carlos barria - reuters

spent the first two hours of this morning oiling the backyard deck. it was a crisp morning, but it felt good to be outside working with my hands (hands and knees actually, coating the wooden floorboards with a sponge brush). i stopped around noontime, having finished my own deck. i'll do the stairs next time, and then upwards to my neighbor's floor. i just have to remember not to oil myself into a corner, which almost happened a few times today (i blame the fumes).

another omelette for lunch, then went to the bank to deposit some cash. i originally thought i could just do it through the ATM but felt safer with a human teller. back at home i did some work for client N, but didn't finish it (hopefully i'll get it done tomorrow). my mother dropped by but i didn't hear her knocking on my door until she phoned me angrily from my aunt's cellphone.

spent some time online shopping. ordered a 500gb internal IDE drive for julie (we went in on an order together to save on shipping) along with an USB-firewire-eSATA external hard drive enclosure. from a different place i got another 4gb SDHC card. and then the last thing i bought was a terabyte serial ATA drive for the enclosure. maybe in 10 more years i'll be buying my first petabyte drive.

watched the presidential town hall debate tonight. when moderator tom brokaw asked john mccain who he would pick as his treasury secretary, mccain blurted out, "not you." what a weird joke - the audience couldn't decide whether to laugh or recoil in horror. mccain lost me when he started with his "my friends." obama was more natural, talking to the questioners like two friends having a casual conversation, versus mccain, who was more speechy and occasionally skirted the question. when asked to prioritize a list of issues, mccain asked brokaw to repeat the list while he jotted them down, before saying he'd fix everything all at once. i thought mccain was the candidate who couldn't multitask? obama gave a more realistic answer, with energy being the top priority, followed by health care and then education. obama was actually the first person to bring up 9/11, which surprised me, since that's normally a republican tactic. mccain said something about the last president to raise taxes during tough economic times was herbert hoover. crickets. herbert what? does anyone else remember him besides mccain? mccain paced around in the background like a hyperactive child when obama talked, while obama calmly sat whenever mccain spoke. i loved how when the debate was over, obama and mccain managed to block tom brokaw from seeing the camera. several networks had on panels of undecided voters afterwards. i think those people are just attention-craving cowards. nearly 2 years of presidential race coverage and they still haven't decided yet? or maybe they're still undecided because it makes them feel important, get a chance to be on television.

julie dropped by briefly during the debate to return my gps which i accidently dropped in her car. my roommate came home late again, went into the kitchen to make something to eat. i smelled burning and went to investigate. "turn that off!" i shouted, pointing to the frozen rotisserie chicken in the toaster oven. not only was it frozen, but it was still on the porcelain plate, covered in plastic wrap which had partially melted in the oven. i explained you couldn't put anything plastic, or ceramic, or frozen, or oversized, in the toaster oven. i kindly suggested he use the microwave instead, first defrosting the bird, before zapping it at full. he has a microwave at home but he said only his wife knows how to use it. i warned him not to put anything metal in the microwave or it'd explode. i said it with a smile, i hope he didn't think i was joking. afterwards he cut up the chicken and we cooked it a bit in the toaster oven to give it some crisp. i noticed my new frying pan (the one i got to replace the one scratched up by my previous china roommate) already had some light scratches on them. i hate china roommates.

i finally mustered enough courage to give my roommate his second "talk" regarding the excess fluids around the toilet. "when you brush your teeth, do you rinse in the toilet?" i asked. "no, i use the sink," he replied. "so how come sometimes it's really wet around the toilet? is that water? or urine?" i inquired. "well, i occasionally use the toilet brush to wash the toilet," he said. my face remained emotionless but my brain exploded. "okay, use the brush only on the inside, and toilet paper on the edge. any water that gets on the floor, i end up having to clean up later." hopefully he got the message. but i don't know which is worse: wiping up the urine (which happens less frequently now, thank god) or wiping up the toilet bowl water. i hate china roommates.