now that fall is officially here (began this past saturday), everyday it gets harder and harder to run as the temperature begins to dip. this morning it was in the 50's and i almost decided not to go running. not only that but it was also windy as well (20 mph). nevertheless, i managed to compel myself to go around 10am. once i started running, once i warmed up, the cooler weather actually felt pretty nice. i was also listening to the strike force five podcast which was pretty funny, so made the time go by faster.

i got home a bit after 11am, took a shower, got ready to head down to the cafe around 11:30am. but when i took my bike out, i discovered the back tire was completely flat. so instead i took my trek allant bike instead. it's nice to ride a bike with functioning gears, i'd forgotten what a normal bike is supposed to feel like. because of the delay, i didn't get to the cafe until 11:45am.

li got in touch with me again today, said he preferred to stay at my place because it was more comfortable despite being a bit farther from the astrophysicist office. i replied back, said i looked forward to seeing him in a few weeks.

our new deep fryer arrived today, delivered to my parents' place. since it wasn't busy (12:15pm), i took the car and drove to belmont to pick up the package. while i was there i also checked the rain barrels. definitely something is going on, as all the barrels were less than half filled. given the amount of rain we had over the past few days, they should be filled to capacity by many degrees. somewhere we have a leak. i closed off a connecting spigots, so when my father checks the barrels again tonight or tomorrow and sees that one is more empty than the others, we'll be close to figuring out where the leak is. it's a good thing that the growing season is winding to a close and we're not dependent on the rain barrels anymore.

i got back to the cafe around 12:30pm.

today was a day where it was busy but i didn't notice because there were other stuff going on. like my godmother and her friend showing up again, followed later by my 2nd aunt. i was also making a new batch of tea eggs. and my parents decided to make some meat buns and scallion bread. but the thing that took center stage was using the t-fal EZ clean deep fryer for the very first time.

before we even used the deep fryer, the first thing we noticed was it was actually smaller than what we originally thought. which is both good and bad: good because it can now fit on the table without having to move anything, but bad because the fry basket is only big enough to fry 3 chicken pieces at a time (we were thinking we could 4 pieces previously). but all and all, we like the more compact size, even though this is actually the larger model (3.5L versus the smaller 1.8L).

my father started up the deep fryer around 1:30pm. it took 3L of vegetable oil (an entire bottle) to fill the container, though we could've added more (minimum 2.8L, maximum 3.5L). one good thing about an electric deep fryer is the temperature control. frying manually - it's easy for the oil temperature to be either too low or too high. too low the food doesn't get cooked, too high the food gets burned. with the deep fryer you set the temperature and never have to worry about it. we set it for 350 degrees (or more like 356 degrees, as t-fal is a french company, so the temperature is incremented via celsius).

my father fried the breaded chicken at 3 minutes, flipping it over with chopsticks at the midway point. my mother said they weren't brown enough so he adjusted it to 4 minutes. i think with more oil we don't even need to flip them over, but the chicken will actually float, so we'd still need to flip. with the lid on the deep fryer, you don't even really notice it's frying. unlike the way my father fried before, were he had to lay down a perimeter of cardboard and paper towel to control the oil splatter. there was virtually zero splatter with the deep fryer, and the only evidence of frying besides the sound is the smoke coming through the vents on the lid.

i didn't think the sides of the deep fryer would be hot so was surprised to find out it was around 118 degrees outside. in hindsight i shouldn't have been too surprised, given the hot oil inside was at 350 degrees.

once we were done frying, we left the deep fryer to cool down, turned it off and unplugged it. the main reason why we got the t-fal was the auto oil filtration capability. turning the knob to drain, the deep fryer will automatically filter and drain the cooking oil once the temperature is cool enough, about 3 hours. we didn't want to risk draining out super hot oil, so we decided to wait before turning the knob to drain. an hour later, using an infrared thermometer, the oil temperature had dropped down to 180 degrees. so we decided to turn the knob. it seemed to be draining, but very slowly. as the temperature continued to drop, i heard a soft clicking sound, and suddenly the oil began to drain fast, emptying the container after a few minutes. it emptied the oil into a oil box. i was curious about how this works, i think it uses some kind of temperature-controlled bimetal to open and close the drain, that's why it can still work even without electricity.

there was still a bit of oil left with the breaded crumbs, so we decided to tilt the deep fryer so i could elevate the back with some cardboard. i caught my father tipping the fryer too much at nearly 45 degrees, told him to be careful, otherwise we might spill the oil, which fortunately we didn't see. the remaining bit of oil mixed with crumbs would no longer drain as it was lower than the dome-shaped filter plug. we scraped all that oil crumbs into the trash before washing the container. some crumbs were very stuck to the container, but nothing a little presoak with hot soapy water and a sponge couldn't remove. another great thing about a deep fryer is because the heating element is about an inch above the bottom of the container, when things like crumbs sink to the cooler bottom, they don't burn because the hot oil rises to the top. that's something we'd never see with manual frying - leftover crumbs at the bottom of the pan that isn't completely scorched (and affecting the taste of the leftover oil).

that tilting we did earlier did in fact leak a little oil at the bottom of the deep fryer (a few tablespoons). not a big deal, we wiped it up with some paper towels, but something to remember for next time, always keep the oil box horizontal, don't tilt it unless you intent to pour out the oil. the filtered oil looked brand new, you couldn't tell we used it to fry a bunch of breaded chicken.

my sister made a cameo (i didn't see the dog), but left just as quickly. everyone's afraid to ask her when she'll be coming back to work. at this point i could care less. i've worked every day at the cafe for 7 weeks now, when i'm not getting supplies in my spare time. i've neglected a lot of side projects, like repotting my houseplants or fixing those bikes. it's exhausting, but not having to put up with my sister's shit is the reward.

i left around 6pm, taking with me some scallion bread and meat buns. my 2nd aunt also gave me a portuguese egg tart she bought from chinatown earlier today. i forgot i wasn't riding my usual trek with the rear baskets, so instead i had to strap the food to the rear back using some bungie netting.

i ate 2 of the meat buns as soon as i got home, but by then they were already cold. i could've warmed them up in the microwave steamer, but i was too hungry and too lazy to do that (i'll steam the other two buns for tomorrow). afterwards i ate the egg tart, which was all broken up after getting jostled on the bike.

the CO2 checker looked green when i got back, meaning i do have the correct concentration of CO2 in my fish tank. however i can't speak to the accuracy of the checker, since i used 6dKH water instead of 4dKH. i also added 6 drops of pH indicator, which may be too much (directions said to use 3), that's why my color is more intense. in a few days my other CO2 checker will arrive from temu, and that one does include some indicator solution, so i can compare the two.