it's not every morning that you wake up and get to poop into a cup, but that's what awaited me when i got out of bed today. i put the plastic bracket across the toilet bowl, then put the cup into the hole. when i sat down on the toilet, i immediately had performance anxiety. first, it felt weird, sitting over the plastic bracket. second, i was worried i might miss the cup entirely, and hit the sides instead, creating an epic mess. third, the instruction said to evacuate completely (my words) into the cup, and i was concerned i just might have too much poop that i overfill the container. but eventually i managed to do my business.

concerned about "giving too much," i pooped about half then removed the cup, so i could finish like normal. i then took my fecal sample and ran a swab over the poop and put the swab into a tube. i emptied the bottle of preservatives into the poop cup, before screwing on the lid. i put the samples into the original box, now with a new mailing label.

after a shower, i got dressed them walked down to the somerville avenue UPS store to drop off my samples. i don't think the clerk knew what i was handing her, because if it was me i would recoil if a customer drop off a box full of poop at my work place. i got back home with just barely enough time to pack my things and take the motorcycle to the cafe to start my saturday of work.

i remember my mother telling me yesterday that today would be a busy day, so i cooked 6 cups of rice. only later would i realize today would actually be a quiet day, as people disappeared for the columbus day long weekend. that similar siege mindset also made me cook another batch of tea eggs, when we only managed to sell a single egg today. i ended up eating one more because i was hungry (a dark egg that had its shell nearly falling off).

my father showed up around 11am to fix the broken circuit breaker of my sister's upstairs tenants. he came to report it was a short circuit somewhere, because even after he replaced the breaker, it would still pop close the circuit. to check it more thoroughly, he'd need to get into the tenants' room, but since they weren't home, he decided to wait. my father ended up staying at the cafe and helping out, until the tenants came back around 2pm. he went back to the apartment to check the outlets, he couldn't find anything suspicious, so we'll need to get an electrician to fix the problem. after that he returned to belmont.

despite it being a slow day, we still managed to get a decent amount of business. we only had 4 beef noodle soups and were worried we wouldn't have enough. as soon as we made that realization, an online order came in for 3 orders of beef noodle soup. i immediately pulled the item off of the online square menu while my sister did the same on grubhub. the last remaining noodles a girl called in and ordered it. luckily nobody else ordered the beef noodle after that (although if they tried to order it online, it would've told them it wasn't available).

after we closed at 4pm, my 2nd aunt and i stayed to help clean, before i left around 5pm. i went to my parents' place, where they made fried rice for dinner, along with some leftovers from 2 days ago, including the duck my godmother had made, and the smoked ham we ordered from zoe's.

my father was showing me a youtube video where a chinese guy was demonstrating a wood burning camping stove that uses a battery-powered fan to jumpstart the flame. he asked me to go online and try to find it. the guy in the video said it cost 100 euros, but i found it on amazon for just $80. they also seller a larger model for $120. the larger model featured a video made by a russian demonstrating the stove. though the fire achieved was impressive, the stove itself doesn't seem to operate without the fan, as the russian said the fire would eventually suffocate itself without the aid of the fan. both stoves were a little weird, in that you need a battery pack to run it. cheaper wood burning camping stoves - without the fan - can be had for around $20, that doesn't require electricity to generate fire.

my father said he might be interested in getting a camping stove for cooking. that's when i suggested he check out some outdoor wok burners. the one we had our eyes on was the eastman outdoors 90411 portable kahuna burner with XL pot and wok brackets and adjustable legs for $118. we watched some youtube videos of it in action - all 65k BTU worth - and the propane-powered flames it created was impressive. we also watched a kenji lopez-alt video where he compared the kahuna with the powerflamer 160 and one other outdoor burner. the 160k BTU powerflamer seems like the better designed wok burner (and the one kenji recommended), but we did the math and it'd cost us $228 with shipping ($190 for the burner itself). his second recommendation was the kahuna, said it was just as power if you weren't cooking for more than 6 people. so my father ended up buying one (to arrive on monday), despite the fact that there was no free return on the product (but there was free delivery).

i returned home after 8pm, my fleece jacket barely keeping me warm. with no clouds in the sky, radiational cooling will drop tonight's temperature into the lower 40's around boston, even lower further out.

after a shower, i watched the padres-mets game. mets lost yesterday, but they won tonight. with the red sox out of the post-season, i find myself rooting for the mets, simply because their stadium is based in flushing and i was just there a few days ago. afterwards i watched saturday night live. last week's season premiere hosted by miles teller was genuinely funny, and the streak continues with guest host brendan gleeson tonight. could SNL be funny again? "what's it like being a new at SNL?" killed, marilyn monroe fan letters, male models, senior high school senior, dominican baseball players, bleeding viking, and googly eyes, all funny sketches.