a few errands this morning: call my dentist to book an appointment this friday to check my teeth and fix the filling that fell out a few days ago (saturday night) from my second upper right molar (the same tooth i got a root canal my last month in china); send an e-mail to megabus' lost & found department asking them if they found a cellphone on yesterday's bus from boston to new york city.

after that i began repairing my washer dryer. the used replacement washer timer ($50) arrived yesterday (waiting on my doorstep when i got back from new york city late last night). learning my lesson from last time, i went to the basement to turn off the electricity first. it was then a simple matter of moving the collection of colored cables from the old timer onto the new one (i took a few reference photos in case i somehow messed up). once all the cables were switched, i fastened the timer back onto the control panel, put the panel back onto the washer/dryer, then went down into the basement to turn on the electricity.

i held my breath as i pulled the control knob to start the machine. nothing happened. i did it a few times just to make sure. my stomach just dropped. was there something else wrong with the washer? maybe the short-circuit fried something else. or maybe the replacement timer was broken? it was used after all. why can't i catch a break? i've got problems with my teeth, i lost my cellphone, and now my hopes of fixing the washer were dashed as well.

after a few minutes of "what am i going to do next?" despair, i decided to check the fuse buried in the guts of the washer. i was relieved when it looked like it'd blown. i was also confused because the last time i checked, the fuse seemed okay. but this was my final straw, after this it was either call a repairman or pay for a new washer dryer. i found my spare fuses in one of my organized junk boxes and popped a new one into the washer. i went downstairs to turn the power back on.

i pulled the control knob and the washing machine started filling up with water. happiness! but does this mean the previous washer timer wasn't broken? did i buy a new timer for no reason? the only way to check was to put back the old timer and test it. but it was easier just to assume the old one was damaged. besides, i only paid $50 for a used timer, not the $120+ for a brand new timer.

i then tried the dryer. it didn't surprise me when the horrible squeaking sound came back. but that seemed like an easy fix compared to a washing machine that didn't work but now does. i decided to eat some lunch before tackling the dryer again. last night my mother left me some oil rice and duck while i heated up in the microwave.

fiddling around with the dryer (power turned off), i discovered that the right side support roller didn't spin freely. that would explain the squeaking sound. i decided to pull out the entire dryer drum to better access the rollers. this involved slowly pulling on the belt around the drum until it came off, because i couldn't find the idler arm down below to disengage it (plus even with the electricity turned off, i still had an irrational fear of getting electrocuted). the band left black marks all over my hands which i washed off. the left drum roller seemed okay but the drum right roller was stuck for sure. it was also discolored and seemed to be gummed up. i would replace both of them, and went onto ebay to find the best price. a kit (the may1kt dryer maintenance kit) that includes a new belt, replacement roller rods, glide pads, and new rollers cost $30. i decided to do some research before ordering it.

the other thing i had to do today was to go vote. i put on 2 layers of jackets thinking it'd be cold but it was actually surprisingly warm and pleasant. i walked down to the local elementary school to cast my ballot. i like to think of myself as an independent but i vote democrat almost all of the time (as probably do most of cambridge), mostly because of their liberal positions. as for the ballot questions, i said no to automatic gas taxes, no to forced recycling, yes to casinos, but no to mandatory sick days.

it was almost 3:00 when i rode my bike to belmont. my mother didn't think i was at their place so wasn't in any hurry to return home from the cafe. she was surprised when she saw me, coming home almost 6:00. i had no reason to be in belmont, but the expanded cable is much better than just the basic cable i get at my own place, and i watched a marathon of ink master (season 5) on spike tv. god i miss cable! maybe for christmas i'll gift myself a cable tv upgrade.

i waited until my father came home. he brought back some old verizon flip phones. i picked a samsung that didn't look so bad. i tried to charge it up but soon discovered it wouldn't charge for some reason. it works fine plugged in, but left to charge on its own, it would shut down after a few minutes. i left it charging overnight. if that phone doesn't work, i can always pick up an LG accolade VX6500 from ebay for $30. am i a dinosaur for still using a flip phone? the simple fact is i only use the phone to make calls. surf the web, take a quick snapshot, i have my china smarphone, which i currently only use with wifi. it's GSM so it doesn't work with verizon, but my family's been planning on an exodus to either AT&T or t-mobile just so we can use all the smartphone/tablet devices i brought back from china. the only thing keeping us back is force of habit and verizon's better signal coverage (although we never go anywhere so it shouldn't matter in the cities).

i was going to bike back to cambridge, but since i had to return to belmont tomorrow morning for the first and only day of painting before it gets too cold, my parents suggested i take one of the cars.

i spent the rest of the night watching mid-term election coverage. republicans win control of the senate but at least it won't involve scott brown, who lost his senate bid in new hampshire. here in massachusetts, the tight governor's race ended in a too close to call, but by 1:00 all the major networks had already called it for charlie baker over martha coakley. i don't know how i feel about baker; i voted for his democratic opponent instead. it's not like liberal MA doesn't have a history of republican governors (weld, cellucci, romney). i've got nothing against baker, he seems like a nice enough guy. i do feel bad for coakley though, she was a very good attorney general, but now she's out of a job. maybe i'll see her in the bread line.

i finally bought the may1kt dryer maintenance kit. there was another kit - may2kt - the only difference being a shorter (91" versus 100") drum belt (and $5 more expensive for some reason). it took a long time for me to figure out which kit was the one i needed. the part number on the belt that i have (K 6-3147740) didn't correspond to any known maytag parts. a search of my stacked washer dryer model (LS7804) brought up nothing as well (it doesn't seem to exist in the maytag database). i finally found some usable parts searching with a model (LSE7806GGE) that looked like the one i have (drum belt 314774, which later i realized did sort of match the part number i had, minus the zero). plus i pulled out the old belt and measured it just to be sure. hopefully these spare parts will get here by this weekend so i can fix the dryer. not like i have a stack of laundry to do (i basically wearing the same clothes everyday because i don't go out very much) but i sleep better at nights knowing my washer dryer is working. i tried removing the stuck drum roller, but i didn't have the right tool to remove the ring clip (need a special pair of ring clip pliers which i'll have to buy later this week).