sunmeng videochatted with me early in the morning to show me her new nubia z9 mini phone which arrived yesterday. it was hard to see because she was using it to call, but i got a chance to see some screens at least. it sells for RMBÂ¥1499 in china but supplies are limited so customers have to fight for it when it goes on sale. SM wasn't able to snatch one during the may day long weekend, so she paid an additional RMBÂ¥100 to buy it from a 3rd party vendor. the Z9 mini runs off of a 64-bit snapdragon 615 octacore chip with a 5" 1080p screen and android L.

i need new hiking shoes for my great smoky mountains trip in less than 2 weeks. i have a pair of vasque that i purchased back in 2002 for my costa rica trip. great shoes, but too small for me, even though i got the women's 8.5 size. when it comes to hiking shoes, they frequently come in sizes too small. so the only way to really find out is to try them out in a store. so i biked down to harvard square in the late morning to visit the EMS store. outdoor recreational clothing and equipment are notoriously expensive for some reason. i guess when you're in the market it's usually for an upcoming trip and people don't have the time to comparison shop and try looking for better bargains. it sometimes feel like naturing is for the rich, even though it should really be for everyone. but nobody says you need any fancy equipment for hiking. when i do my nature outings, i wear pretty much what i normally wear.

anyway, the EMS in harvard square is pretty small. they had an okay selection of shoes, but maybe REI has better selections. the only style i liked was the merrell moab, which comes in a normal version for $90 and a waterproof version for $20 more. i asked if i could try out the shoes in a size 7 or so, keeping in mind i might want to go up a half size larger. she told me they only carried size 8 or above, and i'd have to go to the manufacturer's website to get any sizes smaller than that (not true, EMS website sells them at 7 as well). i decided to try a size 8, which was a little large. i then checked out the women's shoes. there were some merrell moab's as well, exact same style, just different "feminine" colors. i tried a pale blue ("olive") in women sizes 9.5, 9, and 8.5. 9.5 was too large, 8.5 was too snug, but 9 was perfect. i almost bought them, but decided to think about it, maybe visit the nearest REI to find smaller sized men's. they're the same shoes, just different colors.

today was the day i planted my seedlings: 2 best boy tomatoes, 2 cherry tomatoes, 1 heirloom tomato, 2 thai basil, 2 sweet basil, 3 hot peppers, and 2 eggplants. i'm probably the first person in the community garden to put down tomatoes; part of the reason is because all the tomato plants have overgrown my grow closet. the weather looks warm for the next week, with daytime temperatures close to the 80's and nighttime temperature in the upper 50's to low 60's.

wangyang got in touch with me, asking for XL's QQ number. i asked her almost jokingly if this meant she was being mobilized for venezuela as well, and was surprised when she said yes. "when? how long?" sometime next month, and for a long time (project duration, maybe years). for somebody like me it'd be a great opportunity, but she's married with kid and to leave her family for that long seems insufferable. the construction business is tough on relationships.