the plan was this: take advantage of the good weather and cycle out for some naturing. unfortunately the temperature was just too cold for extended riding, 40's in the morning, and peaking into the 50's by the afternoon (i was expecting 60's). so i postponed my nature trip, and instead went out and did some local errands. i went to target to return some towels, then swung by market basket for some groceries.

although too cool for riding, it was the perfect day to start running again. i went into the bathroom and found my contact case. i haven't worn them all winter long and one of the lenses actually dried up. they were my last pair too, so i went online and ordered some more. although i can run with my glasses, i prefer contacts, so no running until next week when they arrive.

in the early evening i went to this lecture at harvard:

Natural History, Aesthetics, and Conservation
Aesthetic values of biodiversity are immediate, increase enjoyment of nature, and applicable to management goals, yet they are especially problematic for dangerous and otherwise unpopular creatures. [Harry] Greene will describe how Darwin's "descent with modification" and Kant's distinction between "beauty" and "sublime" facilitate nature appreciation, such that natural history enhances our emotional response to organisms beyond their individual appeal. Free and open to the public. Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.

interesting, but since the speaker was a herpetologist, we focused mainly on snakes and amphibians. he never did address the issue of whether a cuter animal species is more likely to be saved compared to one that's ugly. the hour was more of a show-and-tell, which wasn't all that bad. coming home, i bumped into my neighbor jeff. we chatted briefly, he told me he started working full-time in boston a few weeks ago. i was always sort of comforted by the fact that he was like me, freelancing from home (his business is architecture), and i used to see him all the time. he said he missed being in cambridge, but the economics forced him to look for steadier work. on that issue, we're in the same boat.

julie came over soon afterwards. it was her turn to cook. from a recipe she clipped out of a magazine, she made a tangy breaded chicken cutlet dish with a side of string beans. we watched the red sox game against the detroit tigers. when that started to become too depressing (although the sox won yesterday, they lost tonight), we switched to top chef and watched cooks screaming at each other.

finally, i think i got a good photo of the elusive red nasturtium.