today marked the start of 4 more additional weeks worth of road work on beacon street, after they discovered gas pipes had to be replaced as well, as they put it, "in order to conduct necessary but unforeseen gas service line repairs." this work was more extensive and required the whole street to be shut down. of course somehow they botched closing off the streets, as a traffic jam started to form on my road. not so bad when it's a compact car, but there were also semi's that could only escape by backing up down a one way street. fortunately my motorcycle was parked on a side road behind some cars, no danger of getting accidentally dinged.

after lunch i went to the community garden to water my plants. on friday night somebody from the garden called me asking if i could help water their plot while they were away. it wasn't even a plot that was directly adjacent to mine, so not sure how they decided to call me. i never met the person either, but being that i'm a nice guy, i said sure anyway. i didn't water all weekend and the 2 days of hot weather had wilted my pepper and basil plants. a lesson seasoned gardener would've panicked; but i knew if i gave the plants enough water, chances are they'd be resuscitated. i spent a good long time thoroughly saturating the soil. the pepper seemed to have revived, the basil still looked weak. hopefully it'll spring back to life once it absorbs enough water. i also watered the other plot, but none of his plants were wilting like mine.

my 2 tomato plants seemed to be handling the heat rather well. the wild tomato showed zero sign of wilting, already used to the harsh conditions. the goliath bush had a little bit of wilting on the lower leaves, but otherwise okay. as for my 6 eggplant seedlings, apparently they love the heat too; all of them were fine, except the leaves seem a little yellow, less than full green. maybe that will change as the season progresses.

i stopped by the cafe to take some photos of a refrigerated display cabinet my parents were thinking about selling. my godmother's son alex was there moving some furniture he has stored in the cafe basement. my parents also told me they needed to buy a new espresso machine immediately, as their backup machine suddenly died today (the briel that i helped them buy 7 years ago). their original machine was a fancy commercial grade rancilio that costs thousands of dollars, but they're tired of it constantly breaking down and requiring costly repairs. the briel - bought for $400 - actually makes better tasting espresso than the rancilio, with a very thick layer of crema. the problem was it stopped heating, even though all other functions seemed okay.

after everyone reassembled in belmont around 3pm, we left a bit later to the burlington bed bath & beyond. my mother stuffed her purse with a collection of bb&b coupons (i used to have a big cache as well, but tossed them out when i was doing early spring cleaning).

we stopped at the burlington market basket to do some grocery shopping first. my parents were in search of sugar free jones' black cherry soda, which none of the MB seem to carry anymore. and often the case whenever we visit one of these large MB, we also picked up some fried chicken for dinner.

when we finally went to bed bath & beyond, there weren't that many people there shopping, judging from the relatively empty parking lot (especially compared to MB). browsing the espresso machines, we almost decided on a keurig rivo, but decided against it since it can only use proprietary pods. in fact, there were a lot of machines that use special pods. i personally don't like them, you trade authenticity over convenience, and they cost more in the long run because those coffee/espresso pods can get expensive if you end up drinking a lot.

we ended up buying a delonghi ECP 3420 espresso machine for around $100 after coupon. it wasn't the best, but if it can make a functional espresso, it'll do for the moment. i was also hoping that somehow the briel can be repaired, or maybe we can score a better machine on craig's list. we also bought a verismo (starbuck's espresso machine line) milk frother ($60); espresso machines typically have a frothing attachment, but a dedicated frother does a better job in less time.