my lotus seeds that i've soaked overnight in warm heated (75°F) water have started to leak out brown tannin which is normal for lotus seed germination. it means water is getting inside the hard exterior coating, softening up the seeds. usually it takes 2-3 days before they sprout. since these came from china, i don't know their viability. but lotus seeds are famous for their long dormancy, some lasting more than 200 years. that these are from china makes me hopeful that should they ever mature into adult plants (not until next year unfortunately), that these will be asian lotuses which have pink flowers.

i didn't sleep as well as i should have since i had an appointment to meet victor at 10am to fix his van. originally we were supposed to meet yesterday morning at 8am, but that was too early for me (on a sunday no less), besides, the forecast said there might be some morning rain, so i managed to raincheck to this morning. i was hopefully he might cancel and at 9:30am i sent him a message asking if we were still on; he wrote back asking me to come over. i was still in the bathroom and went to his place after i showered, at exactly 10am.

i knocked on his bedroom door but he wasn't home. i figured i wait a few courtesy minutes. i took a peek underneath the van and saw the replacement copper brake line was still dripping a little bit. finally i wrote victor asking him where he was. right when i was about to leave, he popped back in his house. apparently he went to my place to knock on my door but i was in the shower at the time; kevin actually answered but didn't tell me about it, instead sent me a text message, which i didn't see until hours later.

i figured i was free to go, but victor dragged me along to see mahmoud, his fresh pond mechanic. it wasn't until we were almost there that i realized he was talking about the same mechanic (aladdin auto service) my father brought me one time when i needed to have my rear motorcycle tail light bent back into shape. mahmoud wasn't wearing a mask and victor already took his off in the car, while i mine own the whole time. mahmoud saw me with my mask and told me i shouldn't be afraid of death since we all die eventually. victor explained his problem, the mechanic said the brake calipers needed to be bled; worse case scenario all 4 caliper valves had to be released, which meant jacking up the van and removing all 4 wheels to access the calipers. mahmoud told victor to bring in his van tomorrow morning. victor said he'd bring it at 7am even though mahmoud said he wasn't opened until 9am. with that we drove back home.

i left for belmont before 11am. i had half a leftover egg and sausage bagel sandwich for lunch when i arrived.

my father told me that the rubber tubs i was using for my lotus pots were too soft, and that animals (he thought birds) were landing on the chicken wire cover and falling into the water. when i went outside to take a look, the lotus pots were two tubs of muddy water. when i put my hand underwater to feel the containers, i knew immediately it was the work of raccoons, since whatever caused the disturbance was actually trying to get to the soil, and chucks of it had been dug out. i even found a bit of lotus tuber, so who knows if those lotuses will survive. fortunately those weren't the best tubers anyway, the better ones were in different containers elsewhere that weren't affected. i put up fencing around the two undisturbed containers to make sure raccoons wouldn't get to them. later i checked the video log and confirmed that 2:20am in the morning a raccoon was messing with the containers.

my mother collected the remaining garlic chives growing in the backyard to make some jiucaihexi (韭菜盒子) for dinner. she spent some time sorting them out, removing some stray grass from the actual chives.

i brought out the dahlia tubers i'd soaked overnight and planted them in their usual bed. i'm not optimistic that most of them will survive, they were in pretty bad shape, all shriveled and moldy. only one tuber looked healthy, but it didn't seem to have any eyes so chances are it won't germinate.