this morning i moved the wire shelving plant stand to the back of the house by the french door. because today was rainy and cloudy, i couldn't tell how much sun the plants would eventually get. whatever the case may be, this is my setup to keep my houseplants alive during the winter. the umbrella plants, the prayer plants, the thanksgiving cactus, i know they can handle it because they've been here before; the only new plant are the pileas, if they seem to be suffering, i can always throw them into the closet under a 24W grow light.
as for the old shelf, it was a collapsible baker's rack i bought back in october 2009. the fact that it folds up makes for easy storage, which is perfect because i currently don't have a place for it in my house. i don't think any of the plants i had back in 2009 have survived with the exception of the umbrella plant, which spent a period of time at the cafe where my father raised it back to health. i used to have a long trailing philodendron that i somehow managed to kill at some point. i'd love to get another one.
i added some new long beans to a jar of already fermenting long beans. i wasn't sure if they'd fit, but the soaked long beans have turned soft enough that i can compress them even more to make room for the new beans. i picked this particular jar because it looked like it had more space but also because there was a bit of yeast growing on the surface because some of the long bean tips were out of the brine.
i finished the last of my pound cake for lunch while watching the news. i haven't really been following the weather forecast too closely, but we're supposed to get some bombogenesis tonight as a nor'easter hits the area.
in the early afternoon i walked down to walgreens to pick up my prescriptions. they'd been ready since saturday, one of the pharmacist even called me this morning to remind me. i brought my umbrella in case it rained but it was unnecessary. the temperature was surprisingly balmy at 60 degrees with a tropical humidity, a farcry from this weekend when our temperatures dipped into the lower 40's. i also got some cayenne pepper almonds on sale ($5/2); nuts are one of my guilt-free snacks, although i do question how healthy these almonds are when they're flavored with so much spices.
drugs are expensive. here's what mine cost if i didn't have insurance: qty 30 hydrochlorothiazide 12.5mg capsules $19.99, qty 30 irbesartan 300mg tablets $113.39, qty 30 amlodipine besylate 5mg tablets $45.99. that's $179/month out of pocket if i didn't have health insurance, or $2148 annually. there's no reason why these drugs are this expensive, other than bilking the insurance companies.
when i got back home i finally started calling some additional plumbers, since none of the ones i reached out to last week bothered to call me back. i tried winters home service and pann home service, two companies whom vans i've seen quite often around the neighborhood. both used online form submissions from their website. pann never got back to me but winters did. the woman told me they're weren't taking any new customers, and the earliest they had availability was end of november. she said the problem is they also do a lot of HVAC work, and this time of the year everyone's trying to get their heating fixed for the winter, so they've been very busy. she suggested i call a dedicated plumber who could fit me into their schedule a lot sooner. i told her the reason why i called them was because i saw a winters van parked outside my house over the weekend. she actually remembered the address, said they were there installing a new heating system. i called I&C mechanical as well, as they were one of the first recommendations when i did a search for plumbers. the guy i spoke with was very curt when i asked for an estimate, he said they didn't have time to do that, and would start repairs as soon as they arrived, charging $240 for the first hour and $200 each subsequent hours.
i also tried calling alewife co. again. i spoke with victor, who told me he'd relay my message to mike. i asked victor if the fact that mike hasn't gotten in touch with me for so long meant he wasn't interested in the work, ad victor assured me that wasn't the case, they he was running mike "ragged" as they've been very busy.
it was only after i finished contacting all these plumbers did i finally feel a little less tense and could relax. i used the bathroom once more (the stress was making me constipated) then took a shower (i haven't bathed in more than 24 hours).
at 4pm i finally got around to cleaning my aquarium. i looked at my records, the last time i cleaned my fish tank was back in early august. has it really been over 2 months ago? i really should be doing weekly water changes, i say this every time but i'm going to put it on my calendar so i'll remember to do it. the hair algae were like carpets and strands of it were clogging the aquarium filter intake tube. it took me an hour to finish cleaning the tank. i saved some of the used aquarium water in 2L soda bottles (for watering my plants) and poured out the rest.
while working on the fish tank i noticed the recessed light directly above the aquarium wasn't lit. it'd been acting weird for a few weeks, when i go into the kitchen i felt like the light was flickering in my peripheral vision but when i stopped to look i could never see it. turns out the bulb was dying, that was the reason. when i switched in another bulb, it worked fine. so i changed all the recessed light bulbs in my kitchen from 50W halogen to 13W LED back in june 2016. these wer PAR30 bulbs. i'm going to see if costco still carries them, otherwise i'll just buy through home depot ($6/single bulb).
the rain started to pick back up in the late afternoon. i was actually going to move my motorcycle but as soon as i went out it started to rain so i decided against it. besides the rain, it was also very windy, felt like a hurricane. i listened to the howling of the winds the rest of the day.
my sister got a 1 month trial of HBO/max and gave me her account password. so what do i do when i log into the app? watch all 60 episode of the wire of course! i forgot HBO has the HD widescreen version remastered from the original 35mm film. i would like to see the original 4:3 version, but HBO has no plans to release those.
for dinner i made some rice porridge. i've made congee recently but using the instant pot pressure cooker. making it on the stovetop however, i've probably only made it a few times in my life, i want to say just once or twice. like i was surprised how much water goes into making rice porridge: i used 3/4 cup of rice but 8 cups of water (about a 1:10 ratio). it also took a while to cook, nearly 1-1/2 hours while i left it simmering under low-medium heat. i also added some julienned ginger, 1 tsp of salt, a dash of chinese cooking wine, and a pinch of white ground pepper. once the congee was of a proper consistency, i added the leftover minced pork and fermented long beans from last night along with half a package of pickled radish. i ate a big bowl along with some gluten from a old jar that may or may not have expired.