after finishing two leftover slices of pizza for breakfast, i made my way to belmont via bicycle. one of the things i did when i got there was to remove the ice and snow from the metal awning above the front door. with another snowstorm on tuesday-wednesday, it was more important than ever to clean the awning otherwise risk a total collapse. besides, the slow drips of melting snow was coating the front steps in a danger layer of ice (the ice also cracked the newly-fixed steps in several places). balanced on a folding ladder, we poked off the ice and snow with a combination of shovel, hoe, and floor brush. tomorrow we're going to work on the flat cafe roof.
i also took some passport photos for my father. he was going to go out and do it at CVS, but i told him i could do it, and with better results. i just need to print them out. at some point i need to do the same thing since i have to renew my passport as well. i'm just waiting for a good hair day.
my mother made some more rice noodle soup for lunch. i also brought along a few packets of jasmine green tea. normally when i come i drink from a case of soda, but wanting to take a healthier break for carbonated sugary beverages, i opted for tea. it was also a good choice on a cold day.
while cleaning up the water damage in the basement, my father found some more of his old cameras, a minolta SR-3 he purchased in the early 60's (his first camera) and a nikon FG he bought here in boston in the 80's. the minolta sported a particularly impressive lens: an auto rokkor-PF f/1.4 58mm. unfortunately a half century of neglect has left some unremovable fingerprints and some mold inside the lens. any lubricated inner workings have dried up as well since it's difficult to turn the ring on the manual focus. still, if i can get my hands on a minolta-canon lens adapter, i might be able to play with the lens at some future point.
cleaning up after an erupting furnace gave me the perfect opportunity to throw out some old magazines. when i lived at home i saved all my magazines like a hoarder. in the basement are several boxes of outdated periodicals (mostly from the 90's) which i will never read and have no value, not even sentimental. nevertheless, it was still interesting flipping through old issues of macuser magazine from the mid-90's, when a 125mhz macintosh (7600) cost almost $3000. i may want to keep an issue to scan some old ads.
digging through the basement i brought up a tub of old toys from the 1980's. it was pretty nostalgic, with things like viewmaster discs, rubik's cube, shrinky dinks, and star wars and he-man action figures.
in the late afternoon into the early evening was a great celtics-lakers game on tv, the first meeting this season between last year's NBA final rivals. even though celtics have the better record, i was still nervous and watched the first quarter before i couldn't take the anxiety anymore. however i was glad to see most of the second half, as the celtics soundly defeated the lakers. "they won!" i shouted to the television, with still about 2 minutes left in the game.
returning home, i stopped at a red light before riding onwards when i didn't see any cars coming. i don't see any point waiting at a traffic light when it's safe to go. apparently a car behind me took umbrage and once the light went green, it sped up next to me and someone from the passenger side window flicked a lit cigarette in my general direction as it drove by. i don't know what's to be angry about; i'm not trying to prove to car drivers how cool i am because i have a permissive attitude when it comes to bicycling and traffic laws. and even if i'm able to run lights, my 6-10mph cruising speed is still no match for a car, and i don't think drivers are panting and straining as much as i am when i pedal up those hills nor freezing their asses off in the cold.
still, this particular car wasn't traveling very fast, and i managed to take a detour and catch up to it a few blocks later to get a license plate number: MA plate N55-373, a dark sedan with a lit advertising banner on the roof of the car (was it a delivery vehicle? i didn't get a good look). once i was sure they saw me following them (hard to miss with my flashing bike lights), i turned back around. i thought about calling the police and making a report, and maybe going back and retrieving the cigarette butt for some DNA evidence (i'm sure cambridge police has a dedicated CSI lab for just such an important case), but figured there was nothing the cops can really do. at most cite them for littering.
when i got back home, i watched the screen actors guild award. no real surprises, it seems like the typical firth-portman-bale-leo sweep. i didn't see black swan so maybe i'm can't really say this but i don't think natalie portman deserves to win for her role. i'm sort of portman-fatigued, and would love to see less of her during the award season (she's been kind of dead to me ever since the star wars prequels). as for the other three - firth-bale-leo - i have no qualms with them.