it didn't take me long to realize something was amiss this morning. first, the guest bedroom door was closed. my roommate always leaves the door open when he goes to work in the morning. the soap box in the bathroom meant he'd been up, but did he leave? his shoes were still outside, and judging from the position of the front door key, no one had gone outside yet. i wanted to knock on his door to see if he was still home, but decided against it, even though i had this fear that maybe he'd somehow died in his bedroom. besides, i promised myself i would go running, and already had my contacts and running outfit on, so there was no backing out.

i took my advice from last time and went slow. this time around i wasn't as successful, and had to stop before i reached the eliot bridge when i began to cramp up on my left side. i did some half-hearted stretching but it was mostly for show, so passing motorists wouldn't think i was too much of a loser for walking. i got as far as the fountain to get a drink before running again. they're repaving that stretch of path on the memorial side of the river so i was forced to run on the road (protected by a barrier of cones while just several feet from me cars race by at 45 mph). the heat didn't bother me (it wasn't very hot yet, 80 degrees) and afterwards i felt good enveloped in that pocket of summertime warm. better enjoy it while i can because soon fall will be upon us. hot weather your days are numbered.

i watered the garden when i passed by, suffering two mosquito bites (managed to kill them both, bloody smears on my palms) but eating a handful of golden raspberries for my troubles.

returning home, everything was still the way i left it: roommate's shoes outside and his bedroom door still closed. by then i was almost sure he'd either left the house or was dead, and was just about to knock on his door when i heard some noises inside. he came out and said he was going to the market to get some groceries, armed with a green tote bag. who is this guy?

my roommate has been living here for almost a week now and i still don't know his name. he told me when we first met but i forgot, then i asked my father but forgot again. i have a hard enough time remember american names, let alone chinese names. i think his last name is zheng, but the rest of his name is two additional easy-to-forget chinese-sounding syllables. one thing i've noticed is he's not very inquisitive. many of my other china roommates always had questions about living in america. this new roommate is different, either somebody else is feeding him answers or he seems genuinely unimpressed by the way we live. maybe because he's lived abroad in europe for so many years, and this stop in america - though his first time - is nothing new for him. he does like the weather, which is far cooler than the roasting cauldron back home in nanjing.

so is he going to the office? or is he working from home today? i hope this doesn't become a regular occurrence, because i need my afternoon me time, those precious few hours when i pretend i'm living by myself again and can do whatever it is i want without having to be considerate. although having him in the house keeps me honest, because left with nothing else to do, i can concentrate on my work (for client N). if i can make some real progress, i'll reward myself with a nature trip tomorrow. the wilderness beckons, i haven't gone out as much as i'd like.

my roommate ended up spending the whole day at home. it wasn't like he was taking the day off though, he was in his room staring intensely and silently at his laptop screen the whole day. i never saw him eat or even use the bathroom. later in the evening he just went to bed. his strong work ethics didn't rub off on me though. i did some work (mostly data entry stuff) but not as much as i'd like. it was just too darn hot and i ended up running the air conditioner for most of the day.

i've been meaning to modify my wii console so it can play - amongst other things - imported japanese games. in the past modding a wii meant performing some serious soldering, but with these newer generation chips, no soldering is required. after reading some good reviews, i ended up buying the 3rd generation wasabi zero solderless mod chip for $25. the wasabi zero is compatible with most wii drive chips, but i wanted to be sure, and the only way to find out is to open up the console. that required a special tri-wing screwdiver. i was going to buy one online, but i discovered microcenter were selling them for $3.

figuring it'd be less crowded since it was well after rush hour, i arrived at microcenter via magazine street through cambridgeport. instead of being empty, the store was buzzing with business, and the line to pay was a dozen customer deep. i wasn't in any rush so it wasn't a big deal. when i left, the sun was just starting to set. the beautiful sunset was so distracting i was afraid i'd crash the motorcycle.

there's something gratifying about taking something apart. probably more so in the past, when things were actually mechanical and you could see the gears inside and make some sense of it. nowadays, with electronic devices, it's just circuit boards and memory chips, hard to understand how it works just be looking inside. nevertheless, i still enjoy taking things apart - and more importantly - putting them back together again. thank god for the internet because i wouldn't know how to go about opening up a wii, but there were online instructions with photos and even videos. like for instance, several screws are actually hidden behind tiny white square stickers, something i probably wouldn't have figured out on my own. i managed to take the wii apart, check to see what chip i have (the GC2-D2C), and then put everything back together. during the whole process i found a tiny square nut rattling inside. where did that come from? my wii did spend some time at the wii factory getting fixed a while back; maybe the repair person lost a nut.