this morning i went across the longfellow bridge and hooked onto the esplanade to watch the 2nd annual canine promenade starting at 11:00. i went last year, saw some cool human-dog costume combinations.

i met a pair of young lady cyclists checking out the promenade as well. the one taking photos asked if i was with press. "no, i'm just taking these for kicks," i said. "for kids?" she replied, surprised. the other girl (arms covered with tattoos) has a boxer but he gets sort of aggressive around other dogs so she could never bring him to this. i asked them how they found out about the doggie parade. the photographer said something about "johnny monster ad." when i returned home (via the MIT bridge) i couldn't find it, but later realized she said johnny monsarrat - the admin for bostoneventsinsider.com.

after a shower, i took the motorcycle to belmont. my father had already cleaned out the backyard and put a lot of stuff away in the garage. while the weather was nice, he also cemented a few cracks in the basement staircase leading into the cellar, in case of flooding.

as for me, i ran a pH test on the soil sample i set out a few days ago to let dry. according to the color indicator, the backyard lawn has a pH of 6.0 which is acidic. not bad, but maybe a little lime might make it better. tweaking the pH level of the soil is the sort of advanced gardening i usually don't carry out. i understand the concept of adding compost to the soil and fertilizing, but adjusting the pH seems too complicated. but now with my pH soil test this might be something i could do in the future. the soil test kit also came with other tests (like for potassium or nitrogen), but those involve getting a cup of soil and soaking it in a bucket of water for 24 hours (maybe next time). finding out the N level is probably more important than the pH.

my aunt and uncle invited us over for dinner in arlington in the evening. i was surprised my sister was going because she's skipped out on a whole bunch of dinners recently. however, i wasn't too surprised when there was some drama: we were talking about what we were going to make for thanksgiving and we asked her not to make her blue cheese cookies anymore because nobody likes them (besides, asians are traditionally lactose intolerant, so feeding them cheese is like purposely ruining thanksgiving). that made her angry enough that she left in the middle of dinner (we knew this would probably happen, that's why we came in two separate cars).

the indian chicken (baked in a le creuset pan) was good enough that i had seconds. it's inspired me to revisit some indian curry recipes of my own for the next week or so.