the rain this morning kept me at home until the afternoon. even then, it was still damp and foggy outside, as i went to the cafe to check on the progress of the sewer line repair. by the time i got there around 1:30pm, they were just about to leave, waiting to get paid. they dug up the cafe basement to get access to the sewer line, then put all the crumbled cement back into the trench. outside, they tore up the sidewalk to replace the sewer pipe connecting to the sewer main. they're coming back tomorrow to seal up the basement floor and the sidewalk.

what a difference a day makes: maybe it was the hot weather yesterday, or could be the rain of today, but whatever it was seemed to have awaken a lot of plants as i saw colors i didn't see yesterday. besides the magnolias i'm also starting to see some flowering cherries as well. i couldn't help but to stop and take some photos.

i arrived in belmont about the same time my father came back from the cafe as well. we dragged out all the bins of garden refuse onto the curb for pickup tomorrow. once we get our empty bins back, we can start with our next project, which is to prune the backyard maple tree.

i went out into the backyard to look around. a few spots on the kwanzan cherry seem to be possible black knot disease, i won't know until they develop into telltale black tumors. in the meantime, i'll continue with the copper solution regimen, to kill off any spores and prevent them from taking hold. flower buds on the quince bush are swelling. after they finish blossoming, we need to trim the bush a bit. some of my hollyhock seedlings have finally germinated in RB3. i sprinkled some seeds last season as well, i saw plenty of seedlings, but none a single one survived. i don't believe it's just bad luck, i think hollyhocks are a favorite for rabbits. i'm doing as much as i can to prevent them from getting into the backyard. i haven't had a rabbit sighting in a while now.

i finally got around to doing the taxes for my 2nd aunt and myself using the turbotax software. neither of us have much going on financially, so it took about 10 minutes each, most of it was just answering questions. i still have some tax forms to dig up (1099-DIV's), i don't think it'll make much of a difference in terms of the amount i owe the IRS, but for the sake of transparency i like to include those numbers.

we ate dinner early, around 5:30pm, which meant i got to go home early as well. coming back was weird, i've been conditioned to expect unpleasant cooking smells (fishy, burnt, oily), it's kind of nice to come home and not have to worry about that.

this morning i noticed some of my seedlings have sprouted. they were all tomatoes (cherry, rutgers, hybrid), which is surprising, because i expected the basils to germinate first. i removed the plastic wraps from the tomatoes and turned on the fluorescent lights. just the top banks for now, none of the lower seeds have emerged yet.

my father sent me a walmart link to a pair of upstart UB12220 batteries for $5.19. the shipping ($5.98) itself costs more than the batteries. it seems too good to be true, so it's either a scam or possibly a clerical error. amazon sold the exact same thing but at $82 plus $5 shipping. we decided to get them in the hopes that it was just a website bug and we could score a real bargain. if they turned out to be duds, we could always return them at the nearest walmart.