when i woke up this morning the motorcycle battery had finished charging as indicated by the solid green light on the battery tender plug. however, i was in no hurry to install it just yet, being that it was so cold today. besides, i wanted to wait at home in case rob the kitchen island seller called me to let me know where to meet him. but when i still didn't hear from him well after lunchtime, i sent him an e-mail. he finally wrote back, told me instead of meeting at his house, that we'd meet at the newton whole foods on washington street at 4:45pm.
once i received notification, nothing was holding me back from installing the motorcycle battery. i got dressed, put all my tools in a cardboard box, and went out with the battery. just as i was about to install it however, i noticed one of the rectangular battery nut was missing; without the nut, the lead screw wouldn't attach. i thought i was being careful, and i was afraid it might happen, but the nut must've fallen out. i went looking for it on the street but couldn't find it. i put the motorcycle back together again and went back inside. maybe one of the local auto parts store might carry it? but an online check showed they didn't have what i was looking for (auto stores they don't usually carry motorcycle parts). the nearest motorcycle shop was 2.9 miles, i could try to bike to it, but it was uphill and the weather was bitterly cold.
so it seemed like i didn't have much choice, so while i was getting myself ready for some frigid uphill biking, i went outside to look for the missing nut one last time and that's when i found it, just lying in the street. i gathered up all my equipment and went back outside. installed the battery and tried to start up the bike. it took a few tries, but i finally managed to start it up by doing two things: put the fuel tank in reserve and roll the throttle before starting the engine. the bike purred to life. i left the engine running while i reassembled everything, before shutting it back down to go inside.
i had some time to kill before i needed to go down to the cafe to rendezvous with my father, so i went about figuring out how to run the stepper motor from the raspberry pi using the ULN2003 drive board. i found this site help to get an idea of how to connect everything, but the pins for the GPIO ports were from an earlier version of the raspberry pi, different from my pi 3. this other site had the current pin numbers, and i also used its sample python code. i ran the script and everything worked, which is usually not the case. i couldn't really tell if the stepper motor was running or not, so i stuck on a rubber luchador key cover which made it easier to see the shaft turning. i also watched the video to understand what goes on inside a stepper motor and how it works, as well as what the drive board is doing to make it spin. that's all great and all, but i currently don't see how i'd ever use such a motor. nevertheless, i learned how to control one should i ever have the need, and also this was my first time using the GPIO port of the raspberry pi. with this setup i can also use it to test the supposedly broken foscam stepper motor. if i discover it's still working, then the problem has to be something with the circuit board, which is harder to repair.
i was going to ride to the t-mobile store in fresh pond to chat with an agent about switching over from verizon, but i was afraid the motorcycle wouldn't be able to start while i was there and then be stranded. i played it safe, and headed out to the cafe by around 3pm. i waited around until my father was ready by around 4:15pm, to drive down to newton to pick up the kitchen island.
we were worried about traffic, but heading towards watertown there was hardly any cars, while in the other direction we saw traffic jams. we arived at the whole foods more than 10 minutes early. i called rob to let him know we'd arrived, and came by a few minutes later. he followed him in his car to his house, which was just the street.
the kitchen island turned out to be a lot heavier than we thought. i'm probably going to have weird shoulder pains tomorrow. although he lived on the first floor of his house, it was actually two landing above street level, as the three of us slowly maneuvered the piece of furniture out onto the driveway. there was enough room in the honda element to fit the island upright. earlier i found out with the laser measure that the vehicle has a clearance height of roughly 44" inside, and the island was just 36" tall.
driving back we hit some traffic. crossing from newton into watertown, parts of cambridge, and definitely from the cafe (where we stopped to pick up the industrial hand truck, which earlier i'd taken out because i didn't think the island would fit with the hand truck inside) to north cambridge. just that 1.5 miles stretch alone look more than 20 minutes.
earlier my aunt and uncle had walked to the cafe, to meet up with us when we arrived. we called them downstairs to help us move the island. with four people it was a lot easier, each person just had to grab a corner. i thought maybe the four of us could slowly walk it into the apartment (we were within eyesight of the elevator), but my father insisted on setting the island on the hand truck and pushing it in the building. the three of them continued moving the furniture upstairs to the 2nd floor while i went to move the car.
by the time i was finished and went up to my aunt's apartment, they already had the island inside, just needed my help moving it off of the hand truck and then placing it currently in the kitchen. after we were finished we all returned to the cafe. the element only had 3 seats, so i hid in the back, lying on the floor next to the hand truck.
i was super hungry by that point, around 6pm. i didn't eat anything all day, just some yogurt for lunch, and my stomach had been growling since then. my mother had a table of leftovers which i ate quickly so i could go home before it got too cold. my mother also took out some of my kimchi. my aunt complained it wasn't sour enough, but i think it was okay, the kimchi had that fizzy mouth feel of fermentation. it looked like old kimchi, even though i made it this week. when i rode home, all my parts of my body were warm except my hands, which began to hurt after a few minutes of riding. i definitely need to dig out my motorcycle mittens.