i caught sandy this morning just as she was about to leave for work. if what she says is true, this will be her penultimate last day of work, with her official last day being tomorrow.

i had a few things i needed to take care of this morning. i e-mailed victory installers, asking charles for an update on where we are regarding the mysterious missing part he was trying to find the price for. i've sort of lost track of him, having heard back in 10 days. he didn't write back but hopefully he'll get back to me tomorrow. i thought about contacting united solar again after i didn't hear back from them yesterday, but decided to wait and see. by the end of the day it was still radio silence. good news is i found the e-mail address of the project manager kevin (i could've just guessed it, it's basically just their first name), he was actually cc'ed on a few e-mails i had with lucas, and i may or may not have met him during the install. if my agent still doesn't get back to me, i'll go direct to the PM.

finally, i got in touch with the 100W flexible solar panel seller on ebay. we ordered it back on march 11th ($108 for a 36-cell 100W panel), but it had a projected deliver date of upwards of 2-1/2 months (possibly end of may) from some china factory. even though the seller had a good rating and was a sponsored ebay seller (topmost item in the search), i was immediately suspicion when he wrote me a message asking if i'd be interested in buying additional panels for a slight discount as shipping just one could easily damaged it during transit.

i'm always leary of any upsell even if for the best of intentions, so i declined the offer. however it made me worried that since i didn't agree, i might be relegated to a slower service. i noticed the seller had changed the ebay posting, and now the panels were a little more expensive ($114). during that time i also found a new US seller who sold the exact same panels for a few dollars more but i could receive it within a week. so as time passed, i contacted the seller twice asking for a status update on the order, which he never replied. my secret wish was to cancel the china order and buy from the US seller.

so today i asked for a cancellation, hoping to scare the seller into finally responding at least. i was surprised when he wrote back right away, but shocked that he called my bluff and immediately cancelled the order. excitedly i went to the US seller and wouldn't you know it, they were all sold out. so now i had zero panels. there are only a few sellers for these 36-cell 100W panels: the cheapest one i found was a canadian seller who had them for $120 + $10 shipping. i contacted the US seller to ask when they'd restock; they said they didn't know. i then sheepishly had to contact the china seller letting him know i didn't really mean to cancel and just wanted to know when they had panels in stock ready for shipping. naturally he didn't write back.

for lunch i finished the last of my kielbasa mixed with an english muffin. i decided i would make a pecan pie tonight, in honor of sandy's imminent departure, and because i've been talking about it for a while now, ever since i got my hands on some pecan. while looking through the fridge to see what i needed to buy from the supermarket, i remembered i bought a wedge of brie cheese last week but now i couldn't find it anywhere. 3 possibilities: i forgot to bag it when checking out, i brought it home but didn't put it in the fridge, or sandy ate it by accident. the first possibility seemed the most likely, even though i specifically remember bringing it home and putting it in the fridge. not a big deal, $2.70 worth of fermented goodness, but my biggest fear is i might've accidentally misplaced it somewhere else in the house (like a shopping bag) and i won't know about it until the cheese goes rotten and starts to reek.

i left for market basket around 2:30pm. it was colder this morning but by the afternoon the temperature had risen into the 50's. i switched the fuji for the trek cargo, inflating the front tire (a little soft) and adding oil onto the rusty chain. there weren't a lot of people shopping, so few in fact that i didn't even have to wait in line at the meat deli when i got a pound of virginia ham.

i love pullups and it's been a dream of mine to install a pullup bar on my door frame so i can do them whenever i want. however, this house - built in 1903 - has these thick door trims that don't support the standard doorway pullup bar (the ones that doesn't require screwing). but an idea came to me a while back, that if i can drill new holes in the pullup bar, i might be able to get enough clearance to finally install one. just so happens i do have two pullup bars (one i bought used on craig's list, one i just found), so even if i ruin one, i still have another (which by the way works fine at my parents place, their house built in the 1950's). but when i went to go take a measurement today, i discovered this was impossible. even if i did drill the hole to extend the bars, the curved portions would still ride into the door frames and could potentially damage them. so it looks my dream of an at-home pullup bar is now over.

* cleaning aquarium