the morning after the super bowl i got a phone call from tom brady. no, not that tom brady, but rather binbin's next door neighbor. i was still in bed when he called, and groggily tried to sound lucid as he talked to me on the phone. apparently his house keeper misplaced his set of binbin's house and mailbox keys and asked if he could get a copy from me. the problem was we never got the mailbox key and we've also misplaced the house key; instead we get inside using the key punch. he said he'd either talk with the mail man (whom he knows) or get a spare key from the condo association.

the census bureau sent me an e-mail yesterday with instructions on scheduling a time to get my fingerprint taken for a routine background check. when i logged into the website, it didn't recognize me. it was just a glitch because when i logged in again this morning, everything worked. i thought i had to go to the waltham census office to do the fingerprinting, but there's also a boston office that i can get to via bike, so i made an appointment there for tomorrow morning. i never had a background check done for a job before, this willbe a new experience. i have been fingerprinted before though, back when i was doing my naturalization paperwork, i went down to the belmont police department to get it done. i wonder if they still use the old ink fingerprinting or have they updated their technology with something digital.

i did a photo backup to clear up some space on my laptop. ended up with an additional 50GB of storage. i'm sure it'll quickly fill it back up, with daily photo dumps and online downloads.

kevin was gone again this morning, left before 8:30am, the heat hadn't even kicked in yet. the moment i realized he wasn't home i promptly turned down the heat while i slept for a little bit more. i left for belmont around noontime.

for lunch i ate a chinatown sponge cake i bought yesterday along with some sichuan paocai. my mother was watching some korean netflix series starring park so-dam, the actress from parasite.

the soil of our grow room house plants still seem a little moist, so i didn't do another Bti drench. instead i took the hot pepper plant and the ficus into the backyard (where it was in the upper 40's) and cleaned the sticky leaves manually using fingers and some water. the pepper seems to be infested with aphids, while the ficus has a case of mealybugs. after cleaning, i sprayed them both with insecticidal soap. i also used an insecticidal soap-soaked paper towel to wipe down some jasmine and gardenia leaves, which has a tiny bit of spider mites. i filled two buckets with water and then added 3-1/2 tsp of Bti pellets to each one. maybe mid-week or next weekend we'll do another soil drench, let my bacteria grow a bit in the meantime.

my father soldered an EC5 connector to a t-type connector so he could try powering his TYT TH-9800 quad band radio with the car jump starter battery. the one that i have - the suaoki U10 800A - has a 20Ah lithium ion battery. we saw a handful of youtube videos where people have tried it, but it doesn't seem to be a popular option as everyone seemed to have their own jerryrigged way of drawing power from the battery jump starter.

when we finally connected the new adapter cable from the radio to the battery, the radio powered on just fine, displayed 12.7V as the voltage read. my father left the radio on for the rest of the day to see how much power it'd draw before the battery couldn't power anymore. the battery got down to 90% while the voltage slowly dropped to 11.9V. though the radio is rated for 13.8V, even at 11.9V it was still working.

after dinner i ordered a new phone for my father. his current moto G4 plus will work for a little while before the phone goes crazy and starts clicking randomly on the screen. i could try fixing it by simply factory resetting the camera, but it feels like a hardware issue to me; better to get a new phone and save this one as a future backup if need be. i ordered the moto G7 for $200. it features 4GB/64GB with a 6.2" screen (2270x1080) in the body of a 5.5" phone. it has 2 cameras and uses USB-C connectors. it's due to arrive on wednesday. afterwards i went to ebay and bought a glass screen protector (2x $3.49) and a clear soft rubber case ($3.49).

by the time i left for home, i knew kevin was already back, but the fact that his phone was missing meant he probably went out again to get groceries, so i didn't turn up the heat for him. when i got home i found home cooking in the kitchen. i went to use the bathroom then take a shower afterwards.