my aunt is returning to taiwan for a month on tuesday, so the cafe will be short-handed in the mean time. the new chinese restaurant is opening their doors tomorrow and my father promised the owners he'd personally help them with the takeouts until they can find a regular delivery person. so starting this week my parents will be working 7 days a week, days and nights.

so today was the calm before the storm. it was the first day of a stretch of warm november weather, with temperature in the 60's. i gathered up my things and left for belmont around noontime. i went ahead and removed the battery from the motorcycle. not that there was anything wrong with it, but i just wanted to make sure it can be done, since my father and i weren't able to get the thing out on friday when the battery died. later i took some WD40 and wiped down the bike, doing some preemptive cleaning to stop any rust from forming. there's something very manly about working on a car/bike on a warm afternoon. with all the recent home renovation work and motorcycle/bicycle repairs, my hands have started to become rough like a mechanic's hands, and there's always grease underneath my fingernails.

my mother and sister went out shopping, leaving me at home with hailey to watch the football game in glorious high definition. it was dolphins versus the patriots here in new england. the feeling i got from the pre-game coverage was miami was a team to be reckoned with, but hasn't the patriots been dominating the dolphins in recent years? new england lost to miami last year i think, but with brady back at the helm, i wasn't too worried. the game was surprisingly close though, and the pats made it to the red zone on lengthy possessions on a few occasions, only to settle for field goals when they couldn't convert. in the end though, new england still won.

i've been reading up on autism and mental retardation, and was curious if it affected animals as well, and even went as far as googling "can dogs get down syndrome?" i don't think our family dog is stupid but she's not as bright as our old dog. she's only now learning how to go down into the basement. i've been teasing my sister by calling hailey "downey".

coming back to cambridge, i installed one of the tire lights on my motorcycle. turns out the valve stem on the front tire is compatible (i.e. points inwards). i put in the rainbow colored lights and set it on steady (i didn't want flashing because i was afraid there was some law against motorized vehicles driving around with flashing lights). the only problem was i couldn't see the lights, but i assumed they looked cool. i noticed some pedestrians looking in my direction, but it could just be because of the motorcycle (which normally draws attention). when i finally made it back home, i saw that only the red LED's were glowing. either there wasn't enough juice in the battery, or maybe the high speed caused the lights to malfunction.

i figured the best way to see the tire lights in action was to bring my bicycle inside and test it out on one of the wheels. i set the bicycle upside down in my foyer and set up my camera for time lapse on a tripod. these lights are so cool, i can't imagine ever riding a bicycle at night without them. the only problem is you can't leave them on the bike because they'll get stolen (but it's the same rule with any kind of bicycle light attachment). i've seen cooler setups where the entire wheel is lit up to form an image. i'll look into that as one of my next projects.

finally, tonight was the season finale of mad men. words can't describe how awesome it was. during the second broadcast, i took some notes, presented to you below without any edits:

don gets rid of connie (actually, connie gets rid of don) - the client from hell - at the start of the episode. connie ends up giving don a gift though by telling him that sterling cooper is for sale which starts the ball rolling for what happens in the rest of the episode.

don remembers seeing his own father forced to sell his grain at below market price. it mirrors what's happening to his life now, how the company he works for is about to be taken away by somebody else. but not if he can help it!

all cards on the table, to hell with formality. draper and cooper get into a heated argument about saving the company instead of just letting it get sold again to some bigger firm.

they bring the news to roger, about buying back the company. roger doesn't seem interested, until don admits his mistake and convinces roger that he needs him.

to add insult to injury, when don gets home, betty tells him to get a lawyer because she wants a divorce.

maybe lane's spent too much time in america, because he's having a hard time keep a proper british stiff upper lip upon learning PPL is going to screw him once more. he doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it until sterling cooper asks him to join their conspiracy.

we learn that draper's father was killed when a spooked horse kicked him in the head.

it's don who figures out that lane can fire them all to get them out of their contracts so they form a brand new company, but lane wants to be made a partner - sterling cooper draper pryce.

don and peggy have a confrontation, peggy pushes back when don pretty much just tells her what to do without even asking her first, and peggy leaves without a decision. does this mean she's leaving to join duck?

it's like they're forming the most awesome band in the world, you can see the pieces fit together one by one, and each additional band member draws even more excitement than before.

trying to get pete campbell to join. don ends up soothing ruffled feathers again. it seems like people want him to convince them. pete decides to join in on the conspiracy with the possibility that he'll be made a partner (sterling cooper draper pryce campbell?) i love the scene where pete is formulating his plan, telling his wife to call secor, and she just kisses him because she's so proud of her husband.

don confesses to roger that he's getting divorced. roger mentions henry francis thinking that don already knows. he doesn't! it's go time!

don goes home to confront betty. "who is henry francis?" it seems like he has the upper hand again, but it's too late. confronting your wife about her secret lover is not going to save the marriage. any escalation in their fight is interrupted by the crying baby. betty tells him to leave.

the scene between pete and harry crane in the elevator was funny. pete thinks they're both in on the conspiracy, but then thinks harry might not know, and suddenly becomes very discreet with his answers. "harry's here!" he tells everyone when they both enter the office, to warn the others, who are already expecting them both.

nobody knows where anything is. hmm, i wonder who does? roger sterling goes to make a phone call. i'm starting to get excited!

don and betty have the divorce talk with the kids. "daddy will be living elsewhere from now on." heartbreaking. the kids think it's their fault, and they get scared, and they're both crying, and sally blames her mother and storms out of the living room.

don makes a personal visit to peggy's apartment. once again, it's the nice don, soothing ruffled feathers. "with you or without you i'm moving on. and i don't know if i can do it alone. will you help me?" "what if i say no?" you'll never speak to me again." "no. i will spend the rest of my life trying to hire you." tear. thank god peggy didn't ask to be made a partner as well. sterling cooper draper pryce campbell olson! what a mouthful.

"mrs. harris what a pleasure to see you!"

art department is locked. for a second i thought they'd call salvatore to see if he had a spare key, but don just kicked down the door. maybe we'll see salvatore next year!

roger asks peggy to get him some coffee. she says no. funny!

i love the scene where roger and don are standing in the empty office looking at it one last time. that's a classic scene, like the captain looking at his sinking ship before leaving with the rest of the crew.

"we've been robbed!" saint john fires lane pryce. "very good, happy christmas!" pryce tells him before hanging up. mister hooker gets left behind. so apparently does beard guy and haircut. and the two young guns.

the new office is just a hotel suite for now. joan answers the phone: "sterling cooper draper pryce" is the new name.

betty still answers the phone as the "draper residence." don calls her and tells her he's not going to fight her over the divorce. the next time we see betty, she's on a plane with her baby and henry francis on their way to reno. will this be the last we'll see betty? i hate betty, but she's the victim, right? don's been cheating on her for years. but she's a terrible mother. she kicks out don from their house, and she's off to reno, leaving her two other kids at home with the maid.

the final scene is of don going home to his new apartment. imagine the possibility of a newly single don draper! man about town! kind of exciting.

when does season 4 begin?