i went to the cafe at 9am to check on the down internet before my 2nd aunt arrived at work. i was going to take the motorcycle but the cold 20°F temperature killed the battery and i couldn't start the engine. i tried cranking it a few times until i heard the hiss of a completely dead battery. i ended up riding the bicycle, a little more work, but at least it gave me some morning exercise.

my mother gave me a cafe key a while back but i've never used it. i thought it was for the back door but turns out it was for the front. the first thing i did was to check the furnace in the basement. it was surprisingly quiet, given how noisy it was yesterday. next was the internet issue. i reset the wifi router first but it still didn't work, said i was connected to the network but without internet. i had to power cycle the cablemodem which ended up fixing the problem. i'm not sure why the internet went down, but i wonder if having 3 web cameras running simultaneously had anything to do with it. i ended up unplugging the basement foscam which i just added yesterday. it wasn't a very good camera anyway, was previously the cafe rear camera, until the image went all solarized. it's actually a refurbished unit, and had some vignetting issue on the lens when it first arrived.

when i heard the furnace in the basement clicking repeatedly again, i decided to turn up the heat a little bit to stop it from doing that. that should've fixed the problem but the furnace was having a hard time igniting, alternating between the clicking sound of the igniter and the wooshing sound of the flames lighting but then extinguishing again. it got so bad i ended up turning off the furnace completely because i was afraid it was going to break. i called my father to let him know, but when i turned the furnace back on, it managed to successfully ignite and the clicking was gone. so i thought. clicking was minimized, but while it was heating it would occasionally still engage the igniter. my father called the HVAC guy (xiaowu) who told him he might be able to come by in the afternoon.

i saw my aunt outside but instead of coming in she started walking down the street. i unlocked the front door to see what was going on. she was looking for the newspaper, which i already brought inside. the final reason why i was at the cafe this morning was to give my aunt the moto E4 phone i set up for her yesterday (nearly losing my own phone in the process).

i spent some time showing her the different apps. she regularly uses an ipad, so the functionality isn't all that different, save the calling and messaging apps. i also showed her the transit app, which shows real-time gps-enabled updates of the buses, so she no longer has to guess when the bus will arrive. my only concern is once she goes home, she needs to set up the phone to access her wifi. unfortunately it's the default 16-character comcast password, and can only be found underneath the cablemodem. i told her to call me when she got home so i could walk her through the process.

i biked home by 10:45am. i removed the motorcycle battery so i could recharge it, hopefully be able to ride by later today. i was meeting li and his wife at harvard square at noon so we could go into boston to see the speedo santa run. i had less than an hour to get ready. originally i was going to make breakfast but i had to go without as i didn't have enough time. after using the bathroom and taking a shower, it was time to go.

as i was crunched for time, i ended up riding the bike into harvard square, parking by the science center (where i lost and then found my phone yesterday) and walking across the yard to the square. i thought maybe li might be waiting by the bus stop and when i craned my neck to take a look, i spotted him just as he was calling me asking where i was. i crossed the street to meet them at the no.1 bus stop. the parked bus opened its door after a few minutes of waiting and we climbed onboard heading into boston.

we got off at the hynes convention stop and walked down to copley square. we briefly stopped in a dunkin' donuts so i could get li's wife a classic DD coffee (sugar & cream). a new england staple, this was her very first time trying it. she liked it, with the added benefit of keeping her warm on this cold day. we went inside old south church to take a look. there was a musical rehearsal but we were still allowed to go in, the old wooden floors squeaking noisily as we gingerly walked around in the back.

occasionally i do a head count of my tetras to make sure all 11 fish are there. when i did one today i noticed there were only 10 fish in the aquarium now. not sure how the 11th tetra died, whether from natural causes or i accidentally killed it during a cleaning. i have noticed that the tetras have been very skittish for a few months now when they used to be fearless. maybe the death of one of their members made them more cautious.