today's sequence of events was supposed to go like this: belmont - home depot - community garden - chinatown. i ended up doing 3 out of 4 of those things, saving a visit to chinatown for tomorrow. but my father called me in the late morning, asked me to bring the 5 lbs. bag of glutinous rice i had in my house, because my mother was making more zongzi (somebody had made an order for 50).

so i gathered up my things - which included plants i wanted to move to belmont - and went to the cafe to drop off the rice before continuing to my parents' house.

foxgloves were just starting to blossom over the weekend, now there are plenty of pretty stalks in various shades of pink. the perennial bed by the back staircase (behind the garage) is just full of flowers: purple lupines, white anemones, pink foxgloves, and pink peonies. there are even white jasmines ("belle of india" we got from mahoney's on tuesday). i noticed some digging in RB3, this after i specified fortified it to prevent squirrels from digging in the pea bed. i wonder if it isn't the work of chipmunks though, after i saw one on tuesday scurrying in the southeastern corner wood stacks.

i drove to the watertown home depot to get some soil for my grow bags. i did the math, each grow bag needs 1.3 cu. ft. of soil to fill completely. however when i was looking at the selection, i realized there was no way i'd be able to carry back close to 3 cu. ft. of soil. the most i could do was 2 cu. ft., so i ended up getting a bag of raised bed soil ($8). i made sure it included fertilizer.

back at my parents' house i tied the bag of soil to the back of my cargo bike. i also took some plant-tone fertilizer, as i was running low. i slowly biked back to cambridge, making sure not to wobble too much as the trek was now back heavy and liable to tip over. i drop off the bag of dirt in my community garden plot before returning home. it was almost 2pm and i hadn't had lunch yet. i weighed myself: 144.8 lbs. i'm nearly 10 lbs. lighter than my heaviest winter season weight. i really think i can hit 130's this summer.

a 2nd lotus seed has germinated, one that i didn't help along by removing a large chunk of the cotyledon (inner white layer) like i did with the first seed that germinated. a few other seeds show possible signs of germination. when i pressed the soft seeds to see what's inside, i can kind of see some greens. later in the afternoon my 50W datoo aquarium heater ($8) arrived. i was happy to see it was short (6.7" as advertised) and can completely fit inside the large glass jar i'm using to germinate my lotus seeds. i plugged it in right away, it seemed to be working. i hooked it up to a wattmeter to check the power. strangely, even though it's advertised as a 50W heater, it was actually using 75W. datoo doesn't even sell a 75W heater. either way, the overall energy consumption is still the same, because a 75W will heat up the water faster so it doesn't have to stay on as long.

for lunch i made a simple chicken kielbasa english muffin sandwich with some homemade sauerkraut. i also had a plate of navel orange slices. i finally went back to the community garden by 3:30pm to plant all my seedlings.

i went to the garden with these plants: japanese long eggplant (2 seedlings grown close together), 3 'better boy' tomatoes (i split the 6-pack, other 3 in belmont), 3 salsa hot peppers (6-pack split as well), apache pepper (from mahoney's), and an 'early doll' tomato (mahoney's). i also brought 2 more 10-gallon grow bags. i filled them with dirt - each taking up 1 cu. ft. of soil - but they still needed more soil, so i couldn't grow anything in them for the time being. i decided one of them i'll grow some flowers from seeds (perhaps cosmos), while the other i'll grow some cucumbers. i have two more grow bags - to those i decided to grow my best plants: the 'early doll' tomato and one of the japanese eggplants. it was difficult splitting the eggplant seedlings - the roots were pretty tangled - i did the best i could, planting the one with more roots by itself in the grow bag while the other i planted directly in the ground. i then had to very quickly decide how i'm going to lay out my garden for the rest of the season. i decided on two rows of plants on the eastern half of my plot - the side that gets the most sun exposure. a row of 'best boy' tomatoes, then a row of hot peppers directly in front of that - salsa and the one apache pepper. i had 6 plastic cups that i cut up to use as protective collars around some of the seedlings. i didn't finish until almost 5pm.

steve wrote me this morning, asked if i'd be home tomorrow morning to let in the cable guy because marti was having problems with her comcast router and needed to leave by 8:30am. i wrote marti back, told her i'd be happy to take a look at the router, and set up the guest wifi on my router (which was working just fine) so she could get online in the meantime. she wrote me back in the late afternoon, said she just came home and was available until 6pm. i rang her doorbell and she let me upstairs. she was wearing some sort of yoga outfit and mentioned something about going out for a run. she said she did unplug and plug in the router but it still wasn't working. i saw it was an xfinity gateway, which controls everything (internet/wifi/cable/phone). there's not much to be done when those things go bad, other than to replace it. with that i went back downstairs.

today we had the lowest production of this month, but even at 33.85 kWh it wasn't that bad, given the weather condition, with very thick obscuring clouds that repeatedly blocked out the sun. it was worse in the morning, better in the afternoon, but we still only made about 60% of what we potentially could've made.

i started watching the new swamp thing series, mostly because i like the main actress, crystal reed (first noticed her in gotham). but i learned today that the show had already been cancelled after just airing a single episode. not because of ratings but because the studio could no longer afford the show (something about no longer qualifying for tax rebates in north carolina where the show is shot).

i had dinner around 7pm, heated up a pair of zongzi. i took a shower before the hockey game started at 8pm. bruins ended up losing, 1-2, the series now stands at 3-2, the st.louis blues needs just one more victory to win the stanley cup, with the next game back in st.louis on sunday night.

i do at least two water changes for my lotus seeds, once in the morning, once in the evening. by then the 2nd sprout was starting to unfurl, and a 3rd seed showed definite signs of germinating by tomorrow or the next day. i think the heated water is going to really accelerate their development. they're growing so fast, i'm worried that it won't be warm enough for me to move them outside. the heater was set to 78°F but the water was reading 85°F. i figured it was because it was heating such a small amount of water, so i lowered the heater temperature to 76°F. after i saw it heating up the water (still using up 75W, no change there), i took another reading and saw that it was still 85°F, no change. it doesn't matter too much for me since 70-90°F is still optimal temperature for lotus seed germination. i think the problem is mostly because it's heating up so little water when it's rated to heat up up to 25 gallons (100 liter) of water.

annie came home late, around 10pm. i imagine she's going out to dinner with friends after work, but i think the truth is probably she's just working late at the office and buying her dinner. i'm curious to know what she's been eating because in the week since she's moved in, i've never seen her eating, just drinking her hot water. i asked her if she likes zongzi and said my mother made some to share. she seemed so happy, because just so happens she was speaking with her mother earlier about duanwu festival and she figured she'd have to go out and buy some zongzi. being from beijing, they like their zongzi sweet, but she said she's had savory zongzis before as well, when she was in shanghai. when i gave her a choice, she picked the savory version. i also told her about the pride parade, not sure if she's going to tag along with me or try going with friends. i'm fine either way, but if she came with me, it'd give me a chance to ask her more questions (more than the 2-3 minutes of quick chitchat every night when she comes home).