when i saw my aunt on the cafe webcam, i rode down there in the late morning to let her try my homemade half sour pickles. it's been more than 2 weeks since i last tried them (when i noticed the scary blue stains which i figured out was caused my the garlics), so i wasn't sure if the flavor had improved since then. they seemed soft at first, but they were still very crunchy. my aunt thought it was too salty, my mother said it wasn't salty enough. i thought it tasted exactly like the nathan's half sour pickles i occasionally buy from the store. i also gave her a small 4 oz. jar of habanero hot sauce i made last night.

my mother gave me some leftover persian kabob with rice my parents ate last night. when i got back home i had it for lunch. i didn't have any sumac to sprinkle on my saffron rice, but it was still pretty good cold, better than what i originally thought about having, either indomie mi goreng, or a piece of frozen pound cake.

weather today was very nice, temperature in the 60's but felt warmer because the sun was out. typically on a friday i'd run down to boston for some supplies, but there was nothing i needed, so i decided to skip the trip today despite the nice weather. instead i lifted my bike inside the house to do some fixes. it was too dark, so i worked outside on the porch.

while trying to remove the bolt attaching the left bottom of my rear bike baskets onto the bike, i managed to snap the bolt in half. in order to remove it, i'd need to drill through the bolt. i ended up using some strong wires to temporarily tie the baskets onto the bike.

the main repair was trying to get the front derailleur to work. i thought about replacing the shifter cable, but it was still relatively new, since i replaced it when i replaced the front derailleur back in may 2019. besides, in order to spool a new cable into the SRAM TRX shifter housing, i needed to remove it from the handlebar which was too much of a hassle. the shifter itself might be broken, it never quite worked right after i exploded the assembly and put everything back together again, like taking apart a complicated watch; i could never be sure if i assembled it correctly. the shifters have always been a little weird on this bike, ever since i decided to use SRM shifters on shimano derailleurs (march 2012). back then i read they were compatible, but for full compatible, i should've just gone with shimano shifters instead (i just really like the SRAM rapidfire shifter look).

in the end, after respooling the shifter cable back through the derailleur (no easy task, as the cable was frayed at the end and had to be pulled from the bottom), i clamped it so that it's always on the middle gear. at least i can ride it for the time being until i can order a new set of shimano shifters.

the rest of the day i binged watched squid game on netflix. i think i watched the first 5 minutes a few weeks ago, didn't think it was for me, but i thought my mother might like it. but this kind of gruesome battle royale storyline didn't appeal to her either, so we basically forgot about it. but through the weeks i kept on hearing about the show, and people were raving about how good it was, so i decided to give it another try. after the first episode (which i watched yesterday), i was invested. i watched a few more episodes last night, and then today i nearly finished it, just one episode remaining which i'll watch in bed when i go to sleep. i thought i knew how the story would go, but there were surprises. like how in episode 2, their captors left everyone go, based on a rule that says if the majority votes to leave, the rest of the survival games will be cancelled. of course the reason why these contestants were picked in the first place was they all had money problems, so it wasn't long before they went back to the game (to win the big cash prize).

i had another anchovy salad for dinner, even more delicious than last night. as much as i love eating salads for their health and weight loss benefits, i don't eat salads when the weather gets cold, just like how i stop drinking ice water. i'm saying my salad days are numbered. once we transition into winter mode, i switch to heartier hot foods.

i watched game 2 of the ALDS between the red sox and the rays. the red sox were not going to be shutout like they were last night, and put up 2 runs in the 1st inning. that happy feeling didn't last very long when tampa bay smashed a grand slam homer in the same inning, putting the score at 2-5. luckily boston had it's offensive firing on all cylinders tonight, scoring 2 runs in the 3rd, 4 runs in the 5th, and 1, 2, 3 runs respectively in the final 3 innings, for a final score of 14-6. seems like the momentum has shifted to the red sox, just in time for a 2 game series in boston. i forgot that the ALDS is 5 games, so if boston can sweep tampa bay this weekend, they'll advance to the ALCS. once again my cousin eric was watching the game as well, sending me text and photos of the game.

i ended up buying a pair of shimano altus SL-M315 shifters (3x7) from aliexpress ($23.79). originally i thought about getting a pair of shimano SL-TX50 3x7 shifters for $20 off of ebay. they feature display windows, but the shifters sit above the handlebars, and i'm used to my shifters below (like the SRAM). the altus is a higher level of shimano bike products, above the tourney, but they're backwards compatible, so i decided to go with the altus because it looks more similar to the SRAM shifters. it's coming from china so it may take a few weeks before they arrive but i'm in no hurry.