i started off the day visiting a yard sale on windsor street in east cambridge. the ad sounded like there'd be a lot of cool stuff, but when i got there before noontime, there was hardly anything worth mentioning. the real reason why i was there though was to snag the free turntable they mentioned in their posting. i wasn't the only one though; that was actually the first thing they "sold" early this morning.

the kewpie doll photo on the turntable i took yesterday didn't look right. even though i had the camera set to 2nd curtain sync (i.e. the flash fires after the shot, not before), the shot was obviously a 1st curtain sync because the blurry light trail happened in front of the kewpie, not behind it. i didn't think much of it at the time, but i had a chance to browse my camera and external flash manuals and discovered a particular quirk: the external flash will override any flash sync settings made on the camera. to properly get a 2nd curtain sync, i have to make the setting on the flash itself.

with the 580EX II external flash properly adjusted this time and the camera set up on a tripod with the lens manually prefocused, i took some more test shots. i managed to achieve the desired effect, that of a kewpie doll riding a turntable (spinning clockwise) with a light trail behind it (instead of in front).

fyi: a kewpie doll will ride a turntable at 33 prm and 45 rpm, but any faster and it'll fly off. as for BSR mcdonald 510, it's probably not worth it trying to fix it: a new compatible replacement cartridge and needle costs $50.

in the early afternoon i left for belmont via motorcycle. i had a hard time starting up the engine again, which is weird, because the bike worked fine yesterday (so it wasn't a storage issue). after a distressing cough and 7 attempts, i finally got the engine revving.

once i got to belmont, i washed the motorcycle. shiny and new again, i parked it on the side of the street. i also brought along my stinky clothes and hung them outside on the clothesline, hoping some sun exposure might diffuse the odor.

i went with my mother to belmont center in the late afternoon. she was returning some stuff at macy's, i went around and got some ice cream at the newly relocated rancatore's. back at their old belmont street location, i'd always get the brown cow. i'd heard about their khulfi flavored ice cream and wanted to try it. it's kind of expensive for a small cup ($3.66) but that seems to be the going rate for homemade ice cream. i forgot what the original attraction was, something about indian spices, but it tasted like a buttery pistachio ice cream. walking back to the parking lot i got a few amusing smiles; there must be something funny about a grown man eating ice cream apparently.

after we left belmont center, my mother and i made a quick trip to the watertown target. the place was crowded with back-to-school shoppers. i was looking for a replacement foot stool and i thought i saw some the last time but turns out i was wrong. we left empty-handed.

from the garden i harvested 2 more massive yellow korean cucumbers. i also came across yet another variety of fancy gourd, patterned like a watermelon. i didn't see it before because it was growing on the ground instead of hanging from a vine like the other gourds. it's not very big, about the size of a medium pickle. in the early evening 3 moonflowers opened up, including one that was stuck until my father tapped it and it suddenly just opened up right before our eyes. that one was particularly fragrant because it was so fresh. a honeybee was on another moonflower. it must've been so busy it lost track of time because the temperature wasn't warm enough for it to fly back home so it'll probably spend the night stranded on the moonflower instead.

i came home after dinner. nobody was home, but my roommate must've came back to the house at some point because she brought in the mail. after a shower, i went outside and put the cover over the motorcycle because i heard it might rain overnight and tomorrow as well. my roommate didn't return home until midnight.

does anyone watch the syndicated fantasy show legend of the seeker? it's a show i've always thought i could get into, kind of a like a low budget lord of the rings (the show is also based on a series of books, and filmed in new zealand as well), but i've never watched a single episode; being a syndicated program, it was relegated to the wee hours of weekend nights making it hard to find. however, i did catch an encore episode tonight, episode 12 of season 2 titled "hunger." it was surprisingly good, with a story about a woman (cara, played by tabrett bethell, a mord-sith warrior fond of tight leather outfits) who dies in battle and makes a pact with the lord of the underworld to return her to the land of the living as a baneling: a creature that must kill a person a day in order to survive (unbeknownst to her traveling companions). this promising episode might just make me download a few more, although a little too late since i heard the show was recently cancelled (denied a 3rd season).