i was supposed to go with my father on a market basket supply run early this morning but because my mother had an acupuncture appointment, it was postponed until later in the morning. i biked down to the cafe at 10am hoping to debug the nest malfunction. i kept thinking about something xiaowu the HVAC guy said to my father, that the common wire was only 18VAC when it should be 24VAC. using a multimeter, i pulled off the nest thermostat and measured the voltage across certain wires. across Y1 and Rc it was 24-25VAC, and likewise between W1 and Rh. but when i measured Rc to C (common), it was 18VAC, just like my father said. i then climbed a ladder and checked the voltage across the cable splices in the ceiling, between the wires from the thermostat to the wires from both roof AC and basement furnace. the readings were the same as before, which meant the problem was further up the electric food chain.

i put the amateur HVAC work on hold as we left for market basket. my sister's godmother tagged along as well. one of my canvas grocery totes fell out of my bike basket when i went to the cafe earlier, and we retraced my steps hoping it still might me on the road. we never did see it. the bag wasn't anything special, and in fact i found it on the streets to begin with years ago, so in a way it was returning back to where i found it.

we returned a bunch of cans and bottles but when we went to pay i forgot to take out the deposit slips. i also wanted to get some cabbage to make sichuan paocai but i didn't like the look these american cabbages, so i'm going to get them from chinatown instead, even if they are more expensive.

back at the cafe, my father and i moved the ladder out back so we could climb to the roof. i took a voltage measurement between Rc and C: it read 24-25 VAC. that meant there's something definitely wrong with the wire. fortunately we had 2 more spare wires on the cable run, so instead of orange on C, i switched to white on C. back downstairs, i connected the blue wire that went down the common in the nest thermostat to the white wire that went up to the AC.

i took a new reading between Rc and C: 24-25 VAC! just what we wanted. anxiously i put the nest thermostat back onto the wallplate and waited to see what would happen. good news and bad news. good news: the wiring diagram now recognized the C. success! bad news: it was clicking the basement furnace non-stop, to the point where we had to turn it off. the only way to keep it from clicking was to ironically remove the C wire. it'd still click, but at least it could ignite the furnace, which it couldn't do with the common wire in place. it should've worked! but it didn't. and i couldn't think of a reason why. all the voltages were correct, yet it still didn't work. this was something only the HVAC guy could solve, and he was out on holiday vacation on the west coast, wouldn't be back until after christmas.

my father was willing to live with the occasionally clicking furnace (i.e. with common wire detached), but i suggested we return to the old mercury switch thermostat, to see if it'd also make the furnace clicking sounds. the old thermostat was easy to put back, the screw holes on the door frame were still there. once properly wired (easy, just 2 wires, Rh and W1), we turned on the furnace to see what would happen. the old thermostat performed flawlessly, igniting the furnace when we wanted to, turning it off when we didn't. there were no clicking sounds, everything worked.

it was 1:30pm by the time we finally finished and i had something to eat, half an egg salad sandwich and a walnut cake my aunt lili had bought over when she was here earlier. she'd invited us for korean dinner tomorrow night but it ended up getting cancelled because my sister moved her personal chef assignment to wednesday as well.

i spent the next hour setting up my sister's wyze cameras. the $20 stationary wyze cam i ordered arrived today; i'm replacing her front door pan cam with this one since she doesn't need the pan function. but first i set up a pan cam facing into the backyard. ideally we'd set it outside so we can use the night cam (using it indoors behind the glass window causes glare and you can't see anything in night mode), but there was no good place for use to put the camera. we finally rigged something up with a wooden plank on a shelf for the camera to stand on. next i replaced the front door cam with the stationary wyze. it has a unique design, like a desk lamp, but articulate enough to molded into any angle. it has a magnetic base and it came with a metal disc that can be glued to the wall to allow the camera to attach anywhere. i tried gluing the disc to the bottom of the window frame but the numerous ridges there did allow me to glue the disc completely flat. so i ended up just gluing the camera base to the window itself using sticky tape, which seemed to do the work. i also have a 3rd pan cam for a window on the side of the house but we need to wait until i can get a longer usb extension cord.

before i left, i went down to the basement and took a measurement between the Rh and W1 of the furnace. for some reason it read 28 VAC. i thought nothing of it at first, but only when i got home and looked up the error on the nest did i see it was an overcurrent issue. it may have nothing to do with the 28 VAC reading. another thing i could try is restarting the nest thermostat. maybe it's just a single case of turning it off and on that can fix it.

besides the groceries i got earlier, i also returned home with a container of leftover stew my sister made and some sourdough bread. i took the long way home just to see if i could find my lost grocery bag. i didn't find it.

the hours between 4:30pm to 6pm is most often the time of day where i struggle to stay awake. it's dark outside, it's cold in the house, there's nothing on television, so it's easy to crawl on the couch and fall asleep within minutes with the laptop heating my stomach.

i bought some usb extension cables for the wyze cameras, a pair of 16.5 ft cables ($12.89) and a pair of 10ft cables ($7.99). i also got an IMINOVO light/PIR motion sensor LED night light ($11.88). my father asked me to look for one for the cafe basement, an unlit dark corridor that just happens to have a wall outlet mounted close to the ceiling. originally i wanted to get a motion sensor plug (like the westek motion activated light control), but it seemed kind of expensive for what it does, and i still needed to get a light for it afterwards. the IMINOVO has got some really good customer reviews. it's advertised as a night light, but it's actually pretty bright, the equivalent of a 25 watt bulb.

i didn't eat until late, almost 9pm. i normally don't pay any attention to supergirl on the CW but found myself watching it because of the elseworld storyline. afterwards i tried catching up on my backlog of nightflyers episodes.