i biked into boston for my 11:15 urologist appointment. i made sure to take a shower and wear clean underwear since i would be getting examined down there.

when the nurse took me inside she handed me a cup and some alcohol wipes and asked me for a urine sample. it's been ages since i had to pee in a cup. i remember when it used to be common practice during any doctor visit, you get your blood drawn and leave a urine sample. unfortunately i peed before leaving the house, so there was very little in the tank. i managed to fill less than a fifth, hoping that was enough. the bathroom didn't have one of those privacy cabinets to leave the sample behind so i had to bring it back outside with me. i tried to cover up what i was carrying but it wasn't a mystery to anyone who saw me.

my doctor was a young man with a friendly face, i'm guessing no older than me. he was amiable yet at the same time serious, probably more used to an older clientele. when he came into the room he brought along a nurse who proceded to check the content of my bladder with some kind of ultrasound device. i was distracted by the doctor asking me questions so i wasn't paying attention to the nurse. i did ask if it was going to hurt, they both said no. i pulled my pants down a little bit below my belly button as the nurse scanned me. "zero," she said to the doctor, who nodded back approvingly. zero's good, right?

after the nurse left, the doctor had me pull my pants all the way down. no time to be shy, he is a specialist after all. since my scrotal pain began, i've shown myself to no less than 4 different people already, i should be used to it by now. he began to poke and prod, trying to trigger the pain. i braced myself for agony. "oh..ah...right there...that hurt," i whispered through a grimace. there was a convenient handicap hand rail on the side of the wall that i instinctively grabbed onto in case my knees should unbuckle.

"have you ever had a prostate exam?" he asked. "no," i answered back rather defensively. "i'm going to give you one, do you mind turning around?" there was a brief pause. all i could think about was, okay, this is happening. how did scrotal pain lead me down a dark path where a man i've only just met (although a doctor) is now about to put fingers up my bum? i turned around and stared at the wall, where there was a convenient prostate exam poster explaining in graphic anatomical detail what was about to happen. i'm about to have my output hole become an input hole. he worked fast, and before i knew it, i felt like i needed to go number 2 badly. "you might feel some pressure, feel free to push," he said. i grunted a response. the sensation was so similar to going to the bathroom, i felt like if i was going to push it was going to get fecal. as quickly as he started, he just as quickly finished. i exhaled. i could feel the wet lubricant between my cheeks. i pulled up my pants feeling a bit violated.

he didn't feel anything serious, so it wasn't anything cancerous or ruptured or inflamed. he said most of the time they don't even know what's causing the pain, which was both reassuring and distressing. the doctor wasn't so much concerned about my scrotal pain as he was about my other bits. apparently i had a very minor case of hypospadias. it was so interesting apparently that he got another doctor to come in and check it out. so there i was on the examination bed with my pants down as a lady doctor fondled my privates. when she talked to me, i just stared at her dark mascaraed eyelashes. after a prostate exam, everything seems to pale in comparison.

the doctor booked me a scrotal ultrasound appointment for this friday, and to see him again in 2 months. he suggested advil for the pain and wearing tighter underwear.

i biked home afterwards. when i got back, i quickly got in the shower to wash off all the slimy lube from my rear end. i left for belmont via motorcycle.

i was surprised to see a flowering gladiolus in the backyard. they're supposed to be a tender perennial and need to be dug out during the fall and stored in a cool safe place to overwinter. buried in the ground during winter, they freeze to death, but this one seemed to have survived. maybe gladiolas aren't so tender after all. if that's the case, i'm going to plant all my pot-grown gladiolas in the fall and let them naturalize in the backyard.

my father found a thrown out pitchfork yesterday. up until now we'd been using an old cultivator that he hammer-straightened the tines. we use it to turn the compost every now and then.

my father and i fixed the ross 3-speed today, now that all the replacement parts have finally arrived. the cable housing for the shifter cable was much too short for some reason so we ended up reusing the old housing. the cable kit came with a cable lead that's supposed to insert inside a socket in the shifter mechanism. the lead was threaded but the socket wasn't. the only way to fit it inside was to file off the threads. once we did that, the back end of the lead wouldn't fit into the plastic housing. we ended up just snaking the shifter cable from the bottom of the shifter housing.

fixing the broken bell crank was much easier. i just threaded the replacement onto the 3-speed shimano hub and connected the adjuster rod to the shifter cable.

next we played musical chairs with the front wheels and front baskets: we switched the front wheels between the ross 3-speed and the ross 10-speed (now the 10-speed has matching new wheels); we switched the larger front basket to the schwinn 7-speed and moved the smaller front basket to the ross 10-speed. the ross bikes must not have had the same type of front wheel because the switched wheel wouldn't fit on the 3-speed without readjusting the brake cable. unfortunately the end of the cable was frayed, and when i went to release the bolt, the cable came loose and there was no way to put it back without replacing the entire cable.

after dinner i came home. i knew bram was home because some things in the bathroom had moved and his bedroom door was closed (it was opened when he left for work this morning at 9:55). i just assumed he was taking a nap. but when 10:00 rolled by and he still wasn't up, i started to think that maybe he wasn't home after all. that turned out to be true; he came home around 11:00, gave me a silent wave hello and disappeared into his room.