in the mid-afternoon i took the motorcycle out and went to the assembly square mall. i could've also bicycled there but i wanted to save some time. i went to the sport authority to use a 15% off coupon i found online. not that big a savings considering MA state tax is 6.25%, but a small savings nonetheless. i also used a $10 visa gift card i got instead of a rebate check for the 2TB hard drive i bought more than a month ago. that was enough incentive for me to get another bicycle cable kit ($5) and a new comfort tire to replace the mountain bike front tire on my trek 800.
i popped into AC moore to see what they had in terms of knitting needles. they carried clover takumi bamboo needles, but not in as many sizes as michael's in everett.
my final stop was to home depot, where i cashed in a store credit card (not much, just $4) to buy new replacement motion-detecting exterior lights ($25, 180° range). i'm still not 100% sure if the current lights are beyond fixing but i have the replacement ready should i need it. i noticed they sold replacement motion detectors as well, but they cost $21, almost as much as a new set of lights. i also checked the tools section for a 10" adjustable wrench (big enough to unscrew the headset so i can adjust the height of the handlebar stem on the bicycle). the cheapest one was $11, i'll go online to see if i can find a cheaper deal.
i got back home just in time to take a shower and then put the cover over the motorcycle before it started to rain. it looked like maybe a light drizzle at first but then it picked up a bit. for some strange reason i thought it'd be cool to go outside and take a walk in the rain, maybe get some dramatic snapshots. i went to the dollar store to get some kleenex (already used up a box from my hayfever) and while paying i looked out and saw that it was raining horizontally. umbrellas were no match, i was bound to get soaked. it was scary enough that i completely forgot about taking photos and just wanted to get back home alive. just as soon as i got to my front steps, the rain began to let up, and quickly stopped altogether.
my mother called me from the road, asking me to wait in belmont for them to get back from wrentham, so that we could all go out to dinner afterwards (my aunt was treating). i took the ross road bike, a little bit concerned about puddles and not having fenders. i did the next best thing, covered the rear rack with a towel, which would act like a makeshift rear fender should i run into a puddle. however, i managed to avoid all splashes, but still arrived in belmont soaking wet from sweating. i took a quick shower before my parents got back.
with my sister at home, she was able to control hailey from barking when our relatives showed up. the mother was deathly afraid of dogs, something my sister just couldn't understand. my mother told me that they almost died driving to wrentham, because my father took a sleeping pill instead of his high blood pressure medication (how he could've made that mistake is still unknown, since the pills look nothing alike). somewhere on the highway he said he pulled a nerve in his eye because he had trouble focusing. several swerves later bing bing's father took over the driving duty.
we didn't leave until well after 7:00, with my aunt lili and uncle matthew already at the restaurant waiting for our table to get called.
we ended up eating at jimmy's steer house in arlington heights (across the street from where i get my motorcycles fixed). originally my aunt suggested a chinese restaurant, but that seemed cruel to take our chinese relatives from china who came all the way to the US just to eat more chinese food. it had to be something authentically american, and nothing says USA like steaks. it's been ages since i last had steak. when we were very young my parents took my sister and i to the hilltop steakhouse in saugus a few times. i just remember the cow statues outside. anyway, jimmy's was good, definitely something different for our visiting relatives. i had the new york sirloin medium with a crab cake and a heap of thick-cut fries. the crab cake was a little too crabby, i would've been happy with just steak and fries. it seemed like a lot of food, but i finished my plate without having to unbuckle my belt.
after dinner we all converged back at my parents place. i rode with my mother and sister and we got back first. my aunt and uncle showed up next. hailey began barking, but quickly calmed down when she recognized familiar scents. my aunt wanted to try some of my homemade beef jerky. she said it was too salty but matthew seemed to like it (enough that i gave him the whole jar when he left). my father drove our relatives, who first had to stop off at bing bing's place to pick up a gift for my aunt. our relatives were going to sacramento for the weekend early tomorrow morning (7:00 flight) so they didn't stay long, just drank enough tea to keep them awake before my father drove them back to bing bing's place (he'd pick them up tomorrow morning at 5:00).
i stayed late trying to set up the new ipad 2. the mail didn't work until i figured out i was using the wrong password and misspelled the host server. i wasn't able to set up facetime (it's it mandatory to have it linked to an apple id, one that requires a card credit number to be held in storage?).
i left close to midnight, my first night time ride on the ross road bike. i had the rear bracket which held my rear blinker, but i used a rubberband to hold the front light in place, every once in a while repositioning it when it angled off-kilter. i flew home, probably the fastest i've gone back via bicycle. too bad i didn't check my time but it felt like 10 minutes when normally it'd take me 20 minutes.