without a car meant i'd have to bike down to the cafe. it wasn't bad, the streets for the most part were dry and devoid of ice, except for the middle of the streets were clumps of snow seem to congregate since tires don't ride over them. also be careful of the snowbanks, but i normally keep my eyes open on my right to prevent myself from getting doored, so it comes with the territory.

i made it to the cafe without incident. the first thing my aunt said to me when i saw her was, "i broke it," meaning the analog clock that typically hangs out front. she was trying to get it down to adjust the time and ended up smashing it onto the floor. i'm surprised the glass face wasn't shattered, but the paper clockface with the numbers was turn in pieces, like somebody had punched through it. my aunt had pieced it together using tape, which made it look even worse. i did manage to fix it for her, but the clock will now live in the back of the cafe as it's too unsightly to be seen by others.

this is my fourth to last lunch delivery for my grand uncle, as my parents will be back by tuesday night. i almost don't remember how i used to spent my noontimes where i didn't have to run down to the cafe to deliver lunch. while my grand uncle ate, i let hailey out into the backyard to use the bathroom. then i was scanning the new OTA channels on my sister's HDTV. my sister uses a surfboard SB6141 cablemodem (white). i got that one used in october 2014 for $50, met the seller on a dark street in somerville. my parents also use an SB6141 at the cafe. i got one used from a vietnamese guy i met at JFK/umass back in january 2016 for $40. a quick peek at craig's list showed an older model DOCSIS 3.0 SB6121 (black) selling for $25-30 locally. used SB6141 can be had for $40, although i saw one in watertown for just $25.

the SB6141 is really overkill (retail $60). it has a maximum download speed of 343Mbps, while the comcast internet plan i have now has a maximum download speed of only 30Mbps. you can say i'm future proofing myself, which is what comcast wants people to think so they will upgrade to comcast's equipment, but nobody has internet speed that fast. if that speed was even theoretically available, comcast would charge a fortune for it anyway. comcast currently has a 200Mbps plan for $88/month (probably $100/month after fees). but i'm happy with 30Mbps, it's plenty fast, i've never once complained about my internet speed. i grew up with dialup modems, and lived with DSL for many years before cable internet was available, so the speed i have now is already faster than i could ever hope. my surfboard SB5101 which recently stopped working (i still think it's a comcast conspiracy, i believe the modem is not really broken) had a download speed of 38MBps.

i spent half an hour with a hoe chipping at the ice in the cafe parking lot. a large semi truck was parked in the lot for over 20 minutes. the movers could sense i was getting a little upset with them blocking cars from getting in, and told me "2 more minutes," which means nothing. they finally left 10 minutes later. what the parking lot really needs is some sand for some traction, but there wasn't any at the cafe. all that pounding made the palms of my hands hurt afterwards.

the zebrinas continue to grow at an exponentially fast rate. yesterday they were just sprouts, today the embryonic first leaves were opened. there's also a high germination rate: i put two seeds per cup and nearly all the cups contain 2 seedlings. now i have to decide whether to extract the extra seedlings and replant them or just cut them. i don't know what the true colors of the leaves are because i've only seen them under the LED lights, which gives everything a false ultraviolet glow.

my job this afternoon was to wait for my new cablemodem to arrive. mail came in the afternoon but i didn't bother checking to see if the mail carrier also dropped off any packages until 5pm. sure enough, a box from amazon.com was sitting outside my door. i could've been configuring the cablemodem earlier, and then would've had time to return the gateway! but a day or two isn't that big a deal.

i didn't know what to expect as this was used equipment purchased through amazon.com, but the cablemodem arrived with all its original packaging in the box, so it seemed like a retail purchase. there was no cosmetic damage to the unit, and as far as i was concerned, it was as good as new.

according to the directions, all i had to do to set up the surfboard SB6141 was to plug it into the coaxial cable, wait for the various icons to stop flashing, then open up a browser window to activate the modem. i did all that, a comcast/xfinity splash page greeted me, asked for my account and phone number. i input my information and waited. and waited. i re-entered my info a few more times, nothing seemed to be happening. i restarted the modem and tried to reactivate again. nothing. if i had to guess, the modem wasn't updating, because it's suppose to auto-reset itself at least, and it didn't do anything.

i had no choice but to call comcast tech support, which i was dreading. the service reps aren't usually very knowledgeable and often times i can't hear what they're saying and frequently ask them to repeat. the guy that i got at least was familiar with setting up an "owned" modem (that's comcast's designation for any equipment that's not there's and they can't make money off of it by leasing it indefinitely). but i think it was basically just getting my MAC address, typing it into their database, then wait for the information to propagate. during that time the cablemodem reset itself 3 times. the 3rd time seemed to do the trick, and i was able to get online with my laptop connected directly to the cablemodem via ethernet cable.

i then hooked up the wifi router, but it took a few resets to get the cablemodem and the router to be in sync. also the first time i tried to access the web with my phone, i got the authentication splash page again. after inputting my info for the nth time, i was finally able to surf the web on both phones and computer. i checked the speed with the speedtest app and i got about 30Mbps upload with 5Mbps download, which is what i'm supposed to get. why my old DOCSIS 2.0 modem stopped working, i still don't know. but like i said previously, i really think it's a comcast ploy to get people who aren't as tech savvy to upgrade to their equipment. i hate them so much! how much longer do i have to wait for the day cambridge can finally get some cable/internet competition? verizon FIOS where are you?

upgrading to a faster cablemodem doesn't mean i have faster internet speed, since comcast throttles how fast i can download/upload (30Mbps/5Mbps). not only that, they also further throttle my upload speed (verizon FIOS doesn't do this, upload/download both 50Mbps). i don't know why they can't just give everyone the fastest speed possible, but i guess if they can charge extra for something, they will. like how phone companies used to charge per minute of call or per text message, and now it's standard practice for unlimited calls/texts. i really hate how internet speed in the US is so behind some other developed countries.

by the time i was finally done it was already 6pm, the comcast office was closed. i'll just have to return the gateway tomorrow morning. just like yesterday, karen came home the exact minute i finished setting everything up. i was proud of my accomplishment and tried to show her what i did in my server closet, but i don't think she understands.

karen came home and ate her leftover lunch sandwich for dinner, before going out for a short walk around the neighborhood, because she'd been cooped up in a conference building all day long.

as for me, i had more rotini with spaghetti sauce for dinner, as well as half a bundle of toaster-oven roasted asparagus. the pasta made me gassy the rest of the night. i also had a chinese pear and later an ice cream sandwich, all washed down with a can of pomegranate seltzer.

what got overshadowed by all the cablemodem activity was my replacement pair of panasonic earbuds also arrived ($7.29, RP-HJE120-PPK). i bought a pair of jlab earbuds ($5) back in july 2016, during amazon's prime day sale. i've had a pair in the past and they were pretty good. when i tried them out when they arrived a few days later, i learned these new earbuds were some kind of terrible. i managed to get some information to return them to jlab for credit, but never did, figured it wasn't worth the hassle. i don't know what happened to my old pair of panasonic. one day i was using them, and then the next day i found one of the earbud crushed. could karen have done this? or maybe it was already broken, and i only noticed it now? regardless, these new pairs perform like the old ones.