annie didn't leave for work today until almost 10am, covered up head to toe to avoid the sun. after she was gone, i got busy preparing my lotuses for transport. talk about a growth spurt: the three seedlings ready for planting were all over 7" long, the longest one at 8". the stems supposedly are hollow - like straws - which would explain why they always point upwards in the water. they're pliable yet stiff at the same time. the longest seedling was also the one that hadn't formed a 2nd coin leaf sprout yet, which was why i did some surgery last night. it didn't seem to hurt the seed, and i saw something that might be the start of a new sprout. it's vital that it makes more coin leaves otherwise it won't survive with just one leaf stalk. i put all the seedlings into an large empty canning jar full of water, had to push down the seedlings because they were poking out of the water.
as for the seeds that didn't germinate, i tried prying off a bit of the outer shell near the opening, figuring maybe it was somehow blocking the sprouts from coming out. it was actually quite easy, and if the seeds were viable, they would've had no trouble emerging. the thin brown paper layer was still intact, i didn't see any obvious signs of rot. it's been a week already though: if the seeds don't sprout within a few days, they'll never sprout. i'll keep these sedds around for a few more days just in case, but more than likely they're no longer viable.
it's kind of sad seeing these seedlings leave, it's the last time i'll see them before they get planted in the lotus barrels. after that they sort of take care of themselves, and the only thing i'll need to do is fertilize occasionally and sprinkle some mosquito bits every once in a while. i'm just hoping for an extended period of sunny days (not necessarily hot) so the lotuses can grow fat and healthy.
steve came back yesterday, said he'd be here until thursday. what a joy it was to not have him around for over a month, not having to listen to their loud stomping or their nightly blaring television noises (which can be heard from the streets). to make matters worse, he shut off the water this morning without telling me, right when i was using the bathroom. he sent an e-mail afterwards, but a little advanced warning courtesy would've been nice. i cleaned up the best i could, with dribbles of leftover water remaining in my pipes. he was replacing his washer and his upstairs shutoff valve wasn't working. that also answered the mystery why he was suddenly back in town, because otherwise he'd be in martha's vineyard.
my father told me yesterday that the commercial refrigerator was definitely coming today, so i was on standby again. he actually called earlier around 10:30am but i missed his message, and finally called him back around 11am. he told me to come to the cafe because the refrigerator was scheduled to be delivered by 1pm. i thought that was a little premature, and told him i was going to belmont first to plant my lotuses.
before i left, there was a knock on the door. at first i thought it was the team of plumbers moving and installing the upstairs washer, but it was actually a fedex delivery man dropping off my broken canon 60D. he would've left it on the doorsteps anyway (no signature required), since a broken camera is essentially worthless. my repaired 18-200mm lens is coming tomorrow, and that one does require a signature, so i'm going to be stuck at home again. however, that package has an estimated delivery time, which the others didn't, so there's a two hour window between 11:40am to 1:50pm where i need to be home. i wasn't going to open the box but curiosity got the better of me and i took a look. the camera came wrapped in plastic, like a murder victim (a la laura palmer of twin peaks). i was afraid they'd just ship everything back in pieces, but they were actually pretty considerate, assembled everything back to the way it was before. after i inserted the battery, i could still press the shutter release but it gave me the E30 error instead of taking a photo. i now have the option of paying $100 for a replacement part off of ebay (shutter mechanism and mirror box combo) and trying to see if i can fix the camera myself. it almost seems too daunting, because there's no guarantees the camera can even be repaired. it'd be a great bargain if i can fix for $100, but a waste of money if i can't.
i finally left for belmont, a jar of lotus seedlings sloshing around in the water bottle pocket of my bag. i planted one lotus in the deep barrel and two in the shallow barrel. in the deep barrel the seedling needs to grow 2 more inches before it can reach the water surface, while in the shallow barrel they're practically to the top already. unfortunately i didn't keep track of which seedling went where, because i'd like to know the whereabouts of the tiny hole seedling just to keep an eye on it since if any seedlings wasn't going to survive, it'd be that one. of course i can just gently dig them out because they won't set any roots just yet. as for the final lotus seedling - at 3-1/2" long - it needs another day or two to get tall enough before transplanting. i brought it inside with instructions for my father to plant it when the seedling starts coming out of the jar.
afterwards i went to the cafe, arriving a bit before noontime. my sister's godmother and my parents were getting ready to have lunch. they asked me to sit down and join them, but i just wanted to work. i went out to the parking lot to pull up some invasive swallow-worts. they obviously did need me for anything other than to wait, and i also discovered that the delivery was actually between 1-3pm, so it might not even come at 1pm. instead of eating lunch with them, i went back to my place to have a yogurt and watch the afternoon red sox game against the white sox.
i went to market basket to get some groceries, decided i'd make some lasagna for dinner, even though the days are getting hotter and i usually try to avoid turning on the oven during the summer because it heats up the house. haagen-dazs ice cream are still on sale for $2.99 for some reason (unadvertised), although all the good spirits flavors are now mostly gone.
close to 3pm i returned to the cafe. the refrigerator still hadn't been delivered yet, and i was starting to think maybe it'd get delayed again. i helped my father clean the top of the old fridge, taking down a heavy analog tv (you know it's old when it has faux wood paneling). by 4pm i called the restaurant supply store (after getting the number from my sister, who couldn't call them herself because she said her phone was overheating and she had to keep in the freezer). just when i was about to get the number of the supplier (who was in charge of making the delivery), a delivery guy finally showed up at the cafe.
he'd parked his large semi in the parking lot, blocking every single car that was already there. it took him a while to get the refrigerator off of the truck because he was working alone. when he finally did, we asked him to set the shipment in the parking lot and we'd do the rest.
the refrigerator was encased in a wooden shipping crate that we first had to disassemble with crowbars. we also had to unscrew the frig from the bottom wooden pallet because that was what was securing the fridge to the crate. next we removed all the metal shelvings along with the glass doors which were pretty heavy. even with so many parts removed, the refrigerator was still pretty heavy. we set it on two dollies and wheeled it to the back entrance. we realized it wouldn't fit through the door when set on the dollies (too tall), so we had to slide it off the dollies and then gently rock the fridge through the doorway. once inside, we set it back on the dollies to wheel it into place.
the first thing i noticed was how small the refrigerator was. i thought we were getting a full-size fridge, but this one was only half the size of the old fridge. true, we didn't really need the full-size fridge (much of the older fridge was empty space) and a smaller fridge would consume less electricity, but why my father and sister decided to make the switch i don't know, especially after i went online to hunt for a fridge that matched our old one. this new fridge was originally intended for cold drinks, which was why it was labeled thus on the very top. but my parents like the sliding glass doors, which makes getting things much easier and also easier to see right away when supplies are needed.
we still don't know the final location of the fridge, but we had to assemble it regardless and turn it on, just so we can move all the food out of the old fridge so we can throw it out. while putting the shelves into the new fridge, we discovered a handful of plastic brackets had broken off during transport, so one of the shelves couldn't be mounted. next came the fridge-to-fridge transfer. have you ever emptied an old fridge? so many surprises await you, like mummified foods from years and years ago. the old fridge was in such bad shape (the compressor had been replaced at least twice), some white mold were forming on jars in the back of the fridge. also the light had long since gone out, unlike the new fridge, with its bright LED illumination.
it was such hard work getting the new fridge inside, it seemed too difficult to get the old fridge out, which was twice as large. junk removal people are coming tomorrow morning to haul everything away, and for $100 more they'd come and remove the old fridge for us. but my father thought we could move it ourselves, so we ended up doing that. it took our combined force - my parents, my sister, my 2nd aunt, and myself - to get that thing outside. first we gently rocked it across the room, then we miraculously rocked and pushed it out the back entrance, scratching up the wooden floor in the process. but we managed to get it out, saving us $100. afterwards my parents mopped up the spot underneath the fridge, which had collected over 2 decade's worth of grime.
i finally left by 7:15pm. originally i was still planning on making my lasagna, but it was already so late, i wouldn't be able to eat until 9pm. so my mother packed me up some leftovers, including the special chicken broth they had for lunch, along with some rice. i took that home with me for dinner, saving the lasagna until tomorrow.
annie still wasn't home when i got back around 7:20pm. i took the opportunity to take a quick shower as i was sticky with sweat from all that heavy lifting. i weighed myself: 142.4 lbs. the lightest i've been this year. it helps when you have to do a lot of manual labor but operating on just a single cup of greek cup. after i showered and got out of the bathroom, annie surprised me because i didn't hear her in the kitchen. she gave me a cookie she'd bought earlier when she went to MIT to visit some friends. she also had dinner. i reheated the chicken and rice, added a dollop of hot sauce, and ate my dinner in the living room. no baseball tonight as the red sox played earlier; didn't bother watching the highlights as boston ended up losing to chicago, before they go on a special weekend yankees-red sox exhibition in london.
i was pleasantly surprised that we got over 40kWh today (40.53kWh), i was expecting lower production numbers given how much clouds there was today, but it was also a very sunny day when the clouds weren't in the way. today we broke the record for the highest monthly production so far this year at 982kWh. by tomorrow we will most definitely break the 1MWh mark. however, i have my sights set higher, hoping to break last june's production of 1089kWh. we just need 107kWh more of production. can we achieve it over the last 4 remaining days of june 2019? tomorrow and friday looks to be sunny days, i'm hoping we get 40kWh at least each day, for 80kWh. that means over the weekend we just need 27kWh more to put us over the hump. seeing the long range forecast, i'm actually feeling confident we might be able to do it.