the cleaning continued, on this last full day before my roommate's arrival.

this morning i set my laser sights on my aquariums, badly in need of a water change. it took me 2 hours to finish. first, i had to scrub off the algae from the glass. next, siphon out a bucket's worth of dirty aquarium water. it's been a while since i cleaned out the filter so i did that too. i threw out the old activated carbon and poured in some new ones (the crackling sound meant it was working). once the assembled filter was back in the aquarium, i began adding the clean water, which has been sitting in a nearby cistern. the external water supply allows me to treat the water beforehand (get rid of the chlorine that they add to the tap water) and to make sure the water is at room temperature (water from the tap is too cold and the shock might kill the fish).

i did the guppy tank first, followed by the tetra/barb tank. there are always little baby java ferns forming in the second tank, which i remove and put them in a glass jar. they're okay for a while, but eventually they die. i'm not sure why this is; maybe the lack of fish waste deprives them of valuable nutrients. another reason is java ferns need to be fix themselves onto a piece of driftwood in order to develop. i've had a java fern for many years which never grew any bigger until the day i came home with a piece of driftwood. now, all the java ferns i have come from that one original plant.

a tank cleaning always ends with a fish count (at least until the particles settle and i can actually see the fish). there are still 3 female guppies, but one of my glowlight tetras has died so now there are only 2. of those 2, one is a lot bigger, while the other seems smaller. male and female? who knows. tetra eggs are hard to hatch anyway. the red cherry barb is still alive though. i think that fish is like 8 years old, which is sort of crazy.

i moved a few more things into the basement (including my bicycle and motorcycle saddle bags) and took another pass at vacuuming/dusting/swifting (including my own bedroom). i cleaned the bathroom a little bit, and organized the kitchen and living room. i also cleared out some space in the cupboard and refrigerator so my roommate will have a place to put his food. i'm pretty much ready to go at this point.

around noontime i was forwarded a small list of bugs. i fixed those, uploaded a new version of the code, but soon afterwards received another e-mail with more things to fix. i think there's a confusion between actual bugs and content changes. in any case, i was told to temporarily hold off on any more additional fixes until we can have a conference call late tomorrow afternoon.

i called commerce insurance today to cancel my policy. the agent asked why i wanted to cancel. "i found another insurance company that was cheaper and with more coverage." he didn't have a response for that. what i found out though is if i wanted to cancel my insurance, i have to return my license plate. i thought i could just cancel it for now, and then sign up for a new policy come spring, but apparently that's not how it works. *but* if i just switch my insurance carrier, i don't have to return my plate. so that's what i'm going to do. i'll have to study the different options but i'll pick one by this weekend and get some money back.

i have an old casio watch from the 90's which i continue to wear. i love it so much that when i found the same watch on a trip to tokyo a long time ago, i immediately bought another one (as a backup). the watch itself isn't very expensive, i think around $8. it's analog, a simple white face with black numbers, with a rubber watchband. but what's cool about it is it has an illuminator button which turns on a bluish green bioluminescent light. i used to get the watch battery replaced at that watch shop in harvard square on church street. they charge something like $12, which is more than the cost of the watch; the owner must realize this, and feeling guilty, one time buffed some scratches off the glass face free of charge. anyway, just realized tonight that it's actually pretty easy to open up the watch and change the battery myself! a 364 watch battery costs only 60¢ versus $12 to get it replaced in a store. the thing i never realized (but revealed to me one time by the watch repair guy) is the watch actually takes two batteries: one to run the watch itself, the other to power the light.

so tonight's my last night of freedom for the next 3 months. i'm starting to have some second thoughts. i make enough in a single full day's worth of freelance work to just about equal the amount a roommate pays me for a month's stay. so why bother? but with my job situation still uncertain, i'm not in any position to refuse any sort of income.