my roommate was still asleep around noontime. had she woken up earlier, i was going to show her mt.auburn cemetery. so instead i left for belmont. my parents and sister were initially going to take hailey to the beach, but fearing too much people on labor day, they decided instead to go to cat rock park in weston, in which i tagged along. the last time we were there was back during the winter, with hailey running around the snowy landscape in her dog booties.

surprisingly, there were about a dozen cars in the parking lot. people were either walking their dogs (like us) or walking their babies (carried in some sort of body harness). my sister goes to cat rock all the time, so she knew the trails. so did hailey apparently, who walked ahead of us, looking back on occasions to make sure we were still behind her, every once in a while crashing through the forest to investigate some unknown noises. i think it'd be cool to attach a very small video camera to her body so we can see where exactly she goes when she disappears.

hailey is well behaved in the wilderness, not barking at strangers she encounters on the path. she's more aloof than friendly, but won't refuse a pat on the head or a stomach rub. other dogs attract her interest, but she's picky as to which dogs she'll socialize with. small dogs are okay, but larger dogs she will sometimes hide behind us with her head down. dogs apparently are immune to poison ivy, but i still cringe when i see her trampling through those plants. my sister will have to give her a bath when we get back home.

there was no mosquitoes in the forest, which is good because i didn't bring my bug repellent. i fell behind a lot of times, since i hike slowly looking for things to photograph. right now there isn't much naturing, not until the leaves change colors. i picked off a few milkweed pods, going to try and grow some milkweeds in my community garden as well as my parents' garden. i heard they need a lot of sun to thrive and can become invasive, but that's something to worry about in the future, once i have my own established milkweed garden.

back in belmont, my father and i finally rolled out the motorcycle with the fresh new kickstand. once the front fender arrives next week, it'll be like nothing ever happened (except the fact that i'm $150 poorer after purchasing these spare parts).

i also solved the mysterious verizon ringtone issue on my father's phone. he bought a close encounter of the third kind ringtone for his old phone and wanted it on his new phone. i managed to extract the ringtone, but it was 200k for a simple polyphonic midi file that should be around 5k or less. no application could open the file which led me to believe that maybe verizon put some sort of copy-protection scheme on the sound, which explained the inflated file size. i ended up putting a similar ringtone i found online, but it didn't sound as good. the breakthrough came today when i decided to import the file directly into the phone to see what happens. apparently verizon phones are able to recognize the encrypted format and played the ringtone just fine. case closed!

for dinner we had beets. i don't think i've ever had it before. all i know about beets is they're supposedly super healthy and they can give you pink urine (one of those fun foods, like asparagus and beans). my mother boiled then sliced them. i was surprised how sweet they were, kind of reminded me of sweet corn, except they were crispy, with a strong earthy flavor. i'm all for earthy goodness, but there's something about the taste i didn't like. i think blended with other foods though, i could learn to love beets.

after dinner i streamed the first episode of the wire for my parents to watch on the HDTV in the living room, with chinese subtitles. i'm not sure if they liked it, but i told them it was one of the best (if not the best) series in television, and require a few episodes to really become addicted. my father was impressed by the translation, especially the numerous profanities.

i came home via motorcycle, leaving the bicycle locked up in belmont, which my father said he'd deliver sometime during the week. my roommate was home and i saw her practicing in her room on a new musical instrument: a wooden piccolo she bought today when she visited the USS constitution in charlestown.

i'd been wearing my tainted jeans all day, hoping that using them live would somehow get rid of the smell. it definitely didn't hurt. the faint smell is still there, but it's partially masked by several iteration of odor treatments. it's a battle i can't win, the best i can hope for is a truce.