i woke up at 9:00 and my roommate was already gone. he left through the front door this time. he's smart enough to rectify his bad habits, i like that. as for myself, i soon left as well, to the porter square post office to check (by some miracle) if my ebay package (laptop charger) was there. i put the fuji in the basement and brought out the ross eurosport.

i really like the ross, especially since i added some many accessories: a pair of collapsible wald rear racks ($20 used), a rear rack light bracket ($4.49), and avenir toe clips ($7.50). all it's missing are fenders1 and it'd be a perfect all-weather bike. the ross is the only one of the 3 bikes i ride (ross, fuji, trek) that's silent; the trek has noisy pedals while the fuji chain has a tendency to rub against the front derailleur cage plates (i'll have to do a more thorough inspect when i have the time).

i'd thought the dropdown handlebars on the ross was a bad thing but i like it. it's different, but i quickly get used to it. i'd still never ride it grabbing onto the bottom-most part of the dropdown; there's never enough of an unobstructed straightaway riding in the city to do that without running the risk of being doored by a car. the past few days i've also been rolling up my pant legs. i used to make fun of people who do that, but the fuji especially doesn't have much of a guard around the front chainrings so i've managed to dirty a few pairs of jeans. i also like walking around with my peg leg pants, lets other people know i bike and lets me reuse my 80's fashion sense.

the clerks at the post office couldn't find my package and said "forwarded" most likely meant it was being returned to the sender.

afterwards i rode down somerville avenue to market basket to get some groceries. this is where the folding rear baskets on the ross came in handy. true, they don't carry as much as the massive baskets on my trek (the "grocery getter"), but they also don't take up nearly as much space. i got some cereal, a gallon of milk, cream cheese, bagels, some parmesan cheese (for the risotto i'll be making tomorrow night), and a few snacks.

after having a bagel and a glass of milk for lunch, i packed up my things and headed to belmont (still with the ross). my sister had taken the dog out for a walk around fresh pond so she wasn't home. i grabbed the car and drove back to m place to pick up the broken shop light i wanted to return. it was a weird feeling drive down the same stretch of road where minutes before i was riding my bike on. once i got the broken shop light, i went to the somerville home depot.

i was afraid it'd be a big hassle because the box was so damaged, but the guy at the return counter didn't even seem to notice as he rung up my return credit. in the lighting aisle they had plenty of T12 shop lights (i grabbed one). i also brought along the broken stovetop coil and realized what i thought to be 7" is actually 8". i didn't buy a replacement ($29) because i think i can get a better deal online.

back at my place, i tested the shop light just to make sure i didn't buy another dud. with proof that the new light was working, i drove the car back to belmont. the dog was home but my sister was gone again on nanny duty. i ended up dogsitting until my sister returned around 8:00.

in the afternoon i was in the backyard cutting up the piles of pruned branches into smaller pieces so they can could fit in the plastic trash barrels. i also wanted to make sure none of the black rot fungus was lying around to re-infect the plum trees. unfortunately there are still some black nodules on the branches that overhang into the neighbors' backyards that i can't easily trim, nor the infected branches higher up on the trees. i worked until i was sliced on the hand a few times by sharp branches and stabbed in the palm with a wooden thorn.

i had a late afternoon snack of buffalo wings which also became my dinner. the blue cheese dip didn't do anything the first round, but by the second round my stomach was grumbling. when my sister finally came home i ran to the bathroom to take care of my lactose intolerance.

back in cambridge, i smelled the thick stench of cooking oil as i stepped inside the house. my nightmare came true! i ran into the kitchen to inspect the damage. my roommate seemed to know what was on my mind and immediately confessed to using too much cooking oil. whatever happened, he'd already cleaned up the evidence as the stovetop was relatively splatter free, but i could feel it all on the bare floors, the greasy sensation of condensed oil. i was hoping it'd be a few days before he cooked, or at least when i was at home so i could let him know the rules. i finally did tell him, that since i don't have a hood, all smoke has to be ventilated through the window with a fan. also, only use wooden utensils on pots and pans. i didn't bother to check if he'd already scratched up any of my pans (not that it matters, since they're all scratched up anyway).

even though i was still angry, i still managed to have a conversation with my roommate since it appears i won't be seeing him all that often as he's mostly at work. he research is on massive star formations within our milky way galaxy concentrating on star clusters. when he was here in cambridge for 2 months last year, i asked if he went anywhere fun. he said no, but the only place he did go was walden pond. i also asked if he had any hobbies. he plays badminton (it's big in china, second only to ping pong i think) and recently taken up the harmonica. not just any harmonica, but a long 24-hole version known as the chenggong (he even showed it to me).

my roommate went to bed by 10pm. 10pm! i've never had a roommate who went to sleep so early before (maybe an tao, my very first astrophysicist).

my ebay seller got in touch with me after i wrote him an e-mail about my lost package. he said they'd gladly send out a replacement provided i pay for the $3 shipping and handling. normally on principle i would say no, but i really want that charger! now i'm just waiting to see if he meant he'd resend my package once he receives it or will send me a different one.

tonight my parents contacted me through video skype on their ipad 2 from a social benefits office in taiwan. an overhanging television was broadcasting live the knicks (jeremy lin) vs. mavericks game (new york lost). it was actually my 2nd video skype of the day, the other one with sophia (my former roommate) from india while i was having lunch.

i found out that the T12 fluorescent bulbs will be phased out this year, to be replaced by the more efficient and smaller T8 fluorescent bulbs (with their electronic ballasts). maybe that's why i couldn't find any cheap T12 shop lights in the watertown home depot! that kind of sucks because my 4 banks of grow lights are all T12 (a total of 8 bulbs for 320 watts of growing power). true, T8 puts out more lumen per watt, but since T8 is only 32 watts compared to the T12 40 watts, the T8 is actually slightly dimmer (though imperceptible to the human eye so i've read). i can either stock up on T12 bulbs, or come next year replace all my T12 shop lights with T8's (cheapest ones are only a few bucks more, $13 each, not to mention all the new T8 bulbs i have to buy).

1 even if i wanted to, the ross eurosport doesn't have any eyelets on the frame for installing fenders. this is where the fuji is better designed.