Problem: I didn't get to bed until 4 AM, and when I did, my feet were hot and I was still too wound up from finishing the novel. I tossed and turned for quite a while before I managed to fall asleep; and when the alarm clock went off at 9:30, I mulled my options, shut it off, and went back to sleep.
I don't know what the deal is with my feet. Actually, it's my legs from about the knee down; they felt like they were feverish or something. Even with the fan blowing on them they were uncomfortably hot, and the sensation kept me wide awake long after the rest of me was ready for sleep.
And no, it's not a reaction to having a fan blowing on them while I was up; the fan that circulates the air in my room keeps my upper body cool. In fact my legs are under the desk, with the computer, which doubles as an auxiliary heater, and there's very little air moving under there. If anything, my legs should have felt cold when I got them into bed.
...except, of course, if they had felt cold, I could have fixed that very easily: just pull up the blanket. Why should I have a problem sleeping that has an easy and obvious solution?
Anyway, so I didn't go to see the parade, and in fact after all that I slept like a log until 4 PM.
* * *
Yesterday I rode the motorcycle to church; and when I got home, instead of putting it away, I pulled up onto the porch and parked it on its center stand.
It's been there since.
I had intended to go for a ride, yesterday, perhaps in the evening; but after waking up from my post-church-and-race nap, I got so involved in working on the novel that I didn't even think about riding the bike until it was after midnight.
On an ordinary Sunday, I'd have gone--but not on a Sunday when the next day is a holiday. Too many f-ing drunks out there for that to be a good idea.
* * *
Yeah, you know what's really interesting about removing the chain from the motorcycle?
When you have the rear wheel off, you can take it off the swingarm without opening it.
So when I was working on the bike last week, I could have taken the chain off the bike, and cleaned it, and soaked it in oil, all without having to buy a special tool or do anything I wasn't already doing.
In my defense: I was concentrating on getting the flat tire fixed. Chain maintenance didn't even occur to me while I was doing everything else; my focus was on the next bullet point in the "fixing a flat tire" checklist.
It's just that--while I had the tire off--I hammered the dent out of the rear fender. If I could remember to do that why couldn't I do the damned chain, too?
And, by the way, you can barely tell the rear fender was dented, now. If you know where to look you'll see it (including a couple of high spots I added while trying to knock out the low spot) but from five feet away it's invisible.
The thing is, bent metal wants to be the shape it was originally in. The art of bodywork is persuading--as gently as possible--the metal to return to that shape. That's why body hammers are light compared to other kinds. If you were to use a sledgehammer to knock the dent out, you'd end up pushing the metal past its original shape and make a convex, rather than a concave, dent.
So I sat there on a footstool and tapped at the dent's backside with a body hammer and a dolly for perhaps half an hour. The head of the hammer was moving perhaps ten inches, maybe as much as a foot for the harder blows--not far at all, really, considering how light body hammers are. But over the course of that half hour, little by little, I coaxed that dent out of the fender; and if I wasn't a raw novice who's only seen this sort of thing done on TV--if I'd been more skilled--it would have come out invisibly. But for a first effort, I didn't do too badly.
I could see the dent coming out as I worked. I could see the difference after the first round of blows, so I knew it was working, and that I was hitting the metal just hard enough to move it without distortion. In fact, it's better to work slower, and it takes patience to do this right. If the metal is changing shape slowly, you're fine. You only need to use more force if the metal isn't moving at all--and you don't smack it once and say, "It's not moving, time for the sledge!"
I'm pretty proud of the job I did. I can't believe how much I absorbed from watching the car shows on SpikeTV for all those years.
But the chain--
What I'm going to have to do is to take the rear wheel back off and do the chain. It's just that simple: if I want the chain clean and lubed correctly, that's what I've got to do.
I don't have to like it.
...but I'm not doing it now. It's still too hot outside; in fact I probably won't get after that job until Wednesday.
Tomorrow I'm taking the novel (which I'm printing later tonight) to OfficeMax for binding, and then I'm taking the Jeep to Tinley Park to get it smogged, damn it. I am going to get that task attended to before August this year, like I intended to do in 2008 and 2010 and didn't. *sigh*
Oh--I've also got to get over to village hall and get a city sticker, too, damn it. *sigh*