i've decided to take apart my old SCSI cd-rom burner and salvage it for parts. that piece of hardware give me a good run in the late 90's, but now there's no place for it other than a museum relic gathering dust in the basement. i'm primarily interested in the power supply, to be used for my grow closet circulation fan.

i'd never been to a walmart before. these stores might be ubiquitous in other parts of the country, but here in the boston area, the closest walmart is in lynn or north reading and both require a car to get there. here we just have targets (sort of like walmart with lot less tears) and at least one k-mart. i remember a time when there was a lot more general department stores: the zayre at the fresh pond mall (where i bought my first teddy bear), the woolworth in central square, the bradlees at the watertown mall, the ann & hope of the arsenal mall. now the only reminders of department stores of bygone past is when i find some "antique" with a store branded price sticker.

we decided to go to the walmart in north reading. that's north reading, which is a different town from regular reading. i almost made that mistake when i googled the address and forgot to add "north." one address is for walmart; the other is just a highway exchange.

first impressions: definitely big, with a lot of selection. i was surprised by all the grocery items, like you could shop there instead of a supermarket if your diet consisted of mainly processed foods. i made a beeline to the gardening department, browsing all the tools, barbecue grills, and spring bulbs. prices were definitely cheap, a combination of name brands and generic brands. i could've just hung out in the gardening department all day but there was more store to explore. some of the things they had there i'd never seen before. there was a lot of stuff for indoor/outdoor pool maintenance, DIY car stereo components; there was a huge fishing department, right next to the large section of camping supplies; there was a lot of sporting goods including a whole aisle for golf stuff; they even sold custom house paints although there didn't seem to be anyone on staff since it was a sunday. the sheer volume of different merchandise was dizzying, i was very impressed. my mother bought some sewing threads, my father got a can of coleman white gas fuel (naphtha) and a pocket knife (only $1), and i got a new kitchen wall clock (color red, $3.99). my mother also wanted to get some rubber boots (that was the whole reason why we were there) but they weren't very good quality so she decided against it.

everyone seemed to be hungry so we decided to stop by the nearby wendy's and get something to eat. instead of taking it back home, we ordered and ate there since the place was practically empty. the hunger must've clouded our decision-making because we got way more than we could eat (although a few things were for my sister back in belmont). i ordered my usual no.6 spicy chicken combo meal. we were all in consensus that the food was pretty good, didn't feel as greasy as some of the other fast food joints (maybe the chicken-centric selection had something to do with it). the new natural-cut fries with sea salt was particularly good.

back in belmont my mother helped me hem a pair of old jeans with the new threads she bought. maybe we had the wrong needle size or the wrong settings because the stitch looked good on the top but all bunched together into a single line on the bottom. also the denim fabric was too thick on the seams so we jumped them instead of sewing over them.

since my parents and i had an early dinner at wendy's, nobody was hungry came actual dinner time. instead, later in the evening, we had some sesame-stuffed dough balls for dessert, before i returned home.