li showed up at 11:30am so we could bike down to central square to catch the cambridge caribbean carnival parade. it was actually a cool day, with temperature in the 60's and a grey overcast, but at least it wasn't raining. nothing worse than a rainy parade. i wore a light jacket but then by time we arrived i wanted to take it off. we parked on mass ave, right outside the newly-built target store. this was li's second caribbean parade - we came last year as well - along with it being his last, as he's returning to china come february.
we walked down to the end of river street to catch the start of the parade. these sorts of parade never start on time, and the caribbean parade is notoriously late, so i shouldn't have been surprised that it didn't begin until almost 1pm. even then the procession was slow, and it took half an hour for us to see the end, before we started walking back up to central square. it only took us a few minutes to reach the front of the parade as the procession was moving at a crawl.
while we were waiting i asked li about his recent trip back to china. i had a suspicion that it was because of his mother-in-law's death from aggressive cancer, and i already confirmed it because my mother had asked him, but i wanted to hear it myself, and to offer my condolences. i asked if he had any deaths in his very large family (only his grandmother when he was very young) and if his wife was okay. she still plans on coming to cambridge as well for her own research, but probably not until november. they would both return to china together in february.
we rested on top of the elevated wedge of green space opposite the old cambridge police station, waiting for the parade to arrive. although the grey sky was good for camera exposure, the cold weather made for for bad photography. there also didn't seem to be a lot of people in the parade, or that they were all arriving late. to be honest, it was kind of boring, and more so with li around, as i felt for bringing him here. he asked if i was hungry and i gave him one of my melted chocolate bars from my bag.
after the procession passed us, our original plan was to ride down to kendall square and grab some street food, but li asked if i was still interested in seeing the parade, so we decided to grab something at h-mart instead. if i was alone, i could've easily spent more time taking photos, but there was also the patriots season opener game i wanted to watch, so i had my own reasons to wanting to go home early.
the central square h-mart has been opened for many years now, but i've never been inside. the h-mart i've gone to many times is the one in burlington, and that one is much bigger. i just never had a desire to see the central square h-mart because i always figured things were more expensive there, versus the price for similar items from any chinatown supermarkets. this particular h-mart was actually a lot bigger than i'd imagined. the front part are dining seats and food court, while the market is in the backet. i say "food court" lightly, as there are only 3 shops: a bakery, a curry place, and a ramen joint, and the curry and ramen are actually conjoined and run out of the same kitchen. so not a lot of selection.
i ended up getting a bowl of kimchi miso ramen for $12, while li got a plate of curry. afterwards we browsed the supermarket. i was surprised to find taiwanese soda, but they cost $5.99 for a 6-pak when in chinatown it'd just be $3.99. li wanted to get a paring knife. selection wasn't great, so we decided to go across the street to target. i'd never been to this central square mini target before either, which opened up last march (another mini target will open in porter square next month). just like the case with the central square h-mart, there are much bigger target stores in somerville and watertown, which are the ones i primarily visit. the store was busy with mostly college kids, stocking up on household items as they move back in town. certain shelves were empty, like for towels, or for kitchen equipment. they only had one paring knife, but i didn't come with a sheath, and li thought that might be hard to carry. i asked if he wanted to return to h-mart, but there were long lines as well, and he said he'll visit the somerville target some other time in the future.
with that we rode home via mass ave. at harvard square we split up to our respective homes. i turned on the tv as soon as i got back. the game started at 1pm, and there was just a few minutes left. i wasn't too worried because i'd been checking the score and knew the patriots were winning against the houston texans. it was close though: houston made a touchdown and got within another touchdown of possibly tying the game. it was down to the final seconds but eventually they lost. i gathered up my things and took the motorcycle to belmont.
my father was waiting for me to bring him the DBJ-2 antenna so he could test and compare it with the DBJ-1. he hung it outside and tested with the SWR meter using both the TYT and baofeng. the DBJ-2 was high at 144 MHz, but from 145-148 MHz (where we operate on simplex) it was perfect at 1.00. so that proved there was something off with our DBJ-1.
my mother had stopped knitting because it was causing carpal tunnel syndrome on her hands. she found a new hobby: picking out the detritus from the beach sand she collected from bermuda from her most recent trip.
we had beef stew mixed with rice for dinner, a savory combination. earlier my father had picked off all the korean melons, regardless of it was ripe or not, fearing that they would all rot if left on the vine. we ate the largest one, which was barely sweet, more like a crunchy cucumber with a subtle melon flavor, and had a sour aftertaste.