it wasn't like i wanted to sleep late, but i got caught chatting with alex in tokyo for 2 hours until 3am, and didn't go to sleep until 4am. i woke up at 10am.

the news this morning was patriots cornerback stephon gilmore's positive test for coronavirus. with cam newton sidelined this past weekend and now gilmore testing positive, i get the feeling more players will start testing positive within the coming days, jeopardizing the game this weekend. as excited as i am that cam newton is our new quarterback, i'm also fine if football season is cancelled due to the coronavirus. unlike basketball where they played inside of a bubble, you just can't do that with football. pretend like the pandemic isn't real, but eventually it's going to catch up to the NFL and the season will be over.

i went to market basket in the early afternoon, before the supposed storm was due to arrive beginning at 3pm with strong winds followed by the possibility of a quick downpour at 5pm. even then it was definitely windy and the clouds in the sky looked unusual, like some bad weather was coming. i brought some cans to recycle, managed to get $1 worth of deposits. i bumped into my 2nd uncle, i see him there fairly often.

the heat water faucet in my bathroom sink has been getting worse, now it's barely a trickle. i looked up ways to unclog water pipes and came across a method called back flushing. so basically i turn off the hot water feed in the basement, plug the spigot aerator (i used a dime), turn on the hot water on the sink, turn on the cold water on the sink, and finally turn on the hot water in the bathtub. the idea is using the cold water to flush the hot water pipe; instead of the water exiting from the sink (where it'd clogged), the water is forced to back flush and hopefully clear any debris at the other open faucet.

so i gave it a try, flushed my bathroom sink-to-tub a few times, but it didn't seem to do anything. there were a few grains of sand coming out, but not the chunks of debris i was hoping for. more importantly, the cold water coming from the hot water faucet didn't seem to have a lot of pressure, so i was afraid i might've made it worse, inadvertently clogging other parts of my plumbing. i gave up, closed everything back up, and went into the basement to turn the hot water back on.

when i tried the hot water faucet in the bathroom, i was amazed. the hot water in the tub had always been okay, but the pressure still never matched the cold water faucet which is much stronger. but now the hot water pressure was the same as the cold water, coming out of the spigot at full blast i'd never seen before. i tried the hot water faucet on the bathroom sink. it was still low, but better than before, i could live with it. i tried the kitchen sink: better than the bathroom sink, i wouldn't say full blast, but an improvement over what it was before. the only thing i didn't try was washer, i'll find out the next time i do laundry.

so even though there wasn't a lot of debris, doing the back flushing seemed to have improved the hot water pressure. it's such a simple non-invasive trick, i'm surprised my plumber didn't know about it, but instead told me the only way to improve the water pressure was to do all the plumbing (at considerable cost). at some point i'm still going to replace the hot water pipes into the sink, but that's a future DIY project, and not so urgent now.

i noticed an amazon delivery driver outside my house for a very long time, from the start of my plumbing fix to the end. i wasn't sure what was going on until i heard banging on his van door, apparently he got locked out and was waiting for someone to open the door for him. i felt bad for him, it could happen to anyone, especially since these drivers get in and out of their vehicles hundreds of times a day, and they can't just leave the van unlocked to protect the packages. finally a flatbed trunk came by, and at first i thought it couldn't make the turn because the van was in the way, but it was actually the roadside assistant guy. he got this tool and basically opened the van door in 15 seconds, it was amazing. the fact that he managed to open a locked door so effortlessly makes me think why we even bother to lock our cars since a thief could still get in.

the deli gave me too much prosciutto so i had it with my pita bread and tzatziki as an afternoon snack. i also got a gallon of apple cider. do you know it takes 15 lbs. of apple to make a single gallon of cider? a lot of apples were sacrificed. this cider contains potassium sorbate so i can't use it to make my apple jack. i'll need to check the selection/prices at whole foods to find some non-preservative cider.

my father stopped by briefly to drop off some empty kimchi jars that he got back at the house. he also went to home depot to look for loctite threadlocker blue 242 to rebuilt the vitamix blade assembly, but they didn't have any even though on their website it said they had 18 in stock. i ended up buying it on amazon.com which was actually cheaper (it'll arrive tomorrow).

i watched the first episode of the good lord bird about john brown, infamous abolitionist terrorist. i have a soft spot for john brown because junior year of high school i did a history project were some friends and i made a video depicting the life of JB. it was a terrible film, the ending featured a lengthy hanging scene as the credits rolled. i think we screened it for some parents and one of my friends apologized to a mother with a young child, that we didn't warn them beforehand. it's an interesting series, based on a book, the narrator a young teenage slave who is mistaken for a girl and spends the rest of the story pretending to be female. the budget didn't include a better way to make blue eyes because on close-ups it's obvious they're contacts. and the "good lord bird" of the story actually refers to the ivory-billed woodpecker, which appears a few times in the pilot episode, obviously CGI and looks like a cartoon bird.

the storm didn't come until almost 6pm. it was more wind than rain, almost like a microburst, trees outside were swaying violently, a brief bout of sideway rain, and just like that it was over. i checked the webcams at my parents' place to see if the outdoor houseplants had toppled over but all the cameras were dead, which could only mean belmont lost power. my parents happened to be going home at that time, and when they got back i called to verify (yes, no electricity), and they also said they saw many branches and trees down all over town.

talking with my mother reminded me to check my bank account for my latest census check. this week's check would've reflected the last time i worked 2 weeks ago. sure enough, the amount was half of what i normally make. that marks the end of my census payments. it was fun while it lasted. even though i don't have any work, i still have to wait until the end of the month before i can return my census equipment.

for dinner i cooked up two frozen hamburger patties in the foreman grill. i had two fans running to blow the smoke out of my kitchen. i timed dinner to coincide with the vice presidential candidate debate between kamala harris and mike pence.

this debate was more civil than the presidential debate between biden and trump, although pence seemed to have take a page from trump's playbook and talk beyond his budgeted time, despite the multiple interjection from the moderator asking him to stop speaking. earlier political talking heads were saying how loyal pence is to trump, that in all the times reporters have interacted with pence, they've never seen him once say anything bad about trump, that they "never saw a crack of daylight" between the two. the best part was pence's obvious pink eye (a possible sign of coronavirus) and at one point a fly landed on his hair and stayed there for several minutes before flying off.