed and took the bike out on an errand.

i went to the dollar store to get some kleenex and some snacks. instead of locking the bicycle outside or putting it in the basement, i decided to bring it inside the house so i could do some work on it during the next few days of cold weather.

i tried to remove the left crank arm, just to see if i could do it. i used the crank puller tool, but the arm wouldn't budge. i did remove the left pedal with the pedal wrench (going clockwise, as opposed to the normal counterclockwise), and cleaned it up a bit before regreasing the thread and reattaching the pedal. i also played around with the bottom bracket (BB) wrench (c-wrench) and the pin spanner. the BB wrench is something i could've done without. i could've just tapped at the notches with a screwdriver and released the BB lockring that way.

after consulting with a few bike repair books and doing some online research, i realized the reason why i couldn't get the crank puller to work is i forgot to remove the hex bolt. i'm glad i didn't press too hard with the crank puller earlier because i couldn't ruined the threads. using a 14mm socket wrench, i removed the hex bolt. once that was clear, it was pretty easy to take off the left crank arm with the crank puller. the arm is actually in pretty good shape but eventually it'll get replaced when i install a brand new crankset. i also removed the front wheel while i was at it. i'm still a little leary about the recent front tire change. i noticed the treads weren't even so i released all the air in the inner tube and tried to play around with the alignment. later i realized the tire was fine, just the way it was painted made it look lopsided. i won't worry about it anymore. i put the fully-inflated tire back on the mounting fork by releasing the front brake pads.

i ate some more mexican tortilla soup for dinner. my roommate didn't come home until 9:30. "it's cold outside," he told me when he came in. later he asked me where the bathroom was, which i thought was kind of amusing, just the fact that even in a small place like mine he can still get lost. after that i didn't see him the rest of the night, and when i went to go use the bathroom, i noticed the light was already off in his bedroom. if this is how it's going to be, it'll be the easiest roommate i've ever had. this new roommate is definitely in town to work, unlike my previous roommate, who seemed like he was just here to do nothing but spend some money and smoke plenty of cigarettes. this new guy isn't such a bad guy, mainly because he might be the kind of roommate who's never here. i had some reservations about him when we first met, but no more. it's strictly business though, he's my tenant, and i'm his landlord. i don't think in the short time that he's here that we're going to be friends. he has a great voice though, something i only noticed when he called me this morning, this deep baritone. he'd be a great voice actor if this whole astrophysicist thing doesn't pan out.