for the longest time, the hot water on my shower has a lower pressure than the cold water. it wasn't a big deal, everything still worked, but it did take upwards of 30 minutes to fill up the bathtub (on those rare occasions when i needed a bath). but i began to notice the pressure was getting really bad within the past 2 weeks. initially i thought maybe the city was doing something with the water pressure, and then i thought perhaps my neighbors upstairs were doing laundry (which shouldn't be affecting it anyway ever since we upgraded our water main). i'd notice it the most when i showered, the pressure just seemed a little off. then during the 4th of july weekend it got better and i forgot about it. however, late last night, the shower pressure was unusually low, and then this morning, it was down to a trickle. something was definitely wrong. i went looking for the bathtub-specific socket wrench but couldn't find it, probably at my parents' place. i'd need to retrieve it later today.

i got some cilantro from haymarket over the weekend, so i had all the necessary ingredients (apple cinnamon chicken sausage) to make a proper savory oatmeal for lunch. it's my first time making oatmeal, my old breakfast/lunch standby.

i was beginning to think she wasn't interested, but spanish cristina finally got back in touch with me, said she wanted to stay at my place. the only catch was she'd already booked a place in boston for 2 weeks, and wouldn't need my place until the first of september. that's even better, gives me more time to prepare the bedroom. she also told me she had another friend coming to boston for a longer stay, and asked if i'd be willing to rent to her friend after she's gone. i asked cristina how long her friend will be staying, haven't heard back yet.

as this was already wednesday and i haven't been to the garden since sunday, i paid a visit. plants were fine, i return home after watering. i did pick up a finger puppet from a box of children's toys left on the curb, a knitted zebra.

my parents were having their own plumbing issues. the water pressure in their bathroom sink is down to a soft trickle. it must've happened when i was in china because i remember coming back and noticing the pressure was really low. it's been like this for several months now. unlike the situation in my bathroom however, it was the same regardless if it's cold or hot water. that meant something was wrong with the outflow. my father and i were ready to take apart the sink to find the issue when i suggested maybe something was blocking the aerator. sure enough, once we unscrewed the aerator, we saw that all the holes were blocked by sediments. once they were unclogged, the sink worked like new again.

the chinese restaurant next to my grand uncle's place went on vacation, but the owners told my parents they cold help themselves to some food, since it'd spoil otherwise. my parents got an assortment of fancy mushrooms and cooked them for dinner.

i couldn't wait to get back home to fix my bathtub plumbing. i couldn't find the oversized rachet for the faucet but i did find a special faucet tool that didn't require a rachet.

i went to the basement to turn off the hot water (i left the cold water on since it wasn't affected). i removed the hot water knob, but the plastic housing was stuck on the cartridge and no amount of pulling and turning could pry it off. with the housing stuck i couldn't fit the cartridge removal socket, but fortunately i could easily release the cartridge with just a simple crescent wrench from the side.

once that was done i went to the basement to turn on the hot water with the hopes of flushing out the blockage. from the basement i listened for the tell-tale sound of water flowing, but instead i heard a strange hissing sound. i ran upstairs and saw water was spraying out from the hot water pipe out the bathroom door to the opposite wall. the blockage was so severe, hot water came out in a pressurized spray. i quickly ran back to the basement to turn off the water.

looking into the pipe with a flashlight, i could see the problem: a big obstruction, looked like the brass stopper end of the water main shutoff-off valve that was missing its stopper. it must've flowed into the hot water tank, and then over time made it's way up the ways to clog up the hot water pipe for the bathtub/shower. if it really was a brass part of the broken valve, then there was no way i could remove the obstruction without completely taking apart the pipe. but was hoping i could push the obstruction out of the way. sure, it was only a temporary solution, and over time the hot water pipe would get blocked again, but better than nothing. so with a long bamboo skewer i poked away the obstruction.

i went back downstairs to turn on the hot water. this time i only turned it on a little bit. i could hear water splashing, which was a good sign. i went back upstairs. water was coming out, but still a messy spray. with the skewer i poked in the pipe some more, which seemed to have jostled some debris which fell into the bathroom, bit of gravel, bits of rubber. once i did that, the water poured out in a beautiful arch. i kept poking at the pipe to see if i could purposely create a blockage or loosen some more debris, but there was no additional change.

i went back downstairs to turn off the water, reinstall the faucet knob, then turn the water back on. when i turned the knob this time, a powerful stream of hot water came out from the tub spout. when i toggled to the shower, a steady spray of hot water came out from the shower head. everything fixed! i finished by doing a load of laundry, some wet bathroom towels (from cleaning up the watery mess) and all my clothes were wet too.