my upper thighs were killing this morning, as i hobbled out of bed. the lenovo generation 3 M8 tablet arrived in the late morning and i spent some time setting it up while i was having a sandwich for lunch. i set it up so it can receive all the cafe e-mails and run the square app so we can see incoming online orders.

it was starting to get late and i procrastinated long enough, so i finally left for boston via bike around 1:40pm. because today was a relatively cold day (temperature was 40 degrees when i left, but 30's for much of the day), i decided not to go to haymarket for fear of frost-damaged produce. instead it'd be to chinatown and back. cutting through boston common, i look a detour to see the new MLK jr. statue. it seemed pretty popular, a lot of people were crowding around it taking photos.

i went to ming's market first. i noticed the autobody shop across the street that had a special deal with ming's market so that customers could park in the lot was walled off. looks like the owner finally decided to sell and cash out, i expect a future fancy condo in its place. i went to ming's primarily to see if they had any tear-off chinese calendars. they didn't, but i still left with about $25 worth of asian groceries.

next i went to chase bank to get some more chinese calendars. the woman i dealt with last year - the one who gave me a whole box of calendars - was there, but a younger male associate helped me instead. when i asked for a calendar he said they only had one left, until i pointed out a stack in the next teller window. i ended up with 3 calendars. i asked if they still had a lot in stock, he said no, that they were a very popular item.

finally i went to c-mart. the parking lot was nearly empty. my theory is post-chinese new year, a lot of people still don't need to buy an groceries yet. next week same time it might be a different story. i ended up spending $35 including some sweet oranges i got a few weeks ago that were still 5 for $2 (that's haymarket prices). an old cantonese man was inspecting the same oranges, i told him they were very sweet, and laughed, repeated what i said to his wife, as he decided to buy a few as well. i ended up buying 20 said oranges.

while getting ready to leave chinatown, i realized the hat insert that i usually have inside my bike helmet was missing. i decided to retrace my steps. i got lucky, it was right outside the bank. unfortunately a pigeon took a dump in the hat, so i couldn't wear it, but carefully tied it to one of the grocery bags. i finally left boston by 3pm.

leaving from chinatown, the easiest route is fiedler footbridge onto the esplanade then across the mass ave bridge to MIT and cambridge. the route adds about an extra mile but on pedestrian paths so i don't have to worry about cars. i got back home by 3:35pm.

originally i didn't plan to go back out, but i wanted to set up the new tablet, so i left around 4:15pm for the cafe. it was crazy busy today, i could see it from all the online orders. what i didn't realize was my sister decided to take the next 2 days off, so it was just my parents working the cafe. my mother said she almost called me for help. setting up the tablet was just connecting it to the cafe wifi. still waiting for the stand to arrive from temu, in the meantime it just sits on the countertop next to the iphone. upgrading to an 8" tablet is definitely the right decision, compared to the tiny iphone screen.

one issue with the tablet (and with most android devices) is the mail will only check for new e-mails every 15 minutes. why is this an issue? well, the square app will make a notification noise when there's a new order. it can also send out an e-mail, which is how i can see when there's a new order even when i'm at home. however that's because i'm on a mac all day and i get push notifications. on the android mail app for some reason it can't receive push notifications. the work-around is forwarding the e-mail to a gmail account, which will do immediate push notifications. it's a very esoteric problem but one that i think i have a solution for.

my father roasted some pecan nuts with brown sugar. these taste better than the walnuts, which are slightly rancid. before i left, my mother also gave me 3 scallion breads. when i got back home i ate the bread as a snack while surfing the web.

i bought a packet of mung beans and soaked some in my sprouting jar. i'm going to soak them for 24 hours before draining and hoping the beans will start to germinate. the biggest problem i have in the house is it's not warm enough. back when i did my first mung bean sprout germination experiment in a plastic colander, i had to use a heat pad to get the temperature warm enough. we'll see what happens. maybe indoor sprouting will only work during the summer, when it's hotter inside the house.

i didn't have dinner until 9pm, my classic luxury korean ramen with tofu. it's essentially vegetarian, if you don't count the raw egg i add to make the initial broth.

it's been 24 hours since i started fermenting my jiuniang. so far no progress, maybe a tiny hint of liquid at the bottom of the jars. i do see mycelium threads, so at least the jiuniang yeast is multiplying. the rice also seems to have retained its moisture. it's still early, it takes at least 3 days for slow fermenting sweet rice to become edible jiuniang.