typically my tour would start off on newbury street, walking to copley square then boston common. because he'd already seen those places, we started off in chinatown instead. we were originally scheduled to leave by 10am, but i woke up at 9am and was ready by 9:30am so i told kevin we could leave earlier. he'd been up since before 8am, but had to take a phone call from china right when i knocked on his door, so we ended up leaving at 10am as originally planned.
i'd heard about the ongoing red line track renovations happening between porter and alewife, and that from now until april, there would be no weekend red line services from porter, so instead we walked down to harvard square to catch the subway. the forecast was for rain throughout the day. but as the day progressed, it also turned into a fog event. we each had umbrellas, but kevin had a jumbo umbrella that kept hitting mine, that i put mine away just to avoid the contact. i was happy to see kevin taking photos with his xiaomi 8 phone; i find it kind of insulting from a civic pride standpoint when i take roommates out on a tour of our city and they don't bother to take some photos (case in point: GC who never took photos). he got snapshots of memorial hall and the john harvard statue, and tried to get one of a squirrel as well.
harvard station was surprisingly quiet, which should've clued me in that maybe porter square was still opened. riding the bus, i noticed kevin was buried in his phone, as the case for most millennials. i asked him if he got a data plan since he's been here, he said yes, but actually it's just his chinese data plan; he signed up for a special overseas student plan that's just $29/month that piggybacks off of partner networks including unlimited data. what a bargain!
we got off at downtown crossing and walked into chinatown. we started with some dim sum at hei la moon. the basement was closed, it was my first time sitting on the first floor, even though they put us all the way in the back. maybe there weren't as many customers since most college students were still away on winter break. this was kevin's first dim sum experience. i ordered chrysanthemum tea. the carts took a while to come by, and i was getting impatient, keeping my eyes on them while talking with kevin. i ordered a container of shumai, which kevin followed suit by getting another container, but paocai (kimchi) flavored. after he ate one, he asked me if there was shrimp in it, i said yes. that's when i found out kevin doesn't eat seafood, which is great news, because i never have to worry about him cooking it in the house. he did something a little weird though: we were sharing a plate of hot sauce, but then he asked the waiter if we could have another. he said it's because he likes spicy food, but i think it's because he didn't want to get my germs because i was double dipping. i never had the paocai shumai, couldn't really taste the difference. we also got some rice porridge, chicken feet, two servings of tripe, and some chashu buns.
when it came time to pay, kevin fished his wallet out of his pocket, not to treat, but to split the bill. i ended up treating, kevin didn't put up much of a fuss, i even leaving a $5 tip, which would be something kevin wouldn't have done. there was a crowd of people waiting to pay at the front desk, all with credit card, but because i was paying with cash, the cashier took my payment first, to the consternation of the other customers who seemed incredulous that i managed to jump the line.
next we went to c-mart on the other side of the building. it was surprisingly quiet for the weekend. we looked around but kevin didn't buy anything, which was one of the reasons why we came here in the first place, besides visiting haymarket.
we started to make our way to haymarket, cutting through downtown crossing, then up to boston common to see the state house, followed by the granary burial ground, old city hall, old state house, faneuil hall (to also use the bathroom), and quincy market.
i've been researching ways to combat the fungus gnat infestation in my parents' grow room. mosquito bits are definitely the solution, but the few pellets we add to our large bucket of water apparently isn't enough, the portion should be at least a teaspoon per gallon for a proper soil drench, with one online source suggesting 2 tablespoon per half gallon (that seems a little excessive). the Bti will kill the larvae in the dirt, but i still need yellow sticky traps to catch the adults. i've nearly exhausted my supply but i don't know when the ones i ordered off of ebay will arrive. so i ended up ordering some more through amazon, a 10 pack of 9.5 x 5.9" double sided sticky traps for $4.99, essentially the same square area of the 20 pack 15 x 10cm sticky traps i ordered through ebay ($3.67).
the last of my led E12 candelabra bulbs i ordered off of ebay arrived today. i bought in back in early november, it took nearly 2 months to get here. this one (76¢) was a 7W in a clear casing with air holes, the light a configuration of 24 cob led's. it's pretty much similar to the other cob led candelabra bulb i bought, except that one was just 3W and has an opaque housing. it's definitely bright, much brighter than the equivalent wattage incandescent bulb. so bright that when i put it in my hallway lantern light, i thought i accidentally turned on the 60W ceiling light. i'm going to take it back to belmont to compare it with the rest of the E12 led bulbs. the best candelabra-type led bulb still has got to be the cob filament ($1.30) i received mid-december. smaller than the regular incandescent bulb but packs a tremendous brightness though still only 2W, which is all you really need for one of these small lightbulbs. i may end up buying more of those since they work so well. the worst led candelabra bulbs? a 4 led soldered type i got back in late november; it's nowhere as bright as the incandescent it's replacement, and had an unpleasant blue hue.
kevin's shelving cabinet arrived today. he must've gotten the wrong thing because these are like 7 drawer storage organizer with fabric bins. but he seems to be happy with his purchase as he assembled it in his room. he still put it over the heating vent even though i told him it'd make his room cooler, he said it was okay because the shelving had legs, i didn't bother arguing with him. he's kind of particular in his ways, and will often time ignore my advice, or simply do things without asking first. but the rent is paid, and i can live with these minor annoyances. on the spectrum of roommates, he leans more to the better side than the worse side.
the patriots lost tonight to the tennessee titans under the coaching of former patriots player mike vrabel. the lost didn't come as a complete surprise, new england looked vulnerable in the second half of the season, the once dominant defense started to show significant cracks and the offense never really gelled. there's been talks that with tom brady becoming a free agent after this season, that our quarterback for the past 2 decades will leave for another team, or may in fact retire. i don't believe any of those things will happen. brady will come back, the team will surround him with better offensive players, and the patriots will make another run at it next season. brady's last play as a new england patriots can't be a pick-six, that's just insulting, he's better than that, we're better than that. let everyone simmer and stew in the off-season, think about what could've been, and then regroup once more next season. now that the pats are gone, i'm rooting for either the texans (another team coached by a former patriots) or tennessee.