i got ticketed by the police this morning on my way to my doctor's appointment at MGH. it was at the intersection of hampshire and windsor street. i saw 2 other bikers ahead of me running the light, so i did the same. now when i say "running" i mean i came to a complete stop, looked both ways a few times, before slowly pedaling across the intersection. it doesn't matter though, because 2 police officers standing next to their cruiser flagged us down. "i'm stopping you for running a red light, do you understand?" one of the cops told me. he asked to see my id so he could write up my ticket. now i've rehearsed this very scenario in my head, even going as far as inventing a fake identity ("craig chang, architect student") and address and having an excuse for why i wouldn't be carrying any id (plain forgot, new to town). but in the shock of the moment i decided to simply tell the truth. maybe my cooperative attitude might get me off with just a warning. then i thought about what day it was. end of the month. this is usually when the cops are out in force, trying to fulfill their quota. i wouldn't be getting off so lucky.
it's just a case of being unlucky. the $20 ticket isn't very much, and if anything, it's taught me that the next time i run a red light (which will be the next time i ride the bike), i should look down the road to make sure there aren't any cops. not even bike cops! i've actually remember seeing a similar cyclist speed trap here a few years back, but getting ticketed on a bike is so rare, apparently i forgot about it. and simply ticketing a few bikers isn't going to make the roads any safer. in fact, while the 3 of us were getting ticketed, plenty more bikers were running the light behind us and then riding by. i was afraid i'd get an extra ticket for not wearing a helmet, but the cop didn't seem to care since it wasn't something he could ticket me for.
my 10:00 annual physical went by quick. there was nobody in the waiting room when i arrived, and i was sent directly to my weighing in and blood pressure reading by the nurse before being put into one of the smaller windowless exam rooms. another nurse came in to give me a tetanus shot since i was due. minutes later, doctor lester came in. after we chatted (i discovered his cyclist wife's been ticketed before too in cambridge), he did the exam, which was quickly listening to my chest with a stethoscope, taking my blood pressure, and then looking into my ears and throat. the actual physical only took a few minutes.
doctor lester renewed my HBP medication and prescribed an ointment for the occasional rash i seem to be always picking up on my hands (from either gardening or naturing) and some nasal spray for seasonal allergies.
it was 11:00 by the time i left MGH. i rode down to haymarket to pick up some cheap produce. maybe it was still early, maybe it was just too hot, but there weren't a lot of people there. besides the usual immigrant crowd, there were also a lot of young people who looked like either college kids trying to save some money on groceries or vegetarians looking to score cheap greens in bulk. i ended up getting: 2 lbs. ginger ($2), 4 lbs. cherry ($8), string of garlic ($1), 2 clumps of scallions ($1), 2 lbs. of long korean hot peppers ($3), 6 lemons ($1), 2 lbs. yam ($2), and a carton of blueberries ($2). i almost bought some asparagus ($3 bundle) and red leaf lettuce but figured they'd spoil before i had a chance to eat them.
did i mention the temperature today was in the mid-90's? it was also humid, but the natural breeze from riding a bike made it more bearable. i got home around noontime, my clothes completely soaked in sweat. exhausted, dehydrated, i drank a tall glass of cold water before running into the shower.
i was in a rush to get home because bruce said something about naturing. i had a feeling he'd cancel though due to the weather, and sure enough by 1:00 he called to cancel. had i had more time in boston, i would've probably stopped in chinatown as well to pick up some lunch.
after a sandwich, i went back outside. since there was no use in contesting the ticket, i decided to get it over with and pay the fine in person down at cambridge city hall. so i biked to central square but discovered that city hall closes at noontime on fridays (that's not what it said on the ticket though). what a waste of time! on a crazy hot day no less! heading back, i swung around to market basket to pick up some drinks. the place was surprisingly empty, i wonder if it was heat related (although the supermarket itself was nice and air-conditioned).
after another shower, i left again, this time taking the motorcycle to the cafe to drop off some of the things i bought at haymarket. i then returned home for the last time, only going out a few hours later to move my motorcycle to a safer spot.
the temperature in the house continued to rise, reaching as high as 81°F. i was going to heat up a brick of lasagna for dinner in the oven but was afraid it'd warm up the inside of the house even more, so i just had some pita bread with tzatziki and a yam i heated up in the microwave (bad idea, came out way too dry).
i watched the eiger sanction (1975) on the (new?) cosi tv network, a hitherto unknown clint eastwood directed film about international assassins and mountain climbing. i'd heard of the movie before, but 1) didn't realize it was a clint eastwood film, and 2) always thought it was about nuclear power (maybe i confused "eiger" with "geiger"). the premise seems promising, but the movie itself is pretty horrible, a weird 70's blend of racism and gay-bashing. not one of eastwood's finest works.
the new travel laptop i'm thinking about getting is in the ultraportable (AKA subnotebook AKA mini notebook) class: the asus 1015E, which B&H is currently selling for just $250 new. it's a 1366 x 768 10.1", 2GB/320GB, VGA/HDMI, USB 3.0, 6-cell battery. unfortunately the CPU is kind of on the weak side, only a 1.1GHz intel celeron 847 dual-core, but it's a lot faster compared to a netbook (which typically uses the atom chip). besides the price, the next best thing about it is the size: 10.3 x 1.4 x 7.0" weighing at 2.76 lbs. still heavier than a tablet pc, but light enough when it comes to small laptops. i don't like the smaller hard drive, but regardless of which laptop i get, i'll probably replace it with a 1TB drive anyway. the 2GB RAM is also on the flimsy side, and unfortunately can't be upgraded since it's soldered onto the motherboard. the B&H price lasts until the end of june, so i have a month to do some more comparison shopping.