i had trouble falling asleep last night, compounded by the fact that i drank so much water before bed i had to get up several times to go use the bathroom. i was probably still up around 4am. so it's no surprise i didn't wake up until almost 10:30am. first thing i saw when i looked out the living room was steve and paul packing up for the vineyards for the next 4 months at least. as soon as they were gone, i went out into the backyard and planted 4 hydrangeas. 2 more were supposed to go in the main perennial bed but while i was digging i uncovered a buried hosta and stopped what i was doing.

i wasn't very hungry and had a late lunch around 1:30pm. finally done with the ham, i could once again eat whatever i want for lunch, but still ended up with a bagel sandwich this time with a cranberry-almond chicken salad filling. in the afternoon my father stopped by briefly to drop off half a dozen tomato seedlings, my glass lotus germination jar, and a pair of long-handle loppers. my father told me that one of the rutgers tomatoes in RB3 had been decapitated by some critter. he thought it might be a squirrel, but only a rabbit would do something like that. either way, he was going to put collars around the seedlings and replant another rutgers from our spares.

kevin asked me about the rent for this coming month. i said to pay me for however long he'd be staying. he said the remaining student in the bedroom he was moving into was tentatively leaving on june 10th. i told him in that case just pay me for 2 weeks. i was also surprised because earlier i heard that student wasn't leaving until the 17th, so this was news to me, but kevin said he had to confirm, as the departure date might've changed.

i walked down to the community garden to plant my tomatoes. the 2 sandwich tomatoes and 1 cherry tomatoes i planted in the grow bags, leaving one more for a future eggplant. the 3 remaining tomatoes i planted in the ground. i also planted some zucchini seeds in the southeastern corner. around the garden perimeter i planted a combination of nasturtiums and sunflowers. in the empty grow bag i sprinkled some cilantro seeds.

when i got back home (3:20pm) i started cleaning my aquarium. it hasn't been cleaned since march, almost 2 months ago. that would explain the lower water level, algae on the glass, and hair algae on the plants. the algae problem wasn't as bad as last night now that i've started using the magic eraser to thorough clean it off the glass. the hair algae wasn't as thick either, i think it's because the aquatic plants have really found their foothold and started to out-compete the algae. i wanted to do a more thorough cleaning so i ended up removing the driftwoods and accompanying plants. the anubias nana has really taken off, outgrowing it's own smaller piece of driftwood and growing onto the larger driftwood. i also didn't realize how much roots it'd put down into the gravel substrate. i was meaning to divide up the plant but it broke naturally while i was taking it out of the tank. i put them in basins and gave them a thorough cleaning, scrubbing off algae from the leaves and removing any hair algae. the water was already cloudy, but after i vacuumed out a bucket full of water, it was downright muddy. it took a long time but i was finally finished by 5pm. it took several hours before the water was clear enough to see through.

the weather today wasn't anything special, but nothing special still managed to narrowly break the all-time single day production record with 54.86kWh, just 700Wh shy of another new record. the forecast for the rest of the week calls for clear weather so we're only going to be making more electricity. the month of may has the potential for the highest production: days are getting longer, the sun's angle is such that both the main roof and sunroom roof panels get an equal amount of sunlight, and the weather is often times still cold enough that the panels are still performing near peak efficiency. such was the case back in 2018, when may was actually the 2nd highest production for that year, only beaten by july 2018; that year may was higher than both june and august's productions, summer months traditionally with the highest productions. it's going to be interesting to see just how much we actually get for this month, even just to see where we land by week's end.

for dinner i had two pieces of leftover ribs and a piece of barbecue corn, ate around 8:40pm. not sure what it is, maybe it's my body changing to summer metabolism, but i just wasn't that hungry for most of the day.

the thing i've been waiting all day to do would happen later in the evening. a little background: one of my neighbors has a tree with an out-of-place hanging branch that partially blocks my view of the street. i noticed it last year, and wanted to chopped it off, but once it lost its leaves, it wasn't as big a problem. fast-forward a new season, the leaves are back, and once again my view is blocked. i suppose the correct thing to do is simply ask my neighbors if they wouldn't mind me chopping off that branch. but what if they say no? just easier if i resolve the problem myself. the branch is just low enough that i can cut off with a long-handle lopper, which arrived earlier today. the time to do it would be very late at night, when all the neighbors are asleep. i was thinking after 2am, but when i looked outside around 1:30am, the streets were already empty, so i decided no time better than now.

first i turned off all the lights in the living room, so it was pitch dark, and i could look out onto the street to find the best time to go. i wore a dark jacket i don't often wear, along with a dark hat with my hair bunched up underneath. i could feel my adrenaline pumping. finally i mustered enough courage to exit the house, lopper close by my side so if i passing car was to go by they wouldn't see it. the whole operation took 30 seconds from beginning to end. i was filming it with my phone from my living room window for posterity. in my haste to leave, i forgot the most important piece of equipment, which was my facemask. there was nobody outside, but my biggest fear is if some neighbor has a security camera with night vision, hence the need for a costume. i couldn't just leave the branch, so i brought it to my backyard and chopped it up into little pieces because throwing them in the garden refuse barrel.

now comes the paranoia as i wait and see if anybody saw me chop off that branch. as far as crimes go, it's pretty trivial, but that's how all good criminals start, first with something small, then eventually something big.