i woke up this morning with the smell of chinese medicine in the kitchen. i asked kevin about it, he mustn't have heard me, replied with something unrelated. i just hope whatever he brewed and drank isn't going to make him sick as i am not a big believer in chinese medicine.

instead of my usual bagel sandwich, i made an omelette for lunch: 2 eggs, a little half & half, some butter, some easter ham, a bit of goat cheese, and a handful of spinach. i inadvertently overcooked the omelette so that it couldn't fold over easily. kevin followed suit and made an omelette of his own using just one egg and some sliced ham.

afterwards while checking my e-mail i noticed victor had sent a message 30 minutes ago, asking for my help in repairing the front brake of his van. i went over to his house and knocked on his door. he didn't have a mask on but quickly put one on when he saw me wearing a mask. but he'd take his mask off periodically, when he needed some air, or needed to smoke. he was trying to bleed his newly replaced brake line. unfortunately he couldn't release the bleeder valve, even when i ran back home to get my own set of open-face wrenches (there could be a chance the valve has been stripped). we decided to wait, move the car to the other side of the street (so we're not working with traffic running besides us), and take off the wheel for easier access to the bleeder (not have to crawl underneath the van).

finally i was able to go to chinatown by 2pm. i pumped my tires before leaving, wearing the face mask i got from MGH waltham yesterday since it's easier to breathe and less glasses fogging up. i was going there to get some plastic wash basin to grow my lotuses. i called my mother earlier who scolded me for going, but then asked me to get her a few things (bean threads, tofu squares, coiled seaweed). i also asked kevin, who said he didn't need anything before asking me if i could get him some thick bean thread noodles.

the last time i was in chinatown was valentine's day, 2-1/2 months ago (it was also the day my pixel 3XL arrived, marking a consolidation of my phones so i no longer had to carry both my iphone and oneplus one). i've been meaning to go back, to get some chinese groceries, but also to check out the conditions on the ground. the ride there was uneventful, not too much traffic on the roads. temperature was in the 50's but with a cool breeze, though i warmed up eventually from the pedalling, enough so to open my jacket.

i went to ming's market, tagging a few nearby pokestops before going inside. a sign on the door said all customers were required to wear masks.

inside things weren't exactly sparse, but maybe 70% stocked. there was definitely less customers. i shopped with my two shopping bags instead of pushing a cart. i first went to the plastic basin aisle and checked the inventory. they had the three basins i'd seen back in november, in sizes 20in, 22in, and 24in. but those were two large to fit inside the 2 plastic tubs i got from aldi a few weeks back. so i went in search of something smaller. they had some that was the perfect size - 18" diameter on the top, 12" on the bottom - that cost $6/piece. i was going to get 2 but then saw the prices for the larger bins - 24" was just a few cents more. in the end i couldn't make a decision, and decided to hold off until i can make more measurements and take an inventory of how many basins i actually need.

when i went to go lineup to check out, i saw the employees scold two customers who decided to take off their face masks. "lady! lady! put your mask back on!" these ming's workers are serious about PPE! that's nice to know and makes me feel safer shopping there, combined with the less customers.

this is why it sucks to have any sort of cuts on your hands when you're supposed to be frequently washing your hands due to the coronavirus. back outside i squeezed some antibacterial gel onto my hands to clean them. unfortunately that paper cut i got yesterday mixed with alcohol from the gel made for a painful experience. i passed by super 88 while i was leaving, they seemed less busy as well judging from the handful of empty parking spots.

i cut through chinatown proper just to take a look. i was expecting some restaurants to be open, but the place was desolate. bakeries, vietnamese sandwich shops, all closed. the only business that was opened was jingho market and eldo's cake house. originally i was hoping to get some stinky tofu takeout from taiwan cafe, but they were closed as well, not even a sign on the door. i didn't check to see if chinatown cafe (near tufts medical school) was still open; if they're closed then there really isn't any place to eat in chinatown anymore. chinatown businesses are hurting the most, since they lost customers as early as february, when the coronavirus was surging in china and people naturally associated chinatown as someplace unsafe. but weeks later, when the virus was no longer a "china virus" (most transmission cases came from european carriers, particularly italy), the city shuttered all non-essential businesses.

i rode back along the charles river, crossing into cambridge via the mass ave bridge. i stopped a few times to admire some late season cherry blossoms.

with today's production (48.74kWh) we set the new monthly production record for april with 882kWh. however, bear in mind that in the previous two years (2018 and 2019) there was clipping, so most likely those two past aprils (861kWh and 870kWh respectively) would've given us even more production had the equipment been running at optimal setting. we have another day left in april but tomorrow looks to be a grey day with intermittent showers.

taking a break from carbonara, i had some instant noodles for dinner tonight. i added some spinach to make it healthier.

later in the evening kevin asked me if he could cut his hair again in the bathroom. the last time it was just a mess, i was reluctant to say yes. i asked him if there was any way he could keep in the hair in one place, but he said no. i asked him why he needed a haircut anyway since he doesn't go out, i told him to wait a month, maybe by then some barber shops will have reopened.