i wasn't planning on watching it, but morbid curiosity got the better of me, so close to noontime i turned on the television to catch the trump inauguration. it wasn't hard to find, virtually every major network was broadcasting it. it still seems a little unreal.
one way to think of it is even if you don't agree with trump (and i vehemently disagree) you still have to root for him because his success is america's success. that's how i felt back in november after he won, after going through the different stages of mourning. but now i don't think that way at all. i don't want trump to succeed (and i know he won't), because his success would give him legitimacy, and legitimacy would only fuel all that i dislike about him and what he stands for, and create more future trumps. i'm rooting for trump to fail, and fail in such a way that it flushes out all the alt-right from the republican party, and american democracy can be a civil government again, not reality-tv played out in real life with real lives at stake. i want him to fail so historically that history will look back on his administration as the worst in US history, as a warning to future generations about the danger of electing a demagogue.
after trump was sworn in, i turned off the tv, i wasn't interested in hearing what he had to say. his words are meaningless anyway, says one thing, does another. for lunch i had a tea egg.
i finally pushed out my trek utility from the kitchen so i could work on it outside (and not dirty up the house). i already knew the rear brake pads needed to be replaced, but i checked anyway in case they were still good. they were worn down pretty badly.
these pads seem to be original stock, the ones that came with the v-brakes when i had them replaced. these old worn pads were from a batch i bought back in 2011, so i wonder if it's been that long since i replaced them. fortunately i had plenty of brake pads, from that one time i bought them in bulk from ebay. these bulk pads from china are cheap, but they're not that good, and get worn out faster. plus they reek of rubber, so badly that i need to keep them double-bagged.
replacing the pads should've been easy, but it took me a long time because i discovered i needed to increase the distance between the pads and the tire rim. i ended up rearranging the order of the concave washers, so that the thin ones were inside while the thick ones were outside. i also used the old washers, they seem a better quality than the ones that came with the new pads. once the properly distanced pads were installed, it was an easy matter of tightening the brake cable. finally i oiled the chain, and anywhere else that looked rusty.
searching for those surplus bicycle brake pads, i ended up emptying a significant section of my closet. my dream is to be so organized that i know where everything is in my house and never have to go search for it. the amount of time i waste looking for something is probably pretty significant. even in a small house like mine, it's possible to lose something. i stash it in a box, forgotten about it, and then one day i need to find it again and i end up having to search through all the boxes. i've gotten better with age in terms of organizing, and one of my tricks is using clear plastic bins so i can see what's inside without having to open it one by one. i'm hoping to convert all my storage to clear boxes. anyway, i ended up making a mess of my house, but i figured this would give me a chance to reorganize everything, throw out some stuff.
i went to the cafe to drop off a bag my mother had ordered on ebay (it arrived at my house) along with bed buddy heating pad. i also brought a container of tea eggs. when my mother wasn't working, she was busy knitting pink pussyhats for the women's march. word of mouth has spread and now she's taking orders from a few customers. i heard pink yarn is hard to find in stores these days, but fortunately my mother has a cache of pink yarn. she said it takes her anywhere from 1-2 hours to crochet a single hat. i left with the mechanized drain snake (for my slow draining bathtub), but it requires a power drill to operate, and my father couldn't find the drill.
something was scraping the rim every time i pressed the front brakes. this meant a piece of metal filing had somehow embedded in the brake pad. when i got home i inspected the front brakes. only one pad needed replacing, which is strange because normally they both wear down at the same rate. after that i wheeled the bike away into the basement, figuring i won't be riding for the next few days with a big rainy nor'easter arriving sunday night and into monday and tuesday.
as evening arrived, i'd periodically walk to the end of the kitchen to test whether or not it was cold. it's quite possibly a placebo effect, but i swear that corner of the house is now much warmer than it used to be. however, i did notice there was a small gap between the door and the doorframe, enough so that a slight draft was coming in, especially when the heater was on and air is pumped to the intake register. i applied a strip of flat foam, hoping to block the draft, but the foam was thin enough that it didn't fill the gap. i then noticed that the gap is just big enough for a strip of foam cord, which was what i did next. that seemed to do the trick, no more draft. unfortunately now i can't open the back door without the foam cord falling out. i'll have to look for a better solution but this will do for the time being (i don't use the back door very much anyway).
alex got in touch with me tonight, said that the package i sent him arrived yesterday. that's pretty amazing, it got to japan in about a week. when he sends me stuff, the fastest it's ever arrived is 10 days, but typically 2 weeks or longer. he still hasn't paid me back on the nearly $400 for the things i ordered for him plus cost of shipping.
although i could've eaten some more leftover beef stew, i was reluctant to do so, wanted some variety tonight. so i cooked up a package of xi'an paomo. that definitely hit the spot, and good that i eat it before it expires.
my e-mail is still not fixed. i issued another ticket today, which managed to get a response a short time later. the ticket was marked as fixed, said all i had to do was accept the new security certificates. unfortunately that wasn't the problem i was having, so i reopened the ticket. i did manage to get a live chat going, my tech person was heather d this time. she took a look at my problem, tried sending a test mail, which i didn't receive. the strange thing is e-mails sent to my mail account don't get bounced back, so they're going somewhere, just not in my inbox. she saw that i had some previous tickets pending, and said she would "escalate the issue." by the time i wake up tomorrow morning it will be 48+ hours since my e-mail last worked.
i learned you could make your own 433MHz antenna with dramatically better reception compared to a simple strand of straight wire antenna. so after i found a long piece of twist tie with a metal wire on the inside, i created my own coiled antenna for my 433MHz transmitter. it was a very rough antenna, and both the material and coil wasn't to specification, but i just wanted to see if it'd work. sure enough, i can now turn on and off all the lights in the living room plus the hallway without problems. to my surprise, i can even reach the light at the back door, but for some reason i can only turn on, can't turn off. but a vast improvement over what i had before. i also learned how to string together commands so i can turn all the lights on or off. ebay sells better quality readymade coiled 433MHz antennas for 99¢ per 5; i'll probably order some if i can't find good wires to remake a proper antenna. now the only thing left is to get voice command to work on my raspberry pi and so far i've had no luck.