i continued with my knitting self-education. today i finally learned how to cast off, finishing the sample square that'd been hanging from my makeshift knitting needles. i learned the all knit-stitch pattern i made is called garter stitch, one of the most basic. it doesn't look that good but seems very sturdy and it's the same on either side. i learned how to purl and discovered that all knit patterns are derived from 2 stitch types, either the knit or the purl. knowing how to purl, i was able to knit a new sample pattern, this time stockinette, which is just alternating knit-purl stitches. it's knit on one side and purl on the other. finally, i saw how increasing and decreasing works, but haven't tried it yet.

i biked to the cafe in the late afternoon to pick up some fresh bread my father had made. my mother rolled her eyes when i told her i knew how to purl and cast off. she showed me the 2 new hats she made (both casquettes), one for a nearby customer, the other for my godmother.

my great uncle got a new chinese astrophysicist tenant (here for a 2 year stint), a stylish young man with a pair of sunglasses dangling from his shirt collar (like an 80's preppy). it seems he recently purchased a used trek bike for $200 and i went to go check it out. it wasn't bad, a surprisingly light frame that came with front fork suspensions, suspension seat post, a light, a bell, a rear rack, a single pannier and a set of toeclips/straps. it's fair market price but also wasn't any bargain. elsewhere was another bike he found, a schwinn mountain bike in the exact same style and size as my trek 850 (the one marco's been riding). the bike needed a new front tire (maybe the tube as well) and replacement chain. it's something i (or my father) can easily fix but the astrophysicist wanted to try repairing it himself.

2 more packages arrived today, more orders from frances. i managed to stuff everything into a single box and wrote to frances asking her if she wanted me to send them off.

i got up early enough (thanks to noisy upstairs neighbors, 6:30) to watch marco use the moka pot to make his morning espresso. he had the gas range turned on too high and the flames exceded the base of the moka pot, melting some of the plastic handle. when he came back home later he asked if i wanted to go to dinner with some of his lab coworkers but i declined because they were on spanish time, which meant eating at 10:00.

early this morning rumors were circulating that the red sox were getting rid of terry francona, manager of the red sox through 2 world series championships. the news was shocking but wasn't surprising: managers are always the first to fall when a team doesn't do well, even though it's really the players to blame. as the day wore on, rumors were confirmed, even though none of the parties had issued any statements. that came in the late afternoon and early evening through a pair of press conferences. with terry gone, that red sox magic of 2004 and 2006 is fast fading.