not having to freeze in the cold riding a motorcycle or a bike to get to belmont this morning made my trip a lot easier. besides the jar of sichuan paocai i made almost 2 weeks ago, i also brought my fuji bike so i could ride it back home later in the evening. the streets were empty for the most part, though i saw a lot more pedestrians (a lot of family with children) strolling about the neighborhood.

the first thing i did when i got to belmont was to go into the garage to recharge my dead motorcycle battery. on a whim, i decided to try firing up the engine, thinking that it'd be funny if suddenly started running again. on my first try, with the choke partially opened, the engine roared to life as if nothing happened last night. that battery was dead. the engine was hissing, the starter clicking repeatedly, both my father and i heard the noises. and now suddenly today, after spending a night in an unheated garage, the motorcycle was back to normal. i was just going to leave it alone but my father suggested i charge the battery anyway, just to be safe. it may start now, but who knows if it'll start again with a partially discharged battery?

after 13 days, the sichuan paocai were ready to be eaten. the jar has remained sealed all this time, though gases were still escaping. the water level didn't seem all that high, but as soon as i cracked open the jar, all the bubbles began to rise like opening a can of carbonated soda, pushing the fermented vegetables upwards. fortunately i was prepared and i opened the jar very slowly, letting the gas escape gradually instead of a violent explosion. i tasted it, it was okay, but a few things: not spicy enough (i didn't add enough hot chili peppers), not salty enough (though that can be fixed by simply adding more salt), and not sour enough (just needed more fermentation time). the spices i added also gave it a slightly untraditional flavor despite them being sichuan paocai spices. classic paocai is just salty and sour and spicy and numb (from the sichuan peppercorn). this batch had additional flavors, like i could taste the anise, and there was a sweetness imparted from the coriander and fennel seeds. i think if it was just more sour and salty that might cover up the additional flavors. for my next batch, i'll just do a classic recipe of salt, sichuan peppercorns, and chili peppers, nothing else.

my father's new hobby is setting up a charging rig for his heavy duty marine battery, now that we have it on a movable dolly. the battery - now in my parents' bedroom - was being trickle charged by a small 5W solar panel. but that was too slow so my father decided to top off the battery with the desulfating charger.

my sister called my mother out to go walking in winchester fells, even though my mother really just wanted to stay home and watch tv and knit. when they came back around 3pm, my mother was cutting up some ham slices for my sister. hailey watched attentively the entire time. finally, before my sister left with her dog, my mother gave hailey a small piece of ham in her food bowl.

even though we had leftover ham for dinner, there was no repeat diarrhea like last night. i left with some ham of my own, enough to make a few sandwiches. i got the bicycle out of the garage and went home with lights blaring.

just like there's a thanksgiving tradition of football on tv, there's a comparably new christmas tradition of basketball on tv. this year ABC in partnership with the NBA decided to air 4 games back to back to back. i caught the tail end of the phillys-celtics game when i got back home using the bathroom. thankfully nobody was home because i was cheering loudly from the toilet as boston won in overtime.

the third game of the evening was between the lakers and warriors. against golden state, LA was the underdog despite having newly acquired lebron james. but the lakers got the early lead, before james left the game in the third from an injury. the wheels seemed to be falling off for LA, until rajon rondo took over. it's weird seeing him in a lakers uniform, but i'll root for rondo where ever he goes. LA ended up beating golden state, so much so that both teams cleared the bench to allow the reserves some time to play.