it's been months since i last took a blood pressure reading. since i've been taking my HBP medication, i figured everything was alright. and actually even if it wasn't, i'd rather not know, even though that sounds like a bad survival strategy. so today i finally took a reading and i didn't like what i saw: 160/100. i ran it again a few more times, figuring it might be an equipment malfunction, but at best it only lowered the numbers by a few digits. could this explain the weird chest pains i've been feeling ever since the start of the new year?

why the medication would stop working i'm not sure. it was working before, but perhaps my body has grown tolerant of its effects. maybe it was something i ate (i had a ham sandwich) that caused the spike.

with my blood pressure so much on my mind, was it a coincidence that my medication should run out today? i went to the nearby rite aid in the early afternoon to pick up my monthly prescription.

back at home i wheeled the bike into the backyard to fix a few issues. the past 2 days it's been squeaking something awful. it seemed to be coming from the bottom bracket between the pedals. or maybe wet brake shoes were rubbing against the rims. then today there was the addition of a grinding sound. pieces of gravel caught in the brake pads? i oiled the chain first, which looked dry and rusty.

i noticed the front brakes were lopsided, so that one pad was rubbing against the rim. i tried to adjust the attachment location to give it more clearance, but finally changed the position of the interstitial washers to shorten the length of the brake bolt. it's not a very elegant solution but that seemed to fixed the problem. finally, i readjusted and tightened the loose bike seat.

when the mail came i saw the letter from masshealth. my application for cheaper health insurance came through so now i can apply for the less expensive (but better) coverage. i went online trying to find where to sign up but couldn't find the relevant link. so instead i called masshealth directly. they give me a list of 5 insurance companies and their monthly rates, which were about the same. i noticed the premium had gone up since the last time i had this coverage, about 3x as much compared to what i used to pay, but still much cheaper than what i pay now.

the most important thing was to find a health insurance that would accept my old doctor from MGH. my doctor at mt.auburn hospital (actually just a medical student) was terrible, which was probably another reason why i never bothered going back despite not feeling well. i went with NH, which was what i had before, so i knew my old doctor would be included (i checked to make sure though).

i went back online to register and pay my first premium (after finally being told where to find the hidden link to do so). it took a little while because the registration website only worked with microsoft internet explorer on the PC. later when i actually paid my money (i was back on the mac), i had to fish out the URL from the source code because the buttons didn't work.

as soon as i make my first payment by this friday i should have new health insurance coverage starting in april. i can then cancel my old insurance and hopefully get some money back for the premium i already paid. actually, once i know i've successfully transferred to the new insurance, i could probably call MGH and schedule an appointment to see my old doctor. so much to talk about! it'll be like a reunion of sorts.

i finally sent out the last invoice for client E. the amount was actually less than i anticipated, but still more than i originally thought the project would end up paying when i first began working on it so many months ago. with the project officially over (i gave them all my source codes last week and related graphic files), i can finally do something i've been meaning to do for a while: upgrade my operating system. i've been holding off on OS X 10.6 because i didn't want to muck around with my work machine. but now that i'm on coding hiatus until the next project, i can finally back up all my stuff, erase my hard drive, and start over with a fresh install of the latest system along with the newest applications. this digital spring cleaning will hopefully also declutter my computer and make it run faster. this will be my project for tomorrow.

victor came home around 7:00. later he fried a burger. i casually stepped into the kitchen to check on his progress. he was definitely using the splatter guard properly, so i'm not sure how he could still get oil everywhere. he even had the fan on the window to ventilate the smell. when he was almost done, i told him about my foreman grill, which is an easier wake to cook burgers. he said he'd try it next time.

later he came out of his room to watch some basketball. we watched the lakers-suns game until the first overtime. it was getting late so he decided to go to bed. i ended up watching the rest of the game through 3 overtimes, with los angeles finally winning. phoenix played amazingly though, and it'd be a shame if they didn't make it to the playoffs (they're 3 games behind with 12 more games left in the regular season).

finally, after a day's worth of fiddling in sketchup i managed to create a simple diagram of a raised-bed frame for the garden. it's 4'x8'x1'. it's definitely a little short and i forgot the standard wood plank sizes. i also want to try adding a ledge for sitting.