i arrived in belmont by 12:30pm, the first time i left the house in 3 days (due to the rainy weather). i was there to install my new windshield. when i took it out of the box, i was surprised by how small it was. it was crystal clear, compared to my old foggy shield. i spent 40 minutes just transferring the hardware from the old windshield to the new windshield. these brackets will need to be repainted sometime in the future as the black paint was flaking off. i was so happy when everything fit perfectly, because i'd noticed that the new shield is slightly wider than the old one. i was worried that somehow i got the wrong size or they changed the specs and the old hardware wouldn't fit anymore. i then spent another 40 minutes installing it onto the motorcycle, which is a 2-person job. i had to get a towel so i could balance the shield on the front of the bike while i tried to thread in the bracers and screws. i noticed a few fine scratches where the sharp corners of the mounting brackets rubbed up against the polycarbonate, nothing that anyone would notice; but it shows that the shield does scratch (just not shatter). i was finally done by 2pm.
the new lower "low boy" windshield took some getting used to. first of all, it's smaller than the previous custom windshield, to the point where it feels like it's not even there. my eye line sits a few inches above the top of the shield, so i now get a completely unobstructed view of the road. the shield does block the wind from my chest, but it doesn't block my face, so i wonder if my face will get too cold riding in fall and winter. however, if i hunch down just a little bit, i can get my face completely behind the shield. it feels like a combination of riding with a windshield and without one.
i went to the cafe to show my parents my windshield handiwork. my father warned me to be careful about cleaning the windshield, and never clean it with a scouring sponge. as if he had to say anything, i'm going to baby this windshield. afterwards i went to the somerville rite aid to pick up my prescription. because it was so closely timed to my last prescription pickup, the pharmacy wouldn't refill it yet until next week and told me to come back then. i left with some krave lime and chile beef jerky at my mother's request.
my A1433 apple thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter ($13) arrived in the mail today. however when i took it out of its bubble wrap i realized it was a A1463 thunderbolt to firewire 800 adapter. i had to double check my ebay purchase history to make sure i didn't make a mistake; the seller had sent me the wrong adapter! i wrote him back, he replied immediately, very apologetic, said he'd send out the correct adapter tomorrow and that i could keep the wrong adapter. elsewhere, L2 computers finally sent out my macbook pro today, due to arrive on saturday. all that gentle prodding this week seemed to have helped. at this point my expectation is so low, i'm almost expecting it to come back still broken after all these weeks. it will be a true miracle if it's actually completely fixed this time.
i want to go to haymarket again tomorrow, but my cargo bike was still in belmont. so i decided to walk down to the cafe when my parents close up shop and get a ride back to their house so i could grab the bike. we ended up going to burger king first to grab some takeout because arriving in the belmont. i was afraid we'd be stuck in traffic due to rush hour, but my father went on a back road shortcut that bypassed all those cars trying to get onto route 2 by alewife station.
i was shocked when i turned on the television and saw the news: 20+ houses were burning in andover and lawrence after an over-pressurized gas main flooded homes with natural gas. the local news stations were trying to get crews out to the merrimack valley, but couldn't get there fast enough due to rush hour traffic. the view footages were from helicopters. one house in particular, we watched as a small fire licked the entrance way at first but eventually burned the house down entirely within the span of an hour, despite the fire trucks arriving to put out the flames. another house simply exploded, the entire roof (with lovely solar panels) looking like it was dropped back down. there wasn't enough fire trucks to put out all the fires, which were happening all at once. the total reports of house fires shot up to 70+. it was like an apocalypse happening in those towns. my father called a family friend of ours who live in andover but he didn't answer his phone.
i biked home around dusk, the soft colored glow of the setting sun on the horizon disappearing behind me as i pedaled back to cambridge. all the local channels were still broadcasting the merrimack valley disaster coverage. as if things couldn't get any worse, they also shut down electricity in those towns to prevent spark ignition of gas leaks. all residents of those towns were told to leave their homes and go elsewhere, which was easier said than done as the highways were still clogged even hours later. all the while hurricane florence was battering the southern coastal states and news of manafort making a plea deal with mueller.
i downloaded episode 22 of the 2nd season of star trek: the original series, "by any other name". that episode is special in that it features a then-23-years-old barbara bouchet in one of her many american television cameos from the 60's. this was before she went overseas to europe to become a cinematic sexpot. i vaguely remember that episode, beautiful aliens with no emotions, turning people into salty dodecahedrons. i found a copy of an HD remastered version of the episode; though still shown at 4:3 aspect ratio, the clarity is pretty amazing, like watching a brand new show.