the sun came out today. it's been so rainy and overcast in april, i've forgotten what the sun felt like. despite that, it was still a little chilly this morning, and i wore my hooded sweatshirt on a supply run to market basket. i took the fuji as my trek cargo is currently out of commission. i pumped the front tire before i left, to test how badly the leak is. i was going to take my usual short cut by star market but the path was blocked because apparently they're resurfacing half of the parking lot. i went to MB no so much for food but rather to get some oxiclean. but i picked up a few things as well (doritos, eggs, half and half, package of fennel italian sausages).

we get algae growing on all sides of the house except the south side. i always figured the way to get rid of it was just to scrub it off with some water, but jeff gave me a tip a few months ago, said you spray the algae with some watered down bleach and it comes right off, no scrubbing required. while doing some research on the exact proportion of bleach to water, i read that the better option was to use oxygen bleach, non-toxic and won't kill plants. but what is oxygen bleach? turns out that's just the generic name for oxiclean.

i've never used oxiclean before, but heard good things about it, and vaguely remember old oxiclean commercials where it performed feats of laundry cleaning miracles. i didn't even know how much it cost. even though i just needed a little bit (i should've checked my parents' place first but i forgot), the smallest size i could find was a 1.77lbs. tub of powdered oxiclean for $4.99.

the instructions i found online was to make a small batch of general cleaning solution: 1/8 scoop of oxiclean powder mixed with 2 cups of warm water. i poured half into a spray bottle and went outside to spray the algae on my wood siding. it fizzled into a white foam where ever it hit the green algae. 2 cups was only enough to treat the east side and parts of the north side, so i went back inside and made another batch, and finished the north and west side. because i had so much oxiclean, i made a 3rd batch, just to touch up a few spots that looked like it might need some additional treatment. i already noticed that when i resprayed areas that had been treated, the algae was coming off.

afterwards i sprayed the siding. most of the algae came off on its own, but a few spots that had a lot of algae i ended up scrubbing with a hand brush. i think if i sprayed it with oxiclean again it would come off on its own eventually. best of all, it didn't seem to fade the paint or harm the ivy growing along the base of the house.

renee caught me while i was working outside. i didn't mention how she was banging on my door on friday while i hid inside my house. it actually got to the point where she was rattling the doorknob trying to get inside. i've had quite enough of helping her with every single technical question, from broken wifi, malfunctioning printer, down cable, to all sorts of computer related issues. there are limits to my altruism, and at this point i feel like she's just taking advantage of me, can just simply knock on my door whenever she wants help. anyway, she sheepishly brought up something about a document she wanted to scan, and said she had a scanner but didn't know how to use it. i kept on working all the while not saying i'd help her. i think she got the message and finally left me alone.

i was waiting for my father to contact me, but i thought he needed my help to unclog the upstairs apartment's shower stall. but at 12:30pm i looked at the web cam and saw that he was already back in belmont after helping out my sister's godmother with some housing paperwork. so i gathered my things and went to my parents' place, where a day of yard work awaited on this rare sunny day.

after some oatmeal porridge for lunch as well as a blueberry muffin, my father and i went outside to work. while he mowed the lawn (first time this season), i went around digging up dandelions and other weeds. i finally replaced the water in the bucket of pussy willow branches and sure enough, some of them have already developed roots. i made a gallon solution of copper fungicide (mixed with 1 ounce of liquid copper) and sprayed all the Prunus cherries and plum as well as the Vitis grapes. i planted the monkshood on the western perennial bed, digging up a bunch of crocuses that i redistributed back into the soil. finally, we moved the ladder onto the tall eastern cedar tree to do some handsaw pruning of dead branches. while we were up there we also knocked down an unused squirrel nest.

we barbecued the italian sausages i brought. the grill was a little wonky, especially after i found it knocked over a few months ago during a super windy day. at first the flames were really low, until my father jiggled with the propane tank knob. and when the sausages were nearly done, we noticed that the flames had gone out, even though the tank still felt partially filled.

i motorcycled home afterwards. i brought back the knife sharpener i bought and tried it out on my santoku, which i've noticed isn't quite sharp as it used to be. i followed the steps - several swipes on the course before several swipes on the fine grind - but to be honest i didn't really notice any difference. now i wonder if i should also invest in a honing steel as well.

the other thing that arrived in the mail was a DVI-HDMI adapter ($2.86) for connecting my mabook pro (HDMI) to my LCD monitor (DVI). unfortunately i failed to take into account the fact that the DVI port sits inside a recessed area behind the screen, and with the addition of the adapter and the HDMI cable it can't sit flush and properly connect to the DVI port. i should've just gotten a length of DVI to HDMI cable for $2.50; now i have to go onto ebay and buy another adapter, an HDMI male to female angle connector ($2.66). the seller's in brooklyn, so hopefully i can get it by the end of this week.