the forecast was for a few hours of rain in the late morning to early afternoon, so i woke up at 9am so i could leave early, before the rain started. the latest forecast was for rain starting at 11am, but i still left early by 9:30am, just in case the forecast was wrong.
i brought some of the glutinous rice balls i slaved away last night making, and my mother made some jiuniang for breakast-lunch, with eggs i bought, using my fermented sweet rice, with some osmanthus syrup.
in the afternoon my mother and i went out for another walk. temperature was around 60's, so warm in fact we saw plenty of people in t-shirts, getting outside and enjoying the bit of nice warm weather. i brought along my not-often-used panasonic lumix DMC-ZS40 travel zoom camera, because it was easier to carry and has a longer optical zoom (30x, equivalent of a 24-720mm zoom lens).
our destination was watertown again, this time visiting some businesses along mt.auburn street. we decided to walk up hillside road until we hit the commercial district. there were so many persian and armenian shops (a few greek and asian sprinkled in between), from little grocery stores, to bakeries, to restaurants. there were also a few businesses that were closed on sundays, which i kind of like, says something about a local shop that takes time to rest and isn't opened everyday. so we didn't do much walking - only about half of what we did yesterday - but seems like we were gone just as long, with plenty more things to see. there were a few restaurants that we might come and visit.
we visited roksana market, which seems new, like super vanak on belmont street. the place was busy, filled with persians chatting with the managers. i know there's also a roksana persian restaurant a mile down the road towards watertown center. there was fordee's greek falafel but they were closed. likewise closed was armenian massis bakery (inside there were signs for lahmejune armenian pizza served daily at lunch). we went to arax market, which i've visited before, and up until a few weeks ago, i thought was the only armenian-middle eastern grocery store in the area. the layout was different than i remembered, but they still had plenty of stuff. a lot of fresh produce which was surprising. there was sevan bakery international food market, which was also closed on sunday. next store was victorria spa, which was a liquor store.
we got as far as the citizens bank before crossing the street and heading back home. there were more businesses on this side of the street: coolidge hardware, coolidge laundromat, coolidge liquors (i wonder if it's all the same owner). vegetarian restaurant red lentil. fastachi, which sells roasted nuts. praan, a thai massage place. persian hafez house of kebab, which was busy with customers. we went up upload road and winded our way through numerous small side streets, over the hill, to finally get back to belmont.
in the early evening my father and i went down to the basement to install the new 80-260V 100A CRS-022B digital energy meter to the electric wires for the hot water heater. we wanted to know how much electricity it uses in a single day. we wired the meter into the circuit breaker box, the split core clamp to one wire, the two remaining live and neutral wires piggybacked into one of the circuit breaker leads with the other affixed to the neutral grounding terminal. it seemed to be working, was reading the voltage at least (122v). later when we went down to the basement we saw some numbers in the energy field, 217Wh. so whenever the hot water tank needs to heat the water, it uses that amount of electricity.
dinner came in the form of a beef shank stew my mother had been simmering on the stovetop all day long, combined with some cabbage and carrots. she also made a tofu wood ear hot pepper stirfry, and had me make a bowl of smashed cucumbers with the little persian cucumbers i got from haymarket for $1 a bag.
while we were having dinner, both my parents heard the doorbell ring. when my father went to go check, there was nobody outside. we thought nothing of it at first, but later in the evening, when i was looking over the videos from the various webcams we have around the house, i saw that some kid had purposely rang out doorbell and ran away. this is at least the second time this has happened, not sure if it's the same kid. i could post his photo on next door and get the neighbors to find him, but i'm going to wait until he does it again.
before i returned home, i thought about our new energy meter, and something didn't seem right. the hot water tank uses 240v, so therefore it uses a 240v circuit breaker. but how come the meter only read 120v? we weren't getting a full reading. so we went back to the basement, and instead of connecting the neutral wire to the neutral terminal block, we attached it to the other contact point of the 240v circuit breaker. not only did our meter now read 240v, but the power factor was now 1.0 when it was zero before. we just need to wait for the hot water heater to heat up again to see how much electricity it uses. and actually, right before i left, i went down to the basement one last time and saw that there was a new energy reading of 430Wh. so when the hot water tank is heating, it's not using 217Wh, it's actually using twice that amount, 430Wh.
it was still 55 degrees when i rode home. the streets were wet not because of any rain but because of all the snowmelt. it made me cautious because i was afraid of slipping on some black ice, but black ice doesn't form when the weather is above freezing.
i found myself watching the winter para-olympics game. i still have olympics fever. plus, anything to keep my mind off of the russian-ukrainian invasion.
in order to use the 2022 edition of turbotax, i needed to install a more recent macos onto a thumb drive so i can run turbotax off of the thumb drive. my late 2013 15-inch retina macbook pro can handle big sur, so that's what i downloaded. i then went ahead and installed it onto the thumb drive. this took a few tries. first time i just created a big sur installer, which wasn't what i wanted. i then installed big sur directly onto the thumb drive (selecting the thumb drive as the target), but when it came time to restarting from the drive, it would never boot up. i then recreated a bootable big sur installer onto the drive, booted from the drive, then tried to self-install on itself, but that didn't work.
i was running out of ideas and was prepared to downgrade, install catalina instead. i then decided to reformat the thumb drive as APFS instead of macos extended journaled. that seemed to do the trick, i haven't read about this in any of the places i checked online. formatted as APFS, big sur began installation, restarted the mac, and rebooted from the thumb drive to continue the installation. it gave me a time frame of 29 minutes, but seemed to stall at the "one minute remaining" screen. i waited for more than an hour but nothing happened so i had no choice but to force shutdown, since it was getting late anyway (3am). i'll try again tomorrow.