my mother called me in the late morning to let me know my grandmother would like to visit my place after lunch. the last time she was here was the summer of 2006 (this is what happens when you have children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren spread globally over a 7700 miles distance). i spent a little time cleaning up the house, lighting up a cone incense to cover up the funky smell that always seems to appear during humid days. i also did a load of laundry.

steve and paul left for martha's vineyard around 1:00. it's almost cliche that they'd brave the traffic and spend memorial day weekend out at their island home. because of the bad weather, i was beginning to think they weren't going to go but thankfully they did, it means i'll have a quiet weekend with the house all to myself. steve wrote me to let me know he's doing some renovation work in about 2 weeks, to warn me about the noises.

rob notified everyone he was canceling his barbecue scheduled for tomorrow due to the rain. i'm not exactly surprised. the BBQ was also happening right during memorial day weekend, when a lot of people have already made plans. besides the rain, the daytime temperature is also expected to be in the 50's.

my grandmother didn't arrive until almost 4:00, along with my mother and 2nd aunt. they were delayed because my aunt and uncle stopped by the cafe after having came back from a vacation in iceland. my mother had their memory card and we watched a slideshow of their trip on my HDTV (1388 photos total, plus a few dozen videos). iceland reminds me a lot of the opening sequence of prometheus,1 something that looks like alien vistas, all karst formations and craggy peaks and waterfalls and glaciers.

i was confused at first why my aunt took her photos at 4:3 since they display with black vertical bars on the 16:9 HDTV. but 4:3 is the native CCD size for most point-and-shoot cameras, so that's the highest resolution.

my grandmother seemed to have remembered i had a red couch (i wanted a red couch, but ended up getting purple), and thought maybe i'd repainted the walls since her last visit. she said my place was pretty clean, but this is only because i spruced things up before she arrived (normally it can get pretty cluttered). she did say that for a person living alone, i sure had a lot of stuff, especially in my kitchen, with my collection of condiments in the cupboard, canned food reserve, and various cooking gadgets (electric kettle, blender, toaster, microwave, toaster oven, bread machine, salad spinner, crockpot, rice cooker).

my mother and company ended up having dinner at my place (they brought sandwich-making ingredients). later i dazzled my 2nd aunt and grandmother with some 3D photos and movies on the HDTV. they left around 8:00.

although the fuji W3 is primarily a 3D camera, it can also do a few tricks with its dual lens system. for instance, it can shoot 2D wide angle with one lens (35mm) and telephoto with the other lens (105mm). i can't imagine ever needing to use this functionality though, but interesting nevertheless, and something that most cameras can't do.

the new scoby growing in my kombucha is beginning to thicken and turning opaque. i was worried the scoby would form holes from where the old scoby pokes out from the surface of the tea, but the new scoby completely covers up the old one, wrinkles and all. there was a section of the scoby where some dark brown coloration. at first i thought it was mold, but i think it's either dried up scoby or yeast byproduct. anyway, it's normal, and i poked that part back down into the tea.

i finished my 24 oz. jar of kombucha. not wanting the transparent proto-scoby that'd formed in the jar to go to waste, i decided to make a small batch of kombucha using another 24 oz. jar. i brewed some sweet tea in the jar with 2 black tea teabags and a few tablespoons of sugar. after the tea cooled down to 80°F, i slipped in the baby scoby (looked like a jellyfish) along with some kombucha juice. i left it on the countertop covered up with a paper towel and a rubberband.

1 after some research, it turns out some of those otherworldly landscapes featured in the prometheus intro were actually shot in iceland, including the pivotal scene where one of the alien giants is standing next to a large waterfall.

i must've drank too much tea because i can't fall asleep! as of now it's well past 5:00 in the morning and the sun is already out. there's caffeine in black tea and some caffeine in kombucha. it's one thing to drink it in the morning, but i was still imbibing up the way up until bedtime. nothing left to do but surf the web and hopefully fall asleep soon...

finally, asleep by 6:00, after watching an online vice story on waragi AKA ugandan moonshine.