they arrived around 7am, the contractors working on renee's backyard deck. by 7:30am the demolition started. not as loud as i'd imagined, just some light hammering noises, but i closed the window anyway, and couldn't really go back to sleep after that. i finally got out of bed by 8:30am, surprised to find that annie had already left. i didn't hear her, she must've stepped out around 7am.

i left for belmont via motorcycle by 10:30am, to install the new wyze cam. i thought it'd be hot and humid but it was actually kind of cool on the bike. there was sun this morning but as the afternoon approached, it became progressively cloudier, only to lighten up again in the late afternoon.

the wyze cam 2 was very easy to activate, using the phone app to pair it with the wifi network. afterwards i updated the firmware (the latest version that supports person detection) then added a 64GB memory card i just happened to have in my bag (don't most people carry around spare memory cards?). everything worked but i noticed the image quality doesn't look HD even though it's on the HD setting. maybe it's because i'm pointing it outside where there are too many detailed things that the camera is having a hard time compressing everything into a video.

one coin leaf unfurls, another new furled coin leaf takes it place. seem like the lotuses are making a new leaf every 1-2 days. the scary root i saw yesterday, it's fully exposed now and it's not really a row of roots (like an old computer ribbon cable) but rather just the striated patterning. the surface of the barrel is littered with Bti oil slicks, bit of blown plant debris, and bodies of unwary insects. i'm tempted to overflow the barrel with a garden hose to clean off the surface, but i'm worried about the chlorine and chloramine levels. just how sensitive are lotuses to these common tap water disinfectants?

most of the buttercup squashes have started to rapidly grow under these hot and sunny conditions. the best are the ones by the western side of the yard, which were just kind of throwaways but beginning to become a squash patch. i checked them for squash vine borer (SVB) eggs but didn't see any. i did however find eggs on the squash plants in front of the evergreens, which i promptly picked off. i did another round of inspect, this time looking more carefully, and i found eggs on all the squash plants. i ended up picking off about 20 eggs. there's nothing else really i can do, other than to grow these squash under coverage but then pollinators can't get to the flowers. i noticed a long squash vine by the ornamental cherry has started to set roots. the squash plant by the willow tree - a very shady spot - has been killed by some critter; it was for the best as it wasn't getting a lot of sun, but still a shame, as more and more squash plants succumb to critter attacks. but a single squash vine - under ideal conditions - can produce close to a dozen squashes, like the case last year, all from a single plant.

golden raspberries growing in the old ground have started to ripen more than a week ago, and only now are the barrel grown raspberries catching up. ever since we moved them by the backyard faucet area they haven't done as well. the problem is too much sun, which in theory would be good, but in practice can easily dry up the container soil, so they need more water than the ground grown berries. we also moved 2 potted jasmines (regular and belle of india) by the downspout between RB3 and RB2. this area is very sunny, and we're trying to see if the increased sunshine will make them grow better. milkweeds seem to be doing well in the container. growing confined, they don't spread anymore but instead become dwarf milkweeds. they haven't flowered yet and may not flower this year until they get more rooted. leafcutter bees have been taking circular cuts from the rose bushes. good thing we never got rid of them, even though they hardly produce any roses because we haven't pruned them in ages and don't give them enough sun. in addition, the leafcutter bees have been cutting from the redbud tree.

i've found a few empty cicada shells around the backyard, but i still haven't heard their telltale buzzing noises yet. just the typical insects: ants, earwigs, aphids, dragonflies, honeybees (who seem to really like all the white clovers growing on the lawn), white cabbage butterflies.

coming back, instead of going home, i took a short detour to the whole foods on somerville avenue. normally i don't shop here (can't afford it) but amazon (who owns whole foods) had a deal where if you spend $10 this week, you'll get a $10 credit on amazon prime day. i visit WF so infrequently that every time i go to one, it's like being in a parallel universe which i recognize the food but all the brands are different. i ended up snagging 2 pints of ben & jerry ice cream ($3/each), a bag of pretzel thins ($3), and a bag of kettle brand himalayan salt potato chips cooked in avocado oil ($2). "tell me you're an amazon prime member," the cashier told me. she scanned my id code and i received an additional 10% off.

i bumped into the boss (joseph) of the contracting company doing renee's renovation work, had a brief chat with him about correcting the gutters. he said they could do it, looked like an easy job, would probably run me a few hundred dollars only. he said he'd either bring his ladder tomorrow (friday) or monday and have a look. the days of noisy clattering gutters may soon be over!

i had lunch around 1pm: a salad (thousand island dressing), glass of orange juice, a fruit popsicle, a white nectarine, and half a bag of kettle avocado oil himalayan salt potato chips. those chips were really good, i think a found a new favorite. not sure if it's the avocado oil or the himalayan salt, but they had a really savory flavor, as if they were cooked in duck fat.

* calling cable company to suspend service for my 2nd aunt, first person i got was no help wouldn't allow me to make any chances on the account even though my name is on the list of authorized person. ended up discovering that address already entered into database, new cable only appointment on sunday morning ($30), internet would come later

in the late afternoon i rode the bike to my 2nd aunt and uncle's new place on mass ave to help my aunt get onto the free xfinitywifi network with her ipad and phone while she waits for the cable company to show up on sunday. it's a cool place, 5th floor across from the gas station, nice view of mass ave with a bit of the boston skyline. recently renovated so everything looked new. the place doesn't have AC and i heard electricity is not included with the utilities (but heat and water is).

just when i thought the solaredge inverter was back to normal, i noticed something else tonight: the energy this month number doesn't match the system production (this month) number. the system production also doesn't match the comparative energy number (though that and energy this month are the same). i didn't some sleuthing and the energy this month number comes from the production meter, while the system production comes from the inverter. normally the inverter has a higher number, and some energy gets lost in translation before registering slightly lower on the production number. but it's currently saying there's a different of nearly 50kWh, so the production meter is reporting more that what the inverter is saying. so which one is the actual number? looks like i'll need to come up solaredge again tomorrow morning.

my sister came by my place to drop off some pies: not for me, but for safe keeping, while she and a friend went to have dinner at zoe's. later she came to pick up the pies. i gave her the pasta steamer as well.

annie came home around 8pm. even though she ate, she doesn't consider pizza (what she had for dinner) very nourishing so she was cutting up a salad. instead of typical salad dressing though, she used mustard. later she added some mayonnaise, just to see how it'd taste (awful i bet). she told me she couldn't be sure of what her plans are for august. they might ask her to make a project presentation at her work, in which case she might need to stay here longer. otherwise, she and her mother will begin traveling as soon as she takes her GRE. i told her it was fine if they wanted to leave their luggage here, but she said she'd try to ship it to one of her classmates already at illinois for the summer.

i also asked annie about this month's rent, which she still hasn't paid yet (almost 2 weeks). she said she'd get it to me sometime this weekend, something she should've done last weekend when i asked for the rent on friday. she said something that was kind of telling though, i jokingly asked her if her mother was packing her suitcases with goodies from china, since annie herself won't go back to beijing this year. she said probably not because her mother doesn't look after her too much, and that she's been living on her own for a while. i supposed she had to be, attending college in shanghai and then a year at MIT, but it's kind of an unusual thing to say.

for dinner i grilled another ham and cheese sandwich. not sure what it is, maybe a combination of buttered whole wheat bread combined with american cheese, mayonnaise, and maple ham, but after just a single sandwich i'm usually pretty full. calories wise, i'm curious what it all amounts to, but i'm not sick of grilled ham and cheese sandwich yet, i could go another week eating like this. nevertheless, i've decided i'd be making italian subs all next week: it's going to be hot (possible heat wave) so i don't really want to be cooking anything.