although i slept well (despite waking up in the middle of the night to watch the spectacular lightning show), i must've slept wrong because i woke up with some serious back pains. it hurt so much that i wasn't able to turn my neck. that made for some creative bicycling as i went to the supermarket this morning then made my way to belmont, having difficulty looking back to check the traffic.

i made it to my parents' place during a lull in the rain. a normally quiet weekend was shattered by a loud house party happening down the block, in the garish mcmansion owned by one of the few african-american families living in belmont. i was tempted to make a noise complaint but figured other neighbors (anyone within a mile radius) would've already done so. i waited for the police to break up the party, but the quiet never did come. instead, the rest of the day was spent feeling the deep throbbing base of caribbean music.

in 80+ degrees weather with a high humidity, my clothes were completely sweat-soaked by the time i arrived to an empty house. i took a shower, borrowing some of my father's clean clothes.

while letting hailey out into the backyard, she stepped in some wood sap leaking from a knot on one of the floorboards of the stairs. i tried wiping off as much as i could with paper towels, but it was futile. after checking online, i squirted some goo-be-gone solution, and that seemed to melt off the sticky residue. i then rinsed off her paw with the hose in the backyard and later give her another rinse in the tub. i must not have gotten off all of it because i saw her chewing on her paw for a little while until she went to sleep.

i watered the garden even though i was expecting more rain to arrive later. in the corner corn patch i counted 20 germinated corn plants. of all the gourds/cucumbers, the fancy gourds seem to be doing the best, spreading out with new leaves and will soon find the wire mesh trellis for climbing. i was surprised to a single bottle gourd (calabash) flower already blossoming in the early evening. last year, i didn't see night blossoms until mid-july.

the 5 wood poppies i planted on thursday are all still alive. if they're anything like the greater celandines, they have an invasive streak and are good survivors, just like the chinese lantern plants i transplanted a few weeks back. the peach astibles are close to flowering. so is one of the morning glory plants. it looks to be another good season for quince apples. the mint growing in the backyard might be "basil" mint, which has purple stems and soft leaves, unlike the wild spearmint growing in my community garden.

for dinner we had some blue cheese burgers cooked on the barbecue. my morning trip to the supermarket was to procure more ground beef and blue cheese. this is my 3rd consecutive day on the burger diet. nothing beats actual barbecue cooking. flame kissed beef tastes that much better in my opinion.

i spent the rest of my time in belmont fixing my sister's e-mail account. i thought i fixed it on thursday but turns out only partially; receive e-mails, yes, send e-mails, no. it took a while to figure out a solution, and a random one at that: i just changed the port setting, and suddenly everything was back to normal again. maybe it's a verizon FIOS thing.

it never did rain. with one final check of the doppler radar to make sure i wouldn't be caught in a sudden downpour (no chance of that), i pedaled back to cambridge, my neck turning functionality still much curtailed. observation: despite the more comfortable temperatures, summer riding is significantly darker than winter riding. leafy trees eclipse light sources and without a good source of personal lighting, i see can see it can be more dangerous.

on my doorstep was a package. i already knew what it was: the special coleman adapter hose that allows a coleman stove to be connected to a 20 gallon propane tank.