on i day that i thought i'd be free i woke up to an eyeful of bugs to fix. not good. i already planned out my day and it didn't include working. nevertheless, i put on my smart hat and started debugging. an hour later i was finished, but already i was behind schedule. i needed to borrow the car but 30 minutes later my father still had come by to pick me up so i started walking. along the way i bumped into him on the road. after dropping him off at the cafe, i drove to zeff's in belmont to pick up the lens i was renting for the weekend, the canon EF 16-35mm 1:2.8 L USM. this particular lens sells for around $1300; i was borrowing it a few days for $30.

i returned home, dropped off the lens and camera, and took an tao and his wife to costco, more than an hour later than when i promised them. i was just picking up supplies for my parents while they were looking for potential "only in america" gifts to bring back to china, things like fish oil capsules or bags of coffee. an tao's wife said it was an interesting place but a lot of items she didn't know what they were used for. later i dropped them off at the nearby target while i made a quick dash to the petsmart.

as an aquarium enthusiast here in greater boston, there are only so many places one can go for fish supplies. large chain pet stores are a depressing affair, sometimes staffed with young employees who don't seem to care too much about the work, much less the animals. for the most part i find the petsmart store okay, but i find their selection lacking (they seem to only stock a particular brand) and the prices are 2-3x more expensive that what i've seen online or in catalogs. realizing this, i decided to buy online instead. before i left i wanted to see if i could pick up a few more plants, but they were all in a sad state, quickly rotting away since my last visit, so left empty-handed.

i found an tao and his wife at target, hovering around the kitchen supply aisles. we made a circuit of the store and left with a few more items. i bought a bag of australian licorice. returning to cambridge, i dropped an tao off at his workplace before returning the car to my parents and getting a ride back to my place.

i had a feeling maybe there was something still wrong with the project, and sure enough, more bugs greeted me when i got home. normally it wouldn't be a big deal except there was a delivery today so i spent the next few hours in my bedroom fixing these last-minute glitches. only after it was all over was i finally able to eat for the first time today, some ramen around 8pm.

little guppy

preggo female?

frill plant

i've been trying to get a good photo of the little guppy. it's definitely a female and has a flashy tail fin characteristic of guppies. the other two adult females both have white patches on their tail fins, but this little guppy has black coloration, which none of the other guppies have. it's also interesting to see how much it's changed from a week ago, when it was just starting to show some colors. even the damaged ends seemed to have healed now. back to the two adult females: are they pregnant again? this near constant pregnancy can't be good for them and i wonder if the males will outlive them. at the pet store today i saw some of the other guppy varieties, and they were pretty amazing. the ones that i have are very plain compared to some of the more elaborate specimens. in plants news, that mysterious vegetation currently sort-of growing in the minibow is a bacopa but i don't know which kind (probably moneywort). and the frilly plant? it's called a milfoil AKA frill plant (that's a real name, not just something i made up).

since i didn't get anything at the petsmart store, i went to their website and ordered $60 worth of aquarium equipment. does it make sense that the prices online are way cheaper than in the actual stores, when they're essentially the same company? ordered upwards of $50 get free shipping too (although you still have to pay taxes) and i found a coupon for $10 off - so i got some plastic clumps of baby hide out/breeding grass.

EF 16-35mm 1:2.8 L
1/125 sec f2.8 35mm

EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6
1/30 sec f4.0 25mm

i finally got a chance to play with the new lens. i like how all the moving parts are internal, so this zoom lens doesn't expand and contract like my other two lenses. it has a pretty good wide-angle (16mm) but i haven't been able to test that out completely in the confines of my own house. it has a big aperture, which means blurrier backgrounds. it may just be me, but i personally prefer photos that are in-focus throughout, as unprofessional as they may look. a big aperture also means a faster capture speed when i have the aperture dialed to the maximum 2.8 - better images in low light situation (though the background will remain blurry, but not really an issue when shooting with low light). the new lens is also able to focus much closer than my normal kit lens. i really want to get my hands on a true 1:1 macro though. maybe next week i'll visit calumet and see if they have any available macro lenses to rent. there comes a point though where it'd make more financial sense to just buy a lens versus renting a bunch of them to try out.

i'm taking the lens out tomorrow in boston for some sightseeing, bringing an tao and his wife as well. we'll see how it tests!