i wasn't in any hurry this morning to wake up to take my servsafe food manager exam which wasn't until 11am. i took some practice tests last night and scored high enough (in the high 90's) that i was confident i would pass. i could get 20 questions wrong and still pass, so i liked my odds. when i finally got up i checked out the news and saw that the supreme court actually went ahead and overturned roe vs. wade. i turned on the tv and all the major networks were covering the news. i read about the leaks last month, but given the public outcry, i figured maybe they might chance their minds. but all the conservative justices - 3 of which were trump appointed (this illegitimate in my eyes) (minus chief justice roberts) - all voted to overthrow the half century ruling guaranteeing the freedom for women to have abortions. on top of that, justice thomas wrote his own separate opinion basically saying they didn't go far enough, and other rights - like gay marriage or access to contraceptives - should also be revisited by this court. many of their recent decisions don't make any sense - giving more rights to guns than to women.

alas, despite the shocking news, i still had an exam to take. at the appointed time - 11:00am - i logged into the proctorU portal and saw there was now a new link to take the exam. it made me download an applet and then install it. the applet was a chat window to communicate with the assigned proctor, but also allowed the proctor to take control of my computer. i couldn't see my proctor, but at one point i was able to hear her. she spoke with an indian accent, so proctorU uses outsourced indian call centers to act as proctors. she could see and hear my through my webcam and computer microphone.

my proctor asked for permission and had me click on an authorization button before she went through my computer and basically turned off everything that might allow me to cheat: bluetooth, remote access, screen capture shortcuts, turned on do not disturb, and turned off all my browser extensions. she then had my take the laptop and show her my surroundings through the webcam including my desk area and the space below it. she told me i had to sit in a single hard chair (although did allow me to sit in my sofa chair). she also saw that i had a HDTV in the living room and asked me to put a sheet over it. she made my take off my glasses so she could check them, and also show her my ears to confirm i wasn't wearing any hear device. i had to take off my watch (in my case my fitness band) and put my phone away. i showed her my photo ID by holding it to the camera.

that all took about 15 minutes before we were about to start the exam. she logged into the servsafe website to begin the test. i noticed it was in my father's name and i innocently told her that wasn't my change and if i could change it. there was a long time before she told me i couldn't take the test. i had to create my own account using my own name and to take with the servsafe people about it, she wouldn't be able to help me. so all that hype for nothing.

i logged out (making sure my webcam was now closed) and went back to the servsafe account to see if i could change the name. a lot of things i can change, but name wasn't one of them. how would i even be able to transfer the test to my own servsafe account when i originally used my father's servsafe account to purchase the online exam?

i logged back into proctorU and saw that i had the option of continuing with the exam even though i failed the first time. i decided on a gambit: i would log in, hoping to get a different proctor, in which case i would convince him/her i was my father. the last names are the same, and my father used his nickname when he registered his servsafe. sure enough, when i reinstalled and ran the downloaded applet (it's somehow timecode, i couldn't reuse the old applet, had to download a new one), i was assigned a new proctor. i told her i was my father, but she didn't seem to care. she also took control of my computer, but all the stuff the first person turned off was still off, so there wasn't much for her to do. she logged into servsafe to start the exam. my father's name came up but she didn't say anything. with that my servsafe food safety manager exam began.

so there are 90 questions: 80 actual questions, 10 test questions that aren't scored and may be used as future questions. 75% is passing, so out of the 80 actual questions, i could get 20 wrong and still pass. right away i started to sweat a bit. these questions were not the questions i practiced! instead of asking me about safe food temperatures and proper cooling and heating time, there was a lot of actual management questions. i didn't brief read up on these last night, but none of them were practice questions. also the wording was really weird, many questions i had to reread because i couldn't understand them the first time. i also didn't want to look to the side of the computer screen, which could constitute cheating, so i basically locked my head facing forward at all times. another thing i couldn't do was to read the questions out loud. i basically had to act like a robot during the entire time i was taking the exam.

i had 2 hours to take the exam. back when i did my practice tests, i'd already memorized the questions enough that i could go through the whole test in under 10 minutes. taking the actual exam, it took me about an hour to get through all 90 questions. when i got to the end, it allowed me to review my answers, but it was kind of worthless because it just showed a list of answers, not the questions themselves (i think if i clicked on an answer it'd bring me to the question). there was also the option of skipping questions to come back to again later but i didn't do that, i answered all the questions as i read them. i then hit submit and it immediately gave me the results: congratulations, you passed! it didn't show me the questions i got wrong or right, just that i passed. there was also no additional instructions besides a button to call the proctor.

shortly after i started taking the exam, my 2nd proctor disappeared and was replaced with a 3rd proctor. this one spoke to me via microphone, his accent was so think i could barely understand him. he congratulated me for passing my test, and said i could close all the windows to end the session. so i did that, and logged into the servsafe account. the food safety manager certificate was already available for printing. there was also a section where i could check my score. i clicked on that. i couldn't see the questions and answers, just a score: 85%. that meant not counting the 10 test questions, i got 12 out of the 80 regular questions wrong. i was actually a little disappointed, hoping to score in the upper 90%, but a pass is a pass. i suppose i should be happy that i didn't score lower given all the management questions, but i think those were test questions, so they weren't scored (i probably got most of those wrong anyway).

the next thing i did was to log into the cambridge city portal and finish filing the business permit for the cafe. when it asked me for the food safety and allergen certificates, i uploaded them accordingly. that should take care of that.

i didn't call my parents until an hour later, because from the cafe webcams i saw they were busy. they knew i was taking the test at 11am, and were kind of nervous when i didn't call. in the meantime i had some lunch, finished the last of my hot dogs.

around 2:30pm i went down to the community garden to water my plot as well as renee's plot. next time she asks i'm going to say no. i've never asked anyone to help me water when i've gone away for short trips. as much as i love my garden plot, i'm also not going to bother someone and get them to take care of my garden while i'm gone. your plants will be fine if you don't water it for a few days.

afterwards i headed into boston, to haymarket. the sky was intermittently sunny and dark cloudy, but the chance of a shower was low (we should be so lucky). it was also warm, but not unpleasantly so, like a dry heat in the 80's, i kind of liked it. my bit of twice-weekly running has seemed to improve my biking stamina as well, and i wasn't the least bit tired.

i got to haymarket by 3pm. usually around this time of the year cherries are in season, but i hardly saw any, and often times what looked to be cherries were actually grapes. my haul: 2 boxes of rose berries ($3), 2 boxes of strawberries ($2), bag of bananas ($1), box of cherry tomatoes ($2), 3 bags of persian (baby) cucumbers ($4.50), 5 red peppers ($1), 2 lbs. bag of cherries ($4). i started heading back home by 3:30pm. i couldn't go back the way i came because the haymarket parking garage was roped off because they discovered collapsing columns below ground. that also affected the nearby T station, and all green and orange line subway trains were disabled from that point on, with substitute shuttle buses instead. so i took a loop up the old state house and around government center to get back. there were lines of people standing out on the curb waiting for the buses to come. a real mess, but at least the weather was nice.

i cycled all the way to the cafe, which took me 30 minutes, getting there by 4pm. feifei was there, helping my sister put QR code stickers on pieces of free candy to give to customers. i dropped off the produce. i was eager to try the rose berries, which look like pink unripened strawberries. they were actually surprisingly sweet, definitely a legit produce and not some savvy marketing trick selling unripened strawberries. my mother wanted to pack me some dinner but i'd already decided it'd be a noodles kind of night.

back at home, jeff left another 4-pack of hard cider on my back porch, to thank me for letting them use my visitor's parking permit again. they're away on the cape on monday, the same day their housecleaners are coming, so the permit's for them.

8:30pm i made my luxury korean ramen with tofu and pickled mustard greens. i ate while watching some youtube videos streaming on my HDTV.

today i consolidated my second 2TB drive onto the new 5TB drive. i copied half while i was at haymarket (finished by the time i got back), and copied the other half in the early evening, finally finishing by 10:30pm.