i biked down to haymarket in the afternoon to put in the paperwork for a handicap parking placard at the nearby RMV headquarter. i was actually afraid to go biking, having not biked to boston in a while.1 my last trip to haymarket was back in early november, and that was accomplish via commuter rail in a proof-of-concept experiment. in fact, the last time i actually biked into boston was all the way back in september, when i took cristina's boyfriend kiki on a tour of the city, 72 days ago! so it really has been a while. that also not surprisingly coincided with my subsequent weight gain. anyway, it was easy once i got started, and the weather wasn't a problem (temperature in the upper 40's) because i quickly warmed up. i did struggle a little bit with my endurance, but that's because i haven't been riding long distance in a while.

i wasn't expecting to get the placard today so i was surprised when the secretary told me i could wait and she'd have it ready in 10 minutes. as far as RMV's go, the boston HQ wasn't so bad, but i was on the 3rd health service floor, not the 2nd general registry floor. from the window i had a nice view of the greenway and the north end, and there was even free wifi. it turned out to be a 20-minute wait before they called my grand uncle's name. "you're not him," said the clerk when she saw me. she told me that in order to get the placard, my grand uncle has to be present to get his photo taken at any RMV office. once that was done, the photo would be sent to the boston HQ and he'd receive the placard in the mail. she presented me with a letter saying that my grand uncle was already authorized, just needed his photo.

i went downstairs to do some haymarket shopping. this late in the season, there isn't a lot of variety, just the usual fruits and vegetables. i left with: 2 asparagus stalks ($2), 2 lbs. of seedless red grapes ($2), a papaya ($2), $1 worth of long horn peppers ($1.50/lbs.), a strand of garlic ($1.50), $1 worth of tomatoes ($2/3lbs.), and a 3lbs. tube of yuca ($3). what i really wanted was to get some ingredients for making korean kimchi, but they didn't have what i needed (large napa cabbage, daikon radish, garlic chives). fortunately tomorrow morning i'll be in chinatown for dim sum and i can pick up some produce there.

i biked back across the longfellow bridge, stopping to take an obligatory photo of the boston skyline. it was already 3pm, and if i stayed on the bridge another hour i'd be treated to a nice sunset, but i continued with my journey. i had the same endurance problem as before, maybe a bit worse because i was riding all the way to the cafe to drop off some supplies. my aunt lili was there, taking a break from work. i left soon afterwards, trying to get home before it got dark around 4pm.

the obi200 arrived today. set up was easy, using my 2nd gmail account and the google voice phone number associated with that. it should be pretty routine by this point, considering this is the 3rd obi200 i've set up. i'm still kind of awestrucked that all this technology (google voice) is free. all you need is an obi device, internet service, and a phone. anyone who has internet but pays their cable/phone company for a home landline is being scammed. switch to voip and get free phone service. the only downside is if the internet/electricity goes down, you can't use the phone. also, you can't make emergency calls (but that's a feature you can add for a small yearly fee).

my piping rock order of essential oils arrived today as well. the best is frangipani2 ($2.39 15ml), which just smells like a really pretty perfume. spearmint ($3.35) smells like mint, a common scent in oral hygiene products. tea tree ($3.59) reminds me of eucalyptus, but a more medicinal and oily scent (i'm not a fan). finally, there's jasmine ($4.43), which was only an essential oil blend (15ml of 100% pure jasmine would cost $73); the scent is pretty light, and it took a few subsequent sniffs to finally catch a whiff of jasmine.

for dinner i had a pastry i got last night from my parents' place, as well as a bowl of instant miso soup. i started watching narcos on netflix, wanted to see what i've been missing. also supposedly it's filmed on-location in colombia.

1 according to google timeline, i biked a total of 9.1 miles today. a nice workout!

2 the very first time i ever smelled frangipani (and recognized it) was in the former vietnamese imperial capital of hue. since then i've seen elsewhere, most recently when i visited hainan island.