with the humidifier running for one night, i still went to sleep with some dry skin itch and had to put on some lotion to my arms and back. maybe a takes a little while for my skin to regain normal dermal moisture. but running a humidifier is definitely better than not running one.

i woke up at 9:00 for some reason, which is the earliest i've woken up in a while. i didn't go to bed any earlier than usual (2-3am), but i think it must've been that nap i took earlier. or maybe it's because i didn't take my thiazide so i didn't have to wake up in the middle of the night to go pee. having a continuous night of sleep might keep me from sleeping so late.

i played around with the humidifier some more. one thing i didn't mention was the noise level. it sounds like a fan because of the built-in fan that drives the evaporation process. on the normal setting it's not bad (soft enough to sleep through), but on the high setting it's definitely on the noisy side. these type of evaporation humidifiers also require a filter (e.g. a wicking sponge) which need to replaced every season. the one that i have looks like a big block of soggy ramen noodles and has some stains on the top of the filter, which probably came from the sponge drying out and drawing up whatever dirty water was left in the basin. the filter itself has no smell, but the stained side has a weird odor. i tried looking for a replacement, the cheapest ones i could find online were $8-10/filter. i wonder if i can just stuff the filter basket with a normal sponge; but it'd have to be a very large sponge because the regular filter has a 7x8x2" dimension. the downside of replacing filters makes me think ultrasonic humidifiers are a better choice, since they don't need filters. i saw one for sale on craig's list a few days ago (crane humidifier) for just $10 (in my neighborhood no less) but the posting was already gone when i checked today.

i set the humidifier in the kitchen on its high setting. i wanted to see what would happen to the temperature inside my house and how much the humidity would increase. the hygrometer read as high as 40% humidity before i turned off the humidifier in the afternoon. the nest thermostat in the living room read a humidity level of 36%. also the furnace didn't seem to be firing anymore than usual.

watching the noontime news, i heard about the "black lives matter" protests that happened on I-93 this morning that caused traffic delays right during morning rush hour. protestors coordinated their demonstrations at two locations, in the north (milton) and south (medford/somerville). maybe the older i get the more conservative my viewpoints are, but i think these protestors are a complete nuisance. if they were trying to win people to their cause, i don't think the hundreds of thousands of people stuck on highway traffic this morning would support them. it just seems like a bunch of relatively affluent college kids with too much time on their hands. reporters were quick to note that not one member of the protestors were black. i hope they get a stiff penalty, since blocking traffic like that is not only dangerous, but costs money to respond to, and could endanger lives by shutting down the roads. if anything, i think the police actually saved them, because if you get between an angry boston commuter and his/her destination, you're likely to experience some swift road rage eventually. if this happens again, i think people will simply get out of their cars and throw the protestors to the side of the highway.

in the afternoon i was craving something to snack on so i decided to make some popcorn (indian-style, with several teaspoons of garam masala and salt). i closed all the doors, turned off the heat, opened a window, and switched on two fans to blow out the odor. even with all those precautions, my house still smelled like slightly-burnt popcorn afterwards.

in the late afternoon into the early evening, it started to snow a little bit. major enough but enough to dust the ground. not nearly enough for what i really want to see, which is a big snow storm before the winter season is through. january is already midway done; could this be another winter where we don't get a big blizzard?

i spent some time backing up some photos, which left my laptop temporarily unable as it was busy transferring files from one hard drive to another. maybe my mac needs a reboot because even though it was an USB 3.0 transfer, it was still taking hours, and i even had to stop it prematurely. back up is one thing; i still need to sort through the images, which i still haven't done since i've been back.

i heated up another pot pie for dinner, using the full oven this time instead of the toaster oven, as recommended by the instructions, which made for a much better pie. one of these days i'm going to try and make my own instead of simply buying frozen ones. nothing good on television tonight (not even any interesting late night talk show guests) so i might end up going to bed early.