my father asked me to get some silken tofu from star market this morning. it was $2.50 a box (when i could've gotten it from market basket for around $1) but i had no choice but to get it. i also picked up two more packages of boneless chicken thighs.

i arrived just in time with the tofu for allen's daily miso soup. my father also got a phone order for a chicken bento box that had a noontime pickup so there was still an hour left. right before noontime however, i took a large order: bento box, beef noodle, zhajiang noodles, dan dan noodles, and 2 bubble milk teas. fortunately my sister showed up by then and the 3 of us worked to fulfill the order.

i brought my stovetop steamer today. my father has discovered that actual steaming the vegetable buns make them taste way better than just reheating them in the microwave. so our new strategy is this: reheat in the microwave first before a few minutes of actual steaming. buns come out pillow soft and piping hot, cooked all the way through.

today i published the square online ordering website. just because it was live didn't mean we'd get any online customers, since the link wasn't made public yet. we first had to test it ourselves. compared to grubhub, square does a pretty bad job making it easy for clients to get their online ordering working. online ordering is such a small part of their business, most of it has to do with facilitating credit card transactions, in which they extract a fee for every order.

but because i've worked with grubhub, i knew what things i needed for online ordering to take place. first, how exactly does square notify me when i have a new order? it's usually done via e-mail, but i typically only check e-mail every 6 minutes or so. fortunately their app will also send notification, as well as print out an order ticket. so i turned on that feature on the ipad and had no sister do a test buy. that's another issue, square doesn't do test purchases, you have to purchase for real, in which case they earn money each time you make a dummy test buy. when my sister made her order, we got a notification on the ipad, but we barely heard the notification sound. it did not print out an order ticket though.

i found out the problem was because the ipad had gone to sleep. when it does that, it loses bluetooth/usb connection with the thermal printer, and only reestablishes connection when the ipad wakes up. so the fix was to make sure the ipad never goes to sleep.

another weird thing was the square online ordering website always gives the customer the option of pick up or delivery. we have no delivery, so i couldn't understand why it was doing that. but i discovered that when you select delivery, there was only one thing you can buy - the beef noodles - so when i looked inside the beef noodles item, sure enough, it was set to "delivery." when i toggled that off, the only available option was pick up.

you also couldn't choose the pickup time, it automatically assigned you the next available time. but sometimes customers may want to put in an order for a later time, and i found the option to do that after digging through the website, "allow customers to schedule pickup orders."

finally, i toggled the option for customers to leave notes, but when my sister made her test order i didn't see any text box.

so my sister made another test order. this time everything worked. on her phone she could schedule any time she wanted to pick up her order (or just allow the website to picked the next available time). the reason why we didn't see the notes box was because my sister made a quick order, but if you scroll to the bottom of the payment page, there's a box for leaving comments. after she sent the order, we got a notification on the ipad. a few seconds later, the thermal printer printed out the order ticket, including the notes.

all i had to do was make an "order now" button on the cafe website. that actually took longer than necessary because there was so much CSS magic that changes i made in the HTML wouldn't show on the page itself. i had to do a lot of manual style overrides.

i left the cafe by 4:15pm. it was too late to get groceries, but i didn't need anything anyway, since i brought home some eggs. my new set of eufy indoor 2K security cameras were waiting on my doorstep. i'll set one of them up at the cafe tomorrow. say what you will about the pros and cons of wyze versus eufy, but the 2K image quality is much better and the eufy is more reliable.

i watered so much yesterday, i didn't have to water my grow closet today. at least 2 of the bitter melons are finally sprouting, 2 days after i turned off the heat mats. i can't remember if they took this long last season. i do know the hyacinth beans are prone to rotting, and last year all our first batch went bad and i had to restart again; i'm not having any of those problems this year though, most of my hyacinth beans have sprouted.

i finished up the last bit of baguette i had from last week and made two french bread pizzas. out of sardines, this time i used pepperonis. it came out pretty well. tomorrow night it's back to eggs & ham + avocado bagel sandwiches, trying to finish up the last bit of holiday ham i have left in my freezer.