it all started around 7:00 when i heard commotions coming from the shared alleyway between my house and renee's, like somebody moving things. i then heard the unmistakeable noise of rattling ladders and i knew what was happening: renee's roofers were here to work (rp farina roofing co. based in arlington). thanks for giving me the heads up, renee! what followed was a non-stop racket of scaffoldings being assembled, brazilian men shouting at each other, then chunks of shingles flying off her roof and hitting the side of my house (the workers conveniently shielded her house with a padded drop cloth, no such courtesy for me). i even poked my head out the window a few times to sort of let them know there are neighbors, but the workers could care less as they tore through the old roof. it goes without saying that i wasn't able to sleep after that, not with an active demolition site happening a few feet away from my bedroom window.

it's only been 12 hours since i posted the HDTV on craig's list and already i'm thinking nobody wants the old plasma. i don't know what the market is like for used HDTV's. bicycles i understand: they're a hot commodity on online community sale sites, to the extent that it has its own category. but used television? not so much. it's wrapped up in the umbrella electronics group. it's still early in the sale.

as soon as began to think the HDTV would be a no sell, somebody named HDguy e-mail me with the brusque offer of "$200 cash." i told him if i couldn't sell it within a week, i'd get back to him. he replied with an equally terse, "thanks."

so since i was up early, i decided to get my 2012 taxes done. i actually wanted to do it by the end of february, but it fell off of my to-do list. my tax software of choice: good old reliable turbotax deluxe. although it seemed quite painful, it was actually pretty easy to do. not only am i getting back a few hundred bucks in MA state refund, but my federal taxes is way lower than i expected (it helps to not make that much money this past year and be really bad at math). i'll play with the numbers to make sure i didn't miss any deductions but hopefully i can send everything out by the end of this week. i'll also need to do taxes for my sister and 2nd aunt. my sister has no excuse as to why she can't do her own taxes. i'll give her a copy of my turbotax deluxe.

in the early afternoon i heard and felt what sounded like something slamming against the house. turns out it was the roofers bringing in the replacement shingles, stacking them one package after another by throwing them up against my house. i went out and told them not to do that anymore. then i went into the backyard. the side facing renee's property was covered in roof debris. thick shards of asphalt shingles mixed with tattered pieces of roofing paper that crumbled like black ash. the stuff was everywhere, on the plants, in the walkway, on the deck. it made me so mad i went to the roofers and demanded to speak with their boss, who was up on the roof. "we'll clean it up afterwards," he shouted down. that wasn't good enough. besides, chances are they'd trample all the plants growing in the garden, so i decided to clean it up myself. they saw what i was doing and said they'd take care of it, but i told them not to bother. i ended up with a big barrel of roof debris. i wrote renee an e-mail to complain.

by mid-afternoon things had quiet down. the roofers seemed to have left for the day. i poked my head out my bedroom window to look around, and that's when i noticed the whole side of the house facing renee's place was peppered with nicks and scratches from the fall roof debris. deep gouges too, in the shingles, on the windowsill. worst yet, they tore open one of the my screen windows. all this was completely unnecessary had these roofers taken the care to protect both houses. they must've realized what they'd done as well because the last time i went out they'd finally put up a tarp on my house, but too little too late. nicks and scratches i can live with since i don't usually see that side of the house anyway, but the screen window has to get fixed. fuming with anger, i wrote renee on more letter to complain and asked her who'd pay for the damages.

with that i left for belmont. since upgrading my camera and laptop, i no longer put them in my rear bike baskets for fear of damaging my equipment. so now i carry everything in a heavy backpack, which makes for some tough biking (especially uphills).

my father and i finally figured out how to wire the foyer light with some 3-way switches. it was working when my parents first bought the house, but one day my father decided to upgrade one of the light switches with a timer and ended up rewiring the light so the 3-way switches don't work correctly. so after study 4 different home repair/electric wiring books, we were determined to get it working again. we basically did it through trial and error, but after several iterations, the switches still didn't work. my father was ready to give up, but i did some more research and discovered that 3-way switches have a designated connection for the common (power source), and not all switches have the common at the same location. that was the key clue and we finally do one last rewiring and suddenly everything worked. doing in the lighting at my parents' place has inspired me to do some electrical work at my own place: the front door/foyer light switches need to be exchanged (timer should be linked to the front door light, not the foyer). maybe i can do that tomorrow.

after dinner i returned home. it was snowing lightly, but nothing that'd stick (except on my bike seat). the snow mound had melted enough that i was tempted to park my bike outside by my usual sign post, but i saw a sign for some sort of snow clearing tomorrow and decided i didn't want to risk getting my bike damaged by any city plows.

later in the evening another prospective HDTV buyer - george - got in touch with me. george also wanted to negotiate a lower price, this time at $250. i wouldn't bite, said i was heart set at $300. i didn't hear back from him. is this common? for buyers to negotiate the price? because in all the times i've bought on craig's list, i've never haggled. but haggling creates this hidden offline auction. whoever can match my asking price can have the item, but if i don't sell within a week (how long a craig's list ad lasts before it's automatically deleted), i may go back to the hagglers and offer the next highest buyer a choice of buying it at his asking price.

so there definitely seems to be a small market for cheap HDTV. that makes me optimistic that somewhere out there is somebody willing to pay my asking price. the trick is to have it happen this week before craig's list deletes my posting (although i could always repost my ad, no rules against that).