first item on the agenda was to try and fix the leaking faucet in front of the house. there's a shutoff switch but that thing hasn't worked in years so i ended up turning off the water completely in order to remove the spigot stem. i brought my 8in. crescent wrench and my combination wrench set, but none of them was big enough to remove the head, so i ended up using a larger pipe wrench. the faucet was leaking from the handle, which means a washer issue, but when i examined the cartridge, it looked worn enough that it'd be easier to simply replace it.
before i left to look for a replacement part, i took a quick survey of our rain barrel setup, taking photos of the various connections so come next year we can piece them all back together again without figuring out which goes where.
finally i went to home depot. unfortunately none of ones i saw were a match, the outdoor spigot i had was simply too old, an antique. i left with a 3lbs. bag of scotts sun and shade mix grass seeds ($20) and a melnor hose splitter ($10).
i went and tried the watertown FW Webb plumbing supply store just a short distance away. i ended up waiting 15 minutes to service because they were busy, then waited an additional 15 minutes while the guy i spoke to took my old faucet cartridge and replaced the bottom washer for me. he seemed like a veteran employee, and went above and beyond to help me out, even replacing the missing screw holding the washer in place. i also bought a package of graphite packing string ($4), which he said to replace the old packing material inside the nut.
i finally returned to my parents' place around 1:30pm. i tried removing the old packing material but it'd already hardened from decades of service. i managed to chip away a little bit but ended up packing in the new graphite string. i used enough to make 2 loops on the stem before closing up the cartridge. i thought the graphite would be like a putty, but it was more like straw, and hard to wrap.
i installed the rebuilt cartridge back onto the faucet and went down into the basement to turn on the water main. the faucet was still leaking from the handle, even though i tried tightening the nut. i think it just needs to be repacked with graphite string (fortunately there's a lot of it, 24in. worth, i only used about 4-5 inches). i did test the faucet with the watering timer and the hose splitter, it works, watering two separate areas of the front lawn.
by that point it was already 2:30pm. the weather forecast said rain would be starting around 3pm. all day long the sky was grey and occasionally i felt drops.
my work wasn't done yet, i still had to reseed the backyard lawn. i nearly used up the entire bag of new grass seeds but managed to cover the entire backyard, before going back once more and raking in the seeds with a wire rake. i didn't bother watering since i figured the rain would take care of it. i finally left by 3:15pm.
i'd replaced my parents' stanley thermos with my old thermos-brand thermos since my mother doesn't like the heavier stanley design (even if it's more insulating). i went to the cafe to drop off my leftover fresh dill and to report the faucet repair progress to my father. everyone was there - my 2nd aunt, my godmother, and my other aunt. i left a short time later.
after dropping off the motorcycle at my place, i switched to the bicycle and went down to market basket to get a few things for the cafe. once i came back home, i finally had something to eat around 4:30pm: an instant bowl of tonkotsu ramen.
i backed up my computer today. i tried doing it last time but time machine was taking too long so i cancelled the backup. i tried again this morning, and left the machine running all day. when i got back home i was happy to learn it'd successfully backed up. the last time i did a backup was back in july.
for dinner i made my instant pot century egg & pork bone congee, haven't made that since may. with the weather turning colder, it's perfect for hot rice porridge. i didn't eat until 9:30pm, had enough leftovers for two more nights of feasting.