i biked down to the supermarket this morning to pick up a few grocery items for my mother. i haven't been down in my basement during the weekend but i'm happy to report no flooding, not even a trickle (which used to be pretty common, before the painter replaced our downspout gutters last fall). the temperature was in the upper 60's and i was overdressed. by the time i made it to the cafe, i felt like puking. i had something to drink which made me feel better, and i ate some scallion pancakes before i left, returning home in my t-shirt because it was so warm.

ace hardware called me to let me know the utility pump i helped my father ordered monday night had arrived at their porter square store and was ready for pickup. that was fast! maybe they're in a hurry to restock their supplies of pumps after the prolonged rainstorm this past weekend. the ace brand utility pump ($55) is only rated 1/10 HP and can pump 660 gallons of water per hour (on their website it said 800; 660 GPH is with zero elevation; 300 GPH at 8 ft). i also ordered another kleertemp windowpane thermometer ($8.49) to replace my old one which has lost its accuracy. my father came by to pick up the pump later in the day.

while at costco earlier, my father picked up a pair of small flashlights ($7/each). called the techlite lumen master, i wasn't sure if it was better than the sacredfire NF-015, the current reigning favorite. build-wise, it's a little bit longer than the sacredfire, and the scalloped hood at the head of the flashlight could use a little softening (it's sharp enough to accidently slice yourself). so initially i wasn't very impressed.

after playing around with it some more though, i may be a new convert. the sacredfire seemed brighter when i did a casual comparison, but it's only 120 lumens1, while the techlite is 160 lumens. i think it has something to do with the way the light disperses, but i'm no light scientist, so it's only my opinion. the techlite is surprisingly full of features: 4-mode (low, high, flashing, momentary spotlight), electronically maintained power output circuitry, water resistant, adjustable focus ring (kind of a joke, i couldn't tell the difference between spotlight and flood), and shockproof up to 3 feet. the most impressive feature though is the rubber cap switch which lights up when the battery is running low (at 20%). the 1-mode sacredfire pales in comparison. i especially like the flashing feature, which means i could strap it to my bicycle for an additional source of light (that's light number 5 for those keeping score).

this week of nice weather is making me thing of two things: turning off my heat and getting out my motorcycle. it may be warm during the day, but the nighttime temperature is still low enough that i might want to hold off on shutting down the furnace for the season. as for the motorcycle, with my newfound passion for bicycling, i'm not in any particular hurry to get back on the honda. the bicycle seems like a safer and cheaper alternative, especially if i'm only riding locally. having suffered two motorcycle accidents in 2 years, i have to admit that i'm a little gun-shy about getting back on that motorcycle seat. besides, there are still a few repairs that need to be made (replace rear-view mirror bracket, reattach left rear tail light) before the motorcycle can ride again.

in the evening i had some more scallion pancakes for dinner.

1 there's some discrepancy as to the actual lumen output of the sacredfire NF-015. goldengadgets.com - where i originally purchased the sacredfire - rates the flashlight as 200 lumens. dealextreme.com on the other hand rates it 120 lumens. either way, the sacredfire uses a CREE XR-E LED, while the techlite uses a CREE XP-C LED.