after some rice porridge for lunch in belmont, i was out in the backyard, trying to reduce the branch pile as much as possible before the snowstorm that'd arrive later today. there were first some smaller piles i still had to tie up into bundles. i used some hemp rope but they were too stringy and kept on breaking. i found a coil of thicker hemp rope (for pitching tents?) that was much better but only a limited supply.

i used a combination of electric chainsaw, industrial looper, and a pair of bypass pruning shears. i got a text from julie while i was working, hanging out in harvard square, getting some cheap tacos. the sky was blue at first with a mixture of clouds, that gradually turned grey, but would sometimes alternate between the too. temperature was in the upper 30's, but felt warmer when i was working in the sun. i took a few breaks, going back inside to get something to drink, or go online, while my mother busied herself with knitting and watching season 8 of murdoch mysteries that i managed to download through torrents.

it makes me worried that i haven't seen any delphinium plants emerging. i had so many last season, could they be annuals instead? but a check online showed that they're pretty winter hardy. or maybe i grew some tender variety and they all died during our stretch of bitterly cold temperature. i haven't seen any peonies yet either, but i'm not worried about them. maybe delphiniums will emerge at the same as peonies. i have to remember it's still relatively early in the spring, and in fact, today is only the official first day of spring.

i felt it last night, and during the day when i was working outside; now i was feeling it again, a terrible pain in the center of my chest, panting in the cold night air as i peddle my way home. you think by now my body would've been conditioned to biking in any weather, and certainly 34° is special as i've biked in even colder temperature. i wonder if there's something else going on? maybe it's some kind of asthma brought on by the cold dry air. it even made me a bit dizzy, and i almost wanted to stop to catch my breath, but decided to just ride slower, unzipping my jacket to cool off a bit.

as soon as i got home it started to snow. not flakes, but dry snow grains. mary was asleep by the time i got back around 8:30pm. she woke up around midnight to take a shower and went back to bed.

i got in touch with taiwanese brad over skype. a few weeks ago he got in touch with me, wanted to see how much it'd cost to ship some lego kits from boston to taipei. i told him i could do him one better: either i'd deliver it to him if i decided to visit taiwan, or at the very least i could sent it from chonqging, which would be cheaper than shipping from the US. i told him to send the legos to my house. weeks later now, and i still haven't received anything, so i asked him about it. turns out he found a friend of a friend who works at legos and could get him the kits locally. it would've been nice if he let me know, instead of just leaving me hanging. this of course means if he ever wants me to send anything to him from the US, the answer will probably be no.