my roommate was nowhere to be seen when i woke up today, having taken the early morning commuter train out of porter square to concord. she was considerate enough to leave the light on in her bedroom for me to turn off since i am the purveyor of the household electricity (it's actually the second time she's left the house with the lights on).

after eating a tea egg for breakfast, i rode the motorcycle to belmont. i saw cleber and his assistant power washing my neighbors' house. i also saw doug talking to cleber, about possibly doing some painting work for him. cleber will soon be resident house painter of our street!

alex video skyped me again. i ran around the house with my laptop, trying to find a place to talk, even going as far as out into the backyard (until i realized i was running out of power), where the wifi signal was still strong. i showed him parts of my garden, but i don't think he was very interested.

i got a chance to try out the wireless keyboard and mouse on the PC hooked up to the 40" HDTV in the living room. for $21, the connectland brand keyboard and mouse didn't have a lot of frills but worked without problems. the 2.4 GHz wireless USB dongle meant it had tremendous range, and i could easily surf the web from the other side of the house (although it'd be pointless since i wouldn't be able to see the screen). the instructions said it was for PC only but i'm curious to know if it'd work on a mac as well, since it doesn't require any drivers to run the hardware (a PC driver does exist, but it's not required, adding an on-screen display to some keyboard functions).

i was going to wash the motorcycle again, but i didn't want to be that guy who obsessively clean his vehicle. instead, i just used a wet paper towel and wiped off some water stains.

being out in the suburbs, every once in a while my parents get some interesting migrating birds. the first time i ever saw a yellowthroat warbler was when i still lived at home, just casually looking out the window and saw it hiding in the shrubbery. the same thing happened today: i saw a little bird hiding in the evergreens. superficially it resembled a common sparrow, but i could sense that it was different, and knew it was a wren even though i'd never seen one before. what gave it away was a long curved pointed beak, definitely not sparrow-like.

a few years back i watched a most interesting documentary on PBS called mardi gras: made in china. it explains how mardi gras beads are made, interviewing the chinese factory workers (mostly women) and their boss, who is surprisingly blunt in his assessment of the business. juxtaposed with these chinese conversations are questions posed to americans in the throes of mardi gras celebrations as to where exactly their beads come from. it's a fascinating look at globalization and capitalism, and the inequality of people half a world away. i finally found a copy of the video and made everyone in my family watch it. it makes them more of aware of the implication of the "made in china" label.

for dinner my mother fried some smelly tofu my aunt lili had brought back from her recent labor day weekend eating in flushing new york. it smelly pretty rancid but once cooked the odor was mostly gone. what was missing was the specially blended hot sauce and the complimentary taiwanese kimchi (the korean stuff is just too spicy, the chinese variety is more sweet and sour).

i chatted with my roommate once i came back home. her trip to concord was a success, and by sheer luck, she visited on the day the town was celebrating its 375th anniversary with a lavish parade down main street.