there was another harvard lunch lecture, "gender, gambling, and the state in the militarized islands between china and taiwan" by lin wei-ping. there was also an asian studies anniversary event happening today, so the turnout for this lecture was not as large despite the free food. when i came in, i saw some graduate students not attending the lecture had already pilfered some food and secretly eating in their cramped offices. i've learned from experience that the title to these lectures are always more ambitious than the lectures themselves. this one just focused on the matsu islands, the first half of the lecture talking about matsu's history, the second half about gambling practices. i didn't really get how the various pieces tied together, or why gambling in matsu was any different than gambling elsewhere. still, it was interesting, but seemed a little unfinished.

my original plan was to go down to boston, do some business at the downtown crossing MBTA office, get lunch at chacarero, then visit haymarket. but since i already had lunch, and the weather was still a little cold, i decided to postpone my haymarket trip until tomorrow. i also had amazon packages arriving, and wanted to be home to receive them. after i biked home i left soon afterwards for the cafe where my parents said they made curry and lion's head meatballs. along the way i saw yet another house with solar panels, a house on tierney street, as seen from rc kelley street. they had a perfectly southern facing roof, though a large was in the way that might limit their winter time production. after i picked up some meatballs and pineapple, i returned home.

my packages finally arrived by 4pm. the delivery guy in all likelihood would've just left them on my doorstep if i wasn't home as none of the items required a signature.

first there was a set of 4x neewer 35W 5500K CFL photography lights ($14.99). counting the threads on the helix i knew they were long, but i wasn't prepared for just how long, longer than a can of soda. they might get in the way if i'm making a tabletop softbox, but i'll only know for sure once i start building the DIY lowel ego. with my camera's manual white balance set to 5500K the light gives good colors. how well they mimic natural sunlight i'll find out eventually.

the replacement epica citrus juicer arrived with all parts intact and unbroken. i put the pieces together and test squeezed some oranges. i knew already it was quiet. when i juiced half an orange i was afraid of pressing down too hard that i might break the motor, which i think was what happened to my old braun juicer. but it didn't seem to mind the downward force, the reamer kept spinning without any problems. the reamer comes in two sizes, stacked on top of each other; i used the larger size, which i believe is for oranges (or larger citrus fruit), while the smaller size is for lemons and limes.

even though i thought i had the spout closed, orange juice still poured out a few seconds after i started juicing. that's when i discovered that the spout is not very well made, fragile plastic parts that look like they could break easily. besides that, the alignment was off by just a fraction, so the spout didn't close completely. it's something that's adjustable, but i don't know why epica didn't make a sturdier component. in fact, the whole top half of the juicer is plastic, with the exception of the metal strainer, while the bottom half is solid metal.

i juiced 5 oranges. the epica juicer did a pretty good job cleaning out the orange, the small amount of leftover pulp spun into a whorl pattern. once in a while there seemed to be enough pulp on the strainer that needed to be cleaned, which i did with a spoon, eating the sweet mashed pulp like baby food. there was only a tiny bit of splash, unlike the braun juicer which squirted juice everywhere (that could also be because of how gently i was pressing).

since i still had some oranges in the fridge (5) and would buy even more tomorrow, i drank the orange juice myself. of all the orange juice i squeezed, i've never had it for myself, usually taking just a sip before leaving the rest for my mother. this orange juice was intensely sweet, almost unpleasantly so. the sunkist navel oranges i used were maybe a little bit over-ripen, a few of them had soft spots (sign of impending rot), and perhaps already fermenting the sugar. still, better than any store-bought orange juice, fresh-squeezed just tastes different in a good way.

also arrived were a set of 12oz. corelle bowls (winter frost white) and a gallon container of evaporust. i saw videos of this product online and it looks amazing. i noticed the guy in the video wasn't wearing any gloves and seemed kind of dangerous. then i discovered that evaporust is actually marketed as a "super safe" rust remover: no acids, non-toxic, non-flammable, odorless, biodegradable. it seems too good to be true but i wanted to try it for myself.

in the evening for dinner i heated up the lion's head meatballs rice box my mother had prepared for me dinner. i sprinkled some japanese furikake for additional flavor.