i got out of bed at 9a and got ready for a day of paint work in belmont. everything was fine until i took the cover off my motorcycle and noticed the left side mirror was at a weird angle. some SUV or truck must've backed into it and bent the mirror so i couldn't adjust it anymore. without the left side mirror i can't see behind me so i went inside, got my wrench set, and readjusted the mirror so i could at least see again. i guess i should be glad that whoever hit the mirror didn't break it off completely. but it makes me angry that my bike keeps on getting hit, no matter what i do.
even back when i had my honda rebel, the front forks would get scratched up from people rubbing their fenders against my bike when they parked. then there was that one time september 2004 when i found the rebel lying on its side on the sidewalk after somebody just backed into it the night before. the damage: a bent kickstand. when i got my honda shadow, i started parking strategically, either giving parking cars plenty of space or no space at all. but drivers are stupid. like back in august 2010, when somebody backed into my bike so hard it bent the kickstand and cracked the fender. or earlier this july, when neighborhood painters crunched my rear signal light. and even with the help of other drivers, i can manage to damage the bike myself, like when i dumped it back in december 2009, breaking the left mirror and bending the left signal light. i guess when you have a vehicle in the city, with all the cars so closely jammed together, you're bound to get some nicks and scratches. but the thing with a motorcycle is no part is extraneous. if something breaks, chances are i can't ride it until it gets fixed.
i finally made it to belmont by 9:50a. i was expecting to see my father as this was our long-awaited painting kickoff day, but nobody was home except for hailey, who didn't even greet me when i came inside, just coiled up in a dark ball on the couch, wagging her tail.
i video chatted with SM briefly (she got to see hailey), at a banana, changed into my paint clothes, then went outside to work. i had every intention to get started with the painting, but a close inspection of the windows showed that it still needed some sanding and scraping. prep works never seems to end, and eventually i even had to bring out the orbital sander to smooth out some stubborn areas. besides sanding, i also did some patching, particularly the nail holes around the door frame when my parents' installed a brand new storm door.
my father came home in the late morning. since we now had two people working, it was a good time to take down the awning. this is the original awning from when my parents first bought the house in 1984. functionality-wise it still works, but after so many seasons of heavy snow and ice piled on top of the awning, the awning is a bit dented and sagging in one corner. we checked online prices a while back, and replacing an awning doesn't cost too much anyway, so we decided to get a new one instead of trying to salvage this old one.
originally we thought we could just simply side out the awning from the anchors, but it's never been removed before so everything essentially has fused together. we ended up unscrewing all the anchors and finally took it off. the house looks different without an awning, like you can finally see the front door for a change. we'll order a new awning this week after i reconfirm all the dimensions (72"x48"x13" is that right?).
we also took the screen off the storm door and put back the glass door, in preparation for the cold seasons.
around 2:00p i finally did enough prep work that i could at least paint a window or two. but my father thought it was too late to get started, so instead so find other things to work on. like climbing the roof to inspect the damaged shingles. today was the perfect day for roofing since it was overcast so i know the roof tiles wouldn't be hot. also from last time i learned my shoes are too slippery, so i can't up barefoot, which gave me better grips. i saw my father struggling in his shoes and recommended that he take them off like i did, but he ended up just changing to a different pair with better grip.
there are a few house shingles with water damage, but nothing critical, like it'd leak water into the house. nothing that should stop us from painting anyway. we did patch up a few areas around the chimney and kitchen hood vent with a tube of black waterproof roofing caulk. besides having a strong smell, it's also super sticky and messy to work with. i was in change of the paper towels and we ended up running out, using pieces of the cardboard tube to smooth out the caulk.
my mother came home after 3:00p, complaining about her new bike seat. not that it wasn't comfortable, but it was shifting around. i thought maybe i didn't tighten the saddle bolts, but turns out it was the seat post that was moving around, especially after i greased it yesterday to keep it from sticking inside the frame. after my father and i tightened up the seat post bolt it was solid again.
the HVAC guy came order around 4:00p to replace the circulator in the basement. if you don't know, a circulator pumps hot water through the radiators of a house. the one my parents had before vibrated too much and made noises, loud enough that my parents can hear it from their bedroom on the other side of the house. this new circulator (taco 007-F5) is just 1/25 horsepower, while the one before was 2 horsepower (maybe it was overkill, that's why it was so noisy). this new one is completely silent. cost including parts and labor: $200 (the taco circulator itself sells for $75-85).
in order to circulate the water back into the radiators, we had to bleed them upstairs, releasing all the air in the tubes until water starts dribbling out. that involved open the radiators (all 10 of them), including some in tight spots like behind a heavy desk. but afterwards it felt really nice in the house, all warm and toasty, since we needed to turn on the heat in order to test the circulator and bleed the radiators.
we had more striped bass for dinner, this time in the form of a bass stew with tofu and cabbage. it tasted pretty good, especially after my mother discovered that if you dip it in a vinegar and ginger sauce, it sort of tastes like lobster. we also had some korean short ribs cooked on the barbecue. we actually had this marinated since yesterday, but because my father came home so late we didn't bother to cook it until today. unfortunately my father didn't cook the ribs long enough and that tasted sort of rare (i like my meats medium to well done).
from the color of the sky outside i knew there was a colorful sunset and went out into the backyard to take a look. my view was obstructed so i climbed a ladder and took some photos over the roof.
ana was home when i got back, huddled in her bedroom, watching a show on her computer from bed. she came out around 9:00p to cook dinner, something with shrimps and mushrooms (i saw them defrosting on the kitchen counter). if she'd been home all day i feel kind of bad because it must've been cold inside the house. 65°F is nothing for me (i default on 60°F during the winter months), but for someone who can't handle the cold weather, it must've been unbearable. but now seems like too early to turn on the heat just yet, even though it's just a simple matter of dialing the nest thermostat to on. but i see the way ana wastes energy (2 hours to watch a handful of dishes in the dishwasher when she can do them by hand in a few minutes), so i'm not too quick on running the heat just yet. thank god i insulated this year!