while waiting for kevin to finish with the bathroom, my sunday morning was interrupted once more when i got an e-mail from victor asking for my help, something about borrowing my foot. so i told kevin through the bathroom door i was going out for a minute and walked down to victor's place. he wasn't expecting me so soon, he brewed some coffee and we drank and chatted a bit before finally going out. the help he needed was for me to step on the brake pedal while he adjusted his newly installed brake line, hoping to bleed out the air.
knowing nothing about how car brakes work, it was a learning experience. when i bumped into victor yesterday on my way to deer island, he had already taken out the old brake line. i always though it was a simple hose (like in movie trope of cutting the brake line) but it's actually a long thin metal tubing, custom shaped to adhere to the contours of the inner wheel well. he was worried about how to shape the replacement line, but in the auto parts store he saw they sold copper brake lines which are more malleable. he'd already installed it, he just needed me to slowly pump the brake while he released the brake fluid. he saw that the fluid was flowing into the brake line because it was bubbling in the well, but i still wasn't feeling any pressure on the brake pedal and could push it all the way to the floor without resistance. he looked in the wheel well and saw brake fluid was slowly trickling out from the connector. he tightened it until it no longer leaked then had me slowly open the brake line release nut while he pumped the brake.
previously he tried unlocking the nut but it didn't work. he sprayed it with some penetrating oil and i suggested a socket wrench instead of a combination wrench. that seemed to do the trick, a gentle push on my end loosened the nut. he kept asking me if i was seeing anything: i had my eye on trained to where it leaked previously and didn't notice that fluid was pumping out the other end (the release nut end). i quickly tightened the nut. we did it again, but this time i knew where to look. the moment brake fluid starting leaking out, i tightened the nut back up. i went inside the car and tried the brake, what a difference, now there was resistance; so what i felt before was what happens when somebody cuts your brake line.
while we were working on the car we saw my roommate kevin leaving for work. victor impressed him by reciting a piece of chinese poetry. it was my first time hearing kevin speak english. after the brake line was repaired, i returned home.
although i didn't have to, it was so warm today that i thought it'd be nice to bike down to my parents' place to check up on the house, at least bring in the mail. it was so warm i only wore a t-shirt. i didn't even bother with a helmet, giving my hair a chance to blow in the wind.
there was a strong smell of rancid oil in the kitchen so i turned on the range hood. i opened some windows to air out the house and allow the warm air to get inside (it was 79°F in the sunroom). i checked the mousetrap, no dead mouse. in the basement i took a peek at the heating oil level (3/4 full).
i went into the backyard and took a garden survey. though it's only mid-january, it felt more like late-spring early-summer. best thing was there was no bugs. the wind was so strong that it blew off the southwest corner rain barrel from its cinder block pedestal. i didn't have to fill the bird feeder since i already did it on wednesday; i didn't see birds however, maybe because it was too windy. the dead mouse i left outside was missing; i was happy some critter took it, but later saw it'd simply gotten blown away by the wind; i ended up burying it. not much else was going on in the backyard. i noticed buds on both the hydrangea and flowering cherry tree, but not yet swelling. the only thing that seemed to be growing was a patch of cilantro.
finally i checked the grow room. the yellow sticky traps caught more fungus gnats, but still nothing like before. originally it was going to be a simple inspection, but after spraying the hot pepper plant with insecticidal soap, i ended up moving everything outside to get sprayed, since it was so warm.
this time i sprayed but didn't wash off the residue, figured it could protect the plants even after it dried up. i watered a few plants that looked dry (with the Bti-infused water), but at some point later this week i'll need to do another soil drench to kill off the latest batch of gnat worms.
i returned home by 2:30pm, with just enough time to settle in for some playoff football. the 3pm game was between the texans and chiefs, i was rooting for the texans. houston pulled out ahead quickly and in just a few short minutes were already up 21-0. kansas city could've easily folded, but there was still plenty of time left in the game, and good teams always find ways to come back and win, which was exactly what the chiefs did, final score 51-31. the 6pm game was between the seahawks and the packers. the packers are one of the few playoff teams without any drama this year, who just very business-like and quiet gained the 2nd seed in the NFC. i like both teams, but russell wilson is super entertaining, and one of the few things this year that managed to beat the 49ers. game was close, but green bay ended up winning. next week i'm rooting for them to beat san francisco, and for the titans to beat the chiefs. titans is my pick to go all the way, whether they do or not is a different story. of the 4 remaining teams, they seem the weakest link, but they beat both the patriots and the ravens, they could be a cinderella story in the making.
i made one last salad to close out the week. as much as i enjoy salads, it's difficult to eat them when the weather is cold because it doesn't warm you up like a hot meal. salads are better for the summer; in the winter, i like something a little more hearty.
i was up until 3:30am finishing watching the premiere 2 episodes of HBO's the outsider based on the stephen king novel. so good, i can't wait until next sunday's episode, but i'm tempted to read the book to find out what happens next. the acting is top notch, goes from a simple murder investigation (though no grisly child murder is ever simple) into the realm of the supernatural (a disfigured hooded figure appears at every crime scene, how can the suspect be at two places at the same time?). not having read the book, my theory is the murderer is a time-traveling shapeshifter or an inter-dimensional observational evil being.