Things That Shouldn't Get Wet

A painting of Spider-Man that I made. I started thinking about memorable events from the last year and came up with a painting session that people had at my residence. Actually two of them. At the first one, I painted Spider-Man, but it took such a long time that I didn't get to put anything in the background. Because of this, I suggested another painting session to the soon-to-be Residence Association President as he was campaigning door-to-door. I'm pretty sure they would've held one anyway. At the second one, I completed the scene by painting some upside-down buildings. Both events had a great turnout... probably because of the ample supply of paint, canvases and wine. I only have a picture of Spider-Man, but it was great to see what pictures other people came up with. When some one was painting a landscape, I said it looked like something by the Group of Seven. This turned out to be true, since the guy said he had a painting by A. Y. Jackson in mind when he started it.

Another funny story that happened in 2013 involved my bike. It was in a storage room in the basement and I planned to leave it there during the colder part of the winter. But when I decided to ride to a friend's house one last time, I locked my bike on an outdoor rack when I returned and I forgot to carry it downstairs after. As a result, the chain collected plenty of rust as the rainy days went on. I only realized this after a couple months when I tried to ride it again.

The chain was completely orange and it was a hundred times too stiff to be usable. But everything else about the bike was fine, so I headed to the Bike Kitchen to get a new chain. Attaching the chain turned out to be easy. You order it according to the number of gears on the back wheel (a seven speed chain in my case) and it is oiled by the manufacturer. The gear assemblies on most bikes are spring-loaded so your new chain doesn't need to have exactly the same length as your old chain. The hard part was getting my rusty chain off. There was no way to identify the two special links that can be unhooked... everything was rusted over. Even if I knew where to pull, it would've required a lot of force because everything was fused together. I also did not have anything sharp enough to cut through the chain so I came up with a hackish solution.

With my pair of blunt-nosed pliers, I actually used the handle. I formed a kink in the chain and threaded the handle through. I then twisted the pair of pliers as hard as I could in order to put tension on the chain. After many twists that contorted the chain into the most awkward shape, it eventually snapped allowing me to get it off. The funny part is that a piece of the chain is now clinging to the handle indefinitely. Twisting so hard created some kind of bond and there is too much friction for me to break it with any of my other tools. The end result looks like this.
Rusty chain links are fused to the pliers.

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