i went to market basket to pick up some cooking ingredients i'll need for the rest of the week. i also got some bean sprouts and cucumbers for my mother, which i delivered to the cafe soon afterwards. arriving in belmont, i took the opportunity on this relatively calm day to wash the motorcycle again. the sky grew progressively darker and looked like it might rain, but at most there were only a few drops, nothing more.
i went to the watertown home depot to find a suitable brush. i settled on 2" nylon/polyester blend purdy with an angled tip ($11.50). probably more than what i was looking to spend, but i figured if i cleaned the brush using the proper techniques, i could probably use it for a long time to come. i also picked up some paper leaf bags for my sister; i carried them back home stuffed beneath my jacket like a stiff bullet proof vest. when i got back my father was already home, clearing the front lawn with a leaf blower. i met our new chinese neighbor, the father hovering around the street like he had something to say. we made eye contact but he never introduced himself so i kept silent while he chatted briefly with my father. he had some contractors replacing his roof and was a little bit incensed to learn he needed a building permit when a next door neighbor filed a complaint against him.
i spent the final few hours of daylight bagging leaves and collecting garden debris for trash pickup tomorrow. i finally trimmed back the raspberries and cleared out the southwestern corner of the backyard, a possible future site for a garden extension now that the apple tree that used to be there has been gone for a few years.
in the evening i helped my father install a copy of windows 7 ultimate on his laptop, which had previously been running vista. for some reason it wouldn't let us do an upgrade install on top of vista so we went with a clean install instead, even though it didn't wipe the drive but just put the remnants of the old system in a deactivated folder on the main drive. it took a while for windows 7 to install, so we basically just left it to run on its own, going off to dinner, then coming back and waiting for the installer to finally finish. wifi and sound worked out-of-the-box, but we had to install the proper video driver for full screen resolution (on a dell vostro 1000) and touchpad driver to stop it from being overly-sensitive to taps and clicks. i really like the visual effects, especially the cross fading desktop backgrounds and the various customizable themes. it feels more responsive than vista, but that could just be a placebo effect. windows 7 has the annoying habit of having a login password screen as the default setting, and it took me a while to find out how to turn that off. it also took us a while to figure out how to decrease the size of the rather large desktop icons. i still like OS X though; i don't know if it's better or not, but i'm just more used to it and feel more productive with OS X. i still haven't upgraded to snow leopard yet even though i have a copy ready to be installed. i'm still working on that hackintosh idea, i'll install 10.6 whenever i get around to actually building that thing.