my 3rd consecutive day visiting ac moore and they were still out of starbella yarn. at least this time i found the shelves where they were supposed to be, just empty of merchandise. i asked one of the employees who showed me the 2 places where they'd be, but all the yarn was gone. before i left i heard another lady asking the same question; apparently starbella is quite the popular yarn. i ended up buying a martha stewart crafts knit & weave loom kit; normally it sells for $40, but with a 50% off coupon it was down to just $20.

i went to the the sports authority next door to cash in a 25%-off-one-item friends-and-family coupon. from the looks of it everyone else had the same idea because everyone waiting in line was holding a printed coupon. originally i was going to buy something bicycle-related (spare brake cables, chain oil) but decided to get a pair of warm wool socks instead. i settled on a pair of medium wigwam merino comfort hiker socks ($8.24). they're a little taller than the only other pair of wool socks i own; i figured it'd be nice to have for the winter. it's only 67% merino wool, the other being 21% nylon, 7% elastic, and 5% acrylic. they're super thick, like wearing bandages on my feet, but i'm sure they'll keep my toes warm.

next stop was home depot, to check up on the prices of fluorescent light bulbs for the cafe grow house. while pulling into the parking lot, i saw a guy fiddling with his own motorcycle, parked along side the bike stand with a long strand of chain. when i got inside he saw me and immediately asked how big my bike was. "750," i replied, and then we struck up a conversation about our respective rides. donald rides a used 2006 650cc single-cylinder suzuki boulevard S40. because of the smaller size, i thought it was one of the introductory 250cc models. he told me he just got back from riding down to the cape less than 20 minutes ago visiting his girlfriend. he really liked my honda shadow spirit and was shocked how little i paid for it given all the extras (windshield, saddlebags, backrest).

i ended up at the cafe to drop off the knitting loom which i told my mother was her early birthday present. she'd been talking about it for days now, so i knew she wanted one. i'm just not sure how useful it is; i always thought it was for people who didn't know how to knit with needles. supposedly it's easier on the hands, but my mother's been experiencing some eye strain from all the knitting she's been doing that she needs to take a knit break for a few days.

so this is what i found in my price comparison research:

fluorescent bulb type online store
F30T12 warm white $5 n/a
F30T12 daylight (6500K) $5 $8
F30T12 soft white (3000K) n/a $8
F30T12 neutral (3500K) n/a $7.50
F30T12 natural sunshine (5000K) n/a $8.50
F40T12 growlux wide spectrum $10.95 n/a
F40T12 philips plant/aquarium n/a $10

i haven't checked my old notes from when i first set up the grow houses, but i remember i wanted temperatures from both ends of the light spectrum - 2700K (red) and 6500K (blue) - for optimal growth (avoid cool white AKA natural). i also don't know if warm white is the same as soft white. someone online said it wasn't, that soft white has a more reddish hue. this is good because ideally i want red but its temperature is only rated to 3000K (more orange). the prices for the fluorescent tubes online are cheaper, but there's a $7.99 flat shipping fee and the added risk of bulbs breaking during shipping. so in the end my father and i decided to just buy them locally from home depot. he also needed to buy a F20T12 CW bulb for the refrigerated beverage display.

i came home with a container of fried rice which i ate for lunch. i then bicycled to market basket to get some groceries. the weather today was grey with temperature in the 40's. it's supposed to rain tomorrow so i covered up my motorcycle.

i ordered another pair of wool socks, the REI merino wool low light hiker socks (size medium), the ones i was going to get before i bought a pair from the sports authority. what compelled me was the free shipping combined with the 30% discount ($6.59); plus, you can never go wrong with another pair of wool socks during the winter.

i've been listening to a game of thrones podcast before bed; it's like a sedative, puts me right to sleep in less than 10 minutes. then when i saw elias with his copy of a clash of kings, it renewed my interest in the series. so today i managed to plow through all 10 episodes again. i even managed to catch a few details i missed the first time through. now i definitely can't wait for season 2 in april. it's weird because i already know what's going to happen since i've read all the books (thus far). in my mind i've already "seen" the various scenes, but it's still nice to see it "fleshed" out on television.

if marco had come home early i would've ordered up some buffalo wings for dinner, but i had a feeling he was out with his coworkers on his last night in the office. instead i just heated up a brick of lasagna, maybe saving the wings for tomorrow night.