the temperature this morning was in the upper 40's. it's been a while since i've seen daytime temperature that cold. it was also cold in the house, temperature at 66°. i turned on the aquarium heater to 74° so the fish will at least be comfortable. i had to take out my winter jacket (combination of hoodie plus wind breaker) from the closet. but i hear temperature on thursday will be in the 80's again. i packed up my things and left for the cafe before 9am. it was cold enough that my motorcycle didn't start until i opened the choke. welcome to cold season riding.

i was at the cafe to help my father paint lines in the newly-paved parking lot. all the rain from yesterday washed away the caulk lines we drew but fortunately the tape markings still remained. we expanded the parking space, so each of the 6 spots are now 9 feet wide. as one last check, my father drove the camry to the first and last spot, to see how a car would fit. we basically had the final line placement from friday afternoon, but i just wanted to make sure we had the right angle (60°). i realized i could use the compass app on my iphone as a crude angle finder. i went down and readjusted all the lines before it was finally time to paint.

we didn't have any special paint, just some leftover acrylic latex white primer. my original idea was to find a long 2x4 and mask off the areas needed to be painted. but in hindsight that would've taken much longer and risked the paint bleeding underneath the tape. my father's approach turned out to be the better way, where we used a long piece of wood as a brace and used a 4" roller to paint the lines. as long as we held the roller to the wood, the line would be perfectly straight. the first line we did my father went a little beyond a few times, so the line doesn't look as professional. it's actually kind of hard rolling against the edge of the wood, as you're naturally just inclined to roll which ever direction the roller is taking you. so while i held down the wood beam, my father would paint the lines, usually needing two passes as the paint tends to run out by the midway point.

the final result looked very professional, beats the $500 the pavers were asking to repaint the lines, and much better than the previous amateurish lines, which were done by my sister's handyman friend with spray paint (i don't think he knew what he was doing). as the paint was water-based, on a few wet spots it did bleed a little bit, but nothing bad, and probably not noticeable unless you were really looking (who really pays attention to parking lot lines anyway?). while we were working a few girls from the adjoining office building were taking some from their showroom to the huron avenue block party that was happening today. i only knew about it in hindsight, when i saw that huron avenue was blocked off while i was trying to make my way to belmont.

i arrived at my parents' place by 11:30am. my mother was cleaning the house, including vacuuming. she asked me how to empty the dyson vacuum. for lunch she fixed up some beef noodle soup using ramen noodles. i washed it all down with a bottle of bundaberg ginger beer. i've seen it in stores but never tried it before. it tasted a lot like the ginger beer i've made in the past, thought not as yeasty and no sediments. it's not as spicy as the goya ginger beer, which is preferred ginger drink.

i finally removed that splinter that was in my right index finger. the splinter didn't hurt, which worried me more, afraid that my body was somehow not rejecting the foreign object and healing up the wound with the splinter still embedded in my skin. it was in my skin at a weird angle, and no place to grab onto, so i thought the only option was to dig it out with a needle. but then i had the idea that i could somehow scrap it out with a piece of sandpaper, so i ran my fingertip on some sandpaper, and not only did it sand off the skin, but it also sanded off the splinter as well, so i didn't have to resort to needle surgery.

the patriots game started at 1pm, versus the carolina panthers in foxboro. new england made a good showing initially, but the fact that they only managed to score 3 points instead of a touchdown was a sign of the bad things to come. this should've been a sunday night game as two titans battled. patriots had a good offense but defense couldn't do anything to stop the panthers. brady and company were down by two touchdowns late in thw game but made it all back to tie up. but new england ran out of time, and carolina had the final possession, and got close enough to the end zone to kick a field goal to win the game. i'm sad the patriots lost, but they never gave up, and the panthers were just the better team today. now the patriots are 2-2 going into a short week with a thursday night game. fortunately it's against the buccaneers, but the pats shouldn't underestimate their opponents, wouldn't want to be 2-3 by thursday night.

the SMA male to UHF male adapter arrived today, which meant my father could finally test the baofeng antennas with the surecom SW-102 SWM meter he received on friday. as far as i can tell, the digital meter tells you your transmission efficiency, your frequency, and the power. we got a VSWR rating of close to 1 when we tested the stock antenna, which is near perfect. when we tried the hypario short antenna, the rating wasn't as good with a value of 3.36. anything below 2 is considered very good. the worst would be 50. at that point, all the radio signal would be reflected back, along with the power, which could potentially damage the radio.

the kitchen sink was leaking today after my parents plunged it because of a clog. we ended up clearing out the below-sink cabinet so we could clean up the water. we put a pan down afterwards, but couldn't figure out where it was leaking.

we ate an early dinner, around 4:30pm, of pan-fried raviolis. i left a bit before 7pm, all bundled up in my jacket, before i discovered it wasn't that cold outside (upper 50's). i couldn't get back inside the house because li didn't properly put in the key in the deadbolt; instead i came in through the back, li finishing dinner in the kitchen while watching a video on his laptop. i noticed my neighbors were back after they've been gone the whole week. i sent steve a text, letting him know paul's flower shipment from yesterday were waiting outside. later i saw they flowers were gone, but no thank you. finally hours later paul sent me a quick e-mail with a brief gratitude.

i fed the tetras this morning before i left, turning on the light so they didn't have to eat in the dark. maybe it's just my imagination but they appeared duller in the morning, the colors not as vibrant. later in the evening i fed them again. by now they're pretty good at feeding, and even started to feed from the surface, which is where a lot of the fish crumbs are floating. they're most active when they're eating, all 10 tetras scattering, every fish for itself. otherwise, they normally school together near a corner of the tank.