i walked down to the community garden, where i bumped into jack. i asked him about his retirement, he said it wasn't until a few more weeks, at the end of july. in the meantime the library gets very busy during the summer, but he had a very zen-like way of seeing everything as soon it won't be his problem anymore. he saw my gardening gloves and asked if i was going to the "communal garden."
i thought the communal garden was empty but there were two women working their respective plots. i didn't recognize either one, but while working we casually said hello. i was there to make plastic cup rings for my cucumber and zucchini seedlings. another zucchini seedling had emerged. i also trimmed some lemon balm to clear more space for the rosemary plant behind it. i watered everything before i left, the sun starting to come out.
though the cafe is normally closed on sundays, my parents were there to make some special order sushi for a real estate event happening later today. i went down to help my father set up his radio antenna on the roof of the cafe. when i arrived he'd already opened up some square ceiling panels and crumbs of broken plaster was everywhere on the floor and the countertop. he needed my help to pull down the wire as he snaked in through from the roof. i climbed up with him on the roof to see what he wanted to do. in the center of the newly rebuilt roof is a large HVAC unit. there just happens to be an unused ventilation pipe where he can insert his PVC pipe antenna and feed the cable down into the cafe below. but the thing i saw right away was that the ventilation pipe looked very delicate. mount a 8-10 ft pole on top of the pipe, all the pulling from the winds buffeting the pole will eventually break apart the pipe. my father said he could add mounting brackets onto the metal housing of the nearby HVAC unit, but that still wasn't a very good solution.
the beter way is to secure the antenna pole to the nearby chimney, which is more structurally sound and no danger of toppling over. my father gave it some thought and realized the chimney was the better solution. he'd wanted to locate his antenna close to the HVAC because he could also put a battery-mount on top of the metal casing of the HVAC unit, creating a second antenna with a built-in ground plane. since we needed some more parts to secure the antenna to the chimney (like metal straps), antenna work would have to wait.
after we put everything back the way it was (my father put back the ceiling panels, i vacuumed up all the debris on the ground), i left for belmont, while my parents stayed behind to finish up making the sushi for the realtor to come by and pick up around 4:30pm.
the sky this morning was intermittent but starting in the late morning the sunshine stabilized and it was steady production until day's end, with the final number 45.34kWh. that almost seems like a let down since last week beginning on tuesday we have production numbers of 47.31kWh, 48.30kWh, and 50.19kWh respectively. it doesn't look like we'll get those numbers this week as the forecast calls for cloudy skies and several days of rain.
when parents returned home, my father was outside admiring the spiderworts. i must've planted them more than 5 years ago, just a few sprigs i received through the annual springtime mid-cambridge plant swap. they were special because they're magenta-colored and the spiderworts i typically have all been purple. from those few sprigs we now have a field of spiderworts. it helped that we chopped down those 2 dead fruit trees and suddenly this season everything that used to grow there was now getting maximum sun exposure. my father was observing that the flowers all seem to disappear later in the day but he never saw any shed blossoms on the ground. i told him it was probably because the flower buds actually close up, only to open again the next day. later i discovered online that spiderwort flowers do in fact close up, but the flowers only last for a day. all the flowers we see every day are new blossoms. if spiderworts have seeds i've noticed them before, but they must, since they don't seem to spread by underground rhizomes. i also discovered that spiderworts come in all sorts of colors, not just purple and magenta. in fact, i used to have a pale blue spiderwort in my old garden plot that i must not have transplanted over to my new plot. they also come in pinks and blues and whites. but my parents like the magenta ones the best, they really stand out against a sea of green leaves.
we fired up the barbecue again, this time grilling some drumsticks and asparagus. chicken is notoriously hard to cook, and the inside always seems bland and slimy afterwards. even though these drumsticks had been marinating in some korean barbecue sauce, the sauce was only skin deep, and the meat inside was on the flavorless side.