the game between petra kvitova (czech republic) and maria sharapova (russian, but more of an american) wasn't even a contest. kvitova dominated for most of the match. when she finally won, it wasn't a surprise. even during the award ceremony, she seemed very nonchalant, even though her father was holding back the tears from the stand.
i knew my father would be fascinated by the bike dynamo i found last night. it's a soubitez 12 (rated 6 volts - 3 watts), which sounds german but has "made in france" stamped all over it. the lightbulb on the rear light had a disintegrated base. i went online looking for replacement 6v/1amp bulbs but couldn't find any. the head light seemed to be in better shape. we attached the generator to the back frame of an upside-down bike to test and see if it'd work. after some fiddling around (making sure we had a closed circuit) we managed to get the head light to shine while we hand-turned the crank. it's an old dynamo system, so there's no battery backup and the lights go out once you stop pedaling, or flickers if you don't keep a steady cadence. it also creates a noticeable drag in the back wheel (and made a rolling sound), and probably over time it'd wear down the sidewall of the tire. the rear tire on the ross 10-speed also isn't entirely true, and minor differences in the way the tire shifts back and forth created contact point gaps. tire-mounted bottle dynamos seem like a good idea in theory but not so much in practice.
the other toy was the manual odometer. in daylight i got a better took at the gadget: it's a lucas cyclometer, made in birmingham england (don't know what year). it's kind of interesting from a historical perspective, but even the cheapest digital odometer can do more stuff (like showing you the speed for one thing, not just overall accumulated distance). it's cool but i'd be afraid to install it on a bike for fear of getting it stolen. this one seems to be missing a small rectangular window that covers up the numbers so dust and dirt doesn't get trapped inside. we tested it on a bike but couldn't figure out how to mount the darn thing without the numbers spinning backwards.
my father and i did some more work on the bicycles. he babies both the ross and the schwinn, wiping everything down with gear oil, bringing it inside the house or garage if it looks like rain (i on the other hand ride my trek 800 all season long, leaving it outside to give the bike some rust-colored character). he oiled the bottom bracket and pedals as well as the rear cassette. he raised the handlebars so he could have an even more upright riding position.
my father was supposed to take my mother bike riding to the cafe and back, but at some point my mother lost interest. she did come out and do some riding up and down the street and around the block, learning how to emergency stop. my mother ended up going with my sister to do some grocery shopping at the mt.auburn shaws.
some garden activities:
in the late afternoon i went with my father to pick up another free twin bed box spring (for the 2nd astrophysicist coming to live at my great uncle's apartment). this one was just a few blocks from my parents' place, left out on the curb. now all we need is another twin mattress! later, trolling craig's list, i saw a curbside posting once again just a few blocks away. this time i went with my sister. there was nothing much, mostly junk, but i did grab a rolling dufflebag/suitcase and some dog collars. my sister was sort of freaked out by the collars because she said they belonged to a dead dog. i just thought some of the tags were pretty. once we got home she tossed them all out (i ended up taking off a few tags). i also picked up a large spool of wire mesh, sort of like chicken wire but square instead of hexagon. not sure what i'll use them for since the holes are too small to be trellises. maybe as barriers to keep animals from stepping on delicate plants.
in the evening we had a barbecue. just some hot dogs and corn, and some cherrystone clams. i tried one, it tasted pretty awful, very much of the ocean, fishy and briny. there was also some marinated steaks.
i didn't get back to cambridge until almost 9:30. i tried not to sweat but i couldn't help it. during a dark stretch of road, something large fluttered into my chest and disappeared. i think it was a large moth (one of the sphinxes), or maybe possibly a bat.
back at home in the bathroom about to take a shower, i noticed drops of dried blood on the floor. i wanted to ask my roommate if he was okay, but i figured it was probably a nosebleed or a shaving accident (not that he shaves, most of his face is beard). i ended up scrubbing the blood off the tiles with bleach before taking my shower. later in the evening i went into the bathroom after bram used it and saw bloody wipes on the toilet seat rim. i shudder to think what it could be. just think: he's only here for another month.
finally, unboxed my new 2TB drive and formatted for NTFS. i began the arduous task of backing up my photos, starting with everything from 2011. after i finished i decided i'd do the rest some other time. maybe run it in the background on my ancient mac G4, so it doesn't horde all my macbook pro time. i put the drive in a macally external enclosure, not knowing if it'd work. i remember it said up to 1TB, but that was when 2TB didn't exist yet. happy to report no problems so far.