i went down to the cafe to retrieve the new foscam camera, which i now suspect is defective because it hasn't gone more than 24 hours without crashing, even after we relocated it to a place that didn't get any sun. i planned on contacting amazon and getting a return authorization for the item. i also went down to see my sister's godmother, who's been here since tuesday night.

my sister's godmother's been trying to get a working phone. under our verizon family plan, we could add her for an additional $20/month, but she wouldn't be able to use her taiwanese GSM phone, since verizon is strictly CDMA. i don't hide the fact that i've been trying to migrate my family to t-mobile, which uses GSM, compatible with my oneplus one and my father's coolpad F1 8297, both phones that we've only been using as wifi devices since neither are compatible with verizon.

if we switched to t-mobile, the month bill would only be $135 (that's including a 6GB data increase for my sister); under our current verizon plan, the bill is $180. the savings is $45/month, which after a year totals to $540, almost enough to buy a new iphone, which is one of the main reasons why my sister doesn't want to switch. under a hybrid verizon-t-mobile plan (where everyone switches except my sister), the monthly bill still comes out to $175, a slight saving.

while i was at the cafe the comcast phone security pin arrived in the mail. that meant i could finally start switching the cafe number onto google voice. i also received a spare nokia (1661-2B) left behind by one of my grand uncle's tenants when he returned to china.

i got home before my mother, who was bringing my sister's godmother and my aunt to market basket to do some grocery shopping. they stopped by to see the place.

i was going to package up the foscam webcam to return, but i wanted to test it one last time to make sure it was really broken. so i reset the camera and set it up in my living room.

next i activated the t-mobile sim card i received last friday. i'd already tested it on my nokia 1050 (which i now realize uses the GSM 900/1800 frequency, which works in asia but not in the US), which didn't work, but it did work on the nokia E66. i followed the online directions, entering the activation code, but when it asked for the IMEI, it said the number i entered was wrong. fortunately i had the spare nokia 1661, which was even originally a t-mobile branded device, so that phone worked flawlessly.

instead of giving me a new number, it used my old number (the cafe number) because i was porting that over. i went with a prepaid plan (sort of expensive at 10¢ a minute), which required some initial funding, the minimum amount being $10 (i don't know if i can get that back, since i'm really using the account at all, really just using the phone as an intermediary to port the landline number over to google voice). afterwards i tried creating an online account so i can check my status, but it wouldn't allow me to do that because the phone number hadn't been ported over yet. now sure how i can check the status without an account, i'll trying calling t-mobile tomorrow. they did say it'd take about 24 hours for the number to be switched over.

i was going to go to market basket myself, but by then the little drizzle that'd been falling since this morning was now a steady rainfall. i could go do my shopping tomorrow.

as part of my travel preparation, i called my two credit card companies and had them note i'd be abroad for 2 months. i had to speak with an actual operator for citizens bank; chase had a more convenient automated system.

mary still hasn't contacted me about her return. her friend that was living at my uncle's place told my parents that she heard from mary that she tentatively planned on returning mid-march, so that puts it to next week sometime. it'd have been nice if mary could've told me herself instead of me hearing it through 2 other people. i don't mind that she's gone, but i feel kind of guilty taking her money while she isn't living here. i figured by making her pay march's rent that'd be a good incentive for her to come back early, but at this point i don't know what her schedule is like. she might not even come back until next month, but by then i figured harvard would rescind her visiting scholar status. i'd prefer her to return, if nothing else, at least i can make 2 more months' rent, which will give me a little spending cushion when i return from china.

i baked some sweet potatoes in the toaster oven for 2 hours starting at 4pm. later i made some miso soup. i wasn't feeling particularly hungry until around 11pm, where i made myself a cup of instant korean noodles.

as of now, the foscam camera still hasn't crashed yet. it makes me think that the camera wasn't defective, but rather it was just overheating in the window spot, especially with its matte black coating. the image quality is awfully yellow though, but it could be just because of the lights in my living room; i didn't notice any yellow tint during the daytime. if the camera is still operational tomorrow, we might switch it out with my grand uncle's camera and put that one (white coating) back at the cafe.