i know it's technically 2008 already, but i feel like as long as i stay awake, it's still 2007. while continuing my LED grow light research, i thought of this idea: using LED christmas lights as grow lights! besides being easier to find, christmas lights also come in convenient strands that have unlimited configuration possibilities. i went online looking for proof of concept, but i couldn't find anybody else doing the same thing. it's either absolute genius or positively stupid. fortunately for me, since it's right after the holidays, there are a lot of christmas lights on sale. i found a bunch of discounted bethlehem/GKI lights on amazon.com. i needed two different colors: mostly blue for growth and leaf product, and some red for flowering and balance. they had a strand of 50x 5mm red LED lights that was absolutely perfect; bethlehem/GKI produces a similar strand of blue lights but unfortunately they were all sold out. i did see someplace else selling them for $22, but that's too expensive. instead i managed to get 3 strands of blue LED lights from amazon. they're not as good as the red ones because the LEDs are inside of a bulb (G12 means "12mm globe) - i figured if i'm not getting enough light transmission i could always crack open all the bulbs. on top of the already heavily discounted prices, these lights also qualified for a 4-for-3 deal. in the end i only paid $26 for the whole set: 105 blues, 50 reds, for a total of 155 LED lights. the cheapest quality LED grow light deal i've seen online is a 272 LED kit for $40 that requires a lot of soldering. with this christmas lights solution, the advantage is i can put them to the test as soon as they arrive.

a bit of a scare earlier: while paying for my order, i couldn't find my credit card. afraid that maybe i lost it on the streets, i frantically went online to check my account to make sure there wasn't any illegal purchases. fortunately i eventually found my card on the floor (probably fell out of my jeans when i took them off).




for best results when using fluorescent grow lights, it's best to have two different kinds. the one you normally get for plants has a reddish tinge. red is good for flowering and fruit production. however, if you're looking to grow more foliage, you need a light with a bluish tinge, sometimes called a "wide spectrum" light. this is the same sort of fluorescent lighting you'd find in cheap offices. put a potted plant on a desk and it'll make a lot of healthy leaves, but it won't mature until it's been exposed to reddish light. why is this important, you ask? just sharing some knowledge in my ongoing plant light research! and just a blatant opportunity to display one more graph before the year ends.

my father stopped by briefly around noontime to take away my rosemary shrub and put it into foster care. as of now i don't have enough light at my house to keep my rosemary healthy: on the other hand, my father has a makeshift grow house (mylar walls, fluorescent lights, the works) with enough space for one more plant. a few weeks ago my near-death jasmine went to the same place and it's now not only alive but doing quite well. i figured the rosemary could use a little TLC, until late spring when i can replant it back into my community garden.

trying to make amends, i went searching for some flowers for my mother, a belated birthday gesture. i headed to where i always go for flowers, inside the porter square station. unfortunately those asian flower ladies weren't there today. returning home, i changed my mind suddenly and decided to look for flowers in harvard square, where at the very least there was a florist. i bought a bunch of yellow daisies (i think they were daisies - they might also have been chrysanthemums) and came back home.

i finally managed to take a photo outside my house with my christmas lights on. what's the rule? after new year's day i have to take it down, right? i just want to remove them so i can wear it around the house like a necklace.

my parents came over for dinner, we had some kentucky fried chicken. it took us a while to order and we finally decided on a 30 piece bucket of KFC hot wings. coming back, we dropped by that indian takeout restaurant hoping to get some bread but it was so crowded we decided to leave. although the wings didn't seem like the best idea at the time (they were sort of small compared to the wings i'm normally used to having), they were surprisingly delicious: although they were fried, they weren't oily in the least, plus they were actually spicy (the colonel's secret spicy formula, which used to be a KFC staple, but has recently disappeared as a chicken choice - glad to see it back). i had some blue cheese sauce (which is usually the sauce i use with chicken wings) but the flavoring was so good it didn't need it.