in the afternoon i went with my father on a supply run to costco and restaurant depot. i thought the rain was beginning to taper off but the clouds overhead looked particularly threatening, a dense dark cover contrasting with the brightness on the horizon. never mind what i thought, the clouds said rain would be imminent.

my mother should've arrived in taipei yesterday but she hasn't contacted us. my father confirmed she'd arrived because the driver he hired to take her from the airport to my aunt's house (a 40 minute drive) texted him after he dropped her off.

my father brought an umbrella to costco in case we were caught in a downpour. while we were inside, we could suddenly hear the loud hiss of heavy rain striking the roof of the warehouse. costco wasn't very crowded on a thursday afternoon. we left with just $30 worth of items, the least amount we've ever purchased. back outside the rain had already stopped, though the sky still looked ominous.

next stop was restaurant depot. everything was fairly routine until we stepped out and was met with some torrential rain. my father thought about pulling the car closer to the entrance, but we didn't have a lot of stuff anyway so decided to just brave the rain and quickly load everything into the car.

we stopped at star market for me to load up on some polar seltzer on sale (5 for $10, today was the last day) but i walked home with a can of pomegranate seltzer while my father drove away with the rest.

in the late afternoon i did another water change in my aquarium, the 3rd in a row. i actually wasn't planning on it today, but when i noticed the slimy clumps of cyanobacteria, it compelled me to clean the fish tank. even then, it still looks dirty, i'll need to do yet one more water change tomorrow.

i made yet another burrito for dinner. i rain out of rice and didn't want to cook more, so i rolled a burrito with just pulled chicken, cheese, some beans, and lettuce and tomato. it was good but i was hungry soon afterwards, and instinctively reached for the korean cup-of-noodle.

i helped li buy a canon camera tonight, the refurbished canon rebel T6s with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens. it's really a great camera, comparable to my 60D but with more features and in a smaller lighter body. the previous sale price was $800, but there was a special 15% off halloween promotion which brought it down to $680. i didn't think they'd add taxes but they did, so the final price came out to $720. i felt bad, because he ended up not really saving all that much (though still cheaper than buying new). i personally think that the price will be even lower come black friday, perhaps 20-25% off on refurbished equipment. but if you wait that long you always run the risk of cameras going out of stock, and there's still no guarantee of the additional discount. i told him it was better to get it now so he'd have time to practice with it and take it back with him to china. speaking of which, he still doesn't know if he's going to be leaving at the end of november or december. whichever time he chooses, it won't be during chinese new year, because it gets too crazy during that time of year.

li told me he was going hiking on saturday. a cantonese coworker of his is taking him north. destination unknown, but he said it takes 2 hours to drive, so either new hampshire or vermont. the weather on saturday will be nice, and i definitely don't feel as guilty now, having not invited him last weekend when john and i went to new hampshire. i asked if he wanted to bring my camera but he said it was too heavy. that's a terrible attitude, and i fear the new canon dSLR he purchased will just become an expensive paper weight when it arrives next week.

i checked the FCC ULS website once more, did a search for technician class license issued for massachusetts within the past day and finally got a hit. the trick was to not include the volunteer examiner coordinator info (in my case W5YI-VEC) because for some reason it's not in the search. i couldn't believe it, because since last week i must've pinged the search site probably a hundred times. and they spelled my name correctly too! the call sign they assigned me was long, and had the confusing distinction of having the number one next to the letter i. spoken out loud phonetically or by letters doesn't seem all that bad though, it just looks a little weird on paper.

but i then spent the rest of the night figuring out different iterations for my vanity ham radio call sign. since it's free anyway, there's no reason not to personalize my call sign, maybe something shorter, or easier to remember. most of the good ones were taken (like N1NJA or K1WTF), so the ones that are left are either personal acronyms or words in other languages. i actually don't mind my assigned call sign, it's just a little hard to remember.