major earthquake in china, that was the breaking news saturating the air waves when i woke up this morning. nearly 10,000 people killed with the death toll rising. this after the burmese cyclone last week that might've killed more than 100,000 people in myanmar. so i'm watching television, and guess what story they cut to after the earthquake report? tornado in the midwest, 22 dead. i did a double take. 22 dead? for real? how does that even compare to tens of thousands dead in asia? maybe those in the midwest got off lucky. at least it wasn't 10,000 dead. or maybe the catastrophes in asia don't seem tragic enough, especially when there are so many dead, not compared to real folks in oklahoma and missouri. it seemed a little weird, that's all. high death tolls in china is nothing new though: because of overpopulation, any small natural disaster can result in death tolls many magnitudes greater than here in the US. funniest thing i heard about the earthquake: one reporter noted that the epicenter was close to a panda refuge. "let's hope they're okay," he said. i think so long as the pandas stay away from structurally-unsafe high rises, they'll be fine in their bamboo forests.
monday is my weakest day of the week. i seem to suffer from monday-blindness, always overlooking this particular day and thinking that it's tuesday instead. monday for me doesn't have the same resonance that it does for folks who actually have to work in an office (not counting home office). nevertheless, i still carry some of that vestigial monday blues, the imaginary pains of my phantom work limb.
i woke up early this morning with a todo list. first, visit the cambridge recycling department and ask about buying a rain water collector. second, get some gasoline ($3.59/gallon at the local hess). third, visit the library to return some books and get some new ones. all this before it started raining, which according to the online doppler radar was probably an hour away, hovering ominously over rhode island and southern massachusetts. i made it back home before i got soaked. feeling lucky, i went out again to the dollar store to get some kleenex and toilet paper. i bumped into my neighbor renee who was throwing away boxes of mildewy books from her basement. i grabbed a vegetarian cookbook and a fungus biology text book.
i should've gone out for a run but i got lazy and rationalized that it was too cold and windy and would probably start raining at any moment. however, it didn't rain the entire day, even though the sky was dramatically overcasted throughout the day.
my father came over in the afternoon, his car packed with old computers. we were going to test the machines, patch one up that could actually run from all the various broken parts. this machine i would then convert to a glorified network router capable of running a captive portal. one machine had been stripped by the son of a family friend (suhan), maybe sold for parts on ebay. it was missing all sorts of key components that we managed to replace with the exception of the processor fan, which was broken and the machine couldn't start without one (never mind it was also missing a serial keyboard). the other machine was newer (even though i bought it used many years ago for a now outrageous $220) but the AMD chip was dead for some strange reason. in the end we couldn't assemble a working pc so i contacted one of my local craig's list vendors who was getting rid of an old computer for $20. i actually got in touch with him yesterday about buying the machine, but then told him i wasn't interested when he called me. so i felt kind of sheepish writing him again asking if the pc was still available. fortunately he was a nice guy about it and said i could have it.
later i went with my father to the supermarket where the only thing i got was a case of root beer. two somerville hipsters were blocking the aisle and i had to interrupt their conversation in order to get to my drinks. they were giving me some playful attitude but i was in such a hurry i didn't have time to banter.
elsewhere, in a story unrelated to my life, both my father and sister called me today to let me know what the dog did this morning. apparently a squirrel had gotten into my parents' house last night. since nobody was home at the time, they didn't want to leave the windows open (to let the squirrel out) for fear of burglars. when they finally returned home, they couldn't find the squirrel anywhere, and they figured it was probably hiding in the sun room and they could try letting it out again tomorrow morning. fast forward to this morning. my mother was actually the first person to see it, when she was getting ready for work. at first she thought the dog was just playing with one of her many stuffed chew toys, but then my mother saw the blood and realized the dog had actually caught the squirrel. not only that, but she also wouldn't let it go and would eventually eat the whole thing. later, my father saw the dog catch a mouse in the backyard and eat it too. apparently huskies aren't that far removed from wolves and still retain a strong hunting (and killing and eating) instinct when it comes to small animals. nevertheless, they make bad guard dogs because they're not wary of humans. unless the intruder happens to be a squirrel. or a mouse. what happens if it's a neighbor's cat?
finally tonight, i watched game 4 of the celtics vs. cavaliers matchup. to their credit, the celtics kept the game close throughout the 4 quarters but they just couldn't close it out and the cavaliers ended up winning. now the series is tied at 2-2, going back to boston. for a team that had a pretty good road record, the celtics haven't won a single away game in the playoffs. this is great for ratings and the advertisers but in the long term bodes badly for boston. if they almost lost to the hawks and now seem to have problems getting past the cavaliers, this is not going to end well. who to blame? fire doc rivers. he's an awful coach. in the snippets of coaching i hear him make during the games, he seems to be always berating his players. nothing's ever good for enough for him, and the players are probably motivated to play well just so they don't get a lecture for him. for my money, former celtics coach jim o'brien was the best. under his tutelage, the celtics made it as far as the eastern conference in 2002. the fact that he was fired is proof that danny ainge is a moron.