i was planning on biking to the assembly square mall to look for seeds at the somerville home depot, but it just seemed to far away to ride on a day that suddenly dropped down to the 30's after almost being in the 60's yesterday. it was also windy, so it felt even colder. plus road conditions are still pretty terrible, despite all the snow melt; bike lanes when available are covered in sand, gravel, and bits of asphalt ejected from new potholes. nevertheless, i went out anyway, to return a spare digital-to-analog converter box to the comcast office, then to rite aid to buy some almonds on sale (honey roasted, 2/$5).

i found a new way to make drainage holes on my plastic cups. in the past, i'd used an electric drill, but a certain amount of pressure needs to be applied, and some of the cups always end up getting crunched. there had to be an easier way. that's when i realized i could heat up the metal tip of an awl over the gas stove and use that to make holes at the bottom of the cups. it turned out to be pretty easy, and the hot awl would sort of just melt into the plastic with hardly any resistance. after i finished making the holes though, that when i discovered some of the cups had fused together from the melted plastic. and some of then had burrs on the bottom that needed to be scraped off with a knife. but otherwise it was a success. i didn't plant anything yet though; the cold weather today sort of made me think i should wait a few more days before starting, otherwise the garden ground won't be ready yet. my seedlings need about 8 weeks to reach transplant stage.

an amazon package arrived for me today around 6:00. i haven't seen our usual mailman in a long time, i wonder if he retired or changed route? instead, it's been an alternating series of young postal workers, who always seem to deliver the mail rather late, by the time people are already coming home from work. anyway, in the package were some 1-1/2-inch adhesive felt pads (24/$3.88), which turns out are a little too big but at the very least fit the feet of my barstools; a bicycle cable cutter ($15) so when i work on my bikes i don't have to cut the cables with a dremel saw; a transcend USB 3.0 card reader ($6), because i was hoping it'd be faster than the built-in card reader, but when i used it it actually seemed slower; and an acurite 02027 color weather station ($39).

the weather station was actually bigger than i expected, even though i saw online videos of the item. that's actually a good thing, because i was afraid it might be too small. when i first plugged it in, the indoor temperature seemed lower than the actual temperature, but only because the box probably had been outside and it needed some time to warm up to room temperature. it didn't come with batteries for the outdoor sensor (2xAA); when i put in some rechargeables, the station immediately recognized the sensor. there was 4° of difference, but could just be because i was handling the sensor. speaking of which, the sensor is actually bigger than i expected, about the size of a cordless phone. however, i think i have a good place to hang it from the ceiling of my 1st floor deck. i put it outside on the floor behind a post for the time being.

the station works well enough, and automatically set the clock and date to atomic time (although you can also set it manually too). it has temperature and humidity reading for both outdoor and indoor. the sensor has a range of 330 ft, which is more than adequate, and the station sees it just fine. the color LCD display has good viewing angle from above and from either side, but loses visibility when viewed straight on or from the bottom, like if you decided to mount the station on a wall or a high shelf. it has a weather forecast ability, which takes 2 weeks to learn before it can provide accurate predictions. i'm not too excited about the weather icons. the snow looks like rain, and the sun in particular is especially off, resembling an exploding supernova. how hard was it to just stick with the tried and true sun symbol - a large yellow ball with small rays? the station also has moon phases, which isn't necessary for weather forecasting, but a fun addition to have.

but the best thing about the acurite 02027 weather station is the ability to manually calibrate the temperature and humidity! i'm in awe because my $250 wifi nest learning thermostat doesn't even have that function. i wasn't happy with the indoor temperature reading on the station - seemed it like was 2° lower than actual - so i manually increased it by 2° (later dropped it down to just 1°) so now it matches temperature readings from both the nest thermostat and the infrared thermometer. the weather station would be even cooler if it could transfer that data online, so i could check the indoor/outdoor temperature of my house from anywhere (i can do that now with the nest thermostat, but just the indoor temperature; it also has the outdoor temperature but i don't know where it's getting that data from).

for lunch and dinner i indulged in the guilty pleasure that is cold fried chicken. i also finished the last of my tea egg and the applewood-smoked ham, a day of proteins!