karen didn't leave for work until almost noontime today. nervous that she might want to use the bathroom and not knowing when she might leave, i didn't have a very good poo this morning. it was only after she left did i go back to the bathroom to finish my business. afterwards i went to market basket to get a few things, including onion buns for my pulled chicken, which i still had a lot leftover in the fridge. however, i bought a roast beef sandwich for lunch instead, just so i won't have to eat pulled chicken again.

my mother called me at 2:30pm to tell me her new 2017 ipad had just arrived. i went to the cafe to help her set it up. she got the gold edition, which you can't see once the protective cover is in place. it's pretty nice, smaller than the ipad 2 but the same 9.7" screen with a higher retina display resolution. because she never backed up her old ipad to icloud, nor remember the last time she backed up to a computer, there wasn't anything to transfer over. we used her existing apple account, just created a fresh ipad with no backup. once we got through the initial setup, we downloaded all her familiar apps: netflix, amazon, maplestage, google photos, youtube. i also set up her e-mail and google accounts. i returned home around 4pm.

approaching 6pm, i left for an irish potato famine lecture at the harvard science center. i've gone by this building a bunch of times but i've never been inside. the talk was about the evolution and migration of the potato blight (aka late blight). it was interesting but loaded with scientific data that made me very drowsy by the midway point. the late blight (Phytophthora infestans) that affects potatoes also affects tomatoes as well. it's been around for centuries and so far scientists haven't been able to develop a potato that's entirely impervious to it. the blight fungus (although technically it's not a fungus) has a very large genetic code (far larger than any other pathogens) that allows it to easy overcome any natural defenses. the current solution for potato crops is to spray with fungicide 5-15 times a season. new research testing genetically modified potatoes in africa look promising, but still require fungicide spray (though only twice).

i returned home by 7:30pm. i wasn't sure if karen was home yet, but when i felt her key on the dead bolt lock, i had my answer. she was in her room with the door closed. her huawei honor 5x phone was supposed to arrive today but i didn't see yet, and was hoping she'd picked it up when she got back. that's exactly what happened. she asked for my help to transfer her sim card but i was about to have dinner (two pulled chicken sandwich) so we did it afterwards. fortunately it uses the same microSIM card slot as her old iphone, so there was no need to cut the card or use an adapter. we put in the card, turned on the phone, and after a few seconds, the phone bar went to full showing that it connected.

i spent the rest of the evening watching the 2nd playoff game between the washington wizards and the boston celtics on TNT streaming from my computer (boston leads 1-0 in the series). it's rough being a boston sports fan when you don't have cable. the only local sport i can watch over the airwaves are the patriots games. everything else i need cable: red sox baseball, celtics basketball. i've been pretty out of it in terms of NBA news, i knew boston was doing well, but surprised to find out that the celtics were the number 1 seed in the eastern conference (i assumed that spot went to cleveland).

tonight's game was a beauty, celtics trailed throughout, then came back towards the end, with the game going into overtime. celtics won in the end, 129-119, with isaiah thomas scoring 53, just days after going to his sister's funeral and then getting his front tooth knocked out in sunday's game versus the wizards and having to undergo 2 days of oral surgery to fix it. i don't know how i'm going to see the rest of the series, but friday night's game is on ESPN, and i should be able to stream it through roku. it was also a bloody game, with people getting headbutted, heads bouncing off of floors, and one wizard player who got hit in the nose and began gushing blood onto the court. even isaiah thomas fell on his face, jaw hitting the floor were he had days of oral surgery. if it wasn't for his mouthguard, all his teeth would get knocked out again.