i wore both mi bands to bed last night so i could compare the sleep data. i thought the numbers would be closer, but they were pretty different, with the mi band 4 giving better sleep results (capturing more instance of deep sleep). it could be wrist placement. i might try again tonight, either boost the mi band 6's sleep tracking sensitivity or wear it on my other wrist.

i woke up early to attend a 9:30am harvard zoom talk on the geopolitical implications of the ukrainian war. some of the things discussed were pretty interesting. the invasion has actually made russia less secure in almost every way. besides cratering its economy (which already had issues), the invasion also had the following effects: made formerly neutral nations like sweden and finland want to join NATO; NATO countries now paying their military dues; germany militarizing; uniting western nations; and exposed weaknesses within the russian military that adversaries could take advantage of in the future. another interesting point that was brought up was the ukrainian war actually made taiwan safer from a chinese invasion because now china can see that a full-scale invasion would not succeed and the prices an invading country would face.

shortly after the zoom lecture, i went out and met steve and paul outside at 11am to discuss things around the house that needed fixing. i was kind of dreading this meeting ever since steve brought it up this weekend, but it actually turned out to be okay, there wasn't as much as stuff i feared. it was mostly things about the front porch, replacing some rotting wood, getting the gutter fixed. neither of them had any contractor contacts so it was up to me to call the same guy who fixed our gutters a few years back. it wasn't promising, because the website domain had been deactivated. however when i called the number, joseph actually answered. he told me he moved to florida, but could refer me to a few contractor friends he still had in the boston area.

i wasn't sure what i was going to have for lunch, and i was gravitating towards milk and cereal, until i remembered i brought back two leftover slices of pizza from last night. i heated them up in the toaster oven and ate while watching the noontime news.

in the afternoon i biked to market basket to get some groceries. i didn't need much, mostly got some ingredients for making rueben sandwiches if i end up getting some corned beef this week. it was my first time at market basket with the mask mandate lifted, but most people still wore masks, which is kind of inspiring in a health aspect sort of way. i did see a few younger cashiers without masks. it's going to take a while before i see more maskless people than masked people.

i spent the rest of the afternoon making phone calls. first i called comcast, because my internet contract was about to expire by tomorrow, and i wanted to change my plan. however, i discovered the last day isn't until the 25th, so i still have some time to think about it. the deal they gave over the phone was a 2-year contract at 300Mbps speed paying $60/month, which is what i pay now. i remember there was a cheaper deal when i went to the comcast office a few weeks ago, so i might just stop by the office again and ask.

however my parents' comcast internet promotional deal will expire next friday. instead of sticking with comcast, they have the option of switching to verizon FIOS (they used to be FIOS customers before i switched them to comcast in march 2019). when i looked at the options a year ago, there was no discount so it was cheaper to stick with comcast. however this time around i found a deal for $40/month for 300Mbps upload/download speed, which is crazy fast. i called them and they gave me the breakdown: it's actually $50/month, but if you sign up for autopay, there's a $10/month discount. there's also a $15/month router rental fee, but if you have you're own equipment you don't need to pay. finally, there's a $15/month discount if you're also a verizon wireless customer. so assuming everything goes right and the agent didn't lie to me, it'd cost my parents just $25/month for high speed fiber optic internet. so i signed them up; a technician will come by saturday around noontime to install some equipment (service fee waived).

finally i called social security to let them know my 2nd aunt would be out of the country for over 30 days and would need to suspend her senior SSI benefits during that time. i waited on the phone for almost an hour before i spoke with an agent. she was very helpful though, took my aunt's info, said they'd send her a letter, and that once she returned from her trip, to call back social security so they could reinstate her benefits. the agent wasn't exactly sure when benefits would be suspended, and said there might even be a chance my aunt could receive overdue benefits. regardless, there's no penalty, and my aunt can go to taiwan and back and not have to worry that she'll get in trouble with the government for committing welfare fraud.

i finally watched army of thieves on netflix, the army of the dead prequel. it was pretty good, especially if you're into computer generated animation of complicated safe mechanisms.

i cooked up a bag of trader joe's frozen crispy orange chicken for dinner. while i was waiting for the rice to finish cooking, i dumped out the content of my paocai jar. the vegetables too old (a year almost?) and all the pieces have turned soggy. a few of the carrots were still hard, but it's so sour, like eating pieces of vinegar. i scooped out the fermented vegetables and put them in the compost bin. i threw out the compost immediately afterwards as i didn't want it to stink up the house (there was also rotten mung bean sprouts and moldy burrito bowl rice). i don't know when's the next time i'll make sichuan paocai again. in terms of fermented vegetables, it doesn't keep as well as kimchi, which i can leave in the fridge, and still be edible even if it's old (maybe not on its own, but as a flavoring agent or a soup-base).

i ate half the crispy chicken, saving the rest for tomorrow, along with half the rice. afterwards i had some navel and blood orange slices.

i got my sister to take one of the new xiaomi mi band 6, after i made a custom watch face featuring a baby photo of hailey, i knew she wouldn't be able to resist. i mean, i got one just for her, but she didn't want it because she wanted to go out and buy her own fitness tracker, even though we all use mi bands, and it's much better than any no-name brand. my sister even already bought a custom strap for the mi band before even having tried it yet. one issue is she uses an iphone, and i don't know how customizable it is compared to androids.

playing around with the mi band 6 tonight, i discovered there's 3 watch faces with customizable display elements, like you can choose whether to show the weather, or steps, or heart rate. you can also change the language on the mi band 6, something i learned last night, which you can't do with the mi band 4 (it just uses your language preference).