i called my parents in the morning to ask them if they had any symptoms from their covid vaccine yesterday. my father said there was some pain where they got their injection but didn't have any other symptoms. my father said he had a hard time falling asleep last night, which might be caused by his immune system busy creating coronavirus antibodies.

i'm trying to use up as much milk as i can before it goes bad by next week. when i warm it up in the microwave, i can already smell that the milk isn't as fresh as when i first got it, it's lost a bit of its lactose sweetness. i made a matcha latte and also had a bowl of cereal.

in the afternoon i was in the backyard working on the bike. as i suspected, the thumping sound came from the rear brakes. the left brake arm lost its springiness, no longer snapping back into position once i release the brake lever, continues to rub against the rear wheel rim. i kept applying triflow oil into the crevasses of the brake arm hoping to unstick whatever it was that was causing it to stick. i ended up removing the brake arm entirely and giving it a good soak with WD40. that seemed to work better. it still wasn't as springy as the other brake arm, but at least it'd snap back into place.

however when i screwed the brake cable back in, the tension was such that i had the same problem as before, the arm wouldn't snap back. i was ready to replace the brake arm altogether (i have spares) but i still had one more trick up my sleeve, and that's to move the v-brake arm so it was seated in a different hole on the mounting post. that gave me back the tension and brake arm regained its springiness. as a rule, both brake arms should be slotted in the same tension hole, but when i tried to remove the right brake arm, it was stuck on the bike and wouldn't come off.

by then i just wanted to re-assemble the bike and call it a day. i put the brake cable back into place, and had a hard time adjusting the tension, the brake pads still seemed to be getting stuck on the wheel rim. i adjusted the cable the few times and i still couldn't get clearance. that when i examined the sidewall and noticed there was a gash on the lefthand sidewall. it bulged out enough that no matter how i adjusted the cable it would still rub against the brake pad. so in the end i released the cable far enough so there was no more rubbing at the expense that the rear brakes no longer work. this problem requires replacing the rear wheel altogether.

paul was in the backyard working on cutting a particle board for the back of his couch to keep it from sagging. it would've been quicker if he had some electric tools but his circular saw is on the vineyards. out of curiosity, i asked him if he got his vaccine yet. he said they made an appointment for the end of the month, at a site in newburyport. the appointment was made through his hospital, and he picked such a far away place because it was easier to get an appointment compared to trying to book one in the city. i also wanted to ask him when they were leaving for the vineyard this year but figured i'd be surprised by the news instead, changes are they'll leave sooner than later, not before getting fully vaccinated anyway.

so that rear wheel is almost 7 years old. i ordered it back in june 2012 and it didn't arrive until 2 weeks later. it took me about another week before i could install it because i couldn't remove the freewheel. i was hoping i could order the same wheel again (alex x101 rear mtb wheel - 26" x 1.75", 36h, qr, 6/7-speed, black) but unfortunately it's no longer available on amazon (or anywhere else for that matter). i spent the rest of the day trying to find a suitable replacement. i ended up ordering one from walmart of all places, a wheel master 26x1.75" alloy black bolt on 7sp 135mm 36H for $60, the cheapest one i could find for alloy of that specification. it wasn't even quick release, but i'm hoping i can just use the current existing quick release spindle and transfer it over. i managed to get it in black which will match my bike (the previous wheel was silver). there was one also with the exact same specs but in steel, but i read alloy (aluminum) is better because it's lighter. there were also cheaper 26x1.5" but i read those might be too thin for riding in poor road conditions and i think 1.75" is the perfect width. the wheel is due to arrive as early as next wednesday, shipped to belmont because i may need special tools to remove the flywheel.

after working on my bike for 1-1/2 hours, i went to the dollar store to get some snacks. i was also looking for cheap seed starter greenhouses but they didn't have any. i may need to visit OSJL to get those and i might have some in belmont (in the garage or maybe the sunroom). my rareseeds order was shipped out today, if i'm lucky i might get them by this weekend.

continuing with my leftover dinner options, i finished the capicola by making myself an english muffin sandwich. that wasn't enough so i also roasted the asparagus i got from star market earlier this week. i over-roasted them and they turned out rather soggy, none of that crispiness. i had a nectarine for dessert and brewed some special hainan island tea.

my finger hands arrived today from china courtesy of ebay. i bought a pair of 7cm hands ($3.22) and a pair of 3.5cm even smaller hands ($2.45). so i was pretty surprised when i discovered they sent me 10 smaller hands (looking at the ebay listing again, it did say 10pcs in the photo even though text description only said 2pcs). these tiny hands look a bit creepy, like i chopped off a bunch of little hands. they're pretty realistic too, especially the larger sized ones, which includes details like tendons and blood vessels.