a text from paul woke me up at 8am. normally i'd be annoyed, but he was letting me know they were leaving for the holiday which is wonderful news. i have the whole house to myself until thursday. i checked the overnight wyze alert videos. i wasn't expecting to see anything, but a video of the cafe parking caught my attention. it looked innocuous enough, a man was picked up some cones. but i didn't know this man and he was in fact stealing our cones. this parking lot camera has only been up for less than a week and already we caught somebody committing a crime! i thought about reporting it to the police and showing them the video, but they could probably care less. i also looked at the whole video on playback from the SD card, and for a brief second i could also see the car, which looked like one of those contractor utility trucks. i'll try to access the memory card tomorrow and inspect the original video. one problem is i can't really make out the license plate, nor even a clear view of the thief's face other than what he's wearing. but maybe we'll get lucky and spot him around the neighborhood, and get our cones back. one thing to deny something, it's another when confronted with video proof.

WWY arrived in taipei yesterday and had already spent her first full day in taiwan. she didn't tell me who she was going with - just two other friends - but i found out one of them was PMJ, and was a little hurt that she didn't tell me she was also going to taiwan as well, and decided to keep it a secret. i'd think i'd be the first person she told, since i can't imagine she knows too many other taiwanese people. regardless of these slights, i am vicariously touring taiwan through the photos and videos they've posted on wechat. a lot of food photos, which is what i like to see.

even though paul wrote me at 8am, they didn't leave until around 10:30am. i left soon afterwards as well. so afraid that my motorcycle wouldn't start, i went out to test the bike first before gathering up my gear. the first time i tried the engine just sputtered, but i think it was just because i was nervous and let go of the start button too soon. the second time i held down the button a bit longer as the engine turned over and purred to life.

the contractors were out working on the neighbor's house when i arrived in belmont. they're making a lot of progress, installed all the windows and doors, put shingles on the roof. it's starting to really look like a house now, a rather large house that eclipses our view to the north, but a house none the less.

my mother made me a bitter cup of keurig hazelnut coffee for lunch, almost begging me to try it. instead of regular sugar she added some rock sugar, which wasn't enough to sweeten it to my satisfaction. i also had some almond pastries they baked in the toaster oven. i totally forgot what coffee doesn't to me and only after my 3rd trip to the bathroom did i finally make the connection.

with the wyze cam i installed yesterday, we now have a total of 6 wyze cams spread across 3 different properties. our old foscams have suddenly become obsolete. granted, of the 4 that are still working, one of them has that solarized image issue (problem with the CMOS, can't be fixed), another occasionally has trouble panning. that two leaves that are actually working. the one that used to be in the living room i moved it to the basement to keep watch on the boiler furnace's water release catch bin, so we can see if gets too full and needs to be manually emptied. now that we installed the ceiling light fixture with an outlet, i can power the camera.

in the afternoon, while my mother was watching bad times at the el royale and outlaw king, my father and i were investigating whether or not to get a replacement TH-9800 mobile radio. radioddity was selling it for $207 with free shipping, but a special christmas coupon cuts the price down by 10% to bring it to $186. we almost bought it but i was a little concerned that it didn't mention if it was the newer plus version. i sent them an e-mail asking to clarify, hopefully they get back to me soon, otherwise we may have to buy it elsewhere.

after dinner it was time to return home. the temperature earlier today was as high as 56°F, but by the time i was leaving, it'd dropped down to 38°F. fortunately i came prepared, and put on my long underwear to keep myself warm on the motorcycle. relatively speaking, 38° isn't that cold. once again, the bike didn't start the first time, but worked the second time. it's like every time i ride it's a game of russian roulette: either the bike starts and i can go, or it doesn't and i'm stranded where ever i am.

my halogen bulbs that i purchased off of ebay arrived today, earlier than expected. i replaced the old "burnt" bulb with a new bulb, and i could tell it was much brighter. the test now is to see if it'll burn out quickly within the next few days to weeks, or will it last much longer than that. if the bulb dies, then that means i need to replace my transformer.