the final official snowfall for cambridge was 7". when the snow finally tapered off a bit in the late morning, i went out to do some cleaning. it was the dry powdery sort of snow, lightweight and easy to shovel. dennis saw me outside and came to talk. he had bad news: our neighbor doug passed away a few days ago, died of a stroke at age 60.

i met doug the same year i met bruce. bruce and i were painting jeff's place and doug came by to ask if we'd be interested in doing some light demolition work on his condo renovation just a few houses down. being the scrappy men that we were, we naturally agreed. i hardly knew anything about doug except that he lived down the street. what was his job? did he have a family? all questions i never asked. i do remember using his bathroom on the third floor and was thoroughly impressed by the lilac color scheme. dennis filled me in on some of the details today. doug never married, but had a string of girlfriends. that pretty young woman i saw him walking with one whom i assumed was his daughter might've been something else. he didn't get along with his family but had the company of friends to take him in during the holidays. he looked very fit, and the day before his stroke he was actually out cross-country skiing.

it's weird that he's gone. i actually saw him a few days ago, making a grocery run. even though he was such a mystery, whenever we bumped into each other we'd say hi and exchange some friendly words. he was a good guy; he died much too young and the neighborhood won't be the same without him.

in the early afternoon i biked down to julie's place in davis square to grab some lunch. i was a little hesitant at first (biking versus walking), but most of the main roads had been cleared by then. besides, folks were still digging out their cars so there wasn't too much traffic yet. i haven't been to davis square in months, and was surprised to see that the empty construction lot next to julie's place now had the steel scaffolding of a definite structure. this would be a future multi-use building, commercial space on the first floor, office space on the second, and condos on the third.

i brought over a copy of ilife that julie needed for work. i have it on a disc but it wouldn't work in her reader so i was originally going to bring my external burner as well, until i figured out i could just as easily copy over everything onto a usb thumb drive. i also included a few bonus movies, just to fill up the 8gb of space.

originally we wanted to try out the new turkish restaurant in teele square, but when julie called earlier, nobody answered, which could mean they were closed. fortunately right next door was a tibetan restaurant, and certainly tibetans wouldn't be afraid of a little snow like what we had today, right? so we walked up to teele square, intermittently being buffeted by windy ice crystal storms. when we finally arrived, not only was the turkish place closed (due to snow), but the tibetan place as well. so instead we to nearby rudy's cafe, a mexican restaurant bar that seemed like the local hangout for middle-aged professional somerville townies. the food was okay, not too great, but not bad either. the portions were pretty good, and i was surprised we both managed to finish our meal (although julie finished way ahead of me). i particularly liked their black beans; they must add something extra, like maybe molasses or bacon, it was pretty tasty.

walking back, we saw a couple petting a severely shivering small black french bulldog. i wonder if the dog belonged to them or were they trying to warm it up? later we saw a wandering hipster who may or may not have been wearing jeggings (it was probably just skinny jeans). we parted ways in front of the winter hill bank were i'd parked my bicycle.

when i came home i decided i'd dig out the snow-covered parking space directly in front of my house. the top layer was fluffy snow which was easy to shovel, but the bottom was a layer of ice 2" thick. fortunately the temperature for the past 24 hours has been only been borderline freezing, so a lot of that ice had broken up into more manageable pieces. even then, some chunks were the size of manhole covers, which i pried off the asphalt with my fingers then rolled them onto the sidewalk snowbanks. it took me more than an hour of sweaty work to clear out the space that somebody will park without thinking twice about the hard work that went into my act of neighborhood altruism. but like i said to julie, it's easy to be a hero after a snowstorm (just bring a shovel).

i had such a big lunch i wasn't even very hungry when evening came around, but fixed myself a pulled-pork sandwich while watching the latest episode of fringe. later i'll soak in the tub for an hour before going to bed.