this morning i received an e-mail from the cambridge guy selling his window fan. he sent it out last night close to 4:00 in the morning. since it was still only 9:00, i gave him the courtesy of not calling but instead replied to his e-mail telling him to let me know when he woke up. close to 10:00 he finally called me. he actually lived nearby on martin street, and it took me only a few minutes to get their via bicycle.

he was selling the honeywell twin window fan (HW-628) for $15. it's a model that no longer exists, but probably sold for at least $40 brand new. there was close to 400 reviews on amazon.com with the average rating of 4 stars out of 5. more importantly though, my parents have one (a used model which they picked up off the streets), and it works pretty well for them. i already have two fans, but liked this particular model because i could use it to ventilate the kitchen during particularly greasy and smelly cooking sessions. other than an above-range hood, this was probably the next best thing.

my seller (a young and lanky korean fellow) came down to met me with the window fan still in its original box along with the manual. missing were the metal window brackets, but i wouldn't have used them anyway (i have vinyl windows that can't be screwed into). i failed to let him know i didn't have exact change. i only had a $20 and a $5, but a box of quarters worth $10. he went back upstairs to look for change, while i stood downstairs with the fan and the money, momentarily tempted to just make a run for it. he ended up handing me a $5 while i gave him the $20. with the box loaded into my milk crate, i returned home.

the kitchen window took some preparation. first the screen window was stuck, then i had to vacuum and clean the accumulation of dust trapped in the railing. i then took the opportunity to windex the window panes. finally i installed the fan. many of the amazon reviewers were griping about how the accordion sashes don't work very well, which i verified to be true. i don't get a lot of bugs anyway, so it's not a big deal. i tried it first with the left fan blowing in cool air on full blast while the right fan exhausted out on low. it worked pretty well circulating the air in the house.

the real test came when i cooked some kielbasa sausages on the foreman grill. normally it's a complicated affair of stacking a tin drum on top of a bar stool and balancing a fan on top of that, then blowing the smoke to an opened kitchen window (making sure not to point it to close to the stove otherwise it'll blow out the gas flames). this time around i just had the window fan exhausting on maximum (both fans). it wasn't like the smoke was floating horizontally to the fan, but whatever smell that came off the grill was rapidly vented outside, to the point where there was hardly any cooking smell in the kitchen. i should've gotten a twin window fan a long time ago! would've saved me a lot of kitchen smell nightmares!

after lunch i motorcycled to the cafe. i had no particular business there, but figured i could go to belmont afterwards to visit the dog. my father took me to my great uncle's apartment building to check out some spare televisions. one was too big, the other too small. i saw the bedroom where our relative's daughter (bing bing) would be staying when she arrived later today. it's the same bedroom i repainted last summer, now populated with various hand-me-down furniture. with the proper interior design makeover it could be a great pad, but not with ugly and dirty found furnishings.

lili and matthew came to the cafe as well. it was matthew's birthday and my aunt was there trying to score some cake flour. at 2:30 bing bing showed up by surprise, having moved out of her old school yesterday, and driven up from connecticut this morning with her boyfriend and his cousin. i left soon after my aunt and uncle left.

i went to belmont briefly to let hailey out into the backyard and to water the garden.

as soon as i got back home, i was out again, this time via bicycle. on my way out earlier, i noticed a neighbor had tossed a turntable onto the curb. i went to go pick it up. it was a BSR mcdonald 510 (BSR = birmingham sound reproducers), manufactured in england circa 1971. i'd never owned a turntable before, but the controls were fairly intuitive. however it was missing one crucial component: the cartridge that held the needle. in its place were a tangle of loose wires. even if it had the needle, without a receiver and a set of speakers, i couldn't hear anything anyway. the good thing is people throw out turntables all the time. in fact, my next door neighbor tossed out a pair of turntables a few months ago; i didn't bother picking them up because i had no use for them. but now i'm getting the itching that comes from a newfound hobby. i'm not going to buy anything, but i'll try to patch together a turntable sound system using free equipment from craig's list. in the meantime, a spinning turntable can still be used as an interesting rotating photography platform.

i tossed and turned last night, mostly due to ragweed. the problem is compounded by the fact that i sleep with the windows open. my throat gets so itchy i just want to gargle with sand just to make it stop. i woke up this morning and used the neti pot. not sure if this is a common problem, but i'm better with one nostril than the other. with the left one i'm a master, but when i switch to my right, i end up dribbling all that warm salty water down my throat. i definitely felt a lot better after using the neti pot. in the late afternoon, after riding around on the motorcycle, i used the neti pot once more when my throat started getting itchy again.

i ate the longans my father dropped off yesterday. these longans were a gift from a family friend, but they're not as sweet as the ones i bought this past weekend. for dinner, i ate the rest of the zongzi, including 2 more that i pilfered from the fridge when i was in belmont.