i woke up at 8:30am this morning to ride my bike to harvard square in the freezing cold to meet my cable modem seller. it was so cold that tears started streaming down my cheeks involuntarily, making it look like i've been crying. i was to meet my seller in front of 1 mifflin place, which used to be a penguins bookstore, but now a fedex office print shop. i felt a little awkward, didn't want anyone to think i was loitering. EJ texted me and said he was 4 minutes away, i wrote back that i was already here. a large black SUV pulled up to an empty parking spot and out came a well-dressed asian man, not chinese, rather korean. "tony?" he asked. "EJ?" i responded. he handed me the modem box, i gave him $30. he asked me to check it just to confirm everything was there. he said he bought it a year ago, but recently switched to verizon FIOS and didn't need it anymore. though he lives in medford and works in waltham, he was in cambridge for an early morning meeting. i returned home by 9:20am.
normally i make my blueberry muffins in the late morning and don't eat it until the early afternoon. since i was already up, i decided to start making the muffins now, so they'd be ready by lunchtime. around 9:45am sandy woke up. the first thing she did was to boil some water in the electric kettle. the fact that she was up i took to be a good sign, but when i cleared the countertop to make room so she could prepare her lunch, she said she didn't need it and took a mug of hot water into her bedroom. oh oh. after an hour had gone by i suspected she wasn't going to work, but i tried to be optimistic. around noontime she cooked some lunch, and when she brought her food and her laptop into the living room, i knew she'd be home the rest of the day.
so the blueberry muffins this time around i made sure i had all the right ingredients in the right portions. so that meant 4 tbsp of corn starch to 2 cups of flour. i ran out of king arthur all-purpose flour and opened up a new package of pillsbury beset all purpose flour (1-1/2 cups of king arthur, 1/2 cup of pillsbury). i didn't subtract 4 tbsp of flour and simply added the additional 4 tbsp of corn starch. the other thing that i noticed that was different was the batter seemed soupier than usual. that shouldn't be the case, since i'm adding an additional 4 tbsp of corn starch; maybe when i was measuring the flour there were air pockets and i didn't get a full cup. it didn't matter anyway once i added frozen blueberries since it quickly thickened the batter.
the muffins were done by 11am. i tried one, couldn't really say if they were better or worse compared to last time. these muffins do have a tastier crust however, not sure if it's because of the corn starch or maybe i never noticed it before. i use a mic of 1 cup regular blueberries and 1 cup wild blueberries. wild berries seem to taste better, the regular ones include some very large berries that aren't sweet at all and taste more like sour cranberries. i also don't really notice if these are fluffier, and if anything, they seem a little flatter like maybe it collapsed on itself.
for my next blueberry muffin challenge, i would like to make a dozen at a time, since it's a waste of oven space whenever i make just 6. i have two jumbo muffin tins just for this occasion.
i also have a cabbage i got on sunday, was going to turn it into sauerkraut, before i realized that the old sauerkraut i had in the fridge was still edible. true, it's been aged 2 years, and doesn't look fresh at all, but there's no mold in the jar, no funky smells, and when i tasted some, i didn't get sick afterwards. i still prefer the taste of fresh sauerkraut though, so i maybe just start a new batch as i have plenty of empty jars, no need to throw out the old sauerkraut just yet.
i called back comcast xfinity to ask them to switch my parents' soon-to-be-installed account from my name to theirs. the woman i spoke to over the phone was kind of rude, and didn't seem like she wanted to help out. she basically told me that was impossible, and the only way was to cancel the installation and get my parents to call back themselves. i also asked if there was anything special i had to do if i had my own modem, she said no. after hanging up, i called back again, hoping to get a better agent. i was rerouted through the phone tree, put on automatic hold for several minutes, then automatically lost connection. a few seconds later i got a phone call, a different agent was calling me back. though this agent was much more polite, i could tell it was coming from a call center as the person had a thick indian accent. still, he turned out to be more helpful, and didn't immediately tell me i couldn't change the name. what i did sort of find out is even though the account is in my name, once the installation is finished and activated, i have the option of creating a new account with a new username. so i guess i'll find out for sure come friday morning.
actually when sandy is home i'm more productive. not so much updating my backlog of blog entries (her presence is still distracting), but in order to pass the time, i find other projects to work on. one of them is finally creating the google sheet formulas for the cafe expense report using data pulled from the cafe bank account. i called my father to let him know i was done and that everything should be working now.
the vivosun 10 gallon grow bags arrived today. they're a lot larger than i'd imagined, i'm glad i didn't try getting something even larger. at that size, it'd take 2 bags of garden soil to fill. i'm going to use at least one in my community garden for delicate crops, those that are most susceptible to critter damage. back in belmont i could use even more grow bags to extend the already existing raised beds.
a muffin in the late morning simply wasn't enough and i got hungry again in the afternoon. normally if i was home alone i'd be pigging out on junk food, but since sandy was around, i was on my best behavior and finished a bowl of carrots. i also drink several tall glasses of loose chinese tea. i've discovered since last night that having tea in a tall glass is better than an insulated mug because the tea cools down faster, making it more drinkable, compared to the insulated mug which stays hot for longer. i can also see the tea in the glass, which makes it easier to know how much tea i have left and whether or not i need a refill. i ended up having several long bathroom breaks because i drank so much tea. i just hope it won't keep me up at night.
i started making dinner at 6pm as i was getting hungry again. i still have leftover corned beef in the fridge, but i decided to eat the honey garlic chicken leftover from 2 weeks ago, mixed with a pot of korean install noodles. it was a weird combination, as the chicken tasted awful, but it was still food, and i didn't have to throw away any leftovers.
later in the evening i tossed out the trash. just like last week, the trash smelled awful, as sandy throws away meat byproducts directly into the trash. i've since learned to keep my "meat trash" frozen or sealed tightly in a separate bag, to be tossed out on trash night. it's not a discussion worth having since she leaves in just 18 more days.
sandy went to bed at 12:30am, taking a shower before going to sleep. who knows what she's going to be doing tomorrow. i may bike down to the arnold arboretum to check up on the wintersweet and to see any early blooming flowers.