my sister messaged me in the late morning, said her upstairs tenants were complaining that the internet was becoming intermittent again. i was able to log into the router and see the web cams just fine, but when i checked again, i couldn't get in. so apparently the modem reset was just a temporary fix, whatever was interrupting the service was back again. it can be one of two things: either the modem needs replacing (SB6141) or the wires have to be replaced (squirrel damage). replacing the modem was the easier fix, something we could do on our own without involving comcast. besides, the symptom seems like a modem issue, i vaguely remember something similar happening at my parents' cafe before i ended up replacing the modem as well.

using the company card, i bought an arris SB6190 32x8 surfboard cable modem from the watertown bestbuy for $90. bestbuy is doing curbside pickup service now which i think is pretty genius. i sent my sister the info so she could pick it up after she was done babysitting at 1pm.

playing around with the nanoVNA testing the DBJ2 antenna, i learned how to save settings into the 5 memory banks. i created a setting that only checks for 2m, SWR and smith field.

i had a banana for breakfast and a chicken bake for lunch. around 1:30pm when i saw my sister was already in belmont picking up hailey, i biked down to her place to install the new modem. i ended up waiting another half hour before she finally came home. when i initially arrived the modem was working fine. but moments later it went down and i was there to witness it. the lights on the modem were still normal, there was just no internet access. when the new modem arrived i hooked it up. i had my laptop plugged directly into the ethernet port, and at first nothing was happening, my network setting said either the ethernet cable was unplugged or nothing was happening on the other end (DHCP wise). it was that point i called up comcast. the automated voice said the wait time would be 20+ minutes. while i was on hold, the lights on the modem reset again, and something must've happened, because now the ethernet port was working. not only was it working, but it was redirecting me to a self-activation service for new cablemodems. i followed the steps and basically waited. after a few minutes, i tried browsing to a different webpage and sure enough, it loaded up fine. i hung up on comcast.

with the modem working, i connected it to the wireless router. after a few minutes the network was back up. there seemed to be some growing pains though, as speedtests were kind of hit or miss, sometimes it'd show 100+ Mbps download speed, other times it'd drop into the single digits. that too me seemed more like cablewire issues. though on my android app it didn't give me the option, using my sister's apple app for the router asked me if i wanted to update the firmware. i said yes, it took a few minutes, didn't even lose internet connection. at this point we can only wait and see. test drive the new modem, see if it breaks. if it does, it means it's wire issue and i need to call comcast to set up an appointment. otherwise, we should be good to go.

i returned home by 3pm. i walked down to the somerville walgreens to pick up my new prescription of amlodipine (5mg) and a flonase. i haven't been to any stores since last tuesday, i was curious how the retail landscape has changed since 10 days ago. the store was pretty empty. nothing really changed at the pharmacy, except there was a placard a certain distance apart telling customers to wait behind. i picked up my items without problems, though i was surprised they charged me for the flonase ($2.74), i used to be able to get it for free. i was thinking about getting some cough drops but none were on sale and i still had some supplies at home.

next stop was the dollar tree, to get some plastic cups to grow my vegetable seeds. this was the one place my parents didn't want me to go, and i told my sister i was going before i left, and she called my mother who in turn called me to scold me for going. the dollar store was pretty empty as well. because the weather was so nice today (i was walking in just a t-shirt), they propped open the entrance to aerate the store, with the thinking that fresh air would somehow kill any possible coronavirus exposure. the open door was what allowed me to see that they were open, otherwise i thought they were closed. there were a few customers, some were there for quick stops, while a few others seemed very casual with their shopping, slowly browsing the aisles. i grabbed 6 packages of plastic cups, and while i was waiting in line, also a package of dollar store brand cough drops. there were tape markers on the floor in the check out lines, alerting people to stand how far apart. the woman ahead of me seemed oblivious to these rules however, and was crowding the cashier behind another paying customer. she wasn't buying anything but asked the cashier lady a question. the cashier was a real townie lady, husky voice and all, to her credit she didn't just snap. apparently the woman was asking if they carried any surgical gloves. "no, we don't have anything that has to do with coronavirus."

a package for kevin was supposed to arrive on wednesday, one that required a signature, but because i wasn't home at the time, nobody heard the mailman. it was from his parents in china who sent him some anti-coronavirus chinese medicine. i only realized this when i saw the pink missed delivery slip. so yesterday we managed to catch the mailman who told us he left the package at the post office. i told kevin to go get it, but he's petrified of going outside, and kept trying to figure out a way for the USPS to redeliver his package. i took pity on him - he does have coronavirus PTSD from the 2003 SARS epidemic - and volunteered to run down to the post office and get his package for him. i will make that sacrifice! because my roommate is too chickenshit to go outside!

i biked down to the porter square post office. fortunately they weren't very busy, just two people ahead of me in line, and 2 clerks on duty. there were yellow signs taped to the floor alerting customers how far apart (6ft) they should be standing to prevent coronavirus spread. the credit card reader we set on tables extending a safe distance from the counter. the clerks all wore gloves (but no masks). i gave one of them the pink slip and she took a while trying to track it down. i think she was looking for a box when it fact it was just in a heavy duty china postal tyvek mailing envelope. there was also some confusion over the name, since it was in kevin's name, not mine. the other clerk said he had to sign the slip, but when they looked at my id and saw it was the same address, the clerk said it was okay to give it to me.

another good day of production. tomorrow looks to be sunny as well, then cloudy and rainy for the remainder of the month, so we need all the electricity we can if we want to beat last year's record, which looks more unlikely now given the weather forecast.

i didn't start making dinner until after 8:20pm. i'd bought a box of frozen innovasian cuisine orange chicken breast weeks ago, thought tonight would be a good night to try it, trying to eat as much different foods as possible on this 2nd to last day of the predict 2 study. i prepared a cup of white rice in the cooker and once that was done cooking, i started on the orange chicken. i thought there was going to be a lot, but the box itself was bigger than the content inside, which was half breaded chicken breast and half frozen orange sauce. i warmed up in the sauce in hot water while i was frying the chicken. later i poured the sauce in with the chicken. portion-wise, it was probably for 2 servings at least, but i ended up eating the whole thing, including a big bowl of rice. it didn't taste like any orange chicken i know, the chicken was sort of bland, the sauce was more orange-colored syrup than anything orange-tasting.

later in the evening i had a few scoops of haagen dazs ice cream, bourbon praline pecan flavor. it'd been in my freezer for a while now, was going to save it for a special occasion, but interesting to see how my body will react to it while i'm still on the nutrition study.