i waited for kevin to leave by around 9am before getting out of bed and to get ready for my fingerprinting appointment down at the boston census office in the tip o'neill federal building on causeway street. i left by 9:45am, arriving at 10:05am. at that time of day, there was still bike commuters, and i was amongst a convoy of half a dozen cyclists heading into boston.

i'd forgotten when my appointment was, and thought it was 10:15am, so i was a bit frantic going through the security checkpoint and trying to find where the census office was, didn't want to show up late. i don't remember ever being in the tip o'neill federal building before. the interior architecture is pretty interesting, a large central courtyard with a glass canopy circled by offices along the walls. it's actually not a very efficient use of space, i wonder if they'll ever tear it down to build a more traditional building with more office space.

i ended up having to ask of the security guards, who was giving me directions before he saw a census worker and told me to just follow him. just my luck, it was the fingerprinting and photo taking guy. i was brought to an office that looked kind of makeshift, with a handful of people of various ages and races doing paperwork or making phone calls. i found out my appointment wasn't until 10:30am, but he saw me early since there wasn't anybody else waiting.

the last time i was fingerprinted 2 decades ago, they were still using the ink method. this time around, they had a digital scanner, which was this little machine with a small glass panel big enough to put down 4 fingers or 2 thumbs. the young man i spoke with said they also have ink fingerprinting but only as a backup, but those take a while to get processed because they have to be mailed in. i started with 4 fingers on one hand, 4 fingers on the other hand, then 2 thumbs. the fingerprinting machine was connected to a laptop that registered the fingerprints as colored ovals: red for fail, while yellow and green for pass. after i did that, i did it a second time, in case the first set wasn't clear. that was followed by photo taking using something that looked like a small webcam mounted on a tabletop tripod. the census guy fixed the background (a blue sheet) so the wall wouldn't show. while i was chatting with him, he told me he might've gotten found poisoning last night from bad soup. turns out it was borscht that his lithuanian mother made.

once we were done, the census guy told me once my background check goes though, i would be 99% finished, and just had to fill out a few tax-related paperwork online while waiting for them to contact me as we get closer to april to let me know when the 2-day training would start. i told commented how this office was hard to find, wasn't even listened on the directory. he told me that was on purpose, and they'd just opened this office in november. census offices are sort of secret to prevent people from just stopping by looking for work.

i was finished by 10:30am, the time my actual appointment was to start. i got on my bike and pedaled home via nashua street behind north station, passing the museum of science and lechmere, down cambridge street. i wasn't in any hurry, it was a leisurely bike ride. i passed by a uyghur restaurant that was closed but looked promising for lunch one of these days (i took a menu). i got home by 10:48am, where after i shower, i warmed up a blueberry muffin in the microwave for lunch.

later in the afternoon i biked to market basket to get some groceries after researching what i wanted to make. originally i was thinking homemmade gyros in pita bread, but i still had a whole package of english muffins i still need to eat, so i decided to simply get some prosciutto and bagged salad and make simple egg and prosciutto english muffin sandwiches the rest of the week for dinner, with scrambled eggs and kielbasa sausages for lunch.

something i've noticed for the past week: the gps tracking on my google maps timeline has gotten incredibly accurate. normally it's just simple lines from one destination to the next. but starting on sunday the 26th, the accuracy has become spot-on, showing every twist and turn i take, no matter how i have my phone. it's not because i'm turning on the tracking function on my mi fit app. i also thought maybe it had something to do with going unlimited data at verizon, but i didn't get that done until the 29th, and this was happening before then. some people might get freaked out by such detailed tracking, but i love it, lets me know exactly where i've gone. maybe the gps satellites updated, or some function got turned on.

in the late afternoon i biked down to harvard square to attend a 4:30pm lecture titled China, the UN, and the Future of Human Rights given by former US UN ambassador samantha power. i wasn't going to go but i didn't have anything else going on and thought it might be interesting. when i arrived already more than half the seats were already filled. as i waited for the lecture to start, the room got more and more crowded, as people even had to sit on the steps.

the lecture was a little boring at first, and i few myself getting drowsy. the chinese guy who sat next me coughed a few times (open mouth) then quickly fell asleep. i've seen this before, why do people bother coming to lectures when they can't stay awake? but the second half of the lecture got more interesting, as power became more animated detailing the ways china has used its powers to usurp other countries into doing its bidding, whether to strip recognition of taiwanese sovereignty, or turn a blind eye to uyghur concentration camps in xinjiang. china wants to represent an alternative to "western" democracy, that of a capitalistic autocracy where countries don't "meddle" in the human rights violations of other countries.

i returned home by 6:20pm. kevin's shoes were in the foyer but it didn't seem like he was home. i made dinner - reheated the final batch of spicy mexican soup along with a salad and some tea. only later did i realize kevin was home, but just sleeping in his room (hence none of the lights were on). he came out a few times to use the bathroom, but then went right back into his room. at 9pm i heard him making dinner in the kitchen, the clatter of pasta shells. in fact, i only heard him today, not once did he peer into the living room, or was i curious enough to see what he was doing. a little anti-social if you ask me, but this further affords me the illusion that i don't actually have a roommate.

 asus google nexus 7oneplus onexiaomi redmi note 3
releasedjuly 2013june 2014february 2016
price$100 (groupon) dec 2015$349 (oneplus) dec 2014$150 (chongqing) april 2016
chipset (snapdragon)S4 pro801650
CPUquad-core (4x1.5 GHz krait)quad-core (4x2.5 GHz krait 400)hexa-core (4x1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2x1.8 GHz Cortex-A72)
GPUadreno 320adreno 330adreno 510

 moto G4 plusmoto G7google pixel 3a
releasedmay 2016march 2019may 2019
price$170 (B&H)
july 2017
$200 (amazon)
feb 2020
$325 (amazon)
chipset (snapdragon)617632670
CPUocta-core (4x1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x1.2 GHz Cortex-A53)octa-core (4x1.8 GHz Kryo 250 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 250 Silver)octa-core (2x2.0 GHz 360 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
GPUadreno 405adreno 506Adreno 615

i did some research on the internal processor of all the android tablets and phones that we own. they also use the snapdragon chipset, but what exactly is the difference? only after i dug deep did i find the answer. my oneplus one - even though it's nearly 6 years old - has a fairly robust CPU with 4x 2.5 GHz krait 400 cores. i also forgot that i paid $349 for it - i thought it was around $250. nowadays most phones feature octa-cores. the moto G7 that i ordered for my father has 8x 1.8 GHz cores. the google pixel 3a i'm thinking debating whether i should order or not has 2x 2.0 GHz cores and 6x 1.7 GHz cores.