back at home, i used the rubber cement to patch up the punctured inner tube. naturally a whole jar is probably more than i'd ever use, and the brush applicator created a gooey mess. but the smell! made me nostalgic for high school art class. afterwards i put the inner tube back inside the tire and installed it on the wheel. no tools were needed. i inflated the front wheel to 60 psi, only time will tell if the patch was enough to stop the leak.
i also replaced the rubber tube on my aquarium vacuum with the new tube i bought yesterday. that tube was twice as long (10ft) as i needed (5ft) so i snipped it in half with a pair of scissors. the old tube has years of algae growth on the inside, from not properly rinsing after a water change. i heard there's a way to clean it using a length of pull chain (commonly used on ceiling lights) attached to a tied-up wad of cloth. i don't have any pull chains on hand (especially none long enough to stretch over 5ft) but i might be able to jerryrig something with a length of string with a weight on one end. but i should really just throw away that old tube, it's pretty disgusting and not really worth saving, especially since i have a spare length of tube left over from the cut.
sometimes i wonder about my neighbor steve. yesterday he sent me an e-mail asking if i accidentally took the roof shingle samples the roofers dropped off at our house. it was just the way he did it though, where he wrote to the roofer ("maybe my neighbor tony took them") but cc'ed me the message, instead of having the courtesy to ask me directly. so in my passive-aggressive way, i replied back in the third person, "tony didn't see any shingle samples." so this morning i looked outside and i aw the samples on our neighbor's doorsteps. if only steve had the wherewithal to check outside first.
the roofers came by again and dropped off a second set of shingle samples (since steve told them the previous set was missing, which it wasn't). it's almost kind of pointless to pick a color for the roof because with all the homes so closely built next to each other, the only way to see the roof is from a distance. i actually didn't realize there was so many color choices when it came to roof shingles. i always thought there was just the standard dark grey. i wrote to steve to let him know i personally prefer estate gray or slatestone gray, just because it matches the roof color we have now. if it was my own house (not one that i share with a condo neighbor), i would like to see something funky like the patterned roofs on harvard memorial hall.
in the afternoon i was in the backyard cleaning my trek bicycle, tipped upside down so i could get better access to the undercarriage. due to the strong winds, today was surprisingly cold. i didn't want to wear too much because i didn't want my clothes to get dirty (greasy chains and all) but i also had to wear something because it was cold. i got a call around 2:00 from parents, who were out in front of my house. i wasn't expecting them so early and it took me a few minutes to clean up.
i was tagging along with them on a supply run, hoping to go to home depot to buy a new pair of pruning loppers ($20-30, for the tree work this saturday) and some p-clamps for attaching the folding basket to my ross 10-speed. there was a huge line outside petsi's pie: they were doing a promotional thing since today was 3-14 - "pi" day - so anyone would can recite the value of pi up to 10 digits receive a small free pie, and anyone who can recite more get an even bigger pie.
the first stop was the restaurant depot. sometimes i think people who open restaurants are not the most educated or the most polite people in the world (we were behind some guy in line whose vocabulary consisted of f-bombs). it's a good business for criminals too since there's a lot of cash transactions. restaurant depot could use some better management. for instance, there are no minimum items line, so there's always a logjam at the checkout aisles. you got people buying enough supplies to start a restaurant and then you have people who are only buying one thing but need to wait in line for 20 minutes.
instead of going to costco next, my father made a mistake so we were heading to harbor freight instead. while i went with my father to look at tools, my mother went to the ocean state job lot next door. harbor freight had p-clamps, but they came in a kit and didn't have enough of the size i needed (5/8" diameter probably). i ended up deciding on some hose clamps instead. i originally wanted the p-clamps because they have a rubber coating so they won't mar the finish on the bike. but hose clamps are just as good, and have the advantage of not requirement any additional parts to secure it (with p-clamps i also need to get matching screws and nuts). i got a box of assorted hose clamps for $5.99. they're not stainless steel though, just zinc-plated, so i might end up returning them if i see something cheap at home depot. we also got a pair of heavy duty loppers for $16. i kind of have my doubts as to how durable they are, but if they'll cut small branches, that's good enough. my father ended up getting a pair of replacement wheels for a handtruck.
since i got what i needed, we didn't need to visit home depot so the final stop was costco. i browsed through the aisles of HDTV first; they seem so small next to each other in the giant warehouse, but i'm sure any of them would total eclipse my living room. i was kind of hungry so i took advantage of all the food samples, from vegetarian burgers, to mango cheese cake, to beef jerky nuggets.
my parents dropped me off at my place. i went to the harvard museum at 6:00 for a peabody museum lecture on everyday life in colonial peru based on the magdalena de cao excavation site. i was surprised at the sizable crowd. the talk did start off a little bit slow and i actually had to struggle to stay awake. once we got into the actual discoveries though, i was wide awake. despite the centuries of looting, there was still enough artifacts to offer some fascinating facts.
returning home, i took some final photos of the elm tree before it's cut down early tomorrow morning.