i stayed in belmont long enough for my parents to return in the early evening so my father and i could harvest the buttercup squashes. i could've done it all myself, or let my father do it, but we put enough time and energy into raising these squashes this summer (against vine borers, woodchucks, and powdery mildew), it was only right that we do it together. we ended up collecting 13 squashes of various sizes, not counting the 14th squash that had already been picked last week. number of squashes is an inaccurate way of gauging how much squash we grew this season; a better way would be to weigh them. some of the stems were still viable, dripping out water like a faucet. a few stems had also set roots underground to better sustain the squash. the stems reminded me of the veins and arteries that made up the heart; each stem had multiple branches, no surprise these were the squashes to survive. we left a few small immature buttercups to grow, don't know if they're going to make it.

that potential lotus aerial leaf from yesterday? just as i feared, not an aerial leaf at all, it finally toppled over on its own. a true aerial leaf is unmistakable, no amount of harassment will topple it, and grows completely vertical. i see another possible candidate however but i'm not holding my breath. assume any new lotus leaves to be floaters until proven otherwise.

i spent the afternoon in belmont trying to clean up the house. i did tidy up a little bit, but either i didn't do a very good job or there wasn't much to clean. i also alternated between computer work. for lunch i had a cup of instant shin korean noodle cup black label, really hit the spot on a cold september day. a few windows were opened, i ended up closing them all. in the late afternoon i was in the basement piecing together another steel shelving unit, you can never had enough shelf space. i was about to finish when my parents came home.

instead of going home for dinner, i ate in belmont, some more buttercup squash porridge with some meat buns. surprisingly, i wasn't very hungry and only had two buns.

afterwards i helped my father organize the oriental carpet in the sun room. still later, we tried to figure out how to wire an illuminated rocker toggle switch. i discovered today that all the switches i bought a few months ago are rated for AC application, not DC. i ended up buying some DC toggle switches off of ebay. but an AC switch would still work, just the built-in LED wouldn't light up. we tested a dual rocker switch that had 3 pins on each side. one of the pins was a bronze color, and i figured that was for the power, since for light switch toggles that's the color coding convention. the middle prong was to run the accessory - in this case a short strand of 5050 LED light strip - while the final pin was ground. we looked at several diagrams online that told us to connect the LED light to strip to the middle pin and ground, but we couldn't get it to work. my father managed to bypass everything by connecting the LED strip to the power pin and middle pin which worked but we didn't understand why (since it was contrary to how we were instructed to wire it). i started to think maybe the pin positions were different, until i discovered that the bronze pin is actually the ground, not the live (power). once we made the switch, everything worked according to the diagrams.

the weather forecast today was completely off: it wasn't supposed to rain until lunchtime, but precipitation started falling by morning. i didn't even have time to cover my motorcycle, but it wasn't a downpour and the shower might've done some good, a free washing. the rain stopped close to noontime, and i took the opportunity to ride down to belmont. it was a cool day, i wore my shorts but with a long-sleeved henley shirt. it stayed overcast for the rest of the day, enough so that it killed solar production for this day. this time last year it was even worse, we only eked out 5.42kWh (we at least made 9.29kWh of electricity today).

i finally left belmont well after 8:30pm, the temperature outside dropping into the upper 50's. it was chilly at first but i warmed up quick. climbing huron avenue, another cyclist suddenly plowed ahead of me from the sidewalk. i was annoyed at first, until i realized my front light wasn't working, so there could've been a chance he didn't even see me behind him. the rear light is the more important light and that was still working so i kept going. only time it was dangerous was at intersections when approaching cars were trying to make a left turn in front of me. makes me think i should carry backup bike lights. if i only had my portable battery pack and an usb cable, i could've powered the front light.

after using the bathroom and taking a shower, i finally settled in to watch a bit of the democratic primary debate. biden had a weird look, like maybe he got some plastic surgery recently, his face like a mummy's mask, his skin very taut over his skull. he may be the democrat's best chance to defeat donald trump, but i'm starting to worry if he'll survive his term in the white house should be become our president. he's 76! but you know who's older? not trump, who's 73. nancy pelosi is 79! the 70's is the new 60's apparently.

i have the whole house to myself: this morning i saw marti leaving with a suitcase, probably gone for the weekend. she had a gentleman caller with her, of a similar age, a silver fox.