i'm continuing my mission to pick off items from my long to-do list. the bulk of the day was spent tending to my community garden plot. i've asked julie to water my plants (in return she can have whatever vegetables she wants) while i'm gone, but i wanted to tidy up the place before i hand it over. i hadn't been there in almost 2 weeks; not that anyone can blame me, with the combination of incessant rain and the falling mulberries. what i found today was just a thick mat of rotting squishy mulberries, kicking up a dust of fruit flies where ever i walked, under a stench of putrefaction. actually, the smell wasn't that bad, but everything else was. it was hard to doing any sort of weeding, pulled up clumps of crabgrass and whatnot along with lumps of decaying mulberries.
that was only the first half of the garden beautification project. i came home, took a shower, then headed right back out, taking the motorcycle to the cafe so i could borrow the car and pick up a barrel of leftover salt marsh grass from my parents' backyard. i then drove back to the community garden and put down a layer of grassy mulch.
driving back to the cafe to return the car, i actually saw my mother driving to my house with grandmother and 2nd aunt, so my grandmother could take a bath. when i returned home they were already inside, waiting for the tub to fill. i asked if i could take a quick shower first because i was covered in sweat and dirt and grass mulch. fortunately there wasn't that much water in the tub yet.
my mother and company didn't leave until almost 5:00. with them here, there was a temporary halt in my errand running. earlier i called comcast to asked about the cable and why i still had premium channels even though i cancelled them yesterday. the guy i talked to said according to their records those channels are already gone from my account, and if i'm still getting them, i'm not being billed. or maybe it takes a day or two for the system to catch up. in any case, as long as i've confirmed i cancelled those premium channels, i'm okay. i did discover that starz is included in my basic HD package.
once they left, it was back to work. i moved my bicycles out from the porch. the jetter frame i put back in the basement while i left out the ross and schwinn. i had a prospective buyer coming to see the ross around 7:00, rasmus from denmark, so i pumped up the tires.
i then cleaned the fish tank. originally i was going to move the aquarium to my parents' place so they can look after my lone cardinal tetra, but even a 7 gallon tank is a hassle to move, and i don't know if my parents have the space for it in their house. so i'm now toying with the idea of an automatic fish feeder. petsmart sells an eheim feeder for $46; amazon.com has the same one for $26, but an additional $11 in fast shipping so i can get it on friday before i leave. i ended up inquiring on craig's list, somebody in cambridge is selling a whole aquarium kit, but i asked him if i could just buy the feeder for $20 (hasn't written back yet).
my kombucha has finally finished fermenting. i decided to get rid of the scoby hotel, and just have 2 jars of kombucha, throwing away the old scobies. it's kind of pointless to keep them anyway, since the old ones deteriorate over time, and they're not as good a fresh scoby. i brewed 2 gallon worth of sweet black tea. my kombucha is going to belmont as well, probably tomorrow night when my father gives me a ride home after i put my motorcycle away for when i'm gone.
i almost bailed on rasmus because it was starting to get late and he hadn't shown up yet. but he got here right around 7:25. he was a tall skinny fellow, young, an MIT graduate student here in the US for a year. he was tall enough that he could ride either the schwinn or the ross, but the ross had 2 good wheels while the schwinn had the busted rear wheel. i told him if he liked the schwinn i'd be more than happy to swap the rear wheel for him, but he didn't mind the ross, despite the fact that he was surprised how heavy it was (steel lug frame). i asked him if he was bike savvy and he said yes, so he'll probably change the tubes (and maybe the tires) on his own. the rear wheel sort of shifted when he tried to take it on a test ride, but i came back out with my tools and we tightened the bolts. he said pretty happy with the bike, and thought $50 was cheap enough that he didn't bother haggling over the price. before he left, he asked me if it was illegal to ride without lights; i said no, but apparently in denmark you can get a $200 for riding without illumination. rasmus also said he has a friend who's interested in a bike, and said he'd sent him my way to check out the schwinn within the next few days.
after rasmus left, i biked down to meet julie at her community garden. we rendezvous back at my house. i almost beat her back (because i ran red lights and took a short cut), but she still got there a few seconds ahead of me. she said she purposely went the longer way to give me more time. i barely heard her because my pounding heart was still trying to catch up. we drove to my community garden and i showed her my plot and gave her some instructions. she dropped me off back at my place.
dinner came in the form of a simple ham sandwich with mayonnaise, the last few perishable food items in the house. it seemed a little plain, so i ran across the street to star market to get some swiss cheese. shopping is a lot easier now they got rid of those loyalty cards, but star/shaws is still more expensive than market basket. waiting behind me in line were 2 taiwanese girls trading in their shaws card for a 12-pack of soda (like what i did on sunday). they seemed afraid to put down their purchases because they thought the conveyer belt would keep on rolling, until i told them in chinese that it stops automatically. besides cheese, i also bought some ice cream sandwich, friendly brand with real vanilla (after a taste test, i couldn't really tell the difference).
flickr contacted me on behalf of getty images (through an invitation-only service) to license 14 of my photos for commercial use. most of them were from the boston pride march this year, a few blizzard of 2013 photos, a double rainbow pic, and (somewhat random) the photo i took of vietnamese girls biking in the rain wearing colorful ponchos in the city of hue. the hard part was finding the original source files because getty wanted higher resolution that what i normally put up on flickr. i'm not sure how much i can make (these photos are for editorial purposes), but it's pretty by-the-book as i also had to fill out some tax information.
by 11:00 the sweet black tea (which i'd already divided into the 2 jars) was cool enough to the touch that i added the scobies. i picked out the newest ones and threw away the others.
this morning i saw the specs for the canon 70D, the newer version of the 60D camera that i use. it's got a bunch of new features like dual pixel CMOS autofocus, touchscreen, and wifi, but the thing that makes me covet this new model is the 7 fps shooting rate. i also like the 360° dial (unlike the current 60D dial, which can't do a full rotation).
just 12 items on my to-do list! hopefully tomorrow i can cut that list in half. highlights include getting new smoke detectors for the house, recaulking the bathroom, and putting my motorcycle away for the summer.
alex called me (on my phone) from japan around 2:00, trapped in a server closet somewhere. not to be all future snob, but i have an easier time talking via videochat than i do just on the phone when i can't see the person.