it got hot today. the heavy rains late last night brought in the heat. even though i was expecting it, having actually experience the hot humidity came as a surprise. suddenly i was thankful for how cool it was inside the house.

i went out in the afternoon to check out the graduation ceremony happening in harvard square. the temperature was somewhere in the 80's with humidity. i bumped into bruce and we made tentative plans to go do some naturing tomorrow, provided the heat isn't too oppressive.

security was pretty tight, and to get into harvard yard you need to get your bags inspected and body scanned with a metal detecting wand. i think i got there right between graduation ceremonies so there was surprisingly few people (i think most people were still eating lunch). i walked around a bit, even going as far as the charles river, thinking there'd be people there taking photos, but the area was pretty empty (most people just took photos around the yard, like by the john harvard square or next to memorial hall). the heat finally got to me (my t-shirt soaked in the back) and i decided to head home.

with my motorcycle, i stopped by the cafe briefly to see my grandmother before heading to belmont to do some yard work. the next door neighbors had replaced their fence. the young family is pretty clueless about suburban living, and wanted to change the fence because it looked out, even though it was fine. originally they wanted to go with a plastic fence, but my father said he didn't want that, so they went with cedar instead. it looks nice, but after one season, it'll turn grey like all outdoor wood, and it'll look just like the old fence.

my father and i trimmed the wisteria by basically cutting off a few main branches near the bottom trunk. wisteria wood is surprisingly soft to cut through, which makes sense because it's a vining/climbing sort of wood. still, never underestimate its destruction forces. speaking of which, my father had been working to dig out a few strands of escaping bamboo in the southeastern corner of the yard (where the dead elm used to be). we continued our bamboo containment work on the south side. some perennial bluebells were trampled in the process, hopefully they'll grow back. digging out bamboos involves a spade, pruning shearer, and a crowbar. we came across a particularly stubborn patch of bamboo that seemed to be growing underneath a larger tree root. it was time for dinner so we finally stopped, but there's still a lot of escaping bamboo to uproot. times like this, makes me wish we could just dig it all up and throw it all away.

after dinner i returned home. blame it on all the people in town for the harvard graduation, but most of the parking spots were taken. i ended up taking one of the last spaces.

it's almost june and my grow closet is still going, albeit with only one shelf. i've never had it running for this long, usually when it gets warm enough outside, i move everything outdoors. i think the korean melons and cucamelons are pretty much ready for transplanting. i'll probably want to cover up the cucamelons for a little bit when i do end up planting some in my garden, to protect them from the falling mulberries. i could care less about my other plants, but these cucamelons must survive at all cost!

i've been in the market for a small traveling laptop. primarily used to store my photos, but being able to write blog entries, check e-mails, and use skype, are all advantages. i don't care about the screen size, and actually smaller and lighter the better, so a netbook would be ideal. it also must have 4 other things: a large enough hard dive (for storing photos), SD memory card slot (this is pretty standard nowadays anyway), USB 3.0 ports (so i can backup said photos onto my portable hard drive via the faster USB 3.0), and an HDMI port (should i ever want to connect the laptop to an HDTV for presentation purposes). i'd also like to have a decent processor; it doesn't have to be a speed demon, but i like a little power so i can at the very least edit some photos in the field.

the dell inspiron 13z almost fits the bill: core i3 1.80GHz, 13.3" 1366 x 768, LED, 6GB/500GB, USB 3.0, HDMI, 3.81 lbs. all this for just $360 new. it's pretty much perfect and i almost bought it tonight until i checked out the dimension: it's nearly the same size as my 15" macbook pro. that unfortunately might be too big. the other choice is the ASUS vivobook: core i3 1.8GHz, 11.6" 1366 x 768, 4GB/500GB, USB 3.0, HDMI, 2.9 lbs. the cheapest i could find is $425, but with its smaller size it's worth it. the vivobook also features a touchscreen (to take advantage of the new windows 8 features) but it's not something i really need. the only thing i don't like about the vivobook (besides being more expensive) is it still sports a VGA port. i think it looks ugly, but it shouldn't be a deal breaker. so now i'm waiting for the ASUS vivobook to drop to $400 or lower before buying one.