i rode down to the east cambridge savings bank main branch late this morning. it was a bit of a pain ever since they banned making left turns from beacon street (heading south) to cambridge street (heading east). i had to go a few streets down to prospect street before i was able to make a left turn. i went to ECSB to see if i could get any info why we haven't heard back from them regarding the mass solar loan despite filling out an online application the thursday (august 31st) before labor day weekend (11 days ago). i spoke with john, who seemed to be the only person working in the loan department. i called a list of people but nobody picked up (they were all at a meeting). he ended up taking my information and said he'd call me back with more info.

returning home was a pain as well as there was construction on outbound half of beacon street. i ended up taking a long detour onto kirkland and irving, cutting through the harvard divinity school and the biochemistry laboratory, on my way to the community garden for some watering. i stayed longer than originally planned, first picking some vegetables, followed by weeding and watering. while examining my plants i heard an incessant tsking sound. i saw a tiny little olive grey colored bird with white rings around its eyes hopping through my garden neighbor's wooden tomato cages. i tried to take a photo but only had my iphone (bring my dSLR next time). it was a blue-grey gnatcatcher, which i'd never seen before, my first sighting. i also spotted a male monarch feeding on a zinnia flower.

i finally returned home by 12:45pm, where i had some yogurt and granola for lunch. jon called me back, said they received the application. i couldn't quite understand what he was telling me over the phone, but it seems they correctly switched it to a mass solar loan application and would send my parents e-mails with additional info requests. these solar loan applications are taking forever. we also never heard back from naveo, even though my father was sure they'd contact us last week. in my meantime my father has a new obsession, and spends all his time reading and researching amateur radio.

i went to belmont to water my grass patches and to weed out some more crabgrass. it's going to take some time to completely eradicate crabgrass from the lawn but as long as the weather is nice and i spent a little time every day pulling them out, eventually i'll get them under control. i noticed the patches on the front lawn have already sprouted some grass seedlings. the backyard patches are taking longer, as some of the older patches i neglected to water daily and they dried up, and the newer patches are not yet a week old. but i'm patient, if nothing germinates, i'll just put down a new layer of patch.

my parents returned home with hailey while i was out watering the front lawn. my father tried to drill a hole in the backyard tree stump with a 14-in long 1-in diameter auger bit but made no progress, the bit seems to be too dull to bit down into the hard stump wood.

li was home when i got back around 7:15pm, a pot of rice porridge cooking on the stove, a load of laundry running in the washer. i helped him reserve a taxi for early tomorrow morning, 4:30am, for his flight to seattle then hawaii. while taking down some ingredients for making sichuan paocai, i noticed all the fido jars and glass vases on top of the kitchen cabinet were caked in oil. i brought them all down so i could wash them. at first i used just some dish soap and a non-scratching scouring pad, but the grease was stubborn and no amount of scrubbing could clean it properly. i ended up fishing out a new brillo pad from a box under the sink and that managed to take care of it.

li also discovered that his phone wasn't working. when he tried to test call my number, he got a weird message from his carrier (a subsidiary of china telecom here in the US providing cheap phone and data service for oversea chinese). when i called him back he was able to receive the call. when i texted him yesterday he was able to get my message just fine, but when i texted him the address of the caribbean parade photos, he never received them. he checked his phone account online and turns out they actually suspended his service for non-payment, even though he had it set up to automatically withdraw from his bank account. turns out that information had been cleared out for some reason, and autopayment wasn't working, even though he swore it worked the past few months. anyway, he paid online and immediately his phone began working again.

i gave li a slideshow on my HDTV of a bunch of photos i took with my 3D fuji camera. it's kind of a party trick and not that useful but li was very impressed with the technology.