in less than 2 weeks i managed to amass no less than 4 bikes: the ross 10-speed i bought in waltham, the trek 850 and the 3-speed raleigh from amanda and elias, and finally the schwinn 7-speed from a seller here in cambridge. add to the list a schwinn le tour III, making it my 5th bike in 2 weeks. it's almost like i can go anywhere these days without finding a bicycle. i found it this morning, tossed out by a neighbor. it's missing the rear wheel (which includes the cassette) but everything else is there. i can't believe somebody would just take the rear wheel and not the whole bike, so i'm thinking the owner must've salvaged it for parts. what's amazing about it is that it's in near mint condition, not a spec of rust on the frame (just some dust, like maybe it'd been in storage for a while). this is exactly the bike i want to own (a true road bike), but unfortunately it's too high for me (the top tube comes up to my waist). it'd make a great bike for somebody taller, provided i can get a replacement rear wheel and 5-speed cassette on the cheap.

let's not forget the 3 additional bikes in my basement: my old reliable bianchi which i outgrew (no more 24" wheels); a yellow ross 3-speed which i lovingly restored (i will only ride it on special occasions), and a magna mountain bike i inherited (it has fork suspensions, not sure why i never ride it). i think i'm starting to become a bike hoarder.

on my way to belmont, there was more trash diving to be had: another neighbor was throwing out a box of stuff as well. one man's junk is another man's treasure. i picked up a few muffin pans, several glass vases, a bunch of giant microbe plush toys, some kipling keychains, a chinese piggy bank, an a tin container full of unused tea.

nobody was home except for the dog. my sister was helping out at the cafe while my father was back at the hospital with my mother. i was sweaty from the bike ride and a shower. i had my GPS which told me that i averaged 8.8 mph. when i was test riding the schwinn 7-speed yesterday, i went as fast as 16 mph and could maintain a coasting speed of 10 mph.

the only bit of gardening i did on my own was to put down 2 more bags of cedar mulch, mostly around the compost garden in the southwestern corner of the yard. it was harder than it looked and i came back inside covered in sweat again and had to take another shower to clean up.

my mother finally came home from the hospital in the afternoon. she hadn't been home since friday morning, and spent most of the time at the hospital lying in bed and felt that her legs had atrophied. after 3 days of testing, they still don't know what the problem was. she has a bit of anemia, which in itself is symptomatic of something else, but the tests were inconclusive as to the cause. they prescribed some medication and told her to keep a low fat low sodium diet. my mother was curious to see what hailey would do after not having seen her for a few days; she was disappointed that the dog hardly noticed.

my father and i put up one more trellis, this one behind RB3, for the vining flowers to climb on (morning glory, moon flower, and cypress vines).

we finally drilled the 2 black plastic barrels that were lying around the yard, converting them into rain barrels.

this time we had a thread tap (3/4"-14 NPT tap tool that i bought on ebay, $14 including shipping), for making threads in the 15/16" drilled hole. we didn't need a thread tap for the olive barrels because the walls were thinner, but the walls of these black plastic barrels are just too thick to put in a spigot without threading first.

at first we turned the thread tap with two wrenches for balance, but using a single wrench works too provided you make sure the tap is going in straight. tapping the hole partially creates a tight fit; tapping it all the way through creates a threading so smooth we could screw the spigot into the threaded hole with just one finger. threading makes a difference!

we wrapped some teflon tape around the threads of the spigot before screwing it the barrel; before we completely inserted the spigot, we also edges the hole with some clear silicone caulk for an additional sealing. later we also did the same thing for the overflow valve. my father had a spare male to male brass garden hose adapter that we used for the overflow. we put on a plastic hose cap to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.

the rain barrel is only partially finished. we still need to cut a large inlet hole on the top for the rain to get inside. i was thinking we could use a mesh 4" diameter kitchen sink strainer as a cover but my father thinks that's too small.

in the early evening we saw the neighborhood black rabbit again. it belongs to our backyard neighbors and they don't seem to be too concerned that their rabbit runs around the neighborhood. it's docile enough to let people pet and feed it. it's lucky that there aren't any cats in the neighborhood, but i'm not sure if a cat would attack a rabbit. the biggest danger is probably cars and the occasional hawk.

i biked back home after dinner, and managed to do a bit more dumpster diving. on huron avenue i came across a springform cake pan and a cheap plastic rice bowl. after bram got out of the bathroom i took a shower. he left around 9:30 then came back around 11:30, all without saying anything.