i'm still kind of numb from that red sox lost tonight. once again a valiant effort to almost come back, but in the end the yankees win another game, extending their lead to 2-0. all we can take out of this are moral victories: wasn't it great they didn't get a no-hitter off of us? wasn't it great they didn't shut us out? i don't know what to think at this moment. our two best weapons in schilling and martinez, and we come up empty. if our two best pitchers can't win for us, what hope is there? granted, game 1 was an aberration, and now we find out that curt tore a tendon in his ankle. game 2 however we should've won: pedro didn't pitch all that bad tonight, but once again, the red sox offensive was on sleep mode. somebody needs to tap a key or move the mouse, anything to wake up the team. i've been down this road before, and i can already feel myself detaching from the herd, losing my faith, giving up hope, because if the red sox don't beat the yankees, i don't want to get hurt again, so i'm getting ready for that possibility, bracing myself for impact. if the red sox can win friday and saturday behind arroyo and wakefield, then we might have something, a best out of 3 series. if that doesn't happen, there's always next year. we'll find out the answer by week's end. my days of being a baseball hostage might over sooner than expected.

and we definitely need a special "filter" for replays. i've been fooled so many times when they show some old game highlight and i think it's really happening now. can't they play it back in black & white, or maybe have those wavy flashback lines? just an idea.

that's enough baseball talk, until friday.

today was my free day. i had a little bit of work testing some videos to find the optimal settings for playback, but once that was done, i was free to roam around. i ate an early lunch of leftover roasted chicken while watching the gilmore girls and working at the same time. i transferred my two carny plants to the potting mix i prepared yesterday. it's hard for me to figure out if these plants are doing fine or not. they seem okay, but because they're so different in structure than the usual plants i'm familiar with, it's difficult to determine their health, other than full-blown wilting or rotting, which i haven't seen yet. i wonder if they don't need more sunshine or heat, two things hard to come by in my cold dark house.

i took the motorcycle to my parents' cafe to borrow their car so i could go down to ponkapoag bog again. the last time i went it was raining, so i had a mildly unpleasant and wet experience. today's weather was gorgeous, temperature up to 70 degrees, clear blue skies, a perfect day for the beach really, but also a nice day for naturing. it took me about an hour's drive to get there, not so much the distance as it is the traffic on I-93. in the sky above the highway i could see birds of prey circling the air. i finally got there by 2pm. i was dismayed to see several cars already parked outside the ponkapoag trail, but it didn't come as a surprise since it was such a nice day. still, i like my naturing private, devoid of human contact. the only person i saw going into the woods was a suspicious looking man, whom i passed and never saw again.

i got to the start of the bog path and went down the boardwalk. it was warm and sunny, the fragrance of the bog hanging in the air, as well as a woman's perfume, perhaps a previous guest of the bog. the first stretch of walk was littered with leaves from red maple trees. i stood on one end of a wobbly plank and it lifted up and smashed down hard onto the watery surface of the bog. the loud sound startled something hiding nearby, as i heard the crashing noises of something large running through the thickets, snapping twigs as it fled away. whatever it was, it was definitely big. it didn't sound like a wild turkey, they'd make gobbling noises. if i had to guess, perhaps a deer, foraging nearby. i tried to follow the sound but it disappeared, and i never did catch a glimpse of the mystery animal.

the red maples transitioned into the atlantic white cedar zone, trees growing on top of little islands of sphagnum moss in a sea of reddish tea colored bog water. plants resembling elodea were floating in the water, which i thought were just submerged sphagnum moss, but out of curiousity i crouched down to get a closer look and realized they were actually carnivorous plants, similar to bladderworts. i didn't see the raised stalks of flowers, that's why i wasn't sure originally, but upon closer examination, i could definitely see the little bladder pouches it uses to catch prey. this entire place is like a dead zone for insects!

i kept on walking, revisiting the pitcher plants i'd seen 2 weeks ago. each plant had a distinctive grouping of pitchers as well as a unique location, all of which i was able to recall, like seeing long-lost friends, when i came across them. for some reason i didn't seem to see as many pitcher plants as i did the first time i was here. i think the last time it was raining so hard, i really had nothing else to do but to spot pitcher plants on the ground. now with the nicer weather, there were more sights to distract me, and i probably missed a few along the way.

one of my reasons for visiting the bog was to get better photos of the sundews. i came to the area where i remembered they'd be, looked for the tell-tale signs of their raised-stalked flower/seedheads, and found their glistening pads. maybe the season is almost over, but these sundews didn't look so healthy. some of them didn't even have sticky droplets on their leaves. this is naturing no-no, and i've never done it before, but i decided to bring home a few samples, plucked them from the sphagnum moss and threw them in a ziploc bag. it felt like shoplifting, and i was almost expecting to see a park ranger step out from behind a tree to arrest me.

(compare with this rainy day photo!)

i got to the end of the boardwalk eventually. since this was my second time around, the trail seemed shorter than before. coming back around, i was calling julie on the cellphone, kneeling down on the ground observing a dragonfly (a female meadowhawk). suddenly i noticed people coming down the boardwalk! i quickly got off the phone, i didn't want to be that obnoxious guy who comes out naturing so he can make phone calls. fortunately i was on an area of boardwalk that was several blanks wide, so there was room for me to step aside while about a dozen high school boys and girls came walking through. "what're you guys up to?" i asked to no one in particular. an older man who appeared to be their leader said, "nothing much, we're just exploring," he said as he lead the kids away, some of them carrying notebooks, others boxes of equipment, with a boy holding a large butterfly/fishing net. i watched them disappear, surprised to see anybody else visiting the bog (bogs seem to be very unpopular destinations), happy to meet like-minded nature enthusiasts though. by the time i almost made it out, i bunched into some more people, an older couple. there was some tricky navigation as we side-stepped one another to cross the narrow planks. "are there anymore inside?" the man asked me. "there's a science class down there, about a dozen kids, all the way in the end," i informed him.

i trekked back out to the parking lot along the main gravel path, then drove back to the cafe, getting stuck in some mild rush hour traffic along the way, listening to WEEI 850 sports radio. i returned the car, got some bubble ice tea, then rode the motorcycle back home to cambridge, where i bumped into my upstairs neighbor steve, whom i haven't talked to all summer long. "so that's your motorcycle," he said, as i got off my bike. we talked about getting a guy to clean out our gutters, about doing some repair work on the house come spring, and this quarter's water bill, which we don't owe a cent since we actually got a credit.

i filled two glass bowls with sphagnum moss, added some water, and replanted the wild sundews. i don't know if they're going to survive. i don't think they need a dormancy period like pitcher plants, but i'm definitely not going to be able to get any live bugs for them to eat during the long new england winter. that's one reason why i never bring home any specimens: it's difficult duplicating their natural environment and i'll probably end up killing them.

came nightfall i left the house and walked over to julie's. she'd spent the day resolving her car issue, learned how to deactivate the alarm system on her car so she can finally drive it again. in what was supposed to be last night's original plan, we went out to blue ribbons bbq in arlington to get food, and got back to my place just in time for the game to start. the rest is history. julie kept on burping ("it's the beer," she said), while i must've dropped the f-bomb a million times throughout the course of the game. whenever the red sox didn't something right (which were far and few), we'd high-five with mixed results (need some practice). occasionally during commercial breaks we'd switch to the presidential debate, but for the most part we stuck to the game. after julie left, i took out the trash, answered a few more late-night work-related questions from alex via instant messaging, then called it a night.