it was unseasonably cold this july morning, with temperature in the 60's, and i ended up biking to belmont in shorts and a long-sleeved pullover. i got to my parents' place early (8:50), with enough time to finish a greek yogurt before getting to work at 9:00. my father was home, and for the first hour we set up 2 additional ladders to reach the upper shingles of the western wall. funny how i felt the ladder i was on before was tall; these 2 ladders put that ladder to shame. the tallest ladder had a pulley which we realized could be used to hoist up the shopvac for higher sanding purposes.

i didn't actually start sanding until almost 10:00, which by then my father had already left for work. sanding paper discs seem to last longer with the new orbital sander and i didn't have to replace the one i used from tuesday. i continued working until 2:00, touching up on any previously-sanded shingles that needed additional smoothing. i finally stopped because i was starting to bake in the direct sun.

the morning glories started blooming today. all are self-sown, which officially makes them a weed. the two that were flowering were of the blue variety, one small (wild), the other large (domesticated). how the wild ones got into the garden i don't know, because i never planted them. i've only seen them in my own community garden plot, so i wonder if some seeds hitchhiked from a past transplant. there may also be a self-sown moonflower if it hasn't died already, and possibly a magenta variety morning glory. these flowers - besides looking pretty - also attract metallic green bees.

when my father came home later in the afternoon (after an eye exam appointment), we decided to disassemble the scaffolding. we didn't need it anymore now that we're hoisting up the shopvac from the ladder. we also rigged up a hoist system just to see it in action. using just ladders instead of scaffolding gives me better mobility and i feel like i can maybe finish sanding the western wall in another week now that i've gotten the hang of it. the hard part is the higher shingles, so those i want to do those first; the lower shingles i can sand without climbing the ladder. the only difficulty i see with a hoisted shopvac is it's harder to disassemble in order to empty out the collection bin and clean the filter. i'll cross that road when i get there.

my father brought home a package of pre-seasoned memphis-style barbecue ribs (not sure where they got it, maybe yesterday from costco). we grilled it in the backyard, along with some zucchini (the one i grew in my garden). 15 minutes of grilling per side of ribs, then more than an hour of low heat cooking. the finished ribs were the some of the best i've had in a long time. i can't ever remember having memphis-style barbecue before, or if i did, it wasn't very memorable. these had a cajun kick, with a slightly crispy sweet glaze. just 3 ribs was enough to fill me up, but i ate another one for the road. the grilled zucchini wasn't too bad either, and i normally don't like zucchini. maybe this weekend we'll grill some garden eggplants.

i had packages waiting for me when i returned to cambridge. one from aawyeah, a cupholder for my bike. there was also supposed to be a pair of foam handlebar grips, but they were missing. i wrote customer support an e-mail asking them about the missing item. my cuatro bluetooth speaker arrived as well, in red ($20). these are my very first wireless speaker; there are so many to choose from, it's hard to decide. i got inspired after visiting bin bin's place back in june. they had a bose soundlink mini which is probably the best small wireless speaker you can buy. but at $200, it was out of my budget. i went with the urge basics cuatro because of the design, the good reviews, and the price. i tested it out with my oneplus one phone, pairing and playing were effortless. later in the evening i tried it with my macbook pro and that produced some hiccups. for whatever reason, there'd be occasional gaps in the audio. i tried it with a video, then audio only, and both times there were gaps. maybe i just need to restart my MBP or something. when i went back to the smartphone, it played my music without hiccups.

it was 80 degrees in the house when it was just 70 degrees outside. i opened as many windows as i could and put window fans to pump in some cool air into the house. it actually got to the point where i felt a little cold. i'm so stubborn when it comes to air conditioning, i still haven't installed mine even though it's just sitting in my kitchen. maybe this weekend, where i hear sunday's temperature might reach 90 degrees.

i went across the street to pick up some bananas for my smoothie. into the blender went: one banana, a cup of passion fruit juice, a tall glass of frozen fruit (melon, pineapple, strawberry, peach), a piece of ginger, and a handful of frozen kale. the final result was a dirty orange sludge sprinkled with greens. tastewise, it wasn't anything memorable either. i'm sure it's very healthy, that's the only good thing that can be said about it. maybe i'll go online to look for some recipes. i feel like i'm forgetting one ingredient that could tie everything together. maybe it's simply not sweet enough, but i'm hesitant about adding sugar, which i think would detract from the health-aspect of the drink.