after some yogurt granola for breakfast,1 i biked down to the cafe to retrieve pau's busted bicycle. i saw it parked outside the concord avenue branch library (which meant it didn't get stolen despite the flimsy combination cable lock). after parking my own bike by the cafe, i walked down to the library. as described, the rear wheel was seized up. it seemed to be slightly off its axle and needed to be readjusted. the bike couldn't be rolled so i carried it to the cafe. while about to load it into the back of the car, that's when i noticed several rear spokes had snapped in half. that could've caused the wheel to lose it's alignment, suddenly everything made sense.

my mother fixed me a croissant sandwich with braised beef, cilantro, and scallions before i left. instead of going home, i headed towards belmont, to pick up the spare batteries and memory cards for the canon SX230 hs camera i'd be borrowing for the next few days.

since it rained so much yesterday, there wasn't any need to water the garden. the immature korean melon i saw in patch 1 wasn't successfully fertilized so it aborted. in patch 2 there was a new immature fruit; maybe this could be the one. afterwards i realized i should've manually pollinated to ensure a successful fruition.

i got a chance to work on my mother's bike: installed a rear light bracket, tightened the rear rack, and added a milk crate basket. not the prettiest accessories, but functional.

before i left i washed the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. i watched my sister frantically searching the house for nearly half an hour for her misplaced car keys.

back in cambridge, i noticed a trio of young men hanging around a sports bike parked on the street. one of them was the neighbors' delinquent son. the bike must've belonged to the friend holding the helmet. i shook my head inside when i saw he was wearing shorts. the reason why you don't wear shorts on motorcycles is parts of the motorcycle (engine, tailpipe) are scalding hot and it doesn't take much to burn your legs. curious about the bike, i went online to check it out: yamaha YZF-R6. 600cc fuel injected engine. seems like a typical street bike until i saw the MSRP: $11,000. whoa. my advice to young bikers is to buy a used bike. you're guaranteed to get into an accident, and it's better to crash a bike that's only worth a few thousand to one that's worth 10's of thousands. after that first accident, then you can decide if you want to upgrade or give up biking altogether.

after a shower, i finally had my croissant sandwich for lunch. the mail came early, including a small packet from china. could it be? it was the 28mm 850nm infrared filter i ordered 10 days ago. i was hoping it'd arrive before this weekend so i could use it.

the 28mm filter could fit perfectly on the 28mm thread of my old nikon coolpix 4500. then any additional attachment lens i add would all be able to shoot in infrared. why i never thought of this solution earlier was probably because i didn't think 28mm infrared filter existed (28mm is an unusual size) - until a simple search on ebay proved otherwise.

i happened to need to go to the supermarket so i brought along my nikon coolpix 4500 infrared fisheye lens setup. i rode to prospect hill park first, which is where i always go when i need a panoramic view of the sky and the horizon. everything works as expected. considering the 10mm setting (17mm equivalent) on my wide angle zoom lens only gets about 97° field of view (FOV), the fisheye is even wider with a nearly 180° FOV. the only downside is the very noticeable fisheye distortion, but it's probably impossible to fit so much image into a photo without some sort of warping. i did notice some strange lens flares; i wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the shallow front thread of the filter that prevents my fisheye lens from threading all the way down.

back at home, i played around with the canon SX230 HS to familiarize myself with its functions. i really like this camera, which isn't surprising, since i originally did all the research prior to buying it for my parents. i shot in aperture priority (Av) mode, which is what i shoot on my dSLR. one of my favorite feature is the 14x optical zoom lens - which is equivalent to 28-392mm. it still doesn't have the reach of my 70-300mm telephoto lens (maximum 480mm equivalent), but at the same time that lens can't travel from telephoto to wide-angle.

the continuous shooting mode seems faster on the SX230 - but it's only rated at 3.2 fps; my canon XT shoots at 2.8 fps. one thing i don't like is the SX230 seems to lock up for a split second after a burst of photos, while it tries to save the photos from the memory buffer onto the memory card. i think my dSLR does the same thing, but i guess it's not as noticeable because i can still see the action through the viewfinder (and continue tracking the subject), but on the SX230 the viewfinder is the LCD screen, and when it pauses the screen to save, i can't see anything anymore.

something else i've noticed is the variable aperture. set to wide-angle, the aperture is f/3.1, but at the farthest zoom the aperture goes to f/5.9. this is a limitation of physics and not so much a design issue, since it's impossible to achieve a large aperture on such a compact lens.

one thing i like about a small compact camera is increased photo opportunities. simple things, like shooting items on a table, becomes quite easy with a little camera, versus trying to grab the same shot with a dSLR that would probably involve climbing the table and complex logistical issues, definitely not discreet. i definitely need to get a compact camera of my own.

i went back to my switchel, this time making a batch with honey instead of molasses. honey switchel is kind of bland, isn't as richer as molasses switchel. because the sweetness of honey wasn't very strong, the sourness of the vinegar was more prominent.

i finished the last of my pasta bean salad. that seems like the perfect food for hot summer days. normally i'm sick of my leftovers, but i could've eaten that for another week easily. pau came home around 8:30, ate some peanut butter sandwiches before going out for beers with some friends. he returned before midnight and began working on his computer, running some sort of simulation. since tomorrow is his last day of work, he wanted to get as much done, and was still working in the living room when i finally called it quits around 2:40.

1 finally tried some of that greek yogurt. much thicker consistency, takes some getting used to. made from 100% whole milk so i was worried about possible lactose intolerant side effects, but nothing happened the rest of the day. thank you bacterial fermentation!