of course it meant i wouldn't be able to bike into boston, but maybe taking the subway? but i figured they might cancel the lion dance altogether, or postpone it, since those costumes don't seem like they'd be waterproof. besides, i've seen the lion dance before (2019, 2020). so i decided to stay home and then later try taking the bus in the late morning to belmont. when i told my mother my plan, she said my father could come pick me up at 11am.
today was day 4 of my 3rd mung beans experiment and i stopped it because the seed part of the sprouts was starting to look shriveled from not enough water. besides, the sprouts were already long enough, and already developing their first leaves. honestly, i could've harvested them on day 3 using the heat mat to induce germination. i trimmed off the roots before opening up the tight bundle of sprouts. they were long - about 3 inches. i pulled them off from the cheesecloth and put them inside of a large ziploc bag. i tasted one, very crunchy, with a slight sweetness.
after using the bathroom, after a shower, i still had 30 minutes to go outside and quickly shovel my sidewalk before going to star market to grab a few vegetables to make some nachos (tomato, onion, jalapeno peppers). when i went to go pay, i realized i left my credit card back at home. i was going to leave my groceries at the supermarket and quickly run home to grab some money, but then i remembered i had my phone. my phone with contactless NFC google pay. so i decided to give it a try. when it asked for my payment, it actually accepted my phone when it held it next to the card reader. but then it was asking me to input additional numbers. i punched in my usual pin but that wasn't right, seems like it wanted a phone number. when i put in my phone number, it didn't accept that either. so for a few seconds i was just standing there, not sure what to go. go back to the house and grab my credit card? but then the screen changed and thanked me and printed out my receipt. so google pay did work! my first time using it, pretty convenient.
walking back to the house, with snow fast accumulating on my jacket, i noticed victor was ahead of me. i knew if he saw me he'd want to chat, and i didn't have time for that, but he was walking so slow, i had no choice but to pass him. of course he started chatting with me. he told me putin bluffed himself into a corner, and has no intentions of invading ukraine, which would be a disaster for russia. but it seems like the US keeps on goading putin, who continues to add more troops, otherwise he'd look like he's capitulating. victor was more worried about lithuania, who's on china's shit list after announcing their support for taiwan. china of course stopped all imports of lithuanian goods, while taiwan announced they'd import anything lithuania had to offer. victor also told me he was anti-vax, not only him, but his children and many of his friends and family. just then my father showed up, so i quickly bid farewell to victor before grabbing my things and hopping into the car.
my mother made a glutinous rice roll-up stuffed with fried tofu skin, pork floss, and yellow pickled radish. my father also finished making his jiuniang, all 5lbs. worth of glutinous rice fermenting in a large stock pot wrapped with a heat pad and a yoga mat. he said it was ready because it had already producing liquid. he brought it out so we could taste test it, it was pretty good, sweet, sour, and that distinctive jiuniang flavor. my parents then ended up dividing the fermented glutinous rice into jars.
they say the bulk of face masks sold on amazon are fake. like the box of black KN95 masks i got recently (
$14 $18). they felt thinner than my old KN95 masks that i paid $20 for 10. the one KN95's felt like it was made from felt, while the new ones seemed more like tissue lined cardboard. thank god the pandemic seems to be winding down (at least with our current variants), i don't know how confident i am with the new masks i purchased recently.
in the early afternoon the motast wireless earbuds arrived (i ordered them just last night). i got them for my father, because i always seem him struggling with some cheap pairs of wireless earbuds that are constantly dropping connections or fail to connect at all. he already has a set of ankbit earbuds which i got him back in october 2020. he uses those the most, split between two devices. he also has a pair of turimon brand earbuds (purchase july 2021), which are almost unusable, and the only reason we still have them is because when i went to return them, amazon refunded me the money and said i could keep the earbuds as well. you know something is bad when amazon doesn't even want the merchandise back.
anyway, these motast earbuds ($30) are much better. it's got bluetooth 5.1, 140H rechargeable playtime, USB-C, noise-cancelling, and IP7 waterproof. even the earbuds themselves had a "bump" on their design that allows them to sit inside the ear more comfortably. the only thing i don't like is the b-color design of the carrying case. it's not something you can tell from their photos, but when i first saw it, i thought they send me the wrong earbuds by mistake. the case itself has some heft, which means the 140H battery is real. they were easy to pair (name "io9" for reason), although my father wanted to pair them separately, so he could use them with two devices if needed. the noise-cancelling is also very effective, when my father had them on he couldn't hear when i was speaking to him. it also has great range, he walked to the other end of the house and was still able to hear the audio from his phone, when typically all the other wireless earbuds we have would loose connection by that distance. i'm tempted to get a pair myself, but i already have a set of wireless headphones.
later in the afternoon we made some nachos. my mother insisted we cook them in the toaster oven, as she uses the regular oven for dishware storage and didn't want the hassle of taking them out and putting them back later. my mother kept complaining the hot peppers (jalapenos) weren't hot enough. the only time we had actual spicy nachos was when i could only find serrano peppers.
the snow continued to fall the rest of the day into the evening. even though it was snowing for most of the day, it didn't accumulate much. we got about 3 inches of very fluffy snow. no birds came to the feeders with the exception of a male downy woodpecker who kept visiting the squirrel buster. i thought he was trying to drill through the metal cage enclosure, until i saw he was actually taking sunflower seeds and flying elsewhere to eat them. i didn't see him visit the suet feeder though, ever since i made it squirrel proof with the double cage, the only birds that visit the suet are the downy woodpeckers.
for dinner we reheated the leftover hot pot. we cooked it on the stovetop (so we wouldn't stink up the living/dining room) and once it came to a boil, we moved it onto the dining table. we also ate a third of my mung bean sprouts, mixed raw with some japanese sesame dressing. finally i had another piece of the tiramisu cake from last night.
right around dinner was when the super bowl started. i had no stakes in either team, but i was rooting for the cincinnati bengals because they were the underdog, hadn't been to the super bowl since 1988, and never won the super bowl in their team history. also a bengals victory would mean that a 2nd year "rookie" quarterback can win a super bowl (which would bode well for mac jones' chances next season). alas, that was not the chase. most pundits had the los angeles rams winning. in hindsight, how could they lose? cooper kupp seemed to be an unstoppable force, catching everything stafford threw at him. defensively, they had von miller and aaron donald. particularly donald, he seemed to be involved in every defensive play. the MVP went to cooper kupp, but the rams would've lost with aaron donald. it was a close game, which is good for ratings, as people watched until the very end.
i asked my father to give me a ride back to cambridge in the middle of the 2nd quarter. i figured i could be back at home in time to catch the half time show. for some reason the windshield wiper on the passenger side couldn't cling onto the windshield, making it useless as it "wiped" without actually wiping. we stopped the car twice to clear any snow or ice from the wipers, but it didn't seem to do anything. at least the wiper on the driver side was working, otherwise we'd be totally blind.
i thought i had hot pot induced diarrhea as i quickly raced into the bathroom once i got home. but it was just gas, as i watched the start of the half time show on my phone. it wasn't that good to be honest, dr.dre, snoop dog, mary j. blige, and eminem. afterwards i went outside and shoveled the snow from the sidewalk, something that steve opted not to do when he was at home today.
because NBC broadcasts the super bowl as well as the olympics, while the football game was on, i couldn't watch any live olympics coverage other than couples figure skating on the USA network. instead, i logged into my VPN via a canadian server so i could go onto the canadian broadcast channel (CBC) and watch the live free coverage there. i particularly wanted to see eileen gu's qualification runs in the freeski slopestyle event. top 12 advance: she placed 11th in her first run, then 3rd in her second run. she seemed so nonchalant about it, at one point fishing a pastry bun from her jacket to eat while she waited for her score.
i also watched couples figure skating. i was rooting for chock-bates, but they ended up in 4th place, behind hubbell-dononue (bronze). france's papadakis-cizeron won gold, while the russians sinitsina-katsalapov took silver. chock-bates had an interesting program, i thought they would change it in the pairs event, but they stuck with their astronaut-alien storyline. i personally felt that hurt them, skating judges seem conservative, they don't want too much "creativity" when it comes to these programs.