i love rolling out of bed and waking up to some late breaking news on television. this morning came the announcement of attorney general alberto gonzales resignation. while cnn.com felt it was more important to spotlight former quarterback michael vick's confession and apology over dogfighting, foxnews.com had a cryptic "bush: gonzales 'dragged through mud'" headline with no mention of his resignation. it's hard to know who to trust when it comes to news; definitely not fox, with their overt right-leaning reporting, but even supposedly objective cnn tends to lean towards the sensational and entertainment-worthy news items. for the most part, i get my real news from the internet, visiting multiple sites, and then making up my own mind. sometimes what somebody doesn't say actually says more about the real truth. i'm just afraid that most people take what gets reported at face value and doesn't take the time to properly digest the stories. the lack of critical thinking on the part of our society is what led people to support a misguided war and now we're stuck in a no-win situation.

and on that upbeat political note, i restarted my running regimen again. it's only day one so calling it a "regimen" but be too optimistic, but with all this free time on my hands, to not go out and get some exercise would be a serious waste of time. i like to run on an empty stomach (i like to believe i burn more stored fat calories and i don't feel as heavy) even if that means running hungry in the middle of a hot afternoon. my energy level was high and i ran from my house down to the charles river (normally i'd just walk). i finished my loop then came back.

before i had time to take a shower, i changed into a pair of jeans and visited my garden. if you compare today's garden photo with the one i took 5 days ago, you'll notice that the sunflowers have grown another foot at least. sunflowers are often the gateway plant to get kids into gardening because they grow so fast and tall; nothing impresses a child more than when a plant they've sowed grows large enough that it towers over them. what's more, the payoff is a giant flower that you can eat!

my habaneros are doing fine (compare with the photo i took just 3 days ago). looks like i'm going to get some peppers after all. my parents have the same plant growing in the cafe's parking lot but because it's at a more optimal sunny location, that plant has a bunch of green peppers already while i just have a few buds.

i've got mad basil! they stay succulent because i water the hell out of them, and purposely stunt them by nipping off the flowers so they mass produce leaves instead. i have a bunch of fresh basil "growing" in a glass of water on my kitchen counter, and when they go bad (2 weeks or so), i just go down to the garden a snip off some new ones.

not sure how long it takes for a sunflower to become mature, but the heads are developing fast. i can already see where the seeds are going to be. sunflowers don't have many leaves and i've always wondered how they can collect enough sunlight to photosynthesize the materials they need to grow so large. one thing i noticed though: when a leaf breaks off (which is quite common, they're rather fragile), a new one grows in its place.

even though i'm pretty sure i'm allergic to ragweed pollen, i still can't seem to keep away. i pulled off a stem of "flowers" from the ragweed growing on the periphery of my garden. i tried shaking it to see if i could get any pollen to fall out but i got nothing. i took a few sniffs to see if i could detect any scent. nothing. however, i soon found out that even though i couldn't see the pollen, they were definitely there: minutes later my nose started to run a little bit and i felt a little weird, like the feeling you get immediately after taking some powerful cold medication. (as soon as i got home i took another claritin tablet.)

the tomatillos continue to baffle me: just when i was sure they don't self-pollinate, a bunch of flowers have remained on the stem and tranformed into good-sized tomatillo "ballons." as to whether or not there's anything inside, i don't know - i'm just so happy to see them fruiting, i was afraid to squeeze any of them to see if there areactually tomatillos growing inside. if i can collect just a few mature tomatillos, it'll be a success. as to why they should be fruiting now when they didn't before (even though it's been making flowers non-stop and bees pollinate the heck out of it) i don't know.

i saw the fruits of the wild cucumbers today and they look nothing like cucumbers. they look more like spiky green jacks. i've been watering them just the same, just so i can see what the mature fruits will look like.

saw a strange bug in the garden today: most people will say it was a bee, but when i first spotted it, i thought it was a bee-mimicking fly. after seeing the head though, i confirmed that it was indeed a bee, but one that i've never seen before. it kind of looks like a bumblebee, but the markings are a little off and not as hairy as a bumblebee. it's abdomen resembled a carpenter bee, but it was too small to be that either. maybe it's a weird mutant, or an immature, or just a species of bee i've never seen before.

please enjoy some tomato porn, compliments of the house:

approaching 4pm, i rode to the burger king by mcgrath's highway and got a whopper takeout. i king-sized it (naturally) and i was afraid the drink wouldn't fit inside my backpack (i got it to fit, wrapped in a towel to prevent it from spilling). back at home, i had a blissful moment of guilty greasy indulgence before finally taking a shower.

i did two loads of laundry in the second half of the afternoon. for dinner i microwaved a chicken pot pie late in the evening (i wasn't very hungry, wonder why?).