i walked down to the UPS store this morning to return the unused brass rain barrel bulkhead fittings. it was hot and humid, and the short walk didn't provide much shade so i could feel myself cooking alive underneath the heat lamp we call the sun. when i returned home all i could think about was installing the AC. but i managed to convince myself out of it when i saw how early it was - still june. as a rule, i don't put in the window AC until we experience or first official heat wave, typically in july or as late as august. but since i had some free time, i figured i'd install it anyway but just wouldn't use it, so when it finally came time for me to crank the AC, it'd be ready to go.

installation-wise, putting in the window AC is fairly easy. i already have all the wood blocks and styrofoam boards cut to size, the hardest part is just carrying it from the basement into the house. the unit weighs 56 lbs. which isn't that heavy and i can lift it by myself; compared to my old industrial AC unit with the faux wood paneling that required two people to lift.

so remember how i said i wasn't going to use the AC until the proper time? well, i turned it on just to "test" if it was working, and ended up leaving it on longer than i realized, trying to see if i can reduce the room temperature (78° at the time) by one degree. AC is one of those things where once you start using it, it's hard to stop, it's easy to become "addicted" to the comfort of dry cool temperature during the summer.

i stopped because i called my mother at the cafe, asking for my father. that's when she told me she used the wrong type of rice yesterday to making her sweet zongzi - regular rice instead of glutinous rice - that's why it tasted weird and the rice came out all lumpy and stuck together. she didn't have anymore glutinous rice to make more sweet zongzi (she was making some savory ones today) so i volunteered to get some for her from the allston super 88.

the last time i went to the allston 88 was via bicycle; this time i went on my motorcycle. there was plenty of parking spots. this supermarket is very well-stocked and carries a lot of taiwanese wei chuan brand products. unfortunately, half the things i thought about buying didn't have prices, and as a whole, the prices here are slightly more expensive since they get a lot of boston university students. for better prices, i'd go to ming's market in boston or the super 88 in malden.

i had a hard time finding the glutinous rice, and their whole rice department was kind of lacking in variety. i think it was mostly because i didn't recognize the brands, and the fact that glutinous rice is also called sweet rice. i circled the store twice, trying to find glutinous rice. at one point a woman stopped me, asked me something in cantonese before switching to english when i didn't respond. "do you work here?" she asked me, which was funny, because i almost wanted to ask her that, even though she was carrying a shopping cart. but i turned the tables on her, i ended up asking her if she knew where the glutinous rice was. "sweet rice?" she asked, which lit a bulb in my head. they did carrying them, just in unfamiliar packaging, 2 thai and 1 california. two of the packages were wei chuan brand, the thai one longer grain glutinous rice, the california shorter grain. i called my mother, she asked for the shorter grain. she also thought i went to the malden 88 and seemed disappointed i went to the allston store. i was almost ready to ride up to malden until i found what i was looking for. a 5lbs. package cost $7.99; i think in other asian supermarkets it'd be $4.99. i also grabbed a few snacks before i went to go pay at the one opened checkout line.

i did a quick tour of the food court. a few businesses were opened, the korean place had some customers, and likewise the bubble ice tea, but otherwise a lot of stalls just had tentative shopkeepers hoping to see some customers.

returning home, i went straight down cambridge street towards the charles river, riding a short stretch of storrow drive to get to the cafe, where i delivered the glutinous rice. both my parents were there as well as my 2nd aunt and my godmother, there to meet my mother in their little knitting circle, needed her expertise to cast on and cast off their projects. there was a box of pizza on the table with two slices they said were for me when they learned i didn't eat lunch yet (1:30pm).

my father and i left for the watertown home depot to get some additional parts for our 3 front-of-the-house rain barrels project. we needed another length of 1-1/4" sump pump discharge hose and 1-1/4" PVC female conduit adapter. my father was searching for a female hose mender but they were all sold out; in fact, their whole gardening irrigation section was fairly empty of stock, including the sprinklers. i picked up a pair of hot pepper plants for my community garden plot - shishito and dragon cayenne. i used the $100 gift certificate card my aunt and uncle gave me for my birthday, finally remembered to bring it.

afterwards we returned to the house so my father could connect a garden hose between the single rain barrel by the garage corner to the 3 new rain barrels by the western front of the house. earlier he picked up my sister's old hose. he cut it in half for size but discovered the old female hose adapter we had in the house was broken. he ended up having to jerryrig a connection using a female end that was previously soldered onto a piping elbow, inserted into the hose and secured with a hose clamp. now all our rain barrels are connected in a ring around the house. the 3 new barrels are untested and we'll have to see how they perform in the next rain.

we didn't return to the cafe until 2 hours later (3:30pm), my mother was starting to get worried that we were gone so long. i took some leftover barbecue from belmont and added half a dozen fresh savory zongzi that had just finished cooking. it feels like once again i won't be able to eat the stuff i bought for myself in the fridge, it's been almost a month! they're all going to go bad and i'll end up having to toss everything out. maybe i can freeze the zongzi.

i returned home by 4pm. i fell asleep again around 6pm lounging on the couch, didn't wake up until 8pm.

production has a hard time breaking the 50kWh barrier the past few days, but have come close. i personally think it's because there a lot of pollen dust on the panels, reducing their efficiency. it looks like it might rain tomorrow but how much the meteorologists have been unable to predict. thunderstorms likely, but just a passing band. i've never wished this hard for rain before. not just to fill our rain barrels, but to water the plants which having been suffering from this prolonged drought. coronavirus, recession, racial unrest? none of that concerns me as much as the lack of rain.

soon after i woke up from my nap i had some leftover barbecue. i ate it cold, didn't bother heating it up. later in the evening i tossed out the trash and covered up my motorcycle. i opened up as many windows as i can to take advantage of the cool night temperatures. i even ran the AC in fan mode, trying to blow some of that colder air into the house. at most i managed to reduce the room temperature by a single degree.