i biked to market basket this morning to get a few things (a dozen to be exact, so i could check out in the express lane) before the storm arrived: yogurt and granola for breakfast next week, some frozen spinach and cheese raviolis for dinner. the few droplets of rain i felt made me nervous but the storm held off until the afternoon. i was happy to see that the abandoned junk bikes that are usually locked to the rack have finally been removed. if i had to guess, i think it was the work of concern local cyclists instead of the MB staff, since those bikes had been there for almost a year without anyone doing anything about it. what i didn't like is they made some headfirst parking spots in that alleyway behind greentown lab. now that area is super tight and it's only a matter of time before there's an accident with a delivery truck smashing into one of the parked cars.

i moved my potted plants indoors, afraid they might either get flooded or strong winds could topple them. when the storm did come - a very dramatic darkening of the sky - the loud clatter of raindrops only last for a short while, while most of the day was fine.

i finally got around to cleaning my aquarium. the last time was in early august, so it seems like every 2 months i do a cleaning. if i was a more responsible fishkeeper i'd do it at least once a month. i did a thorough cleaning, changing the activated carbon and removing the planted driftwoods to gently scrubs the leaves between my fingertips in the sink. i also used my temperature gun to measure the water temperature from the tap - which is much quicker and convenient - instead of using a floating thermometer.

ever since i realized i could do water changes instantly with treated tap water, my aquarium life has been much easier, so there really is no excuse for not cleaning more often. the fish don't seem to mind (i haven't lost any and they seem healthy enough) and i can adjust the water temperature. the way i did it before, with the cistern, in hindsight that was a bad idea because the water sits there for weeks and even months, and occasionally weird light-free algae grow in the cistern. also the water is always room temperature, and during the winter it's too cold and in the middle of the summer it's too warm.

i wish my java ferns would grow better. they're not dying, but they're not really getting any bigger. i discovered a few clumps of soft black thread algae growing in the fern thickets. maybe they're the reason why the ferns aren't thriving. many of the leaves have dark ends and black spots. do i need stronger light? but java fern do very well in low light. or perhaps i just need to keep the water clean, so it's not as murky and more light can shine through.

my sister dropped off a pair of soft pretzels in the afternoon. this time they came with mustard. until very recently, i've never enjoyed a soft pretzel before, and that goes without saying that i've never ate a pretzel with mustard before either. i tried it, i like it, but the mustard flavor was overwhelming, and i really like the taste of a plain salted soft pretzel, doesn't need anymore enhancing.

the t-mobile TM-AC1900 router ($40) arrived today, along with a few more packages for frances. are they sure its certified refurbished, and not just a new router? because i can't tell the difference, it seems to come in all of its original packaging and documentation, it even has a new router smell. when i have time i'll look up the steps for flashing a new firmware onto the router.

after watching a youtube video titled, "how to fix a sticking door," i was inspired to fix some sticking doors of my own. my problem isn't exactly the same: i didn't need to bend any hinges. instead, the hinges themselves seem to be coming loose, on both bedroom doors. i've neglected the problem thinking it was too much of a hassle to fix, but all i had to do was to shim the door with some layers of cardboard then tighten the door frame screws on the hinges. and viola! now these doors swing open and close without sticking. i should've done this earlier.

i had spinach and cheese ravioli for dinner. it's sort of one step removed from processed food (or maybe it is processed food), but it's easy to prepare and i feel stuffed afterwards. $1 for a bag of frozen raviolis (single serving), $2.50 for a jar of pasta sauce (enough for 2 servings), some powdered parmesan cheese as a topping.

alex introduced me to origin, a manga about android assassins. the artist is boichi, a south korean illustrator working in japan. the art is unlike the typical cartoonish manga style, and reminds me of ero guro - japanese grotesque art.