i drove back to belmont, hitting a bit of traffic at the entrance to the sumner tunnel where for some reason 2 lanes of traffic was reduced to 1 and then reemerges as 3 lanes before entering the tunnel as 2 lanes. also coming back into cambridge i hit some city traffic. it was only when i was almost to my house that i realized i wasn't supposed to come back to cambridge but to belmont instead.
finally arriving in belmont, i went through the house setting everything to vacation mode: unplugged any unnecessary appliances, set the nest thermostat to 50°F, and turned the hot water tank to the lowest setting. there was a lot of confusion with the water tank because i misread the numbers and thought 32° was fahrenheit (it was actually celsius). i only realized my mistake when i saw the photo i took, and went back down to the basement. i also realized that the tank has two thermostats, one on the top and one in the middle, so i changed the temperature setting for both. the lowest temperature it can go without shutting down completely is only 90°F (i read online the ideal vacation temperature is 50&def;F).
i also did some cleaning throughout the house, including vacuuming the basement area near the solar inverter because the electricians left a lot of debris, and changing the dead batteries from the wireless weather meter. my plan was to wait until they picked up the trash before leaving so i could bring in the bins. in the meantime, i watched the early morning news (which i rarely see because of my sleep schedule) on channel 7 (WHDH) with amaka ubaka and tried to eat all the perishable goods for breakfast before they spoiled, including a banana, a blueberry muffin, and some orange juice.
i wasn't sure when the garbage men would come (my mother said sometimes they come late), but they came at 10am and i left for cambridge soon afterwards via bike.
i stopped by the cafe to drop off bags of potato chips, return a plastic container, bring my sister her raisin bread, and bring in their trash bins. i coordinated with my 2nd aunt as to my schedule and when i'd be back to defrost the freezer and shovel the snow. i bumped into marc who told me that the empty commercial building across the street was being turned into one of those communal shared workspaces.
i finally returned home, even though hours ago i drove by my place. i brought home some leftovers from last night's dinner and had it for lunch. i thought about getting some groceries, but i had enough food in the house to last me a few days so i didn't bother (didn't want to brave the pre-storm crowd anyway).
alex contacted me, wanted to try sending money using his paypal account. he forwarded me 500¥ which arrived instantly as $4.03. i've always wondered how this work when you're transferring international currency. it works because paypal takes a cut during the exchange: the actual amount should've been closer to $4.72. when i tried resending the money back ($4.03 as 413¥ when it actually should be closer to 427¥) it wouldn't go through. i think the reason is because alex only has a credit card attached to his paypal, not a bank account.
i guess i was still tired from last night and fell asleep on the coach around 4pm, waking up 1-1/2 hours later to shut the blinds. feeling lazy, for dinner i heated up a pair of french bread pizza. tomorrow: a mini nor'easter.