i arrived in belmont at 9:00 and immediately started sanding. today i worked on the left edge of the western wall, touch up work. i brought out the belt sander and the shop vac, but i ended up using the orbital sander as-is, emptying out the dust collection bag every 20 minutes or so. i stopped working by 1:00, the combination of the heat plus the sun making it uncomfortable to be outside. by 1:30 i had everything cleaned up and taken a shower. my mother came home soon afterwards, an hour later my came back as well. my sister showed up too, dropping off hailey, returning a few hours later to collect her.

i bought my bus tickets to new york city for next weekend. my uncle willy has some business in the big apple and invited me down there to hang out with him. i leave early sunday morning, come back tuesday night. the only catch is my one-week phd astrophysicist tenant from spain is arriving that sunday night, so i won't able to welcome her. i'll make it up to her later in the week, but at least she'll have a day or two where she can have the house to herself.

for dinner we had some homemade thai red curry. we were using authentic red curry paste this time, which is much spicier than the prik khing paste from last time. we also had thai fish sauce. from the backyard garden we had eggplants, thai basil, and some tomatoes.

packages were waiting for me on my doorstep when i rode home: frozen figurines (purchased by frances), shop vac adapter, apple earpods, and my new lowepro camera bag. i took a quick listen with earpods, which has the new design; the sound is vastly better than the earphones i normally use, particularly the bass which is amazing, and makes me think how much music i've been missing out due to inferior sound equipment. apple sells them for $29 but i got them from a4c.com which sells these genuine earpods (minus packaging) for just $7. i ended up buying another pair, giving these to my mother.

as for the lowepro nova sport 17L, i managed to fit 4 lenses (minus their neoprene pouch, which isn't needed because the bag has padding), 1 flash, and 1 camera with another lens attached. it's actually smaller than i'd imagined, sort of looks like one of those insulated picnic bags. the orange-red color makes it conspicuous, but that just means it won't be easy to lose.

later in the evening i went to star market before they closed to buy a watermelon ($2.99 sale) for my mother.

140803: this was my last day in changshou before i make my way west to western sichuan the next morning. sunmeng was still helping me pack up my things, since once i'm gone zhangkai will move into my apartment (the lease on his place a few floors in the same building was about is due to expire). later we took a taxi to sunmeng's place where i was storing my luggage while i was on vacation. her apartment doesn't have an elevator so it took us a while to pull the heavy suitcases up 4 flights of stairs. we returned to my apartment, where later i'd give her some more things to take back home with her.