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all this talk of (deflated) balls on the news, i went out in search of my own balls - cedar balls that is, for my dresser drawers. i checked target online and they didn't have any in stock at the somerville store. i walked to the nearby dollar store, hoping they might carry some. all they carried were an assortment of artificial air fresheners, but i really wanted the natural freshening power of scented wood. i did however leave the store with a pair of county fair drinking jars (a dollar a piece). only when i got home did i notice the warning on the glass, "no for hot products."

i tagged along with my parents on a supply run to the restaurant depot and costco. i myself didn't get anything until a final stop at the assembly square ac moore where i bought a six-pack of bell wide mouth one quart mason jars for $6, to further my fermentation/pickling experiments.

after dropping off the supplies back at the cafe, my father and i unboxed the new samsung printer that'd arrived earlier. it's much smaller that i'd imagined, a whole mess of features crammed into a cube. no time to play with it, my father will set it up tomorrow.

i went with my parents to belmont where i had some squid nugget soup for dinner before getting a ride back to cambridge. it would've been an early night for me where it not for accidentally logging into facebook and getting sucked into reading other people's updates for over an hour.

i had a weird dream that i was commuting in the early morning to a new job. intent on walking, i bumped into some former coworkers at a bus stop and decided to take the bus instead. arriving at the job site, i spent the whole day eating at the outdoor cafe instead of actually going inside the office. once it was time to leave, i climbed onboard the bus like everyone else. inside was like a large trailer dotted with seats, with the floor covered in wall-to-wall carpeting. i fell asleep and woke up at the terminal, not really sure where i was, but groggily got off to find my way home.

by playing around and releasing the rear brake pads just a little bit, i seemed to have fixed the scraping sound. now the front brake pads are making a noise! but overall a better riding experience. i went to the cafe in the late morning to see if i could fix the LCD TV my aunt gave to my sister. it's a sony KLV-S26A10 (26"), manufactured in 2005. unfortunately it doesn't have a built-in digital tuner (only an analog tuner) so can't receive any channels over the airwaves. not even sure if my sister watches broadcast television anyway, but buying a small new HDTV isn't that expensive, around $200 or less. i'd be willing to give her my amazon digital antenna.

i found a 3 drawer plastic sterilite cart (minus the wheels) that a neighbor had tossed out. in excellent condition, with just a bit of a kitchen smell that i'm hoping to treat with some cedar balls. next i went to the nearby rite aid to pick up my 90-day losartan refill. after i revealed my birthday (for identification purpose), the indian pharmacist there told me, "you look remarkably well for your age. i would've guessed maybe you were in your 20's. what's the secret?"

for dinner i cut up half of the romaine lettuce and made myself a big bowl of chicken caesar salad. i'm talking a full 4 quart pyrex bowl of salad, mixed with a grilled chicken that i cooked on the foreman and cut into smaller pieces, freshly grated parmesan cheese, croutons, and a handful of dried cranberries. i feel like going on a salad kick. i never ate salads in china, the chinese think eating raw vegetables is unsanitary and unappetizing. i did make my own salad once or twice with ingredients my parents smuggled into the country when they visited, but nothing like the salads i can make here back at home, where there are endless ingredients.

not sure if the two are tied together, but ever since i split up my high blood pressure medication (losartan before bed, thiazide in the morning), i not only sleep through the night without needing to wake up and use the bathroom, but i've been waking up earlier than usual as well. i was up this morning at 8:00, but decided to sleep a little bit more and ended up not waking until 10:30.

i really should've gotten groceries yesterday, but i didn't because i still had some leftovers (chicken pot pie) in the fridge. i went today though, but not before going through my kitchen, figuring out what i had in my inventory. for some strange reason i have an unusually large amount of pasta. i think some are mine, but some were left here by former roommates and i never threw out.

discovering all this pasta made me in the mood for carbs (hmmm, penne with vodka sauce), but at the same time i wanted to try and eat healthier, and i had a chicken salad recipe in mind (caesar salad, which isn't all that healthy considering how much dressing i use).

my box of beverage cans have reached maximum capacity so i decided to return them. do normal people really still do this? or do they just toss their cans into the weekly recycle bin? it seems kind of a hassle to get back some change. i only do it because i'm quite the penny-pincher and i have time on my hands.

i ended up getting ingredients for both salad and pasta: salad i'll eat at the end of the week, pasta i'll make for next. when i got home i spent some time in the backyard trying to figure out the annoying scraping sounds coming from my back wheel. originally i thought maybe it was the wheel rubbing against the rear fender, but now i think it has something to do with the brake pads. i'll need to remove them for a thorough inspection maybe tomorrow.

crows are making a comeback, i'm beginning to see a lot more of them these days. for the longest time i don't remember seeing any crows here in new england, due to their massive die offs from the west nile virus. maybe the virus is disappearing, or maybe these new crows have better immunity to the disease; whatever it is, the crows are back.

cereal for lunch, grilled a leftover artisanal sweet sausage wrapped in a toasted english muffin as an afternoon snack, then one last leftover piece of chicken pot pie for dinner, with a fuji apple as a dessert.

dry enough tonight to try out the ultrasonic humidifier my parents let me take with me sunday night. i put it on a barstool on the opposite end of the living room. at its lowest the nest thermostat read a humidity of 25%, but since turning on the humidifier at 6:00, the humidity has gone up to 31% (as of 8pm). the room doesn't feel as cool as it did with the dehydration (fan) humidifier, but i could definitely feel the increased moisture in my nose.

spent the morning binging on football coverage, streaming two different sports channels (ESPN and the NFL network) on my tablet pc and smartphone, eating some cereal for lunch. i discovered broad city recently and went through a marathon of season 1, that show is seriously funny (and profane), i haven't laughed so hard in a long time.

i heated up two slices of leftover chicken pot pie for dinner (350° 30 minutes). i felt a little uncomfortable afterwards; not because of the pot pie, but because i drank a glass of really sour kombucha. i may have to throw away the rest of it, left it fermenting far too long, like drinking vinegar really.

with the packers-seahawks game at 19-7 with just minutes left in the game, i was confident that green bay would eventually win it. seattle just got overconfident, figured they could walk all over an injured aaron rodgers. that's why i left with my father to go pick up some burger king for dinner. when i came back, my mother was screeching from the door, "they won! they won!" just from the way she said it, i knew something had happened. that something was seattle scoring 2 touchdowns in 2 minutes to take the lead. green bay kicked a field goal to tie the game, but in overtime, seattle effortlessly scored a touchdown in just a few plays. and then it was over. packers lose, seahawks win, incredible.

the highlight of the week was the colts-patriots game starting at 6:40. i ate while i watched the game, making plans to leave during halftime so i could catch the rest of the game back in cambridge. things were going well at first, patriots jumping out to a 14-0 lead. it was a great game because new england seemed to be winning, but also rather boring, since it was so one-sided.

but then the colts intercepted a touchdown pass meant for gronkowski, and the momentum seemed to shift, with indianapolis scoring a touchdown of their own after a long possession, score 14-7. new england had the ball in the final seconds of the first half with an opportunity to score another touchdown (making the game 21-7) but the colts defense stopped the pats in the red zone and new england had to settle for a measly 3-point field goal. the score was 17-7. oh oh. i was a little worried. 2 touchdowns and the colts could take the lead! too close for comfort!

my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. i got home right at the start of the second half. all my worries were for naught, as the new england patriots went crazy on both offense and defense, ratcheting the score up to 45-7. the colts couldn't even score in the second half, the defense was so suffocating. and with that the patriots will be in another superbowl in 2 weeks. good time to be a new england sports fan!

i got a ride at 11am to my parents' place after finishing a bowl of corn pops for breakfast. i would've been happy to take the bike but my parents thought it was just too cold. my father found another humidifier in the sun room that belonged to my sister, this one an ultrasonic version (comfort zone cool mist CZHD22). i like these better than evaporation humidifiers because they seem to output more visible moisture. we didn't have a working hygrometer in the house so we couldn't easily measure the increased humidity, but the whole reason why we fired this one up in the first place was when we noticed the wall unit measurement said the humidity in the house was 20%.

i helped my father pick out a new multifunction network laser printer to replace his old samsung 4725FN. we were hoping to find one that could use the same toner (since we have a spare) but no luck on that. after narrowing it down to a few candidates, i decided on another samsung: the samsung M2070FW. it's not the most powerful laser printer, but the one part where it does shine is an assortment of wireless printing options, including from phones and tablets. and it was only $105 (original retail price $299). i can't wait for it to arrive so i can play with it.

after dinner i drove one of the cars back to cambridge. on my doorstep were the pair of fox river extra heavy double ragg mittens ($16) i ordered. i lost my pair of found mittens about 2 weeks ago and was looking for a suitable replacement. these things are thick - like wearing a pair of heavy duty wool socks over my hands - and when i wear them they look like tiny boxing gloves. i can't wait until the temperature dips down again so i can try them out.