when my father called me in the late morning i already knew what it was about before picking up: the seaflo series-42 on-demand pump had finally arrived! i rode the motorcycle to belmont to check it out.
before i had to a chance to do that though, i helped my father put a rain barrel diverter in the front downspout by the corner of the house by the living room. i also cleaned up a bit of the gutter so it wouldn't clog up the diverter. while we were at it, we also tried to unclog the buried downspout drainpipe. at first we thought it was just an accumulation of dirt, but there we started pulling up clumps of roots. we may need to hire a professional to unclog the drainpipes, which seemed to be blocked all around the house.
we tried attaching one of the brass hose adapters to the outflow valve on the pump. it was tight and didn't seem like it'd fit, but the instructions i read online said the same thing but said eventually it'd fit. so my father tightened it up with a wrench and that's when i noticed the adapter was on crooked. normally that wouldn't be a big deal, but the outflow port had plastic threads which we managed to strip with the brass fitting. we tried removing some of the stripped threads but it still wouldn't screw on straight. using the 1/2" plastic adapters that came with the pump, those fit effortlessly. my father didn't want to risk damaging more of the threads and said we should order plastic 3/4" male to 1/2" female adapters instead.
we still managed to test out the pump using the provided 1/2" barbed hose fittings. the inflow was attached to a 1/2" length of silicone tubing that went into the provided strainer attachment before going into the pump; on the outflow end my father found a 1/2" bathroom plumbing hose. we used a bucket of rain water (yellow from the pollen wash) for testing. the pump was near silent compared to our transfer pump, a very faint humming sound only if you put your ear right next to the pump. it managed to stop and go a couple of times, but it also stopped on a few occasions and wouldn't start back up again until we reset the power. the flow was adequate at 3gpm, about the same amount of pressure from a faucet, but not as strong as our transfer pump which runs at 5gpm. the pump also draws 0.7A of current at 12V when running, but drops to zero amp when stopped. we won't be able to know for sure how well it works until we have the proper hose adapters, which could take until this weekend or possibly next week.
we brought out all the houseplants again: jasmines, gardenia, reed, cactuses; now that it doesn't look like temperature will be dropping back into the 40's. afterwards i sprayed the jasmines and gardenia with insecticidal soap as we noticed mealybugs on some of the tender tips. my father seems to be exasperated over finding all these new pests (aphids, mealybugs) and has asked me on more than one occasion if there isn't something stronger we can use to knock them all out at once. most of the stuff i read online has just said to use insecticidal soap, which is what we're doing. i think a combination of that plus the arrival of natural predators over the course of the summer should either keep the pests in check or completely eliminate them.
my father and i planted a few more things in the backyard: 2 squash seedlings matthew gave him on sunday when he dropped off the jiucaihexi in arlington; a tomato plant by the rosemaary underneath the grapevines; and two white hydrangeas, one next to the lilacs, another outside of the fence on the western side of the house, an empty spot where a rose bush used to be. we still have two more hydrangeas to plant, we figured the best place would be in the dahlia bed, now that it seems the dahlias from last season might not haven't survived.
the lotuses are still alive by they don't seem to like the occasional night time cold snap where the temperature dipped into the 40's; that's why the leaves are all variable colors instead of uniformly green. i'm not worried too much about it though, i've started them earlier than last season (a month earlier, last year i didn't start germinating until june), with fewer raccoon vandalism. i'm also giving them bigger pots to grow in, and each plant has its own barrel. i'm not expecting flowers but i'm hoping to have 5 healthy lotuses that i can put back out next season.
i ordered some nylon garden hose fittings (3/4" MGHT x 1/2" FPT) from QC supply when i returned home. they seemed to be one of the few online places that carry such a rare adapter (typical hose adapters are brass). QC supply sells slaughterhouse equipment. i tried to see if there was anything else i could buy from them but it was like taking a peek into a world i never knew before. the fittings themselves didn't cost too much - $1.77 - but the cheapest shipping was $10. in order to make it more economical, i ended up buying 4 adapters. factoring in the shipping, each of them comes out to $4.50 a piece, a small price to pay if it means allowing our seaflo pump to finally work with our rain barrels.
i also ordered some carpenter ant bait: maxforce fleet ant gel bait 4 x 27g ($29.55). seems like everyone's seeing carpenter ants, from my parents to my sister to myself. originally i thought about getting a bottle of terro ant killer spray, but that just kills ants on contact, doesn't really do anything about the colony. i figured using some sort of bait would get rid of the carpenter ants completely in the long run. i ordered it from pestrong.com, which had a dodgy website that made me think it might be a scam. their prices were the cheapest though, by a few dollars. we'll see if they're legit or not.
i was going to have ramen for dinner but kevin made some kind of vegetable stew and invited me to try some. he called it hot pot because he used some hot pot spices, but i didn't taste anything, other than a sichuan peppercorn which he said he didn't add. there was also a strong cumin flavor. even though i had a small bowl, it was hearty enough that i didn't feel hungry afterwards. close to midnight though i did start getting some pangs, so i broke into my quarantine ration and ate a can of corn because it was too lazy to do any cooking.
evening news reported more protests happening in boston and brockton, after a large organized gathering that happened earlier in the day. these night protestors weren't so much protesting as they were trying to antagonize the police by cursing at them while filming, trying to start some trouble. i'm surprised boston hasn't instituted a curfew yet. i know it's a slippery slope where civil liberties are concerned, but in light of all the property destruction and looting that's been happening, i don't think people would blame the city if they did that.