i was at the porter square post office this morning, retrieving yet another package the new mailman wouldn't leave on my doorstep because he thought it was unsafe. i asked them if there was any way they could just leave future packages but they said it's a liability issue and ultimately the USPS would shoulder the blame if anything was stolen. also apparently there's been some package theft in my neighborhood. i guess better safe than sorry despite the inconvenience. the package was 4 boxes of indoor sticky traps for catching fruit flies.

after eating some hot dogs for my breakfast-lunch, i rode the fuji to belmont. temperature was barely in the 40's, and a strong headwind made even my downhills seemed like uphills. worst part was i could see the swath of unswept road salt and sand (from what little that was put down this invisible winter) blowing in my direction and put my face down on a few occasion so i wouldn't get all that in my eyes.

not much happened in belmont. it was suddenly too cold to be outside gardening. my parents were watching a slideshow of their vacation photos in their bedroom HDTV before both took turns falling asleep. the house was cold and i kept on adding more clothes, fearful about my return trip home and how potentially cold it might be.

dinner was a simple affair, some rice with a few uncomplicated dishes. when it came time for me to go, the temperature had already dipped to 36°F (forecast says the temperature would eventually plummet into the 20's). i thought about borrowing more clothes (like maybe a pair of long underwear) but decided against it, hopefully the pedalling would warm me up. as far as cold temperature goes, this was nothing, but those weeks of 70's and 80's had me fooled that summer was already here. the return of the cold is comforting in some ways since this is more typical new england springtime weather. it was fun while it lasted though.

i was eager to get home because i was expecting some packages. judging from the lack of lights in the house, i knew my roommate wasn't home yet. i parked the bike in the backyard and saw a box waiting for me. that's probably the shifters i ordered from amazon.com. inside the house i was expecting to see some more USPS IOU slips but the 2 packages were small enough to fit through the mail slot, a pair of handlebar grips and a pair of bike bells.

the first thing i played with was the electroluminescent (EL) wire i ordered through amazon to pad my order so i could score free shipping. advertised as white, the color has a strong blue-violet tinge. the wire itself is much thinner than i expected, but is generously long at 10 feet in length. powered by 2 AA batteries, a button toggles between 2 speeds of flashing and always-on mode. i'm thinking i could use it as a safety light and tie it around the frame of my bike for some cool effects. the power supply probably isn't waterproof but i wonder if the wire itself would work in the rain?

next i moved on to the SRAM TRX shifters, still in its box. when i opened the package i was surprised how big the shifters were, i was expecting something smaller (like the shimano alivio). coupled with the brake levers, i think they're even bigger than the altus shifter/brake combo i was thinking about getting originally. the TRX came with cables but not the housings. i installed everything (including a bell) onto the new handelbar to see how they'd look. the hardware looks futuristic and very eye-catching, definitely not subtle. other than some housing cables, i can install the new handlebar anytime. i may want to wait until the replacement v-brakes arrive though (unless i can reuse the current brake cables).

i thinned out the basil tonight, mashing up the seedlings to get that fragrant thai basil smell. i think my thai hot pepper seeds are not viable anymore because none of them germinated; instead i planted some more mixed hot pepper seeds in their containers. the delphiniums are finally sprouting. one of them came up as early as 2 days ago but now all of them are starting to poke out from the dirt. so pretty much everything has germinated, except for the few items i'm reseeding.