i went out back this morning to spray some water on the cement. i don't know why that's necessary, but i read it helps to make it harden even more. it looks okay, but i'm worry that maybe i made it too domed instead of simply flat. though given it was my first time working with cement, i still think i did an okay job.

after 4 days of night glow LED's, i finally turned on the bright LED's in the aquarium. there was still a little cyanobacteria, but nowhere near the level as before, which it could grow back in just 24 hours. i don't know if this does anything in preventing future outbreaks or is it just a slight diversion and the cyanobacteria will come back once more.

after finishing the rest of my pinwheel sandwiches for lunch, i left for belmont around 1pm. it was another warm day, temperature in the mid-70's if not higher. i made a mistake and should've gone to the community garden to clean out my plot, maybe i'll have some time this weekend. normally i don't stop by the cafe but i got diverted and decided to visit, i haven't gone there since my mother went to taiwan more than a week ago. i saw my 2nd aunt walking to work and i shouted her name as i drove by. li was at the cafe having noodles for lunch. since my last visit, they converted all the lights from fluorescent to LED's. i didn't really notice if they were any brighter than before, but probably because it was still daylight. my father did turn off one bank of lights to make it less bright.

the 3rd party amazon seller who sold us the wrong size PL259 plugs wanted photo proof that they in fact sent us RG59 reducers when we clearly purchased RG8X. just so happens the second batch of RG8X plugs arrived today, so i could show them what the correct sized reducers look like. i went about documenting everything scientifically, taking enough photos to proof the error. i was ready to send them a batch of photos, but they only wanted one, so i created a collage, which was actually better because i could then write descriptions to the images.

we only had a cheap 30w soldering iron so it didn't get hot enough (the recommended wattage is 100w), which meant my father had to hold the iron to the plug much longer to complete the solder. it worked, but a bit of the plastic did melt from the prolonged exposure, something to be careful of next time (or just get a hotter soldering iron). the final result was a working antenna feed cable to connect the ground plane antenna to the baofeng radio. up until this point we only had a short 12" length of feed cable.

despite the elevation (using a long metal pipe as a sleeve) and an SWR of nearly 1:1, our 2m ground plane antenna still has a nasty habit of cutting out and losing the frequency. we tested by listening to rush hour traffic 2m/146MHz talk on the waltham hill repeater. in fact, the stock antenna performs much better. as for the nagoya whip antenna, that performs the worst, and there's a good chance we're going to return it.

it was still warm when i return home a bit before 6:30pm. though the sky was dark, there was a band of light on the eastern horizon, which turned out to be a full moon close to the horizon. li didn't get back home until 8:30pm.