it was my sister's birthday today. i left the house in the early afternoon to pick up a box of cream puffs as a present. i took the bicycle, since it'd be easier to park. the more i ride the trek the more i like it. for instance, i hardly ever need to change the gear, even climbing hills; compared to my bianchi, which i'm always fumbling with the shifters, trying to find a ratio that feels right. i'm still not crazy about the MTB front tire, but i'm waiting until my first snow to see if it really does make a difference. the tire is just noisy from all the knobs on the treads.

although i bicycled to the supermarket, i ended up taking the motorcycle to belmont. i'm trying to take advantage of the motorcycle as much as i can since my days of riding will soon come to an end with the first snowstorm. by then i won't have to decide anymore because i'll only have the bicycle.

nobody was home, not even the dog. i left the box in the freezer then returned to cambridge, making a short stop at the cafe. my aunt lili left some presents for me, early christmas or birthday gifts. it was one of those digital coin counting money jar and a gift certificate for the brattle street theatre.

i put the money jar to use as soon as i got home. i was actually curious to know how it worked. there's actually a coin slot where you press your change through one coin at a time. there's a roller that gauges the width of the coin and that's how it figures out what denomination it is. it's only 99% accurate, since a dime and a penny are very close in diameter and it's easy for the digital counter to make a mistake. it's also possible to trick the counter. i actually put in a coin halfway before pulling it out and it still counted as a deposit. and based on how you push the coin through the slot, it can also get false readings, like how i fooled it into thinking a penny was a nickel. and canadian coins? yeah, it'll take those too, no questions asked. i think the money jar is good if you only have a little bit of change and slowly add to the jar; if you already have a big collection of loose coins, it'll take a long time to count it all one coin at a time, especially the pennies. i ended up counting out 25 pennies by hand, dropping in a quarter, then removing the quarter and put the 25 pennies directly into the jar; that was actually much faster than feeding in 25 pennies. by the end of the day my fingers smelled like coins which i wasn't able to wash out. from the loose change lying around the house i ended up with a little bit over $20, not including quarters, which i usually keep for vending machines and whatnot. i may visit the coinstar machine inside star market to convert my change in a gift card, which doesn't have an associated fee.

my rechargable batteries arrived today: 16 AAA's and 8 AA's. the AAA's i need for my assortment of bicycle lights; the AA's are mostly for remote controllers. they're tenergy brands, which i've used before. a few of my old batteries refused to charge because i let them drain completely to the point where my fancy recharger doesn't even recognize them.

i finally got the chance to indulge in my garlic by using the prepared sauce i had in the fridge with some chinese dumplings. i'm not planning on talking with anybody face-to-face for at least a few days because i will be super stinky. the highlight of the evening was the latest episode of fringe. our olivia is back! but alt-broyle's is no more.