i was at the post office returning a pair of crocs for my mother when my roommate left for work in the late morning. 3 hours later he was back, just when i was about leave. i didn't ask him why he was home; not that i wasn't curious, but i didn't want to break our unofficial non-interaction pact. he doesn't tell me what he's up to, i don't have to tell him anything either. it's kind of liberating in a misanthropic sort of way. this is all kind of strange because i hear he's quite social online and even has a blog.

i went to belmont, where my father was at home on his day off. it gave me a chance to ride the trek 850, after i replaced the shifter cables a week ago. this is a great riding bike with its responsive handling (the alivio indexed shifters work great), light chromoly frame, and single toeclip/strap. i'm still getting used to the forward-leaning riding position. i could see why you'd want to wear a helmet riding this bike, since your head is leaning out and probably the first thing to hit in a crash. this is the bike i'll ride when i need to get to someplace quick, versus the trek 800, which is my bike for getting groceries. i'm still in the market for a true road bike ($100 or less), but not in any hurry. my neighbor ed says he has one, i've been meaning to check it out.

i helped my father add more minutes to my parents' t-mobile prepaid phone plan. my father forgot to renew and let the contract lapse, losing all the previously stored minutes (50 minutes worth). we added $10 worth of talk time which amounts to just 30 minutes.

we fixed the wobbly bottom bracket on the schwinn 7-speed. now it rides even better than before. but compared to the trek 850, the trek is a better ride, although with a lesser non-relaxing riding position.

there might not be any quinces this season. even though the bush flowered as usual, there are almost no fruits. the few that are on the branches are all shriveled looking. maybe the quince needs to be stressed in ordered to produce fruits: we'll prune back the bush at the end of the season. not that i need anymore quince, i still have a box of jelly from last year.

i helped my father move out old air conditioner from the sun room, to be traded in for a better AC. it's a 1993 GE model rated 12,000 BTU, a real behemoth of a machine that requires at least 2 people to lift it. the summers we used it was always dangerous during the installation and removal phase.

i biked back to cambridge in the late afternoon. my father and i would meet one more time, to pick up the free twin size mattress and box spring from somebody in central square. this bed would be for a chinese astrophysicist coming next month (staying at my great uncle's apartment). originally we said 6:00 but the seller (actually the roommate of the seller) said she was home and that we could get the bed early if we wanted.

the apartment was on the 4th floor. fortunately the stairwell was very wide and the mattress and boxspring weren't that heavy. the roommate asked us if we'd been moving all day, as if we were professional movers. she asked if we'd be interested in buying a television. we looked at the HDTV sitting on the floor. "no, that that tv. the other one over there." it was a standard 21" set. even if she gave it away, she'd have a hard time finding a taker.

so once again i managed to score another freebie today with the mattress and box spring. they poked out a little bit from the back of the honda element, but my father tied down the hatch door with a piece of rope. yesterday's forecast for today said it might rain but other than early this morning, the weather had been very nice.

we got to the apartment and carried the mattress and box spring upstairs. my father showed me his finished rain water catch system out in the back; each barrel was already 1/3 full of rain water. for the inlet he just cut a large square (easier to make than a circular opening) and put a piece of wire mesh and plastic screen mesh over it, held in place by some bricks.

finally i got dropped off back at my place. my amazon purchase arrived today. a bike chain, a spare tube, some reflective tape, and a combo cable lock. the lock was a brand i'd never heard of before, trimax. it sold for $8.62, which is pretty cheap for a lock. it's a coiled 6ft long cable with a 12mm diameter, which is pretty thick. i don't think thieves would try to cut it; the easier way is just to shatter the combination lock, which doesn't look as sturdy as the cable itself. for the price, it's not bad. i got it for my parents' bikes, but now i'm thinking about getting another one for myself. a u-lock offers better security, but for running errands a combo cable lock is lighter and easier to carry.

i failed to make a grocery run so i just heated up a frozen brick of lasagna for dinner. i was a bit startled around 7:00 when i heard some noises in the house. turns out my roommate was actually home the entire time and i didn't realize it. normally he keeps his bedroom door closed when he's home, but today he had it opened (maybe because it was so hot) and was sleeping inside. i just assumed he wasn't here when i saw the open door. he left for about an hour, probably to get some dinner, before coming back.