in the early afternoon i biked down to my parents' place, primarily to do a water change on my lotus jar. i helped my father repotted the two belle of indian jasmines with the 2 pots i got from OSJL yesterday. the new pots weren't that much bigger than the old pots, but they had a catch bottom that the old ones didn't, and it was also an opportunity to change out the soil, as one of the jasmine has very loose soil (maybe a lot of peat moss?) - great for drainage but it left the soil too dry for the jasmine to grow well. i also misted the eggplant seedlings after i saw a few aphid colonies. the water seemed to wash most of them away, but i sprayed with some insecticidal soap afterwards in case any were still hiding. i also checked the orchids, found a mealybug which i managed to remove with a piece of wire.
redbud, money plants, chives, and yellow alyssums seems to be the only thing in bloom in the backyard. peony flower buds are swelling and lupines are leafing out but yet to show any flower buds.
we also took the series-33 on-demand pump from its box for inspection. earlier today i wrote to seaflo again regarding possible return/upgrade, they still haven't written back. i'm starting to think they have zero customer service, since there's not even a telephone i can call, just a messaging form on their website. something we realized immediately when we checked out the pump is the inlet/outlet connectors are 1/2", not the standard 3/4" of garden hoses. that means we'd need adapters in order to use it with our current rain barrel setup. i remember reading up about it in some of the reviews, i completely ignored that fact, so much for carefully vetting a product before purchasing. it's nothing new though, most on-demand pumps like these use 1/2" fittings, since they're meant to be installed on RV/boats, which don't need the larger 3/4" volume of a garden hose. finding the right adapter was unusually difficult however, most 1/2" to 3/4" adapters are meant for plumbing, so they're mostly brass, which is not only more expensive but a little too fancy for our needs. my father figured out a way of using the included 1/2" barb connector adapter in combination with clear 1/2" and 3/4" tubing along with a 3/4" garden hose adapter to make a super adapter that can connect the pump to a garden hose. another thing i learned from a review is that the pump looses pressure when a garden hose is connected to both the inlet and outlet; it much rather have a 1/2" inlet to a 3/4" outlet, but the ideal solution would be 1/2" hosing through, which we can't do since our system uses standard 3/4" garden hosing.
i left by 3:45pm even though my mother said she could make stir-fry noodles for dinner. i told her i was thinking about going to chinatown this week; she complained at first before giving me a list of things to get. when i got back home i asked kevin what he was doing tomorrow, and that if he wasn't busy, i was willing to take him via bike to chinatown so he can get some stuff. i pulled out the red schwinn from the basement, the only bike i have large enough to fit him. the tires were flat but after i inflated them, we took the bikes out for a spin around the neighborhood for kevin to test out. he said the bike rode fine, but adjusted the seat so it was higher. we planned on leaving tomorrow at 10am, getting some groceries, then buying some takeout on our way back.
later i tuned up the bikes, oiled the chains, adjusted the front brakes on my cargo bike, added a working bell on the red schwinn. i bumped into paul who was sorting old photos in the basement. we chatted briefly, he told me they were leaving for the vineyards on tuesday and won't be back until 4 months at least. his daughter and here children have been down there for months after she was laid off and her husband went overseas. paul said there was definitely tension between residents who live in the island year-long and those with summer residences. but he said steve has family there, so at least their neighbors are friendly with them. i just like the sound of having the house to myself the rest of the summer.
i pieced together a dinner of leftovers: leftover hot and sour soup, leftover potato wedges (most of which i already ate in the early evening when i got a little hungry), and a bowl of salad with the rest of my romaine heart and cucumbers. what i really wanted was fried chicken, which will have to wait until later in the week, or possibly even next week.