i decided to hit two places this morning: microcenter to claim a free complimentary 32GB microSDHC memory card, and haymarket to score some gold nugget oranges. i called my father to ask him if he needed anything, and when he was going to see the surgeon. he said he already went to the hospital this morning (mt.auburn), he's scheduled for his hernia surgery june 23rd. we thought maybe it would be done with some fancy new laparoscopic technique, but the outpatient procedure will be performed under 4-hour general anesthesia and invasive. instead of sewing up the tear, nowadays they apply a mesh, which is stronger and less chance of recurring tears. afterwards my father can go home.

i arrived at microcenter via harvard square and memorial drive. besides the free memory card, i was also there to pick up a red bear IoT pHAT. it's a board that combines with a traditional pi zero to give it wifi 802.11n and bluetooth 4.1 capabilities (which it otherwise doesn't have natively). the pi zero just has 2 microUSB ports, and one of them is for power, so it really only has one. typically in a headless setup i use a wifi dongle ($8-9/each) in that single usb port (which requires a micro USB OTG adapter, 50¢), but the IoT pHAT will free up that port. it's sort of involved, because it also requires header pins to be soldered onto the pi zero (which doesn't have them), so it's going to take some work to be able to use the IoT pHAT. but for $2.99 it was worth it, when the same board sells for $16.95 on adafruit. i was also interested in picking up another pi zero W (the new version with built-in wifi and bluetooth, essentially making the IoT pHAT obsolete), but the price has gone up to $10 (i bought mine for $5), which is going rate. they did sell a version with the header pins for $15, but i'm just going to wait for the next sale. when i went to go pay i asked the clerk if there was a sale on the IoT pHAT, since the price on the box said $4.99 (there was a sale).

to get to hamarket, i went up magazine street, then putnam-albany until i arrived in kendall square, then it was a simple matter of following the longfellow bridge into boston down cambridge street. i thought te bridge was supposed to be open, but there was only inbound car traffic. the inbound pedestrian path was closed, but bikes could still ride on the newly paved asphalt, though it was narrow in spots. sucks for tourists visiting boston (a large influx of visitors for graduations), because they can't walk across the longfellow to get that nice view of the boston skyline.

nothing noteworthy at haymarket. a lot of strawberries, which vendors were trying to sell by the case ($6, contained 8 1lbs. boxes of strawberries). the same vendor that sold me gold nuggets has week had them again, this time even bigger: i bought 15 (5/$2, $6 total). i also got: 2 boxes of strawberries ($2), a lbs. of long horn green peppers ($1), and 6 blood oranges ($2). no cherries yet but close, i expect to see them within the coming weeks.

coming back via longfellow, the outbound side of the bridge was closed to car traffic but the pedestrian pathway was opened for pedestrians as well as cyclists. this side of the bridge had been closed for a while, feels like they expanded the walkway because it seems wider than before, at least compared to the inbound side.

i went directly to the cafe to drop off the latest market basket haul. we tried one of the golden nugget oranges. though much bigger than last time, i didn't think they were as sweet, just so-so.

i came home with some leftover beef stew my sister had made and warmed it up over the stove. i usually hate her cooking, but this beef stew was pretty good (or maybe i was just really hungry, it was 1:50pm by the time i finally ate lunch): savory broth with vegetables, and chunks of tender beef.

i inspected the red bear IoT pHAT board. with the advent of the pi zero W, these boards are essentially obsolete, so maybe that's why there was a clearance sale. not only that, the pHAT takes up header space and i don't think you can access the rest of the GPIO ports when it's installed (unlike the pi0w). the only good thing i can see with the IoT pHAT is the option to use an external antenna.

steve and paul were back at home in the afternoon, but their tenants still hadn't arrived yet. i saw them coming in and out and i wanted to ask, but in the end decided it was none of my business.

i went to the community garden in the late afternoon, my plot already in shadows. i saw lynn there, working on her narrow plot (which formerly was my old plot underneath the mulberry tree because they paved it over to make a walkway and chopped down the tree while they were at it). we got to chatting, and was joined by an older fellow i didn't recognize but seemed to know lynn (her husband maybe?). i did some watering even though the forecast calls for rain over the weekend. i noticed some gardeners had already planted their tomatoes. that used to be me! i used to be one of the first people planting, not because i wanted early tomatoes, but because my seedlings were growing too tall for the closet and i didn't have anymore room for them.

the temperature today hovered in the upper 50's. though it was touch cold, it was actually kind of pleasant with a light jacket, and it was sunny occasionally, with a lot of diffuse clouds. i set out my seedlings in the morning, giving them one last dosage of natural weather before bringing them indoors for the weekend.

there was a reason why i got that free 32GB memory card: i was going to copy a new raspbian OS onto the card so i could run a fresh install on the pi3 and see if i can get LIRC to work. i think maybe it hasn't worked with the current pi3 install is because there are too many daemons and processes running in the background, causing interference. first i had to download the desktop image, which was 1.78GB zipped, and would take half an hour to complete (i went to the garden during that time). i then used the etcher app to write the image onto the memory card. etcher is good because it can read the image file without needing to unzip (otherwise that's 4GB+ worth of additional space). it took just a few minutes to finish writing the image to the card. i remounted the card and saw a boot partition. i created a blank ssh file to activate SSH, and copied over the wpa_supplicant.conf file from my current pi3, which contains the wifi network and password info. i also made a copy of the .bashrc file, because once i swap out the memory card, i won't be able to access it anymore; the .bashrc contains a few shortcuts i wanted to reuse on the new OS. i stopped there, will working on installing the new memory card some other time.


using etcher to write a new raspbian OS onto SD card

still need to download the OS image file, zipped format 1.4GB, took half an hour, raspbian stretch. etcher can flash from zip file (otherwise the OS image is over 4GB)

setting up headless raspberry pi: add ssh file to boot partition on memory card (44.5MB capacity, 21.8MB available, MS-DOS FAT32 format); create wpa_supplicant.conf with wifi network and password info (copied from existing rpi3); copying .bashrc file

ssh -p ## pi@##.##.#.###

default username/password: pi: raspberry; sudo raspi-config

in the early evening paul sent me an e-mail to let me know their tenants would arrive around 6:30pm and if i'd be home for an introduction. i didn't respond. even though they're the ones who're renting out their place, i feel like somehow i've been involved. like when steve casually asked me if i was going to be oiling the deck. or they wanted to replace the roof on their bay window ($6000) because they were afraid it might leak. and for the past 2 months i've had to deal with them cleaning the house, constant noises from both upstairs and downstairs. so forgive me if i don't roll out the red carpet for their renters. i'm sure they're nice people, but it's not really my job to welcome them, that's their job. so i hid in the guest bedroom, watching television on the small HDTV with the volume turned down low. nevertheless, i was curious about these new neighbors. i had their names, and when i got their e-mail address, that was enough info for me to do an internet search. impressively, both husband and wife have a wikipedia page. these people are famous! for both their academic and political work. now i'm curious how much they're paying for their 3 month stay. at the very least $2000/month.

today we had the 5th highest production for the month of may at 46.13 kWh, and it's the highest production we've had within the past 9 days. this is great because the weather this weekend looks to be terrible: rainy and cold on saturday, and hot and thunderstormy on sunday.

i heated up a marie callender chicken pot pie in the oven, took over an hour. for my money, i still like the swanson, even though they're not as refined and higher sodium content. i ate while watching an episode of life sentence on the CW. i kind of like this show (mostly because of lucy hale's performance as a terminally ill young woman discovering she was no longer dying), was sad when i discovered it was cancelled. putting it in a friday night timeslot was the kiss of death.

i'm pleasantly surprised by how quiet my new upstairs neighbors are. i was worried. i've always thought paul and steve were super noisy (blasting the television audio, paul's stomping feet), and wished i had different neighbors, but what if paul and steve were actually quiet, and new neighbors are even worse? but it seems like i have nothing to worry about. yes, i hear the occasional walking noises, or the rumble of water pipes when they flush the 2nd floor toilet, but otherwise there's nothing. true, part of the evening they were actually out (i'm assuming there's nothing to eat in the house), but even then, before and after they came back, it was still very quiet. maybe that might chance once they get used to living here, but so far so good.

renee's downstairs tenants were moving today. they've lived here for a year - a young couple - but i rarely saw them to the point where i never introduced myself and don't even remember what they look like. for some reason they rented a large semi moving truck - large enough to move the contents of an entire house - to move the few items from their apartment. the semi took up 3 car spaces and was parked dangerously close to my motorcycle. the truck left by late morning, leaving behind a pair of orange traffic drums that needlessly kept the parking spots opened until the evening.

it was actually cold today, temperature in the upper 50's. i didn't bother going to the community garden since it rained yesterday. i put my seedlings out again, figured that despite the low temperature, they could still get some sun exposure. the seedlings are ready to be planted now, the tomatoes getting awfully leggy from the lack of proper sunlight. i would transplant them except the high on saturday looks to be 54°F with a low of 49°F. that's just too cold; after saturday however looks to be ideal planting time.

the backyard was fragrant with the scent of solomon's seals and lilies-of-the-valley. i put a plastic lid underneath steve's balcony wooden grow box, which has an annoying habit of leaking onto my deck below. i had a late lunch of kielbasa sauerkraut on english muffin. in the afternoon i biked down to market basket to grab a few things. the newly patched front wheel performed flawlessly.

i started working on my infrared transceiver project, plugging what i thought was an infrared transmitter to the miniature breadboard (shared with the 433MHz transmitter setup) and connecting the wires to my raspberry pi 3. the pins on the sensor are unmarked, and the only manual i found online was literally written in chinese, but fortunately the pin designation diagram was in english. later in the evening i installed LIRC on my pi and tried to run the program with no luck. i think maybe it's because i specified both an output pin and an input pin, when i only had an input. yeah, i discovered the IR sensor i had was actually a receiver, not a transmitter. a transmitter is just an IR LED, but the circuitry required to get it to work involves a transistor and a few resistors, so it's a bit more involved.

my spare trek bike is lying upside down in the basement, its rear wheel removed from that time i broke my hub axle and i was trying to see if i could reuse this rear wheel. it's front wheel was completely deflated from years of disuse, so i removed it from the frame and brought it outside to pump. no amount of pumping would inflate the tube, and i could hear the air escaping. i disassembled the tire and brought the tube to the bathtub so i could do the dunk test.

this tube had never been patched before, so was worth saving if i could just find the puncture. it took a while because the gash was so great the tube wouldn't even inflate enough to test. i finally found the damage, a 1/2cm tear, which i circled with a sharpie. i dried the tube, abraded the area around the puncture, smeared some rubber cement, waited for it to dry, then finally applied the rubber patch. before reassembling the wheel, i looked inside the tire to see where the puncture was and to make sure the sharp object wasn't still there. i found the matching gash in the tire but the sharp object was long gone. i finally reassembled the wheel with the fixed tube and waited to see what would happen. in the meantime, i retested that thrice patched tube hanging from a chair in my kitchen, this time properly inflated to make any leaks more noticeable. strangely, there were no leaks, so i decided to put it back into the spare rear tire again. everything looked good, but soon both tires went flat, including the patch i did previously.

the thrice patched tube i wasn't going to bother saving anymore. that tube obviously has other problems with it, maybe micro punctures that can't be detected, better just to install a brand new tube. the patched tube for the front wheel was more mysterious. i took it out, put it back into the bathtub, and noticed a new leak right away. i patched that leak, checked the tire for embedded sharp objects (there were none), put the tube back onto the wheel, inflated and wait. i didn't have to wait long, this time the tire deflated even quicker. instead of wasting my patches trying to fix this old tube, i gave up. most likely it has the same problem as the rear wheel tube, a bad tube that can't be patched anymore.

but that wasn't the end of my bicycle tire repair fun! i had a 26x1.75/2.125" patched tube from yesterday i wanted to install. i thought about that rear wheel, but the tire takes 26x1.5" and this tube wouldn't be a good fit. fortunately i have yet another wheel in the basement, this one with a brand new fat kenda komfort 26x1.95" tire. so i installed that tube into that wheel. as for the rear tire, i decided to install a brand new kenda tube. i almost didn't want to, a new tube was too good for that junky spare trek. but this would let me know right away if all the problems i've been having with the wheel is because there's something wrong with the wheel itself (like puncturing spokes) or simply bad tubes. after inflating both wheels i set them outside to see if they'll deflate. i checked later in the evening, they were both still inflated.

in my experience, a good tube never needs inflating. the tubes on my trek utility bike, i can go a whole year without ever needing to inflate them. once a tube slowly begins to go flat and needs the occasional pump to top it off, it's probably time to change the tube. of course some people patch the tube instead. i once found a tube from an old bike i lent a chinese astrophysicist that'd been patched 7 times. you might get lucky, find the puncture, save the tube. but the tube will eventually degrade to a point where no amount of patching will fix. tubes are cheap anyway.

speaking of cheap tubes, i ordered a bunch of inner tubes from ebay, which i discovered has the best prices. inner tubes by their very nature are inexpensive and i have no problem ordering no-name brands, though in this case i got branded tubes because they were just as cheap: 3x XLC 26x1.5/1.75" 48mm schrader valve tubes for $10.80 (that's $3.60/piece, there was some kind of clearance sale) and 2x kenda 700x28-32 schrader valve tubes for $8.80. it'll take a week to arrive but i'm not in any hurry. i was going to get them through amazon (kenda brand) but they were around $6 each. later i also bought some inner tube patches: 48pcs. traditional vulcanized rubber patches for just 99¢ and 10pcs glueless patches for $1.20. realistically, in all my years of riding, i've never patched a tire on the road. the one time i remember getting a flat tire (on the minuteman trail i believe), i was thankfully close to a bike repair shop who installed a new tube. if i was riding anywhere and really wanted to be safe, i'd carry a spare tube instead. patching is only done back at home, and occasionally a tube will still leak despite patching, as i've discovered today.

the aquarium has gotten too dirty but i've been too lazy to clean. when was the last time i cleaned the tank? was it back in march? if that's true, it's been a month and a half since the lasting cleaning. i decided to do a quick water change, scrubbed the algae off the glass while i was at it, a more thorough change some other time (where i disassemble the filter and replace the activated carbon, also take out the plants and carefully wash the algae off their leaves). it didn't take long, and though the water was murky afterwards, it soon cleared up.

despite the chilly temperature, as long as there's sunlight, the solar panels continue to do their job. today we made 37.53kWh, which is surprising given the less than ideal weather conditions. it also helps that the day continues to lengthen, sunset was at 8pm today. at this rate we're looking to make 1100kWh total for the month of may.

i finished the rest of the leftover ribs for dinner. at 9pm i watched the expanse on syfy via mobdro on my android phone. at 10pm i watched the american on fx via roku on my HDTV. just 2 more episodes left in the series! there was also a western conference playoff game 2, but i didn't bother watching it. i'm rooting for the houston rockets of course, and was pleasantly surprised when i saw the score and saw they beat the warriors, 127-105.

while relocating my motorcycle closer to the house after the street sweepers finished cleaning the road in the late morning, i bumped into paul who was outside doing some last minute sprucing up before their tenants arrive on thursday. paul told me they weren't going to get here until friday, and in the meantime he and steve will be gone until then. he also told me that not only are they renting out their place for 3 months, but then an additional 3 months afterwards to another couple, while they take an extended european vacation. they actually hired a cleaning service today, that's why it sounded noisier than usual.

in the afternoon i walked down to the community garden with half a dozen red chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum coccineum 'robinson red') to transplant. it was humid and hot, with a forecast of torrential downpours and thunderstorms by late afternoon. i haven't been to the garden since friday. not much have changed, except more star-of-bethlehem flowers have blossomed. the milkweeds are also a bit taller than last time. i have a lot of striped mallow seedlings but i'm worried they might get eaten by slugs, though i haven't seen any evidence of that. i planted the red chrysanthemums along the southeastern corner and eastern edge of my garden plot. they're perennials and if they grow well, the red flowers will nicely compliment the white garlic chive flowers.

my RCWL-0516 microwave radar sensors arrived in the mail today. i can't use them right away as they still require pins to be soldered onto the board.

when i went to the basement to check on the status of my bike tire, i was dismayed to see it's gone flat since i pumped it up on sunday night. i removed the front wheel from the frame and went about removing the tube from the tire. i used tape to mark my position, so i could put everything back in the same direction but also be able to check the inside of the tire for embedded puncture objects once i located the leak on the tube. i couldn't find the leak when i dunked the tube in the bathtub. but after i inflated the tube, the leak was pretty obvious, a steady stream of bubbles. i was also happy to see that the hole was facing outwards (to the road surface), meaning it was a simple puncture, and not something wrong with the wheel itself. i did the same trick with another old tube, found the leak easily. this tube however had the leak facing inwards, meaning maybe the puncture was caused by a loose spoke or something else.

patching was easy, and once i applied the patch, i took the tube outside to put it back into the wheel. it was 4:15pm, by then the outside air was warm and humid, and the sky quickly darkening, like it might rain at any moment. the tire took some effort to remove from the rim, and took an equally difficult time to put back onto the rim. i ended up using a metal tire lever to push the tire in place. after pumping up the tire, i installed it back onto the bike, everything looks good. however, i did notice that the brake surface of the rim is heavily scratched up to the point where the rim itself might lose structural integrity. i may need to buy a new front wheel at some point (the rear wheel was replaced back in july 2012).

it finally started raining at 5pm right when i was taking out the trash cans. production by that point dropped to zero, but the total production for the day was a surprising 40.95 kWh; i didn't think we'd get that high, but apparently there was some good sunshine in the morning and afternoon.

game 2 of the NBA playoffs was tonight between the cavaliers and celtics on ESPN. i switched channels after halftime, boston trailing by 7 points, to go watch a new episode of for the people. when i turned back an hour later, there was just a minute left in the game and the celtics were now up by more than 10 points to eventually win the game. this team is legit, to go up against the defending eastern conference champions and lebron james and to be up 2-0 in the series. and with no gordon hayward this season, and no kyrie irving mid-season, so they're not even playing to their full capacity yet. game 3 won't be until saturday in cleveland.

i used to look forward to going to bed, but now i dread it. ever since i got dermatitis on my hands (itchy blisters, about 2 weeks ago on my left hand, 1 week on my right), at least once per night i ended up scratching my palms to the point where i imagine them to be bloody stumps, but once i wake up they're fine. it's frustrating because i don't know what i touched to cause this allergic reaction. this has been happening every spring for the past few years, and subsides during the summer because after the initial outbreak, i'm careful about not touching anything synthetic (i think it's some kind of plastic/PVC allergy). i've tried creams and ointments, none of them work. the only temporary relief is if i rinse my hands under cold running water.

i rode the motorcycle to belmont this morning so i could go with my parents to the winchester mahoney's to check out some trees. i had some pork floss with oats for breakfast before we left around 10:30am. i honestly didn't think we'd buy anything. mahoney's has great selections, but all their trees are rootball varieties, which are not only more expensive but heavier as well compared to bare root trees we could buy online. but it didn't hurt to take a look, see what's out there, then perhaps buy online for cheaper.

the place was surprisingly busy for a monday morning, populated with mostly retired seniors and rich housewives. gardening is big business especially in the spring season and customers were willing to spend big money, as they pushed flatbed carts stacked with all sorts of live plants. i'd forgotten just how huge the winchester mahoney's is, at least several football fields' worth of space. on the drive over we saw many pretty trees, and my mother was obsessed with getting another japanese maple, after noticing many houses we passed all had them growing conspicuously in their yard. but when we arrived she got sticker shock: $40-50 might've been okay, but any decent size tree easily costs a few hundred dollars. after i told her about the cheaper bare root option, my mother decided that would be the better choice.

we started in the evergreens, then worked our way through their japanese maple selection, followed by the azaleas and rhododendrons. if i had the money and the space, i'd create a garden filled with only different varieties of japanese maples, of which there seems to be an endless variety. likewise, you could have a garden of evergreen pines, with even more choices of different shapes and colors and sizes. nothing like being in a really big garden store to realize all the creative landscaping possibilities.

even if we did want to buy a tree, we noticed many already had "sold" tags hanging from their branches. we walked to another large area that held all their flowering trees and bushes: lilacs, hydrangeas, redbuds, wisterias, viburnums, flowering plums, flowering cherries, and many others too numerous to name.

it's already late in the season for flowering cherries, and many specimens had already leafed out, with only a bit of flowers remaining. crabapples however peak later, and there were a few that still flowering. one particular variety - the adams crabapple - caught my father's attention. he made sure i got a few photos so we could look for it online. he doesn't like the flowering trees with dense double flowers (like the kwanzan cherry) but prefer simple singular flowers, of which the adams is a good example. the adams crabapple also bears tiny tart fruits that can attract birds.

next we checked out all the perennials. i discovered there are actually multiple varieties of deadly monkshood, cheap enough that i may consider coming back and getting a few for the greater garden. they also had a large selection of roses. i've never been a big fan of roses, thought their thorny stems were too much hassle for the fragrant flowers produced. but seeing some of the selection changed my mind, especially the double/triple flowers with a scent reminiscent of peonies (like dave austen's 'queen of sweden'). they also had peonies (some with small flower buds, still a bit early for actual flowers), but grown in pots it's hard to gauge their full splendor, but at least a few dozen varieties to choose from. i was surprised by some of the prices on perennials, definitely "one man's trash is another man's treasure": plants that we have in abundance and that i consider to be invasive - ivy, ornamental grass, lily-of-the-valley - easily sell for $10 a container. they also sold medium-sized containers of bamboo, but our days of playing with bamboos are over.

finally we walked through the green house, filled with tender vegetable seedlings and tropical plants. it's still a little early to be planting vegetable outdoors, and they even had signs warning gardeners to take precautions on cold nights. i of course no interests in the seedlings since i grow my own, but was jealous of how healthy and thick-stemmed all the plants were.

eventually we left empty-handed, but with somewhat of an idea of what we wanted to get in terms of flowering trees.

returning home, we needed to fill our propane tank for the barbecue. i checked google maps for nearby fill stations, and saw one in arlington, the BBQ barn. it was well-hidden, and even with google map directions, we went down the wrong cul-de-sac twice before finally finding the place, a picturesque oasis next to mill brook. my father usually gets the tank filled at a little place in waltham, in the american legion parking lot off of beaver street. but it was a little out-of-the-way from where we were, and we also didn't know if it was even opened on mondays, as usually it's just attended an old guy sitting in his car. but the one advantage of the waltham place was they were willing to overlook an old tank. BBQ barn was more by-the-book, and they wouldn't refill it because our tank was manufactured in 2000. so we ended up buying a new tank from them plus the refill, which cost $60.

we got back to belmont around 1pm, where we had lunch. my mother made an attempt at italian subs along with some ramen noodles. we also grilled on the barbecue some leftover steaks from last night.

the overcast from this morning cleared up by the afternoon to where it became warm and sunny. my father and i did some yardwork, finally planting the 3 patches of ornamental grass around one of the tree stumps (by this point we're pretty much going to let the stumps rot on their own since we're not planning on planting any trees at these spots). we also dug out the large sage plant (actually 2 we discovered) and moved them to a new plot beneath the grapes, which we'll turn into a perennial garden, perhaps relocating the lavenders and peonies at some future date. we also dug out yet another bamboo rhizome, this time in the direction of our backyard neighbor; it went undetected because that's the only area of the bamboo grove where we didn't make a trench, but when i began digging, i discovered it.

we decided to order 3 trees from nature hills. we're sort of outside the growing window for bare roots, as many flowering trees have already blossomed and even leafed out, but if nature hills is still willing to deliver, we're willing to plant this spring instead of waiting for the fall or next spring.

originally i thought the best trees came in root balls, but actually bare root trees develop better roots. bare roots are also cheaper (partly because they're lighter to ship, but partly because they're also younger trees). we ended up going with: 5-6 ft kwanzan flowering cherry ($47.95), 4-5 ft eastern redbud ($29.97), and a 4-5 feet sourwood ($39.95). we picked 3 trees so we could get free shipping (on orders $120+). my father also wanted an adams crabapple but nobody sold it online, so we put our name on a waitlist with stark brothers (they had it for $20 before they went out of stock), who will contact us either this fall or next spring when they receive their new shipment. the kwanzan cherry will be the centerpiece and act as a screen between us and our backyard neighbors. the sourwood will be next to the bamboos, chosen because it's a slow grower and growth straight. the redbud will be between the dying pussy willow and the hawthorn, they're not particularly leafy, so hopefully sunlight can still shine through.

my father started grilling the ribs around 4pm while simultaneously fixing his outdoor bamboo-stalk-mounted antenna. after seemingly taking a hiatus from amateur radio, he's back at it, making a bunch of new ground plane antennas. my mother was inside knitting and watching chinese-subtitled korean dramedy oh my fever on dramafever.

the barbecue was grilled to near perfection this time, just the right amount of crispiness (though a small amount of charring), sweet, salty, savory. i ate 4 ribs before i reached my limit. my father carved the fyffes pineapple i got from haymarket. since the first time we tried a fyffes gold pineapple, never have any i bought after that even came close to that original sweetness. this particular pineapple was okay, sweet yet tart, instead of all sweet. after dinner i motorcycled back to cambridge.

some lost production in the morning but strong numbers in the afternoon left us with 40.48 kWh today. today's trendline followed the record that was set for may 8th, but with a slight increase, which means production still has the potential to set additional records, provided we get another perfectly clear day.

i biked to market basket this sunday morning to get a few things (bacon, whipped cream, strawberries $4/2 lbs.). i was worried it'd be crowded, but it was still early enough that it wasn't crazy yet, until i left and saw that the bike parking was already near capacity. i stopped by star market to get some asparagus ($3 for a thick bunch, i looked for them at haymarket on friday but they were all dried up) before returning home to gather my things and leaving for belmont.

my sister has a semi-tradition of taking my mother to IHOP on mother's day, but more often than not it always ends in drama. i told my sister as much when we went on a dirt supply run. so when my mother called her last night, my sister had no intention of doing anything special today (mother's day), actually blamed me, but i think she had other social plans, and celebrating mother's day was at the bottom of her to-do list. i was the one who suggested we just make some breakfast items at home, save some money, and not have to deal with the mother's day brunch crowd and waiting for a table.

so we made bacon and belgian waffles for lunch. unexpectedly, my sister showed up as well, bringing with her some flowers, some fancy bacon, and some gluten-free waffle mix (for herself, though she did let us try some and said how delicious it was, but gluten-free anything tastes awful). my sister also made an egg-onion-potato dish.

while my mother went with my sister to take hailey for a walk at the winchester fells, my father and i stayed home to do some yard work. the overcast from yesterday finally broke by midday as it became sunny in the afternoon. we finally planted the pine tree that's been sitting in a porcelain pot in the backyard for a few years. i personally preferred we plant something else as it's a pretty good location, and the pine tree itself was something the florist wanted to throw away but my father salvaged it from the trash heap. i patched a few bare spots on the lawn with grass seed paper mulch mix. we also wanted to dump out the jerusalem artichokes but got sidetracked into digging out the wisteria roots, which turned out to be more extensive that we thought, as we dug into the dirt, cutting through the fibrous root tentacles with a combination of pruning saw and a chainsaw. we were so tired afterwards we called it quits, never got around to replanting the artichokes or the ornamental grass patches.

back inside, i watched game 1 of the eastern conference finals between the cavaliers and the celtics. boston played very well and easily beat cleveland, 108-83. the cavs seemed lethargic, maybe sweeping the toronto raptors and having a few extra days of rest made them complacent. cleveland probably also underestimated boston, since in their 3 regular season games this year they won 2-1. i expect the cavs to do much better in game 2, but this is a good start for the celtics.

for dinner we cooked up some more steaks. the thick asparagus i bought from star market tasted very good, juicy yet tender.

i noticed before i left on my bike today that the front wheel air pressure seemed a little low so i pumped it up. but returning home, i noticed once again the tire felt a little soft. it could just be my imagination, or the front tire has a small leak. i was going to fix it when i got home (check the tube at least), but decided to just inflate the tire and leave the bike in the basement for a day to see if it goes flat or not.

this past week i discovered syfy was cancelling the expanse after 3 seasons. today, i found out ABC has decided not to renew deception. that's a shame, because i really liked that show, a fitting replacement for castle, with strong elements of mission impossible. had they given it another season, or a better timeslot, it could've really found an audience. ABC are however renewing for the people, another favorite that i was sure would get cancelled due to poor ratings, so i wonder if that's just to keep shonda rhimes happy (she's an executive producer) since she's a golden goose for the network. i think american shows should be written so that an entire story can be told in a season (like a mini-series), instead of the way it works now, where shows are written to run indefinitely, so a season always end in a cliffhanger, which sucks for viewers when the show isn't renewed and the story is left unfinished forever.

after a late breakfast of rice porridge with fermented tofu and kimchi, i went with my parents on a saturday supply run to costco and restaurant depot.

although just a faint drizzle when i biked out from cambridge, by now it was raining. at home depot we checked out their freezer chests. they had 2 7 cu.ft. hisense units for $140 each (223 kWh/year), most likely remainders as the website doesn't sell them anymore. i took some shallow cardboards from costco before we left, to transport my seedlings when the time comes.

we almost didn't have enough room in the camry to fit everything once we left restaurant depot. we stopped by the cafe to drop off the supplies before returning to belmont.

my mother got these delicious coconut cookies the last time we were at costco but they didn't have them anymore this time. all we could find were these fluted coconut cookies, which were okay, but nothing like the previous coconut cookies.

riding the bike home, i got a chance to try out the bike light mounted onto the handlebar extender. the rain had stopped by that point, just some wet roads and puddles.