i bicycled to belmont this morning. the cafe was closed today but my father was still at the store to make lunch for my great uncle. while waiting for him to come home, i took the opportunity to lengthen my bike chain by 4 links. i'm starting to get pretty good with the chain tool. i can even join a link that had the pin completely pushed out (although its better but that doesn't happen). if you live in the local area and need somebody to replace your chain for you, i'll do it free, just for the practice!

i watched some christmas story on TBS. i was ecstatic to learn the HD version was in widescreen, which i'd never seen before, only the full screen traditional TV-sized version. however, out of curiosity, i switched back and forth between the standard version and the HD version, and saw that the widescreen version was actually clipped on the top and bottom! so even though the standard video quality isn't as good, do you get to see more of the movie.

when my father finally came home, the whole family took the dog out for a wilderness walk in weston, at cat rock.

i'd never walked hailey in the forest before. my sister goes all the time (often dragging my mother) - so much so that the dog now expects to be let out into the wilderness as part of her weekly routine. i almost went 6 months ago, when we drove as far as cat rock, but turned back because it was raining too hard (even hailey didn't want to run in the rain). it's not so much walking as letting her loose to run around in the wild. she'll run off somewhere and disappear, only to reappear later from some other point. a normal person would get lost doing what she does, but she has a pretty good sense of direction apparently, and will occasionally run to a spot on the path and wait for everyone to catch up. a normal person would also most likely trip and fall running through the woods, but she seems to have a knack for it, almost flying through the underbrush.

we had hot pot for lunch when we got back home. normally this would be dinner but my father was helping with chinese food delivery in the evening so we had to eat earlier.

i stayed around until almost dark and finally bicycled back to cambridge. later in the evening i went over to bruce and jack's place for supernachos. i brought along a box of clementine oranges. susan and dennis joined us as well, once again bearing presents. i got a white amaryllis bulb in a box. jack and bruce got a red amaryllis, along with matching knitted caps. i got a chance to sample their new seltzer machine. still working out the kinks, bruce managed to spray everyone in the kitchen when he forgot to screw the plastic bottle to the device. i saw jack's new macbook pro, the second one i've managed to encounter this month. i asked dennis about his new bicycle (a 3-speed hub gear with finnish ice tires) and he showed me some of his night riding equipment, including a super bright princeton tec EOS ski helmet mounted bike light and his bright wind breaker jacket. after supernachos, we watched an episode of a canadian sitcom called corner gas. i didn't even think canadian television produced any shows besides degrassi junior high and the kids in the hall. i thought corner gas was okay, but wonder how it'd fare as an american sitcom, where competition is much more intense. i still think shows like modern family, 30 rock, and community are much better modern sitcoms. we had mini-cakes for dessert, followed by another episode of corner gas.

later, after i'd gone home (it'd started to snow a little bit by then), bruce came knocking on my door with a frozen ice penguin for a present. i left it on my doorstep, figuring it wouldn't soon melt in this cold weather.

(final note, after reviewing my photos, i realized i was shooting at ISO 100 the entire day, that's why almost all the photos i took without using the external flash came out blurry. better luck next time!)