i woke up before my roommate did at 9:00. i had a feeling he would get up late because when i went to bed last night his bedroom light was still on. my parents called me from columbus ohio to let me know they were still on schedule. after my roommate left for work i went to the post office to pick up my package then went to the supermarket to get some drinks. i left for the airport by 11:45, first stopping at the hess station on the corner of hampshire-prospect to get $20 worth of gas before traveling east on cambridge street into boston.

i got to logan faster than expected, although i did make a wrong turn while trying to find the cell phone lot but found it eventually with 15 minutes to spare before my parents were due to arrive at 12:30. in my haste to leave the house i forgot to bring any reading material so it was a pretty boring wait. fortunately i had a leftover bag of pretzel sticks and i read the nutrition label as i ate on the stale snack.

my parents called me at almost exactly 12:30 which was a surprise because i thought they'd at least need another 15 minutes or so after they disembarked to get their luggage. i drove out to terminal A where my father flagged me down and i double parked and got out to help load the bags into the car. my father was hobbling and using a cane; my mother said it was some kind of gout. i volunteered to drive but my parents are under the mistaken impression that i'm an unsafe driver so my father drove instead.

on the ride back my mother was saying how it was so good to be home, that taiwan was all hot and humid and mosquito-filled and she got sick and my father got crippled and it seemed like a very stressful vacation.

i got out of the car first to let hailey out of the house to greet my parents. not having seen them in almost 3 weeks, she barked at first, but then recognized who they were.

my parents came back with 2 large suitcases and 2 small (carry-on) suitcases. most of the things they bought were stuffed into the smaller suitcases. my father had some toothpaste confiscated because he forgot he left them in his carry-on.

my parents brought back mostly food. one of the more interesting things they brought back was a piece of stone. after i picked it up i could see it's a piece of dried coral. my mother said my father found it on the beach and was going to use it as a pumice stone to scrub the dead skin from his feet. while my father went to go take a nap after ingesting some pain relievers, my mother got a phone call from my 2nd aunt asking her when was she going to come to the cafe to help. after my mother reluctantly left, i took my bike (stashed in the backyard) and returned to cambridge. the temperature was 76°F; i wore my madras-patterned shorts.

back at home my newly-arrived XLC brake levers were awaiting my inspection. i think these are the same ones sold at my local bike shop. they seem big but installed onto the handlebar (relieved that they fit) and they look just right. i like the rubberized grip on the levers. once i have these new parts installed on my trek (shifters arrive monday, hand grips early next week), it'll feel like a whole new bike.

i got a chance to weigh some of my bikes today. the figures jumped around a bit but i took an average of several readings and here are my numbers:

trek 800
ross eurosport
fuji sports 10
42 lbs.
43 lbs.
35 lbs.

i'm kind of surprised that the ross is pretty much the same weight as the trek. i always thought the trek was much heavier, but it does have a chromoly steel frame which should make it lighter, only to be offset by the heavy wald 535 rear twin carrier baskets which easily can add 10-15 lbs. to the overall weight plus the addition of the heavy u-lock. the ross frame is just a solid piece of tempered 1020 lug steel (proudly manufactured in allentown, pennsylvania) so there's nothing light about it. still, both 40+ lbs! even the fuji i'm surprised it's that heavy clocking in (if the scale can be trusted) at 35 lbs. maybe i shouldn't be too surprised since it does have a solid steel frame as well. i think nowadays, modern bicycles (with alloy frames) weigh no more than 30 lbs (much lighter for road bikes).

in closet garden news, today the mixed hot peppers finally sprouted as well as most of the remaining milkweeds. the only things i'm still waiting for are the thai hot peppers (hopefully any day now) and the delphiniums (still a week or two).

my roommate came home close to 9:00. he said hello and i didn't see him the rest of the evening as he shut himself in his room. i had some hot dogs for a late afternoon lunch then for dinner i ate some leftover mexican soup while watching fringe.