i noticed last night when we were riding out to davis square to pick up our wings order that my handlebar was slightly twisted. was it struck by a car? there had been a lot of heavy construction equipment working near the bike. so this morning i made sure to retighten the handlebar. that's when i also noticed the left lever for the front brake was bent out of shape. i managed to fix that by bending it back into proper position. i then wheeled the bike into the backyard to do some more work. the rear fender had slipped down and would occasionally rub against the tire, so i attached new plastic zip ties. i gave my chain a more thorough cleaning, first oiling it up before wiping it clean, then putting one a 2nd final layer of oil. finally, i wiped up the frame with some WD-40.

the city of cambridge replaced our recycle bins today. this was unannounced but a welcomed surprise because the old bins were starting to show their age with cracks at the points where the recycle trucks lift up the bin and dump everything into the hopper.

i was going to ride to the assembly square mall, but it took so long to clean up my bike, i decided to have lunch first (some oatmeal) before leaving.

i can't remember the last time i rode the bicycle to the assembly square mall. during the summer when i had my motorcycle, this was a trip better suited for faster transportation. i went via the route that took me to what would've been ikea way. it's since been fixed up, with more signage and landscaping.

i went to k-mart to pick up a pair of craftsman tool bags ($6.74). i always see them on sale but finally decided to get them. at that price i knew they wouldn't be anything that great, but it would be an upgrade from where i currently store my tools - empty wooden clementine boxes. i bought them online and selected store pick-up so i wouldn't have to pay for shipping. there was only one person at the customer service desk - a young woman who was talking with a friend on the phone. after a few minutes she put her friend on hold and asked if she could help me, ringing up a clerk from online pickup. before going back to her phone conversation with her friend. i waited 5 more minutes before somebody who knew what they were doing came and helped me. the girl was still on the phone when i left. it wasn't like there was nobody - it was really busy. later i saw her outside taking her smoke break. i smiled and said hello but i really wanted to yell at her for not doing her job.

riding back, i stopped to take some photos of the construction work. unfortunately i managed to topple by bike, and wouldn't you know it, i ended up bending the righthand brake lever. so i grabbed it and then bent it back into alignment. i didn't realize these levers were so malleable!

these bags aren't very big - 10" and 12" long respectively. though they look small, they have a deceptively large capacity. i'll use the larger bag for my regular tools and the small bag for my bike tools (which i use more often).

i've currently reading blindsight by peter watts, about first contact with an alien species. it reminds me of the movie prometheus, but with a more interesting crew: a woman with multiple personalities, a man with no emotions (the narrator), and a genetically-resurrected vampire - to name just a few. it's the sort of book that once i started reading, i couldn't put it down. anytime i can steal 15 or more minutes, i'm reading a few more pages. i heard about the book through an io9.com article asking scientists about the most accurate science fiction.

i left the house around 4:30, taking the trek allant for the sake of speed. i set up my garmin gps on the handlebar so i could figure out my top speed and total travel time to belmont. unfortunately i didn't get a very accurate measurement because i stopped at one point to realign the front wheel when i heard it rubbing against the brake pad (seems weird, because it was fine yesterday). total moving time was 16:23 while total stopped time was 3:03. trip odometer registered 2.97 miles with a maximum speed of 19.1 mph but a moving average of 10.9 mph.

my sister decided to have dinner with friends so it was just my parents and my father's friend. originally we were going to go to victoria's in allston-brighton for chinese lobsters, but decided to keep it close and went to the golden garden on concord avenue, specializing in northeastern chinese cuisine. my parents think it's a great place but i don't think it's anything special. business seems brisk, with a lot of takeout orders as well as sitdown customers, including young haughty foreign chinese spending the money of their nouveau riche parents. next door was a sushi joint also doing particularly well.

i left for cambridge shortly after returning to my parents' place, getting back by around 8:00. i thought drew was home because the lights were on but there was nobody home; i turned on a few lamps before i left the house earlier. he came back around 9:30. by then i'd already showered and drinking my kava tea which was making me drowsy.