i'd already had lunch in chinatown with julie after the red sox parade (we went to the chinatown cafe by tufts medical school), but here i was going back to chinatown again, this time to have lunch with james. i met him at the newly renovated chinatown gate and we went to suishiya. it used to be that this place had okay box lunch specials, but nowadays i only come for the sushi. my poison: grilled eel (unagi). at $11/roll it's kind of pricey but i figured i only indulge in sushi a few times a year so it's okay. and fish is supposed to be good for you, right? omega 3 fatty acids rock! anyway, james and i talked a lot about sports, first the red sox, then the patriots. i overheard some business guys sitting next to us doing the same thing.

if you haven't been to chinatown in a while, you'll be surprised to find a new spacious park next to the chinatown gate. i don't mean that little tot lot where the crackheads and the homeless people hang out, but a new space, with sweeping views of the former I-93 and the financial district. it's a great place to hang out, with bamboo groves, a water fall, and an artificial stream. i went to ming's market before returning home.

my oyster mushroom kit has sprouted! i got it from a mushroom supplier during the summer (in exchange for a china photo) but even after persistent watering i never got it to do anything. i think it had something to do with the summer heat, mushrooms like it cool. so i sort of abandoned it, but a few days ago i decided to water it again, and lo and behold, mushrooms are growing!

i did another water change on the minibow. i had a sinking suspicious that i was missing a few glowlight tetras and sure enough, i found a dead fish stucked to the side of the outflow tube. now there are just 4 glowlight tetras, 4 neon tetras, and 1 cherry barb. by next year, that cherry barb will be at least 4 years old (i got him back in january 2004). i still rather prefer keeping tetras though; they swim in schools and seem more peaceful compared to some of the other fish species that enjoy chasing one another around. i thought maybe the glowlights and the neons wouldn't get along, but they seem to be coexisting without any problems, often schooling together. i tried out yet another different configuration for my new drift wood. i think i finally have it the way i want it, where it's not taking too much space, and there's even a little underground passage/cave that the fish can use to either hide or escape.

i spent the rest of the day working on another interactive demo for john. it's the third one and each time it gets easier and easier to build. i've also managed to streamline some more of the code, so if there's indeed a fourth demo i can create in even less time.

in the evening when zhu lei came back home, he asked if we could go see some of the local halloween festivities. unlike an tao (my previous researcher) who was always at work, zhu lei has a sense of adventure and is curious about things other than astronomy. this weekend i'm going to let him borrow the bicycle so he can do some local exploration. every halloween in the agassiz neighborhood traymore street and crescent street become an amusement park for kids as adults convert their homes into haunted houses. for some reason the pirate theme seems to be fairly prevalent. i had my camera but only took a few photos; i always getting nervous with picture taking when there are little kids around, i don't want their parents getting nervous. zhu lei snapped a few photos as well. if he thought that was cool, can't wait to show him the christmas lights display come december.

it's been a week since i brought my MBP to the mac store to get it fixed and still i haven't gotten back my machine. at the store they told me i'd be getting it back by now, but a check online showed that the repair is currently on hold pending the arrival of spare parts. who knows how much longer that's going to take. i secretly hope that when my MBP finally does come back, apple will throw in a copy of leopard as well, but i doubt it.

carrying on with the fish theme, i had some salmon for dinner. zhu lei went to bed without dinner, a repeat of last night. does he eat a big breakfast and lunch so he can avoid dinner? or maybe he doesn't know how to make anything? i'll ask him about it tomorrow, i'm kind of worried, although he's stocked the refrigerator with plenty of food. or maybe he secretly eats in his room but i haven't seen him cooking anything, other than that one night when he was making some toaster oven pizza at 3am in the morning.