with her endoscopy/colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow morning, my mother didn't go to work today. instead she stayed home and was restricted to a liquid diet. she drank some chicken broth and ate some orange jello. after i finished with lunch (kielbasa english muffin sandwich), i went to the liquor store to cash my $4 powerball winning ticket and bought 2 more tickets ($750 million jackpot). i then went to star market to get some jello packets (colonoscopy-safe yellow and green) for my mother, before biking to belmont with my delivery. i went to the basement to confirm that we indeed have a 6000 inverter instead of the 7600 model. the verizon FIOS equipment return box also arrived. i packed everything up and returned to cambridge with the box.
i stopped at the cafe to pick up the bag of potting soil, strapped everything to the back of my bike. with so much weight in the rear it wobbled a bit, but i peddled slowly and eventually i made it home. after dropping of the soil, i taped up the box (including the postage paid mailing label) and went to the UPS store to drop it off before going to market basket for some groceries. it's been nearly 2 weeks since i last visited MB, surviving entirely on corned beef and the kindness of others (leftover pizza, beet burgers). i bought exactly 12 items, $25 worth of food, including some boneless chicken thighs on sale. i'm planning on making a chicken and rice dish for dinner tomorrow.
in the late afternoon i wrote an e-mail to my united solar contact asking if she's heard any news regarding our inverter replacement. i was surprised she wrote back right away, said she just followed up with her project manager kevin and will let me know when she hears anything. "we are working to get your inverter replaced," were her exact words, which was like music to my ears.
i finally brought up my closet greenhouse equipment from the basement: two buckets of gravel, about a dozen cafeteria trays, and 4 banks of fluorescent lights. i still need to get some plastic cups for the pots and clear out the closet but i should be planting some seeds tomorrow. it's a late start this year but hopefully it will already be warm by the time i get some good size seedlings and i won't have to wait before i can transplant them outdoors. i'm germinating less plants this year, all vegetables i believe: tomatoes, eggplants, basils. i said no peppers but i can't help myself, especially if i'm using grow bags to keep critters away from my tender seedlings. maybe next year i won't be starting any seeds indoors and will simply go out and buy them. cost-wise, it's about the same, with the amount of electricity i spend running the fluorescent lights 12 hours a day.
with youtube tv's 5-day free trial about to expire tomorrow, i cancelled my father's account and signed up to youtube tv using my own credentials so we can all be under the same family plan. when i logged as my father, i could see he was now under my name. the good thing is we can finally have individual accounts, something we couldn't do before. i added a few shows to my recordings: the rookie, for the people, phantom gourmet, whiskey cavalier, and all international skating union (ISU) events. i also watched a bit of logan's run via the TCM channel.
today was very similar to yesterday: cold, clear, bright. however instead of surpassing yesterday's production, we only made 44.79 kWh. but with those numbers we are practically tied with last year's april production and we're still only in march. if this continues, we'll be looking at a good april as well.
i took a quick inventory of my loose leaf tea collection. i actually don't have a lot, since i donated all the good stuff to my parents figuring they'd appreciate it more and i never really drank much loose leaf tea in the past.
i didn't realize i had two containers of nanjing rain flower tea. i should've known because the loose leaves looked similar and tasted the same, and by that i mean very bland. maybe it's because they're old and they lost their flavor. i tried to compensate by adding more tea but the flavor never improved and i was left with a weak yet bitter drink. the best tea i have is the ceylon orange pekoe, a gift from WWY when she visited sri lanka. they come in little pyramidal tea bags and they're almost too good to drink. as far as loose leaf teas, the taiwanese tea is very good. it doesn't look like much, all black and shriveled, but once soaked they open up to full size. 3g worth of alishan tea can be steeped for several glasses of tea while still keeping its flavor. the fujian tea is pretty good too, the leaves aren't rolled or shriveled but instead flattened. it also has a strong tea flavor. i also have some kunlun snow chrysanthemum tea from xinjiang, a gift to my parents from some friends. a little goes a long way - 4-5 dried flowers - will turn a tall glass of hot water into a yellow-orange tinted slightly sweet flavored tea. supposedly it's also good for high blood pressure.
sandy came home by 6:30pm. she marinated some beef before taking a shower. that's when i started on my own dinner preparations, white cheddar cheese shells with kale. after she finished cooking she came into the living room to eat. we watched the ISU mens short program figuring skating followed by whiskey cavalier. having spoken with my mother today, i told sandy that my parents are looking for more long-term renters (years instead of months) so her office mate annie can stay at my place instead for the 2 months that she needs housing.
at 11pm we watched the live power ball drawing. earlier i'd given my mother one of my tickets, which had one number matched, while i had zero matches. sandy managed to match one number as well, but it wasn't enough to win anything. later i found out one person in wisconsin had won the jackpot.
unlike yesterday, sandy went to bed a bit before midnight. she came out a minutes later and asked if i was hearing a beeping sound. with my terrible hearing i couldn't hear anything, but i had a suspicion maybe it was the basement smoke detector. so i went downstairs and soon enough i heard the beeping she was talking about. it wasn't the smoke detector though, but rather the carbon monoxide detector, which was displaying an error message (better than a CO alert). even after replacing the battery it still displayed error, so i'll probably need to replace it. it was manufactured in 2007 anyway, it's about time i get a new one.