i played around with the recording capability of my new digital-to-analog converter box. it's pretty easy to use, but unless the channel comes in crystal clearing, recording can result in a lot of pixelation. that's what got me to think about upgrading my antenna from a simple paperclip to something better (that's why i ordered an RCA matching transformer off of ebay, $2.78).
i happened to catch the 3rd hour of NBC's today show, where i saw former boston meteorologist dylan dreyer. she moved to NYC to become the weekend weather forecaster for NBC, but they seem to be expanding her role at the station, to somewhat limited success. they had her in a round table political discussion with natalie morales and abby huntsman. dylan awkwardly kept silent during the entire segment and i felt bad for her. she basically there as window dressing; at least in boston she had a real job.
i decided to finally finish my taxes, get it done before the weekend rush at the post office. all i needed was to find out how much utilities to deduct from my home office, but that required counting up all the automated nstar withdrawals from my online bank statements and quickly adding them up in a spreadsheet (green is gas, blue is electricity).
the good news was i managed to reduce my federal taxes by $200. even better news was my state refund increased by several hundred dollars, so i ended up barely paying any taxes for 2012. i quickly went ahead and filed my federal taxes electronically and printed out my state taxes for mailing (i finally had to change the toner after getting the low ink warning for almost a year).
i elected to take the bike to the post office. today was the first day warm in quite some time, with temperature in the 60's but felt even warmer. i brought my camera bag but it was empty except for my tax packet. i went to michael's first, to get some large-sized crochet needles for my mother using a 50% off coupon. i then went to the post office, where they had 3 clerks working, something i'd only see around the christmas holidays.
the last time i rode the bike was on friday. my collarbone was still a bit sore, and i was kind of tentative. today however was quite different. i hardly felt anything and i had enough mobility to stand up on the bike on occasion. i didn't feel the need to ride with one hand and gripped the handlebar like normal. the only time it was uncomfortable was when accidentally riding over a bump or a shallow pothole, which i quickly learned not to do, and wasn't that difficult to avoid on familiar roads. encouraged by the possibility of being back on the road, i decided to take my first ride to belmont since the accident.
i stopped by the cafe briefly, where my father and 2nd aunt were there. i have to dismount carefully, otherwise a wretch on the left arm might cause pain in my shoulder. my father was surprised to see me, and even more surprised to hear i came by bike. in belmont my mother was recovering from her surgery. i gave her the crochet needles.
i went into the backyard to clean up some branches. i used the hand pruner for the small branches and the large heavy-duty lopper for the bigger ones. i was being careful, not to exert too much force with my left arm. but while trying to cut a large branch with the lopper, i hit the handles with both hands without thinking and caused pain in my collarbone like somebody hit it with a hammer. i stopped pruning at that point and decided to go home before i further damaged myself (and to beat the rush hour traffic).
the rest of the day was uneventful. for lunch i had a ham sandwich, for dinner the last of my xinjiang paomo. on my way home i stopped by rite aid to gather some unhealthy snacks. i watched the NCAA championship game, won by louisville.