pretty much ever since i started indoor gardening, i noticed these tiny little flies hanging around the plants. they were a nuisance, but i didn't think too much of it since there were just a few. trying to figure out whether they could potentially hurt my plants, i finally looked them up online. turns out they're fungus gnats and they're a pretty common houseplant pest. the adults only live for a few days and their larvae live in moist soil and feed on fungus. so that tiny maggot i saw yesterday when i was transplanting the parsley wasn't just my imagination. here's the problem: if there aren't any fungus the larvae start feeding on the plant roots, and that could be a bad thing. one way to solve the problem is to not water the plants so often, waiting until there's an inch of dry dirt on the surface. unfortunately i found this out right after i just watered the plants. i can also get yellow sticky traps for the adults, and if none of those work, i can get some BT bacterium that will kill the maggots underground. as to how i ever got fungus gnats, i'm guessing there were some eggs in the potting soil that eventually hatched into adult. which goes to show you: dirt is dirty!

i rearranged some of my plants tonight. the nasturtiums were growing too close to each other and i decided to space them out some more so their leaves wouldn't shade each other.

i am glued to the television, watching all this election coverage. MSNBC is always on during the day. my favorite anchor: norah o'donnell (especially after i found out we're the same age). but every once in a while i get oversaturated and like to cleanse my pallet with a syndicated sitcom rerun, like just shoot me or yes dear. since i figured i probably didn't have any work today, i stayed up late last night watching the documentary king of kong. i went to bed just as the local morning news were broadcasting. once i woke up, i made lunch: scrambled eggs with garlic and kielbasa sausages on a bagel plus a smoothie. it was too delicious to be good for my health.

today i learned the different between real power and apparent power. i must've studied it back in engineering school, but more than a decade later i hardly remember a thing. real power is the number i've been recording when i was testing all my household appliances with the wattage meter. real power is measured in watts. however, there's also this thing called apparent power, measured in volt-amperes. on my meter i can toggle between the two readings. sometimes the watts and the volt-amperes are the same numbers, but sometimes the volt-amperes number is higher. since it's called apparent power, does that mean my appliance is actually using more power than reported? yes and no. it's true: apparent power is the actual power needed to drive the device, but the real power is the power used. confused? yeah, me too. i guess when electricity goes into a device, not all of it is used. some gets bounced back, some gets lost in translation. but here's the thing: the electricity company only charges for the real power AKA wattage! only if you were seriously doing something weird with your electricity (like mad scientist stuff) and run up a huge apparent power deficit would they then charge you for that as well. why tell you all this? well, while checking the space heater in my bedroom, i noticed it was reading 0 watts but an apparent power of 9 volt-amperes. so even when it's turned off, it's still drawing power, but nothing i'd be charged for.

in the early evening i fell asleep in bed while watching more florida primary coverage. i woke up to hear the announcement that mccain had won that state. as for hillary, she was down in florida celebrating her hollow victory since the democratic committee stripped the state of all its delegates and all the candidates agreed to not campaign there. she spun it as a genuine win, even though it's not really fair since no candidates canvassed there. that to me shows just what kind of political machine she is, trying to generate some momentum for her campaign after all the pro-obama press following his south carolina victory and the slew of high profile endorsements.

i don't know what's more exciting: the superbowl this sunday or the MA state primary next tuesday.