i went to michael's store to pick up the latest outlook express backup. i assumed his sister would be working today so i was surprised to see michael there. coming back, i stopped by market basket to pick up some groceries.

i called t-mobile support to check my port status. the woman i spoke with didn't seem to know very much, just parroting a bunch of info i already knew from reading the website. she told me the port was still pending. i told her i didn't receive any notification regarding whether or not i'd been successfully validated, but i don't think she really listening, just repeated some prepared responses. the weird thing was she told me to call back in an hour, which i didn't think made any sense. i asked wouldn't it be more logical to call back tomorrow. "yes, you can call back tomorrow," she replied.

i called my health insurance to ask if i could refill my 3 prescriptions early, so i'd have enough when i'm in china. i figured this sort of thing is pretty routine, but i wasn't sure how much of a hassle it'd be, especially when dealing with health care bureaucracy. but it was pretty painful, the agent took the names and dosage of my medications, then she called another department to get the travel override. unfortunately my particular insurance doesn't have an automated override option. instead, the operator i spoke with told me to go and refill my prescriptions; they will be denied of course because i haven't finished my previous supplies, but then i'm supposed to call my health insurance again so they can do a manual override on the prescriptions. it's a bit more complicated, but at least i know it can be done, and i won't have to pay anymore than what i normally pay for prescriptions.

i have 10 recessed lights in my kitchen that i've been meaning to replace. currently they use 50w PAR30 flood light (halogen bulbs), rated at 530 lumens. when all the lights are on in the kitchen, that's a combined total of 500w of electricity. i went to homedepot.com to look for a suitable LED replacement. the cheapest one i could find was a 75w-equivalent PAR30 flood light (3000K) that sold for $10/each. using only 14w, it's rated at 800 lumens. even though it's brighter than my halogen bulbs (which isn't a problem, since the lights are on dimmer switches), it uses less than a quarter of the electricity. replacing all my kitchen recessed bulbs with LED's would be like running 2-1/2 halogen lights. ideally i want to replace the lights before mary returns, because i'm pretty sure she's not as energy conscience as i am. also with nobody else in the house, she'll probably leave the kitchen lights on for security reasons. better to waste 140w of electricity than a whopping 500w.

the foscam camera i set up had been running without crashing for more than 24 hours. that meant one thing: the camera wasn't defective. the past few days of crashing were most likely caused by overheating due to a matte black camera mounted by a southern facing window. so i disconnected the camera and rode down to the cafe in the late afternoon to set it up. the plan would be to set up the new black foscam at my grand uncle's place, and move his current older model white foscam back to the cafe (where it was mounted before and didn't have any problems). i went to my grand uncle's place first to set up the black foscam. it wasn't very difficult, i've done it enough times over the past week that it's pretty routine now. you have to use a laptop in order to access the internal settings of the camera, i'm not sure you can do it via the browser app on a phone (it requires a plug-in installation). finally i went back to the cafe to set up the white foscam.

i rode back home around 5pm with a prepared bento box of leftovers. instead of waiting, i ate it as an early dinner.

i fixed the strap of my mountainsmith lumbar bag. i'm not sure when it broke; maybe when i was in china. it strap kept on slipping off the buckle, so back then i made a quick fix by simply tying the strap instead of threading it through the clip. but today i was examining the buckle, and turns out i threaded the strap wrong. i ended up washing the strap and then ironing it flat (which wasn't a good idea, the strap is partially synthetic fabric, which melted a little bit) before threading it correctly through the buckle. now the strap is as good as new.