a strange thing happened to my mason jar fermentation: it suddenly started leaking again. i cleaned off some crusty dried juice 2 days ago, so i was surprised to see fresh juice on the cap again. here's what i think happened. for the first few days, Leuconostoc bacterias fermented the cabbage, producing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. once conditions became too acidic, they died off, replaced by Lactobacillus bacterias. it took a few days for them to build up, but once they did, they continued on with the fermentation, creating more lactic acid and carbon dioxide. it's during this second ferment that probably caused the airlock to leak again. eventually conditions will be too acidic for even the Lactobacillus, and that's when the sauerkraut will be ready to eat.

i arrived in belmont sometime before noon to await the oil heater repairman. when i left my house, donald trump's press conference was just starting. there was a report today that russians had incriminating information on trump and were using it to blackmail him. the question and answer portion became a farce, trump's distinctive logorrhea nearly causing my brain to reboot. i didn't have lunch yet, but there was enough snacks around the house (nuts, potato chips, seltzer) to keep me entertained.

the fawcett repairman arrived at 1pm. he was supposed to call but didn't, and i only knew he'd arrived because i saw the van parked outside. a burly guy came in by the name of rich, smelled faintly of heating oil, had sawdust on his sweatshirt like maybe he'd been crawling around somewhere. i showed him into the basement, but i noticed he was making notes of what type of heating system we used. when he saw the hot water heater, he asked me if i was looking to replace it, which i thought was a weird question. finally it made sense: rich thought he was here to spec out a replacement heating system, nobody told him he was just here to fix the oil furnace. one we got that cleared up, he went back to his truck to get his tool bag. earlier i played him the sound of the furnace cycling, and he knew right away it was a faulty primary control box.

he came in with a fancy electronic version with a digital readout (honeywell R7284) to replace the old analog (coincidentally also honeywell). he detached the old box by unscrewing it and cutting some wires, then started reattaching some new wires. besides the new primary control, he also replaced the cad cell flame sensor. while chatting with rich, i learned he'd been working for fawcett for 30 years now. it took him all but 15 minutes and he had everything fixed. i asked him how much it'd cost, he said since my parents are under a protection plan, it's only $70 for parts and labor, "not a bad deal, considering the control box costs something like $200," he added.

after he left i went online to check the price for the honeywell R7284. it only costs $80 from home depot, with the cad cell flame sensor another $20. despite the price discrepancy, it's still a bargain at just $70, and the oil furnace was fixed, no more unexpected restarting.

my father was busy studying for the servsafe manager certification exam he's retaking tomorrow. the $55 cost to get retested also includes retaking the class if you want to. he studied by taking an online practice test, but i'm afraid he focused too much on those practice questions, which are guaranteed not to be on the actual exam.

the inside of my house smells like kimchi AKA the smell of an authentic korean restaurant. i went into the kitchen and saw that my kimchi jars were already leaking. that's a good sign, means they're fermenting. there's so much flavor that you could eat the kimchi now, but wait a few more days to let it properly ferment and the flavor will be that much more complex, a fizzy sourness on top of the umami salty sweet and spicy. i rinsed the lasagna dishes and washed the jars before putting them back on the kitchen countertop again.

after a shower, i spent the evening watching the first episode of taboo, the new tom hardy miniseries on FX. i like it, seems like a sumptuous tale of revenge, with a host of haughty english scoundrels whom i can't wait to see them get their comeuppance.