franz contacted the neighbors today, the tree pruning is a go, he's just waiting for his upstairs condo neighbors to send him a $3000 check. i'm not sure if it'll be safe to be outside during the actual dismantling of the tree in a week or two but i plan to document as much of it as possible.
it must be a slow news day because of the one biggest news is that the transportation department has suspended the license of the fungwah bus company. i don't doubt that their buses are in bad shape, but it makes me angry the "i told you so" glee that fungwah detractors seem to be having. the fungwah story is one of an underdog bus company going up against bigger national bus companies. fungwah's cheap rates actually helped to make the other companies reduce their own rates in order to compete, and that's the best case scenario of capitalism in action.
i've heard all the complaints about fungwah - bad drivers, overselling tickets, safety violations - but the bottom line is what do you expect for $15? and are these problems only endemic to fungwah, or do they happen to the other bus companies as well, just that nobody talks about it? i'm also hesitant to say this, but some complaints seem racially motivated, like maybe a chinese business naturally wouldn't be very good in the first place. are some people complaining louder because of bad service, or because of bad chinese service? nobody is mentioning that there's another chinese bus company - lucky star - that don't have all the controversies surrounding fungwah (or least not that've been publicized). i think this suspension is a temporary thing, and once all the buses are fixed, fungwah will be back in business.
after a visit to rite aid to get more cough drops, i went to market basket for a bit of groceries. while paying for my items there was an abandoned cart ahead of me that i ended up stepping in front of. when the owner returned - an old black lady - she accused me of cutting her in line. i told her she wasn't here and can't just step out of line and jump back in. "we do it all the time," she told me.
i returned to the house to drop off my groceries before going back out again, this time to the memorial drive trader joe's to get some cheap wine for cooking. it was an easy ride along the charles river. i showed the cashier my id even though i'm nearly 2 decades older than the legal drinking age. coming back i put my jacket in one of the rear baskets and accidentally scratched it up a little bit from one of the many sharp edges.
i tested out the mini displayport to dvi adapter that arrived yesterday. i was able to connect to the external monitor just fine, but i couldn't get the MBP to go into clamshell mode. when i closed the main display the external display would turn off too. i tried to find a fix online and people were talking about how ever since they installed OS X 10.8.2 they couldn't get clamshell mode to work, and some people were saying it was a bad adapter. but the answer was actually kind of simple: clamshell mode only works when the MBP is connected to the power supply. once i did that, it worked great. it wasn't the adapter at all, which turned out to be a bargain at only $4.10 (apple's official adapter is $29).
as a test, i played some bioshock 2 on the (larger) external monitor for about an hour. this is the better gaming experience, as not only is the image bigger, but the keys of an actual keyboard feels so much more tactile.
for dinner i made a sandwich from some honey ham that may or may not have gone bad. i heated it up in the toaster oven just to be sure. it did taste funny, but not funny enough to get me sick. digestion 1, rotten meat 0.
david was already gone when i woke up this morning, and didn't return until 9:00. he made another healthy salad for dinner, with tomato slices, chickpeas, and maybe a bit of tuna.
we were chatting and i found out he's actually an avid biker when he used to live in cambridge, taking his marin bike everywhere, especially on summer nights with his girlfriend through the city. he seriously thought about taking the bike back home with him when he returned to spain, but sadly had to sell it ($320, originally paid $500).
we got to talking about food and started exchanging stories of the weirdest things we've ever eaten in our travels. apparently he'd got me beat, with things like chinese dog meat, spanish maggot-covered cheese, and farm-raised kangaroo. i would've never been able to tell he's such an adventurous carnivore with his healthy salad suppers.