with hurricane earl scheduled to arrive in boston friday afternoon, i thought it best if i could temporarily shelter my motorcycle in my parents' garage. a heavy motorcycle on two wheels could easily topple over in hurricane-force winds. combined with a broken kickstand, i figured better safe than sorry. i arrived in belmont early enough that my father was still home so the two of us could lift up the bike onto the hydraulic jack and push it into a garage corner. he gave me a ride back to cambridge on his way to the cafe. i kept on sneezing due to all the ragweed pollen in the air when i rode to belmont.

today's project was to make some alton brown style beef jerky using a box fan and a bunch of furnace filters. i brought up the fan from the basement, which was in okay condition, but i removed the front and back plastic grills so i could wash them as well as the plastic fan blades. perched on top of a bar stool, i was measuring its electrical output when the fan fell over and hit the floor, becoming a rhombus fan instead. i hammered it back into shape, but it's not going to win any beauty awards. box fans are cheap anyway, i always see them thrown out on the sidewalks.

appliance(s) watts
lasko 21" box fan 61 (1), 82 (2), 107 (3)
sharp air conditioner AF-S85PX 107 (initial fan mode), up to 666 (normal cool set to 78° with a starting room temperature of 82°)

i finally took a wattage reading for my air conditioner. it wasn't as bad as i'd imagined: i thought it used 1000 watts but it was actually around 600 watts. still, it's much cheaper to run a fan than the AC. it'd take 6 box fans running at maximum to equal the amount of electricity used by a single AC. of course a fan can only circulate the air; sometimes you need the help of an AC to actually lower the room temperature.

when is it not good to have a bicycle? when it's too hot outside for any kind of physical exertion (like it was today, another 90+ day), and when you need to get to someplace in a hurry. but with my motorcycle in temporary storage, the bicycle was my only mode of transportation. first stop was the somerville home depot, approximately 20 minutes away via bicycle (actually not that much faster via car/motorcycle, which would've taken only 12 minutes). i was looking for cheap furnace filters. according to alton brown, you can find cheap ones that are 99¢ a piece. all the ones i saw at the store were at least $4. if i needed at least 4 filters, the cost of buying them (for a one time use) would not make it very cost-effective to make my own jerky. i decided to go down the block to k-mart, thinking they might have some cheaper varieties. they were just as expensive, with far less selection. i left the assembly square mall area empty-handed, stopping by market basket to grab a few grocery items before finally returning home.

with the homemade jerky idea put on hold for the time being until i can find some cheaper filter alternatives, i worked on my other project: getting rid of the fishy oil smell from my clothes. i think i must've been searching the wrong thing, because googling "fishy smell on clothes" brought up a bunch of different advices. apparently laundry clothes with a surprise omega-3 fish oil tablet is a common household accident (that wasn't what happened to me though). i already tried presoaking in detergent, baking soda, stain remover, fabric softener rub, but none of them worked. i read that vinegar might do the trick, and i bought a new bottle from the supermarket for just such an occasion. i also read about something called bac-out, which a good number of people had success with (a lot of folks used it for cloth diapers). the closest place that sold the stuff was whole foods in fresh pond, a 9 minute bike ride.

after picking up a bottle (16 fl.oz. $5.79), i stopped by the cafe. my mother was there with my aunt and her ultra-religious husband. he disappeared briefly but returned to offer me a bible tract (something about repenting from sins). i thanked him but stuffed the pamphlet with a bunch of mail when nobody was looking. the electricity was out again for the entire block, although my parents' cafe wasn't affected for some reason (thank god, otherwise all the ice cream would turn to soup). this happened last night as well, which killed business for the nearby restaurant on a hot evening. when i left i saw an nstar crew working on some utility poles.

back at home, i was excited to try the bac-out. the label said "live enzymes cultures" which sounded cool but i think that's a bit of false advertisement because enzymes are just proteins and not actually alive. i poured the solution onto my smelly clothes. it actually smelled pretty good, like fragrant grapefruit, and the fact that it was non-toxic and safe for the environment saved me from feeling guilty when i usually muck around with chemicals. saturated with bac-out, i couldn't smelly the fish odor anymore, but the final test would be to run it through the washer/dryer, which i did next. the moment of truth was when my clothes finally came out of the dryer. THEY STILL SMELLED! although maybe less so than before, but it could just be a placebo effect. tomorrow i plan on using a combination of bac-out treatment plus a vinegar presoak.

for dinner i had the wheat mantou my parents made along with some sliced scallions, braised beef, and pig ears. when my roommate came home in the evening, she went straight to her room. she must've ate out because i didn't see her making dinner. i notice she's been leaving for work later and later, like around 10:00 now. i wonder if she notices that i go to sleep later than her, but i wake up earlier? it's something i've noticed, because the past few days i've felt pretty sleepy in the afternoon, further exacerbated by the recent heat wave. she's only here for less than 2 more weeks. that doesn't mean i revert back to my bachelor lifestyle: i think i'm getting another roommate soon afterwards, this time for 6 months. i hope he's not a weirdo. that's all i really ask of my roommates.

i finally ordered a new replacement front fender (in pearl crystal white). after a brief search, i went with www.hondapartsteam.com based out of michigan. my initial research yesterday found one place selling fenders for $145, but later i found another site selling for just $130. the place i finally ordered from tonight was only $119, plus $16 for shipping. afterwards i found yet another place that was selling the fender for a dollar more, but that included fedex delivery service. where i ordered from, the fender won't arrive until the end of next week.