today was another big transplant day, where i was planting my 2nd wave of homegrown seedlings. i started by moving most of my young plants outside to let them get used to the sun first. this also allowed me to shut down half of my grow closet. now the only things left growing inside are the korean melons, cucamelons, and a few early thai basils.
in the late morning i went back to the assembly mall. temperature reached into the 80's today and i was dressed in a short-sleeved red polyester shirt i found. i returned the bottle of performix rerack when i realized my dishwasher wasn't as rusty as i'd thought. then it was off to the christmas tree shop, where i picked up 2 additional fido glass jars. i also got a 20qt (5 gallon, $20) stock pot which i will use to cook my mash. with my jars and stock pot purchases, i felt pretty suspicious. carrying everything back with me presented a challenge: i put the jars in the saddlebags and tied down the stock pot (in a box) to the back of my motorcycle.
a 5 gallon stock pot is a lot shorter than i'd imagine, and doesn't seem all that different in size compared to a 4 gallon stock pot. filled to capacity, a 5 gallon stock pot weighs over 40 lbs. any larger and it wouldn't be able to fit on a conventional stovetop. this one came with a steamer/colander basket that fits on the inside, used for steam-cooking lobsters.
after some oatmeal for lunch, i grabbed my tray of seedlings and went down to the community garden. there was nobody there except for half a dozen cambridge city workers doing something to the sidewalk directly outside the garden. they were a rowdy crowd, seemed like they were there more to joke around and hang out instead of actually working.
i ended up planting: 3 sweet basil, 3 thai basil, 5 delphiniums, 2 butterfly weeds, 2 mixed hot peppers, and 1 rosemary. now the only thing i have left to plant are some squashes (from directly sown seeds) and my cucamelons (when they get bigger enough to transplant). i also reattached my chicken wire trellis with a staple gun.
the garden looks so empty at the moment. it's always a shock to compare the start of the garden to what it looks like towards the end of the summer, when everything is growing. it looks so clean too, but that's because i weeded recently. without some sort of mulching, the weeds will come back in a matter of weeks (if not days). and once the mulberries start falling? it's going to be a real mess. i'm still trying to figure out whether or not i should set up some sort of tenting to protect my plants.
i went to the supermarket to pick up a few items and quickly raced back home. i'd been watching an auction for a used (but in mint condition) fuji 3D W3 camera and wanted to wait until the last second to make my final bid. it was important enough that i set an alarm for it on my cellphone and made a reminder on my computer calendar just so i wouldn't forget this event. i ended up winning it for $130 plus an additional $7 for shipping (out of a total of 14 bids). i've been eyeballing the camera ever since i discovered 3D photography. the cheapest i've seen it new is $190. there was another used one (boxed) on ebay last week for $150 but i missed the auction deadline. this fuji is one of the few 3D cameras on the market, but it has numerous drawbacks. it can't really do macro and the wide angle isn't very wide. but it can do something my panasonic ZS20 can't do, which is to capture 3D action (since it doesn't require pan-and-scan because it has 2 lenses). it can also display 3D images with its lenticular display (which is its own sort of magic - 3D without glasses!). it's a total toy but i'm going to have some fun with it once it arrives.
i inspected my new 5 gallon stock pot more carefully and discovered a small gash near the top of the container. i don't think i'd ever fill it up that high, but a small hole would mean the alcohol vapors would escape which can mean less alcohol production but could also be fire hazard. so looks like i'm going back to the christmas tree shop once more tomorrow to exchange it for a new pot.
i didn't get a chance to see my grandmother today. i was going to ride down to the cafe in the late afternoon but my mother told me my grandmother was sleeping off her west coast jet lag. i'll try to see her tomorrow.
washing my bedsheets gave me a chance to try out my new mattress cover. it took a long time to slip on because i did it with the mattress still on the bed frame (would've been easier if i just stood up the mattress). turns out i don't like it very much, it's very crinkly, like sleeping on a paper bag. maybe it'll get better over time, but if not i'll take it off the next time i change my sheets. i've never used a mattress cover before, no reason to start now. my fear of stains shouldn't outweigh my need for sleep comfort.
i finally got around to washing my aquarium. i did a thorough cleaning, taking out the one lone tetra first, then removed the driftwood with the java ferns growing on it, then hand picked the globs of algae growing on the gravel, scrubbed off the algae growing on the glass, before finally siphoning off 2 gallons worth of dirty aquarium water. what happened to my java ferns? there was a time when they were growing so well, i almost didn't have enough room. but now the tank has been taken over by algae. i wonder if it has something to do with the light, that it's not strong enough, or maybe the wrong spectrum? or maybe the water is just too dirty which makes an ideal breeding ground for algae? if i can do a daily water change for a week, maybe that will stop the algae from coming back.
i had a bottle of yakult today. i know they're popular in asia, but was always curious why market basket would carry them as well, but apparently they're pretty big in brazil (something to do with the large japanese immigrant population). i knew it was a yogurt drink, but i didn't realize there were real live culture inside (Lactobacillus casei). it must've helped my digestion, because after i had the last of my pulled pork sandwiches for dinner tonight, i wasn't as gassy as i was yesterday. i ate while watching game 1 between the NY rangers and the boston bruins. boston ended up winning in overtime (which i did see, because i was watching hannibal instead).
finally, with our kombucha almost finished fermenting, we have to figure out how to bottle it. in the meantime, i've hoarded several dozen assortment of glass jars which we can use as temporary containers. i ran them through the dishwasher to sanitize them.