while it's true i'm still under contract with the census bureau, my last working day was almost 2 weeks ago. i still check my phone every night and every morning, and log in my availability, but i'm basically waiting to be "demobilized" (a term i learned while working in changshou). my biggest fear is waking up one morning and seeing i have cases, as unlikely as that may be.

so now that census work has dried up, i find myself falling back into my old ways. for one thing, i'm staying up later since i don't have to wake up early and prepare for my day. past few days i've been going to sleep around 3am. sleeping later results in waking up later, and i don't get up until around 10am. the weather has something to do that as well, i don't get that morning light that comes into my room, and the temperature is cooler which makes me not want to get out of bed so soon.

after getting some seedless red grapes from star market (i got a bag on friday, they were super sweet), i headed to belmont. my parents were making some kind of fried egg and bread pancakes, my father also fried some end-of-season backyard eggplants we harvested yesterday. big news this morning was white house press secretary kaleigh mcenany testing positive for coronavirus, as well as two aides. our new oximeter also arrived in the mail, in these pandemic times you can't have too much oxygen meters! we compared it to the one we already have (dr.meter brand, no longer sold). the old one is better, you can toggle the display to various orientation. the oxygen level reading is also higher on the old one, the new one reads lower (though pulse rate are the same); but given enough time, both will equalize to the same numbers. the sensor in the new oximeter is further inside the reader, so you need to put your fingertip deeper in the device to get a better reading.

in the afternoon we went to russo's in watertown. russo's does something different compared to other produce markets: they hand out gloves to everyone entering. russo's is known for their selection of hard-to-find produce. i saw some hot squash peppers which i'd never seen before, as well as new varieties of gourds.

my mother wanted to visit a nearby thrift store afterwards (sister thrift, where my aunt bought a soy milk machine for just $10) but we discovered they're closed on sundays and mondays.

back at the house, my father and i pruned one of the front lawn yew bush. i did a bit of weeding, before my father continued mowing the backyard. we ran the mower over the ornamental grass, just an easier way to cut them down versus manually with a blade. i noticed water had gotten into our small container of miracle-gro fertilizing powder so i decided to use it all up to fertilize some perennials and outdoor houseplants. the next time we do a clean-up it will probably be the last end-of-season cleaning. currently there are still a few vegetable plants (tomatoes, squashes) but they're not going to get any riper with the lower temperatures.

my father demonstrated the vitamix by blending a medley of fruits: watermelon, tomato, orange. the result was a weird smoothie that didn't taste very good, the contrast between the ingredients were too jarring.

after some fried rice for dinner (where we watched trump "trimphant" choreographed return to the white house via helicopter from the hospital), i returned home.

there was the patriots-chiefs game which had already started at 7pm. by the time i tuned it, the score was already 3-0 in favor of kansas city. brian hoyer was the quarterback. he did fairly well considering the circumstance (cam newton out due to coronavirus), and set up some promising lengthy drives. unfortunately, twice when we were about to score, hoyer made costly errors that turned the ball over. patriots defense seemed to have figured out the chiefs, and held them to just 6 points in the first half. at the end of the third quarter, belichick had seen enough and sat hoyer while putting in jarrett stidham. by that point the chiefs had made their adjustments and suddenly began to find the end zone with more frequency. the final score was 26-10, but we had our chances to win, just costly mistakes held us back. you can't blame hoyer, this was not a game the patriots had a good chance of winning, not without tom brady, not without cam newton, not with so many good players sitting out the season due to covid-19. still, in the first half we made it interesting. hopefully newton is back next sunday.

my macbook pro has been giving me the "sevice battery" notice for months now. the battery now lasts for about 1-1/2 hours before i need to recharge it. i've looked at online instructions for replacing the battery, and it doesn't seem that hard, especially how some people have been using the string hack to get underneath the battery packs and loosen the glued backing. i was going to get a battery replacement kit from ifixit. it was a more expensive ($100) but i liked it was multiple packs (like the origingal battery) instead of 3 packs (like the $88 newertech kit). i was ready to buy it when i saw it costs $20 to ship (not to mention the nearly $10 in taxes, it used the product + shipping to calculate the tax), which puts it at $130. on amazon they sell replacement batteries for just $45-60. was it worth paying twice the price? yes, you get some tools and accessories the kit, but the cheaper replacement batteries also come with tools (special screwdrivers). at this point i may go the cheaper option, the problem is choosing which one is the more reputable.