my book order from amazon.com arrived today. i waited for the mailman to leave before bringing in the package. i keep on thinking he hates me ever since i made that complaint to the post office so i've been intentionally avoiding him whenever possible.

photography: the new complete guide to taking photographs (2005) by john freeman: google.com actually has a pretty extensive preview of this book in their book search section. a lot of these photo instruction books, they're filled with pretty photos but once you read the tips and use them, you never need the book anymore. still, it's a nice book to browse. i was searching for a real photography reference manual but i don't think this is it.

aquarium fish breeding (2003) by jay hemdal: i knew i ordered a fish book but forgot which one. this one's nice, a lot more technical than your usual generic fishkeeping books. some of the information i've never seen before yet there still seems to be some missing specifics. if you really are going to get into fish breeding, this is a nice intro but for the final answers you'd probably still need to search online or better yet, find somebody who's done it before.

kaufman field guide to insects of north america (2007) by eric eaton and kenn kaufman: i've been waiting for this guide to come out ever since i first heard about it from kenn kaufman himself more than a year and a half ago. i think the kaufman guides are some of the best. i own both the birds and butterflies guides, and i like these better because not only do they use photos (versus drawings), but they also digitally removed the distracting backgrounds. so i was excited to hear he was coming out with a guide for insects. after browsing through the pages, i still think it's a good guide book, but not as good as the butterflies or the birds. it feels like they tried to cram as much info as possible (which i appreciate, and also know that there are a lot of insects out there), but the result is more of a survey than an actual field guide. also missing are range maps, so some tropical bugs are mixed with more local bugs and it's hard to see that unless you read the text. the photo quality is also lacking - different exposures, different clarity. i will say this: it is pretty comprehensive (even if you don't find your insect, you're at least able to find a close cousin) and it does have a good selection of moths (guide books for moths are notoriously hard to come by, this is the best i've seen, despite the fact that it's only a section of the entire book). for a first edition it's certainly ambition; i just hope that maybe in future editions they can fix some of the problems, add some information that would normally be found in a field guide.

most of today i spent working on client N's project for an in-person delivery tomorrow afternoon. having done this kind of work for such a long time, there's a certain automaticness to everything which i find comforting, doing something i know how to do and can do it well. part of the project involved movies, which the client had a hard time understanding when i specified the format, so ended up just receiving a dvd of raw movies which i had to rip and recompress into actual files. while the movies were compiling it afforded me the opportunity to catch up on last night's rome. i can't believe that both BSG and rome have just one more episode left in their season! unfortunately for rome, next week's episode is not only the season finale but the series finale as well. by next sunday, i won't have anymore good shows to watch!

scooped out two of the larger baby guppies from the 7 minibow and added them to the guppy tank. they both seemed like males, but at this stage i still can't tell for sure. i've noticed the smaller adult male has been constantly pestering the larger adult male. i think there's an identity crisis issue because it repeatedly tries to mate with the larger male. also this smaller adult has a very suspect lineage. it's supposed to be a cobra guppy but i think it looks more like a tuxedo guppy, with it's blue body and red fins. it also has none of the reticulating patterns found on the true cobras. i personally think his father was a tuxedo guppy and when his mother arrived in my aquarium she was already pregnant with cobra-tuxedo hybrids. i also scrubbed the hexagon of algae but accidently overflowed the tank when i sunk my whole forearm underwater. water started backflowing into the air pump and i unplugged everything before it could short out.

back to my shows: monday night 10pm the black donnellys. is anybody else watching this? anyone who loves the sopranos or mobster movies will absolutely love this one. the best part is since it's NBC, if you miss a show, you can just go online and watch it on their website (with less commercials too). while it's nowhere as good as BSG or rome, it's still a lot better than most of the stuff that's currently out there. a person can only watch so much CSI or law & order!

my mother called me in the evening telling me my father was going to taiwan on wednesday. my 90 year old grandfather is in the hospital and he doesn't seem to be doing too well so my father has to go back in case the doctors need a family member to make any critical decisions. my father called me 2 weeks ago and said he might be going back, but it seemed like a false alarm, but now i think my grandfather is back on life-support so my father needs to go back for real this time.