mary gave me a scare this morning, returning to the house at 11:30am, a time when i was expecting to be alone. i'd just taken a shower and was coming out of the bathroom when i saw a person standing in the living room. it took my brain a split second to register what was happening, and i let out a startled yelp. "i didn't mean to scare you!" mary said. i was lucky i was already dressed, and not in my underwear, as occasionally the case when i don't think anyone is home.

to think: i have to put up with this for the rest of the year! a part of me likes that sort of suffering though (makes for great stories, despite the obvious inconvenience), a part of me likes the money it brings renting out the guest bedroom, and a part of me is still in shock over what i got myself into. but really, i'm only living with her for 6 more months, since i won't be here april and may. and honestly, she's not here most of the time, and when she is, she's mostly in her room, or in the kitchen making dinner. as far as roommates go, i could do a lot worse.

mary came home early because 1) harvard's spring break is this week so there are no classes; and 2) she felt sleepy and wanted to come home and nap (i.e. make sure she never recovers from her jetlag).

i went to the rite aid pharmacy around 11:30am to get my prescription refills. i called neighborhood health last week to get the details regarding my special case. since my drugs will run out when i'm in china, i needed to get them refilled ahead of time, before my current supplies run out. i'm guessing insurance companies do occasionally get these travel override requests, so i wasn't asking for anything too unusual, but i still had to jump through some bureaucratic hoops. the person i spoke to last time said i should just call them from the pharmacy when i do decide to refill, so that's what i did, but i wasn't expecting it to take so long, and have to give them all my information a second time (drugs needed, days of travel, destination - 12.5mg thiazide, 100mg losartan, 2.5mg amlodipine).

when i went back to the pharmacist (different from the one i spoke with earlier), she said everything went through, but i couldn't get my pills until april 3rd, the day before i leave. i didn't understand why, but figured that was the rule, so i accepted it. i then went to go browse in the aisles for possible china gift iems, but something just didn't seem right. if i pick up my prescriptions the day before i leave, and something goes wrong, i'm pretty much screwed. so just when i was about to go back and double check with the pharmacist, they actually called me on my phone. the pharmacist i spoke with earlier told me that i didn't have to wait, that my insurance company just called them and okayed the override for immediate refill. so i went back to the pharmacy department to pick them up (i had to wait a little bit longer for them to fill them out). i didn't return home until almost 12:30pm, an hour later. time seems to fly when i'm at the pharmacy!

i saw some things i wanted to buy (health and beauty items), but since i still have 2 weeks before i leave, i think i'll buy them cheaper online. i made myself an english muffin sandwich with chorizo turkey and pepperjack cheese.

i spent the rest of the day either working on michael's MBP or playing around with the new panasonic lumix ZS40. i still haven't figured out the printing bug, just kind of banging my head against the wall on that one. i also realized that the outlook express backup is outdated, from 2011, so i'll need another version of that. i did however figure out how to back up everything using OSX time machine, pretty painless (i tested it on a 64GB thumb drive), which reminds me that i have to backup my data within the next 2 weeks.

as for the lumix ZS40, i played around with its macro capabilities:

tried some creative control filters:

the ZS40 has a slew of wireless capabilities. it can function as its own access point and remotely transmit photos or control the camera functions. it can also do the same thing by hitching onto a preexisting wifi network. it can also wireless copy photos onto a networked computer once it senses it's been charged. finally, using HDMI-CEC, it can project photos onto an HDTV.

i played around with the autofocusing and tracking feature. it can take continuously tracking photos at 5fps, or 10fps if it's on single focus. the image stabilizing is also very good, at 30x zoom there's hardly any movement. the battery seems pretty good too, it never dipped below full capacity despite playing with it all day.

in the late afternoon i went to star market. first i deposited a bunch of cans - nearly $2 worth of aluminum goodness. i then bought some pasta and sauce, and 6 boxes of cookies/brownies/muffins mix (on sale, $2 each). i paid with a complex combination of recycle coupons, $10 gift card, and a credit card. walking back, it began to rain.

i didn't think much of the rain at first, and closed the blinds because it was getting dark. but a short time later the rain stopped, and the filtered light outside make everything turn sepia that i opened all the blinds to take in the weird color effect. that's when i noticed it in the sky: a stripe of rainbow at the end of the road. i grabbed my camera and began snapping. it disappeared after only a minute.

hoping to catch more of the rainbow, or at least a colorful sunset, i went out with my camera, and snapped a few photos from beacon street, the closest area to me where i can at least get a better view of the sky compared to my where i live.

mary woke up around 6pm to take a shower before making dinner. i only saw her briefly later in the evening, when i was finally making some dinner (putting a frozen brick of lasagna in the oven) close to 9pm. earlier, i was on the phone with comcast; for some reason my grand uncle lost his HD channels, even though he's been watching them the past few weeks. when i went online to check the bill, there was no mention of HD, even though all our equipment are designed for HD reception. instead of trying to figure out what happened, i add the representative quickly add HD to the account so at least my grand uncle can watch the celtics game in high def.