was it the proverbial indian summer? it certainly felt that way as local temperature reached 77°F today. i biked to the UPS store on mass avenue before making my way to the cafe to pick up some braised beef my mother had made for lunch. i borrowed the car and drove to zeff's photo in belmont to ask about lens repair for my roommate. apparently they don't have anyone in-house who can do it but rather just ship it off to nikon factory for a $25 fee. i then went to the pet supplies outlet store across the street looking for some activated carbon for the aquariums (nothing in stock). the final stop was trader joe's to pick up some of my favorite tea, but i was disheartened to discover they didn't carry any1 (hope this is just a temporary setback, and not a permanent decision).
the big project of the day was truing (i.e. flattening) the warped bicycle wheel rim. not only did matthew give me his truing stand, but he also provided a spoke wrench which just happens to fit my rim. i spent the whole day adjusting the spokes, tightening it on one side while loosening the other. i had it set up on my living room coffee table, so i could go back and make some more fine adjustments whenever i wanted to. by the end of the day i had the rim mostly aligned (i could spin it on the stand with the screws set to about 2mm distance and it wouldn't touch anything). it wasn't completely uniform, but a lot better than the condition i found it in. besides, it's going on a junk bike anyway, as along as it works and doesn't rub against the brakes it's fine. truing seemed like this complicated procedure but it wasn't really that hard. the only thing hard about it was the fact that the "righty tighty, lefty loosey" rule didn't apply because of the way the spokes are inserted (i learned that fact from an online video tutorial), so i had to do everything backwards (i ended up drawing a friendly diagram to help me remember which direction i was supposed to turn). i was just afraid of overtightening a spoke to the point where it'd snap and potentially slice my fingers and face. fortunately that didn't happen. now that i've trued one wheel, i'm sort of tempted to true the wheels of my regular bike (not even sure if they need it, but at least i want to check).
i made a long overdue trip to the supermarket in the late afternoon. even then, i just got a few basics, still haven't really figured out what i'll be making for dinner the rest of the week.
tonight was the start of the NBA season, featuring a clash of titans between the eastern conference champions boston celtics and the newly-weaponized miami heat. in honor of tonight's event, i suggested to my roommate that we get some american-style wings for dinner. i biked to wing works in davis square in the early evening to pick up 10 pieces of western barbecue (a molasses based sauce) and 10 pieces of garlic and parmesan. pau got home at 8:00, with the game already started (he would've been back earlier, but was observing remotely with a radio telescope in western virginia that was in danger of being besieged by localized tornados).
the game began with both teams a little nervous from all the hype and buzz leading up to this moment. heat struck first but soon the celtics gained the lead and never gave it back. while the nucleus of boston's team has been playing together for the past 4 years, miami's newly-formed squad were still trying to figure out all the pieces. the celtics build a commanding lead into the halftime, but starting in the 3rd quarter lebron james heated up, to get the heat within a few points of the celtics. i got a little scared, but boston began to rebuild another lead (behind veterans paul "the truth" pierce and ray "please don't embarrass me mom" allen). still, the ending was more suspenseful than necessary, with miami within striking distance. shaq, whom i don't like at all but agree he could help the team a little bit, was adequate. his free throw shooting is his glaring weakness, but he also can't run and can't defend at all. shaq is useful in the early parts of the game, when he can get some cheap power dunks before the opponents resort to a defensive fouling contest to slow down the offense. that's when shaq sits. big baby played well, looking leaner and meaner every season. he gave the celtics some much needed offense and defense once he came in the game (opponents often underestimate his abilities, much to their detriment). marquis daniels also played well, which was a surprise, since he contributed nothing in last year's playoffs.
katarina showed up unexpectedly around 10:00, which surprised pau since he wasn't expecting any visitors. she stayed until almost 2:00; i could see pau getting drowsy but didn't know how to politely ask her to leave.
paul anka - "true"
1 a check of trader joe's website showed a customer update notice about possible contaminated batches of good earth original tea. as a precaution they removed it from their shelves for the time being. just my luck!