i spent my morning using the usb tv tuner to scan my comcast connection for clear QAM channels. i've done it a few times when i was playing with the previous tuner, but this time i wanted it to do a complete scan. that ended up taking more than 2 hours (still not quite sure why it takes that long) with a haul of over 50 channels, although some were standard definition (SD) duplicates of high definition (HD) channels. in the find were also several cambridge community access channels and NECN (which seems to broadcast only in SD). i also realized today that i can export (save) the channel listing (download it here: free comcast cambridge clear QAM listing), so if i ever reset the lineup, i can get it all back with an import instead of having to rescan everything.

i used the desktop machine in my bedroom (dell dimension 1100 circa 2005), which is so slow it couldn't even display the channels after it finished scanning. so naturally i went online looking for an old desktop PC to buy. i found a good deal for $150, a machine that could also be potentially made into a hackintosh, but then i caught myself. maybe it's better to build one from scratch; i'll have to give this some more thought.

after a bowl of chicken sausage oatmeal for lunch i was out in the backyard working on some bikes. the rear brake pads of the trek allant rub against the rear rim. the wheel was true so i fixed the problem by releasing the wheel and re-tightening it back up again. instead of fixing the trek 800 next (also an issue where the brakes rub against the rim), i took out the trek allant on a test ride. i don't know why i don't ride this bike more, because i always feel so much cycling joy when i do ride the allant.

i rode to the community garden to water my plants. i should've brought my camera but i was in such a hurry to try out the fixed bike, i left the house still wearing my latex working gloves. this has been my most successful community garden season ever, despite half of my plot being in the shade from the ever expanding mulberry tree. at least one cocozelle squash is ready for harvesting, and a zucchini isn't very far behind. my delphiniums are also a week or two from flowering as well, and there were about half a dozen opened shasta daisies. (i'll get some photos tomorrow).

bruce called me right when i was finishing up. his housekeeper had just left and he was ready to go. i promised to go with him to best buy so he could buy a new HDTV for himself and jack. i took him to the watertown chain which he'd never been to before (the other closest one would be at the galleria mall but no free parking).

after some browsing and chatting with a sales guy, bruce ended up going with the 37" LG CS560 for $400. i would've gone with a bigger size (40-46") but he didn't want the television to overpower his living room and he still didn't know how jack would react (this was a surprise gift after all). the sales guy tried to sell bruce on some expensive HDMI cables but i told bruce he didn't need them. the sales guy also tried to sell the extended warranty on more than one occasion but i told bruce he didn't need that either. bruce originally wanted the HDTV to be home delivered, installed, and the old set removed, but the cost wasn't worth it, and a 37" set was still small enough that we could fit it in the backseat.

we went to home depot briefly, making sure to cover up the television with a sleeping bag bruce happened to have in the back of the car. bruce wanted to get some herbs to grow while i wanted to check out their selection of oscillating sprinklers.

back in cambridge, i went home briefly to call back mick, a contact brice "e-troduced" me to regarding a possible interactive kiosk project. henceforth known as client P, mick gave me some preliminary details for 2 video-driven kiosks. work won't start until august, which is perfect, since that's when my project for client N will be winding down.

after i finished my call, i went over to bruce's place to help him set up the new television. this gave me the perfect opportunity to experiment with clear QAM reception, which i'd been doing earlier this morning. his LG managed to scan the spectrum much quicker (a few minutes) and pulled up all the channels i saw earlier. the LG CS560 only had component connections (instead of a 3-piece RCA) so i ran home to get my spare RCA cable so we could connect the DVD player to the HDTV.

back at home, i went out back to work on my trek 800. the newly purchased back wheel needed some minor truing. even after i got it down to 97-98% true, the brake pads were still rubbing against the rim on occasion. i then had to adjust the rear brakes, releasing and adjusting the cable tension, then tightening the spring screw. the wheel looks better but i didn't have a chance to test ride it.

i was very hungry so i ate the last 2 remaining zongzi i had in the fridge. i was a bit apprehensive because there was a touch of mold on the outside of the banana leaf wrapper, but i figured 2 minutes of microwaving would kill any germs.

i spent the rest of the evening working on code for client N while watching some big bang theory reruns. i love that the show is in syndication, but why is it always the same couple of episodes?

no new LJ complaints until i went to take out the trash tonight and saw the pool of smelly cooking liquids at the bottom of the trash can; the bag must've ripped at some point and all the liquids leaked out. i swore loudly in the kitchen and i'm sure LJ must've heard me but she kept her bedroom door closed. i spent the next 15 minutes washing out the trash can, disinfecting it with bleach to kill the smell. i'm really curious to see how clean (or dirty) her apartment in china is. based on her level of cleanliness living with me, her place must be absolutely disgusting. just 28 more days to go! there must be easier ways to make money. after a roommate like this, i have to seriously re-evaluate renting out my spare bedroom ever again.