monday morning. i woke up at 9:00. my roommate left for work at 11:00. after a shower i departed for belmont. the warm rain overnight melted significant amount of snow. the massive mound formerly in front of my house (high enough to climb) has now been reduced to a paltry pile of dirty snow. i might take a shovel to it tomorrow to further speed up the melting.

temperature was in the 50's but falling fast. there was also a strong chilly wind (it was windy yesterday, but at least it was warm); it was blowing so hard that it actually stopped my descending glide on the long hill at huron avenue (yesterday's strong wind managed to push my sideways a few inches while i was coasting).

by the time i went into the backyard later in the afternoon, the temperature had dropped to the lower 30's. most of the snow had melted except for a few shadowy pockets. there was a weird glisten on the grass: looked like slime trials, but i think it's just frost-covered spiderwebs.

i read an interesting article about KFC in china. i've known for a while that out of all the american fast food exports to the middle kingdom, kentucky fried chicken is the most popular. partly this has to do with good marketing, but also chinese are more receptive to fried chicken - a food that's somewhat familiar (frying + chicken) - compared to hamburgers - which is entirely alien. the article said that KFC is so popular in china that every 18 hours a new KFC opens there. that's pretty crazy. the chinese KFC menu is also different: they serve regional favorites like soy milk and chinese-style crab cakes.

when evening finally arrived, i went outside and saw the backyard all lit up from the numerous solar garden lights. this had never been seen all winter long ever since it began snowing and all the lights were buried.

i wasn't looking forward to the return trip home because of the cold temperature. luckily i had the foresight to bring a pair of thermal underwear so it wasn't too bad.

riding along fresh pond, i saw what looked to be a fat cat about to cross the street. i slowed down so i wouldn't hit the animal but as i got closer i realized it was a raccoon instead. it sort of froze in the road with eyes glowing from my bicycle headlight. instead of crossing the street, it turned around and scurried back into the darkness. i haven't seen a raccoon in a while. this one had a shorter-than-normal banded tail.

cutting across the harvard observatory i saw victor walking home. "hello victor!" i waved and shouted as i rode by him. i got back 10 minutes before he did.