i noticed right away my rear tire was completely deflated. usually when it's like that (instead of a slow leak) it means a puncture, but i wheeled the back back into the basement and inflated the tire to see what would happen. i then flipped the bike upside down and checked for damage. it's been a while since i've had to inspect a tire, my eyes were much better back then, now i really had to strain to see up close, and i ended up taking them off. i didn't see the puncture as so much as i felt it instead: there was a small draft and i was ran my hand over the rubber, i felt the air leaking for a small gash. it'd be an easy fix, but something i didn't have time for. fortunately i had a fleet of alternative bicycles in the basement, and ended up taking my fuji instead, the first time this year.
even though i'd already biked to belmont and back a few times this week, i felt like i didn't have any stamina, as my heart started beating faster and i didn't have the energy to pedal uphill. it didn't help that it was windy, but it wasn't too bad. temperature was in the 40's but sunny, so it felt a lot warmer.
my sister was in belmont making brunch for my parents. by the time i arrived, it was just leftovers and everything was cold. my mother heated up the scrambled eggs for me, but i was busy doing other stuff (like setting up the new mi band 4 for my father), that i ate my breakfast in parts, and by that point everything was cold again. the topic of the day was the coronavirus, as we each relayed what news we've heard. this morning when my mother called me about brunch, she also asked if i could go to star market and check if they had any bread. i didn't have to go to already know the answer to that question. later i read stories of people lining up outside of supermarkets this morning before they opened to panic buy groceries.
seeing grackles back on the squirrel buster feeder made me go outside to add more weights to the bag of hanging stones. there really wasn't much room, i could only add a few smaller rocks. nevertheless, i increased the overall weight from 14 oz. to 21 oz. even then the shroud didn't seem to be doing anything, it simply didn't make any sense. with that much weight, surely it would be closing? that's when i realized i'd attached the rocks to the bottom of the tube, not the shroud. the rocks were essentially useless, since it's the shroud that moves, not the tube. i could've hung myself from the bottom of the tube and still grackles could get to the seeds. i took down all my rocks, tied a new fishing line to the shroud, and hung a 2 oz. fishing weight. that seemed to be enough to get the shroud to drop down a little bit. so all the stuff i told sandra over the phone, that was all an unintentional lie, all because i hung the weights from the wrong part. now they're sending me a new part. who knows, maybe it'll worker better than the one i have now, and i don't have to add any fishing weights.
our latest toy arrived in the afternoon: the ANCEL BA101 12V 100-2000 CCA 220AH battery analyzer. we measured our 35Ah solar battery first. right away i realized we had a problem: the analyzer was designed for car batteries, and the solar battery didn't have a CCA rating, since it's not designed to jump start cars, but instead trickle power devices. so we went online and found an approximate CCA number we could put in (315CCA). the return result told use to replace the battery, with only a health of 1-2% and just 40CCA. we tested a few more batteries to make sure the analyzer as okay.
we tested my motorcycle battery, which had a CCA value (230) only i went online and pulled up the specs. the analyzer said the battery was still good with a health rating of only 61% and a high internal resistance of 14.93mΩ but the CCA was still 200. nevertheless, i don't think it's the best of batteries, might look into replacing it before next winter rolls around.
we then went to the basement to test the marine battery. the 27DC duralast deep cycle marine battery didn't have a CCA rating but did have a marine CA rating of 675 and an amp-hour of 85Ah. we tested it with both CCA and CA: both times it said it was a good battery, although with CCA it said the health was 59% while with CA the health was 91%.
we tested the solar battery again, this time with the solar panel disconnected. this time around it said the health was 100% with a 408CCA. i think the first time we connected it wrong, it had nothing to do with the solar panel. we tried it with the solar panel reconnected and it still gave us a 100% health. we tried the old motorcycle battery and the FIOS box backup power supply battery: the analyzer said to replace both of them, with a health of just 2%.
we took the analyzer outside to test the car batteries, what the device was designed to do. there was another spare battery in the garage, but that one was so dead it wouldn't even power up the analyzer. we tested the toyota first, it has an old 5/2015 battery. the analyzer told us to replace the battery (37% healthy), as it only registered 475CCA even though the battery is rated for 700CCA. it's the perfect test candidate for the desulfator, to maybe revive the battery. we also performed a cranking test and charging test: it said the cranking time was low, although the charging was normal.
switching to the honda, the analyzer told us the 4/2018 battery was good (70% healthy) but needed to be recharged as the charge was just 19%. cranking test was normal, charging test was normal as well. after we revved up the engine though and i rested the battery using CA, the charge instantly went up to 98%.
we barbecued some korean sauce short ribs for dinner. while my father and i were outside, we saw a drone fly above us and then disappear off onto the horizon. my father said it belonged to a neighbor (adult) because he saw him one time landing the drone on his porch. it went away for a long time, in the direction of the reservoir, before we saw it coming back. it looked like a DJI mavic, a black rectangular box with 4 copter wings.
i didn't think kevin was home because the house was dark, but i wasn't so sure until i checked the router's client list and saw both his computer and phone were still here. later while i was in the bathroom i heard him rummaging in the kitchen. i was running a backup while i showered, haven't backed up since february, released 50GB worth of free space.
i didn't think i'd see kevin the rest of the night, but he came out into the living room a bit later, asked me if i heard anymore coronavirus news today. i said no, and replied he wanted to tell me something: he planned on going home to china in about 2 more weeks. i didn't understand him at first, thought he was going back for just 2 weeks, not in 2 weeks. "did something happen back home?" i asked, for him to leave so abruptly. he said the reason was since they've been told to work from home indefinitely, it's sort of pointless for him to be here. even though the office is technically still opened, nobody's working in the office because it isn't safe due to the coronavirus. "how long will you be gone?" i asked. "2 months," he said, "at least." i had to ask again because i thought i misheard him.
was he quitting his program? what did his advisor say? both the ones here in cambridge and the ones back in china? he hadn't spoken to them yet, wanted to ask me first to see if it was okay. i told him i had no problems with his plans, just to make sure it was okay with his advisor, that harvard wouldn't decide to reopen their offices in 2 weeks. he did discuss it with his parents, and it was them who told him to return home. if he went back to china he wouldn't even go back to his university, which is currently still closed, but instead return to his parents' place, where he said he could still continue to work remotely.
i was a little bit offended, though i didn't tell him this. what he was basically saying was he didn't have confidence in the US health care system and the pandemic response effort to keep the coronavirus in check, and that he was safer back in china than in boston. he asked if he could leave his stuff here, for when he returns. i was actually kind of surprised, not that he wanted to leave some things here, but the fact that he would even come back, i thought he'd be gone for good. i assured him it was fine, he told me i could rent out the room again if i wanted. i told him when he came back, he'll either come back to my place or move to the other apartment closer to his work; either way he'd have a place to stay.
the fact that he's cutting short his stay here by 2 months doesn't upset me. i've always had a love hate relationship with these roommates: i don't mind the rent money, yet at the same time i count the days until they finally leave. kevin leaving early is a good thing, he's already lived here for nearly 3 months, that's usually the extent of how long a roommate can live here before i want them gone. if he ends up not going (discovers that harvard will reopen their doors soon), i don't mind the extra money, and i've since grown accustomed to him, despite the peeing on the floor thing and now working from home.
i can see where he's coming from, and it makes sense for him to return home. who really knows what's going to happen here in the US? they could either control the coronavirus spread, or it could get bad enough that we start mandatory quarantines and ordering all businesses to close. it's kind of exciting and scary to be a part of history in the making. i'm sure harvard will also make concessions for foreign graduate students who wish to return home during this time. i guess i didn't realize just how scared he is of the coronavirus. it'd be kind of ironic if he goes back to china and ends up contracting it there, though i doubt that will happen, new daily cases there have already dropped into the single digits. it's the US that's now the third world cesspool of diseases, where people are looking to flee if possible.