i stayed up late last night (1:30) so i could watch the live broadcast of the curiosity landing. thank goodness the rover sent back a few low-resolution photos because otherwise the wait would've seemed anticlimactic, although watching engineer nerds cheering was kind of fun to see. every single "street view" image from mars is amazing; it's one thing to see a martian landscape from a satellite, but it's completely different seeing mars from the ground, more personal. in the back of my mind i still have this fantasy where the rover camera will pan and across the frame will walk by some martian.
LJ was already gone when i woke up this morning around 8:30, having i assume left for work one last time. to think, in less than 24 hours she'll be gone for good! i kept on thinking that when i wiped up all the hairs from the bathroom floor.
today's weather's just as hot as yesterday but nowhere as humid, so a comfortable dry heat. nevertheless, since i had the air conditioner now, i turned it on just for a short bit, to get rid of the humidity trapped inside the house. i sat right in front of it while working, which was a nice feeling.
pau got in touch with me asking if i was willing to rent out my guest bedroom after LJ leaves for the 12 remaining days he'll be in town. apparently there's some kind of roommate drama at his current place, and he was just sending out feelers to figure out his options. although i was planning to have a relaxing month without a roommate, pau is one of my better tenants so i wouldn't mind.
i watched the olympic women's semifinal match between japan and france. having seen them beat the US last year in the women's world cup, i'm a big fan of the japanese team. size-wise they seem so mismatched compared to other teams that are bigger and taller, but the japanese team is deceptively good. japan went up 2-0, on 2 goals that seemed more accidental than brute force offense. france finally got a goal as well once they upped the tempo of the game. the final 13 minutes seemed like forever, as france continued to attack while japan tried to play out the clock. an additional 4 minutes was added to the end of the game. france had chances, including a penalty kick where the kicker missed the goal completely, but ended up losing.
i've rediscovered infrared photography recently. it's difficult to do with my dSLR because i don't have a live view option (i see nothing but black until after i take the photo), so i still use my old nikon coolpix 4500. i don't know why, but when i first started infrared photography, i got a B+W 52mm (093) filter, even though the coolpix has a 28mm thread. it's probably because i couldn't find a filter that small. but i ended up with a slightly complicated setup of step-up rings: 28-to-37mm, then 37-to-52mm, and finally the infrared filter. i also have a bunch of lenses for the coolpix, including a fun-to-play-with fisheye lens. unfortunately the 52mm won't fit on the lens (i don't think it's possible to attach any filters since the glass is convex). so i went onto ebay and discovered 28mm infrared filters. that means i can attach the filter to the camera first, before attaching any additional lens. they're pretty cheap too, around $10, although shipped from hong kong, so it'll take at least 10 days to arrive. i ended up buying an 850nm infrared filter, close to my B+W 093 which is rated at 830nm.
with the change in weather from humid to dry came some dramatic clouds in the sky. i pulled over by the side of the road (i rode my motorcycle to belmont) to take some snapshots.
when my parents came home in the afternoon, my father and i returned to the victory garden. with the heavy rains yesterday, we were there to re-apply a new coat of copper fungicide. only 2 days had passed, but all the plants were noticeably larger, some even beginning to spill out of the raised beds. i was just going to spray, but my father watered the plants before adding some more compost to a few bare patches. i mixed up 2 gallons of copper solution inside the watering can. first i used the hand sprayer to gently mist all the plants, before using the water can to quickly shower everything with the leftover solution.
we also staked the lone tomato plant after we noticed it'd toppled over. there was no critter food garbage this time around.
every time i come i catch a few more cucumber beetles. a few cucumber leaves are showing some kind of disease. this is very similar to what happened in the backyard cucumbers. first a few dead leaves, then quickly the whole plant. maybe the copper spraying combined with better growing conditions will give these cucumbers a fighting chance, but i've seen neighboring cucumbers and everyone is doing poorly. the good news is that at least one female korean melon flower successfully fertilized, with a baby melon the size of a grape. if we can keep the diseases away, we have a good chance of getting some melons, especially since these plants seem to be super-productive.
back in belmont, my father went to the cafe to supervise some sort of repair work. he didn't make it home for dinner.
i caught the end of the US-canada women's soccer game. when i left the score was 1-0 in canada's favor. when i got back the score was an amazing 3-3 in second half extra time. the united states scored with less than a minute left in the game to win the match. afterwards i watched the US-argentina men's basketball game. the score was close in the first half, and looked like it might be a repeat of what happened against lithuania. in the half second however, the US soon pulled ahead and built up a commanding lead.
not having to ride my bicycle meant i would be able to get home and not be sweaty. LJ wasn't home but she was home earlier because it looked like she made dinner. later when she did come home (with a bag of groceries, with what i can only assume some more presents to bring back to china), i asked her if she was ready. i told her that the earliest train was 5:16 (she thought maybe there was one even earlier). i think she tried to thank me in her socially awkward way, but she was doing that while packing up her things, so she wasn't even looking at me, and just kind of mumbled it under her breathe. she mentioned something about coming back often in the near future. it took a great amount of will power on my part to not blurt out, "you'll never be staying at my place ever again!"
how would LJ spend her final hours? she spent a long time talking on the phone. it was long distance to her chinese relatives, in a shandong dialect i couldn't understand so she made no effort to hide what she was saying. she also did 2 load of laundries. finally, before going to bed, i heard her washing her feet in the bathroom (the sound of dirty soles grinding in my porcelain sink). she made no further effort to talk to me. did she think i'd be awake at 5:00 to see her off? or maybe she's preparing to just quietly slip out of the house? is it weird that i'd like my roommate to speak with me before they go?