it's starting to get cold in the house. i woke up with a chill, the same feeling i get waking up in the mornings during the winter, when i can feel the cold on my nose. i'm still using my summer blanket when i should be upgrading to the winter blanket. still too early for heat though, unless you're a tetra, because i already turned on the aquarium heater a few days ago. before i even used the bathroom this morning, i was already cutting up oranges and squeezing them for juice. i ended up using all 8 remaining navel oranges.
my mother made some beef noodle soup for lunch. two big local sports events happening today: red sox vying for a wild card playoff spot and the return of tom brady to foxborough, this time as the QB of the visiting team. the baseball game wasn't until 3pm and the football game was later in the evening, so i had some time to spare.
my father and i overhauled our barbecue grill by replacing the burner tubes, burner shield tents, and crossover tubes. we received the spare parts about a month ago but only now getting to replace them. the burner shields were just replaced last year, and were still usable despite suffering a bit of corrosion. however, the kit that we got came with shields, so we ended up replacing everything. the most difficult things was removing the burner tubes and installing the new ones. the screws anchoring the old tubes had rusted shut. we hit it a few times with WD40, but none of the screws would budge. my father ended up cutting the old burner tubes in half with an angle grinder, then grinding off the screws. good thing he recently replaced the sanding pad on the grinder. it was quite the production, with sparks flying everywhere.
then when we tried to install the new tubes, they wouldn't fit. that's because the control panel had been slightly dented one time during a particularly windy storm that managed to tip over the grill. we finally got the new burner tubes to fit by releasing some additional screws alongside the control panel and slightly pulling out the panel as i position the tubes into place.
the renewed barbecue grill had some nice clean blue flames with no orange flareups. we probably extended the life of this old grill for a few more years. while we were at it, we also replaced the propane tank when we discovered it was running on empty (there were two full tanks in the garage).
my father's been trickle charging the duralast 27DC marine deep cycle battery in the basement. i remember we have a battery tester designed for vehicle batteries so we dug it up and tested it on the duralast. this battery is rated as 85Ah. it managed to charge fully, but the tester said it was only 27% healthy and should be replaced. i think we should go with a lithium battery solution because they last longer (can be used down to near empty).
i discovered another one of our smart plug has died, the one previously assigned to the basement dehumidifier. it was working fine yesterday, until i unplugged it from the wall. when i went to go plug it back in today, the status led was on but dim, and the plug wouldn't toggle when i hit the button. they're not designed to be easily opened, otherwise we'd try to fix it. fortunately i still have 2 more spare plugs that haven't been used yet.
we have way more long bean seeds than we know what to do with. it's not like we planned it, just that they're easy to miss until they fully ripen, by that point the beans are inedible. they also produce a lot of bean seeds, give how long a single bean can grow. we also have a bunch of hyacinth beans in various stages of drying. when they're fresh they're very plump, almost like a raisinet, we speckled patterns on the outer shell, but eventually they'll shrink in size and lose their patterning. my father also harvested some more mustard seeds; not enough to make mustard paste, but enough to grow for next season.
depending on where we were standing outside today, we could smell the osmanthus flowers. pound for pound, they have the most potent fragrance given how small the flowers are. in the evening i moved it inside given how much it's going to rain over the next 2 days, we don't want the newly transplanted osmanthus to get completely soaked.
around 5pm my father started grilling some food for dinner: drumsticks and pineapples, followed by shishito peppers. earlier my mother had marinated the chicken, but in something that smelled very much like italian dressing, so there was a strong vinegary smell and taste. afterwards i brushed it with sauce but i must've had a brain fart because i used korean barbecue sauce instead of our usual thai sweet chili sauce. i think they came out okay, but the vinegary marinade was a little overpowering. the pineapples were just marinated in some sugar and cinnamon, when the secret ingredient is melted butter. it was for the best we didn't add the butter, because the pineapple themselves were a little tart. afterwards we put a retangular cast-iron griddle and grilled a bunch of shishito peppers that had previously been tossed with some olive oil. we also sprinkled some sea salt for flavor. i believe this is our first time using this griddle that i found. we have a round cast-iron one but it doesn't fit inside of the barbecue grill. while waiting for the food to finish cooking, we saw a palm warbler hanging out in the pine tree - yellow with a reddish brown cap. that reminds me of the carolina wren i saw hiding in the yew bush yesterday.
my mother - still recovering from her shingle shot - doesn't have all her appetite back (but she no longer feels tired or has a fever). she only ate one drumstick and a few shishito peppers. my father ate at least 4 drumsticks and ate a whole bunch of shishito peppers before he came across a hot one. i also had a few hot shishitos.
i left soon afterwards, hoping to get back home before the rain began. ever since my motorcycle's been tuned, it doesn't run as hot anymore, so i can put the rain cover over it as soon as i get home without having to wait for the tailpipes to cool down to a temperature that won't set the cover on fire. it actually been raining intermittently throughout the day, brief drizzles but fat drops like it might be something more severe. i also wanted to get home early so i can prepare for the sunday night football game between the buccaneers and the patriots.
before the game started, i caught the red sox score. when i checked earlier, the red sox were tied with the nationals 5-5 in the 7th inning. i figured boston probably lost, and would have to play a tiebreaker against the bluejays, since toronto and new york both won today. but to my surprise, the red sox actually won the game, 7-5. my taiwanese cousin eric even texted me, and later he called me from taiwan to talk basement before he had to go to work. the one game wild card playoff match will be on tuesday, with the yankees visiting fenway park.
as for the football game, brady didn't play well at first, overthrowing his receivers. maybe it was nerves, maybe it was rain, maybe the stifling defense. patriots' offense played terrible, couldn't advance the ball, and costly turnovers didn't help either. even though the bucs seemed to have possession of the ball for most of the first half, they couldn't capitalize, and had to settle for field goals. new england managed to get a touchdown in the 2nd quarter and was up 7-6 going into halftime. in the second half the two teams were swapping leads. with less than a minute to go, patriots were in a position to win with a field goal, and the kick looked good, until it clanged off of the goal post, giving tom brady the win, 19-17. even though new england lost, the game was probably more competitive than most people had imagined, and had that kick gone through, it'd be a totally different story. but brady was classy as always, probably easier to be magnanimous after a victory, thanking the fans and all his former patriots teammates. i like what i see from mac jones, the 1-3 record so far doesn't show it, but he's definitely a legit QB, and it's only a matter of time before he'll have more wins than loses.