after clearing off what little bit of frozen snow was still left on the sidewalk, i walked to the local bike store to score some cable casing. apparently the grey casing was the original and the shop didn't carry any of that particular color. what they had were black, red, white and blue. i was afraid this would happen so in my mind i already decided white would be close enough. 2 feet of white cable casing and a few cable ends set me back almost $5 - the same price of a complete cable kit - but i felt it was worth it just so i could have something that sort of matched.

after some oatmeal for lunch i washed the last of the 4 remaining venetian blinds. the two from the kitchen were particularly dirty, a decade's worth of oil residue and dust. it's back breaking work, bent over the tub, hands submerged in sudsy warm water, scrubbing away with a sponge. a bit of music alleviated some of the tedium. the whole time i kept on thinking it'd be a lot easier just to buy new blinds. even for 10, how much would that've cost? just $30? i was doing it on principle, but next time (in another 10 years?) i'm just going to buy new ones. when it was all over (took nearly 2 hours) i felt like i had a brand new sparkling clean house, devoid of dust hiding on blinds.

after i helped my mother buy a plane ticket for my grandmother to fly back to taiwan at the end of spring for my cousin's graduation, i went to work on the bike. yesterday i snipped off the front shifter cable; today i did the same for the rear cable. i cut the white housing to the proper lengths (2 segments, forward and back) using the dremel tool. i wanted to get a photo of the sparks flying but since i needed both hands to work the dremel, i decided not to risk injury by messing around with a complicated camera setup. you just have to take my word for it, it was pretty impressive. i then removed the shifter cables from the cable kit and snaked them through the body of the fuji frame. i pulled the cables tight and clamped on the screws. since it was dark already i decided to postpone a test ride until tomorrow morning, where i'll also do able cable adjustments.

for dinner i boiled some frozen homemade chinese dumplings i had in my freezer.

yearning to make the final adjustments on my bike, i realized i could simulate shifting by simply turning the bike upside down (and layering some newspaper to catch any stray grease specks). since the fuji is a 10 speed, the 2 gears in the front didn't need very much tweaking. the 5 gears in the back however required a little more work. i played around with the high (H) and low (L) screws so the derailleur wouldn't rub against the metal spoke guard in high gear nor would it derail the chain off the smallest sprocket in low gear. even then i was still running in the problem of the shift lever automatically springing back into the up position. that's when i realized the simple fix was just to tighten the screw below the shift lever. so actually, i didn't need to replace the rear cable after all (but good to do it anyway, for the practice). this is actually my first time replacing the cables on a bike with stem (friction) shifters, so it was a good learning experience. since they're not indexed, there's a lot less compatibility issues. still, given the choice, i prefer handlebar-mounted indexed shifters.