after soaking in the evaporust solution overnight, it was time to check on the status of my bike chain and hex wrenches. i was sort of underwhelmed by the bike chain condition. it didn't look like new and the metal seemed darker than before. only after washing and drying the chain did it look a bit better. as for the wrenches, there wasn't a lot of rust to begin with, but what little rust they had were now completely gone. one thing i noticed is the treated wrenches are lighter in color than the untreated. i wonder if the evaporust stripped off some protective coating, but that coating wasn't working very well to begin with if the wrenches can still get rusty. but overall, i wasn't exactly impressed with evaporust.
after installing the chain back onto my cargo bike and oiling it up with some triflow oil, i decided to treat the rusty freewheel with some used evaporust. i tried removing the freewheel with a freewheel removal socket, but i only had a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers and i couldn't get enough force. while i unscrewed the axle nut and removed the axle rod, i heard things falling out of the axle. it took me a few seconds to realize they were the loose ball bearings that live inside the axle. a bunch of them scattered to the ground, i managed to find most of them, but i'm sure i'm still missing a few.
unable to remove the freewheel, i followed the evaporust instructions for treatment large objects so i soaked some paper towels and wrapped up the freewheel. that's when i realized i could just easily turn the wheel over and soak the protruding freewheel in a small container of rust remover. i ended up using the pre-soaked rust removal paper towels on various rusty areas on my cargo bike.
sometimes with bikes, the more you fix, the more things break. fortunately i've done ball bearing work in the past, so it wasn't new to me. unable to find the missing ball bearings meant i'd have to order some new ones. you can't just order one or two, they only sell them online in bulk. i ended up paying $5.95 for a package of 144 1/4" sunlite brand carbon steel ball bearings. i figured i'd replace all of them (18 total, 9 on each side), and would still have enough to upgrade a few other axles as well. my only fear is once i package everything up, i'll discover something else wrong (like maybe the axle itself needs replacing), and it's going to take even longer to fix. i've done a lot of work on my trek cargo bike, but it's definitely more about functionality than looks. it's at a point now where a simple 4-digit combination lock would suffice for security as i doubt anyone would ever want to steal that junky bike.
i continued fixing my sister's computer, this time backing up all her files from the external memory card drive. yesterday i found an app that allowed me to merge all her photos (iphotos and photos databases). i wanted to erase the memory card but just needed my sister to verify that i backed up all the files that were important to her. in the end i managed to clear up enough memory on her main hard drive to give her nearly 20GB of free space.
i biked to market basket for some groceries. i noticed the replacement rear wheel working much better now. before, the freewheel wouldn't spin on its own in the reverse direction, so whenever i pushed the bike, the pedals would also rotate along with the rear wheel (hitting me in the shins). i thought maybe this was just a characteristic of the wheel itself, but turns out that's not normal. anyway, after i've been riding this wheel for a while, something must've loosened up because it doesn't do that anymore, the freewheel spins freely now. unfortunately, the tire was a little flat, so i pumped it before i left. it means the replacement tube is not the best and needs to be replaced with a new tube at some point. maybe it went flat because i was carrying so much weight back on saturday.
despite all the puffy clouds, there was also periods of intense sun. conditions were good enough to produce 39.45kWh of energy, the best production within the past 9 days. tomorrow looks to be a raining day (already put the bike away in the basement) so i'm not expecting much solar activity, but after thursday we've got a stretch of sunny days so here's hoping we break another single day record.
since the day was still nice, and i'd be stuck home all day because of the rain, i rode down to the cafe to return my sister's computer. ikea finally delivered her couch and she was assembling it in the living room. i helped her move the couch before leaving.
i made baked ziti for dinner. i've never had baked ziti before, but i always hear it mentioned when it comes to italian food. ingredients-wise there wasn't that much: $4 for a pound of 85% lean ground beef, $1.99 for a bag of shredded mozzarella, $1.89 for a 15 oz. of ricotta cheese, a $2.50 jar of classico tomato sauce, and a box of barilla ziti pasta for $1. everything else (onion, egg, parmesan cheese) i already had at home. much of the recipe reminded me of making lasagna, instead of layering the flat lasagna noodles, i just blended the cheese and egg mixture with the pasta once it finished cooking. the first layer was meat sauce, followed by a layer of cheese pasta. another layer of meat sauce, another layer of cheese pasta, followed by a final layer of meat sauce, before sprinkling half the remaining mozzarella and half the parmesan as a topping.
the final baked ziti was okay, but bland. i used too little beef (should've gotten 2 lbs. of ground beef), so there wasn't very much meat sauce, mostly just cheese and pasta. typically with lasagna i can eat two slices once fresh from the oven, but after just a single bland slice i was done. i wanted to watch the expanse on syfy, but i couldn't get it to stream live through roku (no such option) or online from their website (said my flash plugin was out of date when it wasn't). at 10pm i did stream the latest live episode of the americans from the FX roku channel.