t
o
n
y
a
n
g
'
s
 
w
e
b
l
o
g


temperatures today reached the upper 70's. naturally when i arrived in belmont i went to the basement and moved out all the houseplants once again for another round of neem oil treatment. i also fertilized all the houseplants with miracle-gro soluble fertilizer: acid-loving fertilizer for the gardenia, all-purpose fertilizer for the jasmines. while i was at it, i also fed the backyard hydrangeas with acid-loving fertilizer.

for lunch i had some mantou with pork floss. my father and i figured out how to directly run some used case fans from a PC power supply unit (PSU). it's something we've done before, you first hotwire the PSU allowing it to run independently from a computer. we then connected the fans using wires directly to the 4-pin PWM connectors. initially our fan speeds were very slow and when we measured with a voltmeter it read 5V everywhere. turned out we were measuring the wrong wires - red to black gives 5V. yellow to black gives 12V. when w ran the fans from the yellow wires they were much faster, but i think for my grow closet a 5V speed fans is fast enough.

later in the afternoon i did some drone flying when i saw dramatic cumulous clouds dotting the sky. i flew around 700 huron where i started to lose RC signal, then across fresh pond golf course, a peek at the belmont farm, then to the high school. that's where i completely lost RC signal. even after i regained it, the app froze up and there were a few tense moments, not knowing if the drone was returning to home, or just hovering midair. like all the times my app has crashed, it still maintains connection to the controller. once i managed to get back into the app, i flew the drone home.

in the early evening my father and i barbecued some drumsticks, hot italian sausages, and jumbo shrimps. at one point we had to switch out the propane tank when the old one ran out. while we were manning the grill, i saw our opposite door neighbor playing around with a new drone. i couldn't see the brand or model, but the fact that he was flying it so low to the ground, allowed his daughter to chase it around, and had the drone crash land a few times makes me think it's one of the cheaper drones. if you spent $500-1600 on a DJI drone, you would not be casually crashing it. besides, the propeller blade speeds on these DJI drones can be scary, like flying razor blades, i wouldn't want to get hit with one.

my sister came back for dinner when she returned to pick up hailey. when it came time for me to get back to cambridge after dark, it was still warm enough that i just wore a t-shirt. i played the mauritanian for my father before i left.

i hooked up the PSU with the two case fans for my grow closet. there's surprisingly little information about how to use a PSU to power 12V fans for a simple grow closet. they make it overly complicated, like using a fan controller with knobs. depending on where you plug in the connecting wires, a standard 12V case fan can either run at 12V (full speed, yellow wire), 5V (red wire), or 3.3V (orange). maybe it's just not done because there are so many exposed wires, and it'd be easy to water your plants one moment, shorting out your PSU the next. i only had 2 fans, which was as far as i could extend the wires. the 3rd fan - on the 3rd shelf - i'm using a 2-wire fan that's directly spliced to a 12V power supply. the PSU with two fans don't use a lot of power - just 3W when turned on. i had the fans operate on 5V because that was more of a gentle breeze.

my E-type flash mounts arrived today, a pair for $12. i got them so i could use umbrellas with my remote controlled speedlights. besides the canon one, i have 3 more flashes i got when i was in china that i rarely use. now i just need to buy some umbrellas.

i'm all out of seltzer and it was too warm to drink anything hot. i ended up having the taiwanese mango beer i had in my fridge from two thanksgivings ago. there's only 2.8% alcohol but i was already a little tipsy after the first sip.

my original plan was to ride down to the arnold arboretum in jamaica plain to check out the wintersweet, like i do every spring. i've been there late march, i've been there late april, and none of those times i've ever even seen a flower bud. so maybe early april would do the trick. but then i was trying to find some info on just when exactly wintersweet actually bloom, and i read around january and february, in the middle of winter. so i'm already too late this year. in that case i decided not to go, save myself the 1-1/2 hours roundtrip by bike. i'll go again when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, bring my drone.

i actually had lunch today for a change, besides just a matcha latte, when i discovered the avocados had ripened. i peeled off some frozen leftover ham and grilled them in a pan along with an egg to make my egg-ham-avocado-sriracha everything bagel sandwich plus the usual matcha latte.

i went to star market in the afternoon to get some cuties mandarins on sale ($2.50 per 3lbs. bag). i'd also thought about going to chinatown today to gather some korean kimchi ingredients, but i'll wait until next week.

afterwards i went on a walk around the neighborhood looking for flowering trees (namely cherries) to photograph. i spotted a few yesterday from the sky, including a large pink weeping cherry on crescent street. whether a flowering tree blooms profusely or just had a few blossoms seems to be entirely dependent on how much sun it gets. and now that some of the white blossom cherries are coming out, i'm having a hard time distinguishing them (they all look like variations of yoshino cherries to me, i need to go back and study some more cherry blossom references, or maybe another visit to mt.auburn cemetery for a refresher course on flowering cherries).

in the late afternoon i decided to finally do my taxes. there's less pressure this year since they extended the deadline to may 17th. my taxes are complicated, just a W2, a 1099-NEC, and 1099-G. if anything i'd be getting a refund because most of my unemployment is tax except by both federal and state. it didn't take long, 15-20 minutes with turbotax deluxe, looks like i can look forward to another $1600 in refunds.

for dinner i made another bagel sandwich, washed it down with some cold chocolate milk and lukewarm rooibos tea. i ate while watching the mauritanian (2021).

i made matcha muffins today. not knowing how they'd turn out, i used a dozen serving cupcake tray instead of my usual jumbo muffins tray. it's pretty much exactly my jumbo blueberry muffin recipe, except instead of 2 cups of frozen blueberries i used 1 cup of green xinjiang raisins and i added a tbsp of matcha powder. i also had some cupcake liners i found in my kitchen drawer and decided to use them up.

matcha muffins(12 servings)

1 stick salted butter, thawed
3/4 cups sugar

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice

12 cupcake liners
2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup half and half
1 cup green xinjiang raisins
sparkling sugar

thaw butter overnight. cream butter & sugar; add eggs, vanilla, juice; mix dry ingredients into batter 1/3 at a time, adding some half and half in between. mix in raisins. spoon into cupcake liners in dozen cupcake pan. top with sparkling sugar. bake at 425°F 10 min. 375°F 20 mins.

i heated the cupcakes at 425°F for 10 minutes to brown the tops, before lowering the temperature to 375°F for 20 minutes (less than my jumbo muffins since these are smaller). while the outside was brown, inside was matcha green. just a tablespoon of powder was enough to impart a strong matcha flavor. because i used raisins, the inside was a bit dry, compared to when i use frozen blueberries, which add some additional moisture. i also took some time to experiment with the flash and pancake light to get some photos.

after i finished baking, close to 3pm, i took a quick trip to market basket to get some gojuchang and toilet bowl cleaner. my mother also asked me to get her some garlic and cilantro. back at the house, i grabbed the frozen drumsticks and half a dozen matcha muffins and went to the cafe to drop off the supplies. my mother told me my aunt finally got her vaccine appointment with the help of matthew. the appointment is for tomorrow in chelsea. my aunt is the last of my local relatives who has yet to receive a vaccine.

i left around 4pm, stopping mid-route to take some photos of some flowering "okame" cherry trees. they're one of the earliest cherries to flower. not as early as "autumnalis" but visually more striking as the entire tree is engulfed in a puffy cloud of distinctive pink. if you're seeing a profusely pink flowering tree right now, most likely it's an "okame" cherry.

instead of returning home, since it was such a nice day out, i decided to walk around the neighborhood and find a good spot to launch my drone. i ended up going to the kent street apartments, which i was familiar with from my time working the census. there was a big empty parking lot where i could take off in peace. my destination was the new hotel being built at the intersection of somerville avenue and park street. even though i had a clear view of the sky and i was probably no more than 500ft away from the launch site, i was seeing some major RC interference. at first i thought it was the metal from the train tracks, but only later did i realize it was the massive metal roof of the skating rink. when i turned the drone around and flew it south away from the skating rink, there was hardly any signal loss. the DJI fly app didn't crash on me this time, i think it helps when i reboot the phone before i launch, clears the memory. i got as far as 2000ft before i saw the RC signal bars drop.

i finished rewatching a prophet (2009), the french film about a young french algerian man rising through the ranks of the criminal underworld from jail. i'd seen the film a while back, but wanted to see it again since tahar rahim has been in the press recently with several new projects (the serpent, the mauritanian). i remember the movie as being very violent, but upon a rewatch, it's actually quite tame, besides the initial murder scene that ingratiates rahim's character with the corsicans.

john contacted me in the evening, told me he'd already gotten his second pfizer dose 3 weeks ago, due to his medical history. he was trying to find a better school system for will and leo and thought maybe belmont and the surrounding suburbs might be an option. one thing he saw was houses for rent in belmont.

for dinner i reheated the leftover burger king chicken sandwich my mother gave me when i was at the cafe earlier today. feeling still hungry afterwards, i had some melba snacks with tabouli salad. i had law & order: organized crime playing in the background, or as i heard some have called it, law & order: daddies.

i installed the second fan in my grow closet today. i used a length of flexible tie to hang the fan. unfortunately my surge protector has a design flaw and i can't fit two flat plugs side-by-side. i ended up having to daisy-chain my led grow lights so all 6 lights use only one plug to make enough room on the surge protector to fit the two fan plugs.

in the early afternoon i attended a lecture about non-chinese "chinese" art at the harvard museums. it was a first zoom conference where having the video camera on was the default setting. i naturally turned it off, but it was kind of awkward as most everyone else had their's on. the talk was interesting, revealing that so much "chinese" art in the museums are not actually chinese, or have a complicated provenance that can't just simply group as chinese just because it came from china.

tteokbokki (떡볶이)
(1 serving)

2 cups water
1/4 tsp hondashi powder
1 clump of dried seaweed

2-1/2 tbsp gochujang paste
1/2 tbsp hot pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp karo dark corn syrup

10 oz. frozen rice cakes
(1/3 2 lbs. package)

7 oz. fried tofu wedges
(half package)

2 scallions, chopped


make broth over medium heat 15 minutes combining water with hondashi and dried seaweed. discard seaweed, add hot pepper paste mixture, along with rice cakes. stir constantly to keep rice cakes from sticking to pan. midway through add tofu wedges. done when liquid reduced to shiny sauce (about 7 minutes). add scallions.

for dinner i made some korean rice cakes. i boiled the seaweed first before adding some hondashi. i also added the spicy paste ingredients directly into the broth instead of mixing it up first. it really hit the spot, and i also had a bowl of sichuan paocai while i waited, almost like a spicy & sour crunchy salad.

i planted some tomato seeds my father had saved up from last season. it was from a wild plant that produced large 1 inch diameter sweet cherry tomatoes. i couldn't tell if the seeds were viable so i decided to pre-germinate them first in some wet paper towels. that way i could make sure to plant only 100% viable seedlings, no point in planting the seeds in soil only to have them never sprout. the seeds took a bit of effort to collect, as they were stuck to the plastic container and the paper napkin they were originally dried upon. some scraping and picking later i got enough seeds to plant. i ended up pre-germinating 28 seeds on a wet napkin.

today was also the day i thinned out my seedlings: tomatoes, ground cherries, eggplants. i should've done it weeks ago when the seedlings had just emerged, but i was thinking maybe i could replant some of the additional seedlings. but now that i see i have too many seedlings. if space in my grow closet wasn't any issue i might've tried to save some more seedlings, but i need the space for other plants so i can only grow what i need, no spares. the tomato seedlings were the most developed. instead of tossing them out, i decided to save them. as for the tiny flower seedlings growing in the seed starter cells, i still don't have a strategy for them. some of them are cold hardy (like the stocks) and i feel like i can either grow them outside on the backyard deck or transplant them directly into the garden. i may transplant a few into individual pots.

i bumped into victor on my way out. i asked him if he'd been vaccinated yet, he said he wasn't getting the vaccine because he didn't want the government injecting him with stuff. he also added he didn't trust doctors. i'm surprised but at the same time not that surprised, since victor has always been very anti-establishment, given his own political refugee fleeing from the soviet union history. he's also been very anti-mask, most of the time i've spoken with him around the neighborhood, he's always maskless.

i decided to transplant my spare tomato seedlings directly into my community garden plot. i cut a half gallon milk jug in half so i could have 2 makeshift green houses to protect two of the seedlings. using a heated awl, i melted a few holes. passing by the school, there was a crowd of parents outside waiting for their kids (now that MA has mandated all public elementary schools to open). this was my first time in the community garden this year. nothing much was going on in the garden overall, just some daffodils, some hyacinths. i planted the seedlings but i'm not sure if they'll survive, though a better fate than the trash. i probably have the earliest tomatoes in the garden.

after i came back home i went to market basket to get some groceries. i wasn't planning on it since i have plenty to eat in the house, but i wanted to make some ham egg avocado bagel sandwiches with the leftover easter ham, so i needed bagels and avocados. i also got some drumsticks on sale for my mother.

i bumped into jack. it was the first time i've spoken with him since he broke his upper arm in a fall and had to get surgery. surgeons put in a plate along with 6 screws, the whole procedure taking 2-1/2 hours under general anesthesia. he's currently undergoing physical therapy - his insurance will pay for 16 visits, he's already gone to 6. he also told me he got vaccinated with the pfizer vaccine at longwoods, but bruce is still searching, just recently becoming eligible. i asked him about the wool poncho bruce got him, he said it was more of an indoor poncho, that's why i never saw him wear it.

for dinner i made an egg and ham egg sandwich. i was going to add some avocados but the ones i got are still raw and need a few days to ripen. i grilled the ham to bring out the flavor and added some more bagel seasoning on the butter-fried egg along with some sriracha sauce. normally bagel sandwiches are reserved for lunch, but i've seemed to have stop eating lunch for the past few weeks. later i ended up putting the ham in the freezer, while waiting for the avocados to ripen. tomorrow i'm making korean rice cakes for dinner.

my parents went to vote in the belmont local election this morning. i don't think they've ever voted in a local election before. but this year the town was trying to enact a tax override to cover the budgetary shortfall. taxes in belmont are astronomical as it is, and my parents didn't want to see it increase even more. when i checked the results in the evening, i saw the no vote against the override had won by 56% over the 44% that was for it. i immediately called my parents to let them know the good news. it doesn't mean their property taxes won't go up next year - it definitely will, as belmont will increase the maximum it's allowed under law which i think is 2.5% - but it won't go up anymore than that.

i went to the nearby dollar store this morning to get some flexible ties. i cut a pair of 12 inch strips and used them to hang up one of my new led grow lights. they seem to work well and will allow me to adjust the light height when the seedlings grow bigger. this saved me a couple of bucks, because last night i was looking up hanging chains and the cheapest ones cost $10 for a dozen, while a 16ft coil of flexible ties was only $1.

i had some leftover apple cake for lunch, as well as some more prosciutto with cantaloupe. my miracle-gro water soluble all-purpose fertilizer (1.5 lbs) arrived today, but the miracle-gro specialty fertilizer for acid loving plants (like gardenias) was delayed and won't arrive until tuesday or wednesday.

i was expecting it to be cold because it was so windy outside so i was surprised when i went out into the backyard in the afternoon and found it pleasantly warm to the point where i didn't need a jacket. i watered the patches of grass seeds and did some weeding, mostly pulling out the grass from the southeastern perennial bed. i relocated a few foxgloves: one that was growing next to a peony, another that was next to an emerging lupine in the southern border. i was happy to see the lupine, i was afraid most of had died over the winter. finally i sprinkled some leftover espoma plant-tone around the chrysanthemums, monkshood, and some columbines.

i planted some seeds: two rows of buttercrunch lettuce underneath a row cover, sugar snap peas along the back of RB0, RB1, and RB2, and nasturtium seeds on all front corners of the raised beds.

i returned home after dinner, a brilliant sunset to my back. i wanted to stop somewhere and launch the drone so i could get some good aerial photos but the sunset only for a brief moment before the sun was too low on the horizon the clouds lost their colors. there will be more sunsets in the future, i have to be ready and find a good place to launch.

back at home i replaced all the zip ties with flexible ties. i also noticed that the shorter coiled part of the flexible ties should be on top and not at the bottom, since i'll need to occasionally adjust the length from the bottom. i set up all 3 shelves.

WWY asked if she could borrow my apple ID so she could download a VPN software for her iphone. after changing the password i gave her my info. i watched as my macbook pro gave me an alert that somebody was trying to use my account in chongqing. i hit allow. then it displayed a passcode for 2-factor authentication that i texted to WWY. she managed to install the app but it was a paid VPN. i then told her if she wanted to try a VPN, she could use my torguard account which allows 5 simultaneous usage (last i checked). she downloaded the app and entered in my info but it didn't work. torguard has a special stealth mode but it only works for macos, windows, linux, and android. ios is the only one that doesn't work because of its tight security. i asked WWY why she wanted to use a VPN. she said so she could instagram.

i went to belmont early (left around 10am) so my mother and i can go down to the mt.auburn cemetery to do some birdwatching. i had some soy milk and a piece of youtiao before we left before 11am. i was afraid mt. auburn would be crowded with people because of the nice warm weather and today being easter sunday, but it wasn't that bad, less people than i'd imagined.

we didn't see a whole lot in terms of birds, they were mostly robins and grackles. my mother spotted a great blue heron by halcyon lake. we got close enough to it to get a good look, herons are pretty scary up close. we also saw an occasional cardinal or bluejay, a few juncos, a chickadee. we also spotted a phoebe, though they're not the most exciting bird to spot with their drab grayish brown coloration.

flowering trees were also in short supply. forsythias and a few magnolias. i did find out all those red-colored flower buds i've seen all around town, they're mostly red maples. it makes sense now why they're so common, and why i even saw them at the alewife brook reservation, since red maples love growing near water. while we were leaving we saw some cherry flower buds, "okame" and "yoshino" have yet to open, but there was one "autumnalis" with some flowers. we also saw some witch hazel but it's getting late in the season for those trees.

we returned home by 12:30pm, where my mother went out again, this time with my sister to walk hailey somewhere in waltham. since the temperature was above 60 degrees, my father and i moved outside all the jasmines and gardenia from the basement grow room so i could gave them a neem oil spray. my father also set up the remaining rain barrels while my mother and i were out. i wanted to do some maple tree pruning but we never got around to it. i added more chicken manure to the garlic bed. later i went online and ordered some miracle-gro soluble all-purpose fertilizer as well as special acid-loving fertilizer for the gardenia.

by the time i came inside my mother was already back from her walk, watching some japanese drama on the imac in her bedroom. my barrina grow lights arrived but i didn't want to open the box until i returned to cambridge so none of the pieces would fly out while i transported it back home. around 5pm i moved all the plants back inside the house.

in the evening my sister came back to eat some easter ham. we didn't bake it on the oven this time, just heated up some slices on the toaster oven instead. my sister made an almond-apple cake which was pretty good. i left around 7:30pm.

i immediately set up the new grow lights when i got back home. quality-wise they're okay, maybe a little cheap but about what i paid for ($70). i plugged in one strip just to see how bright it was and it seemed pretty bright. these lights come with deflectors that are basically thin sheets of metal you slide into place. they could've been better designed but they serve their purpose. the lights come with various ways to mount, from screws to double-sided tape to hanging. their hanging solution is to use zip ties, but i need to find something better, more durable and adjustable.

i decided to do 2 strip lights per shelf so i can have 3 shelves of grow space. i'm worried if two strip lights are enough light for the plants. i could always increase the brightness by mounting the lights closer to the seedlings. it came with 3 power cords with toggle switch, although a maximum of 8 2ft lights can be strung together. i have each power cord controlling two strip lights, each cord drawing 38W, which means each strip uses 19W of power. when i had all 6 strip lights on, it used 118W. compare that to the luxauto 1000W equivalent grow light, which used 105W on vegetative mode. there's no veg/flower toggle for these strip lights, but the white color that i got is closer to the blue spectrum, which is better for vegetative growth.

though today wasn't as cold as yesterday, it was still a cold day, with temperature in the 40-50's. i brought a bag of flour and a box of mandarins to belmont. for lunch i had a croissant, some adzuki bean soup, and some melons with prosciutto.

not much going on this saturday. it was cold but sunny, perfect solar weather, and today we broke 50kWh for the first time this year, at 51.472 kWh. i brought an orchid into the bathtub and sprayed it with neem oil when i noticed some mealybugs. my father and i noticed our opposite door neighbor's Prunus mume were blooming. these seemed to be the pink "peggy clark" variety. we were wearing masks and the neighbors noticed we were poking around their front lawn so we didn't get a chance to notice any fragrance.

after dinner i returned home, my bike rattling across the bumpy streets of cambridge. my bike light was showing me the 50% capacity warning light so when i got back i charged it up immediately, along with the batteries for the rear light. i noticed my upstairs neighbors weren't home, which meant some peace and quiet. at least one of them came back after 10pm, thankfully choosing not to blare their upstairs music.

my barrina grow lights will finally arrive tomorrow after nearly 2 weeks. in the meantime my indoor seedlings are growing in my closet with insufficient lighting. i still don't even know if these new lights are any good, and how many i should hang per shelves. at least the lights will allow me to expand my growing area, i'll have 2-3 shelves instead of my current single shelf setup.

i finally updated all my backlog entries for march, so i'm caught up.

it all started this morning when i decided to wash the rug from my foyer. caked in salt and mud, vacuuming wasn't going to work, it needed a deep wash to get rid of all the grime. i got that rug from marshalls a few years back after an extensive search. it's so old that the rubber backing underneath has started flaking off and turning into powder. so i had to wash carefully, to prevent more peeling. it'd be a lot easier just to get a new rug, but it's got sentimental value. after shaking the run outside to get rid of the dirt, i soaked it in the bath tub with some hot water and a scoop of oxiclean powder. the water was coming out black. after draining, i rinsed it again in hot water, the water was now dark brown. i kept repeating until the water came out relatively clear. i think hug up the rug in the backyard to dry. it'll probably take at least 2 days, i'm not in any hurry.

while i was in on my backyard porch, i hung my remote temperature sensor in a new place. the place i had it before was underneath my upstair's neighbors barbecue grill, but they moved it so now the sensor was exposed to the element. i found a brass screw in the basement and gave it a proper hanging spot. i also fixed the weather sealing of my door, the sticky tape had lost its stickiness the weather strips were falling off.

i also decided to move some living room furniture. i decided to move forward by sofa by 6 inches so there could be enough space in the back for a console table. this clearing some living room furniture (tullsta chair, coffee table, side table) so i could then move the rug, before finally moving the sofa. i vacuumed the rug while i was at it, and later vacuumed the rest of the house as well.

the long beans have uprighted themselves but they're growing too tall and thin due to the lack of sunlight. i moved them into the grow closet for the time being. but i received some good news today. barrina got in touch with me, said USPS lost my package but they would refund my money. then amazon sent me e-mail, said the white barrina grow lights i bought have finally been shipped and will arrive on sunday.

i was finally finished by 1pm. made myself a matcha latte and vegged out in the living room, trying to think of what else i could do. i finished watching crash (1996), the david cronenberg film about people who are turned on by car crashes. it's such an unapologetically weird movie, but it makes me want to rewatch some more cronenberg films.

i left the house at 3pm to visit the alewife brook reservation. it took me about 20 minutes to bike the nearly 3 miles to get there, along the belmont-cambridge (fitchburg) bike trail. it was surprisingly cold today, temperature in the upper 30's at most, cold enough to warrant gloves and a hat. i wasn't expecting to see too many people but people are still in pandemic mode, working from home, finding the time to go out for walks.

part of me was there for the nature, but a part of me was also there to find a place to fly the drone. my destination wasn't so much the reservation, but rather what was beyond that, the royal belmont luxury apartments. i've never seen it before in person, only on google satellite view. it looked like a monstrosity, clearing away a vast tract of silver maple forest to make room for the apartment complex.

once the coast was clear, i quickly pulled the drone from my bag and launched it into the air. even though i couldn't see the royal belmont, it was just a bit beyond the reservation, not so far i'd lose even a bar of RC signal. the royal belmont is weird in that technically it's in belmont, but there's no way to get to it unless you get onto the highway. who would want to live there? my personal theory was it was designed to cater to rich chinese nationals who could rent an apartment and thereby allow their children to attend belmont public school. however with the pandemic, i'm guessing a lot of these chinese families broke their lease and returned home, and the building owners are having a hard time finding new tenants. there's even a big "lease available" sign on the side of the building; you know a luxury apartment complex has problems when it has to try this hard to find tenants. judging from all the empty parking spots (granted, it was a weekday, probably many people were at work, but still, taking that into account there still seemed to be a lot of empty spaces), i wonder how much of the apartments are currently empty.

as for naturing, a lot of pussy willow catkins of various shapes and sizes, and red-colored early spring flowers on trees, of which kind i don't know. i saw a white-throated sparrow (a little kid helped me confirm the identification), mallards, canada geese, grackles, cardinals, robins, and red-winged blackbirds. coming to alewife i saw a grizzled great blue heron stalking the shoreline.

i returned home by 4:30pm. i bumped into my upstairs neighbors as they were returning home. i had some cheese and crackers as a late afternoon snack.

for dinner it was more burgers and salad. i'm all burgered out, i don't think i can eat another burger anytime soon. i froze the remaining hamburger buns. i had some hot chocolate (with milk) and a can of seltzer, later some mandarin oranges.

today felt like friday for some reason. this whole week has felt really long. can't even believe i got the coronavirus vaccine on monday, seems like weeks ago. maybe that's one of the side effects of the vaccine, temporal displacement.

today was a wet and grey and cold. the news this morning was the red sox opening game at fenway park was postponed until tomorrow due to the rain. i haven't seen my upstairs neighbors since thursday, once again i slipped their newspaper into the mail slot. a part of me secretly wished something tragic befell them, but steve finally wrote me e-mail today saying they were down on the vineyards and to bring in any packages for them. they'll be back tomorrow, so i have one more day of peace and quiet.

my father called me, told me last night he managed to set up all the rain barrels except the two black ones (because they needed missing cement cinder block bases). he reported that the 4 barrels in front of the house and the 4 barrels in the back were all filled to capacity overnight.

i went out briefly just once today, to tag a pokestop before returning home. i noticed dogs were trampling the daylily sprouts in front of the house so i got the wire fencing from the basement and installed them in the front yard to keep the animals out. the long beans continue to mature.

i spent most of the day filling in blog postings for march. i got to the point where i processed all the photos, i just need to fill them in for 5 days.

some more burgers and a salad for dinner, washed down with some sweet tea. i completely forgot to clean the foreman grill last night, there were chunks of solidified burger grease left on the machine. once i warmed it up though, the grease remelted and i made sure to clean it this time after the grill cooled down. i ate while watching the special crossover event between SVU and the newest law & order show, L&O: organized crime starring christopher meloni reprising his role of detective stabler. they killed stabler's wife, which is a cheap story telling trope serving as a motivating factor for the husband.

still no word on my barrina grow lights, continued to be stuck in connecticut since march 25th. i wrote the company a few days ago, they said they'd contact USPS, but i'm not optimistic. thankfully i had the foresight of ordering a new set off of amazon which is due to arrive this sunday, but i've kept on checking amazon and the order hasn't shipped yet out, so i'm wondering if it too ran into problems. a global shortage on grow lights it seems.