after less than 3 hours of sleep friday night (on top of the 4 hours i got thursday night), i woke up at 5:20 and drove to belmont to drive my parents and my aunt and uncle to the airport for their 8:10 flight. it was cold and dark but at least i was in a car. i dressed warmly knowing that later when i returned to cambridge it would be by bicycle. i brought back the garmin GPS (which my parents were bringing with them to new mexico) and the retro phone birthday present for my sister. we left a few minutes before 6:00 to go pick up my aunt and uncle in arlington. i was perfectly willing to drive to the airport, but i knew my father would drive because my parents think i'm a terrible (dangerous) driver. so i ended up sitting in the back with my mother and aunt. my aunt told us how she was stuck in blackout traffic friday night while leaving work. the 4:30 outage hit close enough to closing time that most people simply left for home, which resulted in massive congestions on top of the blackout.

we arrived at the airport by 6:30. after everyone got off, i drove the car back to belmont.

i returned to cambridge via the bicycle i left behind when i was at my parents' place on thursday (to borrow the car to drive out to the berkshires). by then it was already snowing. it was so cold though that it came down in white crumbs. there was hardly any traffic this early on a saturday morning so i had a leisurely ride back home. along the way, i even picked up a bag of tupperware somebody had thrown out. it was 7:20 by the time i got back.

even though i was very tired (the sort of fatigue where i had a hard time keeping my head leveled), i didn't go to sleep but instead worked in the living room organizing the photos i took from yesterday. after throwing out the blurry ones and the repeats, i had 389 photos, which isn't a lot considering we visited 3 museums. but i think i'm more efficient with the new camera simply because i don't need to take a slew of repeating "insurance" images because they more often come out clear than blurry. another reason to get rid of repeats (and as a result fewer overall photos) is to save storage space since 60D photos (with it's 18 megapixels) are 2-3x larger than 350D photos (8 megapixels).

i left the house around 9:30 to mail off the knitted cowls my mother made for my aunt out in california. i was going to do the mailing label online but realized it could only do priority mail or above, which is more expensive. i sent it from the post office using parcel rate, which came out to $12.09 for a package weighing 3 lb. 11 oz. (when i weighed it myself using my bathroom scale i got 2 more ounces).

drew, by his own admission, is a sullen bitch in the mornings. fortunately our paths rarely coincide since he rises earlier while i wake up later. he woke up around 10:00 with a surly demeanor, used the bathroom, made his espresso, and retreated to his bedroom. by that point i'd already been up by almost 5 hours.

playing around with my new camera equipment the past few days, i'd forgotten about my telephoto lens currently being repaired. i checked the factory repair website and was surprised to see that the lens had already been fixed and shipped. clicking the shipping details revealed the shipment would be delivered today (saturday) via fedex. i couldn't believe how fast the turnaround time was; i'd only just authorized the repair wednesday night. i kind of wasn't expecting to see the lens until late next week.

drew had left for the MIT library around noontime. i was in the bathroom getting ready to take a shower when i heard a knock on my door. at first i didn't know who it was, but then it dawned on me that it was my returning lens. i didn't have time to get dressed so i just wrapped a bath towel around my waist and ran to the door. i apologized to the delivery man for appearing half-naked, and carefully signed for the package without exposing myself.

the lens returned with my packaging than i had sent. i used a thin layer of simple biodegradable peanuts and i didn't even bother wrapping the lens. it came back inside of a ziploc bag, bundled in a thick roll of bubble wrap, then padded with a heavy packaging of crumpled brown paper.

i tested the 70-300mm telephoto lens on the 60D body to verify the IS was working. i could feel and hear it vibrating as a i moved the lens, something i haven't experienced in a while. i fired off a few test shots. it may be just the perception of newer being better, but i didn't think the 70-300mm telephoto images were as clear as the ones i've taken with the 18-200mm lens.

besides fixing the IS (replaced the IS switch assembly, part no. YG2-2212-000), canon factory repair also adjusted the center/tilt/front and the back focus. and they cleaned out the glass, not a spec of dust anywhere in sight! it's almost like sending out an old used lens and getting back a new one.

for overall reach, the 70-300mm telephoto still has the longest range (up to 300mm). but 57% of the lens' coverage is overlapped with the 18-200mm lens. i think the 18-200mm has a good chance of becoming the everyday lens. it certainly seems a better lens for events - something i'll hopefully be able to test next saturday during the santa speedo run.

by 3:00 my lack of sleep was finally catching up to me. i was getting drowsy lounging on the sofa so i decided to get some decent rest in my own bed. i didn't wake up until 8:00.

drew was out having dinner in winchester (got there via commuter rail) so he wasn't home. he came back right when i was making a tuna fish sandwich, close to 9:00. he (and i) expected him to return much later, but his hosts seemed to be early sleepers so he got a ride home early. we ended up watching looper.