it was another unseasonably warm day with temperatures in the 50's. expecting sunshine, i was surprised by the morning overcast and the light shower. riding into belmont, there was a fog over the landscape from the melting snow.

i got to my parents' place in time to watch the last regular season patriots game, this week versus the miami dolphins. it was a game that meant little to new england, who had already clinched their playoff spot (number one, bye week, home field advantage throughout). in fact, belichick rested a slew of players (although i was surprised to see quarterback tom brady play as much as he did, risking potential injuries). in their place were a group of backup guys who normally don't see a lot of action. i still wanted the patriots to win in order to keep their regular season unbeaten home victory streak alive. once again, not sure why i was so worried, as new england beat miami in a definitive victory with a final score of 38-7 (the dolphins' pyrrhic victory was scoring a touchdown in the final minutes and not lose in a shutout). the most exciting play was when julian edelman (who looks more like tom brady everyday, with their matching "keeping it casual" hairstyles) returned a punt for 94 yards to score a touchdown.

i just had a banana for breakfast and was looking forward to the leftover pizza from last night. i ended up eating 4 slices, even though later in the evening we'd be going out to dinner (my aunt's treat) at a buffet restaurant.

a friend of my sister's gave her his used 17" powerbook G4 laptop. when my sister first told me about it a few days ago, i didn't think it was a good computer because of its age and the fact that it uses the old G4 chip when apple has since move to the much faster intel and beyond. but a free computer is a free computer, and i gave her an OS X system disc so her friend can clear his machine before giving it to her. my sister finally went to pick it up today. her current laptop is a hand-me-down 12" circa 2001 ibook, 500mhz G3 with a geekbench rating of 222. it used to be my laptop until i upgraded to a macbook pro in 2006. i've been telling my sister for the longest time to get a new laptop, but with her inability to save money, it seemed impossible until recently, where she finally managed to save enough to at least score a cheap used mac off of craig's list. that is until she got this new used 17" powerbook. bought in 2004, this 1.5Ghz G4 has a geekbench rating of 748, about 3-4x faster than the ibook, but in my mind still not fast enough. my own aging 15" macbook pro has a geekbench rating of 2770, which is almost 4x faster than that powerbook. as far as powerbooks go though, it's probably the top of the line. the 17" screen actually has the same resolution as my 15" screen (but less eye strain). the powerbook is also missing some hardware features that i have on my macbook pro, like magnetically detachable power cord, embedded webcam, and gesture control trackpad. i was helping my sister migrate her data from the ibook to the powerbook, but i may end up just reinstalling the system (which from my experience will probably take an hour).

my father came home from work right when my aunt lili and uncle matthew came over to my parents' house. all 6 of us got into my sister's SUV and headed to minado in natick, a japanese seafood buffet restaurant (off of route 9 in the natick mall district). the place was already packed by the time we got there around 6:00 (they open for dinner on sundays at 5:00 charging $32.50 a head), and the only available table was far away behind a partition wall where we didn't have a clear line of sight to the buffet area. the wait staff was pretty skilled, almost like mind readers, clearing plates as soon as they done and refilling drinks before you even realized they were low.

there's something inherently american about buffets. the idea of eating without limits to the point of bursting seems symbolic of the excesses of american consumerism. at the same time, buffets seem to be a popular food choice during times of recession. although i like the food selection (who doesn't love variety?), it's the competition with other customers to get first dibs on the choice dishes that i don't like. at minado it was the king crab legs and the raw oyster bar. as for the food, they all seemed fresh and appetizing (i've been to other buffets where i didn't even want to eat because the food just looked gross).

the first time around i waited in line, but realized that really wasn't necessary, and people were waiting only because the person in front of them was also waiting as well. the line was mostly for the hot entree stuff, but there was plenty more to eat elsewhere. i actually got a little annoyed at first because everything seemed to be seafood related, until i realized we were actually in a seafood restaurant (i guess the hanging life-size shark models didn't clue me in). i grabbed some blue crab legs, a spider crab claw, some scallop shells, a few mussels, some tempura shrimps and yam slices, and a seaweed salad.

the second time up i went for the sushi. imagine dying and going to sushi heaven where every possible variety of sushi you can ever think of is available for the taking. i've never eaten so many different kinds of sushi in my life. unfortunately, because of all that sushi rice, i soon began to feel stuffed. i ended up just licking off all the roes and eating just the fish parts.

by the time i was on my third plate, i was pretty much done and only had room for dessert. they had an assortment of mini cakes, but i just took a bunch of watermelon slices, a few more unagi (eel) sushi, some tempura, and a blueberry yogurt cup. later i also got some green tea ice cream. i put some fish eggs onto the watermelon slices for a weird combination of salty and sweet (which disgusted matthew).

i couldn't eat anymore and actually began to feel a little nauseous with a slight headache, like the way i get when i'm carsick. for the trip home i sucked on a mint cough drop, which seemed to remedy the symptoms. i couldn't imagine eating ever again, and the thought of any kind of food was repellent. but hours later, after i was back at home (my father gave me a riding because it was raining), i actually thought that was a pretty delicious dinner and wouldn't mind another heaping plate of seafood.