i packed up 15 money plants for the mid-cambridge plant swap happening around noontime, even printed out a simple label and taped it to the box so people would what they were. i also packed 2 containers of golden raspberries. i rode slow to the plant swap, afraid of jostling the plants. before i even set down my box, people were already grabbing lunarias. when i came back, they were all gone except for one. i didn't even get to see the fruits of my labor going to their different homes. i think it was the packaging that did it: hard to resist once i showed people what the plants will eventually look like. helen - one of the gardening veterans - even said something about it.

there didn't seem to be as many plants this year as there was last year. or maybe all the good stuff had already been cleaned out. even after collecting a box of free plants, people still hung around, waiting to see what other new plants might be arriving. next year, i may decide to introduce my plants in batches instead of all at once, so they don't get pilfered so quickly. i picked up a few plants myself, retrieving my lunaria box to hold them which was now empty. i also noticed somebody had taken one of my raspberries.

i had a bad experience last year when i brought a box of bamboo to share and one of the other gardeners was so anti-bamboo that she took them without asking me first and threw them away. i was so turned of that i wasn't even going to come to the swap this year. but know what? lunarias can be pretty invasive as well! they seem pretty innocuous, with its biennial growing cycle, but once they seed, they spread pretty rampantly, something about their light-as-a-feather wafer-thin seed casings. so yes, i did manage to give out some bad plants after all!

i ended up with the following new plants: 2 varieties of irises (siberian and regular), a bucket of hostas, 2 spider plants, lemon balm, geranium, and 3 small onion bulbs.

i rode my yellow 7-speed ross to belmont. my plan was to leave it with my parents, maybe my mother could upgrade to this bike. in return, i'd finally take out my motorcycle from the garage and motorcycle home instead. this is actually the first time i've successfully riden this yellow bike. my first attempt, i didn't affix the rear wheel tight enough so it got a little skewed and locked the wheel in place. i ended up parking it at the harvard astrophysics lot. this time around i made it all the way without problems, although the gearing felt a little loose, but it could just be because it's an old bike. ergonomically it feels pretty good.

when i gave it to my mother to ride, she was able to use it without any additional adjustments. i was surprised that the wheel was listed as 26" (i thought they were 27"), even though when i compared it to some other 26" wheels, it was definitely larger. these are good wheels too, with reflective sidewalls.

i got a chance to check out the zeki tablet pc which arrived yesterday. i like the android OS, feels just as easy to use as apple's iOS. my father loaded a GPS app which he was using earlier, but when he went to show me, it wouldn't start anymore, even after we uninstalled and installed the app a few times and cleared all the settings. the tablet runs a little warm, which may be normal for tablets. it's a cool little tablet, but with such a short battery life, it's not too convenient.

my father helped me take out the motorcycle from the garage, then we put in the battery. he noticed the chain was a little loose, so after i consulted with the manual, we raised the bike up on the jack and tightened up the chain. we also sprayed the chain with some chain lube before finally lowering it. the bike didn't start right away, it takes a little while for the gasoline to work itself into the engine. i also forgot to turn on the choke. with the choke fully on, the bike finally started with my 2nd try, roaring back to life. we let it run for a few minutes before shutting it off. thus begins the 2013 riding season. current mileage on the odometer: 10041 miles.

it'd been 159 days (5 months 8 days, or about 22 weeks) since i last rode the motorcycle. since i only had my hooded sweatshirt it was a little cold riding home, but it was faster and less tedious. i had to switch my mind over from bicycle mode to motorcycle mode, which means having to follow traffic signs and signals. that's one of the things i love about riding a bicycle, that it sort of exists in this grey area where i can run red lights, ride on the sidewalk, and not have to worry about parking.