i biked to the cambridge recycling center on hampshire street to drop off some used lithium ion batteries for disposal. they're only opened for a few hours in the early evenings of tuesday and thursday, and saturday morning. then i went to the cambridge public library to pick my reserved copy of my journey to lhasa by alexandra david-néel, on loan from the lexington library. returning home, i stopped by star market to pick up some grapes and a box of clementines. only then did i finally bike to belmont.

after some sesame paste glutinous rice balls for lunch, i went about setting up my father's new replacement TYT TH-9800 quad-band radio. when we turned it on it seemed to be stuck in memory mode and there was no way to toggle into VFO mode. the radio came with instructions to flash the radio with the included TYT programming software before doing anything else. supposedly this is to widen the frequency spectrum, but hopefully can unlock the radio in the process. this is obviously a ploy to circumvent the FFC rules, so the radios can be continued to be sold with restricted bandwidth but the user can remove the restriction using the software.

the PC-only software came on a mini-CD, but thankfully my father's PC laptop had a CD tray that could accept the mini-CD. flashing any kind of software onto hardware carries a certain amount of risk; i downloaded the factory settings as a precaution before uploading the bandwidth restriction removal program into the radio. the included mini USB cable worked out-of-the-box without any additional driver to see the TH-9800. it did read the radio model as "B" but i changed it to "TH9800" before flashing it back to the hardware. after we did that the radio reset and came back in VFO mode, working as intended.

the final step was to flash the saved chirp data for our old TH-9800 onto this new TH-9800. as a precaution i did a download first before uploading. we were success, the radio had all the old settings and memory channels, including local police and fire stations, weather radios, GMRS, repeaters, and CB channels.

in the afternoon i reassembled my motorcycle and rode it to the speedway gas station on walden and mass ave to fill up the tank. it's a little out of the way, but this is where i usually get my gas, and the longer distance gave the fuel time to mix with the ounce of star tron enzyme fuel treatment i poured into the tank afterwards.

back in belmont, i reconnected the garden hose (i'd already moved it into storage early last month) so i could wash the motorcycle in anticipation of winter storage. it went fairly quick, and i dried it with some microfiber towels afterwards. i was going to wax it as well, but since i still had half a bucket of car wash solution, i parked the bike into the garage, moved the two cars back onto the driveway, and washed the cars instead. all things considered, it was the perfect day for bike and car washing as temperature was in the 50's. nevertheless, after about more than an hour outside, my pants soaked in water, wearing nothing more than a sweater, i started getting cold. the cars were washed and dried, the waxing will have to wait some other time.

today's production was 26.73 kW, slightly off than what i'd projected, but still good enough and on a record breaking schedule. clouds started forming in the afternoon, but it didn't matter as most of the day's production had already been made, and despite a few dips, we still made good numbers. if we can get 25kW+ over the next two days (a very good chance), we will surpass october's production.

belmont electricity bill came out yesterday: for the month of december we didn't generate enough electricity to cover what we used from belmont light, so we had to pay $15.77. but since we have nearly $200 of credit from the electricity we sent back to the grid, we still didn't pay anything. we have to learn to use as much electricity as possible otherwise all that credit goes to waste.

i ordered a few things off of amazon: a PNY turbo 128GB USB 3.0 flash drive ($17.49, sale), a spark pluh gapper "medallion" ($1.88), a 30-inch bruner-ivory straight shovel handle ($8.32), and a pair of UHF female to RCA male adapters ($7.99, cheaper on ebay but would've had to wait weeks to arrive from china) for connecting a CB antenna to my father's old radio shack realistic TRC-214 walkie talkie.

my father stir-fried some shrimp for dinner using one of the specialty suzhou flavor-packets wangyang gave me when she visited. from the packaging we thought it'd be spicy but it was more "spice" than "hot". it didn't taste bad, and it kind of grows on you.

i was prepared to bike back to cambridge despite the dip in temperature (50's during the day, now 38°F), but my parents said i should take one of the cars instead since i was coming back tomorrow. i decided that was the better choice and drove back home. i found a parking spot right outside my house but took me 3 separate tries before i finally parked the car where the rear tire was rubbed up against the curb.

tonight was my last night of roommate-free living. after a shower, i watched bird box on netflix. i thought it was an okay movie, though usually i'm not a fan of the apocalypse/horror-waiting-outside genre.