since i was in a rush to get to the cafe (i had some frozen food to deliver) and i needed the cargo space of the dual rear baskets, i ended up removing the rear wheel (thank goodness for quick release) and swapping in a wheel from my other trek mountain bike. this wheel had a thick knobby tire but it worked and that's all i cared about.
with the robin nest up in the maple tree now vacant, i could go ahead and prune some branches in order to reclaim some sun exposure for raised bed 3. as the afternoon advanced, i paid attention to where the shadow of the tree was landing. not confident enough to use the chainsaw, i only used manual tools instead.
i managed to down a few good sized branches, including the one that had the bird nest. robins don't reuse their nests so i didn't feel guilty cutting it down. the nest itself was a feat of engineering marvel, constructed out of mostly salt marsh grass and dried mud, a perfectly shaped bowl. straws were intertwined around the branches so it was virtually impossible for the nest to fall out of a tree (except through human intervention of course). my only regret is we didn't find the nest early enough to get some photos of the blue eggs. i could've taken some photos of the hatchlings but they're ugly and i didn't want to get attacked by protective bird parents.
elsewhere in the garden:
sugar snap peas are going strong, with plants in raised beds 1 through 4. they're tall climbers and we don't have enough trellis space so once they reach a certain height they collapse on themselves. i eat a couple of peas every time i go outside. another snapdragon has bloomed, and as i suspected, they're white flowers this time. i keep on wondering if all the new snapdragons i planted this year will survive into next year; if we have another mild winter, maybe they will. at least one bellflower has begun to bloom. and who knew peony leaves are so delicate? stuck flower petals left water damages on the leaves. i also know that they get some powdery mildew at the end of the season from the nearby norwegian maple.
when my mother went to go pick up my father from the cafe around 4:30, i went with her. they've been meaning to repaint the rusty facade of their ice cream freezer but haven't had time to do it. i knew if i didn't push them into it they'd never find time. we already bought the spray paints, a can of primer and a can of glossy white. as soon as i arrived i scuffed the surface with a piece of sand paper. i brought the random orbit sander as well but that would've been overkill. after wiping clean the surface, we taped the sides to prevent spray paint from getting on them.
we started with the primer. we closed the door to prevent any draft from blowing the spray paint. it didn't take long for the whole place to smell like nail polish. as soon as my father finished spraying, we opened the door to ventilate. a few spots he sprayed too closely so there were some streaks. the primer was fast drying so we waited 15-30 minutes for it to dry so we could put on the final glossy white coat.
while we were waiting i went with my father to deliver some dinner to my great uncle at his place next door. i got to see the progress of the backyard garden. the plants growing in the makeshift green house did the best. one main problem is the terrible soil condition, dry and crumbling with very little organic matter. maybe if we built green houses for all 5 remaining raised beds they might do better (plus the addition of some soil additives like humus and manure).
my father probably got the hang of it but there was almost no additional streaking for the final coat. it takes 2-4 hours to dry to the touch, so after giving the place some time to ventilate out the spray paint smell, we left it to dry overnight. it now looks like a brand new freezer!
back in belmont, while my mother was making kimchi rice in the kitchen, my father and i were outside breaking in the new grill with some italian sausages. he didn't bother to preheat (is it really necessary?) and just added the sausages right away to the grill. nothing happened at first as the temperature was climbing, but once it reached 350°F, the sausages began to release their juices and there was the sound of sizzling as small flames licked the links. we're so used to our old barbecue grill that it didn't seem right that there wasn't huge flare ups for that upside down flame broiled taste.
after dinner we went outside the clean the grill, but by then it had already cooled down so it was harder to scrub off the food residue. we might try to put down some aluminum foil at the very bottom of the grill so oil drips will land on that for easy clean-up afterwards. on our old grill we never bothered to clean it; food would fall between the cracks and we'd just let it burn.
it was almost 8:00 when i remembered there was an NBA finals game tonight. i returned home on my bike. it was actually kind of chilly, with temperature probably in the high 50's. i just had on my shorts and t-shirt, so i tried pedaling faster just to warm up. the knobby rear tire felt heavy, like it was sticking to the pavement instead of rolling over it. i tried to contact a craig's list seller earlier today with some MTB wheels but he never got in touch with me. a new good wheel costs close to $50 (alloy with quick-release); a cheaper one is only $26 but it's made of steel so liable to rust (especially given how i ride that bike all season long, including our salty wet winters). i'll see if my local bike shop carries any MTB rear wheels tomorrow. i might also try to true the bent wheel, but that's a long shot.
i never did see my roommate today, although i heard her a few times when she used the bathroom. i've had enough antisocial roommates now that it doesn't bother me as much but i still find it jarring.
the thunder lost again to the heat in another close game. miami is up 2-1 now. it's still early in the series, but i was expecting OKC to sweep the heat, so anytime they lose is unexpected.