i left the house this morning before my roommate even woke up (although his habit is to sleep late on weekends). instead of riding any of my road bikes i took the trek, hoping that my father could help me loosen the bolt on the bike stem's pinch clamp.

my father was already up when i arrived in belmont but my mother was still in bed. suffering from a combination of jetlag and vacation fatigue, she ended up sleeping all the way until the late afternoon. my father left for the cafe around noontime and came home soon after my mother woke up.

using a small thin metal pipe i found in the garage gave me enough leverage to finally remove the pinch clamp bolt. it'd be easier to install a new handlebar if i had a stem with a removeable plate so i went online searching for a possible alternative. unfortunately i got lost figuring out the different stem sizes. the alico stem i currently have on my trek says a diameter of 2.54mm which is 1 inch. but is that the diameter of the stem which means i have a 1-1/8" fork? or is that the diameter of the fork which means i need a 7/8" (22.2mm) diameter stem? i decided to hold off; maybe i can thread the north road handlebar through the clamp, i won't know until i try.

i also reseeded my lettuce and covered up the area with a wire fence to keep out whatever critter's been walking through my garden every night.

i managed to look through all 4000+ photos my parents took during their taiwanese vacation. we played it back from the camera attached directly to the HDTV via the HDMI port. most impressive were the food photos, of which i'll post some when i get the chance. midway through someone must've accidentally hit something and downgraded the photo quality from 8 megapixels to 2 megapixels. this same thing happened to my parents on their western china vacation last year; that time was even worse, when the bulk of the photos were taken at 0.6 megapixel quality.

since nobody wanted to make dinner, we ordered out, deciding on nearby michael's pizza for a pickup. we got a large sausage and garlic pizza along with a pair of gyros. we had to talk my sister out of ordering a calzone for herself on top of everything else. then we had to almost beg her to go pick up the order; i was so sick and hungry by that point i ran out of the house and drove the car to pick up the order myself. the gyros were good, but the pizza was meh at best (the crust had a crispy fried oily texture, and wasn't thin enough).

i was afraid to see what i'd find when i got back home. temperature was in the 50's this morning and was almost in the 40's during my return trip. fortunately i warmed up after a few minutes of pedalling but i only had a light jacket. arriving in cambridge, i noticed my roommate wasn't home. i was relieved to find no weird smells in the house, just some urine on the bathroom floor and a small salt spill on the kitchen counter.

i saw a posting for a $50 marin san rafael 7005 bike on craig's list and dashed off a quick e-mail to the seller. it's a 24-speed aluminum-frame mountain bike with front fork shocks. what appealed to me the most are the 700x35c wheels, good for everyday commuting. i'm kind of doubtful i'll get a reply since the ad was more than 4 hours old but maybe i'll get lucky. don't know anything about marin bikes, but REI sells them so they can't be all bad.