that sour taste in the back of my mouth is my sense of revulsion over seeing the mulberry mess in my community garden plot. that's why i don't like visiting this time of the year. maybe next season i can set up a net to drape over my plants during the few weeks of falling mulberries. or i may just give up and toss my plot back into the lottery and see if i can get a better spot.

i pulled up all my radishes and came home. that's when i finally figured out i'm allergic to those radish hairs. the proof was the rash all over my left forearm which disappeared after a few hours.

about to make a stop at the supermarket to pick up a few things, i ran into my neighbor ed. somebody had thrown out a box of appliances on the street corner. an electric juicer1 and what appears to be a food processor. did somebody read my mind? i just so happened to be in the market for a larger food processor. ed showed me his new car. 90k miles, faded paint job, but excellent interior, with automatic doors, moon roof, and a newly-installed mp3-compatible blaupunkt stereo. price? just $400! i couldn't believe it. at that price, maybe i should finally get a car. after he left, i quickly grabbed the discarded food processor and brought it inside the house.

i came back from star market (frozen lasagna, IBC root beer) to take a closer look at the the food processor. it's a cuisinart DLC-7 super pro (made in japan), which can still sell used on ebay for around $100. first thing i noticed was how heavy it was. the base must weigh at least 10 lbs. pressing one of the 2 buttons ("on" and "pulse/off") didn't make it work until i fully assembled the plastic top. the blade whirled to life. the motor was so powerful it moved the base a little bit. besides the default chopping blade, it also came with 2 attachments, a 4mm slicer and a grating disc. there was a third blade that must've been for some other machine because it wasn't compatible with the DLC-7.

i originally wanted a food processor to make pesto from the bucket of mint i pulled from my garden. but after a week sitting outside, the mint all rotted so there was no future in pesto. but a food processor is essential if i want to dabble in some indian curries. i have a small food processor but it's only 2-3 cups maximum. the DLC-7 is a 14 cups behemoth. beats having to use the blender.

around noontime i met my craig's list seller at the parking lot of the supermarket. patrick was a gregarious older gentleman who lives in the sullivan square area. he was selling a set of rear twin bicycle baskets and a front basket for $30. just so happens my 6 gallon milk crate is about to fall apart so i was looking for a replacement. he came by because he had a car, saving me the trouble of having to go over to his place. both were wald brands; the rear twin baskets were model 535, the largest version wald produces (18 x 7.5 x 12"). brand new they'd sell for around $48. i was dismayed to discover it was probably heavier than my milk crate, but it shouldn't too surprising considered their all steel construction. the front basket was just a bonus; it was one of the smaller wald baskets, model 137 (15 x 10 x 4-3/4", retails for $20). they were in pretty good condition, the braces on the front basket were a little bent, but not too bad.

i was going to take the new baskets to belmont so i could attach them, but the large twin baskets were hard to carry in my old milk crate. i ended up removing the milk crate and temporarily clamping the twin baskets on top of my preexisting rear rack.

i went to my great uncle's place besides the cafe where my father was in the backyard working on a daisy-chain rain barrel setup for my great uncle. he had 3 black barrels, ready to be converted to rain catchers. since we made 2 yesterday, we had the procedures down and quickly finished off the trio. we still haven't figured out the best solution for the top inlet. what size hole should be cut? how do we set up the debris/mosquito screen?

while my father finished up, i rode the bike to belmont. i installed the front basket on the schwinn 7-speed. the trick was to attach the braces to the front wheel axle nuts. when my father came back home he helped me install the twin baskets. it meant first i had to remove my rear rack, which was no longer needed since the twin baskets also function as a rack. the rear braces i attached to eyelets on the trek 800 bike frame, but the top front braces (that go underneath the seat post) were too far apart and the steel frame of the baskets couldn't easily be bent inwards. the solution was to use a longer pair of screws. my father managed to find some and cut them to the proper length. but the modified screws in place, the rear baskets were ready to go.

the first thing i noticed was i could swing my leg over the back of my bike again in order to get on; i couldn't do it before when i had the milk crate and i had to contort my body into some awkward positions in order to mount the bicycle. although these twin baskets were heavier, i didn't really notice. it fit perfectly, leaving enough clearance for the rear fender. there's also plenty of pedal clearance so the back of my shoes will never hit the baskets. because it's two baskets side-by-side instead of a single basket in the middle, i have to be careful about balancing the load so the bike doesn't sit lopsided. although the baskets are roomy, i wasn't sure if it'd be able to hold a gallon of milk until we tested it with an empty gallon milk container. the baskets are wider on the top but thinner at the bottom (about 6" across). i just wish the mesh was a little thinner so i can hold smaller objects without it falling out. i'm still more used to having just a single basket in the middle so the twin baskets will take some time to get used to. if i end up not liking them, i might want to try the basil cento rear basket ($28).

while my father and i were outside test riding the bikes (ross 10-speed, schwinn 7-speed, trek 800), we managed to coax my mother into joining us.2 i might've mentioned this before, but my mother rides the bike old-school lady style, by running next to the bike and then suddenly hopping on. to stop, she hops off completely off to the side instead of just stopping in place. my father was trying to teach the "proper" technique but she didn't want to learn, said it was too hard and would confuse her.

i was excited to return home, riding my newly modified bicycle. even though it was the same old bike, it felt brand new. i was most pleased about the rear light placement, now more easily seen. with my milk crate, the light bracket had a bad habit of drooping down so that cars behind me weren't seeing the light straight on.

1 it's a braun MPZ2 juicer type 4979, the multiquick 5 citromatic deluxe. the only part missing is the lid (which you don't need to squeeze juice). what's interesting is that it's made in spain. i've never seen an appliance from spain before. i think orange juice comes from a carton but i'm tempted to give this automatic juicer a try. i also have a manual juice press which i haven't used in almost a decade. it's more a medieval torture device than a kitchen gadget; i keep it in case i ever need to perform some torture.

2 earlier my mother was freaking out. her doctor prescribe ferrex for her anemia, and one of the side effects is it turns your poo black. she thing maybe it was internal bleeding.