i woke up late on a day when my roommate decided to head into work early. with his girlfriend in town in matter of days, he's looking to put in some extra work to make up for the time off he'll be taking off. i'm also taking advantage of my time, since after this week i'll be saddled with babysitting his girlfriend while he's in the office. i like to think i'm pretty tolerant when it comes to roommate rules, but the more i think about it, the less happy i am. hopefully the weather will warm up soon and i can finally take out my motorcycle and spend most of my daytime naturing.

the meteorologists were wrong: isolated morning showers became a steady non-stop drizzle. i was prepared to ride my bike into belmont but ended up calling it in and asked my father if he could give me a ride (next time if it rains i'll just take the bus).

my father and i were going to buy the rest of the wood1 today to make 3 more raised beds but with all the rain, we wouldn't be able to work on them anyway (primarily linseed oil treatment), so we decided to postpone the material run for next weekend. my father had also relocated the recently oiled planks back in the garage because of the rain (which is kind of ironic, since these boards are intended to be outside in the elements).

my new obsession are rain barrels. it just seems like a good idea to conserve some of that rainwater instead of letting it all drain into the sewers. i can then use this free water (that falls from the sky no less!) on the vegetable garden. also from a practical standby, should there ever be an apocalypse, we'd have an available source of drinking water. my father got one for the cafe a few years ago. i forgot how much he paid but i think it was $70 even after the cambridge bulk discount rate. $70 seems awfully expensive considering it's just a big plastic barrel with a spigot. but actually, $70 is cheap compared to some of the other available rain barrels. then i did some research online and discovered it's actually pretty easy to make your own rain barrel. the hard part is finding one of those 55 plastic barrels, but the going rate on craig's list seems to be $25. add a few more dollars for the spigot and a filter screen, it's 3x as cheap as the least expensive commercial rain barrel. i found a barrel seller in rockland; my father and i might go down and pick up a few this week.

sometime in the late afternoon the sky went dark briefly and there was a loud explosion sound that actually rocked the house slightly. it was a sudden thunderstorm that made me thankful i wasn't on a bike today.

i finally did taxes for both my 2nd aunt and my sister. i think it's the 4th year i've been a pro bono tax preparer for them. my aunt i can understand (her grasp of english isn't very good, much less our complicated tax codes), but there's really no excuse for my sister. i think i've been unofficially elected as the family tax guy simply because i own taxing software. you think it's as easy as typing in a few numbers (which it is) but it's still not a fun activity. at least this year i got mine out of the way on the last day of february, and some refunds no less.

for dinner we got some burger king, nothing fancy. afterwards me father gave me a ride back home, where we first stopped at the fresh pond CVS so he could get some toiletries for my great uncle. i got back at exactly 8:00; my roommate didn't come home until an hour later.

1 i'm just a little worried about the quality of the boards. when we went on saturday, we flipped through over half a dozen boards (braving potentially painful splinters) before we found 2 that were okay. a lot of them had lengthy cracks or large edgewise knots. maybe the somerville home depot might have better stock (although it might be an issue bringing it back to belmont since the 8' long pieces don't fit entirely inside the car).