the big news this morning was the US supreme court striking down DOMA. however on the local news you wouldn't have known that because it was minute-by-minute coverage of patriots player aaron hernandez (reporters camped outside the jail, helicopters following the car), whom the police finally arrested. as if he wasn't have a bad enough day, the patriots also released him from the team. other than football fans, who else really cares about aaron hernandez? love hernandez as a player, and from interviews i've seen of him, he seems like a nice guy. his departure from the team is going to hurt the patriots' superbowl chances, especially since gronkowski is a china doll and the team already lost welker to the broncos. but if hernandez really did murder somebody, he has to face the consequences.

dealnews alerted me to a sale on foscam 8910 wireless internet webcams. without hesitating i got another white one ($68.99) to replace the old webcam at my parents' cafe. i already have one at my parents' place which i use to spy on the dog when nobody's home. the great thing about the foscam 8910 is you can remotely pan and tilt. it also has infrared sensors to see in the dark. they have a newer model that will accept an SD card to automatically record videos, but that one costs more than twice as much and for reason isn't nearly as popular as the 8910 model. i might take their old webcam and set it up in my own place when i'm gone, so i can remotely monitor my house while i'm in china.

i biked to harvard square before noontime to pick up my contact lenses. i didn't have to pay anything since they were covered under my current health insurance (due to expire in 4 more days). biomedics changed their packaging, instead of tall boxes now they're flat. i also got another bottle of complimentary contact lens solution. i think i will bring contacts to asia. if it really is as hot as i think it's going to be, it'd be nice to not have to see through steam-fogged glasses.

next i went to rite aid to buy some loperamide HCl 2mg AKA anti-diarrheal medicine. instead of name brand (imodium), i went with generic. i wanted tablets but they were all out of the 24 boxes, so i got softgels instead since they were the same price ($7.49). what's the difference? tablets vs. softgels? which one is more effective? or are both the same? i suppose i'll find out for myself. 24 softgels should be enough for my adventures. i don't plan on getting weekly bouts of diarrhea.

i then made a stop at market basket. i've purposely avoided getting anymore groceries since i want to eat everything that's perishable before i go. but my grandmother might be paying a visit to my place tomorrow and i want to have some clam juice to make clam chowder for her if she wants it.

i did a little bit of work for client N, replacing the caption on one of the movie clips. it was so minor i probably won't charge them, give them a freebie for old times sake. i informed them of my travel plans, and they wanted to get this last edit in before i go.

a hot day that sort of cooled down later in the afternoon that i managed to put in the window fan. i had nothing else going on except waiting for dinner in the evening with my parents and binbin's mother and aunt. my mother called around 2:00 to let me know they'd stop by my place around 6:00 to check it out. so i spent the next 4 hours cleaning non-stop. earlier i'd already washed and dried the bathroom rug. now i had to clean up the pile ups in my kitchen, the guest bedroom, and the living room. my strategy when it comes to cleaning is throw everything into boxes and stuff them into my closet. this is only a temporary solution since eventually i have to go through the boxes and sort everything out (what to keep, what to throw away).

they showed up a little bit before 6:00 after i took a quick shower to wash the film of sticky sweat off my body. binbin's mother's been to my place before, but her aunt had never been here. earlier my parents had taken them shopping at some dollar tree store. the original plan was to leave the car at my place and take a scenic 20 minute walk to dolphin's in harvard square (where we had a 6:30 reservation). but binbin was almost at the restaurant, so we decided to drive instead despite the lack of parking spots in harvard square. just as soon as we left the house, the pouring rain started. i watched as umbrellaless people were caught in the rain, some running for cover, others accepting their fate.

my sister was also coming to dinner as well (a rarity, but binbin's mother did gift her a new ipad 2 so she was indebted to come), so there was a total of 3 cars converging at the restaurant. luckily we all found parking right outside along mass ave (at 15 minutes per 25¢).

i feel like i've been to dolphin's one other time before, but it wasn't very memorable since i don't remember who i came here with and for what occasion (must've happened in the 1990's). dinner was okay but i don't think binbin's mother and aunt liked the food very much. they didn't finish their clam chowder and said the steak was too sweet and the fish too bland.

after dinner the rain had stopped and i was perfectly happy to walk home (and maybe find some photo ops) but my parents gave me a ride. it was nice coming back to a clean house. this is only the first pass though, maybe tomorrow or friday i can do a more thorough cleaning. nobody contacted me about the bikes for sale, i think i'm just going to stick them back in the basement and try selling them again in the fall for less money or waiting until next spring. i'm sick and tired of seeing them out on my backyard deck for the past few months.

my ebay seller received the returned gps this morning. after some gentle prodding, he forwarded me the $235 refund via paypal. that concludes my relationship with handheld gps. while i was in ebay, i ordered a 3-cell slim-fit battery ($19.23) for the dell mini. the battery is only rated at 2400mAh (6-cell is 4800mAh, compared that to the hisense sero 7 tablet with its 4000mAh battery) but what it lack in running time it makes up for in portability. i just prefer a slimmer netbook that doesn't have the battery sticking out at the bottom. if i was going to do real serious work i would want the larger 6-cell, but since this is just going to be primarily a photo storage device and it'll most likely be plugged in all the time, i can live with the smaller battery. that also means it's lighter, which is good for longterm traveling.