i got to the cafe at 11:30am to help my father move a twin size bed (mattress, box spring, metal frame) to the upstairs apartment. the largest bedroom will be shared between two chinese astrophysicist classmates here for the summer. we were also supposed to move a couch from the large bedroom to the small bedroom, but it seemed like it was already moved. one thing i noticed was all the many signs my sister put up throughout the apartment; if i lived there i would've found it super annoying. unfortunately currently most of the tenants are undergraduates, from the chinese generation of only childs, they are the worst when it comes to keeping things clean. this weekend my sister was complaining about how she found crap all over the toilet bowl and the shower and how the students were using kitchen paper towels as toilet paper. thankfully they didn't try flushing everything down but that meant there was a waste basket full of shit just sitting around the bathroom. anyway, it took longer than i'd anticipated and i didn't leave until 1pm, heading off to belmont while my 2nd aunt came to work to relieve my parents.

i didn't eat the whole day and had a cannoli my sister had bought yesterday when i arrived at my parents' place. however it was left outside and the cream filling had turned sour, but i ate it anyway, with no side effects.

good news: that one lotus that had no coin leaf sprout (the one with the sun damaged leaf) finally managed to make one after all. but the weird thing is the sprout is coming out of the ground a few inches away from the seed, almost like it's an aerial leaf, which is impossible, since this is only coin leaf 3 (lotuses make 4 coin leaves before they start making aerial leaves). but it was buried too deep and got lost trying to break out of the sandy clay substrate. but now that it's out i no longer have to worry about that lotus. all the plants seem to be on track to varying degrees. the old first batch lotus is fast making its first aerial leaf, the stem 2-3 days from breaking the water surface. i've never observed an aerial leaf forming before so this is very exciting from a naturalist perspective. so far this 5th sprout doesn't seem particularly strong, but maybe the stem will harden as it grows.

i finally made the connection that what rooting hormones are produced from soaking the willow branches also end up killing the Bacillus thuringiensis serotype israelensis (Bti) mosquitocidal bacterias i've been periodically adding to the water. willow branches make two rooting hormones: indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and salicylic acid (SA). IBA initiates root formation while SA acts as a bacteria-killing agent. that's why the mosquito bits seem to have no effect in the willow bucket while just a few sprinkles in everything else will kill mosquitoes for the rest of the summer. i noticed all the wiggly mosquito larvae and ended up refilling the container. instead of dumping out the old water though, i used it as rooting hormone and poured it onto my the developing buttercup squashes and bottle gourds. i also noticed that my fingers were hurting when it came in contact with the willow water, which made me think that the acids killed off all my Bti. there's nothing i can do at this point except to do periodic water changes. this is good because i can then use the willow water for rooting hormone purposes.

i took out my interchange jacket from the closet and discovered it was a size small. that meant the replacement interchange jacket my mother got for my father yesterday in size large is actually too big, because she remembered it was only one size up from mine. that meant we'd need to go back to the store and exchange it for a medium. the ones we got back in 2016 are the columbia rural mountain interchange jackets; the one we bought yesterday is the rural mountain II. i tried looking online to find the difference but there's very little info on these interchange iterations. they're either discontinued or styles sold specifically for outlets.

i spent most of the afternoon setting up the square stand for the cafe. my mother's new replacement ipad arrived (ipad air 3), i backed up the data on her old ipad (2017 5th generation) and transferred everything to her new one. apple makes transferring data effortless, provided you backed up to their cloud service. the ipad air 3 looks very similar to the regular ipad, except the screen is slightly bigger (10.5" versus 9.7") which means old cases no longer fit (my mother already bought a new one which arrived over the weekend).

i then erased the old ipad and set it up in the square stand. instead of itemized prices, my father wanted it set it to the way their cash register works now, which is preset prices ($1, $2, etc.). we ran into an issue where square would only take the first 2 characters of an item name and use it as an icon. no problem for something like "$1" but when the item is named "$1.50" it will also show up as "$1". i solved it but creating some number png's and importing them as picture icons for the price items. later in the evening i inputted everything on their menu into the square item database, a few with photos (as a test).

i personally think it's a waste of a perfectly good tablet to use it as the brain for the square stand. an ipad costs a few hundred dollars but to get one so it can act as a glorified calculator is a waste of money. a cheap chinese brand android tablet (less than $100) would work just as well, if only square would design a stand to accomodate these devices. that's why i was thinking instead of using a 2017 5th generation ipad, we could buy a cheap used ipad air 1 (which also fits in the stand), thereby freeing the 5th gen ipad for bigger and better things. the only catch is to find an ipad air 1 in good condition; introduced in 2013, most of the refurbished ones i've found online are rather worn out.

my father continued with some pruning of the large evergreen hedge growing on the eastern side of the house. i caulked the tiny leak in the basement wall. while i was watering the plants outside, my father installed the new blinds in the living room; he said it was easy since they used the same clips so it was just a matter of swapping old with new. these blinds - like all recent blinds - are cordless, for child safety reasons. i still prefer the cords, since you can raise them up all the way; cordless, you can only raise however high you can reach.

we've turned off the window AC and been running the older delonghi 50-pint dehumidifier for the past few days. humidity in the basement has stayed around 60% (the delonghi is set to 55%). had we known this unit still works, maybe we wouldn't have bought our new 70-pint whirlpool dehumidifier, which hasn't seen much action since we got it. today we installed the tube for the automatic pump so we don't have to keep on emptying the catch bucket.

my father opened a bottle of moscato d'asti, a sweet sparkling wine i discovered back in september 2017. my mother and i got a bottle from trader joe yesterday, not realizing we already have a bottle back at home. it doesn't have a very high alcohol content - just 5.5% - but because of it's sweet sparkling nature, it's very easy to get drunk on it.

i caught my indian next door neighbor walking his new dog. i followed him down the street so i could talk to him about the kitchen light situation. i introduced myself, put out my hand to shake his. he hesitated, and gave me the back of his hand while i grabbed awkwardly. he said his hand was dirty from dealing with the dog. "what's your name?" i asked twice, he seemed reluctant to give it. when he did, i knew why, because i instantly forgot it the moment i heard it. i said i noticed they've been leaving the kitchen light on all night, and was wondering if they wouldn't mind turning it off when they go to bed. turns out they hadn't been in town for a week or two, which happened to coincide with a friend of theirs housesitting (and dogsitting and rabbitsitting) while they were gone, and it was the friend who had a habit of leaving the lights on. but i did the adult thing, talked to him face-to-face instead of sending another letter.

i got a surprise package in the mail today. i couldn't figure out what it could be, most of the stuff from my ebay spending spree from a few months back have already arrived. even feeling around the package got me stumped. when i finally opened it up i was happy to see that my 30 lotus seeds had finally arrived. it's only $1 but i ordered it back in mid-june and it took nearly a month to arrive from asia. i thought it was from china but the package said the philippines. it's a mix of different lotuses, but because they're from asia, i'm hoping there's more of the pink asian varieties rathe than the native yellowish white lotuses we have in north america. if only i'd ordered these back in april! then they would've gotten here by may and i could've started germinating my lotus seeds. but it took 2 batches of trial and error for me to get the hang of starting lotuses. these 30 seeds (actually 31, there was a bonus seed) will have to wait until next year to germinate, depending on how well i do with the 5 surviving lotuses i have now.

that fish stew annie wanted to make yesterday? well, she made it tonight instead. whenever she cooks it's such a production, the counter filled with ingredients as well as on top of the barstools, sink cluttered with refuse, one stove top boiling something while she's slowly chopping vegetables on the other grill. also she's rifling through my spice cabinet, using everything she can find. "what are you looking for?" i asked her. she said dried chili peppers. i told her i didn't have any. instead she's been using my sichuan peppercorn which i think she puts in everything. she let me try some of the stew afterwards, there were still chunks of fish heads in the pot, she didn't add enough water. nevertheless, it's the first thing she's cooked that didn't taste bad, didn't realize she likes the spicy.

i'm still waiting on the rent. i asked annie today if her mother found out the result of her US visa interview yesterday. she said she got it, and already purchased a ticket to come to boston at the end of the month. i'm still not sure if i'm going to charge her extra for the two weeks that her mother will be staying here. my head says yes, but heart says no. objectively i should have no qualms charging her more, especially since she's always late with the rent, and i end up having to ask her multiple times before she finally pays up. but she's been a good roommate despite the rent situation, and when her mother arrives, there really won't be any place for her to stay, so it's either going to be the floor or the couch. and if they end up doing a lot of traveling (new york city, washington DC) and won't be home very home, i'd feel guilty gouging them for more money. i can't let my emotions get in the way of business. and what i'm charging is pennies compared to if they were to live elsewhere.

i parked my motorcycle in a weird area. instead of being defensive and taking up the whole spot, i only took up a fraction of it, figuring a car could still get in. but i didn't have to be nostradamus to know that when renee came home she'd try to park behind me, and bump and scratch my motorcycle a few times in the process before finally giving up. so when i heard what sounded like a car outside trying to parallel park, i knew right away it was her, and i quickly went out to move the motorcycle (in shorts no less, hot tailpipes can scorch bare skin). she didn't even say thank you, almost like i was supposed to move my ride. when i said she could've made it, she said no (so why did she try in the first place?). i also pointed out the empty parking spot across the street but she just shrugged. next time: defensive parking all the way, even if it makes me seem like an asshole for taking up a whole parking spot.

i watched the baseball homerun derby tonight, mostly because there was nothing else on. i've never heard of most of the guys in the derby. the only one i knew from name was vladimir guerrero junior (toronto bluejars), and mostly because of his father. he started the first round with 29 homeruns, which broke the record. in the second round he hit 29 again, but that's when things got interesting, because joc pederson (LA dodgers) also hit 29, almost beating guerrero. pederson i recognize from when the red sox faced the dodgers this season (or was it during the playoffs?). it then went into 3 tie breaks, while each slugger racked up their total homeruns. the round ended with guerrero up by 40, pederson losing with 39. in the final, you could tell guerrero was gassed, because his hits didn't have the velocity he had before. he finished with 22 homeruns, a respectable number. unfortunately his opponent pete alonso (NY mets) ended up hitting 23 homeruns to win the derby. but tell me this: does alonso deserve to win when he only hit a combined total of 57 homeruns tonight, while guerrero had 91? even pederson had 60 homers. they should change the rules to homeruns total becaue guerrero got robbed. alonso should give him the million dollar prize money.