riding the motorcycle in the cold is a feat of endurance, although it wasn't that bad today, with temperature in the 30's. it was also a bright sunny day with not a lot of wind. the moment of truth came when i went to start the motorcycle. i tried twice, both unsuccessful, until i realized i didn't turn on the choke yet. that seemed to fix it and on the third try the engine purred to life. i gathered up my things, attached the handlebar mitts, then pushed back in the choke before i rode to belmont.

the sherpa-lined insulated handlebar mitts made my hands feel particularly warm. i can't see any of the controls (turn signal knobs, horn, high beam, throttle, clutch, front brake) but i've been riding long enough that i know their position from touch and memory. the only parts of my legs that felt cold were the gaps above my wool socks. then there's my face. i didn't mind the wind blowing past the top of my head, but i could imagine it getting uncomfortable for long winter rides (which i'd never make, i'm not a masochist). wearing a full-face helmet instead of an open-face one would solve it, but i'm of the opinion that a full-face helmet block a lot of your senses (sight, hearing) and gives you a false sense of security when you should really be more alert when on a motorcycle. or maybe a ski mask.

last week the neighbors' had finished the first floor of their house; this week they built out the second floor, including the gables on either ends of the house. all that's missing are the walls and the roof. whatever the style is, it's definitely not a ranch house, and once finished, it will eclipse the view looking out our living room window. at least for us it's north facing so it's not blocking our sun; their neighbors in the back - also a recent mcmansion - will be out of luck when most of their southern facing windows get blocked by the house.

i had some vietnamese pho broth with regular noodles for lunch. my mother was streaming some korean crime drama on television while knitting a pair of double-sided hats, while my father was watching continued taiwanese election coverage on his tablet. i roasted a bag of hazelnuts in the toaster oven. i downloaded the photos my mother took in taiwan and japan and uploaded them to their google photo account. i covered the barbecue grill and dumped some kitchen scraps in the compost tumbler. my sister stopped by in the late afternoon with hailey before leaving. i kept repeatedly checking the motion alert videos on the wyze notifications tab, seeing when people left the apartments and customers at the cafe.

after dinner i played the chinese-subtitled version of the new predator movie for my parents and give my mother instructions on how to watch the chinese-subtitled second season of the mrs. maisel (she's already watched the first episode of season 2 earlier and seemed to like it).

having learned my lesson from this morning, i remembered to turn on the choke before i started the motorcycle. i also turned on the lights for about a minute beforehand, to allow the battery to warm up (at least that's my thinking). the bike started effortlessly. however in the dark i couldn't tell that i had my fuel petcock shut off, but i noticed the bike was starting to feel sluggish, and finally turned on the fuel. i cranked the throttle a few times to allow the engine to warm up then i returned home.