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it's already close to my bedtime and i still don't have internet service. it started this morning, when i noticed my phone was on data instead of wifi. i checked the modem in the closet and sure enough, the lights were not normal: power light solid, upstream light blinking, and none of the other lights were on. so i called up comcast (xfinity) and spoke with an agent after navigating through the phone tree maze. he wasn't very helpful, but i did get confirmation that something was going on (even though the online outage map said everything was normal), because he couldn't book a house visit because there was a report of a technician working in the area. so i figured by the time i get home later this evening, everything will be fixed anyway (as it usually happens whenever there's an outage), so i didn't give it much though. i did get a $2 discount on my internet bill though, so it wasn't a total waste of time calling.

however, i knew throughout the day that my home wifi was still down because i couldn't access the webcam nor any of the smart plugs. that wasn't a good sign, meant the outage was more serious.

when i came home around 7:30pm, i actually saw an xfinity van with a cherry picker working on one of the utility poles on my street. this was a rare sight on a sunday evening. i thought maybe the internet was fixed but i still had no service at home. at least now the outage map said, "technician in your area" and further detail of "1-50" subscribers affected by "brief interruptions to your service."

after i finished my shower, i was surprised to discover my wifi was back on (because my phone was no longer using data). i ran a quick speedtest, 257/21 Mbps, not bad. unfortunately the service was shortlived and by 9:30pm it was down again. when i checked the outage map again, it said "legacy TV, X1 TV, internet, voice, internet TV outage detected" with 51-500 subscribers affected this time. when i checked the outage map again 30 minutes later, it said "everything looks good" despite no internet service.

i spent the rest of the evening in communique with comcast/xfinity, whether through their online chat, automated help line, or live calling with an agent. having dealt with cable companies for decades, i can tell you it's usually pretty futile calling, and most problems don't get fixed, the best they can do is make an appointment with a technician. which is what happened to me, though my appointment isn't until tuesday morning, so technically i can be without internet service for another 2 days. i'm hoping this gets resolved before then, hopefully other neighbors are also calling comcast/xfinity tonight.

fortunately i was watching sunday night football, which i can get through my HDTV antenna (local channel 15). and i still have internet service on my phone, unlimited data plan. but not having internet puts a damper on my usual computer activities. for one thing my local blog page loads very slowly (i think because it's trying to unsuccessfully load some internet services). i also can't surf the web like i normally can, so i find myself thinking about going to bed early. so i completely blame the internet for making me stay up so late every night.

anyway, today i was at my parents' place. my father microwaved a bowl of instant shrimp wontons in the microwave for me to eat. i moved out all the houseplants that were in the sunroom, to take advantage of the warming weather. i'll have to keep an eye on the night time temperatures: if it drops into the 40's again, i'll have to bring all the plants back inside.

after i finished lunch we were outside repairing the busted cloche with the soft vinyl material i bought months ago. it involved removed rivets from the old plastic sheet and then securing them onto the vinyl sheet with new rivets, then assembling the rest of the cloche. we started working around noontime, and we didn't finish until nearly 4pm. i'd missed most of the patriots game which started at 1pm, and my mother kept coming out asking when i'd be done so i could make the nachos (she ended up making her own).

removing the old rivets was a pain, and involved a myriad of tools, from electric drills, to chisel bits, to pliers. when it came time to secure the metal braces with new rivets, it was an opportunity to use a manual rivet gun i'd bought many years ago but never used. turns out either we needed to practice or the rivet gun was simply a ripoff because it didn't really work. i also managed to clog the gun by using a rivet to knock out another rivet, but ended up getting that rivet stuck in the gun. it seems to be designed so rivets can only go in one way. so my father ended up securing the metal braces with screws and nuts instead, which should've been our first option.

dare i say the rivet work was the easy part? because then piecing the whole cloche together was the greater challenge. the original cover for the cloche was a rigid sheet of clear thick plastic (the material you use to make clear visors, or face shields). i couldn't source this material so i got the next best thing, which was a soft vinyl sheet, the kind of material they use for making boat windows, or shower curtains. working with the soft vinyl was like trying to build something with cooked noodles. it was challenging trying to put them into the metal brace and secure them. but eventually we got it done, even though the cloche now sort of sags because i'm using a soft cover instead of a rigid cover. but it sort of works, and at least that's one project i can finally clear off my plate (and declutter the sunroom, where these cloche parts had been sitting unassembled).

like i said, my mother made some nachos earlier, but then made a second batch when i came back inside with my guidance. i told her about the jar of salsa, as she added the refried beans, the jalapeno pepper, onions, and shredded nacho cheese. the only thing we forgot were the olives. my mother stacked the corn chips too high, so all the ones at the bottom had no toppings, and even some of the chips on top were missing toppings as well. plus she cooked everything in the small toaster oven, a plate of nachos demand the dignity of the big oven to properly cook! they were good though, the salsa i got super hot for some reason even though it said they were medium hotness.

i watched the end of the patriots game, the vikings beat us by two touchdowns, it was close there for a split second, before minnesota pulled away. to make matters worse, an opposing player rolled on top of mac jones ankle and he hopped off the field in pain before the game ended. tough times for new england sports fans! first all the ime idoka drama, and now mac jones might be sidelined for a while.

my parents made hot and sour fish stew for dinner again. they love it so much, we eat it practically every other week it seems. after dinner i returned home, but not before adjusting the sprinkler timer: now it runs twice a day, 6am and 6pm, watering for 10 minutes each.

when i came home i saw the xfinity truck on my street. i went to take a short walk because earlier this morning i saw somebody had thrown out a nice porcelain-vase-base lamp with a good lampshade. my sister said something about wanting a lampshade. however when i went back to that location, the lamp was already gone. instead, coming back, i found a small cache of pots on the sidewalk. they looked good in the dark, but when i brought them home i noticed one of the bigger pots had a crack on the side so i threw it out. there was a bottle of rooting hormone though, i'll put that to good use.

my weldiea USB-C to USB adapters ($8) arrived today. i'm hoping it'll allow me to connect an old (2015) transcend USB 3.0 card reader ($6) to my phone so i can copy over photos if i run out of space (storage is 64GB, but i usually only have 2-3GB or less of free space). when i first tried it using my camera memory card as a test, it didn't work; i found out the card is actually formatted in exFAT, while my pixel 3XL android phone will only read FAT32 formatted cards. i did try another photo card and that worked. later when i got back home, i put in a fresh blank 64GB microSDHC card. the phone was able to read the card, but i had a few issues. for one thing, i couldn't copy anything onto the card. i could see preexisting image files, and open movies, but mkv files didn't have audio, only mp4 would work. i tried opening the movies in the VLC app, but android wouldn't allow it. i was able to finally figure out how to copy photos onto the card using a generic file management app instead of google file. however, for some reason it'd strip out all the gps data. i'll have to look into this issue. if i can't copy files onto the card, i may just return the adapters. it's not an adapter issue, it's more of an android security issue.

because my internet was down, i wasn't able to grab the latest episode of house of the dragon. when i finally went to bed around 2:30am, i managed to stream the latest episode from a pirate tv/movie streaming app on my phone using data. i ended up watching the whole episode and didn't go to sleep until 3:30am.