i got up a bit earlier than usual just to see if the vatican elected a new pope yet. the fact that none of the major networks had any breaking news meant the wait would continue.

i renewed my craig's list posting for the HDTV so it'd be on the top of the listing if somebody searched for HDTV. within the span of a few hours i got 3 interested parties. the only thing was they were all fakes, from the short and suspicious e-mails i've now learned to recognize. so now all my hopes rest with helia, the married lady who said her husband could come pick up friday after 4:30.

i spent the rest of the morning fixing up the trek mountain bike david had been riding. i tried to figure out why the chain skipped yesterday but i couldn't find the reason. the crankset also makes a rickety sound but i also couldn't figure out the source. the least i could do was oil the chain and wipe off as much rust as possible. when i was about to flip the bike back over, that's when i noticed the front tire was completely flat. i tried to find the puncture but couldn't, so i ended up removing the inner tube and holding it underwater in the tub to find the leak. turns out it was a small pinched area near the valve stem. i was about to patch it up until i realized all my used tubes of rubber cement had evaporated, even though i put the patch kits in the fridge.

i went to the dollar store to see if they carried any cheap rubber cement. they didn't, but i picked up some toilet paper ($5.50, charmin basic 12 rolls) while i was there, as well as 2 packs of clear 12 oz. plastic drinking cups ($4) i'll use as growing pots.

so after making myself an artisanal lox bagel sandwich, i biked to the assembly square mall to get a few things, one of which was rubber cement. staples had elmer's rubber cement at $2.99 (staples online sells it for $2.50). i went to ac moore looking for a better bargain but they also carried elmer's at $2.99. i forgot my 40% coupon so decided to hold off on the rubber cement.

i then spent about an hour browsing home depot. i ended up buying: a bunch of garden seeds ($17), 5-pack colored electric tape ($3.98, only wanted a little bit of white), 1/2"x3/8"x20' vinyl tubing ($4.37, longer than i need but that's they carried, replacing aquarium vacuum hose), 2 packs of loctite super glue gel (2@$2.98), and 32qt miracle grow moisture control potting mix ($10.97). i also wanted to get a right angle wall tap but they don't carry anything like that, and i forgot to look for p-clamps (for attaching the folding baskets onto my bike).

this season i really wanted to get some seeds online because the selection at home depot are always the same. maybe there's still time to get a few exotic perennials. the only new i'm planting this year (so far) are some roma tomatoes for making sauces. i thought i did okay with the normal tomatoes, but i'd like to try some romas since i hear they make better sauces.

i strapped the bag of dirt to my rear rack and slowly peddled home. i had to remember not to peddle standing up otherwise the weight from the back would swing so violently that i had a hard time steering the bike.

i turned on the television to see the breaking news i'd been waiting for: a pope has been elected! but who? i didn't have time to find out before i left for belmont.

at my parents' place i finally saw that the conclave had selected an argentinian cardinal for the new pope. i was surprised there hadn't been a pope from central/south american yet, given the predominant catholic population. argentina was a shrewd choice, but why not a cardinal from mexico or brazil, which have larger catholic populations?

my father was supposed to help me drill holes in my plastic cups but he left the power drill at the cafe. instead we took advantage of the mild weather by making some pruning strategies in the backyard. the unwanted maple needs another trim, especially since we only really pruned half of it last season. even then, it was growing tall enough on the untrimmed side that it still managed to block a good amount of sunlight into our raised bed gardens, especially towards the later part of the growing season. we won't cut until saturday, but in the meantime my father pruned some of the wisteria vines threatening to break apart our backyard fence and strangle the plum trees.

i churned the compost bin when i got the chance. we started this pile back in december 2011, with mostly fall leaves. last year i maintained it the best that i could, with grass clippings throughout the summer, but i turned it as often as possible to reduce the smell. i could never get a good mixture of brown and green ingredients but i might have better composting luck this year since we started a big reserve bin of dead leaves saved during autumn. the compost we have now, i don't know how good it is. it's definitely decomposed, since the overall size of the compost has reduced by half. we'll mix it into the raised beds once we start growing.

while my father continued to prune the raspberry canes, i went back inside the house. i returned home after dinner. it was a weird feeling biking back to cambridge with the sky not dark yet. i knew sunset was a good time to try spotting the comet. i used the crescent moon as a guide, but i couldn't get a good view of the western horizon, and wasn't in a mood to stop and search.

back at home, i used some of the white electrical tape to cover up the cracks inside my refrigerator. these were caused by food items jammed so tightly into the fridge that it crushed the brittle plastic tabs holding up the trays.

the big news internationally might be about the new pope, but here locally patriots star receiver wes welker's signing with the denver broncos is what's on everyone's mind. it's sad but i don't really blame the guy. new england isn't known for it's sentimentality when it comes to keeping players it feels has gone beyond their prime. plenty good players leave as well, going off to greener pastures for more money. even quarterback tom brady renewed his contract for less money. i'm just glad football season isn't until the end of the year and i don't have to think about it until then.

i couldn't wait to play some dishonored. i finished the house of pleasure level with an overall chaos of low, a first. i didn't kill anybody, with the exception of a few weepers that i didn't realize i wasn't allowed to dispatch (i thought they were diseased zombies, who knew they're still alive). i used slackjaw's non-lethal method of getting rid of the twins, so i never even had a chance to meet them before completing the mission. to play stealth, you only really need a few things: blink, dark vision, bend time, and sleep darts. sleep darts make it easier and are indispensable for neutralizing distant targets, but there's always the old reliable sleeper hold provided you can sneak up on somebody without them knowing. i've discovered a bug in the PC version where i can't arm grenades; not that i'd want to anyway, if i'm playing dishonored the non-lethal way.

the 2nd thing i was looking forward to this evening was another new episode of the americans. that was also the time alex decided to facetime me from tokyo. we chatted for nearly an hour as i tried to watch the show. finally, when it was rebroadcasted the following hour, i excused myself to go watch. another great episode! "hmm. i'm sorry i didn't kill you. that's my apology." oh snap!