on my way to belmont i checked out the 6 unit condo being built just 2 houses down from mine. i noticed the excavator last week, and they'd already razed all the vegetation, including a lovely concord grape trellis. it's a fairly large space, a vacant lot (big enough for a dozen cars) that extends to an abandoned 3-family condo that that'll also be torn down. they'd already started on the house, removing all the window frames for some reason (maybe those can be recycled separately). locally, most neighbors were against the construction for various reasons: lost of sunlight, traffic obstruction, construction noise, and reduced parking spaces. but in the end, money interest trumps community interest and the developers got their go-ahead.

in belmont i saw hailey with her bandaged paw from a gash injury she sustained earlier in the week, possibly from running on a piece of broken glass in the forest. the vet stapled her wound, but it popped open and now it looks like she'll be hobbled for a little longer. you could tell it still hurts from the way she hobbles so she wouldn't have to put any pressure on that leg.

today my father and i finished off pruning the maple tree. my father did the cutting, while i was on the ground collecting the downed branches and putting them into neat piles. earlier he'd already worked on the 12 feet long cypress trunk that'd snapped early in the winter. he cut off all the side branches with a chainsaw, leaving just the trunk. as for the maple, he chopped off more than i anticipated, reverting the tree to mostly main trunks, which at the very least will be good for the garden since they'll get more sunlight this year. the next few weeks will be spent cutting up all the branches and bundling them up for yard waste removal which won't start until next month.

my father's desktop pc stopped working a few days ago, leaving my mother to watch her streaming korean soap opera on the HTPC setup in my parents' bedroom instead. the problem was the computer wouldn't even turn on, which points to a power supply (PSU) issue. my father and i cracked open the case. the machine had a bestec PSU, which seems to be notorious for failing. one nice feature of the bestec though was a green LED indicator. the fact that it was flashing was probably not a good thing. we checked all the wires to make sure was secure. we then started unplugging them one after another. as soon as we unseated the 20-pin main power plug, the flashing stopped and the LED became solid. that seemed to indicate maybe this was a motherboard issue, and it's far cheaper to buy a new computer than try to replace the motherboard. but how can we be sure? a quick internet search revealed a simple way to test a PSU, by jumping the power supply with a paperclip (connecting the green wire to black wire). we tried this trick and the fan on the power supply started whirling. the PSU definitely did not seem broken. must be the motherboard then. the only fix was to get a brand new pc.

i still wasn't satisfied with the answer. maybe that's the engineer/scientist in me talking. i wanted to make absolutely sure. so i brought out my sister's desktop pc (which she never uses ever since she got that 2nd-hand powerbook) and decided to do a PSU transplant. once her PSU was in my father's computer, the pc started up just fine. so it wasn't the motherboard after all! the culprit was the power supply, which was the more logical explanation all along. i'd never replaced a PSU before, so this will be my first time, but after this transplant operation, i'm already quite experienced with the procedure.

i went to newegg and ordered the diablotek PSDA350 ATX power supply ($14.99 + $1.99 shipping). this one is rated for 350W, which is 100W than the broken bestec. hopefully this will also fix another problem my father had been experiencing in recent months, that several internal hard drives suddenly stopped booting up.

returning home after dinner, i saw the supermoon in the sky, the closest and biggest full moon in 18 years. it was close to the horizon, so there were some roofs of houses for size comparison. it did look bigger, but once the moon was higher up in the sky with nothing to compare it to, it looked like the moon from any other months. passing by the huron towers, i even saw a mother with her two kids looking at the bright moon with a telescope.

i found victor in the living room. i actually saw him outside because the blinds were on. the television was off but he was surfing on my laptop. i didn't see him this morning, just left a note and slipped out of the house quietly. we chatted throughout the evening. i learned some more about the inner workings of astrophysics, about submitting proposals to secure telescope time, competition between physicists in the rush to publishing new findings, and the sharing of data.

what i really wanted to ask him thought was when he was going to pay for next month's rent, which he hadn't done yet. technically he was supposed to pay on the 17th. i was hoping he'd just remember on his own, since it felt awkward to ask him directly. so i decided to go about it indirectly. "so, do you know when you're going back to spain?" i asked. may 23rd. this is actually about a week more than 3 months, but i was willing to let slide, even though he arrived ahead of schedule, and now seems to be leaving later than anticipated. "wow, you've lived here for a month already! did it feel like it went by pretty fast?" i was dropping another hint. he finally got the message. "a month already? yeah, it went by pretty fast. i still have to pay you the rent," he said. bingo! but for some reason my response is always this: "oh, the rent? don't worry about it. pay me back whenever, no rush," even though this is entirely false.

i went to bed at 2:00, which apparently wasn't that late for some people, as i heard noises coming from my neighbor's backyard. peeking through the blinds, i saw more than half a dozen shady looking characters sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. ever since jen and franz moved out next door and stopped being my next door neighbors to becoming my next-next door neighbors, i've been disappointed with the new tenants. james, the bike messenger i met a while back, associates with colorful characters to put it mildly. i'm sure they're mostly harmless, but they keep odd hours, and it's not unusual to hear sounds coming from our shared alley way 3:00 in the morning, with friends either leaving or going on bikes, the flashing of their safety lights shining on my windows. i wonder how renee feels about it since she is his landlady; she's usually very critical about petty nuisances.