i went to go vote in the massachusetts state primary today. not much excitement in my district, unlike the neighboring town of somerville, where a tightly contested race for the representative seat between 20-year veteran mike capuano and challenger ayanna pressley. i left a few choices blank on my ballot, not knowing who to vote for, but honestly, not really caring either. i did however vote for incumbent william galvin for secretary of state, against his challenger josh zakim, who's been running some negative ads (either through him personally or through PAC's).
i went to the cafe to borrow my sister's hand drill and to help clean the barbecue grill. i brought my simple green bbq cleaner spray (which i use for degreasing bicycles) to treat the heat shields and cooking grates. i then went to belmont to try removing the scratches from my motorcycle windshield.
i removed the windshield to make it easier to work with. i then took off the metal attachment hardware, and washed the windshield itself in the tub. i had a buffing pad which i attached to the hand drill and used a bottle of plastx plastic polish. i went outside where i had more room to work. i found out soon afterwards that plastx seemed to have no effects on the windshield. maybe a few fine scratches had disappeared, but it was still foggy. and using the cheap pad would leave streaks of cotton fibers, so i ended up going with paper towels. it was very obvious that i'd need to buy a new windshield. in my mind i figured it'd cost around $50. ideally i'd want the same brand, but i didn't see any company logo on the windshield, just some stamped ISO codes.
i did try plastx on the camry headlights, which was what it was originally designed for. that actually did work, the headlights went from foggy to clear with some gentle wipes. while i was there, i also decided to wash the motorcycle and the car as well.
next i moved on to the barbecue. with proper cleaning, i figured we could revive it back to its former glory state. i removed the grates and shields and sprayed them with cleaning foam. i inspected the inside of the barbecue and saw that the carryover tubes were rusted through, hence the flare ups.
but when i turned on the burners, i could see that the flare ups weren't just confined to the carryover tubes, but throughout all the burners as well. no wonder our foods grilled unevenly, either uncooked or charred. any restoration would require replacing the burners too. i'd already checked the price online, and it wasn't that expensive, around $30 for replacement burners, carryover tubes, and shields. finally, the ignition starter had to be replaced also; even after putting in a new battery, it wouldn't create any sparks.
after dinner (including some leftover barbecue from yesterday) i returned to cambridge. it was the first time riding the honda shadow spirit without a windshield. it was exhilarating to have such an unobstructed view, but without the shield, the wind blowing onto my torso made me feel a little chilly. it also felt dangerous and safe at the same time: dangerous because i didn't have the shield to block the wind, but safe because i could see much better now.
i did some research on windshields. not knowing the brand, i figured i'd at least find a similar looking model. through photo identification alone, i came across some very similar looking windshields from national cycle. when i saw their logo that's when everything clicked: i have a national cycle windshield! i recognized the logo - letters "NC" done in patriotic font in front of gold wings - because i saw them on my windshield mounts. i thought they were just fun stickers the previous owners had put on, but now i realize they're the logo for the windshield company. not only are they one of the major brands of motorcycle windshields, they're also one of the most expensive, with shields costing around $200.
as evening came, the primary results started coming in. galvin ended up beating zakim. big surprise was in district 7 (somerville, dorchester), where ayanna pressley beat incumbent mike capuano, not by a little, but by a lot. i was pulling for capuano myself, a solid liberal representative, but was no match to the progressive wave that's sweeping the democratic party this year. in district 3 the race was too close to call, with 10 candidates vying for niki tsonga's house seat. the two front runners seem to be lori trahan and dan koh. i myself am pulling for koh, not every day you meet someone with a lebanese-korean background.