it's been 4 days since i last visited the community garden. besides watering and general inspection, there were also at least a few japanese eggplants that needed to be harvested. i ended up collecting 2 eggplants, 2 hungarian wax peppers, and a cucumber. while the peppers could be pried off by hand and the cucumber cut with my tiny key knife, the stems of the eggplants are almost woodsy, and required the service of a pair of pruning shears in the tool shed. the eggplants were long and had dangerous thorns on the stems so i had to be careful.

while taking a shower around 11:40am, i received a phone call from the boston solar site surveyor dan. i thought it was just to remind me we had an appointment at 1pm, but he said he was actually at the house now and asked if i was home so he could do the survey early. there's early then there's 1-1/2 hours early. at first i was annoyed, but then figured the sooner the inspection gets done, the sooner i wouldn't have to wait. so i told him i could be there in 15-20 minutes. i quickly got dressed, with a load of laundry tumbling in the dryer, then sped off to belmont via motorcycle.

i found dan sitting in his van playing with his phone. he was a little rude, barely acknowledged me, and i had to come out of the house to get him so engrossed he was with whatever he was doing on his phone. he'd already taken a look at the roof, now he just needed to see the electricity box and the attic. he took photos with a small canon camera, which came as a surprise since all the other inspectors just used their phone cameras. he was finished by 12:20pm.

i was going to have yogurt and granola for lunch back at home, but now instead i heated up a package of xi'an lamb paomo (孙家羊肉泡馍). it was okay but there wasn't as many flavor packets as in other brands (just a small piece of vacuum-sealed lamb, a dry spice packet, and an oil packet). i ate almost 80% before throwing out the rest (essentially just soup-soaked bread crumbs).

i found the mantis again, hiding in the lavender patch. it's actually bigger than before, 2-1/2 inches at this point, but with wings still undeveloped. i'm curious how it got in raised bed 3, considering it's the only one. of course i also saw baby mantises on the western side of the backyard (in the perennial flower bed, in the raspberry patch), but those were brown variety and this one was green. as it can't fly (yet), i shouldn't be surprised it's still living in the lavender patch. and it's obviously eating well since it's still growing. i'm still not quite sure what kind of mantis it is. originally i thought it was a european, but i can't really see the tell-tale eyespots on its armpits. european males grow to about 3" in size. maybe once it's fully developed will i be able to tell what kind it is.

my parents returned home sometime after 2pm. i got a chance to play with my father's moto G4, making some adjustments, like reactivating fingerprint unlock, adding an e-mail account, and importing webcams settings. the moto is currently running android 7, which i can't really distinguish between all the other android iterations as each manufacturer puts their own spin on the OS. i just know that 7 is the latest version. all the moto needs now is a memory card (for expanded storage) but we can probably use the xiaomi microSDHC.

i had a weird experience riding the motorcycle back to cambridge. i've been noticing recently that the lights on my bike flickers ever so slightly when i turn it on. i figured that was normal, but recently it's becoming more frequent and noticeable. then when i was almost home, i noticed the speedometer and odometer turning off. as in, the odometer LCD panel goes blank and the speedometer drops down to zero. the motorcycle still rides (although it seems to be struggling a bit), just that i don't know how fast i'm going. at first i thought i was imagining it, then it happened again a few times. i'm not sure if my headlight also goes out during that time but it probably does (thankfully it wasn't that dark). when i finally parked the bike, the usual green light for neutral gear winked off. i don't know what the problem could be. it might be the battery, since i only ride the bike short distances, so it doesn't have enough time to charge it completely. it could also be a loose wiring. i'll need to take it back to belmont to give it an inspection (hopefully it can still start tomorrow!).

i didn't even have to be inside the house before i knew what GC was doing. wednesday means steamed seafood night, a combination of all the greatest seafood hits: mussels, white fish, shrimps. i could smell it from the street. when i finally stepped inside, i was shocked that he had the window open but not the fan. the nauseating stench of seafood permeated every ounce of space in the air. i ran the fan in the kitchen as well as the living room, trying to ventilate the odor. 2 hours later enough of the smell was gone that i didn't feel sick anymore. just 2 more weeks before GC's gone!