i didn't think it'd be easy but i also didn't think it'd take this long: i was at my sister's place on the phone with xfinity comcast for 1-1/2 hours today, resolving the cablemodem issue. i found out not only was the new account unlinked, but it'd also been cancelled when i dropped the technician appointment. so instead of just swapping in my own brand new modem, i first had to resolve the account issue. but because i had xfinity reset the gateway remotely (when i originally thought it was just a simple gateway issue), i had to wait before i could call them again. it was supposed to be no more than 10 minutes but it was more like 20 minutes. every time i called, the automated system would say, "i see you have a modem restart in progress...[we] won't be able to assist you until the restart is complete...good bye."

i almost gave up at that point, but to their credit, they did call me back after 20 minutes and transferred me to a live agent. from the accent i knew it was another call center (for the east coast, i think calling later in the afternoon connects you with a live agent here in the US), but the agent i got was actually super helpful, her name was ellie. we got disconnected at one point and she actually called me back immediately.

ellie was the one who told me my new account had been cancelled. my eyes nearly rolled to the back of my head as all the hard work i had to do over the past 2 days to create a new account seemed to be all in vain. but ellie was able to reactivate the cancelled account, including all promotional deals. next she linked the new account to my old existing account. then she activated the gateway, which took a few refresh to finally get working. after all the work she did to get that to work, i sheepishly told her i actually had my own cablemodem, and would like to activate that instead. so we did that, and she also as a courtesy unlinked the gateway from the account as well so i could return it.

it was nearly 12:30pm before i was finally finished. as a final step, i unplugged the old cablemodem and connected the router to the new modem. i made sure it was working (400/20Mbps download/upload speed) before finally leaving.

my parents kept calling me while i was on the phone, so i knew it was something important. as i was close to finishing up with xfinity, my mother actually came to my sister's place looking for me, said the internet was down at the cafe. so after putting out one xfinity fire, i had another one to get to.

the cafe internet went down right around the busiest time of the day. luckily my sister happened to be there and saw spotted on her phone that there was a grubhub order followed by a square order. because the cafe internet was done, not only could my parents not see the new orders, the credit card machine wasn't working, and neither were the phone. it was a really mess as they tried to fulfill the late orders while i was on the phone with comcast business. and i don't know why, every single time i call them to complain, the internet will magically fix itself before i can get an agent. fortunately i ordered another SB6190 cablemodem yesterday, due to arrive tomorrow. i'll swap out the modem saturday morning, hopefully the new modem will be more stable. with so much of the cafe business now internet-based, we can't have the internet going down this often.

my plan was to go to my parents' place, do some cleaning (before the chinese new year dinner on saturday), before returning home. i was able to leave when my sister called my mother, told her the plumber was coming in 20 minutes. so my parents asked me to wait for the plumber.

while i was waiting, another new cablemodem arrived at my sister's place. i'll get that installed on saturday.

jim from alewife co finally showed up. he actually saw me from his van and told me he was looking for parking. he's probably the last alewife plumbers i haven't met yet, i've basically met them all. i told him what the problems were (i probably knew them better than anyone), he went back to his van to get the necessary equipment. right away he seemed to be able to diagnose the problem, and it was all hard water related: hard water deposits had clogged up the bathroom sink faucet, and hard water deposit most likely clogged the shower head. my mother also came by to give me a check to pay the plumber. feifei the tenant was there too to witness the repair. jim went back to his van to look for a shower arm and for a key to remove the faucet aerator.

jim repaired the faucet first. he found a matching key and managed to remove the aerator which was on super tight, which meant it probably had never been removed before. when he finally took out the aerator, it was completely packed with deposits. he rinsed it out, put it back in, and the faucet worked like new again.

next came the shower head. he found a spare shower arm, installed it onto the wall so it was tight and snug. when i asked him about how the shower arm was pointing up when i tried to screw it back in, he said the simple trick was to tighten it even more until it was pointing point. another secret is to insert a screw driver into the shower arm to help you crank it down for that final turn, better than using a wrench which would mar the finish on the shower arm. he tried putting the shower head back - which was caked with deposit on the inside - and it didn't work. he was going to disassemble the shower head to see if he could get it to work, but feifei said they were fine with a naked shower arm for the time being, and we'd be getting a new shower head anyway, so no need to fix the old one, if it was even possible.

while jim was filling out the invoice, we chatted. he told me pat the plumber quit his job and went to go work in the casino, couldn't handle the plumbing life anymore. jim himself told me he was 63 (i thought he was older, white people don't age well). he had on a bruins bandanna (for an impromptu facemask) so i asked him if he was a bruins fan. that got him smiling, as he told me his daughter does the radio commentary for the umass hockey team, and he used to be a season ticket holder, even went to the most recent winter classic at fenway park.

jim charged us an hour of work, which turned out to be about $140. he gave us the aerator key and a spool of plumber's tape. after seeing him work, the repairs weren't that hard, you just had to know what you were doing, and had to have the right equipment. if it happens again, i'll be able to fix it next time.

there was the still the problem of the missing shower head. i told feifei i'd go out and buy one and be back in an hour. it was 2:30pm, by that point it'd already started to rain a little bit. i drove down to the watertown home depot to pick up a shower head (got a delta 6-way $25, the same one that i have). coming back, i made a detour to fresh pond mall to drop off the gateway at the xfinity office. while i was there, i also managed to cancel my sister's old account. i was afraid they'd ask me for an ID but they didn't do that. that saved me the trouble of having to call back comcast xfinity and go through phone tree hell again.

i finally made it back to the cafe by 3:30pm. i went to apartment above my sister's place and started to install the shower head. feifei came out of her room and actually did the honors. we tested it out, it worked awesome, good pressure, wide spray. it looked so good, i was tempted to take a shower there myself!

back at the cafe, my mother made some rice noodles. since i didn't eat yet all day, i couldn't say no, even though it was getting late, and i didn't want to get caught riding in the dark and the rain. after i finished eating, my mother asked for my help to make another temu order, since a bunch of formerly out of stock wool yarn were now back in stock again. my mother also said my father really likes his fleece jogger pants (he'd been wearing them to work everyday this week) and wanted to order another pair. by the time we were finished, it was already 4:20pm.

i did end up having to ride in the rain and the dark. i didn't think i'd be going home so late so i didn't bring my lights (note to self: always bring lights, even if i don't think i need them, or maybe throw some smaller emergency lights in the bag as part of my EDC kit). it wasn't that bad, it was a little dusky, but i'm not used to riding in the "dark" without lights. my jacket was only damp and i had a trash bag around my messenger bag so my macbook pro wouldn't get wet. the only real casualty were my pants, which were soaked from the wet saddle.

another casualty in all of today's excitement was losing one of my gloves. i discovered it when i left my sister's place today around 12:30pm. either i lost it on my way to the cafe this morning, or yesterday when i rode home. they were a pair of cheap gloves i got from dollar tree, but i like them because they kept my hands warm (double-layered: pair of fingerless gloves outside a pair of regular gloves). i do another pair of the same gloves, and i'll go visit the dollar store tomorrow to see if they have anymore in stock.

this being thursday, i went to star market to score some additional sale items before the new circular rolls out tomorrow. i got some sugarbee apples ($1.99/lbs) and a few bags of doritos.

i snacked on some scallion bread and oranges in the early evening. something must not've agreed with me, because afterwards i felt really nauseous, like i might throw up. i have a pretty strong stomach so i haven't felt that queasy in a while. after a while it passed. later i heated up the two leftover meat buns in the microwave and had some more oranges.

i watched the warriors-celtics game. it was a real battle, celtics trailed throughout until the 4th quarter, where they came back to tie and send the game into overtime. boston ended up winning, though the final 30 seconds was a little harrowing as the celtics got sloppy and gave up several turnovers which made the game closer than it actually was. final score 121-118.