after a morning shower of lukewarm water, i finally had enough of the hot water heater in the basement and went to go work on it. one thing i learned recently was you're supposed to drain the bottom of the tank every so often, to get rid of any sediment build ups that could reduce the life of the water tank and make it perform less than optimal. so i did just that, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the hot water that came out was clear, with no sediment build up. maybe in the first few seconds some sooty water came out, but it was fine after that. so what i did instead was to just turn up the hot water thermostat but just a 1/4 of a position. i went upstairs and was happy with the water temperature.

i really should start a fermentation diary, because i've got so many fermentation projects happening at the moment, it's easy to lose track of them. i've got the kombucha, which is currently still working (16 days now) but not as fast with the cold temperature. i've got a jar of fermented glutinous rice my parents gave me which i haven't eaten yet but it's properly super sweet by now. then i've got my sichuan paocai, i finally labeled them (with flower stickers) so i can keep track of which is which. jar 1 is the one that has half new cabbage and half old cabbage (fermenting for 12 days). the liquids in jar 1 isn't as sour and leaning more towards sweet. also the cabbage isn't as crisp, leaning more towards the soggy side. jar 2 is the jar i opened for thanksgiving, with paocai that'd been fermenting for 17 days. the vegetables inside are all new.

whenever i had some free time i'd work a little bit more on the hollow safe book i'm making for my sister (her birthday was yesterday, but it takes a while to hollow out a book). maybe i should work from the kitchen table because working from the coffee table in the living room is sort of uncomfortable, and then i get little paper bits everywhere. i also installed some christmas lights in my living room windows.

i tried to update my blog code to prevent future max_user_connections errors, but i wasn't able to get around to it. maybe i'll have some time tomorrow. the blog is really showing its age, i'm planning on an overhaul whenever i can get around to it.

in the early evening a whole bunch of packages arrived. frances' norwegian christmas surprise showed up, stuffed with norwegian snacks, a set of merino wool thermal underwear, and some presents for my parents (who helped with the norwegian deliveries while i was away for a year in china). that was followed by my set of pyrex bowls and a new 4TB USB 3.0 external hard drive. the glassware and hard drive have rebate fulfillments and i quickly took the time to fill out the necessary paperwork to get those done.

i'm sort of okay with the fact that my new nest thermostat reads 2 degrees higher than actual. a little disappointed (a manual thermostat i could understand, but a fancy digital thermostat? you can do better!), and i still have some ideas on how to fix it, but so long as i take the 2 degrees offset into consideration, the thermostat works flawlessly. i really like how i can turn it on and off using my phone, and that's actually how i control the heat. but i still go up to the thermostat every now and then to play around with it. one of the coolest thing - if i haven't mentioned it already - is it turns on by itself when i walk towards it (motion sensor). my father was the one who said it could be used as a home alarm to detect if anyone is in the house if they changed the software. the thermostat can do a lot more than just control the heat, that it makes me want to install additional things in the house (central air! zone heating!) just to have it be controlled by the nest.

for dinner i continued with my turkey leftovers, making a pair of turkey wraps (turkey, hoisin sauce, scallions) plus some niangao cake my godmother made. i'm sort of nervous about tomorrow, getting my tooth pulled; someone from the oral surgery office called me earlier to remind me. there's going to be some swelling and i won't be able to eat on one side of my mouth but i'm already doing that now.