i called my father this morning to ask him how the electric meter exchange went. he said the inspector showed up, saw that the meter was still working, and left. i asked him if he showed the inspector that the online usage data has been blank since friday and he didn't. so the meter still isn't working. when i wrote back belmont light, nobody responded. i guess they freaked out because they thought the meter itself was broken; they could care less if we can't see any usage data. the only thing i can do is wait for the meter manager to return from vacation tomorrow and get in touch with him.

the baofeng amplifier arrived in the late morning. my father dropped by in the early afternoon to test it out from my house. the btech (baofeng brand) AMP-V25 VHF (136-174MHz) amplifier ($88) has a very simple function: it takes the low 1-5W power output from a baofeng handheld transceiver (HT) and amplifies it to 20-40W (label says 25-30W). the increased power can provide a longer reach for the typically limited baofeng HT. it worked, using the hanging DBJ-2 antenna, transmitting as high as 30.6W. tranmissions through the cafe simplex repeater sound louder, clearer, with less static. although it can also be configured in a few different ways, it's a one trick pony in that it can only amplify on the 2m band; for the 70cm we'd need to buy a different amplifier. my father picked this one because 2m is the band that works best for what we're doing. he left behind the amplifier (along with the SWR meter) and took back the QYT radio.

we had several bouts of torrential downpours today, on this warm and humid day. i went out to video record the gutters, which don't seem to travel down the down spouts anymore but instead cascade off the gutters from the sides like waterfalls. maybe okay when it's just rain, but come winter they're going to freeze and may damage the house. i told steve about it, told him i'd try to find some local contractors to fix it on the cheap, but so far no luck yet.

i ate the leftover fried chicken for lunch that my father brought over. for dinner i finished the remaining ribs and corn along with a croissant which i heated (the only thing that i was warm). when GC came home in the evening, he spent the entire night in the kitchen, eating and watching videos on my MBP. thank god i replaced all those recessed halogen lights to LED's otherwise it'd cost me a fortune keeping the kitchen lit all night long.

i discovered a new cache of torrents: rutracker.org, a russian forum. i was pointed to it as a good source of music albums after sorting through my mp3 collection and discovering i had missing music. i had to register first (using a junk e-mail) but once i was in - through the help of google translate - i was able to do some insightful searches. i found some obscure albums, and even more amazing, managed to download them without issues (betty boo, dean martin, some kind of wonderful soundtrack). a lot of these are in lossless FLAC format, which i never cared for since with my poor hearing i can't really tell the difference between FLAC and high quality mp3, so i convert them all to mp3's using the free mediahuman audio converter before erasing the FLAC files.