maureen texted me this morning to tell me the sad news that her mother passed away early this morning. her father was keeping watch over her mother starting at 4am but he fell asleep. when he woke up at 6am, she was already gone. when she broke the news to her other two siblings, they seemed surprised, even though she's been telling them that their mother's conditions was getting worse and she wasn't going to recover. the catholic funeral is this saturday.

i thought avocado was the missing ingredient of my bacon and egg sandwich, but the problem i discovered is the bacon is a mismatch. texture wise it's too crunch and hard, doesn't belong in a sandwich like this. bacon should be enjoyed on its own, not combined in a sandwich. tomorrow i'm going to replace the bacon with smoked ham, i think that'll be a better fit.

the weather today was actually nice so i went out for a short walk. temperature was a pleasant 45°F, the streets were wet from all the melting snow. when i returned home, i did some shoveling in just a wool sweater and no gloves, cleared some snow so the garbage collectors can have an easier time getting to the barrels.

i spotted some special holiday pokemons, caught delibird and vanillite for the very first time. i even acquired a few seasonal pikachus in holiday sweater and top hat.

it's been 2 months since the last time i cleaned the aquarium. the tank isn't actually all that dirty. there's some hair algae but there's hardly any algae on the glass walls. i mostly needed to do a water change just to replace all the water that's been lost due to evaporation. i think if i added more plants it will absorb the remaining nutrients and keep the algae in check. it took about an hour to finally clean the tank.

the the LR1130 batteries finally arrived. when i first put them into the christmas card, it didn't do anything. i had to remove the batteries and clean up the contacts using cotton swabs and alcohol. i then put back the batteries and only then did the card finally work. it's very loud for such a chintzy speaker. pressing the button will activate the song and light show and then it will stop on its own.

for dinner i heated up some frozen meatballs in the microwave and made a sub. i still haven't quite figure out how to properly warm up frozen meatballs. i've tried everything from pots to microwave, but they never come out right. i haven't tried baking, maybe it'll do that next time. i had the meatballs in the microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power with some pasta sauce, and it still exploded. the meatballs were also a little dry.

finally it's day 3 and my jiu niang is ready. there's enough liquid to float the rice grains. when i example the jars closely, i can see fine white fungal threads on the inner walls of the jar, a good sign of proper fermentation. when i tasted it, it was super sweet, another success. so my early mistake was using the instant pot. a warm 85°F fermentation doesn't produce a sweet jiu niang. the high temperature causes the rice to go sour, so you get a half sweet half sour product. next up: different types of jiu niang yeast. i ended up putting both jars of jiu niang in the fridge.