it was almost 11am when the nstar technician called me to let me know she was coming. i was afraid they'd forgotten about me, since i've been waiting since 8am. i'd never met a female technician before. i saw her pull up down the road and went out to make sure she knew the right house. she was making another phone call so i pointed to her where i was. she unloaded a new gas meter from the back of her truck and i took her to the basement where the old gas meter was. replacing it was easy, just turn off the gas inlet pipe, then unscrew the two meter pipes that fed gas into the house. the inlet pipe was easy to turn, but the two pipes on the meter were harder to remove. she ended up climbing onto a folding chair armed with her big-sized wrench.

the old meter came off, along with two old rubber gaskets. she replaced the gaskets before attaching the new meter. before the pipes were completely closed, she turned on the gas line. i thought that was a little weird because soon i started smelling gas, but the reason why she did that was to force the oxygen out of the meter, before she finally sealed everything tight. she had a container of soap water she smeared on the pipe connections to see if there were any leaks. afterwards she went to my hot water tank and turned back on the pilot light.

i noticed she set my hot water setting to B, which seemed to be the wrong setting. sure enough, back upstairs, when i turned on the water, it was much hotter than normal. after researching what setting i used to have it set to, i went back downstairs and set the water temperature to a smidgen lower than A. that way the hot water is always the right temperature and i never need to adjust it with the cold water. plus, it savings on the hot water heating utility bill.

for lunch i made some savory oatmeal with chicken sausage, washed down with some concentrated orange juice.

it was warm enough today (67°) that i opened my back door as as well as some windows to air out the house. imagine airing out the house the first day of february! definitely an unusually warm winter for sure.

my mother called me in the afternoon to let me know they were going supply shopping, particularly to buy all the necessary ingredients for a chinese new year hot pot dinner they were having this sunday. i ended up going with them. first stop was costco, followed by the 88 supermarket in malden. we didn't start heading back until 5pm. the traffic wasn't too bad. we stopped off at the cafe to unload everything before returning to belmont. i ordered some pizza from the car. after dropping off my mother, my father and i went to go pick up our order.

watching WCVB news, they announced a new addition to their lineup: maria stephanos, former news anchor from FOX25! she will co-anchor the 7pm and 11pm news, as well as a new 10pm news broadcast on MeTV. i wonder how heather unruh nd JC monahan are taking the news.

back at home, mary wasn't cooking something in her slow cooker for a change. however, there was large radius of thick oil splatter all around the stovetop. i cursed quietly to myself as i cleaned everything off before finally settling in for the evening. later mary came out of her bedroom to pay the rent for this month. she was asking me how long she could stay. i told her 3 months for the time being. she also asked if i was leaving the country. who said anything about leaving the country? my father asked me that tonight too, so many at one point he told mary that i'd be going to china at some point. i told her i wasn't planning on leaving anytime soon. what i didn't tell her was after living with her for about 2 weeks, i don't trust her cleanliness enough to leave the whole house to herself.

i found a craig's list seller in beacon hill trying to get rid of a tp-link TL-WR841N wireless router for only $10. i've been trying to find a simple router to replace the aging belkin at the cafe. the TL-WR841N is a good bargain (sells on amazon for just $20) but i've already bought two of these in the past to replace bad routers (10/2014, 11/2014), and i wanted to find something slightly better this time around with more features. but a $10 router is hard to pass up, so i decided to get it. i'm scheduled to meet the seller tomorrow at noontime.