my 10:30 annual physical appointment was made over a year ago. such a long time meant it was easy to forget, except MGH made sure i'd remember: contacting me first via letter, then e-mail, and finally an automated phone call a few days before the actual appointment.

originally the forecast was for rain in the morning, but the storm last night blew through town faster than expected and all that was left was a few drying puddles. i rode my trek 800, rattling rear baskets and all. i wore my helmet, knowing my doctor would chide me if i arrived without one.

i arrived 10 minutes early; i should've arrived an hour late since that's how long i waited before my doctor could see me. fortunately i brought along my kindle and passed the time rereading the end chapters of a clash of kings. physicals for me go pretty fast and i never feel like i'm getting my money's worth, the excuse being that i'm still young and don't have a lot of problems yet. the one thing that did raise some flags was my blood pressure was up again. i haven't been taking my BP measurements in a while (i assumed 160 mg of diovan daily was keeping it under control) so i don't know if this is a new development or has been happening for a while. my doctor told me to monitor my BP and then come back in a month to see if i need to adjust my medication.

after getting my blood taken (3ml) for some kidney and cholesterol tests, i finally left MGH around noontime.

for lunch i ate my 3 week old hoppin' john leftovers. it was pretty dry so i added half of can of chicken broth and heated it over the stove.

i gave my new found schwinn bike a more thorough inspection, and spent some time cleaning the rust off the metal parts.

reading the faint letters on the frame, this is a schwinn super sport 10-speed. for some reason the rear fender had more rust than the front fender. i also verified that the wheels are indeed 27x1-3/8".

the front derailleur shifts fine but i couldn't work the rear derailleur because the shift cable was seized up. the blackburn rear rack had a big clump of tape on the end - broken rack? but if i'm going to put a rear backet on it, it doesn't matter if the rack isn't pretty.

after cleaning the bike with a sponge and some water, i used some steel wool and WD-40 (as lubricant) to remove the rust. i made sure i wore some plastic gloves because i knew it was going to be a messy job.

this was only the first pass, just to see where the toughest spots were. to really clean up the bike, i'll have to take it apart so i could clean each parts individually (like the fenders and the cogs).

later i read online how you can remove rust on chrome with pieces of aluminum foil. in fact, it's actually better than steel wool because it doesn't scratch the finish.

i gave it a try and it really worked. flat pieces of foil by themselves don't do anything, but once i balled it up, it acted like a scouring pad and did a good job removing the rust, much better than the steel wool. the hardest part is the rear fender, which has some serious rust issues. i may look for a non-messy rust-removing solution from the hardware store.

i ate my leftover risotto for dinner, coincided with the start of game 2 between the celtics and the heat. celtics ended up losing, but it was a close game, and even had to go into overtime, although without paul pierce who already fouled out. rajon rondo was the star of the game, play in the game's entirety and scoring a career high. there were a few botched calls by the referees that could've easily swung the game in boston's favor. here's hoping the celtics will remember this sting of defeat and use it as motivation in game 3 on friday.