roger showed up around 10:00. i called steve so we could all discuss what needs to be fixed with the house. we spent the next hour chatting with roger. his english wasn't very good, and what he could say through his thick brazilian portuguese accent steve had a hard time understanding and a had to rely on me on a few occasions to translate. i don't know if we're 100% confident with roger, although we won't be sure until he's actually working. his price seems to be the cheapest and his estimate was almost half what carlos quoted on friday. i just hope his quality doesn't reflect his cheapness. it's hard to tell if a contractor really has the skills or just good at convincing you that he does. roger did give us several references to call, maybe i might do that tomorrow, a little background search. gerry came at noon and by then steve had already left for work (yeah, on a sunday). gerry was a much older gentleman, a tall irish fellow, who arrived via minivan driven by his wife and possibly a grandson in the backseat. i didn't want to take up too much of his time since he was on his way to his mother-in-law's house. i went around pointing out what needs to be fixed, he took notes, but said he'd come back late tomorrow afternoon to do some measurements before he can give me a quote. with his 37+ years of contracting experience and the fact that he has a crew, my gut reaction is he'll be just as expensive as carlos, if not more.

at this point i'd be fine with roger, broken english and all. i figured since he and cleber are both brazilians, they might work well together. it's still more than what i thought i'd be paying to get the house painted (when the dust settles, steve and i will have spent nearly $10k) but hopefully this means we won't have to do anything else to the house for a long time to come. first steve and i have to talk with cleber tomorrow morning to get his opinion. i may wait for gerry's estimate too, even though i'm almost certain he's going to be expensive.

after i was done "interviewing" the prospective contractors, i left for belmont. ever since i tweaked the idle knob on friday, the motorcycle is running perfectly now. not only does it not backfire anymore, but the engine doesn't randomly cut out either. i went to the bank of america ATM on concord avenue before arriving at my parents' place.

i got to belmont in time to catch the patriots-ravens game on glorious HDTV. every once in a while i'd jump back and forth between the different broadcast: while HD is not only wider but sharper as well, standard is truncated and blurry. how can anyone go back to normal television after having experienced high definition? i went to the cafe during halftime to delivery a pair of binoculars to my father (actually for my aunt).

for much of the game the patriots were in lead but not by a comfortable margin and there was always the threat that the ravens would come back to tie it, which happened a few times. new england barely won, none of the humiliating dominance it exhibited in years past. one weird thing about the broadcast was the digitally-enhanced pink-o-vision in solidarity to breast cancer awareness. players could be seen wearing pink gloves and shoes and armbands, when in fact they were just a clever cgi trick. i can't wait for the day when there's more computer effects! imagine a trail of rainbow during goal kicks or a stream of stardust with every pass!

i'm waiting for colder weather to kill the caladium and gladiolus leaves so i can dig the corms and tubers out of the ground and put them away in storage. the gladiolas look like they're dying back but the caladiums - which are tropical in origin - still seem perfectly fine with our cold autumn nights. elsewhere, the weight of the bottle gourds climbing on the clothesline has finally snapped the rope in half. fortunately no gourds were damaged (hard to break them anyway, they're as hard as rocks).

the barbecued corn were sweet corns from the garden. they've been on the stalk for too long so now they taste very sticky and starchy, almost like eating corn paste. the kernels themselves have also grown huge in size, leaving very slender corn cobs. we also had short ribs marinated in korean barbecue sauce. why pay to have korean barbecue in a restaurant when you can buy all the ingredients from h mart? maybe it's my imagination, but when i ate the chanterelles, my tongue felt a bit tingling. maybe i'm allergic to the more exotic mushrooms? this was also the first dinner where we got to put the HDTV to good use, taking full advantage of the swivel base. we watched a great travel network show about the best barbecued ribs in america while eating our own barbecued items.

finally, mad men: joan cameo! so sad. i love the scene where betty and don pretend not to know each other in rome and two italian men who were previously hitting on betty leave in disgust knowing they can't compete with a man like don draper. the mojo is back! although for how long? and pete! from chivalrous to creepy just like that! at least he felt guilty, and looks like things with trudy are improving, despite his indiscretion. when are they going to adopt his love child? zero peggy this week. maybe she's still hiding her head in shame after taking a ride on the duck boat.