the wind chill factor was -6 degrees fahrenheit. finally it was too cold to go out bareheaded, so i had the hoodie tightly drawn closed around my face. one of the perks about working in an office during the winter is that for 8 hours in a day, my employers provide free heat for me, otherwise i'd be paying for this warmth myself if i was to work from home. getting a job has the added benefit of saving on my personal heating bills! it's so hot in the office that i usually strip down to a t-shirt as soon as i get to work. i stepped outside for lunch with james, we went to wendy's, i got the wild mountain bacon cheeseburger combo (biggie sized). it was quite painful walking back holding a cold beverage in my hand, i had to stick it underneath my armpit to warm it up.

we had our first demonstration of the roomba. we set it in the middle of our kitchen and turned it on. it'd first start traveling in a spiral, then slowly move out in a tangent, turning each time it hit an obstacle, eventually vacuuming the whole floor. we used the special infrared barriers to prevent it from leaving the confined space. later, katrinka put it in the hallway to vacuum that area as well. when it was done, she emptied the debris cup and there was actually a fair amount of pickup.

i went over to julie's after work and together we drove to the 88 supermarket in allston. all day long she'd been making a big stink about trying to find some fresh galangal for a recipe (it's like ginger, but with a slightly different taste, got some tang to it), and here at 88 she found them. i bought a basketful of snacks. leaving the supermarket, i ran into jack huang (my godmother's son), who didn't recognize me right away because i didn't have my goatee.

we returned to julie's place where she was making tom yum guy soup. she prepared some popcorn in her new air popper, adding some burmese curry powder which gave it a nice kick. she chopped up all the ingredients for the soup - chicken, galangal, cilantro, basil, mushrooms, lemon grass, lime leaves, scallions - and combined it with the coconut milk and fish sauce and lime juice. the final result tasted very much like tom yum guy soup, with a scoop of hot chili sauce at the bottom of the bowl. the lime flavor was very strong (we both agreed it should be toned down next time) and the chicken can be cut into thinner strips. a very filling soup, especially after reading hot much fat content is in a can of coconut milk. her roommates made cameos, johanna mentioned how cold it was in the house, and kim joked that she wanted me to make her flan as well.

after dinner, instead of sticking around to watch ER, i walked myself back home in the cold. i was bundled up, it wasn't so bad, and 15 minutes later i was home. first thing i did was to see that none of my fish had died. they seem fine, except "snouty" appears to be suffering from a little bit of the dropsy, or maybe i'm just imagining things. the scales on its right side seems to be a little rough and it seems to be slightly bloated as well. maybe i'm overfeeding them. maybe the subtropical temperature makes them more susceptible to diseases. we'll see what happens.