i woke up at 7:30am and rode the motorcycle to the cafe so my father and i could leave for danvers at 8am and get there by 9am to pick up a free full-electric hospital bed. this was the perfect opportunity to test out the new garmin nuvi 3590LMT. it was peak morning rush hour, but we were heading outbound to the north shore, so there was hardly any traffic in our direction, while on the other side it was bumper-to-bumper heading into boston.

the 3590LMT was loud because we couldn't figure out how to turn down the volume. functionality-wise, it was generations ahead of our 7-year-old nuvi 650 gps. the new gps has a higher resolution screen (4.3" 480x272 versus 5" 800x480), which made it easier to point out landmarks like nearby gas stations. it acquired satellites in a matter of seconds, not minutes. it would gently warn us with a chime if we drove above the speed limit. the best improvement was the lane change assistant, and my father was impressed with the rendering of exit signs, often times matching exactly what we saw.

we arrived earlier than expected at 8:50am. the place was a newly-developed low-income residential community off of the side of the highway behind a large and convenient strip mall. before i could call, laurelle opened the door to her house, alerted to our arrival by her toy dog barking loudly from the living room window. she was confined to a wheelchair due to MS. a friend of hers showed up at the same time. the bed was in the kitchen, tipped on its side. it was a medlite full-electric bed. my father and i brought tools but the bed could be disassembled without them buying simply unhooking the headboards. the one by the engines couldn't be removed because it was attached to a wench crank. laurelle told us that her insurance paid for the bed, that's why she was just giving it away for free (she upgraded to a better bed), and was happy it'd be going to someone (grand uncle) who could really use it. the bed frame was heavy and my father and i moved it out a little bit at a time. loaded inside the honda element, the back end of the poked out a bit, but we tied everything down and padded the bed with moving blankets.

returning home was uneventful, good thing the weather was so nice today (sunny, clear skies). we parked in front of my grand uncle's house and moved the hospital bed into the backyard to assemble it and test to see if it was working before moving it into the house. hospital beds are actually fairly simple mechanical contraptions, a set of wench engines attached to piston rods that control the 3 movements: head, legs, and whole bed. we were worried at when after putting together the bed and plugging it in, it didn't seem to do anything. but apparently the movements were very gentle, which makes sense (you wouldn't want the bed to suddenly snap up and down). i actually climbed on top of the coiled spring platform to try out the bed. automatic beds are fun, makes me want to have one of my very own!

before moving the bed, i was back at the cafe eating a slice of panettone cake for lunch and changing the photos in the dozen hanging frames from the new prints which arrived yesterday. i also helped my father change some stained ceiling tiles and fluorescent light bulbs (the electrician had left a tall a-frame ladder at the cafe). my mother's new used coach bag finally arrived.

my grand uncle already has a hospital bed but it's a manual type with a crank to raise and lower the head and leg sections. he watched television from his adjustable sofa chair while we disassembled the old bed (left out on the curb for trash pick tomorrow) and reassembled the new bed. we need to get a new mattress though: the old one has a standard length of 75"; we need a twin XL of either 80" or 85".

i rode back to my house afterwards. even though i was a little hungry, i completely forgot about the vietnamese sandwich i had in the refrigerator. i came home to take a shower then finished up the postage paperwork for frances' latest norwegian package. i then went to the porter square post office to drop it off. coming back, i stopped by the community garden to sign the petition the prevent the city from cutting a new pathway to the park through the garden. i posted an ad on craig's list free section about the manual hospital bed on the curb. around 2pm i rode to belmont.

i set up the new key fob for the toyota camry,1 then went to home depot to get the key made. the guy working there (not the same guy i saw last time) was a real idiot and used the wrong machine to cut the key, ending up only cutting on one side. he then tried a different machine, but when he gave the keys back to me, they didn't look identical. through his negligence, he cost me $8. the fact that he didn't charge me for "making" the key absolved him from blame through his eyes. went i returned to belmont i was so angry that i ordered another new key blank. curious, i took the ruined key and pried open the key handle. there was nothing inside besides a little security transponder. the key is designed in such a way that i can't simply replace the metal part of the blank and save the handle.

after dinner i returned home. alfonso returned home around 9:30pm, quickly frying an egg for dinner. he started falling asleep on the couch around 11:30pm and went to his room to retire for the night.

1 these are the steps to program a keyless remote (FCC ID: GQ43VT14T) for a 2003 toyota camry:

  • driver's side door open and unlocked, key out of ignition
  • insert and remove ignition key 2 times (within 5 seconds)
  • close and open driver's side door 2 times, insert and remove ignition key (within 40 seconds)
  • close and open driver's side door 2 times, insert ignition key, close door (within 40 seconds)
  • turn ignition from lock to on and back to lock (this activates add mode)
  • power locks will cycle lock and unlock 1 time to confirm add mode
  • press lock and unlock buttons on fob simultaneously for 1 second then release, then immediately press lock button for 1 second then release
  • power locks will cycle lock and unlock 1 time to confirm successful program (if it cycles 2 times there was a problem)
  • open door to finish programming mode