i switched out the front porch light with my smart wifi controlled RGB LED bulb, but it wouldn't work with the timer light switch, the bulb would flash for a second but never turned on, something about the way the timer works. in fact, the instructions said to use only incandescent bulbs, which maybe explained while the timer kept losing track of time when it was using a CFL bulb. i then replaced the light with a normal LED bulb, which worked in that it turned on, but when i turned it off (but timer activated), the LED bulb would still glow faintly. some point this week i'm going to remove the timer switch and put in a normal light switch. hopefully then i can install my RGB LED bulb and get it to work.
i wasn't going to head to belmont until the early afternoon, wait for the weather to improve. but i called my mother and she said my father made some pancakes, so i grabbed the maple syrup from the fridge and biked to my parents' place. i entered belmont right when they were having a memorial day service at the cemetery. i stopped to listen to the high school band's rendition of the national anthem. i noticed nearly all the band members were asian.
i updated my father on the status of futile online search for a wintersweet seller. he was convinced that wintersweet was in fact the same thing as a chinese plum (which also blooms in the winter) until i showed him proof otherwise. we then went down a deep rabbit hole of Prunus mume searches, deciding that if we were to get a chinese plum (AKA japanese apricot) it'd be the 'matsubara red' cultivar, which is deep dark pink with a fragrance, looks like something straight out of a chinese painting. the only catch is the tree is only hardy to zone 7, but it seems to grow fine in new york, so hopefully it'll do well in the boston area as well.
afterwards my father and i spent another 4 hours working in the backyard. we moved the two section of the 32 ft ladder from the southern side of the yard to the eastern side, making room for a future bamboo pole storage. we found another orphaned wisteria and planted it in a pot. we planted 5 extra dahlia tubers my sister gave us. we relocated more than 2 dozen money plant seedlings from RB4 and planted them behind the perennial bed and in front of the twisted pine trees. we also relocated more than a dozen cypress vine seedlings that also happened to be growing in RB4 to the southern fence along with the clematis. we cleaned up RB4, pulling up all the remaining money plant seedlings, tilling the soil and adding a bag of manure. the wooden sides of the raised bed was falling apart but my father gave it a temporary fix by nailing a few wooden spikes to keep the boards in place. it was already well after 5pm by that point, we decided to call it a day, i'll come back tomorrow to plant my vegetable seedlings and sow some seeds.
sometime around 3pm the sun finally came out, but it was sporadic at best. the production for today was 16.45kWh, better than yesterday, but the 5th worst overall for may. next 2 days will be sunny, i expect to break the 1000kWh barrier for this month.
after dinner i helped my father order a few amateur radio equipment from gigaparts: MFJ-4230MV 30A power supply ($84.95) and MFJ-1402B* ruffrider high gain dual band short 16.5" mobile antenna ($27). both items were backordered, it'll take a few weeks before they arrive. were were trying to pad the order above $99 so we could get free shipping. we also managed to score a memorial day weekend discount, but only 1%.
i didn't ride home until almost 9pm. it was a little cold (temperature in the upper 50's) but i brought along a light jacket. even though i've been doing a lot of biking, i still felt lethargic. after a shower, i watched game 7 of the western conference final. for a moment there i thought the houston rockets were going to win the game, but the expected winners golden state warriors ended up taking the game. now the rematch everyone's been waiting to see between the warriors and the cavaliers will finally happen. i'm rooting for lebron.
we bought another garmin gps back in november 2015, the 3590LMT ($130 factory refurbished). it was sort of on the tail end of the gps business, when people were making the switch over to phone gps, so gps manufacturers were slashing prices on their devices. anyway, it's been a while since we updated the maps so i brought the unit home to do that. i'd forgotten how long it takes to update, the garmin express app told me 4-1/2 hours which later became more than 30 hours, with a warning not to unplug during the update. fortunately it didn't take that long, about 3 hours, which is still a long time.
i purchased a few things off of ebay tonight: 9V DC battery holder box (with on/off switch, 99¢), 9V battery hold clips (10x, 76¢), and a QYT KT-8900D programming cable ($4.28) because my father couldn't find it anymore.