i couldn't believe it when he told me last night but it made some sense: alfonso went back to MGH this morning despite his spain departure scheduled just a few hours away (1pm). reason: to say good bye to his advisor, whom he wasn't able to find yesterday.

it's been so warm that the heat didn't even bother to kick in this morning. which brings me to the topic of my new insulation. have i noticed any difference, compared to past seasons? i feel the insulation definitely keeps the house warmer for much longer. this is both good and bad. good because the furnace runs less often now, which is going to save me money. but bad because i don't get that constant pump of warm air like i used, back when the house was much cooler than before. so sometimes it feels colder even though the indoor temperature has met the preset. of course the weather these past few months have been on the warm side, and we're averaging many degrees above normal. in fact, tomorrow is christmas eve, and the forecast is for temperature close to the 70's. the cold winter will come eventually, and that's how i'll be able to really tell how well the insulation is working. so check back next month.

alfonso finally came home around 11:40am. again he couldn't find the advisor he wanted to see, but had some time to input a few more patient data before finally leaving the hospital. he did some last minute checks before calling a uber to get a ride to south station. the driver was a big black man adorned with gold jewelry. i helped with the suitcases. and with that alfonso was gone (12:20pm), ending the year where i had no less than 4 spanish people living at my place.

renee was hovering around outside and i should've realized she had ulterior motives. she began by talking about her broken printer, then asked me if i could come in and take a look. but that was a trap, because she had a bunch of other things broken and i ended up inspecting them one by one. first there was the stereo, which suddenly stopped working. the receiver and tuner seemed okay, but if i had to guess i'd say the speakers were blown out. next was the printer, which had no power. what was unusual was the computer sharing the same power strip was working just fine. so maybe the power strip had some issues, so i changed the plug and sure enough the printer powered on. finally, somebody had given her an electric blanket which worked for a few weeks but now didn't. i took a look but unfortunately electric blanket repair is not my expertise.

after half an hour i finally returned home. that's when i noticed alfonso's frantic e-mail message: he forgot to return my keys! had i not been distracted by being a free handyman for my neighbor, i could've seen the message earlier and advise alfonso to maybe leave the keys at the south station bus counter so i could go pick them up. but it was already 1pm and he was already onboard the bus, so i took him not to worry about it, that if he had time to send them back to me by mail. this wouldn't be the first time that a roommate left without returning the key. even i didn't remember, and this has happened to me in the past.

with alfonso gone, i could finally go down to market basket to get some groceries. i picked up a few things then returned home. on the dana street bridge i saw something flashing on the road and stopped to pick it up. it looked like a fancy bike light part or the end of a flashlight. when i got back home i posted a lost & found on craig's list, hoping to return the item to the owner.

as it was already 2pm, i decided to go to belmont so i could rendezvous with my parents, who were returning home with food. i knew a big rainstorm was heading our way in the evening and that i wouldn't be able to ride back, but my mother suggested i take one of the cars instead.

i had shaobing for a late lunch and duck broth rice noodles for dinner. i copied a few recently downloaded screeners for my parents to watch.

by the time i left it was pouring rain. i went to my grand uncle's place to change his urine bag, my first time. my father had shown me sunday night how to do it, and now i have to do this a few times every week, until the doctors say my grand uncle can urinate normally again. when i saw the small urine bag i noticed there was hardly any urine inside. and when i actually removed it, urine bag to leak from the bag. somebody didn't seal the bag! but when i went to feel the mattress, it was still dry. confused, i went ahead and changed the bags, washing out the smaller bag in the bathroom, and then cleaning the urine off of the floor. i probably also got some on my clothes. i stopped by the cafe afterwards. my 2nd aunt told me that the woman my parents hired to take care of my grand uncle must've emptied the bag earlier, and forgot to close it.

a box from amazon was waiting for me on my doorstep: my amazon resistance bands and my 128gb usb thumb drive.

when i finally returned home, i was looking forward to a leisurely night of laundry, washing the guest bedroom sheets and blankets, turning that room mine again. however, when i went to go turn on the washer, nothing happened. the dryer worked fine, but the washer was dead. in the pouring rain i went outside and into the basement to see if the circuit breaker had popped. it was fine so i turned off the power in preparation for some diagnosticating.

as soon as i removed the main slanted panel i saw what the problem was: a loose cable on the washer timer assembly. i was so happy to see that because a loose cable is an easy fix, compared to something like a broken lid switch which i'd need to order a new part. a loose cable can be reconnected without having to take apart anything else, but since the machine was already partially opened, i decided to remove the front panel of the dryer to look for that missing sock from last week.

in removing the dryer front panel, i accidentally pulled out more wires from the washer timer, i ended up creating even more work for myself. as for the sock, there was nothing in the dryer catch, just a shredded piece of fabric softener. i'm pretty sure that missing sock went down the dryer vent. to fish it out would require completely taking apart the washer dryer assembly, and since the dryer still works fine when i tested last week (outdoor exhausted vents well), it didn't need to be fixed. i reassembled the dry front, connected the loose cables, then put everything back together again.

after braving the rain again to turn the power back on from the basement, it was the moment of truth as i turned on the washer. success! as it began to wash a load of sheets and towels. after that load was done and run through the dryer, i did another load of fleece throws and wool items (cold cycle then a gentle tumble in the dryer).

things alfonso left behind:

alfonso's plane leaving new york JFK airport wasn't until 10pm. the reason why he didn't directly just fly out from boston logan is rather complicated. he originally bought a roundtrip ticket from madrid to new york. his plan was to arrive in the US a few days early to do some sightseeing in manhattan before taking the bus to boston. and then to get back home, he'd take the bus back to NYC to get to the airport. but he had a bout of kidney stone back in spain before he was about to leave which delayed his arrival. he ended up just buying a one way ticket from madrid to boston. but his return flight ticket was still valid. although it wasn't snowing today, heavy rain can delay traffic as well, and i wonder if he got to new york with enough time to then get to the airport. and i hope he didn't have to walk too much to get to his airport shuttle, especially in the pouring rain.