so much for sleep: around 8:30am i could hear my neighbors both stomping on the steps upstairs and rummaging through their junk in the basement. i had to get up early anyway, had some important phone calls to make.

first i called the town of belmont to schedule an inspection. no, the inspection wasn't for the solar installation that's supposed to happen on wednesday, but rather the inspection for the new roof replacement that happened back in october. apparently an inspection was required according to the town bylaw anytime a construction permit is issued. we didn't know about it until i carefully read the letter the town sent my parents a few weeks ago. why the roofer didn't schedule the inspection for us i don't know. i was hoping i'd be able to talk to someone, but it was just a voicemail asking me to leave my name and address, and that the inspection would happen at the earliest convenience, between 10am to 12pm, and that there'd be no confirmation call.

next i called fawcett oil. this was the phone call i was slightly dreading. we signed an oil price protection contract with them back in october to keep the heating oil price fixed at $2.599/gallon, but when they came to fill up my parents' oil tank a few days ago, the price had climbed to $3.099/gallon, an increase of nearly 16% ($45). it felt like we got scammed, but when i called the woman was very apologetic and said this had been happening recently, that customers were getting billed the wrong amount, but the right price was in the computer. but if i hadn't call them, would they still have made my parents pay the higher price without notifying them? we got scammed last winter when we thought we'd locked in a price only to find out later that we never signed a contract. so this season i made sure we had a contract, but even then, they still tried to get us to pay more.

afterwards i left for market basket in the late morning. i had some glass and plastic bottles to recycle, since the star market redemption machines were broken. the ones at MB worked for a little while, before an error message said it was full. i ended up throwing away 3 glass bottles. i picked up some ingredients for making risotto, thought i might make it again for my parents (i made it for my father one time when my mother was still in taiwan).

i spent the day with ESPN on in the background, trying to get as much analysis of the patriots-steelers game yesterday.

i heard about the new HBO miniseries gunpowder starring kit harrington about the gunpowder plot in 1605 london to assassinate king charles I by english catholics. the series premiered tonight but i went online hoping to snag a copy and sure enough all 3 episodes were already available, because the series had already premiered in england as it was produced by BBC. i also downloaded the chinese subtitle files, thinking my mother might want to watch it as well. that was easier said than done, because it took a while to find the right files, and the ones i did find were out of sync, so i had to re-sync them. then i watched an episode and realized it was a terrible series, so boring, no action, mostly talking, better suited for PBS masterpiece theater than HBO. after all that hard work, i ended up erasing all traces of gunpowder from my computer.

i made some white cheddar cheese pasta shells with kale for dinner. instead of regular milk i only had buttermilk, but that was okay, there was just a slight sour taste to the dish.

maybe it was just my imagination, but i noticed the halogen vanity lamp in the bathroom isn't as bright as i remembered it. fortunately i have a stash of spare bulbs i bought 5 years ago, and figured it was time for a replacement. the bathroom vanity light is one of the few lights in my house that i still haven't upgraded to more energy-saving LED. after replacing the old bulb with a new 50w xenon bulb, i didn't really notice much of a difference to be honest.

i bought another microSD card, never know when i need one. mostly they get used for raspberry pi projects since every new pi board i get needs a memory card. i got a 64GB U3 samsung microSDXC EVO select with 100MB/s read and 60MB/s write speed (MB-ME64GA/AM) ($20). i'm going to replace the 64GB PNY microSDXC card i currently have in my canon dSLR with this faster samsung card.