woke up weird this morning, a strange ache in my neck which i've had for a few days, combined with some hearing loss in my left ear. it could be an ear infection, it left me sort of unbalanced. i hope it isn't encephalitis, but i don't feel feverish. i didn't have work today, but i was unprepared for all this free time. i ate that piece of leftover lasagna, then went out into the backyard to clean the barbecue grill, scooping out the ash with a soup spoon, then rinsing everything off with the hose. i was surprised but even in my own backyard i'm able to get mosquito bites.

red squirrel pepper

red habaneros

pink turtleheads

the perennial garden has been sort of neglected this season, neither my upstairs neighbor nor i taking very good care of it. the hydrangeas never flowered, and the place is starting to get overrunned with weeds. i took the opportunity to do some cleanup, collecting a bag of garden refuse. i totally forgot that i have turtlehead flowers growing in my own yard. i was also surprised to find that one squirrel damaged habanero pepper had turned from green to red even though it was no longer growing on the plant.



yellow corydalis

my new cellphone upgrade came via fedex today, fortunate that i was home to sign for it. i set everything up but i couldn't get a signal. the instructions said i might have to wait as long as 4 hours so i just left it recharging in the living room. in the meantime, i decided to take a bike ride down the minuteman bike trail. it would take me out of the house, allow me to enjoy the nice weather, and give me some more exercise (which i feel i haven't been getting a lot of in recent weeks).

i made it as far as that big expanse of freshwater marsh behind the lexington office park off of the highway, approximately 10 miles out from where i started. i didn't peddle fast, partly because i wasn't in any hurry, but also because i couldn't quite muster up enough energy. almost every single biker out there was able to overtake me at some point. the bike seat i was sitting on was as hard as a rock, so my ass took a real beating during the 20 miles round trip. i need to get a new bike seat, seriously. or maybe shoot my butt with tranquilizers before i go out riding.

from this marsh vintage point i spotted a great egret feeding next to a great blue heron. apparently these two large birds can coexist peacefully. egrets and herons look downright prehistoric with their long snaking necks, i was sort of imagining that i was really looking at dinosaurs instead of birds. on the other side of the marsh i saw a small colorful duck swimming off in the distance. i had a hunch it might be a wood duck from my initial glimpse, and through the lens of my monocular i'm almost certain it was a wood duck, down to the red eyes. while looking at the duck, i caught sight of another blue heron standing in the marsh grass.

great blue heron, great egret

wood duck

another great blue heron

i rode home, relieved when i got back, just sort of threw the bike in the backyard and ran into the house exhausted.


"spikey cuke"


before i even had time to shower, i noticed that my new cellphone still wasn't working, so i called at&t customer service, and was informed that i'd have to speak with a GSM upgrade representative before i could use my phone (i didn't have to wait 4 hours). i tried 3 different times, twice i was cut off because my old cell phone (which i was still using to call) just suddenly died on me. the third time, i was able to have an entire conversation, but the woman informed me that i had to call from another phone, because i can't be on a phone they're deactivating. unfortunately, i don't have a land line in his house, and for the life of me i don't where there's a pay phone nearby. dejected, i waited for my roommate to come back home, so i could use his phone to activate my account.

i had ramen for dinner, then used rob's phone to set up my sony ericsson. the thing i love most about this new phone is the ability to customize the hell out of it with color wallpapers and polyphonic sounds (the only customization i made on my nokia was to add a few beepy ringtones). i'll need to get a bluetooth antenna for my computer. there's a lot of mMode stuff which i don't need, and i feel like it's really easy to accidently hit a button and log into that pay service which i don't want. i still think the nokia operating system is a lot easier to navigate, but i think it just might be the fact that the only cellphone i've ever used was a nokia. there are things about the sony ericsson that i like that i didn't have on my old phone: contacts can have multiple numbers (home, office, cell), the alarm time is displayed on the main screen, and the addition of a cellphone camera. the camera is kind of gimmicky, i would never seriously use that as my main camera, but it's nice to have that option, for those times rare times when i don't have my digital camera (e.g. at a concert where cameras aren't allowed). i called my father to test the reception, the connection was crystal clear.

the red sox game was boring except for the final two innings. the stalemate was finally broken in the 8th inning when the red sox scored a homerun, but in the top of the 9th the orioles come right back with a 2 run homer. finally, in the 9th inning, the red sox manage to not only tie it, but also get a walk-off homerun victory for belhorn. a great game, and once again i screamed myself hoarse.