i was chatting with WWY on my phone while i was in the bathroom. she told me chongqing was currently undergoing a zero covid lockdown and she'd been stuck at home for the past 5 days. the only time she left the house was to go downstairs and get tested. despite the massive home quarantines, people are still contracting covid. WWY thought the reason was because these daily tests forced people to be unnecessarily crowded together, allowing the coronavirus to spread, despite everyone being masked. every 2 days she's also allowed to go the nearby supermarket but that's it. originally she was told they'd be quarantined for 7 days, but there hasn't been any updates since, and they could be locked down indefinitely, not until everyone tested negative for covid.
i left for belmont around 10:30am. temperature was in the lower 40's. it was cold but at least it was sunny. i turned the choke on the motorcycle, it started on the first try.
first thing i did when i arrived at my parents' place was go down to the basement to check out the LG washer and dryer in action. there was clothes drying in the dryer already from a second load. i turned on the dryer light and watched the clothes spinning through the glass window. the old dryer didn't have a window, you basically tried to imagine what was going on inside by the sounds it was making. i could watch clothes drying all day, like looking into an aquarium. likewise, the new washer also has a window (though unfortunately no light like the dryer). my father was doing a third load of a fleece blanket and a down comforter. it started to wash but there wasn't enough water. we ended up restarting the load with the bedding setting. in the end we still had to pause the washer so we could manually submerge the comforter, which was too light and parts of it floating above the water line. there's so much new technology in both washer and dryer technology compared to our last washer dryer, it does feel like we've jumped into the future.
upstairs i checked out the dried laundry from the first load, which included a very dirty white towel that already had old mud stains from being used to clean up hailey's paws when she came back inside the house, but i also used it to mop up the inlet valve leaks on the filthy basement floor behind the old washer, which was caked in dirt and lint and who knows what else. i didn't expect the towel to be cleaned but it was spotlessly white, like you couldn't imagine how dirty it used to be. what's even more remarkable is my father failed to push in the detergent drawer, so that first load of clothes washed with barely any detergent, and the clothes - including that towel - still came out perfectly clean.
the one bad thing about the new washer is how long it takes to do a normal load, about an hour. fortunately electricity usage wasn't an issue, since it was a sunny day and we were generating more than enough electricity for both the washer and dryer to be running on free solar energy alone. the dryer is a little better with time because of the moisture sensor, but it will also add additional time when it senses that the clothes aren't dry enough.
other washer dryer observations: 5.5 cu.ft. of wash space is pretty big, especially since these new impeller washers don't have a central agitator spindle. part of the reason to get an impeller washer was the ability to wash blankets, which we couldn't do with the old washer because the blanket would coil around the agitator. our old amana LW3303W washer, i don't know what size it is. it could be as small as 3.5 cu.ft., so it's quite a change upgrading to a washer with an extra 2 cu.ft. of tub space.; the LG washer will lock during the wash and spin cycle, for safety reasons. watching it spin at high speed, it does look awfully dangerous.; LG thinQ is the app that can monitor the washer dryer and control it to a small extent. it keeps track of every time you wash and dry and what cycle was used. it can also download custom cycles to the download option on both machines - currently it's small load for the washer and super dry for the dryer. it has a counter for the washer that tells you when to clean the tub (every 30 cycle). there's also energy monitoring so you can see how much energy you've used for the week, the month, and the year. strangely however, it doesn't actually tell you the Wh usage, i think to not scare the customers over just how much electricity a washer - and more particularly a dryer - can use per laundry load (though both machines are energy star rated). the app allows you to pause the cycle, and turn on a cycle if the remote start button is engaged and the machine is already turned on. i can't think of a reason why you would ever want to remotely start a cycle, other than as a party trick. the app can not turn on the machine when it's powered off. i feel the main purpose of the LG thinQ app isn't necessarily to help you monitor your LG appliances and devices, but rather to target you with LG ads. below the linked appliances, you also have "what's trending on the LG channels web", recipes, tipes & articles, and of course other LG things to buy. all of these things can be turned off (LG isn't the only company that does this; nearly all smart devices i own have some kind of ad targeting in their apps); the buttons on the control panels could be better. they look like touch buttons but you need to press down in order for the buttons to work, so they really just flat manual buttons. for some reason i have the hardest time turning on and starting the machines. there's also a weird UI "bug" i don't like: with certain cycles, it doesn't allow you to adjust some settings. but you wouldn't know this unless you tried to change the settings and see that it doesn't work. for example, delicate cycle on the dryer is fixed at low temperature. when you try to change the temperature on delicate, it doesn't work.; i mentioned the dryer has a light so you can see inside (called a drum light). this is kind of nitpicky, but the light has a bluish hue. i would've preferred a more neutral white light. i could probably change it out, like what i did with my refrigerator.; i really love the dual-open dryer door. drop in damp laundry from the top, take them out from the bottom, depending on how you open the door. it's pretty ingenuous, don't know why other brands haven't done the same with their washer (i'd imagine it'd be harder to do with a washer, being that a front-loading door has to be waterproof sealed and all).
i had some leftover sour fish stew mixed with rice for lunch. there was enough left over to call my mother out of the bedroom to take a break from watching her korean drama and have some lunch as well.
i ordered an 18" san jamar aluminum slide check rack for the cafe. we intend to use it to hold all our online order receipts. once the blankets were done washing, we tossed them into the dryer. it actually look a long time to dry, the moisture sensor having a hard time picking up hidden wet areas in some of the folds of the blankets. the dryer kept adding additional time, and even after it said it was done, the blankets were still damp in places. i ended up running a manual timer dry.
afterwards my father and i were outside disassembling the rain barrel hoses. because it might freeze tonight, we didn't want the manifolds to still be connected, otherwise the water ice might crack them (like what happened last season). we also took apart the on-demand pump.
after that my father cleaned up the western bed, pulling down all the dead bitter melon vines and pulling up all the tomatoes and squash plants. i collected rudbeckia seeds, pruned the goldenrods and phloxes down to the ground, and watered the transplanted foxgloves in the front yard.
later after my father switched the cars in the driveway, we installed the new windshield wipers i got for the honda element. my father thought the wipers on the honda were still working, but we tested it by spraying water from a bottle onto the windshield with the old wipers working, and noticed that the passenger side wiper was stuttering against the glass compared to the driver side wiper which was just wiping smooth arcs. i also remember specifically last winter we had to stop the honda multiple times in the snow because the wipers ineffective against sleet. the honda uses 20" wipers on both sides. i got amazon wipers ($23) because some the reviews i read said they were actually the same as some name brand wipers. they were easy to replace once we figured out how to remove the old goodyear wipers. we ran them afterwards, they seemed to be working properly now. the only thing i don't like is the attachment clip is a bit bulky, although i don't think it affects the performance. i checked my records, we replaced the wipers on the toyota more than 5 years ago; they due for a replacement as well, don't seem to work as well anymore.
back inside the house my father went to go take a nap while i sorted some seeds we harvest this year: daikon radish, japanese red mustard, and chinese celery. i put them into used pill containers.
close to dinner, i was online paying for the food license and filing paperwork for the small business energy tax exemption. my mother also wanted me to pay october's meal tax while looking into her dental insurance. she finished making some steamed eggs for dinner while i was still busy juggling all the things i had to do, and got angry that we weren't ready for dinner.
after dinner my father and i checked out the powerbuilt 1/2 inch manual impact driver tool ($14) that arrived in the afternoon. i also bought an impact driver bit set ($11) but the bits that came with the impact driver were large enough that i don't need the additional bits. the tool itself was actually kind of heavy, and very industrial looking. as well as it should be, since it's designed to be whacked with a hammer, that's how it works. maybe we'll use it next week, try to remove the seized screws holding the old broken laundry shutoff valve in place. my only fear is we still don't remove the valve, but somehow damage it trying to remove the screws, to the point where it won't work anymore, and we can't stop the pipes from leaking once we turn on the water main.
i left belmont around 7:20pm. the temperature had dropped down to 34 degrees. i wasn't quite ready for that kind of cold yet, and didn't even wear my insulated pants or thermal underwear. what i was most afraid of was freezing my hands in the cold weather. it was cold riding back to cambridge, but it wasn't too bad. 34 degrees is nothing when it comes to new england winter, i've ridden in even colder weather, temperatures in the teens. but i just need to be wearing the right gear.
DC wasn't home when i got back. i closed the blinds, turned on the lights, turned up the thermostat, and went to go use the bathroom then taking a shower. he finally got back by 8:30pm. he managed to resolve the suspended account issue with his bank and finally paid the rent. he said he knew some other astrophysicist who was coming to cambridge in january-february.
i watched the OKC-celtics game. i didn't think the thunder were any good (13th in the western conference, third to last), and i didn't recognize any players on their roster, but they were shooting lights out against boston tonight. celtics trailed by a dozen points throughout, but finally picked up some momentum in the second half, and once they got the lead, they never gave it back, despite OKC continuing to shoot like crazy. boston is currently first in the eastern conference with a record of 11-3, with a 7 game winning streak. bucks are only a game behind at 10-3 though they lost their last 2 days (i think a bunch of their stars are injured).
basketball was followed by football, as there was a monday night game between washington and philadelphia. i didn't realize it at the time, but the eagles went into this game as the only undefeated team. the commanders ended up winning behind QB heinicke, in philadelphia no less. there was a controversial play in the final 2 minutes, when heinicke took a knee knowing he was able to get sacked, and while he was already down (which should've ended the play), two eagles defensive players smashed into him from different sides. the penalty clinched the game as allowed washington to keep the ball and milk the clock.
i keep checking the news to see where we were in terms of the national elections. tonight we got some breaking news: democrat katie hobbs defeat republican kari lake to become the new governor of arizona. as of tonight i don't think kari lake has conceded yet, and frankly, i don't know if she ever will.