when i checked the CO2 gauge last night around 1:20am, the pressure had increased to 220 psi, a promising sign. when i checked again this morning at 8am, it was up to 300 psi. 2 hours later, 340 psi, at the very edge of the recommended green zone on the gauge. the pressure would eventually get as high as 380 psi before it reached maximum. not too bad, considering this was my first time making CO2 using citric acid and baking soda.

my aquarium light turns on at 9am and i got up just to see the CO2 in action. the cloudy tank had turned clear this morning, as i watched beautiful little tiny streams of CO2 bubbles rise from the diffuser and get swirled in the filter intake flow. everything was working! i could see tiny CO2 bubbles swimming around throughout the tank.

i noticed there were precipitated dirt on the anubias leaves, so i reached into the tank to brush off the deposit. what i didn't realize was once i did that, the tank turned a little bit cloudy, as the dirt particles floated around inside the tank along with the CO2 bubbles.

although i added a fertilizer tab into the gravel yesterday, i didn't think it'd work fast enough, so i added a little bit of flourish fertilizer. of course now if the plants begin to do well, i can't be sure whether it was the fertilizer or the CO2 or both.

i also read people reporting that solenoid valves get hot when they're on. measured mine with an infrared thermometer, was a little surprised to see it reading as high as 117 degrees. that made me curious to know how much electricity the hot solenoid valve was using, so i connected it to my smart plug. it uses 3.6W of power, and that's only when it's turned on.

before i left the house, i froze a pan of watermelon cubes, for making watermelon smoothies.

i got to the cafe by 10:50am. first thing i did was make a new batch of tea eggs. i've been using my homemade tea egg spices for the past few iterations. it doesn't make the tea eggs any tastier, but doesn't make it worth either. it just makes me feel good knowing that i no longer have to buy commercial tea egg spices anymore, and can roll my own. is it cheaper? i like to think so, but i haven't done the math yet. how much does it cost to buy all 8 spices in the recipe, and how many spice packets can i made if i used up all the spices?

for lunch i had a raisin mantou bun my 2nd aunt had made, stuffed with suancai and some leftover charsiu pork.

it started to rain around 1pm, torrential downpours. my mother said she forgot to close the windows back in belmont. since it wasn't busy, i took the car and quickly drove to their house to 1) shut the windows, and 2) check the rain barrels. it was rainy so heavily, i had the wipers set to the fastest speed, and i could feel the car shaking from all the wiping.

windows were opened but it wasn't too bad, actually surprised not more rain got into the house. i closed them all. i then went out into the backyard with an umbrella and checked all the rain barrels. none seemed to be leaking, but given the amount of rain, it's hard to see gauge. i noticed my father had started using the front rain barrels to water the lawn again, but he forgot to cover up the transfer pump with its exposed live wires. i tested it to make sure the wires hadn't short circuited, before covering it up. the backyard seems so alive during a heavy rainstorm. i could've stayed there all day but finally returned to the cafe around 2pm.

a bowl of rice noodles with fish balls were waiting for me. i ate in the back kitchen while watching some MSNBC on the HDTV streaming from the chromecast.

i got a chance to check the wiring for the automated outdoor lights timer. it looks pretty routine with your neutral, line, load, and ground. it would take just a few minutes to remove the old timer box and replace it with a new smart switch. we have a tuya-compatible smart switch that we bought from temu. unfortunately i think it's too smart. all the programming is software based. if the server goes down, or if we lose internet, will the timer continue to work? that's why a more manual timer switch is a better solution. they have one where you can input your coordinates and it'll calculate out dawn and dusk, so you can turn on the lights at sundown and shut them off at midnight.

i left the cafe around 3:50pm. another batch of storm was coming, but it looked like not for another hour. that gave me enough time to go to market basket to get a few things for the cafe and a few things for myself (like almond milk for making my smoothies).

back at the house, i was all set to relax for the rest of the day. that's when amazon sent me e-mail that my package had arrived. the package being the complimentary extra CO2 generator kit they sent me for free after i mistakenly called them to report i was missing a part in my original kit. i told them to send it to my address in cambridge, but they sent it to my parents' place in belmont. not a big deal, except the delivery woman left the box on the steps, outside of the awning. when the rainstorm arrives, that box is going to get completely soaked.

so i made an executive decision: i would take the motorcycle and ride to belmont to bring in the package then ride back. all before the rainstorm arrived. the sky had already darkened, under normal circumstances i would never be outside when the weather gets like this. plus it was right around rush hour, so who knows how long i might get stuck in traffic. i figured worst case scenario i get to belmont slightly drenched, and then when i come back i'll be totally soaked, but i can change into some dry clothes afterwards.

so i left at 4:37pm. it started to rain a little bit, but just drops. i got to belmont at 4:49pm. i tossed the box inside the house and left immediately, no more than 30 seconds. racing home, it started to rain a little bit more, but still not yet a drizzle. i got back by 4:58pm, the rain beginning to fall a little heavier now. i even had time to put the rain cover on the bike before finally making it inside for good. roundtrip, it took me about 20 minutes total. not bad during rush hour. i feel like i've done it even faster before, but that was in the middle of the night, with hardly any cars, and definitely not trying to outrun a monster storm.

i snacked on some more brie on french bread, while watching it rain outside.

for dinner i made a simple lobster ravioli with pasta sauce. it was okay, but the sauce was so strong in flavor (along with the parmesan cheese), you could hardly taste the lobster.

i set the CO2 timer so it turns on an hour before the lights go on (8am, lights on at 9am) and turns off an hour before the lights go out (7pm, lights out at 8pm). the thing i noticed about my china-bought glass diffuser is that it only bubbles from a few areas around the rim of the diffuser disc. so i decide to give the kit-provided diffuser a try. that one was much better, it created bubbles throughout the entire disc, and the bubbles were even smaller. so i decided to use the kit diffuser instead.