because i drank coffee so late in the evening, i couldn't fall sleep last night. i don't think i slept at all, as i watched the sun rise. despite that, i still felt rested, not tired at all. i was tempted to make coffee - not to drink - but just a chance to experiment with the aeropress (i'm going to try an inverted press next time).
out of curiosity, i checked the USPS status of my wyze shipment. i was surprised to see an update: it was now in windsor, connecticut. hopefully it finally gets delivered within the next few days. i still haven't heard back from wyze's customer service department, though it hasn't been 2-5 days yet. later in the afternoon i checked again, and the package was now in cambridge. but there's no delivery today (USPS is closed because of the bush funeral) so hopefully it'll arrive tomorrow. wyze also finally contacted me but i didn't need their help after all.
i finished watching episode 2 of nightflyers last night. more and more, this series seems to be an amalgamate of other scifi films. besides event horizon, another big influence seems to be 2001, with the circular centrifugal track and all-seeing red computer eye. i was also reminded of the 1984 tom selleck box office bomb runaway, with the laser-shooting spider robot. the idea of an all-power psychic reminds me of akira.
i watched the bush funeral service this morning, but honestly, really just to see the human train wreck that is donald trump. originally i thought he wouldn't be invited to the funeral, but leave it to bush senior to be classy to a man who wholeheartedly doesn't deserve it, given trump's very personal attacks on the bush family.
trump and his wife were amongst the last ones to arrive. while everyone were chatting and joking beforehand, the moment trump showed up, he sort of drowned out the room. trump has the worst body language and the mannerisms of a spoiled and petulant child. he came in a trenchcoat which he haphazardly tossed to a secret service detail as if he was a butler. he shook hands with obama and michelle but completely ignored the clintons and the carters. likewise hillary ignored him as well, but bill was sort of waiting to initiate a friendly hello which never came. trump then hunched in his seat with a frown, like he didn't want to be there at all. it was just so awkward. when george w. arrived, he was very cordial, personally greeting all the other presidents, even secretly handing michelle some candy.
the 4 speakers giving the eulogies were all great: bush's biographer, canadian prime minister, bush's old senate friend, and finally george w. bush himself. dubyah had the hardest assignment, saying good bye not only to a president but his father as well. he held it together until the very end when he broke out in tears. back at his seat, he seemed to be joking with one of his daughters, as if to say he managed to get through his speech without breaking down.
i biked to market basket in the afternoon for some groceries. it was a sunny day with temperature in the upper 30's. i'd been wearing my long underwear and a wool sweater since this morning so i wasn't cold at all.
later in the afternoon i finally got around to cleaning my aquarium. it seems like the last time i cleaned the tank was back in mid-october; has it really been nearly 2 months since then? i did a medium clean, washing the filter (but not replacing the activated carbon), scrubbing the algae from the glass, and doing a 20% water change.
my mother called to tell me that my 2nd aunt finally smashed her phone for the last time and now it doesn't work anymore so she needed a replacement. my 2nd aunt used an old LG flip phone but she's looking to upgrade to a smart phone. nothing fancy, just good enough to make phone calls, so i found the cheapest one i could, the motorola moto E4 for $100. the resolution is only 720p but it's on a smaller 5" screen. when i told my mother, she told me my aunt wanted something more robust, with a bigger screen, yet at the same time didn't want to spend the extra money. i finally managed to talk her into getting the E4. ideally we'd leave verizon because its CDMA network doesn't work with any china brand phones (like xiaomi) that operate on GSM. not only would we have more phone options, but it'd also be cheaper. it's my sister who insists on staying with verizon for our family plan, and every year i try to get us to switch to no avail. i bought the E4 through amazon, it's supposed to arrive - along with a 64GB microSD card - but friday.
it's been a while since i posted a graph of the solar panel production. it's quite evident seeing just how much less production we have now compared to the summer (the chart looks strange because of the time change). today we had 9:13:55 hours of daylight, compared to back in june where we had 15:16:06 hours of daylight: that's more than 6 hours less of sunlight. the good news is after december, the length of daylight begins to increase once again, so every day we should theoretically get a bit more production than the day before.
i signed up for a free 2-month trial spotify membership so i could get a free google mini speaker for just $1. i've played with a free spotify membership in the past but never took to it because i think to really get the most out of it you need to pay for the full service. i was perusing the catalog, trying to think up of obscure bands, and spotify was able to find it every single time, it's pretty amazing. it seems weird not being able to own the music however. i like the ability to listen to any music i can think of, but it's not a service i'd pay for. once i get my hands on the free speaker i'll cancel my free membership before it begins charging me.
after scouring reddit's animated gif recipes for inspiration, i can across a general tso's chicken recipe. i then remembered i actually made it last year. though traditionally it's chicken, i had some frozen pork cutlets in the freezer i wanted to use up.
i left the frozen cutlets on the countertop since early this afternoon, but by evening they were still only partially thawed. so i tried zapping them in the microwave using the auto-defrost function which i've never used before. after a few minute i heard popping sounds coming from the microwave and saw that the edges of the cutlets were already cooked. i quickly took them out and cut them into cubes, before putting them in a marinade of rice wine and soy sauce for about an hour in the refrigerator.
the recipe is actually pretty simple, the only hard part is the frying, and not because it's hard to do, but because it will stink up my house for the next few days. frying in the winter is the worst because i can't open the windows to ventilate otherwise i'll let all the heat out. the other difficult part of the recipe is having the necessary chinese ingredients, but any rudimentarily stocked chinese kitchen would have all the ingredients like rice wine or rice vinegar. honestly, instead of rice wine you could probably get away with vodka or maybe even regular wine, and normal vinegar instead of rice vinegar. the sauce itself is pretty delicious: all sorts of savory with it's salty sweet sour flavors. i added about a dozen hot chili peppers but i didn't really taste them, they seemed more of a garnish. it took me half an hour to fry all the floured pork cubes in 3 batches. i wanted to double fry them for extra crispiness but i was hungry and didn't have the time nor did i want to stink up the house more than necessary. i had the general tso's pork with some white rice, it was a very tasty dinner.