i went over to renee's place one last time to water her plants. the suitcase was still in the hallway. the dirty dishes were gone but in its place was a container of organic compost material attracting a few fruit flies. i tried to work as quickly as possible in order to avoid meeting anyone in the house but i heard footsteps coming down from upstairs. that's when i met daria, renee's russian roommate, here in harvard studying the ottoman/byzantine empire. she was very friendly, had an accent that i couldn't quite replace as russian, though distinctly european. she just came back from a 2 month long vacation, half the time in russia, half the time in turkey. she'd been watering renee's plants as well, but not all of them. i returned the key before i left, figuring i didn't need it anymore, with renee back in town on monday.

thinking about getting some groceries later, i pulled out my trek utility bike from the basement so i could fix the rear brakes. for one reason or other the cable seemed to have lost its tension, and would stick to the rim instead of springing back to their original positions. i tightened the cable but the balance of the brake pads were a little off (one of them still sticking), until i realized there was a little spring-loaded screw that i could tighten or loose to adjust the position of the brake arms. that did the trick and the brakes work like new. while i was at it, i also cleaned the cassette and chain with a rag. what i thought was rust was actually just accumulated grease and dirt, which could be wiped clean with a little elbow grease. i also finally removed the planet bike light bracket from the handlebar. the bracket has been loose for many years such that i don't use the light anymore because it has a habit of slowly rolling downwards. what i really needed to do was to tighten the bracket, but i couldn't even remove it. i finally had to use a pair of pliers and managed to twist-loosen the locking mechanism to finally release the bracket. i will tightened it up and put it back at some point.

my mother called me around 1pm, said my father was done with errands, and needed my help to fix the squirrel hole in the fascia board behind the gutter on the 2nd story roof of my grand uncle's house. tenants have been complaining for a while now that they can hear critters running in the attic at nights. we saw the damage a few weeks ago but didn't do anything about it. it's not only squirrels, but part of the gutter guard is damaged as well, hence the localized wood rot. my godmother was there, bringing with her a bag of burger king food. i wolfed down a bacon cheeseburger and a box of fries before i followed by father to my grand uncle's, carrying a ladder with me.

i figured we'd go up on the roof to see what materials we needed before making a supply run to home depot, but my father decided to simply patch up the hole with a piece of steel pot scrubber, leaving the waterproofing and sealing for another time. we did however prune the large spruce tree growing from the next door neighbor's yard that overhangs on that corner of the roof.

returning home (via motorcycle), i circled around the block to get to my community garden plot. i was there mainly to dig up the legacy garlic growing there, left behind by the previous gardener. i've been thinking about buy some garlic to grow this fall, but if there was hardneck garlics in my garden, i could plant them first to try out.

the garlics i dug up were not as big as i'd hoped, but still bigger than the softneck garlic my father planted in their own backyard. hopefully a few cloves can develop into big heads of garlic come next spring once i replant them in belmont. i don't know which variety they are, but they do have a reddish skin, and smell particularly pungent, which is a good thing.

elsewhere, i have 4 habanero plants but i don't have any peppers yet. they've grown back since the devastating slug damage in the spring, but i can tell slugs are still eating on the leaves, though the damage isn't as bad since the plants are a lot bigger now. i'm hoping the abuse will stress these pepper plants just enough so when they finally do produce habaneros, they will be very hot. but at this rate, if i can get just a few, it will be a victory. my dream of making jars of hot sauce with home grown habaneros will just be a dream; it's a lot easier just to buy habaneros from the supermarket.

i took the utility bike to market basket around 3pm. the rear brakes work like a charm, but the front brakes stutters, which means the pads are misaligned (rear portion touching before front portion), an easy fix. i bought a lot of fruit-related foods: some jersey peaches ($1.49/lbs), a bag of frozen fruit, fruit juice, frozen coconut bars, and a large watermelon. i also picked up a gallon of milk. with so much weight on my rear racks, i wobbled my way back home.

for dinner, i ate half a chicken sandwich and another box of fries. GC sent me a wechat message at 5:40pm, asking for the name of the chinese restaurant i recommended he and his badminton buddies should try for dinner. unfortunately i was napping at the time, fell asleep on the couch. i didn't see the message until about an hour later. i sent him the name and address (victoria seafood restaurant) but he didn't response, so i figured they probably went elsewhere. he came back around 7:30pm, said they went to an upstairs korean restaurant in harvard square. i thought it was gyu kaku but he said there wasn't any barbecue.

GC did a load of laundry then stayed in his bedroom, surfing the web on his microsoft tablet, dressed only in his shorts. i halved the watermelon then served him a quarter, cut into cubes sprinkled with some salt. he came out of his room to watch 2 episodes of better call saul.