i woke up early this morning on the coldest day so far this winter to ride down to the cambridge recycling center to drop off some used lithium ion batteries (one from my macbook pro, one from my aunt's nexus tablet). the recycling center used to be open nearly every day, but due to the pandemic it's now only opened tuesday evenings and saturday mornings. when i called them yesterday - hoping i could simply drop off the batteries - they told me i could only come during the designated times.
the recycling center is just a quarter of the way from my house to chinatown, a bit over a mile, taking me less than 7 minutes to get there. it was cold but the sun was out so it wasn't too bad. a man was asking if he could drop off his used air conditioner, a worker there was trying to explain to him that he needed a sticker. he seemed annoyed and when i said hello to him later while he was dumping out some scrap metal, he ignored me. for things like batteries or fluorescent light bulbs or ink cartridges, you basically help yourself by dumping the items in one of the plastic drawers. only electronics dropoffs were surprised, maybe to prevent scavengers from helping themselves to discarded parts. they used to also offer books here as well, but since the pandemic, the book depot has been closed.
my mother called me while i was at the recycling center, said it was too cold and that my father could come and pick me up. i told her i was already out biking and that it wasn't that cold.
a single person from michigan won the mega billion jackpot last night. this person has a year to claim the prize and is probably busy hiring a financial advisor and making plans to quit a job or whatnot. i'm happy that someone finally won because it means i won't feel compelled to keep on buying losing tickets. when i passed by a store that sold lottery tickets, i was happy to see the numbers back at 20/20: $20 million jackpot for power ball and $20 million jackpot for mega millions.
after returning home, i gathered my things and left for belmont by around 11am. it was too cold to play pokemon go; besides, i'd already tagged some pokestops while i was at the recycling center, so i'd already fulfilled my quota for the day, keeping my streak alive. it was my first time riding to belmont with my newly repaired bike, i happy to report that the skip didn't skip once, but i didn't really try stress testing it, like riding up standing up, because i didn't want to risk a chain skip and falling off the bike.
i had some jiu niang soup for lunch as well as three beef buns dipped in vietnamese garlic hot sauce. although the afternoon temperature had risen to 34 degrees (barely above freezing), i still thought it was too cold and slightly windy for drone flying. neither did i check the status of our indoor houseplants, got the rest of the weekend to do that. i helped my mother order a few macy's fleece hooded jackets. my father and i cleaned out the streaky toner cartridge of the brother laser printer.
for dinner, my father made shaobing in the electric baking pan. my aunt had given my parents a large dungeness crab which they cooked by steaming in a large frying pan.
i can't remember the last time i ate crabs. i've eaten lobsters more often than i have crabs, neither of which i like very much (although i do find chinese stir-fried chopped lobster to be very delicious). i wasn't going to have any but tried a few pieces out of curiosity. immersed in a ginger & vinegar dipping sauce, the crab was actually pretty good, turned me back out to them. afterwards my father broken open the body and steamed them a bit more before eating the rest. i tried the broth that was created from the crab's inner organs: very naturally salty, with a strong seafood taste, almost like sipping seaweed cooked in salt water. my father not only drank the broth but also ate most of the guts. only later did i read that sometimes the guts can be toxic (though the crab came from whole foods i heard, so i'd imagine it's fairly fresh stock).
my father kept insisting he give me a ride home for much of the day as we watched the temperature continue to drop. by the time i left, the outdoor temperature was in the mid-20's though factoring in the wind chill it probably felt colder. i was ready for this scenario and had brought additional layers of clothes just for the occasion. i had the neck gaiter to go over my face and 100% wool mittens on top of my gloves. i had so much additional layers on my head that i could barely buckle my bike helmet. plus, the additional surgical face mask was another layer keeping my face warm, although when i finally got home the inside was soaked from condensation.
i noticed it last night: my bathroom light was unusually dim. i thought it was my imagination, but when i turned it one tonight, something was off. so i unscrewed the fixture and examined the halogen (xenon) bulb. sure enough, it looked like it was blown out although the bulb was still shining, just not as bright. fortunately i had a spare bulb and quickly replaced it (GY6.35 12V 50W). when i turned it on the difference was night and day. the above-sink bathroom fixture is the only light in the house that hasn't been converted to LED's yet. i've been searching but maybe the technology still hasn't caught up yet. these GY6.35 5W LED bulbs might be a good candidate though, i might get some to try out.
after a shower i continued watching the stand. i just finished episode 5, starting episode 6 which will catch me up to all the so-far released episodes (a total of 9).