so i went to bed early last night, 12:30am. but i was in bed watching videos and surfing the web until 2am. then it happened. i was struck down with insomnia. i think i was thinking about things i had to do tomorrow, and suddenly i was no longer sleepy. tossing and turning, it felt too hot under the covers, or too itchy, and then i had to get up and use the bathroom, and there was no point in trying to sleep, so i got up to do some reading, and then tried going back to bed again. i stayed like that for 3 hours, before i finally feel asleep around 5am.
i woke up around 10:30am. i spent the rest of the morning doing a water change on my aquarium. i pulled up as much hair algae with my hands then siphoned out a bucket worth of dirty fish tank water, replacing it with a bucket of clean treated water of the proper (72°) temperature. i sprinkled about a tablespoon of mosquito bits into the dirty water and used it to water my plants. i discovered a lot of the plants were sitting in a pool of drained water, so i made sure to dump them out. that could explain why i still haven't managed to control my fungus gnat infestation despite months of effort.
big news today was charlie baker announcing he wasn't going to run for a 3rd term, despite being very popular and the frontrunner in a general election. the problem is baker is a republican, and wouldn't survive his primary where most MA republicans view him unfavorably since he's a liberal republican who's reject trump lies. he's also a man of principle, unwilling to change party just to get elected. it's a shame, because i really like charlie baker. i love all our MA republican governors - weld, romney.
for lunch i made a matcha latte. i microwaved about 12 oz. of milk in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes, before adding a tsp of matcha powder and a bit of honey and stirring it with the milk frother. i didn't used to use so much milk for my latte so now there's still usually some undissolved powder at the bottom.
around 1:30pm i left for the cafe via motorcycle. it was surprisingly warm, temperature in the upper 40's, so i just wore my hoodie + wind breaker plus my flannel-lined pants. my sister asked me to come to change some prices on the menu boards and to update the folding sidewalk signs. of course my sister wasn't there, but i had other things to do around the cafe. my father and i brought in the planters and took down the folding umbrella stand, storing them in the basement for next season. this cleared up 2 more spaces in the parking lot. i set up a spare wyze pan cam in the cafe basement, mostly to check to see if the two upright freezers are properly closed. speaking which, i helped my father tilt up the two freezers so he can stick some composite shims underneath the front feet so they lean back a little for better closing. later we checked the circuit breaker box to find the location of two outlets.
another reason why i came to the cafe was to try flying my drone from the parking lot. i've flown it in a few places, but never from there. there are some power lines crisscrossing the lot, but the space near the middle is clear, and once the drone is up high enough, the lot provides a big target for line-of-sight flying with the drone. i wanted to fly up to reservoir hill and check out some of the mansions there. one property in particular, a large place with a manicured garden. from the sky i could also see what looks to be a heated full-length pool which i never they had. trying to fly a bit beyond that point - over the crest of the hill - my connection dropped down to 2 bars, so i didn't push it. overall it was a good flight, and the low angle of the late autumn sun provided good lighting.
my sister finally got back around 3pm. i changed the menu boards according to her directions (changed directly, didn't have to take them down), and modified the sidewalk signs. her korean friend did the original lettering on them, they're pretty good, big and bold, not sure how she even did it (i would later learn she's a high school teacher, so maybe that's why her penmanship is so good). it felt a little wrong erasing some of her work to update the sign. my writing style is more thin-lined (with the chalk markers). my sister made me a brown sugar boba drink. it tasted good, but had the wrong color, was more white than black/brown.
after i finished with the signs i left by 4:30pm. i had no problem finding a parking spot, there's a large out-of-town suv taking up two spots, but leaving me with enough space to stash my motorcycle. since it's going to rain tomorrow, i put the cover over the bike.
i finally got around to watching episode 3 of hawkeye. i heard it was just 30 minutes long, but because it was so action-packed, i didn't even notice. it was such a great episode, every second a moment to savor.
i made another meatball sub for dinner. my sister's birthday tomorrow, my family made plans to get some thai-vietnamese takeout after work and eat at my place. i've been entrusted to pick up an ice cream cake from the supermarket, anything but chocolate.
for her present, i decided to gift my sister a new SSD hard drive for her late 2012 13" retina macbook pro, which currently only has a 128GB drive (i've got tiny microSD cards bigger than her drive). her computer is old enough that it could warrant a replacement, but throw in a new SSD, she could use it for at least a few more years. a lot of things on macbook pros are either soldered or glued down, but pre-2015 MBP's can upgrade the hard drive relatively easily. i decided to go big - 1TB. the going price for a compatible SSD seems to be $179. i ended up going with a no-name brand (but samsung parts) from ebay for only $138 (with a 3 year warranty and free return). after taxes the drive came out to $146. it won't arrive by tomorrow, but i'll install it once it arrives hopefully next week.
the supply chain issue has hit the restaurant industry hard in trying to secure container supplies for takeout services. my parents are having a difficult time finding 20 oz clear plastic drink cups. baifu on methadone mile in boston has them in limited stock, but at $120/case/1000. we managed to find a place online that had them - tundraFMP - for $85/case (karat brand) but they had a spending minimum of $200 to get free shipping. tundraFMP was also weird that we made the order back in august but they split the shipment and the cups didn't arrive until november, 4 months later.
my mother told me to go back to tundraFMP to order more cups, but they changed their policy and no longer has free shipping. they still carried the cups, but with a disclaimer that they'd arrive within 4 weeks, but now shipping is a "flat rate" $40. since it's a flat rate, i decided to add 2 cases to my order, but then the flat rate changes to $105. i went elsewhere looking for the same brand of cups, every place was sold out. the only place that had them was amazon, at $115/case, not much of a discount, but at least the shipping was free.