drew left for classes this morning then to pittsburgh until monday night. he left me some presents in the form of dirty dishes in the sink and used coffee grounds in the moka pot. minor derelictions if that means i have the house to myself for the next few days. after washing the dishes i also wheeled his bike into the basement (since it won't be used for the next few days), but not before installing a new bell.

surprisingly silent from client R given that the past few days have been all about them in terms of communique and work load. they're presenting my interactive to their client today; i'm sure i'll be hearing from them soon enough with client feedback and to finish up the interactive. the sooner it's done the sooner i get paid i suppose. that silence turned out to be a good thing because i was putting out fires for client N, something about the interactives malfunctioning in the most spectacular of ways, with missing audio and graphics.

it was a little difficult debugging the issue since i was working remotely and had to figure it out from clues being relayed to me from alabama. turns out the interactives were truncated during their downloads. i'm surprised they were still able to run after that, but the result was missing assets. once they managed to download full versions, the problems disappeared and everyone was happy again.

my parents stopped by in the afternoon on their way to ac moore then market basket. my mother took her bag of yarn, my father took the tools i got him from harbor freight. they called me an hour later to tell me that binbin's father was inviting everyone out to dinner tonight at 7:00.

i left for belmont around 5:00, taking the trek allant. a little bit after 6:00 my aunt and uncle came to pick up my parents and me. my mother tried calling my sister but she didn't answer her phone; even if she did, with her track record, no one was expecting her to come anyway.

the restaurant was sichuan gourmet (1006 beacon street) on the border of brookline and boston. unbeknownst to me, i'd actually ate there before, but at their billerica restaurant (1 2). the food isn't bad and was authentic enough that the clientele was mostly chinese.

the occasion was binbin's father wanted to treated everyone to dinner, but the real official reason is binbin finally got engaged to her boyfriend. they're having an engagement party saturday afternoon, and somehow volunteered me to shoot videos for them (photos i can understand, but videos?).

sichuan food is known for it's spicy cuisine, which presented a challenge for matthew, who earlier in the day had a colonoscopy exam and was still woozy from the drugs and had intestines that still need time to recover from the procedure. he ate dutifully, but was fearful he'd pay the price tomorrow.

after dinner my aunt and uncle drove us back to belmont. i returned to cambridge soon afterwards.

i've been trying to decide whether or not to buy a canon-refurbished EOS 60D camera with a 18-200mm lens. i'm definitely due, since my canon EOS 350D is already 6 years old and has developed an annoying habit of randomly erasing photos. i figured i'd do a little more research (including checking out some rumor sites about the possibility of the 70D which now seems to be slated for 2013) before inevitably ordering the camera. alas, i waited too long, and a check of canon's online refurbished store showed that the D60 kit with 18-200mm lens is currently out of stock. i'm a little disappointed, but it seems like canon has these sales every 3 months, so i'll check again in december (there might also be some good black friday discounts). this is actually the 2nd time i tried to buy a refurbished 60D and failed. next time i won't wait so long!

in the meantime, for my next parade outing (the honkfest the first sunday in october), i have an old 28-105mm lens i'm going to put to good use, which will cover that 50-70mm sweet spot i'm usually missing from my parade photography. it's actually a lens that was on a canon film camera my father found many years ago. the lens has a slight crack in the barrel that my father patched it up with some clear tape.