i woke up early and called my mother at the cafe. yesterday she said she wanted me to come down to the cafe in the morning to help carry all things from the car they brought back from new york. she said they just arrived so there wasn't any hurry. that gave me time to use the bathroom, take a shower, and walk down to the community garden to harvest my garlic scapes. i snipped off about 2 dozen, which is probably the number of garlic cloves i have growing underground. i noticed a few fallen mulberries in the garden. it's that time of the year again.
i finally went down to the cafe around 10:00. yesterday's rain had stopped but more rain was predicted for this evening so i wore my rain jacket and carried some trash bags.
i moved some things from the car but the more important cafe task was redoing the illuminated sushi menu board. i wrote the original about 2 decades ago; back then i had the annoying habit of not crossing my A's for some reason. other than that, my handwriting hasn't changed very much.
the sushi menu has increased for just 4 items to a total of 16 (although a few things aren't actually sushi). my father originally envisioned a single column but i thought a double column layout would make more use of the space. i drew some light grids that i was going to erase afterwards but i was afraid some of the longer names might look like they're running into each other so i kept the lines.
i used the crayola dry-erase crayons i got a few days ago; not sure how much it'd cost to get official light board crayons, but these work really well. i attempted some color coordination: green for vegetarian sushi, orange for seafood, white as default, yellow for description text, and blue for specialty items. there was also a purple i forgot to use. when we finally hung up the sign there was some glare but only during certain time of the day.
i biked to belmont around 1:00, while my mother walked back home, leaving the car for my father for when he closed up shop. it began to drizzle a little bit, but not enough for a soaking. i brought back a leftover box of sushi which i had for lunch.
later, after my mother came home, my sister and her went to do some shopping at target. i was busy reprogramming the pro-lite PL-M2014R electronic moving message sign. it used to sit above the illuminated sushi menu but when my father unplugged it for an extended period of time, the backup battery was used up and the memory was wiped clean. my father actually has 2 of these signs but one of them has a wonky internal power connector and doesn't respond to the remote.1
it's actually kind of fun tinkering with the message board. it also has an RS232 port which you can connect to a computer and program in the messages that way. it's also a favorite of tech savvy electronic folks who use the board to display current status, like news pulled from an RSS feed or news updates.
i played around with the different screen effects, colors, and font styles. i even figured out how to create my own graphic icons using a matrix of 18x7 pixels and with just 4 colors (red, yellow, green, black). i was trying to draw a piece of sushi but there's only so much i can do given the limitations.
when my mother and sister returned home, they brought back some fried clams. they were okay but didn't seem like they were fried enough. i've been toying with the idea of making my own fried clams as a summer barbecue appetizer; first i have to get my hands on a clam knife and learn how to shuck shellfish.
my mother bought my some shorts but they were a little too tight in the crotch. so they went back to target to return them and buy a larger size. the replacement shorts were better, but the rear pockets seem to bunch up and feel uncomfortably thick so they'll probably be returned again.
i returned home before 8:00. there was still daylight outside, but off on the horizon i could see an ominous patch of dark grey clouds. i ended up riding right through it, with its accompanying drizzle. i almost pulled over to protect my things with trash bags but decided to keep riding, hopefully make it home before the assumed downpour. the clouds must've passed or i rode through it because it stopped raining and the sky sort of cleared up again.
1 i discovered the reason why one of the message boards isn't working is because it uses an earlier ROM chip (5.24Q). that's actually the better version because the newer ROM chip (6.x) disables several features.