i made a quick lunch of unicorn cereal and a salty tea egg before riding the fuji to my parents' place before 1pm, where we were going to visit zhangyu and his wife, who just returned to the US 2 weeks ago. earlier my parents were at the social security office adjusting their retirement benefits. they didn't realize they needed an appointment and ended up waiting 3 hours (nearly noontime) before somebody saw them.
riding to burlington, i took photos of the many solar panels on the houses along the way. with so many solar companies, buy or lease choices, and many panel brands, each installation looks different. i even spotted a literal solar farm, a field of tilted panels next to a farm house.
not wanting to arrive empty-handed, we stopped by the burlington h-mart to buy a box of asian pears as a gift. my parents also finally found bubble ice tea taro powder, which coincidentally happened right when i started asking them if they thought we'd find any of it here.
with the assistance of google, we found a shortcut from h-mart to binbin's place, without needed to get back onto the highway. we arrived around 2:30pm.
zhangyu and his wife are here in town from northeast china to take care of their two grandchildren while binbin and jason go to work. they're staying the maximum amount of time allowed by their tourist visa, which is 6 months, in which time they will go back to china while jason's parents come and take their turn taking care of their grandchildren. my parents were just visiting zhangyu in shengyang last month, and now everyone is reunited here in the US.
only infant lucas was home, while anderson was off at preschool. zhangyu's wife was not only recovering from a bad cough, but just recently slipped and fell outside the house and was also hobbling around the house with a limp. they brought lucas into the kitchen (where we were having tea) when he woke up, but he started crying when he got too slow, scared of strangers, but would stop suddenly when further away, only to look back with curiosity. after he got used to us he wasn't crying anymore, gesticulating wildly and smiling.
we left shortly after 4pm, wanted to beat the traffic, but the direction we were going was against the flow of cars, so we didn't need to rush after all.
as it was still warm with plenty of daylight, everyone was outside working on their own project. my mother was raking the front lawn of dead leaves and grass after seeing our next door neighbor had done the same. my father was in the garage trying to see if the battery was still usable before taking it out for replacement. i was trying to unscrew the cones-spacers-nuts from the broken wheel axle after i let it soak in some WD-40 since yesterday. i was able to remove a few, but the nuts still seemed stuck. i used a vise to get a better grip. one of the nuts loosened before i could vise it, the other one loosened easily when i tapped it with a 15mm cone wrench while gripped in the vise. with all my parts ready and the replacement axle arriving yesterday, i'll be able to put back together the rear wheel hub tomorrow.
it's the 3rd consecutive day of all-time record production with 49.24kWh. the graph lines look nearly identical, but despite the fact that 6kW seems to be our production plateau, everyday the length of daylight increases by a few minutes, so in theory we should be making a bit more energy each and every day until the summer solstice, which isn't until 2 more months, so we're looking forward to more record-setting days.
my parents salted the fish fillet they bought from h-mart before frying them. i'm sort of picky when it comes to fish, but salted fried fish is one of my favorites. actually, the steamed drumsticks tasty fishier than the fish themselves.
back at home, when i went to go put my bike away, i checked the rear tire of my cargo bike: flat again! working in the dark illuminated intermittently by the motion detecting LED light bulb (i had to wave my hand in front of the light every 40 seconds to turn the light back on), i replaced the inner tube one more time, this time with the kenda tube, which minutes ago i'd checked in the bathtub and discovered another tiny hole which i patched (3rd patch). not sure if this will hold but i'm feeling optimistic.
i pulled off all the reflective mylar panels so i could give my seedlings a thorough watering and fill the gravel trays with water. tomatoes are doing well, the peppers and eggplants still seem tiny. i need to divide up my thai basils at some point. normally i'd just thin them out, but i kind of want more basil so i'm looking to salvage some seedlings and replant them in individual pots.
i've been eating kvikk lunsj, which frances told me is norwegian kit kat. i don't know why, but the chocolate bars are stamped with images of storks.