"you're tony?" the woman asked me from behind. i'd gotten up at 9am and made my way to downtown crossing in boston on this brisk morning to meet up with the person trying to sell her used canon EF-S 18-55mm lens. since an tao and his wife took my charlie card, i went to the porter square star market to get a new one and add $20 to it. two silver foxes worked behind the counter and it took a while for them to find the cards but i wasn't in any hurry. when i finally got to downtown crossing, the coffee shop where we agreed to meet was gone (out of business) and i started to fish my cellphone out of my pocket when i heard the voice. the woman showed me the lens, which i unscrewed the lens cover to inspect the glass. seeing nothing wrong, i gave her the $70 and she gave me the lens as well as a matching lens hood. right there in the lobby of some office building, another successful craig's list transaction was made.

it's not often i come into boston these days, so i wanted to make the most of it, but the weather was just too cold to be walking around too much and i still had work to do at home. nevertheless, i took out my telephoto lens and took a few snapshots, memories of downtown crossing. i was surprised to find the barnes & noble bookstore had gone out of business, as part of the urban revitalization initiative apparently (that was sarcasm, in case you missed it).

i went to cvs to get some cough medicine for my mother then went below ground to catch the subway. i stopped off at the official charlie card headquarter to get the balance of my old paper card transferred onto the new plastic RFID card (it was just 50 cents, but i'll be damned if i was just going to let the MBTA keep it).

i got off at harvard square, grabbed the latest issue of EW, and walked home. with my big winter hat i had no peripheral vision and i couldn't turn my neck, but at least it kept my head warm.

back at home i tried out the "new" lens. from the outside it looked was exactly like my previous lens. besides the lack of blemishes inside the lens however, this replacement seems to have a more accurate focus. my old lens - maybe it was my imagination - seemed to have a focus preference for the rightmost focus spot. this one showed no such tendencies. even though the lens wasn't anything new, it felt new to me and for a while i was inspired to run around my house taking photos of everything i could see.

i continued with my bug fixing for client S, leaving briefly to go help my father and sister move a mattress and a bureau from lexington to belmont. by the end of the day i still had some bugs left but i had a good sense they could all be finished by tomorrow. throughout the day, the biggest news was the first snowstorm of the season arriving here in new england sometime later in the evening.

julie came over for dinner, brought her readymade chili and some leftover chocolate pudding oreo pie. she told me about her next vacation destination, exploring the slovenian alps with some of her hiking buddies. the frozen chili took a long time to defrost (it seemed to be impervious to microwaves), and even when we tried heating it up on the stove it was still a large frozen meatball. julie stabbed at it with a knife but i told her to stop after she poked the bottom of the non-stick cooking pot. eventually we got the chili well heated and ate our dinner while watching another exciting segment of "to catch a predator" on dateline.

sure enough, by midnight a light dusting of snow started to descend upon cambridge. periodically plow trucks would rumble down the street even though there's currently hardly enough snow worth worrying about just yet.