i left for belmont in the morning, hoping there'd be enough time to visit the waltham OSJL before the football game started at 1pm (to get some suet cake refills for the backyard feeder). when i walked into the house, i could smell sandalwood smoking from the diffuser which my mother had turned on; the few drops of essential oil she added yesterday was still good a day laster. i was going to drive there with the toyota that'd been sitting in the driveway for who knows how long, but my mother told me my sister yesterday left the engine running to see if the car was okay but then forgot to shut off the engine so the car was left running for half the day, with hardly anymore fuel left in the tank. there was also the problem of the tires, which were slightly deflated from lack of use.

so i was outside with the pneumatic pump filling up each tire to the recommended 32psi. the pump would noisily pressurize intermittently, so during those times, i was cleaning the garage. i stacked a horizontal wooden shelf on top of some other shelving for more storage space. a bag of fertilizer was chewed open by some critter, with smelly pellets all over the floor. the right-front tire was going me some problems. when i checked with the gauge it said it had 40 psi, but the tire still looked flat. i felt deflating and inflating, but it didn't seem to do any good. maybe the tire is just deformed from sitting in the driveway for so long.

since i had the electric cord out, i also used the shopvac to vacuum the inside of the car, where there was some debris (dead leaves, gravel, dirt) on the floor pads. afterwards i drove the car out onto the curb, so my father could park the honda into the driveway when he came home and then have the toyota be the first car out, since it needs gas and my father wants to send it to the shop to fix the breaks which are a bit soft.

i wasn't done yet, taking off my jacket, rolling up the sleeves of my dress shirt, and then raking the bit of dead leaves on the front lawn. my parents' next door neighbors haven't raked all season, but in their defense, they do have 3 kids (or is it 4? they're prodigious breeders). still, it's kind of an eyesore, and the dead leaves on their lawn end up blowing onto ours. when you live in the suburbs, you have to do suburban things, and one of them is to rake your lawn (the other is to mow your lawn during the summer, something they're also very neglectful of doing). i should've been cold with the temperature in the upper 30's, but i was okay since raking warmed me up. i was also wearing my long underwear underneath my jeans, the first time this season.

when i finally went back inside, it was almost 1pm, almost the start of the rams-patriots game. 9-2 new england was up against 4-7 los angeles. the fact that the game was broadcasting in the early afternoon slot indicated this wasn't to be a showcase matchup. the patriots were expected to win and win they did. they got an early lead, and the rams never played like it was going to be competitive. i figured new england would run up the score, but the offense sort of just stalled, with the team settling for field goal attempts instead of touchdowns. the good thing was it gave gostkowski more practice, and he made all his kicks. the game was otherwise a little boring, except with the win, tom brady becomes the winningest quarterback in the NFL (including playoffs), with 201 victories, beating peyton manning (200) and brett favre (199). brady still trails in regular season victories (although he has the most playoff victories), with 179 games, behind manning/favre 186, but it's only a matter of time before he beats that record as well. greatest of all times!

all sorts of animals were in the backyard. the suet feeder was temporarily empty, but the seed feeder was still filled to half capacity. chickadees were visiting that feeder non-stop. in the nearby trees i could see clusters of house sparrows, but none of them were brave enough to visit the seed feeder, not with all rubber strings billowing in the wind, with the exception of one sparrow. the monofilament deterrents are still holding! periodically the sparrows would flock to the area below the feeder, looking for crumbs, along with squirrels. i did see one squirrel climb the feeder post but halfway up it abandoned the idea and leapt back onto the lawn. i also saw a wintering goldfinch, but they don't feed from the globe feeder, preferring perch feeders instead (which we don't have in the backyard).

after dinner i rode back home, temperature at 32°. i took a shower and settled in to watch the season finale of westworld. i was streaming it via HBOGo but i got impatient and tried to jump forward the intro. that turned out to be a mistake, because i couldn't restart the stream, maybe just too many people were watching. instead i watched the panthers-seahawks game. seattle is the team i wish new england could be. they play so effortlessly, and watching them is fun, as they find creative wins to score points and win. if i was being completely objective, i feel like the seahawks are the team that will win the superbowl this year. 30 minutes later i tried HBOGo again and finally managed to open a stream.

after finishing a season of westworld, i like the show despite having questions about the plot. not sure if i read about it or found out myself, but when the man in black revealed himself to be william, i wasn't surprised, i already assumed that's who he was. but the transition from good guy william to bad guy william i just don't buy, it came so abruptly that it's jarring, just a poorly written character, it's so clumsy i wonder if they shoehorned that story line after the fact. also if ford was so pro-android consciousness, why did he come off as a bad guy, killing bernard (who was later resurrected by felix the technician), and then having dolores kill him in the end? charlotte hale and lee sizemore were also behind a scheme that involved the peter abernathy android, but that storyline never got resolved. i like the show, i like the premise, but the plot holes make my head hurt if i think too much about the show. nevertheless, i look forward to season 2 in 2018.