how long has that abandoned bike been locked outside my house? i've been eyeballing it for months now. the kryptonite lock attached to the frame would be hard to remove, but i could so easily strip it for parts. those wheels, those fenders, those baskets, they're all good. so today i finally tried to unfasten the street sign so i could just lift out the bike, but even after i removed the bolts the metal post would not budge. it may be rusted shut, i might have to drizzle some triflow oil between the seams.

for some reason i thought it'd be cold today. and when i noticed it was raining, it made it seem even colder. that's why i stayed indoors most of the day, didn't even bother going out on a grocery run.

my cosmos replacement neoprene camera strap ($7.99) arrived today. one of the negatives i read about the strap is the strong smell of rubber. eventually it goes away, but for those who are sensitive to chemical smells, i could imagine it might be an issue. the neoprene material - besides being soft - also has some stretchiness to it which makes me worried that i could potentially rip the strap in half if i pulled hard enough (but why would you ever do that? the camera would get damaged regardless). the strap didn't come with directions, but these things are pretty self-explanatory when it comes to threading onto the camera. it came with metal rings with unknown functionality. maybe to clip on a tethered camera lens cap? i could very easily remove them but kept them on. it also came with a strip of velcro fabric, also with mysterious usage.

drew came home around 7:30, the first time i'd seen him today since he left this morning before i woke up. he fixed himself a sandwich, we chitchatted in the living room a bit, before he went into his bedroom to prepare for his final lectures tomorrow.

i heated up the last of my stouffer's lasagna for dinner, timed to coincide with the start of the texans-patriots game. in hindsight i wasn't sure why i was so worried about but i was. it wasn't clear which team would win. naturally i was rooting for new england, but houston had only lost a single game this season, so they seemed like a credible threat. patriots were also missing key weapons like rob gronkowski (won't be back until the playoffs) and julian edelman (injured for the rest of the season). might new england possibly lose tonight?

at the end of the half though, the score was 21-0. the patriots had completely shut out the texans, who went 3-and-out on many possessions. at one point in the 3rd quarter the score was 28-0 and i was seriously thinking maybe new england could shut out houston completely, but they finally managed to score a touchdown. everything was going the patriots way, from fumbles to interceptions to penalty calls, from defense to offense. were the texans even trying, or were the patriots really that good?

my favorite play was when danny woodhead - the smallest guy on the team - ran down the field breaking one tackle after another, but unfortunately got stripped, only for another patriots player to catch the bouncing ball in the end zone (lloyd kept the ball but i think it really belongs to woodhead for making that initial run). later on ESPN the announcers were saying how it wasn't a very good game. i disagree: if you were a patriots fan, this was an awesome game. humiliate the texans on national television, on monday night football? i can't wait to see the NFL power ranking come tomorrow morning. with this win, new england moves into the 2nd bye position, but it's a crowded race in the AFC for top seeds, with houston only up by a game, patriots tied with the broncos (although new england has the tie break), and the ravens only a game behind (should they tie with the patriots, they have the tie break advantage). patriots have another tough game next sunday against the 49ers. if they can beat san francisco, their last 2 games look to be much easier against the 2-11 jaguars and the 5-8 dolphins. the next few sundays will be interesting.

since i take a lot of photos, i'm always on the lookout for a good photo management software. what i currently use is (phase one) media pro, an updated version of iview multimedia pro. the software has a complicated history: purchased by microsoft in 2006 - who never really did anything with it other than to rebrand it as "expression media" - then sold to phase one in 2010. the interface is elegant, and many customizable options for how you want things displayed. all was perfect until i recently discovered an annoying quirk: it doesn't show the actual ISO value when i shoot with the 60D with auto set ISO. it displays as "AUTO" even though i know the actual ISO value is readable because it shows up on the camera and when i look at the photo with the apple preview app.

this is kind of an obvious bug, but phaseone hasn't released any updates to address the issue (as of version, which is what i currently use). so i went online, looking to find something better. i came across a strangely-named mac app named lyn, which garnered a few positive online reviews. while it does show the actual autoISO values, the interface is nowhere as good as media pro. for one thing, the sidebar seems to be always visible, as it shows a directory tree of your hard drive, scrubbing it for photos. the closest i got to a full page view was with a row of thumbnails on top of the screen. perhaps all these settings can be tweaked (or not), but my initial impression wasn't good, so i trashed the app.

next came photo mechanic, a software recommended by mike (from the hamptons), who said this was what all the professionals use. the way he described it, i was sold. i downloaded the latest demo version (5.0 build 13158) and gave it a try. i don't doubt there's a lot of features, but once again the interface was kind of a mess and it wasn't easy to use. advertised as being used worldwide by professionals since 1998, it certainly shows it in its design. i erased it afterwards.

so for the time being, media pro seems to be the best that's out there. i've also played around with apple's aperture and adobe's lightroom in the past, but those apps have way more functionalities than i need. i still use photoshop to resize and adjust my photos before putting them online.