my father connected the HQST MPPT solar charge controller last night and sent me some reading this morning of it in action. he had it connected to the 35Ah portable battery box instead of the marine battery since the marine battery can barely hold a charge these days.

the HQST also comes with bluetooth built-in, with shows a lot more info than the built-in LCD screen. MPPT controllers are more efficient than PWM controllers, adjusting the current to maximize the charging output. the MPPT was set to sealed lead acid battery, to match the battery type of the 35Ah portable battery. the real test will come when we get our LiFePo4 batteries sometimes the end of march.

i had a dental appointment in the late morning, the 3rd and final visit for my upper left molar, the "fitting of the crown." since i wouldn't be able to eat for 2 hours afterwards, i had some cereal before i left, so i wouldn't be hangry the rest of the day.

temperature this morning was in the 20's. it seems all my morning dentist visits have been in bitterly cold weather, so i'm used to it by now. 20's with the sun out and hardly any wind isn't too bad, and at least i can still ride in late january, we haven't had a substantial snowstorm that makes riding impossible with snow piled bike lanes.

i got to the park street office by 11am. without saying a word, the bitchy secretary disappeared to tell the dentist before the dental assistant came to bring me to an exam room. on the table was a molded cast of my left jaw, with an enamel crown in place of my missing shaved-down molar. the dentist took out the temporary crown (i sort of got used to it, a little sad to see it go even though it really was just a lump of hand-shaped epoxy) and put in the new permanent one.

the crown didn't feel good at first, felt a little high, as i chew on the left side of my jaw to get a feel for my new tooth. but after a few minutes it settled, and it felt okay. i'd definitely get used to it a lot faster than the temporary crown, which took a few weeks to get used to. the dentist had me bit down on some paper-like material to check out the bite marks. everything looked good, so they mixed up some dental cement and "glued" the crown in place. the dentist told me not to eat on that side for a few days as it might be sensitive, and if there was any discomfort, to come in and get the crown adjusted.

with that i was done. it took less than 30 minutes and i didn't even need to get a novacaine shot. the dentist disappeared to prepare for her next patient, i was just kind of standing there thinking, "that's it? no further instructions? no next appointment for my right molar?" i thanked the dentist and dental assistant, wished them a happy chinese new year. when i left the office the secretary didn't even bother looking at me, pretended to be studying the schedule book.

so i'm going to see how this crown feels. if it's good, i'll go back and get more dental work done on my other teeth. there's still the question of the cavity by the filling of the upper molar next to the crown. this dentist wants me to turn that tooth into a crown as well, i just want her to redo the filling. we'll see how this one goes. but eventually all my molars are either going to be crowns or implants it seems.

i biked to c-mart down tremont street. before i went to the supermarket though, there was something i always wanted to do: fly the drone from the empty parking area next to c-mart. whenever i pass by that place i always think to myself, "this would be a great open spot to launch the drone." but i've never done it because of the close proximity to both the city and the airport. also on the other side of the turnpike is tufts medical center with its medical helipad, so a lot of restrictions. i had to apply for a flight authorization online this morning, because of the close proximity to logan airport.

whenever i fly my drone it feels like i'm breaking the law. if somebody was with me i might have more courage, but i always fly alone, so i'm usually very anxious. i unpacked the drone and put it on the ground next to me. i whipped out the remote controller and attached the samsung phone, and i was up in the air in 15 seconds. right away the app told me of my flight restriction: no higher than 200ft. i'm actually relieved when i get restricted, but at least now i have some guidelines: as long as i stay below 200ft i'm legal. if there was zero restrictions i'd be even more nervous, don't want to accidentally collide with anything.

once i was up at 200ft i felt more relaxed. i still had to be careful, some nearby buildings were potentially taller than 200ft and i didn't want accidentally hit them. i flew across the south end towards the direction of boston, to see how far i could get. i got as far as berkeley street - 1300ft - before i started seeing signal drops. it was intermittent, and i could've pushed it farther, but i got nervous, and started to bring the drone back. from there i could easily see back bay station, where i normally watch the pride parade from. i already had the drone directly above me, doing circles to check out some nearby buildings, before i got a temperature warning. bear in mind, it's still in the 20's, and probably even colder up in the sky. i finally landed the drone in under 12 minutes of flying. i saw a security guard for the building next door and thought i'd get in trouble, but he was talking on his phone and most likely didn't even see or hear the drone when it finally landed.

instead of c-mart, i went to ming's market instead. it was the most crowd i've seen it in a while. ming was in a bit of a funk during the height of the pandemic, and both my father and i thought it might go under, but it seemed to have weathered the storm, and business is picking back up again, especially now that its chinese customers are more willing to come out and go grocery shopping again. it was crowded because chinese new year is this weekend (technically monday is chinese new year's eve, but most chinese people will celebrate it this weekend for practicality). they sold daily tear-off chinese calendars for $2.99, so naturally i got one. i also looked for a good-sized plastic colander to continue my mung bean sprouting experiments. i ended up getting the biggest one i could find (japanese made no less, $3) with plenty of holes for the roots to grow out from. they also sold safety can openers, which i only just recently learned about - i was tempted to get one but resisted, i have too many kitchen gadgets as it is.

with grocery buying done, i went next door to the chase bank to ask about their special chinese new year calendars. when i came last week, one of them told me i could have a whole box if i wanted. the person i spoke with this time was an asian representative. but the woman i spoke with last week was in her office and saw me and went into the back room to get the calendars. she was going to give me 2 boxes but one was already plenty enough and they were heavy too. she said the only other people interested in these calendars was a chinese church group.

i tied the box of calendars to the back of my bike and slowly pedaled home. i cut through downtown crossing to get to court street then cambridge street to get back home via the longfellow bridge. either way presents challenges: longfellow is shorter, but that east-west stretch of cambridge street is treacherous with no bike lane and buckling asphalt roads; the way back across the mass ave bridge is longer, but i don't have to contend with cars.

instead of going home, i kept going until i arrived at the cafe. we hung up the daily tear-off chinese calendar. while a staple in old chinese homes, i don't think we've ever gotten one of these in all the times we've lived in the US. i had to tear off nearly a month's worth of days to get to the 26th. this calendar is filled with chinese astrology tables and charts, telling you if today is a good or bad day to get married, start a business, or even when to wash clothes. my sister had bought some pizza and was sharing it with my parents. i ended up taking home the leftover slices for lunch. my father also toasted some squash seeds which i ate some.

after i got back home and finished eating the leftover pizza, i biked to market basket to get a few groceries item, before the inevitable crush of people doing their panic buying before the impending snowstorm this saturday. my bungie cords were still draped across my rear bike baskets. since they didn't get caught on my way back from the cafe, i figured i was safe and would take care of them when i returned home. unfortunately one of the cords fell off and wrap itself around my rear cogwheels. i had to pull over onto the side of the road and take care of it, getting black grease stains on my gloves and hands. once the cord was removed, i had to realign the chain because it came off the gears completely. but i managed to fix it before continuing onwards to market basket.

i wasn't very hungry in the evening, those 4 slices of pizza were quite filling. i didn't start making dinner until after 9pm, made myself a bowl of spicy & sour instant chongqing noodles with a poached egg. the broth had good flavor, but it was nothing like the spicy noodles of chongqing.