i watched the france-argentina game with my roommate this morning. i went out briefly to get some corn from star market. when i came back the score was 1-0, france was up. argentina managed to tie the game 1-1 before halftime. while GC went to the porter square BOA to get some cash to pay his rent, i left for belmont via motorcycle. it would've been unhealthy to ride the bicycle in this hot and humid weather. today was the second consecutive day we hit 90°+. riding the motorcycle was traveling in a hot and windy furnace. i pitied my bare forearms as they were baked to an even darker color.
i had some leftover beef stew my sister made, thick with red wine. my mother added some noodles. we watched the end of the world cup game, argentina and messi getting eliminated 3-4. argentina had a chance to score with just minutes left in the game but they squandered the clock by getting into a pushing match with france.
hailey was home and she was acting strangely, whining and approaching everyone for attention. usually this means she wants to go outside, which seemed to be what she wanted the first time (she laid on the grass in the sun) but she didn't want to go out on subsequent occasions. i was able to calm her down a bit by opening the front door so she could see that my sister's wasn't there. she later crawled into bed with my father, something she almost never does.
like this morning, my macbook pro was still hot in my backpack. i restarted into safe mode, was reassured to see that the battery status was still working. it did take a long time to log in however, which i now think was some behind the scene disk repairs. that's because when i restarted my laptop after it fulling charged the battery (something it couldn't do before apparently, maybe that's why it was getting so hot), not only did my battery status showed up again on the menubar (something that stopped happening more than a week ago), but the whole power management system seemed to be back to normal: that is, i could unplug the power cord and the computer would recognize it was in battery mode, and vice versa. this hasn't happened in a few weeks, and i wonder if putting the macbook pro for an extended period of time in safe mode somehow fixed my problem.
my mother wasn't home, left to go pick up some prescriptions for my sister's godmother who was returning to boston on thursday. when my mother came back, i rode the motorcycle to target to pick up a child booster seat for the car. it was only $23, i figured if we do end up driving with wangyang's son, we'd need it. otherwise i could always return it. we had one in the house a while back (belonged to my sister), but we tossed it out figuring we'd never need it. in hindsight i should've drove, as i could barely tether the booster seat to my motorcycle with bungie netting. it must've been a strange site, a motorcycle with a booster seat strapped to the back.
next came time to install a new battery in my mother's hand-me-down iphone 5s. it was something i dreaded because of the technical difficulty and i was worried if i messed it up it would also mess up her phone. i started working on the phone the same time the portugual-uruguay game was on tv. i was so engrossed in the repair, i was hardly watching the soccer match, and when it finally ended, i knew portugual had lost, but didn't know the score.
there are two difficult things with replacing the battery on an iphone 5s: opening up the phone itself, and freeing the old battery from the double row of ultra sticky tape. i followed the more detailed online instructions on the manufacturer's website. i tried opening the case with the suction cup tool, but it didn't work. i was able to pull up a bit of the screen from the top however, so i managed to free one of the side, before i realized i was actually freeing the lcd screen from its frame, and not actually the two halves of the phone itself. so i suctioned up a part of the lower screen, enough so that i could get a bit of tweezer underneath, then i worked my way properly around the edges of the case with a plastic spudger tool.
with phone case properly opened, it was the simple matter of taking out a few screws to remove some metal covers and disconnect some wired connectors. i carefully placed the tiny screws on the table so i could put them back in the exact same positions afterwards. i also tested the new battery with the open case, made sure 1) that it was working (phone started okay despite home button cable being disconnected) and 2) that the new battery can charge (i charged it enough to see it increasing before detaching the battery).
once that was done (the top half of the phone completely detached now), next came the hard part: freeing the battery. for this i had my father's assistance. we managed to completely pull out the sticky tape from the left side of the battery without the tape breaking. when we tried the right side we weren't as lucky and the tape snapped, sending the rest underneath the battery so we couldn't get to it. fortunately we had already removed one half of the tape already, which gave us enough leverage to stick a plastic spatula underneath the battery from the left side and pry it off. early i was trying to pry off the battery with a pair of tweezers, but the only thing i managed to do was to deform the lithium ion battery, which is surprisingly soft and pliable. my father suggested we rest the phone on top of a lidded rectangular plastic container filled with some hot water; this worked to soften the sticky tape. we removed the old battery successfully, without it exploding on us.
putting everything back would seem easy, but we had a hard time figuring out how to apply the two strips of sticky replacement tape for the new battery. we were initially going to apply the tape to the phone itself, and then position the battery, but the instructions told us to apply the tape to the battery itself. i went online to search for additional advice, but the internet was surprisingly vague on the proper iphone 5s sticky tape application. we finally decided to apply the tape first to the back of the phone before the battery. this way the tape flag loop would be on the left side, which was the side i found it in originally. we also had a hard time figuring out how to fold down the flap, but we finally decided to fold it towards the back. positioning the battery was also a little tricky, as the battery shouldn't touch any of the sides. fortunately when the battery is done on the sticky tapes, there's still some wiggle room until you firmly press down the battery to secure its location.
after that it was easy to put the phone back together. i was happy to see that everything fit, that i didn't forgot something, or any strange bulges. i restarted the phone and it seemed to work without any problems, fingerprint sensor, home button, all functionally normally. the battery arrived charged at 55%, and it took about 1-1/2 hours to charge to 100%, which i take to be a good sign of a high capacity battery, since the old battery would charge from near 0% to 100% in about half an hour.
since my father was still recovering, i was tasked with grilling the pork chops on the barbecue. there's been a lot of indoor demolition happening in our backyard neighbor's place, and today we speculated that they may in fact have sold their house and moved. i saw the new neighbors inspecting the garden. unfortunately they have teenage sons who like to listen to loud explicit rap in the backyard. i was tempted to either complain directly or call the police to register a noise complaint. fortunately it was only for a little bit, while the boys were playing with their backyard trampoline. as for the barbecue, it's seen better days, with a dented control panel and dirty carryover tubes that can't seem to burn without thick flames. today i also discovered the starter switch doesn't work anymore. instead of getting a new grill, we might be able to either clean out the old parts or just get new replacements. at one point when i put the temperature on low the fire actually went out. i saw the temperature dropping fast but thought nothing of it, until i went to raise the heat and saw there was nothing happening below. the pork chops turned out to be cooked just right, with enough dark crispy caramelized spots to be tasty, but not enough to be charred.
i returned home, just as hot in the early evening as it was during the day. i found GC in the living room watching star wars the last jedi on netflix. he had the AC off but i told him we could turn it back on. he finally paid the rent, all 2 months as well. we had some more watermelon cubes and he brought out some of his cherries. later we watched thor ragnarok. i only turned to it to catch a glimpse, but we ended up watching the whole thing well after 11pm.
i saw wangyang had posted some musings about how crowded the shanghai airport was on her wechat moments. in less than 13 hours she and her son will be in boston. i almost can't even believe it's happening, although since i saw her last year, it's slightly more believable this time around. i still need to tidy up my bedroom a bit, and also wash the sheets. tonight is my last night of having a bed to sleep in (until we travel to NYC next weekend), i'll be on the couch all next week. not a lot of rain next week but it's going to be hot, like heat wave hot. if they came to boston to escape the heat, they're in for a surprise (though nothing can compare to how hot shanghai can get during the summers). i'm a little nervous that we haven't plan any itinerary yet, but i'm fine with improvising, especially when it comes to my hometown of boston. in my head i have a list of things to do. things would've been a little easier if i didn't have a roommate right now, but as it turns out, GC will be away on the second week, and his rent will partly fund my excursions.