i went to the dollar store to see if they carried a particular dish soap for my mother (dawn ultra hand renewal with olay beauty scent dishwashing liquid, pomegranate splash). when i came back i noticed that mixtura (300 beacon street) seems to be out of business: windows taped up, signs and awning removed. that's too bad but it just confirms that that cornershop is cursed. since i've lived there, it seems like every few years there's a new restaurant there. i'm curious what new cuisine will take over its place.

while looking around the key basket in the foyer of my parents' place, i came across a set of torx wrenches. this meant i could finally open up the broken ridgid orbital sander and see which parts inside are broken and needs to be replace. i disassembled as much as i could. when my father came home from the cafe, we removed the bearing cap and bearing assembly. the bearing has no spin, so definitely needs to be replaced. we ended up ordering a new bearing (6002R $5.97), a brake skirt ($2.99), and a 5" sanding pad assembly ($6.56). hopefully these replacement parts arrive sometime next week so we can fix the broken sander and be able to double our sanding output.

but the most important thing i did today was to see if i could get the keyless remote fob and the transponder key to work with the toyota camry. i was a little nervous because i never programmed either a fob or a key before. i tried the fob first. the new fob ($14.77 ebay) looks practically the same as the original fob. the original has a sandblasted finish on the plastic while the new fob has a more satin finish. i was surprised the new fob also has a panic button on the back (this wasn't in the product description, but a welcomed addition). it came with written instructions to go to remotesremotes.com to find the programming instructions. it involves a sequence of key inserts, ignition turns and door opens within a certain amount of time. it seems awfully silly, but apparently this is actually the way to make the car go into keyless remote programming mode. i knew i was doing something right because the door locks cycled at one point, meaning i was now in programming mode. what surprised me was that it worked on my first try. i clicked the buttons on the new fob, the doors opened and closed on command. i went back inside the house feeling victorious.

however, programming the keyless remote was only half the battle. i also had to program the key, which first required making a copy of the blank. the new key (with chip #4C, $8.50) looks just like the old key, other than the finish (sandblasted vs. satin). the old key also feels a little heavy. they're both made of a rubberized material, but it feels more substantial on the old key.

i drove to the watertown home depot, where i first returned 4 unused garden stakes i bought back in april (the 90 day return window was almost over, $12). there was a long line, and after a long wait i was the next person up. however, an aging townie chick with her guido boyfriend came up to me, put her fingernailed hand on my shoulder, and asked if she could cut the line because she just wanted to ask a question about her receipt. i paused for a second but finally said okay. she recently returned an item but didn't understand why it was missing the sales tax. turns out she bought it originally in new hampshire, where they don't have sales tax.

i went to the key department and asked the man if he could make a copy of the car key using my key blank. they sold transponder car key blanks as well, at $30 a key. he also had a machine that could code the transponder but it didn't seem to work with the keys that i had. he ended up making a copy of my key. when i asked him how much, he told me it was on the house. he said even if he wanted to, they don't have a pricing item for making a copy of a key with an owner provided blank (usually they buy their blank key at the store).

i waited until i got home to program the new key. the thing to have to understand is how hot it was today, with temperature in the 90's and high humidity making it worse. and imagine how hot it was in the car, which had been sitting in the driveway all day long, baking in the sun. just to see what would happen, i tried the new key in the ignition. it turned on the electricity just fine, but when i went to start the engine, there was just a soft purr, engine wouldn't start. so there really is a transponder security system! it's not just for show!

the blank key came with programming instructions, but earlier i'd gone online and saw a set of different directions for toyota camry model 2002 and above (my parents own a 2003 camry). so i tried those instructions first. first step: make sure all doors and windows are closed. then a series of master key/new key insertions, ignition switches, and door opens, followed by 60 seconds of waiting for the security light to stop blinking. i tried it 3 different times, and all 3 times it didn't work. i'd sitting in the suffocatingly hot car, waiting for the security light to turn off, which it never did. i grew a little desperate. what if this doesn't work?

so i decided to try the other set of instructions, for a pre-2002 camry. these also involve door opens and ignition turns, but they also included a series of timed brake and accelerator pumps. i only needed one try with these instructions and after 60 seconds of waiting, the security light switched off, meaning the new key had been successfully programmed to the car. i was so happy! and even happier to get out of the car and back inside to the air-conditioned living room. i told my mother the good news, she was shocked that i was completely soaked in sweat.

the rest of the day was spent indoors. i did go out at one point to water the garden. when my father returned home, he and i went to burger king to get some takeout. what i really wanted was a mango shake. after dinner, i biked back to cambridge. i filled up an empty burger king cup with ice water and put my bicycle cup holder to good use. i had a relaxing and hydrated ride home. at one point i saw eliza's friend ed on huron avenue, walking his toddler son. "ed," i said as i rode by, "tony" he replied, none of us the lease bit fazed despite not having seen each other in many years. the cup holder worked great, but the cup was sweating (ice plus humidity will do that), so every time i hit a road bump, i'd feel drops of water on my right knee (not a big deal).

i tried the window fan at first, but the outdoor temperature was the same as the indoor temperature (82 degrees). humidity was high too, 70% (higher outside). i had enough of climate suffering and finally broke down: i installed the air conditioner. turned on, suddenly i experienced a blast of cool relief. i relaxed to a quiet evening of true detective.