presented to you in excruciatingly minute details are some random things i have around the house and their related stories, starting with this bowl of loose change. maybe you're like me, i deal only in bills. coins are dead to me (unless you're a state quarter i haven't seen before). i try to get rid of my change whenever possible, but no matter how much i use, i end up getting more than i get rid of. one of these days i should just visit a coinstar machine and have it automatically sorted for me. worst case scenario, if there's ever a gang fight, i have plenty of loose change and orphaned socks.




(1): this used to be how i found out about the day's temperature. unfortunately since the thermometer is attached to a southern-facing window, sunlight shines on it all day long, throwing off the accuracy of the reading. like, probably 50 degrees at best, but it read 60 degrees. it gets more accurate during the summers though, when the trees provide some shade. ever since i saw one, i want to get a high-low recording thermometer. nowadays when i need to check the weather i just go online (weatherpop and dashboard).

(2): this little magnetic leveler is attached to my aquarium stand. it tells me things aren't leveled but i know this already because when i fill the aquarium to rim i can see it's higher on one side.

(3): the divider that separates the male guppies from the female guppies. occasionally i see the fish pecking at the divider: maybe curious about what's on the other side, but maybe also eating some of the algae that grows on it. for some reason the male half of the aquarium is really bubbly - maybe because the filter sits on that side.




(4): the male half of the guppy tank is a rough neighborhood. the plants growing there don't seem to be doing so well and the filter constantly churn the water creating strong currents push the male guppies around.

(5): the female half on the other hand is a pleasant oasis of calm. it's also the half with the heater so it's the warmer side.

(6): every few weeks i have to gently rub the leaves of this java fern to get rid of the algae growing on it. placed on a piece of driftwood, i think it's already rooted itself by now. i have another java fern in the guppy tank that i'll eventually relocate to this 7 minibow.




(7): i don't usually drink juice straight from the carton; i like to combine it with some frozen fruit and a whole banana to blend a smoothie. i like these modern mashup juices (guava + pineapple? who would've thought!) but to tell you the truth, most of them all taste the same to me, fruity and sweet.

(8): my kitchen clock used to be black before i painted it red. for some reason it eats batteries like nobody's business. when it's really quiet in my house, sometimes i can hear the clock ticking. i think if my hearing was any better, the sound would probably drive me insane.

(9): a piece of handicraft from northern thailand. not sure if it's exclusively thai, because the same sort of thing can be found in other southeast asian countries.




(10): the grey/black fleece hat with the flaps is my headgear of choice for cold winter days. i usually don't wear hats; it means one less thing to forget. the green hat with the strip of plaid came with me to the coat of turkey back in 2001.

(11): i don't like this cellphone at all but it was the lesser of several evils when i switched to verizon and had to choose a new phone. the camera is virtual useless and has a habit of automatically turning on and taking photos inside my pocket. besides using it to make calls (the reception is still horrible, i think i just live in a dead zone) the other thing i use the phone for is an alarm clock.

(12): i'm the first in line to make fun of people who read more than they watch tv, but i'm no less guilty of picking up the occasional book (hopefully with pictures). the two places where i do almost all my reading is in the bathroom or in bed.




(13): underneath my desk is a fire hazard. despite my best effort to untangle the cables, it's still a cluttered mess. i use a KVM switch to toggle between my PC and my mac. occasionally the switch malfunctions and i have to unplug and replug all the usb cables to get the power back in but at least it keeps my desktop clear with just a single monitor. what i really want is an LCD monitor (all the kids are getting them these days). what i have now is a 19" sony trinitron. it's nice but it's heavy and hot. the problem with an LCD though is i may need to get a new KVM switch (one that has DVI) and i don't think they make cheap ones yet.

(14): the thermostat is set to 60 degrees but somehow the temperature s 63 degrees. this can only mean that the temperature outside the house is above 60 degrees. a few more days like these and i'll have to go down to the basement and turn off the furnace for the season.

(15): for some reason an tao always leaves a bottle of chinese brand gum on the coffee table. maybe it's part of his morning ritual back home in shanghai, but it's something i've noticed. even when i put the bottle somewhere else, it always manages to return to the coffee table.




(16): i love finding sea glass on the beach. they look like little pieces of candy and if i didn't know any better i'd probably eat them. i love wikipedia's description: "sea glass is one of the only objects made valuable by the actions of the environment on man-made litter."

(17): i'm still working on shadow of the colossus on the PS2. you'd think with all my free time i could schedule in some gaming every day but the urge to kill monsters comes and goes. i'd like to get back to katamari damarcy though, less violent, more mindless entertainment.

(18): box of insects also from the chiangmai night bazaar. i was afraid i'd have trouble getting it through customs but they never checked my bags and waved me through the gate. the green statue is from sanxingdui, china. the actual statue stands 8.5 feet. i waited until i got outside the museum before i bought anything (where the souvenirs were 300-400% cheaper).




(19): i think half of all the books i own are nature related. during the summers, after a successful nature outing, most of these books are strewn about the house as i try to identify whatever i saw that particular day.

(20): these fortune kitties are actually candy containers. i also have a large collection of japanese language books, reminder of when i minored in japanese back in college more than 10 years ago. those are a distant memory now and most of my knowledge of the language are long gone.

(21): here's the doll that that anshun receptionist secretly put in my bag when i left for guiyang.

other than going around my house taking photos, nothing much else happened today. i worked, ate a bagel for lunch, and had ramen for dinner.