dan, back in town for less than a week, sent me an email around 10am asking me if i'd be free for lunch down at copley square with elias and a maybe one or two folks from his company. the venue was cafe jaffa, a middle eastern place i'd never been to before. the weather was warm and looked like it might rain at any moment, but the forecast said it'd hold off until the later afternoon, so i rode my fuji bike into boston, taking me just 22 minutes.

i was the first to spot elias, whom i haven't seen in almost 5 years, not since i left for china in 2013. he came with someone i didn't recognize, somebody from J. while i was chatting with elias, dan showed up with his son as we all went inside the restaurant. i've seen dan more recently, but i think the last time was 2015, so still a few years. as for their friend, i found out he's been at the company for 5 years and lives in salem with his wife and daughter. i also found out he's from albania, and i told him the only piece of albanian trivia i know, which is eliza dushku is albanian as well.

all three of us ordered the wednesday special, which was a choice of either a chicken or lamb schwarma sandwich. i learned they found this restaurant through mike (whom i discovered just recently left J a few months ago), who's new company used to pay for lunches. conversation topics included work commutes and how to raise bilingual children. our friend was worried that his daughter will grow up not speaking much albanian; elias told me his daughter was about to start a chinese language immersion program for kindergarten (offered by cambridge public school no less); dan told us at home he speaks english while cymara speaks portuguese, and their kids seem to understand both.

we left the restaurant after we finished eating. that's when i found out their friend owns a suzuki 650, in which time i revealed i also ride. we could've been talking motorcycle the whole time! i asked if he was ever in an accident, he told me he hit a deer once on the highway that broke his collarbone but otherwise he was able to walk away (he had on full gear). the three adults plus dan's son went back to their respective offices while i returned to my bike and rode home.

there was a very fine drizzle by the time i made it back, but that was the only rain to fall all day, and it turned out to be a pretty dry day, despite the overcast. once again i didn't visit my community garden plot, which by now must be thirsting for water.

one of things i asked elias was if he was still using photoshop, now with so many other options available. he said he was, and has bought into the subscription service. the designers in his office however all use an app called sketch, which elias said is like photoshop but without the imaging processing elements and more focus on the design aspect. i looked it up, i might try playing around with the trial version just to check it out. regardless, speaking with elias inspired me to finally install adobe photoshop CC 2018, which i found out is still a standalone app and not a cloud-based browser app. i found a way to disable the cloud service, which i don't need. some of the things are different than photoshop CS6, but i like it in that it supports retina display.

i installed the adblock plus plug-in on my chrome browser less than a week ago, and it's been weird surfing the web without being bombarded with a million different ads. it's also weird having websites groveling over the fact that i have adblocking turned on, as they try to guilt me into turning it back off in order for me to see the ads again that they say pay for all this free web content. so they have a way to detect adblocking, but haven't figured out a way to override it. i think it's just a matter of time, an arms race of sorts.

i had to vacuum the living room today when i discovered bits of wet food particle in the carpet. after cleaning the rug surface with a wet and dry paper towel, i gave it a thorough vacuum. i can't be sure who the culprit was, i immediately want to blame my roommate, but it could've also been wangyang's son from 2 weeks ago. speaking of which, i discovered he damaged the usb port on the DTA converter connected to the HDTV in my bedroom. he must've yanked it downwards at some point (there's a card reader dongle attached to it), detaching the connector. i tested it and it still works, i could probably open up the box and reattach the USB if i wanted to.

i finally finished the 7 episodes i downloaded of the new spy thriller series condor on the hard to find direcTV AT&T audience network. i can't wait for tonight when episode 8 will air. it's one of the better shows i've come across recently, the last one being killing eve, just as good.

i finished my leftover salt & pepper pork chop for dinner. GC came home and made a simple vegetable dish served with rice, no 3-hour long stewing like he did last night.

why is everything breaking? tonight it was the iphone's turn to malfunction. i doesn't like to connect to my computer anymore, flashing connectivity on and off. it will however still charge fine. at first i thought it was the cables, but i cleaned them both using alcohol and see the problem persisted. it's most likely dirt on the data prong of the connector. i cleaned it out using a combination of cotton swabs, alcohol, QD electronic cleaner spray, toothpick, and lint-free lens cleaning paper. the problem could also be the USB port itself, the left one doesn't seem to want to connect to the iphone but the right works better. maybe it just needs more cleaning.