my parents' basement has a habit of flooding every april. even on a day such as today when the sun was out intermittently and the only rain a few stray droplets, we couldn't escape the inevitable. this time it wasn't because of any rain though; it was actually a clogged drain for the washing machine.

my sister and i were out in the backyard making our own soilless potting mix1 for the bunch of seeds she purchased a few days ago when we heard our mother screaming from the basement. my sister was slow to act but i was already at the basement door. looking inside i saw parts of the floor flooded with water. not much, half an inch at most, but it still managed to soak a few things since my sister tends to leave her clothes on the floor. drainage got backed up spilling sudsy water everywhere. at least all the other times the basement flooded (far worse than this) gave everyone practice as what to do. we already had two pumps ready and quickly managed to pump out the water. the drain was still clogged until my father came home and snaked the pipe through the trap, pulling out two pieces of rags that was the source of all this problem.

i made an amazon purchase this afternoon: one contigo autoseal stainless steal vacuum insulated 16 oz. tumbler (in lovely green, $16.49) and one lodge logic 5 quart dutch oven ($24.07). ever since i've discovered camelcamelcamel.com - the amazon price comparison charting website - i've been monitoring the prices on these two items. currently they're at an all-time low. the insulated tumbler is really something for the winter when i drink more hot beverages, not sure how much i'll use it during the summer. as for the dutch oven, i've never owned anything cast iron. i'll use this dutch oven to make bread and maybe fry some chicken (during my annual phase where i fry all my foods).

celtics won their 4th game vesus the knicks, knocking new york out of contention, advancing boston to the next round. it's hard to believe. before the playoffs started, i was worried that the celtics wouldn't even get past the first round. their 1st and 2nd games gave evidence to my worries: although they won both games, it was by the slimming of margins. the 1st game was a steal, the 2nd game the knicks almost stole it back. 3rd game was a blowout by the celtics, which could've been a fluke. the 4th game was almost another blowout, but the knicks almost came back briefly to win it, before the celtics took a decisive lead with just minutes to play. it definitely makes me feel more confident about their chances in the 2nd round against the miami heat. i'm not so worried about them as i am about the chicago bulls resurgence.

right before dinner we had another encore performance. i went downstairs to get my camera bag when i noticed parts of the basement was flooded again. turns out my mother forgot to move the laundry exhaust hose into the sink, so during the rinse cycle it dumped all that water onto the basement floor. once more we were working the pump. later my father cleaned up the rest with a shopvac.

the USB 2.0 and the wireless network cards for my sister's old PC came a few days ago but i was finally able to install them both tonight. the encore ENLWI-NX2 wireless network PCI adapter gave me the most headaches. the problem was finding the right driver. it came with a cd but the setup application was so buggy it didn't even run. i found a driver from their website but turns out it wasn't the right driver. when finally installed the proper driver, it still wouldn't work. it could see the network but it just couldn't join. finally, after some research, i went to the realtek site and downloaded the OEM driver. that seemed to work, but at least one time it lost the connection even though there was plenty of bars.

the temperature was still in the 60's when i finally bicycled back to cambridge. it was nice returning to an empty house. everything was just the way i left it.

1 peat moss and perlite we had; the missing ingredient was good compost. we have a compost bin but the compost inside are still mostly large pieces. we decided to sift it through a screen over a bucket. after several minutes of shaking, we only managed to get a fistful of fine compost. we ended up digging from the soil beneath one of the evergreen shrubs by the eastern side of the house. i knew a long time ago that the soil underneath was a natural source of very excellent soft compost.