i went to star market this morning to get some green mountain coffee for my mother. before i headed out, i checked the front wheel of my bike: the tire was completely flat. i would not be riding my trek utility bike today. at the supermarket, they only had hazelnut, didn't have caramel vanilla.

back at the house, i wheeled the bike onto my backyard porch and removed the free wheel for i could inspect it at some later time. i went down into the basement to find an alternative bike. i ended up going with the other trek mountain bike because it had a milk crate basket in the back and i needed it to carry things. i pumped the tired before wheeling the bike out.

my mother wanted some bonchon fried chicken. i made the order online, they said it would be available for pickup at 12:15pm. while i waited, i packed up my things, including two containers of sichuan paocai for my paocai jar. i then biked down to harvard square to pick up my order. the alternate trek was a little low, but was still rideable, and shifted smoothly. every bike has its quirks and this one if i pedaled backwards, the chain would get clogged in the derailleur (i heard this might be a rear freewheel issue).

i was the first to arrive, but two people who arrived after me got their orders first. the cashier kept asking to see my confirmation number (she didn't ask the other customers), even after i told her my name and what i'd ordered. she finally found my food and apologized because she misheard my name. i put the korean chicken wings in an insulated bag and headed towards belmont via brattle street.

when i finally arrived at my parents' place around 12:30pm, we feasted on wings: one order of spicy wings, one order of soy garlic wings, with a side of pickled radish and cole slaw. the bonchon spicy wings are actually legitimately very spicy, not for the faint at heart. if you normally can't handle spicy food, you should avoid getting their spicy wings. fortunately the soy garlic is just as good. my mother really liked the cole slaw, said it'd be easy to make.

yesterday i brought up the idea of spraying foam insulation in a corner of the house above the basement washer underneath the bathroom where the basement ceiling is opened. from this gap i can feel a strong breeze and it's probably how also mice are occasionally getting into the house. that area also connects to a part of the kitchen below counter cabinets. in order to apply foam insulation, i first had to figure out where to spray. so i started by cleaning out the cabinet so i could crawl inside and take a look at the gap from above. you could actually look down the gap into the basement. from the basement, we turned off the lights and could see a crack of sunlight coming in. using an infrared temperature gun, we measured and got readings anywhere from 60°F to 38°F. there was most definitely some hole leading outside.

we had a can of foam insulation but it looked old and might probably be expired. instead of applying foam - which my father said would be difficult to remove if we ever needed to do any work in that area - we created a barrier using styrofoam boards instead. it'd stop the draft problem, though wouldn't necessarily keep the mice from getting inside, but we'd see it if they did. upstairs, underneath the kitchen cabinet, we used plastic sheets to block the gap. it's all kind of a hack, but better than nothing. afterwards we also used styrofoam to patch up another basement ceiling hole that was created when the solar panel guys installed the inverter in the basement.

next on the agenda was taking care of our grow room plants. upon closer inspection, at least two more jasmines have been infected by white mealybugs. i tried dabbing at them with alcohol-soaked q-tips, but ended up putting them in a cardboard box so i could spray with neem oil. afterwards i added some mosquito bits to a bucket of water and we soil drenched all the plants except for the cactuses. we also set two of the led grow lights above the jasmines to vegetation only (blue led's). we noticed they don't do too well indoors, maybe giving them less light might help. the small potted jasmines upstairs - even with so much less light - seem healthier than our basement jasmines. of course once we put the jasmines outside in late spring they'll rebound back, but we just need to keep them relatively healthy and alive until then.

after dinner i made my way back to cambridge. out of the past 3 nights, today was the warmest with a temperature of 29°F and very little wind. i wasn't used to the bike though, or maybe because i left soon after dinner, but it was a struggle climbing hills, all that biking stamina i was talking about yesterday all gone.