is it crazy that i want an mp3 player to listen to my music? does that make me a dinosaur? i know people use their phone these days for music as well, but i grew up with walkmans (then graduated to mp3 players once they were available) so i'm comfortable with the idea of having separate music. the four advantages i see with a dedicated mp3 player versus just using your phone is 1) i don't use up precious phone battery life (i need the phone for other stuff, like calling people, texting, directions, and web surfing), 2) i don't use up precious phone storage space (i need those for photos and apps), 3) i can listen to FM radio (something both my iphone and oneplus one can't do) and 4) an mp3 player is lighter and i can just take that with me if i want music (although honestly, i'd probably bring my phone anyway).

the very first mp3 player i ever got was a rio 500 purchased most likely in 2000. this was way before i even had a phone, which didn't happen until april 2002 (nokia 8260). the player had 64MB of internal memory of which i added another 64MB of external. the two storage allowed me to create A-side and B-side playlists. i found interesting tunes off of napster during the heydays of unregulated online digital music. i upgraded my mp3 player years later in 2007, when i got the sansa express with 2GB of internal memory (15x the rio 500) and a slot for an external card as well. either i used it all the time or it just wasn't made very well because 2 years later i noticed the buttons weren't working correctly anymore. but i still kept on using it until i finally upgraded again in 2011 to the 4GB sansa clip+ with a memory card slot that allowed a 32GB expansion. that's a great player and i took it with me everywhere, including china. when i accidentally left it in my running shorts and put it through the wash, i actually asked my parents to send me another one (in hindsight, i could've easily found a cheaper and just as usable version in china, but i didn't think of it at the time). when i lost my sansa clip+ in 2015, i discovered my old one was still working. i also discovered rockbox, a 3rd party firmware which adds more functionality to the clip+, making it feel like an entirely new player.

i still use my sansa clip+, which weighs just 24g. not really for music these days, more for FM radio as i don't have any other radios in my house besides the shower radio (which i listen to daily, alternating between sports and public radio).

after some blueberry granola yogurt and a cup of hazelnut coffee for lunch, i took the motorcycle to the cafe. i've been there every day this week. from amazon tracking i knew the IMINOVO motion sensor night light had arrived. it was smaller than i'd imagined, especially compared to the motion sensing clamp light rigged we set up. we put it in the basement to try it out. since it uses an older ir-sensor, the light didn't turn on until you were almost on top of it; compared that to the radar-sensor light, which turns on the moment you step into the basement. if the IMINOVO was cheaper i might've been tempted to keep it, but at $11.88 i'm going to return it.

the other thing that arrived was a pair of 10ft usb extension cord for the wyze cameras. my father and i went to my sister's place to make the switch to the front door cam. turns out at 10ft it's a bit of a stretch, but the 16.4ft cord that arrived yesterday works perfectly. we also tested the radar-sensor motion light bulb in the stairwell. even though it might get triggered by my sister walking around in her room, it's still a good solution.

after my father left, i changed some setting on the RT-AC68U router. as i found out yesterday, several people have reported wyze connectivity issues when paired with the asus RT-AC68U. some people have fixed it by turning off "airtime fairness" under the professional tab of the wireless setting. the front cam was already working before i made the change. the back cam worked more reliably after i moved a potted plant that was blocking the cam, but it would still refuse to connect on occasions. after i adjusted the setting, both cameras seemed to be working better. i also turned on QoS last night with streaming video priority. it may also be my imagination, but after a few days of poor connectivity, newly set up wyze cams seem to stabilize eventually.

unrelated to the wyze cameras, i tried activating the DDNS, which hasn't worked in a while. without DDNS, i can't log into the router remotely using the asus router app. i think there's an asus server conflict as i had an factory set address assigned to the router when i first got it before i changed it to a vanity address. i think it's just a simple matter of contacting asus to get them to change it.

amazon tracking told me that the four LOHAS dusk to dawn light sensor bulbs ($17.09) had arrived in belmont. as it was still early (2pm), i rode the bike to belmont just to get the bulbs. across the street, the new house is coming together nicely. they've already hammered in the walls and today they would probably finish the roof by the end of the day. my mother said the whole construction costs $600k, about the price of buying a new house (though still a bargain, given how expensive it is in belmont). i spoke with the chinese owner, who comes by every day to check on the construction status. he said the whole won't be completely finished until april, that there are still a lot to do, including things like landscaping. he said every day he checks the weather, no so much now, but back when they were digging the foundation, if it got too cold the ground would freeze. he also lucked out that haven't gotten any considerable snow yet this season.

temperature was in the lower 40's but it was a really nice day for riding. tomorrow's forecast will be even warmer with temperature in the 50's. days like these makes me glad i didn't put away the bike yet. barring a big snowstorm, i may be able to ride all the way into january if i'm lucky.

i installed one of the LOHAS bulbs into the front door porch light at my parents' place. it didn't turn on but that's a good thing, means the light sensor was working. when i returned to the cafe, i took down the smart bulb from my sister's porch and installed a LOHAS bulb. once again it didn't turn on, which is what i wanted. back at the cafe my father and i replaced the 16.4 ft extension cord from the back wyze cam with the 10ft cable, which works just as well.

my 2nd aunt was having issues with my uncle's t-mobile prepaid phone (old-school candybar-style) and brought it to the cafe hoping i could solve it. when calling, it gave a short message that the number could not be dialed. my father and i went to the alewife brook t-mobile store. there were two employees, one was helping out a woman, the other one was just standing there texting, ignoring us, even moving further down the store so he wouldn't have to deal with us. the first employee didn't do much either, just shrugged when i asked if the other guy was on his break. i had to ask him (darius) for help. he tested the phone, said it was dead, and the solution was to get a new phone. we were able to leave when i noticed i was getting signal bars again and brought it back for him to check out. he said the signal was cutting out intermittently, but the basic problem was a hardware issue. so my father and i were out the store when i tried calling the phone itself. it said the subscriber couldn't be reached. so we went back to the store for the 3rd time, and only then did darius finally do a check on the account. he must've been one of the least helpful customer service person i'm come across in a long time, and i'm tempted to file a complaint but i'm sure his days at t-mobile are numbered anyway. my father and i had to sleuth the answer ourselves, which was basically there was no more money left on the account, even though my aunt say's it gets automatically deducted from her bank every 3 months. my father paid $10 to reactivate the phone to get it working again. the problem is t-mobile uses a 90-day schedule but the money from my aunt's bank get drawn every 3 months. so at the end of each quarter, the phone will lose service for a few days before the money comes in.

i returned home by 4pm. it didn't seem all that dark, but the sun was setting at 4:12pm, and as soon as i installed the bulb, it turned on. the test will come tomorrow morning when it should turn off on its own.

i finally finished watching nightflyers. i'm warning you right now that there will be spoilers from here on out. it was a terrible show, and the final few episodes i hate watched, especially after gretchen mol's character dies for real at the end of the 9th episode. if by some miracle the series get renewed (i very highly doubt it), i won't watch it anyway with mol's absence. it's a terrible show, with a terrible story, and many plot holes. the show does however looks great, and that was another reason why i kept watching, despite all the shortcomings. like when rowan and auggie both murder people onboard the ship, but by the following episodes all seems to be forgotten and everything is back to normal. or how thale tries to kill murphy, but they later become friends (which is never explained), but then murphy sort of disappears for the rest of the episodes, before finally showing up again just to be killed by auggie. and it's obvious that captain roy eris is an android (especially since he survived the lab autoclave) but nobody makes that connect and seem surprised to find out later when rowan chops him up with an axe while the rest of the bridge crew just stand and watch. i can't recommend nightflyers at all, unless you're really into good-looking scifi and gretchen mol. it reminds me of american horror story, how everything seems to be bits and pieces with no real coherent story, more style than substance.

back in early november i jarred some sliced pears and ginger to make a fruit kvass. 6 weeks later i'm finally trying it out even though it should've just been a few days of fermenting. the first jar had some white yeast on the surface, which i think is harmless, but i scooped them off with a spoon anyway. the kvass smelled very vinegary and tasted just like it smelled, mostly carbonated sourness with a hint of sweetness. it reminded me a lot of kombucha, just no scoby. i drank a glass but a part of me was worried about accidentally ingesting botulism (though i think under these acidic conditions that couldn't happen). the only side effect was a few burps afterwards, no upset stomach, which was my other concern. i ended up filtering out the liquid and dumping all the fermented fruit.

i had a late dinner (9:40pm) of white cheddar shells, i've been eyeballing the box in my cupboard for weeks, finally had a chance to eat it. i typically add a cup of frozen kale into the boiling pasta to make it healthier. i also ate one of my very ripe fuyu persimmon: i made a hole when i removed the produce sticker and managed to simply suck out all the gooey sweetness on the inside. actually, i wanted to go down to haymarket today to look for some more cheap persimmons (especially hachiya, they seem to be better flavored), hopefully some other time.