after another bagel sandwich for lunch, i took the motorcycle to the cafe with my set of combination wrenches. my father was busy spraying some mealybug infested orchid and jasmine with homemade insecticidal soap. i went into the basement and removed part of the bad thermocouple from the furnace with a 3/8" wrench. my father came down and helped me remove the temperature probe end. i then went to watertown home depot to get a replacement thermocouple. i got the everbilt 24" thermocouple ($11.98) along with a fluidmaster universal toilet fill valve ($6.95, the cafe toilet is broken as well), both charged to the company credit card.

coming back, i made a stop at my parents' place because our replacement vitamix knockoff container had arrived. i just wanted to make sure it was the entire container (container, lid, blade assembly) and not just the container portion. it seemed legit. the plastic seemed solid, not sure if it's tritan (probably not) but doesn't seem like it'd shatter if it fell on the floor. it came with a 6-blade assembly, not the 4-blade that was shown in the listing, but we actually prefer the 6-blade. the blades were also pointed instead of flat, and the edges were serrated. one thing that's missing are air holes at the bottom of the container, which our real vitamix container had. it doesn't matter for cold blends but the air holes seem important for long duration high speed hot blends.

back at the cafe my father and i installed the thermocouple. it wasn't easy. something i realized was i should've gotten the 30" thermocouple as this one was a little short so we had to reroute how it went to the pilot light. my father and i disagreed on how to mount the temperature sensor of the thermocouple to the pilot light assembly. it came with a small clip-on adapter that took us the longest time to figure out how to mount. workspace was also tight, as we tried not to bend the metal gas feed tube too much. we also vacuumed the inside of the furnace, which seemed like it's never been cleaned before. there were mounds of rust colored sand at the bottom of the furnace, as well as inside the removable burner tubes. put everything back, it was my father who saw i'd put the burner tube with the pilot light assembly in the wrong order. once everything was back in place, we lit the pilot light. this time it stayed lit. i went upstairs and turned on the nest thermostat. the furnace turned on (after we put the switch from pilot to on). so everything seems to work now.

last night i went online looking for a foreman grill replacement, something that has removable plates for easier cleaning. the one that i currently have looks like an imac and has a red plastic bun warmer on the top. it was a groomsman present from manny from june 2003 so i've had it for 17+ years. i wasn't even sure if the company still existed, but they're still making grills, just that george foreman doesn't seem to be their celebrity endorser anymore even though his name is still on the product. i went to their website and something caught my eye: the contact smokeless digital grill. it looked like a foreman grill from the future, like a chonky short flatbed scanner. for one thing, it wasn't sloped; fat drippings go down holes on the cooking plates which are removable. but how can it be smokeless? i looked at some of their ads, it said it's 85% less smoke. so yeah, you can't grill something without smoke, but i'll take anything that promises to be less smoky. i even saw a video comparing a regular foreman grill with a smokeless grill and there was definitely less smoke. it also had a digital touchscreen to set the temperature and the timer, something i never had with my old foreman with the plastic bun warmers.

i tried to find more info about the contact smokeless digital grill (it's the contact version; there are also versions where it's basically an indoor grill with no cover). most of the reviews i read (amazon, walmart, target, costco, company website) have been positive. i tried to see if there were any youtube videos about people using this grill and surprisingly there were very few review videos, almost like this just came out recently and people haven't discovered it yet.

just so happens costco was having a sale on this exact same grill. normally they sell for $100 (which is already pretty cheap), but in order to match the buying hype that was amazon prime day, the grill is discounted to $70 this week. i asked my parents if i should get it, and my mother said they have 2 unused foreman grills at their place. but after i showed them photos of my current foreman, i was surprised when they said i should get it, i was expecting some more resistance.

i left the cafe by 4:30pm. my mother packed me a lunch box special for dinner. when i got home i immediately ordered the contact smokeless foreman grill. $70 for the grill, $5 for shipping, another $5 for taxes. the only thing i'm worried about is the size. from the photos i can't quite tell how large it is and there are conflicting size dimensions based on whether it's the company website or amazon. it's definitely large than the grill i have now, which is only 1-serving size, while this new grill is 4-6 servings. if it's too big, i may end up returning it, and simply use one of the old foreman grill from my parents' place.

i tried to clean my old foreman grill. i went to the dollar tree this morning to get a scrubbing brush. i then let the grill preheat before spritzing it with water. after the steam treatment, i sprayed again and used the brush to scrap off the remaining residue. i then repeated this treatment several times. it was a real mess, water and oil splattering everything, i nearly burned myself a few times from the steam. i also killed the brush because the cheap plastic bristles wasn't designed to handle the heat so they deformed. i managed to remove a decent amount of residue, but it revealed parts of the grill plates where the non-stick coating has come off. i definitely need to upgrade my grill game.

i ate dinner while watching the biden town house on ABC. tonight was supposed to be the 2nd presidential debate (town hall style), but trump backed out when the organizers said it'd be a virtual town hall in light of his recent coronavirus infection. for some strange reason NBC couldn't resist the opportunity and offered trump his own town hall to compete with biden's. out of principle, i wouldn't watch trump's town hall. i did watch biden's, but i switched channels after about half an hour. biden was a little rambling and took his time to answer questions. not that other politicians don't ramble as well, but for once i prefer a candidate that will delivery succinct answers to questions instead of trying to hit talking points. granted, the questions can be complex for complicated problems, but still, he wasn't telling me anything i didn't already know. later i read reports of the trump town hall. trump was evasive and deceitful, which fits what we know about him. what he didn't plan on was for NBC to stage a trap, and the moderator (samantha guthrie) was not going to give him a free pass whenever he lied and grilled him further on his inaccurate answers. NBC had gotten a lot of bad press from democrats who argue they were just enabling trump's bad behavior, but in light of what a hostile environment it was for trump, NBC has regained my trust again.