i went down to haymarket in the early afternoon. i'd forgotten it was marathon weekend so boston was packed with people, including haymarket. a lot of tourists, a lot more cameras than usual. i left with a sizable haul: 24 navel oranges ($4), 10 blood oranges ($2), 1 lbs. of long hot peppers ($2.50), 3 3lbs. bag of gold nugget oranges (2@$2.50, 1@$2), 2 boxes of strawberries ($2), 2 bunches of asparagus ($2), and one watermelon ($3). the watermelon was the most challenging to bring home. first i wheeled my bike to the watermelon stand for easier loading. i didn't have my bungie netting, so i put everything into my rear baskets so i'd have enough room in my large backpack to carry the watermelon and a few other items.

back at home, i squeezed a fresh container of orange juice with the new epica juicer. i used a tall glass this time to catch the juice, preventing less splashback. after i finished, i touched the base of the juicer and felt that it was slightly warm. this is actually normal, rotation of the motor mechanism produces heat.

my nest thermostat updated it's user interface today (actually yesterday but i only noticed it today). i don't like it, now all the options are on a single screen and it looks very cluttered. later i read online that they updated the UI to coincide with the introduction of the new nest remote temperature sensor, which can monitor the temperature of the house elsewhere besides at the thermostat itself. unfortunately the sensor only works with nest v3 (i have v2) and the nest E (something about not enough memory on the older nests).

i spoke with my father earlier, who was at the cafe while my mother was at home. he told me i should go back to belmont, where he was bringing home some more lion's head meatballs after work. so i packed up my bike and headed to the cafe first. i got as far as almost mass ave when i noticed something was off with the bicycle. i pulled over and checked the rear wheel: completely flat. when this happened i'm not sure, but i was afraid it might've even happened as early as on my way back from haymarket, because i felt the bike was riding a bit sluggish. i'd just assumed it was because i had so much cargo in the back, but turns out it might've been due to a flat tire. the rim wasn't damaged but the sidewalls of the tire looked pretty mashed. that particular tire had issues already, i'd already rode it once with a flat tire without realizing it. i turned back, wheeling the bike home, trying to lift up the back seat so there wouldn't be so much weight on the back, but impossible to accomplish with the baskets loaded with oranges and one big watermelon.

i spent the next hour working on the bike. first i re-inflated the tire to see if it was still okay. it was a longshot, but occasionally a tire might go flat on its own over time, and i just didn't notice, although i do check my tires before i ride long distance, and it was still okay when i left the house to haymarket. it didn't take long before i heard a distinctive hissing sound. with the bike upside down, i slowly spun the rear wheel, trying to find the leak. it didn't take long: it wasn't so much a leak as a completely blown out sidewall. the pressure escaping was so pressurized that it was coming out as cold spittle. even if i changed out the inner tube, the tire would need to be replaced as well.

my next option was to hopefully find a rear wheel compatible with my cargo bike from the assortment of old bikes in the basement. my trek 850 mountain bike had the right size wheel (26") but the tire itself was the large knobby kind. i was ready to remove the wheel when i remembered i had another old trek bike that ed gave me as a gift before he moved out. i've never used that bike and wouldn't feel bad stripping it for parts. it had the right size wheel and looked like a perfect match for my trek cargo. it didn't have a quick release and nuts didn't come loose when i wrenched it until i sprayed it with some triflow oil. once i removed the wheel i realized one issue: this had a 5-speed freewheel while my cargo bike usd a 7-speed. this was only temporary anyway, it wasn't ideal but would work for the time being. so i installed it onto my cargo bike. there was a bit of wobble in the axle, but i adjusted the brake pads for more clearance. i pumped up the tire and prepared to ride.

when i returned to the bike i noticed immediately the rear tire was flat. oh no, the inner tube was bad. so i flipped the bike over again, removed the wheel, stripped off the tire, and took out the inner tube. i didn't have a new replacement, but i did have an old tube that i patched up a while ago for emergency use. i put in the tube, reattached the tire to the rim, and pumped up the wheel. then i waited to see if the new old tube would deflate. after several minutes it was still hard so i knew i was good.

during that whole hour i was kind of surprised with my own ability. when did i know so much about bikes? i felt like i was operating on autopilot, here's the problem, here's the solution, here's another problem, here's another solution. bicycles are really easy to work with, there are only so many parts.

instead of stopping at the cafe (it was already 4pm), i went straight to belmont.

my mother didn't realize i was coming home, and was surprised to see all the fruits i brought. she only wanted the gold nuggets, of which i brought 2 bags. when i first saw them they didn't look like gold nuggets, which are very ugly yet super sweet; they looked more like regular clementines, or mandarin oranges. i bought them anyway ($2.50/bag). later while i was leaving, i saw another vendor had gold nuggets as well. these looked more promising, ugly large oranges, only $2/bag. so i bought a bag. i think one of them is fake, and i'm guessing it was the first vendor; most likely they had some extra oranges and just packaged them up into gold nugget bags. but i tried one of the smaller orangs and they were super sweet, so i didn't feel like i got ripped off. we also tried one of the bigger ugly gold nugget oranges; they were very sweet as well, but not as sweet as the smaller variety.

it was a good night to take a bath. the water is never hot enough, and i end up having to drain it midsoak just so i can refill it back with hotter water. afterwards, i double plunged the tub - my real reason for filling it up in the first place. it seems to be draining better now, or at the very least i saw a whirlpool circling the drain.

wangyang contacted me tonight, asked if i could do her a favor. back in shanghai, her son is taking online english lessons, but wangyang was concerned with the pronunciation of one of the online teachers. so gave me her login info so i go into her account and check out one of the lesson videos, which are all logged. i thought the teacher, alisa rodriquez, was pretty good, spoke very animatedly, like she was used to talking with children. she also had a very distinctive foreign hipster vibe, with her pageboy haircut, cat-eye glasses, and yellow turtleneck sweater. she did have an accent, not american, not british, and not really spanish either, sort of hard to pinpoint. i relayed this information to wangyang, who said she'd already spoken with the language company to get a different teacher.