started this morning with errands: went to michael's to get a plastic compartment box for my growing collection of electronic parts; stopped by the community garden to water my plants, met christine (she too has pink lupines), saw me in my motorcycle gear and said my presence added some street credibility to the garden, she told me she used to have the plot near mine (which beth inherited then gave away) but gave it up because of the medium lead level and encroaching raspberries; stopped by the house to drop off the box, making more room in my bag; went to microcenter where they were having another sale on pi boards, i got a pi zero w for $5, a google voice kit (usually $25, now just $4.99, but it's v1 so it's not designed for pi zeroes, apparently the manufacturer seems to be dumping their old stock because there were plenty of kits, i almost decided not to get it), and on a whim i bought a raspberry pi 3 b+ for $30, tried to score a free 16GB microSD card but the coupon i had was expired almost 2 weeks ago; finally came home where i spent 15 minutes watering the front and back yard.

wanting to mix things up a little, i added an egg to my grilled chese & ham sandwich; i also didn't grill the bread, just toasted it in the oven.

i left again sometime after 1pm, first to get some gasoline, before stopping at the cafe to drop off some remaining tongbaechu kimchi, some extra containers, and my mother's pom-pom makers. my 2nd aunt was there, my mother was making more savory zongzi because someone at my aunt's church ordered two dozen. my father decided to return to belmont with me so we could go to home depot.

he ended up getting some pipe fittings for another antenna project (he wants to mount an antenna to the house chimney) and some polyurethane cement sealant. i was looking for cam connectors, but my father actually found one earlier and gave it to me; it was a little smaller than the size i wanted, but it might work. i still just bought a package (4) of cam connectors just in case. i also checked out their selection of hardboards. 4x8' is actually pretty large and would need to be cut in order to fit in the car. i wouldn't need it today, but somewhere down the road, when i repair the bottom of my magazine holder and the wooden 5-drawer dresser i found many years ago that i now use as extra kitchen storage.

while my father returned to the cafe, i stayed in belmont to water the plants and add more protective cups around emerging seedlings. rabbits continue to wreck havoc despite the barricades to prevent them from getting into the backyard. i also saw a chipmunk, so that's yet one more critter to be worried about (although i think chipmunks are not as destruction on plants compared to rabbits, they're more like squirrels, digging the random hole). the backyard neighbor - now done with urban chicken raising - bought a large netted trampoline for their high school aged children. while i pruned some diseased grape leaves, i had to listen to them noisy playing on the trampoline and playing loud offensive gangster rap.

i tested the radio antennas before i left. i brought my baofeng radio this time, communicating with my father's baofeng at the cafe. his radio was attached to the chimney-mounted antenna, while mine was connected to the ground plane antenna mounted onto a tall bamboo pole. we couldn't hear each other on 2m, not even static, but 70cm was loud and clear. when i switched to the shorter ground plane antenna (with the longer feed cable), 70cm was more staticky, while there was still no signal at 2m. on a whim, i decided to try the baofeng with the stock antenna. this was weird: although i couldn't transmit at 2m, i could hear my father just fine, very clear. we could communicate both ways on 70cm, but there was just more static. it also depended on where i was standing inside the house and how i held the radio, whether vertical or horizontal, and what direction. but it was definitely strange, the elevated ground plane antenna should be performing better than the stock antenna, not worse.

when i returned to cambridge, i moved the large 27" philips tube tv out of my bedroom, replaced with the 32" samsung HDTV that was formerly in the guest bedroom. even though on paper the 32" is larger, because of its widescreen aspect ratio there's actually less screen real estate than the 27". that old philips served me well, it'd be a pity to throw it out. i'd move it to the basement, but i just don't have any room. i really should talk to alex about throwing out some of his old boxes of junk. they've been in my basement for the past 15 years, and i don't think he's ever going to come back from tokyo to collect his things. in the meantime, the large (and heavy) television sits on my dining room floor. as for the HDTV, what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality: after scanning the airwaves for channels, i was amazed by how many clear channels i managed to get, including telemundo. it couldn't however receive univision. NBC shows up as channel 8, while in the living room NBC is channel 15. the reception is so good, i may be spending more time working from my bedroom from now on.

the black silicone repair self-fusing bonding tape i ordered from ebay arrived today. i used it to cover the broken housing of an abus combination bike chain i found on the street last month. it worked pretty well. the other solution was to get my hands on some sugru repair putty, but that stuff is expensive, $4-5 for a little piece of silicone clay that has a shelf-expire and will expire within a year. i bought this spool of silicone tape for just $1.57.

i had an early dinner of zongzi at 6pm, with hopes of being in bed by 10pm, as i need to wake up at 4am tomorrow to catch the 6am megabus leaving south station to go down to new york city to watch the mermaid parade in coney island. i'm sort of regretting my decision now, it's going to be a long day. i looked at mermaid parade photos from 2016, and it wasn't that exciting. all this effort, just to watch a parade for 2-3 hours, then rush back to boston. if i had a longer time i'd try to visit flushing for some ethnic taiwanese food, but my return bus is at 7pm, and to get to flushing from coney island is like on the opposite end of the train line. who knows, once i arrive in new york city, i might decide to blow the parade and go eat delicious chinese food instead. i'll be back in new york next month anyway, when i bring wangyang and her son for a visit. i think they'll probably want to do more touristy stuff in manhattan, but maybe i can sneak away for a few hours to go eat.

it's almost 11pm. i have to go to bed!