after going to market basket and picking up a few things for my parents, i biked to the cafe to borrow the car so i could visit elias in the late morning. his old 42" panasonic HDTV recently broke and he asked me if i wanted it in the oft chance that i might be able to fix it. at first i wasn't sure, but sad to see a perfectly good (albeit slightly broken) HDTV going to waste so i agreed to take it. amanda was off at work while elias telecommuted from home so he could take care of baby alvida. i admired his new 52" panasonic plasma HDTV (especially how thin it was), including the fact that it has built-in 3D. we chatted about the greek language, which elias was trying to learn.

i figured the 42" HTDV was something i could just easily carry by myself (based on light weight of my parents' 40" and 46" LCD HDTV's) but a plasma HDTV is a different animal and that thing was heavy. after temporarily putting alvida in the rocking swing, elias helped me lift it downstairs to the car.

unable to carry the heavy HDTV into my house, i stopped by the cafe to enlist the help of my father. we then returned to the cafe where i retrieved my bicycle and went home.

my sinuses were especially dry last night. i think it's because i trimmed my nose hairs and now there's a moisture imbalance inside my nostrils. i'll never cut them again! i woke up this morning slightly congested, which later became a full blown runny nose. my body ached a little but i think it's just from not being used to riding the road bike and lifting the heavy HDTV. but there was no denying it, i caught a cold. i immediately felt guilty, afraid that i might've accidentally exposed elias' daughter to disease. elias, if you're reading this and alvida gets sick, i'm sorry.

i must've caught the virus yesterday, when i went to worcester, and then later to harvard square. maybe it was from using the pen in the bank. or touching the railing in the post office line. perhaps it happened earlier this morning, at the supermarket, when i saw people sneezing and coughing. or worse, maybe dimitri was sick, and i caught his germs when i bought his macbook pro. is paranoia a symptom of the cold?

in hindsight, i definitely weakened my immune system these past few days. i've been sleeping late and waking up early, going outside more than usual, and other than the few times i've had unagi rice, i haven't really been eating well either.

during the course of the day i began working on the HDTV, which nearly covered the area of my dining table. after removing 33 screws (it was pretty easy, no special tools other than a phillips head screwdriver, every screw was marked with an arrow to let you know that it should be removed, i placed each screw next to its original location so i can put it back later), i managed to take the back cover off to expose all the electronic guts inside. the panasonic TH-42PZ77U is actually easier to fix than most HDTV's (not that i've ever fixed any) because when it malfunctions it goes into a diagnostic mode by flashing an LED a certain number of times that helps to identify the issue. this one was flashing 7 times. i managed to find a troubleshooting repair document, and at the very least i can figure out what boards to be replaced. it could either be a relatively cheap fix or a cost-prohibitive expensive fix (in that case, i'll put the HDTV on craig's list for parts).

in the late afternoon i went to davis square to get some heartworm medication for the dog. earlier, when i was transporting the television, i found an old 1970's style crockpot somebody had thrown out. the only problem was the glass lid was a little chipped, so i went to the good will to see if they had a replacement. it seems like they always have crockpots for sale, but all of them were missing the lid. i did find 2 skeins of homespun yarn - the exact same ones my mother uses - and i bought them for a dollar each. i also stopped by michael's to pick up another ball of sheep(ish) yarn.

i also washed the salt off my road bike. since the hose was already shut off, i used a large bucket of warm water and a used sponge. later i dried it with a rag. i was sure my replacement brake levers would arrive today, but they didn't come, so it looks like my trek bike won't get fixed before the snowstorm arrives tomorrow.

i went to star market to get some drinks and was amazed to see the parking lot was completely packed, something i remember ever seeing before. there were so many people doing their pre-snowstorm shopping that there weren't enough parking and cars had to circle the lot waiting for shoppers to leave. normally this parking lot is nearly empty. we should have more storms, this way shaws/star market can stay in business! market basket was just as crazy this morning. it's crowded normally, but today people were kind of on edge and more prone to snapping at each other. i was surprised they didn't have a police officer standing by the entrance in case some customers got rowdy. they did have a "traffic director" to coordinate the express checkout lines (4 cashiers).

for dinner i made myself a simple turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread, american cheese, lettuce, and olive oil mayonnaise. it was actually pretty good, what little i could taste through my stuffed sinuses.

while watching the celtics trounce the faltering lakers (at one point boston was up close to 30 points), i continued to install essential software on my new macbook pro (tonight featured adobe creative suite 6). the fact that all the ports are on the left side of the machine is an annoyance, but the fact that the two USB ports are next to each other is nearly criminally negligent. there's no way to use both ports at the same time because they're just too close together, at least any combination that requires a flash drive because those are usually too wide. fortunately the MBP has a built-in SD card reader, which is what i would've used one of the USB ports for. not sure if it's because the built-in card reader is fast, or just the machine, or a combination of both, but i test downloaded a bunch of photos from a SDHC memory card (the sandisk microSDHC class 1o UHS-1, so it might've even been due to the card) and it just flew. i'll have to test the transcend SDHC card at some point, see if it's equally as fast. i tried photoshop on the new MBP with 2.3 GHz quad-core intel core i7 for the very first time, it's scary fast compared to my old 2.16 GHz intel core 2 duo. i may never have to wait again!

i used up a whole box of tissue by evening's end. i blew my nose so much that the sides of my face were all red. later in the evening i began to sneeze. the disease is running its course! i'm hoping a good night's rest will alleviate some of my suffering.

(i will post more photos of the HDTV guts tomorrow, going to bed now!)