a neighbor keeps on getting my mail and has written me notes about it in the past but i usually just throw them away. i get wrongly delivered mail all the time but i don't make a big stink about, i just return them to the proper address when i get the chance. however this isn't the case with this particular neighbor: he or she always has a habit of including a note, almost like they're fishing for an award or compliment just for returning my mail. i was under the impression that this was simply the neighborly thing to do. regardless of how i personally felt, i decided to placate my peevish neighbor by calling the post office to register a complaint (especially since they gave me the number to call and twice mentioned complaining). then it was my turn to write a note for my neighbor, saying how i never made a big deal when i got their mail, but nevertheless did what they asked. hopefully this will make them less grumpy.

i finished watching all six webisodes of andy barker p.i. (they're on the nbc.com website). i started late last night, got through half of them, then finished the rest today. since this show is temporarily replacing 30 rock (thursday night 9:30pm timeslot, one of my favorite shows) starting next week, i didn't want to like it. however it was surprisingly clever and laugh-out-funny and i hope NBC brings back more than the 6 episodes (just in a different timeslot, that's all). i like how besides being a detective he's also an accountant: in light of my recent tax troubles, when he's dispensing random tax advices, i'm carefully paying attention.

all my fish appear to be healthy, no more deaths. i changed out half the water in my hexagon tank, vacuumed the gravel, and wiped the algae off with a sponge. i was surprised to find that the mass of elodea plants floating on the surface of the tank (because of the undergravel filtration, they often uproot) had actually grown: what used to be 6 stalks turned out to be 12. i split them up, replanted half, and transferred the rest to my 7 minibow. i'm a believer in the philosophy that you can never have enough live plants in an aquarium. besides looking good, they also provide oxygen, reduce the nitrate level, and keep the algae in check. on a whim i did a water chemistry test on the hexagon tank. i figured there'd at least be some bad results since i haven't changed in the water in months (just added some water due to evaporation), but what i found surprised me: pH 7.0, ammonia 0 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, and nitrate 0 ppm. the nitrate reading surprised me the most. in all my other tanks there's always a little bit of nitrate (which is a bacterial byproduct of fish waste), and nitrate also contribute to algae (which i evidently saw on the tank), but i was amazed it read zero. apparently an undergravel filter is pretty effective (particularly when there's only one fish) so i shouldn't be so surprised anymore that my cherry barb has survived this long. elsewhere, i was able to sex one of the baby guppies (male) and move him to the boy side of the 10 tank.

here you see the old logo for aquarium pharmaceuticals, an international company that makes chemical products for aquariums, whether it be a test kit, water conditioner, or fish medicine. when i first saw it, i had no idea what it was. only after i read "doc wellfish" did i finally figure out what it was: a fish in glasses wearing a doctor's lab coat with a stethoscope. another interesting touch is it's also wearing a head mirror. if you look carefully, the fish also has a bushy eyebrow and a soul patch. their new logo looks completely different, a rather bland stylized API acronym, more corporate, less fun.

corn for lunch, chicken strips for dinner, topped off with some ramen and anothe serving of tiramisu. when an tao came back home in the evening ("it's getting warmer," he said), we pulled out the map and chatted about potential regional hotspots across the globe. i told him how americans see the world, and he gave me the countering china viewpoint.