this was the first time this season where the daytime temperature was below freezing. my outdoor thermometer read 20°F this morning and it didn't warm up very much after that point.

i left for belmont around noontime. it took some doing to start up the motorcycle, the engine finally kicking alive when i leveled the bike. even though i wore mittens over my normal leather riding gloves, the tips of my fingers were starting to feel cold by the time i got to my parents' place.

i had a shao-bing sandwich for lunch along with some rice porridge.

since the freeze happened so suddenly, i went outside to inspect the rain barrels still full of water. there was only a quarter centimeter layer of ice. nevertheless, once the weather warms up next week, the barrels will have to be drained and turned upside down for the winter. leaving water inside the barrels to freeze will crack the barrels.

my mother and i were both working the knitting looms. while she continued with her circular loom (making either a lace-like cowl or scarf), i pieced together a rectangular loom and began knitting a scarf with a chunky yarn. the difference with using a loom is the need to alternate between "knitting" (actually "picking" with a special tool) and casting on. knitting with needles, it's all knitting once the initial cast on is made. the scarf had an interesting pattern that probably can't be duplicated with needles: it had a cross-stitch pattern on one side and a ribbing pattern on the other. the 2-sided patterns meant double the thickness but i used a soft acrylic yarn and probably made the scarf that much warmer. using a loom also creates very uniform yarn tension, something that's hard to achieve with knitting needles. because of the double thickness, the yarn was used up pretty quickly, and my mother was thinking about unraveling the whole thing because once complete it'd only be a short scarf at best.

i played a few more episodes of revenge. my sister's hooked, but my mother wasn't sure she wanted to watch anymore because the show was too suspenseful.

i watched the patriots-broncos game in the late afternoon. all this week it's been wall-to-wall tebow coverage on the sports shows. when the game finally started, it seemed like he was living up to the hype. new england seemed ineffective and had no answer to the running game (most of that yardage actually being covered by tebow himself, including rushing for a touchdown). after the first quarter the patriots defense finally made the right adjustments and began creating turnovers for the offense. new england ended up winning, 41-23. there's definitely room for concern though, the main weakness being an awful defense. despite clinching the AFC east and possibly the number one spot in the AFC conference, this could be case of a paper tiger. the playoffs will be interesting to say the least.

some more football good news: the packers finally lose a game! there goes a perfect regular season, but preserving new england's own record.

it took several minutes of warming up before the bike was ready to ride. despite the drop in temperature, it actually felt warmer than this morning. i amused myself by blowing plumes of smoke from my mouth like a human muffler.