back in may when i visited chengdu, i went to the tibetan district to buy some more prayer flags. the ones that i had were okay (purchased in ganzi no less), but the colors were a little off (instead of primary, they were a slightly garish neon fluorescent). i've been meaning to hang these up but one of the flag had torn off and i wanted to sew it back on.

in the 7th grade i took a mandatory home economics class at chenery middle school. the class taught us how to cook and sew, but i thought it was a joke when i should've been paying more attention. because of that, i barely know how to sew anything. the internet is my new teacher now, as i quickly searched for instructions, but they were all too confusing, so i decided to improvise. i had a small sewing kit i pilfered from the beijing airport hotel i stayed at while returning to boston back in june. i did the best that i could but it was total amateur hour, although i think it's good enough that the flag won't fall off again. then using a combination of barstool and ladder, i took down the old prayer flags and put up the new ones. these were a little longer, but i managed to make some more room.

in the early afternoon i walked down to the community garden to water my plants. i forgot to bring a knife to cut some garlic chives for my mother. back at home, i took the bike and went to market basket to pick up a few things (melba toast, polar pomegranate seltzer, red seedless grapes). ever since they extended construction on beacon street (originally oxford to sacramento, now sacramento to park), the road there has become an even bigger mess. and with the weather being so dry these many weeks, it's also been very dusty, like a western town. nevertheless, i still came back via beacon, riding on the sidewalk and what's left of the empty road before they strip it down. i got so distracted that i forgot to detour to the community garden. instead, i dropped off my groceries first before riding to the garden to collect some garlic chives. my 5k egg hatched while i was working, producing a CP 293 growlithe, my first. i used my new kershaw blade, which was like a hot knife cutting through butter.

in the midafternoon i went to belmont. my father wanted to plant the hawthorn1 tree today since we're due for some rain tomorrow. this involved fixing the new fence first, which was about 25° off from being flush horizontal. we dug out the fence post so we could pull out the fence. while my father dug a deeper hole for the fence post, i was busy clearing away dirt from the fence trench. with the fence now perfectly horizontal, we dragged the tree from the side of the garage to the southwestern corner of the backyard.

my father had already dug a hole for the tree, but i suggested we got the tree further into the corner, so together we dug another hole. that was easier said than done, because there were a lot of tree roots (maple) that had to cut and rusty pipes that had to be extracted. spades, pickaxe, crowbar, mallet, pruning saw, pruning loopers - we used every single tool at our disposal. by the end we were covered in dirt and sweat, but got the hole dug. we then went about slowly dragging the tree into the hole. at one point a 1-1/2" thorn stabbed my father on top of the head, causing him to bleed profusely, but we kept on working. once we got the tree into the hole, we pulled out the bedsheet (that we used to drag the root ball) and a plastic pan. while my father used a spade to adjust the root ball (making sure the tree was planted straight), i filled in the sides with dirt. an hour and a half later from when we first started, the hawthorn was finally planted.

we ordered pizza for dinner. driving down to trapelo road to pick it up gave me yet another chance to car pogo. unfortunately belmont is a pretty dry town when it comes to pokemon activities, and besides a few stops, i only managed to collect 3 common pokemons (caterpie, pidgey, bellsprout).

spent the evening watching the final night of DNC coverage, with hillary clinton delivering the last speech. i thought it ran a little long, as often the case with these finale convention speeches, but there were plenty of soundbites. bill clinton looked like at one point early on to be either falling asleep or suffering the beginning stages of a stroke (somebody call the parademics!) but finally woke up. hillary at one point thanked bernie sanders, who did not look very happy. his most ardent supporters occasionally shouted from the audience, only to be drowned out by cheers of "hillary."

1 the hawthorn came from my aunt and uncle, we didn't want it anymore and were planning on throwing it out. i heard it wasn't because they didn't like the hawthorn, but wanted to get an even bigger specimen. i was originally opposed to my father taking the tree. not that we didn't have the space, but it'd require cutting down the diseased plum trees and trampling over all the groundcover plants. but we finally decided on the southwestern corner of the yard, where a long time ago, an apple tree grew there before it became diseased and died. in fact, digging in that corner, we'd occasionally pull up clumps of dried crumbled wood material, remnants of the old apple tree. this particular variety of hawthorn 'winter king' (Crataegus viridis) is not the same as the chinese hawthorn (山楂, Crataegus pinnatifida). the chinese hawthorn has very large fruits, compared to the winter king which has tiny fruits. hopefully it'll attract some wintering birds.