the start of winter means i have just a few hours of daylight to run my errands before it gets dark. so after some oatmeal for breakfast, i went out to replace the brake arms on my rear brakes. normally i do this in the backyard, but as it was drizzling, i went to the basement instead. technically these are front shimano v-brakes (shimano BR-M422 acera $13.50), but there is no difference between front and rear.

the only equipment i needed was a 5mm hex wrench and a pair of gloves to my hands clean. i'd already removed the left brake arm when i was checking it for damage, so i just needed to take off the right one. normally this would be easy, but i have these large wald twin set rear baskets in the way, so i could only turn the wrench about a quarter of a turn at a time.

after i got the old brake arm removed, it was a cinch installing the new ones.

with my default bike repaired, i rode to market basket to get some groceries. it was still drizzling a little bit, and under normal circumstances i might wait until the following day, but we're expecting more substantial rain for the next few days, so today was probably the driest day in comparison. the only important thing i needed was a clove of garlic for my bread dipping sauce. i also bought a container of crab dip and some rice crackers.

i also ran a few clerical errands, like applying for a mass save rebate on my new nest learning thermostat. it looks like i'm able to get $100 back, which means i only paid $100 for the thermostat, which isn't a bad deal considering it normally retails for $250. another good thing is the rebate can be done entirely online, i just needed to scan some documents and upload it to their website. next i registered my new gas furnace in order to get their 10-year parts warranty. i should've done it earlier, but didn't really know the name of my HVAC installer; fortunately they didn't ask. so the only thing i have left pending is to figure out my health insurance coverage.

yesterday before i left for belmont (12:00) i mixed up some bread dough to ferment. i finally took it off the fridge 24 hours later. i might've added a bit too much water because the dough was sticky, but still workable as i pulled it out, folded it together, and put it back into the pyrex bowl to rise a few more hours. i let it go for about 7 hours before putting it into the oven. it had puffed up considerably, but was also very soft and sort of sank down when i plopped it into the dutch oven to bake.

after 30 minutes, i took a stick of butter and glazed the surface of the bread before cooking for another 30 minutes uncovered. the final bread has a nice color but was disappointingly flatter than last time. maybe i'm leaving it to rise for too long? it made me suspicious of the old yeast i was using, so i went to proof test it, and it rose okay, so it's not the yeast. next time i will mix the dough with less water and see how that works out. i like making all this bread but i don't like eating it, because nobody can eat this much bread (and not become a balloon).

for dinner i made a honey ham with swiss cheese and honey mustard sandwich with my homemade bread. it was pretty good, but the crust can be a little hard.

i am on the final episode of fargo! this series has been really good, i would totally recommend it. i had a chat with alex in tokyo and we were able to chat about the episodes i'd seen thus far.

evening highlight was the broncos vs. bengal tigers monday night football game. unfortunately i don't have ESPN (nor any actual cable channels for that matter), and when i tried to watch the game via the verizon FIOS app (using my parents' cable account in belmont), i was blocked from seeing it. so i did the next best thing and monitored the score via the NFL website. i couldn't believe it when cincinnati won. that meant the patriots clinched the number 1 seed in the AFC, meaning all games would have to pass through new england.