my 2nd aunt called me this morning, asked me to stop by her place before i went to my parents' so she could give me some oil rice. i left my house by 11:30am, calling her to let her know i'd be there in 5 minutes. i found her waiting in her building's lobby, double-masked, with a bag of food for me to bring to my parents, including some cherries, same salted duck eggs, some bananas, and a bitter melon.

i had some oil rice (油飯) for lunch. ingredients-wise it was on point, but my 2nd aunt made a mistake cooking it and the rice was all stuck together into a big gelatinous mess, not at all what oil rice is supposed to be. i ate a few fork-bites but couldn't finish the rest.

sunday would be spent waiting (hoping) for it to rain again. yesterday was our best day for a soaking rain but it was mostly false advertising and we eked out an inch of rain in the barrels at most, one of the new barrels still empty as there wasn't enough water pressure to even fill it by a trickle. the clouds when i arrived this morning looked dramatic, but hard to gauge what's in store for the afternoon. it was hot and humid, more so than yesterday, and if a storm was to break out, we had the ingredients for something significant. the future cast radar was a mess, showed storms popping up everywhere, but future casting for these kind of quick burst rainstorms are so inaccurate, it was more of a suggestion than anything actual.

we didn't have to wait long. around 1pm it started to rain. big fat drops landing like water balloons. we though it was just a passing shower; what we didn't realize was it was the start of a deluge that would last until very late into the evening. to say it rained would be a tremendous understatement. it's as if the sky was somehow making up for all the weeks we didn't get rain by dumping it all on us in just a single day. it was torrential downpours. as soon as it seemed like it'd stopped, another downpour would soon follow, again and again.

it rained so fast and so hard the lawn didn't have enough time to soak up all that water so the grass became flooded swamps. our rain barrels couldn't keep up: the open-top catch barrels would fill to capacity, but the hoses couldn't fill the connected empty barrels quick enough so a lot of that first round of rain was wasted, pumped out of the 1-1/4" overflow hoses. it seemed like a waste of rain water at the time, little did we know we'd be getting so much more rain that it didn't matter. the lull period was important, gave the barrels enough time to distribute the rain water. subsequent downpours were more evenly distributed between the barrels.

there was a temporarily flooded in front of the house behind the shrubs from the sudden excess rain. it didn't help that the overflow hose was right underneath the bushes; i moved the 24ft hose away from the house so at least it drained out onto the sidewalk. that turned out to be a bad choice as well since the water draining out onto the street went through the newly seeded sidewalk bed, cutting a deep furrow in the soil. of the 3 new barrels, the catch barrel filled up first. the 3rd barrel filled up second (even though it was completely empty yesterday), as it was getting rain water from both the nearby cabin barrel and the one by the garage. the 2nd barrel filled up last.

despite the pouring rain, i hung out in the backyard for most of the day, observing the rain barrels, one after another. i took photos with both my dSLR curled underneath my armpit to keep it from getting soaked as well as my pixel 3XL (supposedly waterproof). the garden looks more dramatic when photographed in the rain. during breaks between downpours, i'd do a bit of gardening, weeding the raised beds, removing squash vine borer eggs from the squash plants, inspecting the other plants for pests. the breaks were unusual, sometimes it'd get very hot and humid (especially if the sun managed to break through the clouds), while other times it'd be cool and breezy. we are but playthings to the forces of weather.

we also realized that the black storage barrel next to the sunroom catch barrel only had one input connection, while all the other barrels had two. that meant of all the barrels, this one would fill up the slowest and last. this was also the barrel with the rain water gauge. that's actually pretty accurate, since the water level of this "dead end" barrel would mean the other barrels would be equally full, if not more. the water level didn't rise at first, since the gauge barrel needed the other barrels to fill up first before it would fill up as well. but slowly the level kept on increasing, until the floating indicator pearl (actually just the tail end of a toothbrush handle) was nearly out of the rubber hose. that meant all barrels were full: (8 * 55 gallons) + (3 * 50 gallons) = 590 gallons of rain water.

once the barrels were all at capacity, there was nowhere else for the rain to go but out the overflow hoses, where it flooded the lawn. it seemed like such a waste of water that i started collecting the overflow in buckets. the rain was coming out at such a torrent, that it only took a few seconds to fill up a 2.5 gallon bucket. my parents saw what i was doing and found additional containers in the house to catch the rain, including a cooler.

during another round of downpours in the late afternoon, i decided to take advantage of the surplus water by cleaning out all my lotus barrels. this involved removing the wash basins where the lotuses were rooted and growing from, pouring out the dirty water in the barrels with buckets (nowhere else to put that water except onto the lawn), clean the inside of the barrels, then refill them. i had to work fast since i didn't know when the rain would stop again and no more water would be coming out from the overflow hoses. i managed to clean the middle barrels and the side barrels before the rain stopped. the lotus barrel by the basement entrance i'll do another time if we can another rain shower. it was hard work, carrying buckets of water around, sloshing on the flooded lawn, all the while holding the umbrella in the crook of my neck. a few times i abandoned the umbrella since it made it hard to work. i was soaked afterwards, fortunately i brought a spare t-shirt (though i had to remain in my wet shorts).

i figured with so much rain that the backyard would be flooded for a while. however that was not the case, as the ground soon soaked up the water once it stopped raining. you would've never known that minutes earlier, the place was a swamp.

biking home, i observed mammatus clouds overhead. i've seen them in the past, i find them kind of cool yet ominous looking, always associated with severe storms, like the type of clouds you might seeing during an apocalypse.

i first read about the breaking sports news on my phone: cam newton signs a 1-year league minimum contract with the new england patriots. i'd heard that the patriots might be a possibility for cam, but his ostentatious personality seemed to be against everything new england stands for ("team first" mentality). but the patriots need a starting quarterback (besides 2nd year rookie jarrett stidham and perennial backup brian hoyer) and cam newton needs a place to rehabilitate and showcase his former MVP talents so he can earn a maximum contract after his 1-year stint at new england. both sides want this to happen and have it be successful. i went from not wanting to hear anything football related since brady (and gronk!) left for florida to i can't get enough of cam newton watch. the biggest question now is this: will cam newton settle in the town of newton?

around 1am i went to renee's alleyway with a flash light to move a trash barrel directly underneath a dripping gutter. i won't be able to sleep at night with that chinese water torture. my indian neighbors' dog jojo started barking though when he heard me outside. i still remember the lie they told renee when they promised her that their new dog didn't bark. they've already been here 2 years, i was hoping they'd be moving out, but maybe they're signed up for a 3rd year. i don't think renee would kick them out anyway, they seem to be pay their rent on time, which is probably while renee would tolerate them secretly getting a dog without asking her first. they told her it was a comfort animal, part of their couple therapy.

a bit later i went out again, this time to place one of my pokemons at the nearest poke gym so i can earn my 50 coins come morning. it's a pretty stupid thing to do, says something about my pokemon go addiction. i wore my mask even though all the people i've ever encountered walking around in the middle of the night never wear masks. it was also thundering and midway through my mission it started to rain, like hard. i had to run back home, the mask making it hard to breathe, my body out of shape for running, my heart beating out of my chest. hope it was worth it!