i woke up at 7am to get ready to drive down to the black falcon pier at 7:30am to pick up my parents and their friends after a week long cruise to bermuda and back. the sun had barely risen, fresh dew coated the car exterior. so nervous was i last night that i slept less than 3 hours. just getting onto the turnpike took the longest time, driving on the turnpike to the pier was just a straight shot.

i arrived at the cell phone lot by 8am. there was no cars, i was probably in the wrong place, but there was nobody telling me to leave, so i stayed, and called my father. he said they were waiting to disembark, but it'd probably another half an hour before they were out. i stayed in the car, reading simply electrifying by craig roach. about half an hour later, my father called me back, said they were finally outside. i drove down to the dock, where a crowd of people were waiting for their rides. most of them seemed to be grabbing ride shares or taxis, i seemed to be among the few coming to pick up people they know. it was all very organized, maybe it was still so early in the morning, people were more patient and weren't as crazy.

my father drove us back to cambridge. instead of getting off at the cambridge exit, we drove a little further and exited at the allston/brighton exit, which was less congested. their friend had left their car for the week at the cafe's parking lot, and drove themselves back to burlington. while my mother stayed at the cafe (with my 2nd aunt we came to work), my father and i went back to belmont to retrieve the other car so it can be parked here at the cafe, clearing a space in the driveway for when they returned home. while we were in belmont, we surveyed the solar batteries, the backyard, and the grow room. when i told my father the ficus topiaries had aphids, he wanted to toss them, but i told him i sprayed with insecticidal soap, so maybe they'd be okay for the time being.

back at the cafe, my mother gave me some muffins she'd pilfered from the cruise ship dining area earlier this morning. both my parents said the food onboard the ship wasn't as good as it used to be, they had some kind of health code issue recently, so they didn't have a lot of staples, like certain seafoods, or even chicken wings. my father gave me a ride back to my place, where we stopped off at star market briefly to grab some snapples that were on sale. they ended up not having the flavor we wanted, but i got a chance to tell him about the new construction project developers are thinking about doing at the star market property.

it was 10:30am when i finally returned home, still early by my usual standards. i had some muffins for lunch along with some black tea. the baked goods were pretty good, very moist and fluffy, much better than the ones i make, which have a thicker crust (which i also like, but they're different).

i bought a transparent aukey OTA HDTV antenna from amazon this week ($7) and finally got a chance to test it out. i love the see-through design, inconspicuous enough to attach to a window with a pair of rubber suction cups. it was also amplified with a 12V 50mA which is about 6W, roughly the same power as your typical USB amplifier (5W). i wanted to love it, i really did, but i found it right away it wasn't as good as what i already had. the antenna i have in the living room isn't going to win any awards, but through a lengthy trial and error, i have it set up now where i get most of the channels. the aukey antenna, even when placed in the same spot, wasn't able to get all the channels. i think it's because my old antenna has a very long cord, which acts as an additional receiver.

i then tried it in my bedroom, which for whatever reason has become notorious for not receiving all the channels. the current antenna i was using wasn't even amplified, so i was hopeful the aukey would be better suited for my bedroom. but i was surprised when i found out it couldn't get the channels i could get with my plain antenna. i also discovered that the old antenna was still pretty good, and if i relocated to a western window, i got a few more channels. that finally sealed the deal: i would return the aukey antenna. cool design but in the end didn't live up to expectation.

in the afternoon i went out to run errands. i thought today would be a sunny day but wasn't surprised it when it was another cloudy october day. the weather was warm at least (upper 50's), or warm for this time of the year. i biked down to the porter square michael's to see if they restocked their lanyard clips. this is my 3rd trip down there, and they still don't have it. leaving empty-handed, i went next door to star market to look for strawberry-kiwi snapples. they had more selection but that wasn't one of their flavors. leaving empty-handed again, i paid a visit to the nearby mini target. this was actually my very first time in this target. i still remember it as a blockbuster videos. there was also a japanese travel agency where i got my japanese rail pass the first time i visited tokyo (1997? 1998?). the target was deceptively larger inside than what it appeared on the outside. first floor was mostly clothes, while all the good stuff was upstairs, including a mini grocery with fresh bread and fruit. i came here searching for a plastic box to put my dahlia tubers once the arriving frost kills the above surface plants. i would've gone to the somerville target but it's hard to get across union square, and was hoping this mini target might carry it. they actually had a lot of different stuff, including the box i wanted (6 quarts, $2.99). so my little errand run wasn't all for naught.

having only slept for 3 hours last night, it didn't take me long to fall asleep on the couch beginning at 4pm. i ended up napping for 3 hours, only getting up because i needed to pee, my body still so tired i could hardly move. once i was up though i was okay. i remembered there was a celtics game tonight, the season opener in boston, first appearance of kemba walker at the garden, and made sure to watch it. during halftime i went to the kitchen to make an italian sub, washed down with a bottle of IBC root beer. they'd played the toronto raptors, the defending champions, minus kawhi leonard who took his talent to the LA clippers. it was a close game, toronto was the better team, shooting less but scoring more, but celtics kept themselves in the game with more offensive rebounds. walker wasn't getting any points in the first half (just 4) but exploded in second half for 18 points. celtics ended up winning, 112-106.

i realized i could order the lanyard clips from michael's website and then pick it up in store. this would force them to get the clips from storage, which the people at the store seem reluctant to do because they don't want the hassle of digging through all those boxes.