another grey day, the last of june. having gone to bed early last night at 11:30pm, i felt fully recharged this morning, and didn't feel tired at all throughout the day. i warmed up a chicken bake in the oven for lunch. in the early afternoon i walked to star market to pick up a watermelon. i still can't believe that for $3.99 i can buy a 17 lbs. watermelon that would be impossible for me to try growing here in new england as we simply don't have enough hot days. at that price, i'm tempted to buy a watermelon every day.

the threat of rain seemed to have stopped by late afternoon, giving me a window to visit market basket to return some more cans, cash in my stack of unused redemption coupons, and get a few grocery items. i decided to make cheese buldak (with tofu, so buldubu) for dinner and i was missing scallions. i also got greek salad ingredients, the second half of my dinner plans for later this week.

google gave its youtube tv subscribers a surprise today by announcing a price increase from $50 to $65/month beginning in august. they said the reason was due to the rising cost of content and the addition of 8 new CBS viacom channels: BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1. other than comedy central, i have no interests in any of those other channels, and even CC i can do without. at $65/month it's now more expensive to have both youtube tv and cable internet versus cable tv and cable internet. we're going to need to reevaluate our tv subscription service. either go back to comcast or switch to something else like hulu + live tv ($55/month). goes without saying nobody is happy about it on the youtubetv subreddit. it doesn't make a lot of sense other than a naked money grab, to increase the price during the coronavirus pandemic when people are spending more time at home, and to simply add 8 measly low value junk channels for a $15/month increase.

i did not get sleepy around 5-6pm, which is typically the time when i start feeling tired. in fact, i didn't even know it was already early evening, the day having gone by relatively fast. i finished watching black rainbow (1989), a movie i'd never heard of with an all-star cast: rosanna arquette, jason robards jr., and tome hulce. arquette plays a medium who's powers to communicate with the dead is used by her father (robards) to make money as they tour the country visiting church groups. when she suddenly starts seeing see the deaths of people who aren't dead yet, it threatens their little racket. hulce plays a skeptical reporter investing them but eventually becomes a believer. most of what i've read about the movie gave it rave reviews, but after watching it, i didn't think it was all that good. it almost felt like a play, with a lot of talking and not a lot of action.

we eked out a bit of production today despite the abysmally grey weather. we didn't set a new production record (that was always going to be difficult with just 30 days in june) but 2020 was the highest production for the month of june. it was also the 4th highest production, beating out august 2018 and 2019 production, but not surpassing july's numbers nor the current monthly highest record of last month. the past few days we just too cloudy to overcome that production hurdle. we did break the 1.2 MWh mark though, with a final production of 1215kWh for the month of june.

my parents' electricity bill actually arrived a few days ago. they made $44.17 worth of credit, for a grand total of $206.99 electricity credit. we need all the credit we can get if we're going to be running our led lights again in the grow room during the winter.

while assembling my dinner ingredients, i discovered the garlic cloves i had in the house had all dried up and turned to moldy dust. it was already past 8pm by that point, i was afraid star market was closed, but they're back to their normal hours now, closing time at 10pm, so i quickly ran across the street to get some garlic.

cheese buldubu (불 두부)
(2 servings)

14 oz. fried tofu wedges

1/2 cup hot pepper flakes
2 tbsp gochujang paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp cooking oil

1/2 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup karo dark corn syrup
6 garlic, chopped
2 tsp ginger, chopped

1 bowl frozen rice cakes
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
scallions, chopped

cut tofu wedges in half. mix rest of ingredients to form paste, mixed with tofu. heat frozen rice cakes in pan with some oil until soften, set aside. heat tofu and hot paste mixture in pan on medium-high for 10 minutes with cover on. add rice cakes, heat 10 more minutes low heat. top with mozzarella cheese. served when cheese melted. top with scallions.

the dish i was making tonight is based off of maangchi's cheese buldak recipe, except substituting fried tofu wedges for chicken (the inspiration came from a lifehacker article extolling the virtues of tofu). i'd gotten some of the ingredients (fried tofu) back in may but only now was i finally making it. the steps were simple, basically combine all the ingredients, mix with tofu, cook, then add the rice cakes. it already looked delicious while i was mixing the hot sauce, and even more so when i added the tofu. it seemed like it would taste just as great without cooking, eat it cold and spicy. adding the dark corn syrup took it to another level of decadence, i couldn't wait to eat it. but i'd forgotten that the original recipe called for broiling to crisp up the cheese topping, and i don't have any pots that's oven safe (other than the dutch oven, which was simple too tall). so i skipped the broiling part. also while i was cooking it started to look very dry, to the point where i added some water, afraid it'd turn out to be a crispy dried lump of tofu and rice cakes.

the finished buldubu with cheese was just okay. all the pieces were delicious, but after i cooked everything, it lost a lot of the magic of the fresh ingredients. in theory it should've worked, but something went wrong. for one thing, it was too dry. the spicy paste sort of disappeared, though some of the charred pieces of tofu and rice cakes were more delicious because of the caramelized sugar. the rice cake also clumped together. it is a very filling dish, starch from the rice cake combined with the protein from the tofu. it's a recipe worth revisiting, or find a better spicy korean tofu with rice cake recipe.