i went down to MGH in the late morning to get my blood taken for my lipid panel. i went a week ago but came on the friday before the 4th of july holiday so the lab department was closed. my physical is thursday afternoon and i wanted to get it done before then. it actually rained this morning, a sudden downpour. i called my father but when we checked the doppler radar, it looked like it'd skipped belmont entirely. hopefully there'd be more rain changes later in the afternoon. the sun had already come out by the time i rode to boston, avoiding the fresh puddles along the way.

a man greeted me as i entered the hospital, asked if i had an appointment. i told him i was here to get some lab work done, he told me to wait in line. there seemed to be two lines, one facing the direction of the elevators, one facing the other way towards the front desk. there was a hand sanitizer station and i made sure to clean my hands before taking a fresh face mask out of a dispenser. i was excited to get a new mask but i noticed the difference immediately and it wasn't good. the material inside felt rougher compared to the taiwanese surgical masks, and the mask was small, barely covered my chin, while my taiwanese mask went all the way down to my neck.

i also realized as the line was advancing the two lines were actually a single line, just snaking back on itself: everyone was heading in the direction of the front desk, where a group of hospital workers asked each person questions before they could advance further into the hospital. they didn't ask me if i had any symptoms, just what my business was at the hospital (lab work) and asked if i was wearing a new mask (i told her i grabbed one from the dispenser). she gave me a thumbs up and said i could go upstairs.

i've been to the second floor lab works office a few times, always crowded. this time around not so much, with a occupancy of 8 people and most seats in the waiting area taped off. when i arrived there were just 2 people; afterwards it filled up and people were waiting outside. i didn't have to wait very long, just a few minutes. a nurse came out, called my name and the name of another lady, and asked us to follow her. we went down a hall, no idea where we were going, like we were VIP's being lead through a backstage entrance. she brought us to a different exam room. i was told to go in first. my phlebologist was named marie, seemed like of caribbean extraction. i've had no blood taken so many times, i knew the drill before she even started, giving her my full name and birthdate. after the blood was drawn and placed into test tubes, i did the same to confirm my information.

i left MGH by 12:15pm. on any other day i would've maybe gone to chinatown since i was already in boston, but with possible thunderstorms coming in the afternoon, i didn't want to risk getting caught in the rain so i headed back home. besides, i had a lunch date with star market fried chicken, 8-pieces ofr $8 but i had a $2 digital coupon. while i was at the porter square market, i noticed they sold cactuses in small pots. they looked familiar, "they kind of look like dragon fruit cactuses," as i took their photos, and read the tag: dragon fuit! just $5.99 a pot. very pretty, but without the proper care (separating the cactuses into individual pots, building a trellis), not sure the typical casual gardener could keep them alive for long.

returning home, i couldn't stop seeing locust trees. just around where i live, i spotted 3 different kinds of locust: black, honey, and the mysterious one growing in front of my house that seems to be neither.

i finally got home by 12:50pm. my original plan was to grab my fried chicken and head to belmont, where i wanted to witness the torrential rains that would quickly fill our rain barrels. but a check of the doppler radar futurecast showed rain clouds not approaching until around 3-4pm. i had time to take a shower and eat 2 pieces of chicken before finally leaving.

i wasn't in belmont until 3pm. i put the bike in the garage because i didn't want it to get soaked. the clouds above were showing me the right signs, dark ominous clouds, seemingly pregnant with rain. after a tour of the backyard were i watered some critical plants (in case it doesn't rain), planted 6 more exploded tamarind seeds, covered the emerging zucchini seedlings in RB4, and removing some SVB eggs from the squashes, i finally went back inside the house to wait for the rain. by then it was 4pm. the rain should've been coming. i kept checking the doppler radar, it couldn't refresh fast enough. my parents were already back from the cafe when it rained a little bit, just enough to wet the flagstones but not enough for any rain to trickle into the rain barrels. another bust.

the disparity between the predicted doppler radar and the actual doppler radar has been wrong so many times for so many weeks. as an example, the predicted doppler for 3:15pm showed a huge swath of rain clouds, which was what motivated me to go to belmont in the first place. but when 3:15pm rolled around, there was simply nothing. true, doppler radar predictions are just that, a prediction, they can't actually tell the future. if that was true, we wouldn't have fortune tellers, just doppler radars prognosticating your future. also, these hot weather spot thunderstorms don't really follow a pattern, they just pop up on their own, sometimes almost randomly. this has made be lose faith in doppler radar predictions, which i now see as radar of lies.

the summer we increase our rain barrel capacity by another 200 gallons, when we replaced our old transfer pump with a brand new on-demand pump, just happens to be the same summer we're experiencing a localized drought. this must be some kind of divine punishment for our hubris, or simply murphy's law at play. you can't control the weather, you're simply at its mercy. the best approach is just not worrying about it. not like we don't have water, but nothing like watering the lawn and garden with free and natural rain water. our next best chance of rain looks to be next monday.

i'd brought my fried chicken. my father reheated it in the air fryer, took just 3 minutes for it to regain its crispiness. in fact, it tasted crispier than it did before, almost like being double fried. my father and i had the chicken while my mother ate some rice noodles blend with hot sauce.

i almost thought i wasn't able to get home because the doppler radar showed more storm clouds. fooled so many times, i wasn't going to fall for it again. despite the fact that the sky looked dark and i felt a few drops, i managed to bike home unscathed. that threat of rain never did manifest itself. i learned that doppler radar future casts are all lies.

it was so hot in the house when i returned that i turned on the AC. i learned my lesson from last night, that despite the fact that it's much cooler outside, trying to cool down the house using fans is a lost cause, much easier and quicker to run the AC for an hour. unfortunately that cool down is just an illusion, as soon it goes back up to 80°F+.

my package of 10 KN95 face masks arrived today (wyze, $20). i was going to give them to my parents but they prefer their surgical masks, easier to take off and on, and disposable. i may return to malden 88 tomorrow, where i saw 2 boxes (100 total) of face masks for $30. maybe i'll wear these KN95 for census work if i'm asked to go canvassing door to door.

with my mother using the imac to watch her korean dramas, i finally decided to get an android tv box. the way she watches is through a website, so it doesn't work on roku and can't be streamed via chromecast. before the imac the only way she could watch was on her ipad using her browser app. i ended up getting the xiaomi mi box S 4K for $50 from walmart. it's not the most powerful android tv box by far, but it is one of the most compatible. it's due to arrive on friday, but for some reason i have to sign for it, so i'll be stuck at home until it comes.