i spoke with my friend alex in tokyo this morning. actually, we video skyped for the very first time. both of us are relatively techno-savvy, so it's a mystery why it took us this long to do it. i hadn't seen alex since hong kong of 2006, during the conclusion of my china trip. he laughed when he saw me. "oh my god, what's up with your hair, man?" he said, in reference to my rat nest hairdo desperately in need of a cut. we chatted for nearly an hour before he had to sign off because it was getting late in japan.

my roommate left for work late today, around 11:30. apparently the thunderstorm early in the morning - which i had already forgotten - made her hesitant to step outside. new england weather is unpredictable, that's why you need to watch the forecast, which she said she never does.

i tossed out the trash after my roommate left. like last week, she threw out some meat, which quickly rotted. maybe it doesn't bother her having the house smelling like the pits of hell, but it definitely bothered me. i put the trash can outside so it could air out and wiped down the kitchen area with bleach.

when it comes to my health, i seem to spend more time dealing with insurance companies than actually visiting the doctor. when i tried to get my losartan prescription almost 2 weeks ago, my insurance said i needed a prior authorization. i called up the hospital so they can do the paper work, but they never got back to me. i called them back today to asked for an update. they finally returned my call this afternoon. apparently my insurance denied the coverage on losartan. their reason? i hadn't tried some more generic drugs first. the only thing is the drug they recommended - lisinopril - i've actually tried before early last year. it did nothing to lower my blood pressure and i came down with a dry cough as a side effect. had my residency doctor taken the time to actually look over the medical records i brought him, he would've known this. so basically now i'm forced to retake lisinopril (double the dosage no less) even though i know it does nothing for my hypertension, wait until i develop side effects, then call up the hospital so they can switch me to the next drug. eventually i'd work my way up to losartan. the doctor's at fault because he never bothered to look over my drug history, and the insurance company is at fault for making me run the pharmaceutical gauntlet.

i picked up my lisinopril at the somerville avenue rite aid after the hospital faxed over my prescription. there were 4 people working behind the counter but it still took more than 10 minutes before anyone could help me. the only good thing to come out of this was the pills were cheaper than i thought ($8).

i sent off another shipment to my norwegian friend frances. i managed to fit everything into a single box. despite the bulky size, it was light enough that i could strap it to my bicycle and ride down to the porter square post office to mail it. fortunately it wasn't a busy day and i didn't have to wait in line. as a formality the clerk had to ask me what was inside, even though i'd already declared everything on the customs form. i should've just said "kid's toys" instead of repeating what i wrote. as long as it isn't any kind of contraband (explosives, live animals, etc), they really don't care what i sent out.

outside the post office i ran into my next door neighbor renee. she made some chit chat before finally asking me for more computer help. i was in a generous mood so i agreed. she wanted to burn some files onto a disc so she can give it to the printer people. after i found out what she wanted to do, i told her she should just copy the files onto a thumb drive and deliver it that way.

i heard today was the last hot day of the season, and that from here on out, it'd be a more autumnal climate. that was all i needed to take down the air conditioner. i didn't use it all that much this summer, even though it's been one of the hottest summers in record. i could probably count the total number of hours i turned on the AC with my hands. because of the morning rain, there was still water inside the metal frame. i awkwardly poured out as much as i could, but it was still wet inside. instead of storing the wet AC in the basement - where it could grow moldy - i decided to leave it in the backyard for one more day, to let it dry out before packing it away for the season.

finally, i left for julie's place in the evening. tonight's work involved installing a grey market copy of CS4 onto her machine. i wasn't sure if it'd work but i was definitely curious to find out, since i've been using CS3 for the longest time and never bothered to upgrade because i was afraid i wouldn't be able to downgrade should something go wrong. anyway, she treated me to some wings first (eaten from the 2nd story porch overlooking the street) before we began the installation. after about half an hour, CS4 was alive and well on julie's machine. i also advised her in ordering a new 1TB hard drive and a disk enclosure. i left around 9:00.

i may need to get a new bicycle tail light. the $4 one i got from dealextreme worked for a while, but now whenever i hit anything hard on the road, the light will turn off. maybe the circuitry is lose and i just need to rejiggle it. i still have a blackburn mars 3.0, but the clip on that is crap and liable to fly off to whatever i clip it on.