somehow i got the idea to make chili tonight for dinner, and rode the bike to market basket in the late morning to get my ingredients. i think i've made chili before, but always in the context of a taco kit, and i think i just used ground beef and the flavor packet, so not sure how chili that is. the recipe isn't hard, just some ground beef, some onions, some garlic, and the rest came from cans.

slow cooker chili
(4 servings)

1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped

16 oz. can kidney beans
16 oz. can black beans
24 oz. can crushed tomatoes
7 oz. can diced green chili
1 can beef broth

1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

scallions, chopped
1 shishito pepper, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
3 tbsp sour cream

heat up olive oil, cook ground beef until brown. removed beef and drain fatty liquids, add beef back to pan along with chopped onions and garlic. cook until onions turn soft. add everything to slow cooker including the rest of canned ingredients and spices. cook on low for 6-7 hours. serve with chopped scallions, shishito peppers, avocado slices, and sour cream.

while my chili was slow cooking, my father stopped by to help me move the used hot water heater from the basement with a hand truck. there was still water in the tank and we left it to drain completely in the backyard before moving it onto the sidewalk. i also tossed out some rusty shelves and a rusty bicycle.

around 3pm i noticed i'd gotten a phone call from the census office in waltham. the field manager actually called me at 2pm with a single case in cambridgeport they were wondering if i'd be interested in enumerating. unfortunately i didn't see the message until an hour later, and they'd already found somebody else for the assignment. i wonder if i blew my chance as the census go-to guy for local cases. i've always wondered how i was selected as the last person to enumerate cambridge. maybe that chance encounter with the field manager many weeks ago made her remember me. it doesn't matter too much since according to the commerce security the census count will end by monday.

i fell asleep around 5pm on the couch and woke up an hour later. when i looked out, everything i left on the curb were now gone. the city of cambridge didn't do this, because the scheduled pickup wasn't until tomorrow, so it was probably somebody looking for scrap metal to sell. this meant i didn't need to get a disposal sticker after all, and will need to go back to the public works office to see if i can get a refund.

i had the worst diarrhea when i woke up, with a sense of bloating and an urgency to go. i couldn't figure out why as i didn't eat anything else today other than a salmon cream cheese bagel for lunch. but if my lunch was bad, it wouldn't hit me this late in the day. then i remembered the container of ice breakers sours i was snacking on. i had a suspicious that was the cause, and sure enough, sorbitol was the main ingredient, an artificial sugar that causes diarrhea in people when consumed in large enough quantities. it took about an hour before the effects finally wore off.

when i went to go check on my chili, it had already rendered so much that i couldn't tell there was any tomatoes, and everything was very soupy. i was hoping to wait until the presidential debate started before eating, but that wasn't until 9pm, so i ate around 7pm. the chili became less watery after i turned off the heat. i had a big bowl of it, served with chopped scallions and shishito peppers, plus half an avocado with some sour cream. it was okay, super hearty, but could use more salt, which i'm disinclined to add, since i normally prefer my saltiness to come from ingredients. i heard chili gets better with age, so i'm hoping it'll get chunkier tomorrow and the next day.

the debate was a disgrace, perhaps the worst presidential debate in US history. trump's strategy was to simply talk over biden whenever it was his turn to speak, despite multiple admonishments from the moderator. there were times when all three men were talking at the same time. it was like an adult (biden) debating with a 7 year old (trump) who was never taught any manners. at one point the moderator asked trump if he'd repudiate white supremacy, in which point trump shockingly actually doubled down and told them to be on standby. biden was disciplined for the most part, but a few occasions took the bait when trump made personal attacks on his sons. at this point there's no reason to watch the other 2 debates if they're going to be garbage fires like it was tonight. all the hype and very little substance. i think most people went into the debate already decided who they're going to vote for, so it didn't sway any voters. the fabled undecided voters? they just want attention, if you're undecided by this point, you almost don't deserve to vote.

i achieved something tonight: i sewed my own button! it was a pair of shorts that the button fell off last summer. i waited more than a year but finally got around to sewing the button back on with the sewing kit i got from the dollar store. first i watched a video teaching you how to sew a button. it sounds simple but to do it right involves some steps i didn't even think of. for instance, creating some tension in the button so afterwards i can made a half dozen loops underneath the button to make it easier to close. not to brag, but i think i did a pretty good job. feeling ambitious, i sewed close a tear on a polo shirt where the fabric had detached.