when i get the chance during the summer on fridays i like to visit haymarket in boston to gather some cheap produce. i left sort of late, around 1:30, hoping to avoid the lunchtime rush of people in the city. i went to chinatown first to pick up a few things, to the former 88 supermarket now another c-mart. so used to shopping in a crowded supermarket (market basket), it was a nice chance of pace to have so few people around (although that's just the weekdays; on weekends this place will be crowded).

c-mart had korean melons (similar to silver line melons, possibly the same) for $2.49/lbs. i bought one - about the size of a large mango - for $3 to try.

i rode through chinatown to downtown crossing to faneuil hall and finally nearby haymarket. i wanted to deposit a check but realized i left my debit card back at home. i ended up with 5 lbs. of bing cherry ($10), 4 guavas ($4), and 2 lbs. of red seedless grapes ($2). i wanted to buy a box of mangos (8 pack for $6) but didn't have anymore room left in my backpack nor did i remember to bring my bungie netting. i could've put them in my rear baskets but they would've been smashed to pulp by the time i got home.

i returned to cambridge via longfellow, heading straight to the cafe to deliver the latest haul. my father sliced up the korean melon. i must've had it before but just forgot. the flesh isn't soft like a traditional melon, but rather crispy, like a cucumber. it's also not as sweet as a normal melon, with a flavor that doesn't overwhelm.

this is what we're mostly growing in the victory garden (10 patches total). it's still way to early to tell if the rest of the summer season is even long enough to sustain melons to maturity (once temperature begins to cool, the melons stop growing). my father was actually watering the garden early this morning after taking my 2nd aunt to the airport; he said the seedlings were growing fast. maybe i'll take a personal visit myself tomorrow and see.

i headed to my own community garden around 4:30. karen, one of the garden coordinator was there, working on the wheelchair-accessible raised bed. laura, the woman who has the plot just south of mine, was there as well, watering her plants. she asked for my help watering her plants for one week in august, and then exchanged e-mails. she asked what i was growing and i gave her a tour, although i still remembered her telling me my plot looked like crap last season (this was when she thought i was a new gardener and was just badmouthing the "previous" gardener).

i didn't leave until 6:00, busy deadheading all the spent snapdragons, then doing some weeding, and finally some plant maintenance (added another tomato cage to the ever expanding cherry tomatoes, pruned some diseases stems). i did find 3 new squash vine borer eggs (on a cocozelle leaf, easily found, but it's the eggs laid on inner stems that i worry about because those i can't get access to). i saw a cucumber beetle and almost caught it before it flew away. there were also a few twice-stabbed stink bugs which i quickly dispatched.

it took but just 2 days for the cigar-sized zucchini to become a foot-long zucchini. this despite sporadic watering and no fertilizer this season. i haven't had a chance to see any of the other plots, i bet other people are getting some good squashes as well. my new cocozelle squashes though, which is surprising, because they're supposed to be a more vigorous producer than the zucchinis.

back at home, i was backing up some shows onto my external hard drive when it suddenly stopped copying and i lost the connection. from past experiences i knew this was a bad thing. i format my drives in either FAT32 or NTFS, for maximum compatibility. however i don't find either of those 2 formats to be very reliable. whenever i disconnect prematurely, i can expect file indexing corruption which results in files losing both name and extension. it's a real hassle and i should look into a better solution. tonight was pretty bad (friday the 13th no less!), and i ended up corrupting about 700gb worth of data. that's also a problem with these terabyte hard drives - more data to lose in the event of a crash. still, it's nothing that can't be replaced, unlike, say, personal photos. i ended up buying a new 2TB internal hard drive just so i can back up this corrupted drive. i actually have 1.75TB of storage space, but it's on my second photo archive drive, and it hasn't been backed up yet, so i don't want to risk corrupting that one as well.

this time last year i purchased 2 2TB for $60 $70 each; the hard drive market still hasn't fully recovered from the 2011 thai flood, although prices are lowering slowly. this new 2TB drive (western digital caviar green WD20EARX) i bought through amazon.com for $100 (the cheapest i could find online).

LJ got a package today; i left it in the kitchen for her to find. when she came home she asked me which branch of the red line to take to get to the factory outlet mall. i assumed she meant tj maxx, which is not a factory outlet mall, but i didn't bother correcting her. anyway, no forking is involved because it's actually in fresh pond, just 2 subway stops away in the opposite direction. she has 3 more weeks left and i don't think she's visited boston yet. i've rarely met a visiting astrophysicist who seems so oblivious to wanting to explore this city. even when i took her to new york, i got the feeling that she was disinterested, like she was humoring me instead of the other way around. people like this i can't really help, people who lack a sense of curiosity about the world.