where was all this enthusiasm for architecture back when i actually had a roommate who was an architecture history professor? i probably caught the bug after our trip to north easton. it was the only time i've ever purposely gone out just to see buildings. not just any buildings, but fine examples of richardsonian romanesque designed by h.h.richardson himself. it also ties into my love of local history and it's a great way to learn more about the various neighboring towns. it's kind of amazing how much romanesque architecture there are in the area. once i start looking for it, i see it everywhere since they're not hard to miss. it's quite possible to see a different one for each and every day of the year.

lacking anything better to do, my parents opened up the cafe today even though they were originally going to close. but there was no business so they closed in the early afternoon. i ended up going with them to the wellington circle plaza. my father and i went to harbor freight tools while my mother went to ocean state job lot. figuring my mother would spend a longer time shopping than us, we were surprised to see her in harbor freight already finished with her purchases. she didn't think much of the store at first, until she noticed the prices. there were also some random merchandise, like a portable propane gas grill (which my parents almost bought) and children toys. our primarily reason for being there was to buy a new soldering iron ($4.99) and some lead-free rosin core solder ($2.87) to repair my aunt's roomba.

back in belmont, my father reconnected the broken roomba sensor wire. as a young man he worked in a factory soldering electronic components so that's where he learned how to work the iron. after everything was reassembled, i tested my aunt's roomba with the fresh new battery. it was still dead. at this point i think we've done all we can. her friend's roomba still works, but it's a lower model missing features like dock recharging or scheduling. that particular roomba also doesn't seem to be able to recharge when plugged in (the charging light doesn't turn on).

i made dinner for a change, my spicy mexican soup. normally i'd use up an entire 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers, but since my father can't handle anything too spicy, my mother asked me to tone it down, so i only used half a can. instead of my regular israeli couscous, i had some multi-colored variety i picked up from the job lot last week. my mother also added some chopped celery because she thought there wasn't enough vegetables.

since i got a ride to belmont, my father drove my home after dinner. earlier in the late afternoon bruce called me to let me know the reason why we haven't been hanging out this winter break is because his mother passed away less than a week ago in new york. this came as a shock since the women in that family normally live well beyond 100 years old (she was 78 i believe).