when i turned on the tv today, most of my channels were gone. the only ones left with 38, 56, and 66. some channels were still around, i wasn't getting any signal. other channels disappeared entirely, like 2 and 5. fortunately i knew why this was happening: FCC auctioned off some frequencies to private telecom companies, forcing many stations to change their over-the-airwave frequencies. i knew some channels would be affected, didn't realize it'd be most of them. after i rescanned though, i got my channels back. signals for channel 2 and 4 seemed to be weaker than before. other channels i didn't used to get became stronger, like WNEU channel 60 telemundo. i also got some channels i'd never seen before like TBD (27-3), stadium (27-4), and courtTV (27-5).

annie's mother left this morning to go on the freedom trail. i gave her a few tips, like haymarket and chinatown that she could also check out. ironically, those were also the places i ended up going later in the afternoon via bicycle.

my mother needed cellophane noodles (粉絲 AKA glass noodles), so i went down to the c-mart (88) on herald street. in hindsight, i could've also gone to the c-mart on lincoln street, which is much closer to haymarket (though the herald c-mart is bigger). besides the noodles, i also got two more bags of longans (on sale, 5lbs. bag for $10). from there i cut across chinatown to get on the bike path running parallel to the rose kennedy expressway. it was a harrowing ride, dodging delivery trucks and cars parked in the bike lane, swerving into congested traffic, avoiding the occasional jaywalking pedestrian, until i finally arrived at haymarket.

some vendors were still selling lychees, and i recognized the ones that had the tiny seeds (bumpier skin). i bought some from a seller offering them for $2/lbs. but she seemed new and was reading the sign upside down so got confused, and gave me 2lbs./$1 so i received 5 lbs. worth of prime lychees for just $5.

riding across the longfellow, i stopped by my house briefly to pick up a package of italian sausage and my japanese eggplant. i bumped into leon who was walking towards star market. they rented a car this weekend, heading out to the cape on a day trip to hunt for crabs and look for sharks. i then went to the cafe to unload my haymarket haul. i also bought a box of figs ($2), 2 christmas melons ($3), and 3 sleeves of garlic ($2).

later in the afternoon i went to bruce's place to get some vichyssoise. i've heard of this word before (on three's company no less, if my memory serves me correctly), but never knew it was cold vegetable soup. bruce also showed me where he grew his chives and told me to come back and cut some fresh herbs when i was ready for the soup.

today's solar production was a perfect bell curve. despite the nice shape, production didn't break 50kWh, stopping at 49.31kWh. however, i'm going to use today's curve as the future benchmark, until a better curve comes along.

annie's mother came home around 6pm. from briefly chatting with her i learned she didn't go to chinatown but did somehow wind up at copley square and visiting the trinity church. she said she had a friend back home who's christian and would enjoy seeing some of the photos. she went back out around 6:30pm to meet up with annie at her office. i didn't know how soon they'd come back so i was on guard.

when evening rolled around i got a chance to try the vichyssoise. i went out to bruce's place and snipped a few strands of chives. he told me the optimal serving temperature was slightly below room temperature, so i took a measurement with my infrared thermometer to make sure i was following the rules. the soup had a pale yellowish green color. i could taste the saltiness from the chicken broth, and there was also a graininess from the potato. there was an overall vegetable flavor that i couldn't quite decipher. i could also swear a tasted cheese. later bruce would tell me there was also onions, leeks, watercress, heavy cream, and sour cream. as i don't know what vichyssoise is supposed to taste like, for me it tasted like a light creamy vegetable soup. it was also served cold, and all the cold soups i've had are all asian desserts (taiwanese shaved ice, green pea soup, grass jelly).

the vichyssoise was just an appetizer: for dinner i made pasta. i had a package of ground beef i needed to use it immediately. it'd already gone grey and had a suspiciously sour smell (not yet rotten but close). i made a simple meat sauce, boiled a cup of pasta, and ate dinner while watching the red sox lose for the 5th time in a row, to the yankees no less.

annie and her mother returned home later in the evening, around 9pm. they went out to dinner, i don't know where, but annie came back with some ice cream as well. every time they eat out means they're not cooking in the kitchen, which is a good thing. annie gave me a bowl of blueberries, apparently her mother also went to haymarket today. in the 3 days that she's been here i think she's basically seen much of boston already. not sure what they'll do over the weekend.

i still haven't asked annie about the rent. i don't even think she knows how long she plans on living here before leaving. from talking with her mother this morning i learned she postponed her GRE until september. she still has a project presentation, which last i've heard was scheduled for the 7th. there are some logistics issues i don't think she's considered yet, like how to move all her stuff. afterwards they're going to spent a few days in new york city before going to illinois.