the couple that my sister occasionally nannys for was supposed to send me e-mail last night but i never heard from them. instead they called me this morning while i was still asleep. "are you free to talk?" he said. one of these days i'm going to answer honestly when somebody asks me that. instead i was IT debugging from bed, trying to get lucid. the problem was a dead manual external photo backup drive and whether or not the time machine backup had a chance to back it up or skipped it as the default setting. we ended the call with no solution, the fate of years of photos hinging on whether time machine backed them up as well.
there wasn't any point in going back to sleep so i woke up. i called the gastroenterologist to make my liver biopsy appointment after i received an e-mail letting me know that my referral went through. however there was nobody in the office so i left a message. next i called the dermatologist to schedule an appointment to get that growth on my right temple removed. that had an appointment for this afternoon but that was too soon; instead the next opening was the end of june, more than 2 months away. i agreed, but also had them put me on a wait list, although the receptionist said that list is long and charges are i won't be able to get an earlier appointment.
i got an e-mail from walmart today: the 2x pack of UB12220 batteries had been shipped out. these are 22Ah batteries my father discovered on sale for just $5 (with another $6 for shipping). i thought it was a mistake but we ordered them anyway. the next day they were listed as unavailable, which made us even more suspicious. i figured walmart would simply cancel the order, tell us there was a pricing error. but to their credit, they honored the price, and now we're waiting for the batteries to arrive next week. later my father told me he went to walmart.com again and saw that the same 2x pack of batteries were now selling for $87 a pair.
i then spent the rest of my morning at home fixing the brakes on my cargo bike. both brakes weren't catching, but the most important ones were the front brakes, so i decided to fix that first. the pads weren't in too bad shape, but i didn't want to replace them just yet because i wanted to get a new front wheel as the current rim is all scratched up and possibly in danger of collapsing on itself one of these days. i readjusted the brake cable but the problem seemed to be with the v-brake arms, which didn't want to spring back when i attached the wire. these brake arms don't have any adjustment pins, so in the end i simply replaced them with new ones, which fortunately i had a pair.
the replacement brake arms worked much better, with excellent tension that sprung the arms back and away from the rims when the brake lever is released. they came with new pads but i swapped them out with the old ones. with the front brakes fixed, i had enough stopping power to safely get to the cafe, where i had a 11:30am appointment to meet with victory installers regarding the nest thermostat.
victory installers was a no show. an hour before the appointment they did send me an e-mail asking for the address (which i'd sent them before), which i didn't see until i was about to leave for the cafe. maybe that was the reason why they were missing. i finally found their office number online and called them around noon asking where they were. nobody answered, but right before i hung up, somebody called me, said they were coming in about 20 more minutes.
in the meantime i fixed my 2nd aunt's mi fit, got it to sync with her android phone. it wouldn't sync at first no matter what i tried (task made more difficult because the phone was set to chinese language), but then i figured out the mi fit first has to be unsynced from her apple ipad before it'll sync to the phone. she also has sync'ed up since february, so there's about 2 months of lost data. i also fixed my mother's line account, got it to work on her ipad by using the QR code to log in.
victory installers finally arrived while i was in the cafe basement reorganized a shelf. not only did charles come (the person i've been e-mailing over the past few weeks) but his HVAC guy chris came as well. charles was either the salesman or maybe an electrician in training, as chris was explaining things to him that made me think he might be an apprentice. we climbed onto the roof first to check out the AC wiring. next was the basement furnace, then the splices in the ceiling. finally they took a look at the nest wiring. even without the nest thermostat installed, just having the wires in the baseplate, was enough to cause the furnace in the basement to go haywire. during the whole process they took a bunch of photos, and chris said he needed to do some homework and draw out a schematic of how our system is wired.
after they left my father said he didn't think they were any closer to a solution. our normal electrician/HVAC guy xiao wu is coming tomorrow supposedly, and he might have time to take another look at our nest wiring. xiao wu is very flakey; he was supposed to come last week but kept pushing off the appointment, and was supposed to come on a few days this week and now it looks like tomorrow friday, but who knows if he'll come.
i went to my sister's place and signed her up to youtube tv, knowing that she would never do it on her own because she's lazy (she hasn't even done her taxes yet).
my father made a mung bean cake with adzuki beans but i didn't have any as i was too focused on my repair work at the time. instead i had a bowl of noodles and some sichuan paocai for lunch around 2:30pm before finally returning home.
both times going to the cafe and back i saw turkeys walking around the street. they are quite the common site these days and they seem to be fearless, crossing the street without a care in the world. they're big too, a good thing they're so docile even though they have mean faces.
i continued with my bike repair work when i returned home, this time fixing the rear brakes. the weather had warmed up and it was pretty pleasant working in the backyard with noisy crows nesting in the branches above. the brake arms in the back are newer, so i replaced the brake pads. it took a few tries, i had to adjust the pin on one of the brake arm because it wasn't springing back away from the rim like it should. i also ended up having to switch the spacers on the pads because these new pads are thicker so there's less clearance compared to the old worn pads. finally the thread on one of the pad was all stripped, maybe because the nut was the original and not the one that came with the pad. it still attached, but i have to keep an eye on it, make sure it doesn't slip out of alignment. i finished off by wiping down the bike with some WD-40 sprayed on some paper towels. this cargo bike has really taken a beating over the years. the rear cassette and the derailleur are all rusted, and i need to replace all the cables as well, as the shifters don't really work anymore and the brake cables are frayed to the point where one day they'll just snap.
i went down to the dollar store to get some candy. they had rainbow sequin pillows which i couldn't resist buying, my first piece of sequin anything in the house. i love this double-sided sequins and if it didn't look absolutely ridiculous, i would incorporate sequins in my daily wear.
i didn't eat until after 8pm, microwaved some sausage perogies and cut up a persimmon. i finished watching married to the mob (1988) on tubitv via roku. "quirky" is one word to describe this film. michelle pfeiffer carries the movie, she's got that charisma that makes her an instant movie star, it's a surprise she's not in more movies. afterwards i watched the latest episode of for the people.
i ordered 2 pairs of v-brake arms from dx.com for $13, who knows when's the next time i might need them again. i also got some cheap bike bells for $5 from ebay. i looked around for replacement front wheels but they all seem kind of expensive. i'm looking for a 26" black wheel with quick release. i noticed they sell empty rims for about $30 but the hassle of building my own wheel makes paying $20 more for a complete wheel the better option.