i promised i was going to do weekly water changes in my aquarium (to keep the hair algae in check) but i've already missed 2 changes, and i wasn't going to miss a 3rd. one of the things i wanted to try was using a toothbrush to remove the hair algae. when i went to get my teeth cleaned last week, the dentist gave me a complimentary colgate toothbrush but i didn't want to use that one, but instead wanted something cheap and disposable. so i went down to the dollar store to look for a more inexpensive option. turns out they sold the type of toothbrush i got for free. i ended up buying one with the largest brush head. coming back i stopped by star market to look for leaf bags but they didn't have any.

so i did a quick water change, as well as remove any hair algae i saw. using a toothbrush to remove the strands was okay, but it was a lot quicker if i just used my hand. hopefully i'll remember to do a water change next tuesday. i saved the fish tank water to use as fertilizer for my plants.

i finished just in time to make a matcha latte and watch michelle wu get sworn in as the new mayor of boston. it's the first time this season i made a matcha latte, i almost forgot how to do it. i basically heated up a glass of milk in the microwave for 1 minute, then added a tsp of matcha powder plus some honey and stirred it with the milk frother. wu's brief speech was inspirational, i got a little goosebump listening to her.

next came time to fix the screen door. when i first moved into this place nearly 20 years ago, one of the contractors doing some work here accidentally walked through the screen door, putting a gash at the bottom. i never bothered getting it fixed, even though insects were getting into the house during the summertime. then i learned fixing a screen is actually pretty easy, and a screen door repair kit along with a spline tool and spline cost just $10. i first needed a place to work. i was going to do it on the floor of the living room, then decided to do it from the dining table. that's when i discovered the chairs had mold growing on them, so i spent time wiping them down, before realizing it wasn't going to work from the table. i ended up doing it outside on the backyard deck.

it was pretty straight-forward: first remove the old spline, after that the old screen easily pops out; then layer on the new screen and insert the new spline with the spline tool; finally use an utility knife to trim off the excess screen material. the manufacturer even had a handy how-to video on youtube. considering this was my first time replacing the screen, i thought i did a pretty good job. the screen i got was the clear advantage, which apparently is supposed to let in more light (cost a little more); it seems more transparent, but i've decided to keep my screen door in the basement during the winter so my plants can get more light. the spline tool wasn't designed to last, it seemed pretty battered up after a single use.

while i was in the basement storing the screen door, i also replaced my furnace filter. i've already had the heat on in my house for about 2 weeks now, enough time for the old filter to trap whatever amount of dust had accumulated in my forced air ducts. a few years back i bought a whole box of filters so i'm all set for the next half decade.

next on the agenda was raking the backyard leaves. today was the perfect day to do it, with trash pickup tomorrow morning. i biked down to porter square to get some from ace hardwares ($3 for 5). i had a light jacket but it was actually a bit colder than that and i was underdressed. even though it looked like there was a lot of leaves, the clean up was fairly quick, and i only used a single leaf bag, along with some empty space in the garden refuse barrel. i stripped down to my t-shirt so i wouldn't get my clothes dirty when i bagged the leaves, but i still managed to get dirt stains on my jeans. the neighbor's backyard oak tree hasn't shed all its leaves yet, so there's going to be another raking in a few more weeks. when i went into the basement o put the leaf bags away, that's when i saw a pile of them underneath a box of photos.

i also put on the new registration sticker on my motorcycle license plate and scanned my registration so i can tuck it inside my bike helmet.

i still had a few more things to do but it was already close to the evening. those items i'll leave for tomorrow (caulking, cleaning windows, cable modem return, clean community garden).

my upstairs neighbors finally came home around 5pm. not sure where they went, maybe they returned to their island home to check up on the storm damage.

just the matcha latte wasn't enough and i was pretty hungry. i had a bowl of raisin bran cereal, but then afterwards i also had an instant cup of noodle.

i didn't have dinner until 9pm, reheated the last of my leftover meat pasta sauce along with a cup of pasta, learned my lesson from last time, not too much pasta. there was nothing good on television but FX was broadcasting the martian for the millionth time, every time it's on tv i have to watch it.