i walked down to the cafe this morning to take my motorcycle out of winter storage. usually around this time, the first week of may, on the first warm day after the streets have all been swept of sand and salt and debris, is when i restart the riding reason (last year it was may 8th). today wasn't just warm, it was downright hot. while it was still cool yesterday, today's weather was the kind that you immediately start removing layers the moment you stepped outside. along the way i passed by all sorts of colorful flowering trees and perennial bulbs. spring used to be my least favorite season but now it may be my most favorite.
i brought back the wifi smart plug to test it again. it worked yesterday when i brought it home, maybe there's something different with the cafe wifi. turns out i'd used the wrong password to get onto the network, that's why it didn't work all those times i tried yesterday. it was the wrong password, you dummy! my father immediately put it on the small refrigerator in front of the store: it used around 300W of power when the compressor was running. next step was to use the plug to see the stats for the 2-door industrial freezer. unfortunately, my father painted the rusty interior bottom yesterday, and there was still paint smell that needed to be aired out first.
i went to the bike with the battery, which up until recently had been slowly maintenance charging in the cafe basement. i've had issues with the battery last season, going dead when the weather turned cold, but also failing a few times in the middle of summer because i didn't ride the bike enough to fully charge up the battery. so i was kind of expecting it to fail, and would then need to get a new battery before i could ride. after i installed the battery into the bike, my father showed up to help me lower the bike off of the jack and wheel it out of the shed.
at first the bike didn't start. i pulled out the choke and held the start button a bit longer than usual. i also tried it with the choke pushed back in. i then tried revving the engine while i started. but after a few attempts, when things weren't looking too good, the engine finally came alive. it didn't make that dead battery sound i've come to be familiar with, this kind of wheezing followed by the sputtering clicks of the spark plugs, that's why it worked. once out of the shed, i moved the bike so we could put everything back into the shed (old furniture, hand trucks). i secured the seat onto the frame, stashed the tools, and rode back to the cafe.
i came early so if i was able to get start the motorcycle, i could then take it to the shop to get it inspected. i didn't want to go at noon because i was afraid there'd be a crowd, figuring a lot of other people would be getting their bikes out today. so i waited a bit, finally leaving around 12:45pm.
unlike cars, motorcycles need to be inspected every spring. it's not as labor intensive as a car inspection, it's more of a safety formality, honk the horns, check the lights, inspect the tires, pay $15, get a sticker. i used to get my inspection at riverside kawasaki in nearby union square, until they moved a few years ago, to a new location on mystic avenue in medford. but when i went to get my inspection last year, i couldn't find them anymore, but thankfully found another motorcycle shop along that same stretch of road to do my inspection. turns out riverside moved again, same street, different location. last i heard, business wasn't very good, and they stopped selling kawasakis, now a ducati dealership. anyway, i had such a terrible time trying to find the place last year, i didn't want to go back. instead, i took the bike to greater boston motorsports in arlington. it's a bit of a haul, but it's a straight shot down mass ave. for some reason there was almost zero traffic today, and i made it to GBM without any problems.
i went to the service desk and told them i needed an inspection. they seemed busy, mechanics coming in and out, likewise with customers. there were stacks of service paperworks. he printed out an invoice and i left him the key, then went to the cashier to pay the $15. it was going to take 15-20 minutes, so i browsed some of the japanese bikes in the showroom, before going upstairs, where they sold accessories, but more importantly, there was a complimentary table of free coffee and ice cold water. i went back downstairs and sat outside, there weren't any good places to sit indoors. it was more than 20 minutes and i figured somebody would let me know if the inspection was finished. finally a mechanic asked if the bike parked on the curb was mine. "you're all set," he told me. i went to my bike and saw that the key was already in the ignition, a new 2018 inspection sticker on the license plate. so i was waiting all this time when my bike was already done! but i was just happy i passed inspection, i was sure they were going to fail me. when i got my inspection done last year, the mechanic told me one of wheels was showing signs of cracking and would need to be replaced soon. apparently the mechanic at GBM didn't think that was a problem.
i returned home, not via mass avenue, but from a side street, passing by my aunt's house in arlington. i made a quick stop at my parents' place to look for my sister's godmother's health insurance card. she was looking for it earlier, and i remembered seeing it at my parents' place, but i didn't find it, so maybe my sister took it. after that i finally returned home, where i found paul busy cleaning the dead leaves from the front and back of the house. it was so hot and sunny outside, i decided to move my tomatoes temporarily to my backyard deck, as they were starting to outgrow my grow closet.
my tongbaechu kimchi is leaking a lot of liquids but not sign of fermentation yet. it's been less than a day, normally it takes 2-3 days before i begin seeing bubbles. it is however stinking up the house, which now smells like a korean restaurant.
i got my cargo bicycle and went to market basket for some groceries. the place was pleasantly empty, with cool air conditioning and the kind of easily listening music i really enjoy. i picked up a ham and provolone sandwich and ate it for lunch when i returned home. by that point it was 4pm.
my father called me to troubleshoot the smart plug, which stopped working after he transferred it to the industrial freezer. the plug takes a few seconds to connect to the wifi so it can be seen on the app. we got the plug to work again, but i was concerned that my father didn't allow enough time to air out the paint smell in the freezer. i told my mother to put some baking soda to absorb the odor.
i felt something strange in my nose, like that feeling you get before a nosebleed. most likely it was all the pollen i breathed in from riding the motorcycle to arlington and back. i decided to take a quick shower to wash off all that dust before i could have a more severe allergic reaction.
i knew today was hot, and it felt like the 90's in the hot sun when it was only in the 80's. but when i saw the temperature on my remote weather station i was surprised to see that the temperature was actually 92°F, and today's high showed that at some point it was even hotter at 93°F.
even though it was sunny, we didn't set a new record today, shy by 2kWh. in the afternoon the sky began to turn hazy, which though bright, diffused the sunlight enough that we had a slight decrease in maximum production. still, 47.57kWh is nothing to feel bad out.
i made two hot dogs for dinner, along with a fruit smoothie. i also cut the cantaloupe i bought more than a week ago. when i sliced it open i noticed a portion of it had gone bad. sometimes when a fruit overripens it becomes sweeter, but when i tasted the "soft" spot, it actually tasted sour, so i cut off those area.
i ate a late dinner (10pm) while watching another episode of the american. nobody died this week, but philips had to fire some people from his travel company. and the pieces are beginning to fall into place for a final showdown with FBI agent stan. in fact, preview for next week hints at some explosive revelation.