i was surprised to see contractors working today on the neighbor's house, a total of 4 cars. they installed the front door today. my father watched them do it, said they did a good job, even sealed up the gaps around the door frame.
after a quick lunch of oatmeal and rice porridge, my parents and i went to the waltham market basket to get some groceries. i'd forgotten that it was actually christmas tomorrow, so i was afraid the place would be packed. it was busy but by the time we left it seemed to be winding down, even a few empty checkout lines. they were closing early today, at 6pm, and would of course be closed tomorrow. the waltham market basket also features a new liquor store addition, the first in MA (alcohol can be purchased at other states, like the market baskets in NH), but we decided to come visit another time.
we briefly stopped at my parents' place to drop off supplies, before continuing to the cafe to drop off the rest. my mother also helped my 2nd aunt with some knitting issues. i wanted to be there to copy the video of the cone thief from the memory card before it got erased. while i was at it, i also set up a foscam camera in the cafe basement. the camera actually had an unused 32GB microSD card, which i took and installed on my sister's wyze cam (the one facing the side of the house).
back in belmont, out in the backyard dumping a bowl of organic kitchen refuse for the compost tumbler (we should really think about moving the composter closer to the house), i noticed all the red berries on the hawthorn tree were now gone. i don't think they were blown off, but rather eaten by birds or other critters. i also saw emerging garlic sprouts, even though i repacked the salt marsh grass to cover them up a week ago.
we bought a hickory smoked spiral-cut christmas ham for dinner, took us nearly 2 hours to warm it up in the oven. after 1-1/2 hours of baking at 275°F, we took it out of the oven so we could glaze it with the melted sugar and spice packet, before adding it back into the oven for another 10 minutes at 425°F. we also baked some hot chicken wings and a pan of sweet potatoes sharing the oven on a lower rack.
not sure what i had, but i had to go the bathroom soon afterwards for some explosive diarrhea. my father had a small case as well, though my mother seemed immune.
i received some bad news when i tried to return home in the evening: the motorcycle wouldn't start. it wasn't even that cold tonight, lower 30's, though there was a layer of ice on the bike seat. there wasn't enough juice to turn over the engine. i tried and tried until i heard the fast clicking of a dead battery. it did start for a split second on my final attempt (before the clicking), but the engine soon died. my father helped me wheel the motorcycle in the garage while i drove one of the cars back to cambridge.
tonight - christmas eve - was a good sign to call it quits on my riding season. i haven't put the bike away out of stubbornness. with the weather so cold, riding has been more of an endurance test rather than any pleasurable. and the battery repeatedly dying unexpectedly makes the motorcycle unreliable. my biggest worry is getting stranded if i ride somewhere and can't get the bike started. it's time to clean up the bike, fill the tank, and add the fuel stabilizer. come next spring, i'll change the engine oil, and whatever else needs replacing (oil filter, air filter, brake fluid, spark plugs, and definitely new battery).
there was almost zero cars out on the road while i drove home. i think i saw a drunk person driving on the road because he driving the wrong way down an oncoming lane. i flashed my headlights at him at first from behind, but he didn't seem to notice, until i started honking my horn to get his attention. he was lucky he didn't get into an accident, and in hindsight i wonder if i should've called the police to report the driver.
there was at least 3 open parking spot outside my house when i got back. i'm embarrassed to say i tried all 3 like some parking goldilock. the first one was a little far, the second spot was closer, but i decided on the 3rd space because i didn't need my visitor's permit (not that it really mattered, i didn't think the cambridge police would send out a meter person on a cold night on christmas eve).