wangyan contacted me early this morning around 4am. i was still asleep so i didn't bother answering, but when i finally did wake up this morning, i realized she was probably on her way to munich. i got in touch with her around 9am (10pm china time). she told me she was in beijing already, waiting for her 1:45am flight to munich, arriving at 5:35am german time (11-1/2 hours later). she asked if i wanted another postcard, i told her it wasn't necessary, that she already sent me one last time, and all i wanted was to see more travel photos. i found out she was taking this business trip solo, and meeting with the german partners by herself. i've never taken an international business trip before!

after a lunch of mantou buns stuffed with meat floss, i took an inventory of my flan ingredients and discovered the only thing i was missing was a gallon of whole milk. i biked down to market basket but not before taking a short detour to rite aid to buy some chocolate and moisturizer on sale. my dry-skin winter moisturizer of choice is nivea essentially enriched lotion, on sale with coupon 2/$6. i first discovered this lotion during the year i spent living in china, where it's sold as a 3oz. hand cream. the formulation is slightly different, the china version has a more fragrant scent and applies with a silky softless lacking in the US version but close enough. unfortunately the store was all out (i see i'm not the only fan). i left with some ferrero rocher chocolates (BOGO) and a bag of sunflowers.

the friday before thanksgiving and already market basket was packed, judging from the lack of bicycle parking outside. inside however was surprisingly calm, not the overcrowded hell on earth it will become the closer we get to thanksgiving. i grab a milk and left. i did notice the larger frozen turkeys were the most popular items and the employees couldn't stock the open freezer fast enough. it made me worried; last year we didn't go turkey shopping until the sunday before t-day, and we couldn't find any large size frozen turkey, despite visiting 2 super markets. finally we settled on a 20 lbs. fresh turkey, which was 3x as expensive, but actually tasted better, as the one who got was already basted. so who knows, maybe this year we'll go fresh again. but i called my mother anyway, who said it was still early, and that we might go for a smaller turkey this year (i always want 20lbs or larger), and we might also get fresh instead of frozen.

not satisfied, i went to the small rite aid on mass ave to see if they carried my favorite moisturizer on sale. sure enough, that had just two left, which i immediately bought. i then biked to the community garden to carry some stones and bricks back home. leading it onto the rear baskets of the bike was a challenge, trying to keep the bike from tipping over from the extra weight. i also strapped on my last remaining tomato cage and then very gingerly biked home, making sure not to wobble too much and have all those stones break the bike baskets. i'll probably have to make this trip at least thrice more before i can haul back all the stones.

i made my ricotta spinach pie for dinner. i really just wanted to use up the leftover pie crust i had in the fridge. i added some chopped prosciutto and half a cup of white wine for extra flavor. it turned out pretty savory, but using the prosciutto is kind of a waste because the cured meat loses its flavor when cooked like this. better to use bacon was has a stronger more lasting flavor.

i ate dinner while watching the warriors-celtics game streaming via ESPN to my chromecast. i knew freddy planned on visiting market basket after work because he took one of the canvas shopping bags. he came home around 8:30pm. i told him to help himself to some freshly-made ricotta pie.

freddy asked me how many bikes i had in my basement. i told him i had some bicycles from the e-mail i sent him before he arrived, and he might've heard about it from catalina as well. he wanted to go riding with catalina tomorrow, and being that she doesn't have a bike either, they'll need 2 bikes. i was a little miffed that obviously i wasn't invited, despite the fact that they were borrowing my bikes. but not that i have time this weekend anyway, not with thanksgiving preparations. sure, i had bikes, but the one big problem is i don't have a bike that'd fit freddy. actually i do have a tall bike, but the back wheel isn't functional. catalina will ride my cherished fuji with the disco lights, and freddy will either have to ride the trek dirt bike (even smaller) or the ross road bike, which can be hard to control. i'll let them decide, i'll take them out from the basement tomorrow.

i finally asked freddy when he was leaving. funny how he never mentioned this important detail. he will leave december 1st, thursday, a 10am flight. his friend catalina will be leaving the next day, december 2nd (i remember because that's my sister's 40th birthday).

freddy watched the basketball game as well, but retired to his room when it looked like the celtics were going to lose with the warriors up more than 30 points.

steve was blaring his music again upstairs in the evening. he scolded me when i complained about it the last time, but it's really inconsiderate. it's so loud in fact that you can hear the music from outside the house. i held my patience, despite the music blaring from 8:20pm all the way until 11pm. what i really want is to invite him downstairs so he can hear from himself how loud it is. in fact, all he has to do is stand outside and he'd know. i really hope he dies soon so i can get some new upstairs neighbors.

i set up my 2nd pi0 (pi00) to automatically log into omxplayer and stream the rtsp feed from my grand uncle's place. i had all the information a while back, but was only now implementing it. autostart on login can be triggered from several places. activated from /etc/rc.local, it loads during boot time. placed in the .bashrc, it starts whenever a user logs in (in this case always pi). i tried putting it in the rc.local but it didn't do anything. putting it in .bashrc works, but whenever i log into the pi00 via ssh, it triggers the script and tries to open up another rtsp feed. fortunately it's not something i'll be doing very often once this is set up, but still, it's not the most elegant of solutions, and maybe i'd like to get it fixed someday. in the meantime, it works, so i can give the pi00 setup to my father so he can use it to monitor my grand uncle.