instead of waiting to run errands after delivering lunch to my grand uncle at noontime, i decided to get some things done beforehand.

i first taste tested one of the tea eggs i made yesterday that'd been steeping in the tea egg brine overnight. i purposely took one that had a loose shell because those can't be sold. i sliced it in half and ate it, the flavor was pretty good, just the right amount of saltiness (but in hindsight i wonder if the saltiness was because it basically didn't have a shell; maybe some of the shelled eggs will taste less salty). so i scoop out the eggs and put them into 3 liter-sized plastic yogurt containers, saving one container for myself.

i drove to the watertown home depot to buy a snow shovel. it took a while to find, they put them outside in the garden department, and the selection wasn't very good, either a cheap aluminum shovel or a heavy plastic one that seemed to be designed for shoveling gravel or hay but not really snow. even the cheap one cost $19.97, but i had no choice but to buy it because there wasn't a working shovel at my parents' place, and beginning tomorrow we might be getting some snow (could be a lot, a nor'easter expected for tuesday-wednesday).

i also bought another T8 shop light, after learning last night my old T12 shop lights weren't running optimally. i knew the silver shop light had to be retired (the one running 40W). that left me with two T8's and two T12 luminaires. but of the two luminaires, one of them was running about 46W, and could use a replacement for maximum efficiency. another option was a 4ft LED shop light i saw for sale at costco for $20, but after reading the specs i didn't think it was a great light (i'll elaborate more later). the light i bought was the same commercial electric brand i bought back in april 2015, except the price had gone up by $1 ($17.97). i also bought a 2-pack of T8 soft white fluorescent bulbs ($10.47).

i stopped by my parents' place to pick up the mail. i also added a suet cake to the feeder, and picked up some broken glass from another window pane i was using as a raised bed barrier.

at the cafe i delivered lunch to my grand uncle. my aunt put half a flan in one of the bowls. while he was eating, i let hailey out in the backyard to use the bathroom. even though i didn't plan on staying long, i ended up being there for almost an hour.

back at home i did some work with my grow closet. i removed two T12 shop lights, the silver one and the lower power luminaire. as a test, i swapped out the bulbs to see if it made a different in the wattage and they were exactly the same, regardless of the bulbs. that is proof that the problem is not with the bulbs but with the ballast in the shop lights themselves. i moved them back down to the basement. they may still be of use, if i should ever want to convert them to LED shop lights.

i installed the new T8 shop light. i mixed the red new soft white bulbs with the older blue daylight bulbs, so two sets of T8's would have a red and blue pair. i don't know why i do this, i researched it a while back, determined this was the best setup. the blue light promotes leaf growth, the red light promotes flowering. you'd think because they're seedlings i'd want them to make more leaves. this could also explain why my indoor seedlings often start producing flowers even before i can transplant them outside.

here are some interesting data for the different fluorescent bulbs:

light colorbrightnesstempwattagelumen per watt
daylight (single T8)2750 lumens6500K32W85.93
soft white (single T8)2950 lumens3000K32W92.2
soft white deluxe (single T12)2600 lumens3000K40W65
costco LED (pair)3700 lumens4000K42W88

note the difference between the T12 soft white deluxe bulb and the T8 soft white bulb. not only is the T12 less bright (2600 lumens versus 2950 lumens) but it also uses more power (40W versus 32W). also on the chart are the values for the costco LED shop light. the brightness is listed as 3700 lumens, and i believe it means both tubes, not just one. sure, it uses less power (42W compared to the nearly 60W of a pair of T8 bulbs), but it only delivers 3700 lumens while the T8 shop light delivers 5900 lumens (2950x2, assuming soft white bulbs) with it's dual fluorescent tubes. i don't know if my math is right, but judging from the data, the T8 shop light perform better compared to the LED shop light. that's what finally made me decide to buy another T8 this morning.

i finally had some lunch by around 1:30pm, some leftover fried chicken, cajun fries, and biscuit. i ate while watching last night's episode of legion. i really don't know if it's a good show. it's visually interesting, but not much of a story, more style than substance. later i watched last night's episode of the expanse. that has both style and substance, despite legion getting more critical acclaim. once the season is over (6 more episodes) i may end up reading the books the series is based on, just to find out what happens next, sort of what i did with game of thrones.

i did a water change on my empty aquarium. about a quarter of the tank had already evaporated and it looked pretty neglectful. that is the most dangerous part of the house and i'm glad i don't have any children, because it's essentially an LED light strip balanced on an open-top container of water. that's just an electrocution waiting to happen. my recently new LED light doesn't seem to be really doing anything. the java ferns look progressively worse. is it because i don't have any fish in there to complete the ecosystem? or maybe the light is too bright, and the fern doesn't like it? i had more success with a dim expired fluorescent tube.

i finished the rest of the leftover fried chicken for dinner. karen didn't get home until 9:40pm. she's going to a fancy event saturday night, went out shopping for a suitable dress (lord & taylor, $25 on sale, retail $150). she asked about the flan, i told her we could eat it tomorrow.