as i planned, i returned to an empty house. i showered, ate a banana, then rode the motorcycle to belmont. it was a warm day; i wore just my t-shirt but brought along a jacket just in case it got cold in the evening.
i helped my parents change their homeowner insurance to progressive, which is about $400 less per year than their previous policy with commerce. when i called up commerce to cancel the old policy, they said they couldn't do it over the phone, so my parents had to drive down to chinatown to cancel it in person. later when they came back one the cafe freezer stopped working and they didn't have a working backup so my father ended up buying one from nearby sozio. it probably wasn't the cheapest deal (i saw a bunch used for much less on craig's list) but it was an emergency (ice cream was melting!).
i called samsung executive customer service today (1-800-522-7341) to see about the broken LCD TV. i was afraid i wouldn't qualify for the service but the woman on the phone didn't try to verify my executive status. i gave her the model (LN40B550L1F) and the serial number, and she put me on hold while she did some checking to see if i had one of the faulty HDTV's.
unfortunately we had a bad connection and i lost the call. luckily she called me back a few minutes later. she said the tv needed to be repaired and that she would extend the warranty this one time as a courtesy, for 30 days effective immediately, covering all parts and labor. she then put me on hold again and got in touch with the repair company and told me they'd get in touch with me within the next week to schedule an in-house repair for free.
i couldn't believe it. had i known it was this easy, i would've called months ago. the best part is we don't have to pay anything, but the next best thing is the repairman will fix it on the spot, so we won't have to be without a tv (had we sent it into a shop).
why is samsung being so kind? i think they know about the problem (which seems to affect a good amount of customers) but instead of issuing a recall, they're willing to fix it on a case by case basis. this way they don't have to say they're at fault, and they come out looking like heroes for granting free repairs (when in fact this would've been completely unnecessary had they had higher quality control).
i planted some more things in the garden: zinnias, basil (thai and regular), parsley, red sweet corn, and cypress vines. now that it's getting warmer, the seeds have a better chance of germinating outdoors (originally i was thinking about starting them inside, but might as well take advantage of the weather).
i got really tired in the late afternoon and fell asleep on my parents' bed after watching last night's episode of game of thrones for the second time. when i woke up more than an hour later, my parents were already back. my mother made dinner in the kitchen while my father was washing the car in the driveway with the pressure hose.
as i was about to return to cambridge, i checked my e-mails. i was surprised to see one from my roommate. "hey, problem today! I apparently swallowed some wrapper on burito and I'm in the hospital awaiting surgery." at first i thought it was a joke. then i reread the message again and realized he was actually serious. apparently they wouldn't let him out of surgery unless he had somebody to take him home (due to the anesthesia), and he was trying to someone. i was the obvious choice, but he said he'd also try a friend as well as his advisor. he didn't call me because he didn't have my number (even though i sent it to him on a few occasions). i wrote him back with my digits and said i'd be home in 10-15 minutes.
2 hours went by and i reread his message. he actually asked me to call the hospital to see if he was there. doh! the attendant at mt.auburn told me they already discharged him.
when he finally got back home around 10:30 he managed to fill me in on the details. it wasn't a wrapper but rather a piece of bay leaf. i don't know how he managed to swallow an entire piece of bay leaf without realizing what was going on. he didn't have trouble breathing but could feel something stuck in his throat and it hurt. he walked down to mt.auburn hospital from harvard square (15 minute walk). he said they performed surgery on him because they gave him anesthesia to relax his throat muscles before fishing out the bay leaf; i don't think it was surgery because they didn't cut him open. his friend alec came to retrieve him; they went out to ice cream afterwards, so he seemed to be back to normal.
i've often thought about what would happen if a roommate died. tonight was the closest i've ever come to that scenario. in my theoretical situation however, the roommate dies in bed at home and i don't find out about it until a day later, when i grow suspicion on not having seen the roommate.
finally, watched game 3 of the stanley cup playoff between the bruins and the canucks. this is how downgraded hockey has become: it's not even broadcasted on any the major stations anymore, relegated to the versus network, on the far end of the cable channel spectrum (channel 95 i believe). i like the fast pacing of hockey games, but there's a built-in obstructed viewing since the play action can't be seen when the players are behind the rink wall on the lower half of the screen. i also don't like the semi-sanctioned fighting. i think it's wrong that men sit in penalty boxes for a few minutes for the kind of fighting that would land them in a jail cell in normal life. anyway, the boston bruins won tonight in a must-win game, scoring 8 goals for a final of 8-1. now the series stands at 2-1 with boston behind a game.
around midnight i heard the dialing of washing machine knobs. no way can bram be thinking about doing laundry this late at night, can he? but sure enough, minutes later, i heard the loud rumbling of the washing machine in action. fortunately i don't sleep that early, but still, it is kind of inconsiderate. my bedroom is right behind the washer/dryer, so it gets pretty loud. maybe he's just washing; drying will take another additional 30 minutes at least. there will be a reckoning if he dries.