someone was banging against the side of my house this morning. could this be farina roofing co. coming back to repair the house? on a saturday morning no less? i cracked open the blinds to peek into renee's alleyway and saw that all her garbage cans had be moved away from my house. it had to be the roofers. the pounding meant i wasn't going to be able to get any sleep anyway, so i got out of bed and went out to investigate. a farina roofing truck was parked outside, confirming it was them. there were 2 guys working, replacing damaged shingles with new ones, cutting them down to the right size to match. one of them - a tall man in a celtics hoodie - asked me if i had any paint left of my house color, because they wanted to repaint the replacement shingles. "otherwise, i'll go out and get a pint of it." i told him that wasn't necessary. he apologized for the damage. "one of our tahp gave way, that's why this happened," he explained. i didn't tell him his workers didn't set up a secondary protective tarp at all and i have photos to prove it. why argue with people who are repairing my house, right?

nicks on the shingles wasn't as big a deal for me as the gash in my guest bedroom screen window. "do you think you can take out the window?" celtics hoodie asked me. i told him it was embedded in the window frame itself but i'd try. i went back inside and opened the window. i didn't see how it'd come out, but the guy took one look at it and popped it out. he said he'd get it fixed and then either install it back on the window or leave it on my doorstep.

in about half an hour they were gone. apparently rp farina roofing co. of arlington does take responsibilities for their actions. they're not a bad company after all. although had they actually set up the second tarp as they should've, none of this would've happened in the first place. when i spoke to franz yesterday, he told me when they did the other half of renee's roof facing his place, those guys did eventually set up a secondary protective tarp (probably having learned from their mistake when they damaged my house).

the house looks a bit empty without the 42" HDTV sitting on my dining room. looking out into the backyard and seeing all the elm sawdust on the ground gave me an idea. i went outside and collected some sawdust so i could try burning it. i heard elm isn't a very good burning wood, with various reasons, from hard to split, difficult to ignite, and awful smell. i wanted to find out for myself. this might not have been the best experiment because this was fresh sawdust. i used an upside-down soda can as a pedestal. i got the sawdust to light, but it soon became just glowing embers, and finally went out. the wood itself doesn't smell at all, has a sweetness to it. i wonder if anyone ever uses elm for food smoking?

i rode off to belmont in the late morning for what i was hoping to be a day of vigorous backyard pruning. my father was at the cafe retrieving one of our ladders. i had some lunch in the form of a homemade burrito bowl by sister made.

we started by pruning off the black knots from the 2 plum trees. we've been pruning and treating it with natural fungicide for the past few years and it's gotten a little better, but the large branch that overhangs into our backyard neighbor's yard is pretty much covered with black knots and the whole branch should be removed. it's tough work, involving constantly moving the ladder and switching from the various pruning tools. my shoulder pain made the work a little uncomfortable, and we couldn't find our pruning saw for some of the larger branches that needed to be removed.

we also removed a large branch that broke off from the dead elm tree in the southeast corner of the yard. it didn't smash into the fence below nor the leaf compost bin because the tree is covered in wisteria vines that's pretty much holding everything in place (that's what also killed the tree in the first place unfortunately). my father chopped down some bamboos as well. now we're thinking of digging up all the bamboos and putting down a tall trellis for the wisteria to grow on.

by mid-afternoon we stopped pruning. i think neither of us were in the mood. instead i suggested we go to home depot to look for better pruning tools. it's still sort of early in the season so there wasn't a large selection of pruning shearers. they sold pruning saws but too large for what we needed. i was hoping they'd carry some stick pruners but they didn't have any. i did get some stainless steel hose clamps (5/8" size, the smallest variety they carried, $6.67 for a packet of 10).

when i got back home i took a hot bath. afterwards i had a craving for ice cream and grapes and ran across the street to star market to get some before they closed at 10:00. the ice cream i got was ben & jerry's pistachio pistachio. i normally don't go with ben & jerry's because they seem to gimmicky for me (a lot of stunt flavors that don't really combine well) but i've had some really good häagen-dazs pistachio ice cream a few months ago and figured this might be similar. well, the pistachio nuts were good, but the ice cream itself tasted a bit off, like maybe a hint of cherry flavor. i should wait for the häagen-dazs to go on sale and stock up.

i played a bit of dishonored. i'm currently on the royal physician mission and it seems particularly difficult trying to sneak across a drawbridge without being detected. i'm also not quite sure where to achieve my mission objectives, so i'm basically winging it. i play in stealth mode, but whenever i'm detected, i indulge in some mindless slaughter before reloading from my last save point.