i went with my father this midmorning to the everett costco. along with the usual supplies, we were also picking up a new HDTV for my grand uncle. 32" was the size we were shooting for, and we ended up getting a samsung UN32EH4050FX LED HDTV. it's only 60Hz 720p but at that size it's hard to tell the difference between that and 1080p. the samsung was the brightest model and features the ability to watch videos directly from its USB connection. it cost $270 which i found out later was a pretty good deal, considering amazon sells it for $278 but currently out of stock. factoring in the 6.25% taxes, it's still an excellent buy.

after my father dropped me off at home, i biked to the cafe to help him set up the new HDTV. my grand uncle hasn't upgrade his cable yet so he still only has analog standard definition channels. i was worried his digital-to-analog cable box wouldn't work with the digital HDTV, but it worked fine, just set the HDTV channel to 3 and change the actual cable channels using the cable box. the image takes up the whole screen (widescreen) so i wonder if it's simply stretching out the image to fit, but it doesn't look stretched. the quality is good but it's definitely not high definition, that's the only way i know i'm not receiving a pure digital signal. if that's the case, i may be looking to upgrade my 10+ year old cathode ray tube television for an HDTV. i don't necessarily have to upgrade my cable service just yet, but in the meantime i can play back movies on widescreen.

after the HDTV was set up, i went with my mother to belmont, leaving my bicycle for my father to ride back later. when he finally did return home close to 4:00, we went out into the backyard and reconnected all the gutter downspouts into the ground, after they were previously diverted to the rain barrels, which i've already emptied out for the season.

my sister bought christmas presents for everyone, including the dog. i rather that she didn't, the best present she could give me is to save her money. she got me a giant rubber goldfish that glows and changes colors underwater (she said somebody else gave it to her but she didn't want it), a glowing keychain/zipper ornament, and a box of cinnamon altoids.

i brought my thermal underwear and my safety vest, so i was all ready for the ride home after dinner. the roads were unusually quiet for a monday evening. another package was waiting for me on the doorstep, more shoes for frances!