the weather today was another grey day. this whole month of december has been a bust, even if we generate record production for these last remaining days of 2019, it wouldn't make any difference. it looked like it'd rained outside, but the cars were already dried.
it usually takes me about a week or two before i figure out a roommate's schedule: when they wake up, when they go to work, when they come back from work, when they sleep. this information is important because it then allows me to tailor my schedule. today was a weird day anyway, kevin's first full day, probably a lot of orienteering and paperwork, i won't be until next week that he starts to figure out his own schedule. in the meantime today i thought maybe he'd return home in the afternoon, and that maybe i could take him on a field trip to market basket, but i didn't see him until later in the evening.
gap has been bombarding me nearly daily with sale alerts. today's was especially enticing, 60% off of markdowns. out of curiosity i took a lot at the flannel-lined pants i bought then returned then bought again. i purchased them originally at $22, then $20 the second time around, but today they were reduced down to just $16. unfortunately i'd already worn one pair, otherwise i'd return them both and buy then again online for the 3rd time, just to save $8. but i can at least return the other pair that i haven't worn yet. so i bought bought the pants again for the 3rd time ($16), along with a merino wool pullover sweater for $22.
i called fireman's fuel to ask them why only 7/8th of the tank was filled. i didn't bother bringing up the spillage, figured i'd add that part the next time we order fuel from them again. the nice woman on the phone explained that their fuel pump has a sensor, and the delivery person will simply stop fueling once it goes off.
my maxima aerosol chain wax arrived today, i was happy to know i'd be able to lube up the motorcycle chain this weekend. i was throwing away the packaging when i took another look at the item and realized i received a can of high gloss coating instead of what i ordered. when i tried to return it through amazon, it actually told me this product couldn't be returned because of its flammable nature. so i ended up contacting the 3rd party vendor, figuring i'd need to jump through some hoops to get what i ordered, but they were very nice and quick with their response, said i could either get a full refund or they could send me my chain wax (free of charge of course); i opted for the chain wax, they said i could keep the high gloss coating (even though i don't need it).
in the afternoon i decided to ride down to the cafe and replacement the broken upstairs thermostat with my old one. as i was about to leave, my upstairs neighbors returned home. i was waiting for them to go back inside the house so i can make my exit, but they were unpacking a lot of stuff from their SUV and i didn't know when they'd be done so i had no choice but to go out and make polite friendly chitchat even though i wasn't in the mood.
my godmother and my 2nd aunt were all at the cafe with my mother in their little knitting circle. my mother told me my roommate came to the cafe today for lunch along with his advisors and a few other coworkers.
my father and i went to the apartment to switch out the thermostat. thermostats are easy to replace, and you don't even need to turn off the electricity since it only uses 24V. it took use longer than anticipated because we needed a smaller flat-head screwdriver which we didn't bring, then later we realized we also needed a drill to sink in the screws and we couldn't find the drill in my sister's place until i texted her.
when it was all done the new thermostat seemed to be working, at the very least the temperature sensor seemed to be accurate (the previous thermostat had a busted sensor) and it was turning on the heat without problems. we finished up just as soon as the hired cleaners arrived to tidy up the apartment.
later my father and i were down in the basement trying to see if the furnace had a place for a common wire, and to track the whereabouts of the furnace wires to the first and second floor apartments. old houses like these, the plumbing and electricity often times are patched one on top of another where it becomes a maze trying to locate anything. i wish we could completely tear apart the house, rewire the electricity, reroute the plumbing, put insulation in the walls, then seal everything back up. the heating and cooling in my sister's place is especially messy, separate thermostats, and the heat thermostat especially hard to adjust, wedged between the wall and a book case.
i didn't leave until 4:30pm, by then the sun had already set. traffic wasn't too bad, i think a lot of people took the week off for holidays, so not as many cars.
my parents' december electricity bill came out yesterday but i only discovered it today. we generated so little production and used up so much of belmont's electricity that we ended up paying $77 this month. my parents still haven't paid for electricity since the solar panels came online (though technically they still paid a little the first 2 months), but this month took a big chunk out of the saved credit. at this rate, if january and february is anything like december, we'll have used up all our credit, in which time my parents will start paying for electricity again.
i ended up making some ramen for dinner around 7pm. that was also the time my roommate returned home. i heard him fumbling at the front door lock and spared him further suffering my opening it for him. all these astrophysicists might be geniuses when it comes to science, but when it comes to my front door, very few have successfully mastered the lock.
kevin came home with groceries he bought from star market. i was already eating my ramen by that point, while he was preparing his dinner. i bought a frozen casserole that he warmed up in the microwave, and some wheat spaghetti noodles. i asked if he bought any sauce, he said he'd try some of mine, which i thought was a bit presumptuous. but what he meant was he was simply going to put ketchup on his sauce, not realizing that pasta sauce is something entirely different (it doesn't help that the chinese word for ketchup and pasta sauce are the same, "tomato sauce"). i ended up opening a jar of pasta sauce for him to try out. i also sprinkled some parmesan cheese on it for additional flavor, and told him next week i'll teach him how to make proper spaghetti meat sauce. i tried some of the casserole (string beans and cheese), it wasn't back, a meal in itself. kevin also bought a frozen quiche, said he loved it so much, still not convince it's easy to make even after i made it last night.
while he ate i washed one of the pots (the sauce pot), he didn't try to stop me, even though by proper etiquette he should've. afterwards he retreated to his bedroom, and later i came back to the kitchen to wash the other pots, which he seemed to have forgotten and left behind on the stovetop. since we're on the subject of gripes, kevin has also committed a major annoyance, which is he drips on the bathroom floor whenever he urinates. looks like i'll need to have a talk with him about that as well.
last night around 1am kevin tried to do some laundry, before i stopped him and told him to wait until morning, since it'd probably be 2am before his laundry would be finished (washing and drying). so after dinner he tried to do laundry again. why he didn't ask for help i'm not sure, because american laundry is different from chinese laundry. but i heard him in the kitchen and went to see what was going on, primarily just to keep an eye on him and to teach him the proper laundry technique. he wasn't washing a lot of clothes, a medium load, i didn't ask questions (maybe he had an accident on his way to the US, he was in the bathroom an awfully long time last time), but maybe he didn't do laundry before he left china, and this was his chance, free in-unit laundry service.