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after a bowl of honey nut cheerios for breakfast, i bicycled to belmont to dogsit for the day. taking the motorcycle would've been quicker, and the weather was certainly nice enough (68), but there was a reason why i had to take the bike: i drove my parents' honda element to the fresh pond dealer mechanic to get the brakes fixed and i needed the bike in the car to ride back to belmont. it was actually a service recall on this particular model, something about a soft brake pedal. the car was supposed to be fixed later today but the mechanic came out and asked if he could postpone it until sometime tomorrow. i told him it was fine since i wasn't in a hurry and he gave me a fist bump, which i awkwardly returned.

next i gave my bicycle a spring cleaning after spending some time getting the right hose set up and turning on the water. since it was such a nice day, i decided to wash the camry sitting in the garage as well.

my dandelion genocide campaign continues. leave the lawn alone for a few days and what do you get? a dandelion population explosion! first priority was clearing out the front lawn. next came all the dandelions in the back, but there was just too many to dig out in one day. besides, my wrist started to hurt, might've been a car washing injury. initially i was wearing gloves but i took them off because i couldn't get a good feel for the taproots when i pulled them out.

i was surprised to see my sister back at home in the afternoon. i thought she was working at the cafe the entire day, but there was a schedule mix up. she asked if i could give her a ride back from the watertown car dealership where she was taking her own car in for brake repairs as well.

since my dogsitting service was no longer needed, i rode back to cambridge in the early evening before it got dark.

i had another pack of pork chops that i needed to eat before it went bad. unfortunately i forgot to defrost it so i ended up making some more tonkatsu with partially-frozen meat. it seemed to take longer to cook this time, so i might want try some high heat for the next occasion. the pork was definitely done, but a bit on the well done side since it was floating in the canola oil for so long.

i got a phone call from my parents in beijing in the evening. they were using a fancy smartphone (nokia E66) a china relative had given them as a gift. my father brought his laptop on the trip thinking he'd have internet access and could skype me when they had the chance. problem is nothing is free in china, and if they can charge you a fee for any kind of service, they will. the internet in their hotel was RMB$60/hour (about $9). my father said he'd complain but i knew it was a losing cause. their first day in beijing was entirely devoted to visiting friends and some family (actually, family came to visit them, all the way from shenyang 400 miles away). i was on the phone for about 8 minutes before it got disconnected (i think their calling card ran out).