today i had to do the last 3 of my blood tests. i was almost looking forward to it, simply to get it out of the way, but also to improve my technique and to challenge myself to face my fear of needles. despite soaking my hand in warm water and swinging my arms around to force the blood into my fingers, it was still difficult to draw blood. i lanced my left ring finger, figured that finger was already injured, no need to injure any more. like thursday, i ended up having to stab myself a second time. the second attempt drew even less blood, and i ended up having to squeeze my finger like toothpaste to get those final drops. in the mid-morning i did my 2nd test, this one was a little better, on my left middle finger. finally, in the afternoon, i did the 3rd and last test, and this time i got it perfect, large bead of blood welling from my fingertip, a single drop filling the circle entirely. these blood tests are actually kind of pretty when held up to the light, like glowing red jewels of hemoglobins.
this morning's set meal was 2 oily blue muffins. not blueberry muffins, buy rather blue muffins, dyed with food coloring for a gut transit time test. i thought i'd see blue coming out the other end immediately, but i looked it up online and discovered it normally takes 30-40 hours. for lunch it was 3 vanilla muffins; i overheated them in the microwave so they were crunchy on the bottom rather than soft all over.
after i was done with my afternoon fast and final blood test, i went over to victor's place and brought the multimeter. i saw him while he was just leaving to get some gasoline, i hopped in and we to the station at the head of the street. the attendant was ethiopian but studied russian military back in school and could speak russia with victor. the attendant wore gloves and a mask, smart considering how many people he comes in contact with every day. we came back to the house where we bumped into the mailman, whom victor seemed to know by name and knew he was moroccan (i'm friendly enough with the mailman that we wave to each other when we meet). victor refueled his van and asked me to take a voltage reading on his starter while he turned on his engine. with key engaged it read 3V; when he tried to crank the engine it got as high as 6V but it was never able to start. i thought it was the battery, he said it wasn't, but when i took a reading across the terminals, it read 11.8V. i thought it was normal at the time but now i think it's a bit low.
walking back, i bumped into bruce and jack, on their way out to take a stroll around fresh pond. we kept a safe distance between us as we chatted. susan showed up as well, returning from petsi's pie, which announced they will close indefinitely after sunday. both cambridge and somerville have the most stringent rules when it comes to "social distancing," ordering all non-essential retails to close, something boston as well as the rest of the state aren't doing (yet). i believe restaurants can remain online with just takeout/delivery service, but with customers too afraid to order out, restaurants will begin closing soon as well.
a little bit before 5pm i went out for a half hour walk around somerville hill. with everything closed, plenty of people had the same idea, whether just strolling, jogging, or biking. temperature was in the lower 50's but the sun was still shining brightly so it felt warmer than it actually was. i got as far as highland avenue, even going by somerville hospital where they were doing drive-through coronavirus testing. by the time i got there they seemed to have stopped testing for the day, although i did see an asian woman wearing a surgical mask driving through the hospital parking lot.
i was nearly home when my phone slipped out the jacket of my hooded sweatshirt and smashed to the pavement. i quickly picked it up and saw there was no damage and hurried home. after i had another look, the glass screen protector must've fallen on some tiny grains of sand because there were two small "bullet-hole" impact cracks on the screen. thank god i had the protector! i removed the cracked screen and spend some time in the kitchen carefully putting on a new one (luckily i bought the 3-pack). even with the most careful hands it's impossible not to get a few grain of dust trapped underneath the protection. but i've gotten pretty good at lifting up the screen and removing the dust with tape. i cleaned out most of it, hard to tell now unless you really look. the fabric case took the brunt of the impact, there's some slight abrasion on two corners, but as long as the phone wasn't damaged, i've got nothing to complain about.
the thing i didn't know about these blood drawing lances is they don't make a hole in my fingertips, it's actually more of a slit. a slit releases more blood than a simple pinprick hole. now that's my blood ordeal is over, i can explain the damage left behind on my two sacrificed fingertips. the ones that drew the most blood were the longest and deepest slits, that that's not always the case, as i can see on my early morning lances there were a few wide slits but still not a lot of blood. each of the middle and ring finger on my left hand suffered 4 lancing per finger, 2 on each side. they're almost like tiny very deep papercuts, i'll cover them up with liquid bandaid at some point to keep them from hurting.
for dinner i had the instant noodles i was planning on eating last night. i scanned the UPC of the packaging and was surprised to find they actually had it in their database. however they did not have the chinese spicy pickled radish in their list, but i was given the option to add it.
my sister's internet kept crashing. this had been happening since noontime, when i noticed her wyze cams were offline. fortunately she happened to be home at the time and i was able to walk her through the steps to reset her router and modem. i had her restart the wireless router first, because the lights on her modem were normal. that didn't seem to do anything, so i had her reset the modem as well, which fixed the problem. then it happened again a few hours later in the afternoon (3pm), followed by another time around the evening (9pm).
that's when things really started going haywire, and she kept losing her internet intermittently. she was wondering if it was because the tenants upstairs were using too much bandwidth (she's always quick to blame them whenever the internet acts weird), but this has never happened in the past. i didn't think it was the router because we turned it off-on and that didn't fix the problem; besides, it's a fairly new router (jan 2018), and a robust one at that. that makes me think if it was equipment-related, the modem has to be the weakest link.
i bought the used surfboard SB6141 back in october 2014, so it's already 6-years old at least. it wouldn't surprise me if it was on its final leg. but just the fact that the status lights were all normal, and my sister performed a speed test that showed upwards of 80Mbps download, made me scratch my head. the only other option is bad wiring. this happened in march 2018, when my sister finally lost internet completely after a lengthy period of sporadic connection whenever the weather was bad. that should've been a hint as to what was happening. when the comcast technician showed up after our 3rd nor'easter of the season, he climbed the utility pole and saw that squirrels had chewed through the wires. after replacing the cable, the internet worked as normal again. maybe it happened again? but today was a clear day, strange for the internet to be suddenly misbehaving.
my sister and i made plans to meet up early tomorrow morning (7:30am) to go down to either target or bestbuy to buy a brand new surfboard cablemodem ($90). (it won't be the first time i've activated an owned modem.) earlier better than later, since all the upstairs tenants (4) were waiting for the wifi to be back up. i've never bought a new modem before, all the ones i ever got were used or refurbished. even if it turns out to be something else, we could always return the modem if we didn't need it, better to have a backup than not. i went to bed early, around 11pm, so i could wake up early and get a headstart on my predict 2 set breakfast so i can then leave earlier. but this problem started to bug me (i know what it feels like to lose internet service), so i decided to call up comcast and schedule an appointment first, just in case the new modem didn't work.
the thing with comcast is you can't just set up an appointment. they have to run through their checklist first, before they'll do that. and whenever the internet is down, the thing they always want to do first is to reset the modem. in the all the times i've dealt with comcast, a modem reset has never solved anything. when i was given the option (through their automated call system), i actually said no. but they wouldn't take no for an answer, and after explaining the benefits of a reset, asked me again. this time i said yes.
surprisingly, the cable reset seemed to have...worked. or at least the internet was back up, judging from the live webcams. a few times the video feeds did stall, but that happens sometimes, regardless of internet connection. so i called my sister to put a temporary hold on getting a new modem, and wait and see if the internet breaks tomorrow. part of the hassle of ordering something like a cablemodem in the time of coronavirus is with retail stores limiting the number of people coming in, the new normal means waiting outside the store to be let in.