enroute to my parents' house, i noticed the parallel wires stretched across huron avenue every few blocks or so. i noticed them a few days ago but thought they were just temporary extension lines put in place by the numerous utility companies do work all over town. but today i actually stopped to investigate because i sort of had an inkling that maybe they were monitoring car traffic from the way the tubes were placed. they went to a heavy-duty metal box with a solar collector, conspicuously anchored to a fire hydrant to prevent theft. could this be some sort of speed trap?
after removing the crankset, it was time to use the new bottom bracket removal tool. i was happy it fit the splines perfectly since i wasn't so sure after reading that it was designed for shimano octalink and ISIS drive bottom brackets (i have neither). i tried removing the lockring on the non-drive side but it wouldn't budge. i doused it with lubricant and tapped it with a flat screwdriver and a mallet when the specially-designed lockring wrench (park tool HCW-5) didn't work.
unable to remove the lockring (and thereby not being able to access the splined cup on the non-drive side), i decided to try removing the cup on the other side (drive side). since there's nothing to secure the bottom bracket tool, it had a tendency to come lose whenever i tried to apply some pressure with the socket wrench. after a while (and some choice swearing) i realized that wasn't going to work either. at least i didn't scrape my knuckles which is usually what happens when i do any sort of bike stuff that involves wrenching and torquing.
i re-installed the cranks, this time replacing the left crank arm with my spare black one and putting on matching triple trap pedals.
i spent some time doing some weeding (there's been very little dandelions on the lawn under my vigilant eye) then turned the compost bin. that pile is really cooking, the center is hot to the touch and filled with white cobwebs of actinomycete activities. digging with the pitchfork was too difficult so i used my hands, and prickled me fingers a few times (please don't let it get infected!). i did manage to churn some of the dry leaf debris at the very bottom of the pile. at this rate, we might have usable compost in a few weeks.
when my mother returned home in the late afternoon i got ready to return to cambridge. she told me my roommate came to the cafe today and asked my father if he could stay at my place for 2 additional months while that astrophysicist girl from china comes to cambridge. apparently she didn't feel save living so far away from work, having to walk home alone on those summer cantabrigian nights. so my roommate volunteered to let her stay at his new apartment (practically next to their office) while he continues to live at my place.
this plan sounded ridiculous for so many reasons: why would i want to live with my current roommate for 5 months (a record length) when i'm already sick of him at 3 months?; who is this girl who's afraid to walk home at nights? maybe she shouldn't come to "crime-infested" america in the first place; and finally, why didn't my roommate talk to me about it first? in chinese there's an adjective luo1shuo1 (囉說) which roughly translates to "fussy." this new girl roommate seems to be very luoshuo and that's one of the worst kind of roommates. if she thinks my place is dangerous because it's far from her work (about a 20 minute walk in a thickly settled urban environment), she's more than welcomed to find her own place. nothing would make me happier than not having a roommate to ruin my summer.
i told my mother about the weird devices i saw on huron avenue. now my mother is the least tech savvy person in my household but she seemed to have a better guess as to what those tubes and boxes were. i thought they were part of an elaborate speed trap, but she said they couldn't be because they seemed kind of simple. she said it was probably something to monitor the traffic. after i did some more research, that's actually what they're used for. manufactured by JAMAR technology, these devices anonymously record data like traffic density and speeds using penumatic road tubes. the technology is kind of interesting, i'm just curious what the city of cambridge is going to do with this data?
i don't think i explained myself very well because the mechanic only loosened the non-drive side of the bottom bracket. and then when he put it all back he seemed to have tighten everything again. one thing that surprised me was i didn't have a sealed cartridge bottom bracket (like i thought i did) but rather an old-fashion conventional cup-and-cone bottom bracket. what threw me off were the splines, which are normally only found on cartridge bottom brackets. but the lockring should've been a clue, because that's only for cup-and-cone bottom brackets (i've got a weird hybrid version).
what the mechanic ended up doing was overhauling my bottom bracket, repacking the adjustable cup with grease and sealing it back up again. he removed the lockring quite easily (maybe the lubricant i applied earlier helped) but had to use a bottom bracket tool attached to a power drill to remove the adjustable cup. i asked him if he could loosen up the cup on the other (drive) side, but he seemed confused that i would want to do that, and kept on telling me the only reason to do it would be to upgrade to a cartridge bottom bracket - which was my original idea, but i just didn't want to tell him that i wanted to do it on my own instead of paying him to do it for me. but with an overhauled bottom bracket, maybe i don't have to do anything for the time being, and can ride out the rest of the reason without any problems.
the mechanic said something funny when he saw my bike: "triple traps! i haven't seen these in a while!" referring to my pedals. whether they're cool or not is a matter of opinion, but they're heavy and spiky and the mechanic said he ruined his shins numerous times from these pedals (so probably a good reason to replace them).
when my roommate finally came home in the evening, he came to me with his proposition. of course i already knew of it from my mother, but i played dumb. after he was finished, i told him come june he was moving out, and to tell his friend that if she should look for a different place to live since she's obviously not happy with the living arrangement. i think he was taken aback because it seemed like i was canceling my agreement to let his friend stay at my place for june and july. even if she finally settles on my place, i'm still going to raise the rent on her, an inconvenience tax. either way, i'm fine with her decision.
i was kind of hungry when i came home, but after finishing half a container of tabouli salad (served on melba toast) and a bag of gummy bears, i was (surprise surprise) not that hungry anymore came dinnertime. instead i just heated up a dozen pizza rolls.
i watched game 3 of the hawks-celtics game (even though the comcast channel guide confusingly called it game 4). not only was rondo back from his suspension, but ray allen was back from his injury. the game was close, but boston seemed to have the upper hand, even when they were trailing. the celtics just have too many weapons when compared to the hawks. the game shouldn't even have been this close, but it was. boston ended up winning in overtime, now takes the series lead at 2-1.
surveying the playoff landscape, i see a lot of disappointment. out in the west division, it's pretty sad that last year's NBA champions the dallas mavericks are in an 0-3 deficit against OKC. should the celtics not make the finals (and that's a big if), i'm rooting for the thunders. kendrick perkins is on that team, so in a way an OKC win would also be a vicarious celtics win. san antonio spurs has a 2-0 lead but nobody is seriously picking them to win it all. lakers-nuggets series is hard to gauge, especially after denver's victory tonight to pull the series to 1-2. and does anybody care about the memphis-clippers series?
in the east, the saddest team is chicago; they were probably the only eastern team that could stack up against miami, but with derrick rose out for the season due to injury, the bulls are dropping fast. speaking of the heat, can't new york just win one playoff game? they're not going to beat miami, but win just a single game for pride. would jeremy lin have made any difference? losing amare stoudamire to a self-inflicted anger management injury definitely extinguished all hopes for the knicks. next year! the indiana-orlando series is the east coast equivalent of the memphis-clippers series; nobody cares who wins because either team will eventually be knocked out. finally we come to the hawks-celtics series. besides the bulls, maybe the celtics are the only other team with even the slightest chance of defeating miami. on paper the heat are a much better team, but in the few regular season games between them, the celtics seem to have miami's number.
once basketball season is over i'm pretty much done for sports until football and basketball begin anew. i could care less about the red sox, the team is a mess right now. baseball is such a time commitment anyway. i have better things to do with my summer. thank goodness for the olympics!