i was using my laptop in the bathroom this morning, as i've often done before, when it began to slip off the waste basket i was using as a table. instinctively i shot out both arms to catch the laptop before it could crash to the ground, indadvertedly sending a blinding shot of pain into my left shoulder. i felt around to make sure i didn't cause any permanent injury, i think i'm okay.

even though i've already tested the water when it comes to biking, i don't think i'm well enough to ride yet. so i opted to take the 73 to belmont. i was hoping to catch the 11:24 but i miscalculated and it took me a little longer to get ready, plus i couldn't walk as fast as i normally do, so i got to the station a few minutes late and the bus had already left. i only found out about it 10 minutes later, when the lower bus pickup emptied of people and i was still waiting around. fortunately the next bus was just another 15 minutes.

my parents were surprised to see me, and were even afraid i was foolish enough to bike (which is totally something i'd do, i have a high tolerance for suffering), before i told them i took the bus. my sister had just made some breakfast and i had some leftover quinoa with kale and what looked to be ground turkey.

i'm not embarrassed to admit that my family has a history of hemorrhoids. i have an early memory of my mother dropping off my father at the cambridge hospital one evening in the mid 1980's so he could get hemorrhoid surgery. and just yesterday morning my mother had hemorrhoid surgery of her own (after her ligation treatments didn't seem to work). as for me, thankfully i'm pretty regular (i believe working from home gives me maximum latitude when it comes to bathroom usage). anyway, it'll take her at least a few days to recover, but she seemed to be fine, even though the doctor told her it'd be painful. he even prescribed some oxycodone (which is what i got for my injury).

the weather was barely peeking above the 40's but it was a sunny day with blue skies, a perfect day to get some pruning done. i wouldn't be much help since i couldn't full lift my left shoulder and couldn't carry anything heavy with that arm, but normally during these kind of backyard operations, my father's the one in charge of the chainsaws while i supervise from the ground, clearing the branches as they fall.

the target was the backyard maple, which was once again growing too tall that it was blocking valuable sunlight from the garden during the summer. we'd pruned it before, but drastic pruning always bring forth drastic regrow, as the tree generated fast-growing sucker branches. our original plan many years ago was to supply chop down this tree and plant something more useful (and not as tall) in its place, maybe a few fruit trees, or perhaps something with pretty flowers or fragrance. but this tree has sentimental value, and we learned it's not so easy to kill it, especially with deep roots.

during those times when my father was maintaining the equipment, i dug up some weeds (dandelions and celadines) and sifted the raised bed dirt with a handheld gardening hoe.

when we finally finished after a few hours, there was hardly any branches left on the maple, since they were all cut down, lying in tall piles on the lawn, waiting to be disassembled and placed into barrels for biweekly garden refuse pickup.

i took a nap around 5:00 in my sister's new bed. i went to sleep late last night around 4:00 and woke up this morning a bit after 9:00. i woke up an hour later for dinner. the pain had finally arrived and my mother wasn't well enough to come eat at the table, instead preferring to eat from bed. after i finished, my father gave me a ride back to cambridge.

i managed to get my hands on an NTFS-formatted flash drive and tested it on the digital converter box in my bedroom. it managed to read it just fine, and even played back a 7GB movie file without problems. i watched a few more episodes of downton abbey. i found out that using sub/idx subtitle files (instead of srt files) will cause my external HDMP to freeze and crash. it doesn't matter if subtitles are off; as long as the files exist in the same folder, the videos will eventually bug out.