i meant to wake up at 9:00 to watch the women's olympics tennis final match between maria sharapova and serena williams, but i woke up an hour too late. i still managed to catch the final few games, with serena just points away from eventually winning olympic gold. it may be rude to say this, but serena is built like a man. her female opponents don't stand a chance against her, and i'm sure she could beat most professional male tennis players as well given the opportunity. the fact that she doesn't always win is a big surprise; maybe she's very humble and doesn't want to hoard all the championships, wants to give the other players something to look forward to.

i also caught the second half of the lithuania-US men's basketball game. the americans almost lost! it was a close game, with a final score of 99-94. hopefully other teams can learn from this and use it as a blueprint to challenge the US team. i don't want the americans to lose, but i'd like to see more exciting games that isn't simply about the US creating a massive lead.

LJ was packing this morning. there's no way she can fit everything she bought. apart from a small suitcase which she'll ship as luggage, she also has a huge backpack and a bag full of presents, one on each hand. they're not going to let her board the plane like that. even if i wanted to, i couldn't help her. what she needs is a bigger suitcase, large enough to fit her small suitcase, plus room to spare for all her additional presents.

now that my 2nd aunt is back from her california vacation, my parents get their days off back. this was the first day in weeks that my father didn't have to go to work so i knew he probably wanted to check out the victory garden. after some belgian waffles and bacon for lunch and a quick haircut from my mother, my mother and sister took tangtang out shopping, while my father and i went to rock meadow to do some gardening.

it was already 3:30 and the day was hot and humid, not a very pleasant day to be outside, but we knew at least there'd be a bit of shade underneath our black cherry tree. my last visit was just 4 days ago, and in that short period of time the victory already looks different.

there were a few more corncobs, a tomato, and a piece of sunflower. the plants were all bigger than before, which is great, but some of them were also showing signs of disease (powdery mildew) and insect damage (chewed leaves and stems). the cucumbers had the most damage, but a very small percentage compared to the plants as a whole. the zucchini and cocozelle had a bit of powdery mildew as well. the korean melons were unscathed, other than some chewed leaves.

the korean melons already have flowers, which shouldn't be that big a surprise since i saw immature buds last time. so far they're the only cucurbit to flower. the zucchini and cocozelle already have buds though, and so have the first batch acorn squashes. cucumbers however are still busy making leaves, no hurry to flower just yet.

my father and i added a bit more compost to the raised bed. with the garden covered by landscape fabric, it's difficult to add the compost directly. we have to unstake the fabric, add the compost underneath, then fasten down the fabric again. if our squash/cucumber/melon experimenting fails, we'll just pull up the fabric and fill the beds with compost if there's still enough left.

the most important thing we had to do was to spray all the plants with copper fungicide. with a report of late season blight in at least 8 of the southern victory garden plots, kathy the garden coordinator asked gardeners to spray their plants (focusing on tomatoes) in order to control the spread of the disease. i knew from my last visit that there's rampant powdery mildew going around, so i wanted to spray some copper fungicide to keep that in check as well. i mixed a 2 gallon batch inside a plastic water can (8 teaspoons of concentrated liquid copper)1, filled a small spray bottle to give to my father, while i used the can. i was worried about water on the leaves (which heat up in the sun and scald the plants; i normally water from the roots) but they quickly dried up (surprising, given the humidity).

after we were done, we took a tour of the rest of the community garden. venturing south, we saw a large plot of climbing tomatoes covered in what looked like severe powdery mildew. upon closer inspection it looks to be deliberate, probably some kind of powdery fungicide.

since my sister and mother were still out shopping, it was just my father and i for dinner. he made some chicken curry while i fed hailey.

i made it back to cambridge around 8:00. at one point i hit a bump in the road that managed to knock my front headlight to the ground. i was lucky there wasn't a car behind me otherwise the light would've been ran over. i swing back around to retrieve the light and continued on my way.

although the temperature is just 79°F, the humidity is an uncomfortable 71%. if i didn't have a roommate i would've turned on my AC by now, but in solidarity i'm willing to suffer through the stickiness.

1 earlier i mixed a 1 gallon batch of copper fungicide and treated the cucurbits in my parents' backyard, including the corner zucchinis and the bottle gourd plant. i pulled up the cucumbers because they were pretty much dead already (due to anthracnose).