i was looking at snow this morning, the silent precipitation. this would be an all-day affair, with the snow transitioning into rain later in the afternoon. i went out and shoveled twice, unlike my neighbor don, who is obsessed with keeping his sidewalk clear. i heard the scraping of his shovel about every hour until the snow stopped falling. he makes everyone else look bad with his diligent snow removal.

no word from any of my patrons today other than the hardware guy working for client N. he called me up from birmingham and said he was sending me a serial box to test my program. he spent 5 minutes going over the technical details, of which i was completely clueless. nevertheless, i found myself involuntarily nodding into the phone in agreement, as if i knew what he was talking about.

finally called nintendo to get my wii fixed. i figured it'd cost about $100 to get it repaired, including the price of shipping it back to their factory. i told the guy over the phone that half the time my wii wouldn't even start, and when it did it'd get stuck on the safety warning screen after i hit a button on the remote. "just send it back to us and we'll repair it," he said. i was expecting more resistance, more hoop jumping, maybe some troubleshooting before clearing the way for a repair job. i wonder if this was a common problem though, since he didn't ask me anymore questions. i gave him my serial number and he told me that i bought the console from best buy. this was actually a present from suhan, so i didn't have a receipt, but he said that was okay because he had all my info anyway, and said i was still under warranty, so the fix would be free. i couldn't believe it, i actually asked if he was sure. he sent me an e-mail with a fedex shipping label to put on the box. i wrapped up the console in some bubble wrap and threw it into an old amazon carton with some styrofoam peanuts. in about 2 weeks time i should have a fixed wii again. not that i have any games for it, other than resident evil 4, which i already returned. i'll probably buy it online, i love that game (saving the president's daughter is what i love to do).

as forecasted, by the late afternoon it started to rain. not enough to melt any of the snow but enough to create some slush that would freeze overnight and make traveling tomorrow an icy mess. after all that shoveling, i hit the tub for a nice hot soak, reading the latest issue of consumer report. i was surprised to find an article on scooters and small motorcycles, including the one i ride, the honda rebel. they gave my motorcycle a pretty bad review, and even listed it as 30mpg (from years of riding, i can tell you that bike gets 80+mpg). the article also said motorcycles are harder to ride than scooters, and a motorcyclist is 37x more likely to die in a car crash versus a car driver (that's kind of dangerous!). i was actually kind of relieved with the poor write-up, because that means less people will be riding, more road for me. with all this snowfall, i haven't even thought about the motorcycle in weeks. i'm hoping i can begin riding again in march, barring any major early spring snowstorms.

my grandmother called me today from california, wanted to ask me what i did for chinese new year even though she already knew since she called my parents earlier. she also asked if i was working and told me i should turn up my heat.

i had enough of looking at the dirty aquarium so i finally did a water change today (only the 10 gallon, the minibow will have to wait until tomorrow). for some reason i can never get any plants to survive in my fish tanks, other than the java ferns. i'm pretty sure the reason is the lack of sufficient lighting. last year i did all sorts of research trying to find a solution for my 10 gallon aquarium, even considering building a DIY hood with normal compact fluorescent bulbs. that may be my new project for the rest of the winter.

i got in touch with somebody on craig's list selling a bunch of used PS2 games. all this wii business (albeit broken) got me jonesing for some console gaming action again. i scheduled an appointment to meet friday night; the seller actually lives in belmont, so i can stop off at my parents afterwards. anyway, i fired up the old PS2 and played some katamari, trying to find the remaining cousins and presents.

german kielbasa and sauerkraut on toasted english muffin was my lunch; for dinner i had some beef noodle soup and a bowl of cherries. later in the evening i went outside and sprinkled some road salt to keep the ice from forming on the sidewalk. the stuff i have isn't very good, it's essentially a mixture of sand and salt crystals. what i really want is the stuff that looks like tiny white pellets; that stuff works miracles, i've seen it melt through solid ice even when the temperature got bitterly cold. probably bad for the environment though.