i woke up at 7:30 for my 8:30 doctor's appointment. i took half an hour to get ready (most of that time spent on the toilet) then left by around 8:00. temperature was in the 70's so it wasn't too warm, and i didn't try to push myself unless i wanted to arrive in a puddle of sweat. that early in the morning the commuting convoy of cyclists isn't at rush hour volume yet but i still followed a group of bikers, everyone vying for positioning. i kept my eyes open for speed traps, and when there weren't any cars at red lights, i ran them.
when the nurse took my blood pressure reading shortly after i arrived, i was surprised how normal it was, 117/78. back at the end of may when i was at MGH for my physical, i biked here as well but my BP was much higher. when i spoke with my doctor, i already had a pretty good idea what the crunching sound was (TMJ) but i just wanted confirmation and assurance that it wasn't anything too serious. doctor lester was more concerned about the rash on my hands, and prescribed a strong medication, this time in a cream form. hearing about my china travel plans (he's done a lot of asia traveling as well), he prescribed 3 more prescriptions: an oral typhoid vaccination, azithromycin (antibiotic), and another antibiotic.
with that i left the hospital. i planned on riding back home via the charles river bike path, but a group of police behind a barricade turned me away. that area around the esplanade is closed to pedestrian traffic in preparation for the july 4th celebration tomorrow night. i made a wide detour around the foot of the longfellow and returned to cambridge across the bridge.
after a quick shower, i left the house for the somerville avenue rite aid, where my prescriptions were being filled. i had to intercept the orders before they went through because i hadn't updated my health insurance information yet. once that was cleared up (it'd take at least an hour for the orders to go through), i bought some generic brand afrin nasal spray and a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol. the nasal spray was a doctor's recommendation because i'd also complained about a stuffed up left sinus. i was that guy in the parking lot doing shots of nasal spray.
i went to harvard square next, to EMS to see if they had any keychain thermometers i can attach to my everyday bag while i'm in asia. they tell me how hot it is over there, so i'd like to know for myself. initially the only ones i could find was a $10 version that had thermometer/compass/magnifying glass, but then i spotted the $5 EMS-brand version that just had thermometer.
after returning home and taking yet another shower (biking in hot weather is sweaty business), i tested out the EMS thermometer in a glass of ice water. i used my digital thermometer as a control. once the EMS thermometer stabilized, it was close to the digital thermometer reading, off by a few degrees higher.
around noontime i went to the cafe. my grandmother - who's leaving on friday - has been asking for me to pay a visit so i can eat some beef noodle soup. i think she just enjoys seeing me eat in a grandmotherly sort of way. my grand uncle was there as well, he already knew i was going to china but i told him in person as a courtesy. as for classic chinese beef noodle soup, i'm sure i'll eat plenty of it when i'm in asia.
after lunch i motorcycled to belmont to prepare the bike for storage. a few days ago i already filled the tank and added the fuel stabilizer. now it was time to wash the bike and then wax it. by that point the temperature was in the upper 80's with a 70° dewpoint that made it feel like 90+. since i arrived via motorcycle, i had on my black jeans which made it even hotter. i then spent the next 2 hours cleaning the bike.
while my mother stayed behind at the cafe to chat with my grandmother, my father came home to help me put away the motorcycle. for we had to adjust the chain, which i discovered while riding that it's a little loose. this involved raising the bike on a jack so the back wheel is off the ground and then adjusting some screws. once that was done, we wheeled the bike into place and i let the engine run until exhaustion to burn off any remaining fuel in the carburetor. with that my summer riding season comes to a close at 10,243 miles.
my father asked for my help in mounting 2 ceiling/hanging bike racks. i believe i got these last year at $8-10/piece but we never had time to install them. the tricky part was attaching them to the ceiling of our garage which is a combination of wire mesh and plastic so hard to locate the actual studs. my father figured out a way where he basically attached a piece of 2x4 onto the ceiling with about a dozen screws as a mounting base for the hoist components. a dozen screws is probably more than we needed, but better safe than sorry. with the 2 racks mounted and with bicycles hanging from them, the garage feels even more cluttered, but at least we're making use of the space. also we tested to make sure cars in the garage won't hit the bikes.
nobody wanted to cook on such a hot day so my mother suggested we get burger king as an easy dinner solution. but we couldn't decide who would go to actually make the orders (everyone was too lazy to go), so we ended up eating some leftover beef and pasta thing my sister made.
with no motorcycle that meant i had to get a ride back to cambridge. my parents drove me but we first made a stop at market basket to pick up some barbecue items. a lot of people had the same idea and the place was pretty crowded (although not bad enough that we weren't able to quickly find a parking spot). later we went to the newly-revised star market. we bought watermelons for $3.99 a piece, as well sodas on sale (5 12-packs for $10). we were actually surprised that some of the sales items were cheaper than at market basket (for instance, 10 ears of corn for just $2). back at my place, my parents took my large jars of kombucha, including the smaller jars of 2nd-ferment kombucha tea.
i finally lost my HBO tonight, although i still have STARZ. sometime during the day the pharmacy called me to let me know my prescriptions would be ready by tomorrow, but then they called back again and said it'd be saturday. i think the sticking point is the self-administered typhoid vaccination, which they have to special order from a different pharmacy since it's not something they normally carry. elsewhere, next step living got in touch with me, said i had no choice but to replace my furnace, but i would get the $99 i paid for the non-service deducted from the eventual installation bill, plus i'd qualify for the 7-years 0% interest energy loan (my mother did the math, that comes out to be something like $42/month which isn't bad for a more efficient furnace and better insulated walls).