i've lived with ana long enough to know that thursday is the day where she has the most classes, all the way until the afternoon. that meant i had a few hours of alone time. after a bowl of cereal for lunch, i went out to the backyard to do a second power wash in the deck, to catch any spots i might've missed the first time.
i set up the tall 3-segment ladder, but apparently it wasn't long enough to safely reach the 2nd floor platform. i say safely, because it did reach it, but the ladder was near vertical and in danger of tipping over, so i decided not to use it. that meant to clean the 2nd floor deck railing i just did it from the deck. sure, maybe it's still a little dark, but it won't matter once i oil everything. i also noticed that if i have the tip of the power wash nozzle too close to the wood, it can still strip the wood, so better i do a gentle wash than a potentially more damaging detail wash.
with october already upon us, now is a race against time: i need to treat the whole deck before the weather gets too cold to be effective. what i did factor into my equation was all this rain. i kind of got used to the unofficial drought. early next week might be a good day for oiling, provided we don't get hit by the hurricane. plus i also have painting obligations at my parents' place, but i'm hoping painting will go quick.
i also washed the rest of the wooden backyard fencing. afterwards it looked like we had new fencing installed, it looked so brand new. i was finished by 2:30p, and ana had just came home (slightly earlier than expected). while she was about to make lunch, i took the opportunity to change out of my wet clothes and beat a hasty exit to my parents' place via bike. before i left, ana paid me this month's rent, all in $20's again.
my mother and sister went out shopping, hailey was at home, and i ran into my father as he drove by in the car a few blocks away from the house. he brought home some still-warm sweet potato tempura he'd made at the cafe. my aunt stopped by briefly to borrow one of our coolers to bring back a fish a friend of theirs had caught on the cape.
the $62 garelick 21-foot aluminum roof rake arrived today and my father was busy in the sunroom assembly the equipment. later we went outside to test the reach. in combination with our recent snow blower maintenance, we are now 100% ready for the winter. i get the feeling we won't experience the snowpocalypse of last season, but if it happens again, we'll be ready.
explaining the different between a portuguese egg tart and a chinese egg tart, i gave my father the idea that we might be able to make some pastel de nata of our own, especially after i showed him some recipes, both english and chinese. it doesn't require any special ingredients, it all depends on the recipe and the techniques. i'm hoping to make some in the near future.
since my mother and sister weren't home yet, my father and i decided to get some pizza for dinner. i made the order online (domino's) and we went to go pick it up a little after 5pm. my sister and mother were back by the time we got home.
we got a chance to sample the baijiu we got from flushing on monday. a taste test between the wuliangye-brand jianzhuang (which we've had before, it's the default house baijiu), the mianzhudaqu (the only new alcohol), and the mostly-sorghum taiwanese baijiu i bought on my last solo trip to new york. jianzhuang tastes the best, a complex alcohol with a pleasant sweetness and a very fragrant aroma. mianzhudaqu tastes similar because it's also made from 5 grains, but the aroma isn't as strong, and it has a sour initial taste that turns into a bitter mouth feel. it's not as good as the jianzhuang. as for the taiwanese baijiu, it smells like rubber cement, has the strongest kick, but the least complex of flavors since it's mostly sorghum mixed with wheat.
temperature must've been in the 60's but with a strong breeze. i wore shorts, but i was smart enough to bring a jacket which i wore over my longsleeve which kept me pretty warm as i pedaled back to cambridge. ana wasn't home, she told me she was going out with friends to a bar called lolita in kendall square. i actually had a feeling she'd go out tonight because i overheard her say, "siete y media" (7:30) on the phone this afternoon.
i cleared enough space on my macbook pro hard drive to install the latest system, el capitan (OS X 10.11). downloading the 6GB file took about an hour, but the installation was even longer, around 3 hours for some strange reason, even though it said just 30 minutes. at one point i thought the computer was frozen and almost restarted the machine were it not for my fear of losing my data, which naturally i didn't back up. it finally finished installing close to midnight. by then ana was already home and had gone to bed.
it could just be a placebo effect, but the OS seems faster than before, or at least smoother. i read el capitan uses a new system font called san francisco. i'd seen samples online but couldn't really tell the difference, but now that i'm using the new system, i notice it. it's not something i can quite put my finger on, but something feels off/different with the font. i'm sure i'll get used to it eventually.
other than the perceived slight speed boost, i really don't notice any difference compared to the previous system. which i guess is a good thing, since i really don't like change all that much, particularly if it's to something i'm already quite used to. i do like the new improved smarter spotlight search. i do conversions all the time (temperature, weight, cooking units) and it's nice to type "60 degrees" and have spotlight immediately spit out, "15.56°C" as the answer. one thing that did break was the little shell script applet that uses exiftool to strip out the geotag data from my photos. it took me a while to figure out what was wrong, but after i explicitly set the path to exiftool (/usr/local/bin/exiftool -gps:all= "$f"), the script started working again.