with my upstairs neighbors returning to town this week for a few days (the reason: becaue one of them needs to get something fixed at the apple store), i thought i better clean up the backyard, less they accuse me of neglecting the house again. i swept the front steps, the sidewalk, and the backyard, my little exercise for the day.

my fitness tracker reminded me that today was the cambridge carnival, or would've been had it not been cancelled due to the pandemic. i heard they were going to hold a virtual carnival, but it seemed more like an event for participants than observers. tomorrow would have been the rescheduled boston marathon, which has also been cancelled. they do have opted for a virtual marathon, but sure how that works.

i rode my motorcycle to total wine & more in everett. i got there right when they opened at 10am, there were already a bunch of customers doing their sunday morning liquor shopping. i was there to get a bottle of taiwanese kinmen kaoliang ($38) for my mother. i was surprised when i found it on their website, even more so when they had it in stock. they actually had several bottles, not just one. i appreciated that it was placed in the whiskey aisle and not with the japanese sake and plum wines. i also picked up another bottle of wild turkey 101 for myself. i really like the taste, reminds me of chinese baijiu yet at the same time a kentucky bourbon. i grabbed a six-pack of woodchuck pearsecco as well, their bubbly dry hard cider made from pears.

i made it back home by 10:30am. it was early enough that i decided to take it easy, use the bathroom, take a shower, before leaving for my parents' place by 11:30am.

my father was home alone, my mother went out for a walk. i showed my father the bottle of kinmen kaoliang, he immediately went online to check and if it was a vintage bottle. but there was a stamp on the bottle that read 2020.03.09, so barely 6 months old, not an old bottle at all. my father told me that alcohol in taiwan are typically sold in 600ml sizes because it corresponds to the chinese weight measurement of 1 liang which is roughly a pound. 750ml is more of a standard western wine size.

my father made these crispy egg pancakes for lunch, along with some snow fungus (ying'er) soup and sweet papaya. we also made another batch of sour plum drink, measuring out the ingredients and then simmering them in a gallon pot of water for about an hour.

this sunday marks the start of the NFL football season, coronavirus edition. actually the very first game was thursday, but the patriots play today against the dolphins at 1pm. it was the start of the cam newton era under center. it wasn't that weird to see him quarterbacking for new england, since we've had QB's other than brady (matt cassel, jimmy garoppolo, jacoby brissett). i'm still not entirely sold on newton. i don't deny his talents, but his personality just doesn't fit the patriots way. i feel like it's just a matter of time before the prima donna comes out. maybe things are different now, maybe it's a kinder gentler belichick. the game felt more like a preseason match, and i never felt the patriots were any real danger of losing. new england beat miami, 21-11, cam newton even ran 2 touchdowns into the end zone. don't know if it's true or not, but i read can newton had more rushing yards in one game equal to tom brady's total rushing yards for 13 seasons.

besides the patriots game, the other game i really wanted to see was the buccaneers vs saints match at 4:30pm. seeing tom brady and rob gronkowski wearing uniforms other than patriots was disorienting. i immediately found myself rooting for brady to fail, like his 20 years of service to new england was suddenly forgotten. it's one thing if the team decided to fire him, but it felt more like brady wanted to leave. and because of that, it felt like a betrayal, not to mention he took gronkowski with him. so yes i took some fiendish delight when tampa bay eventually lost 23-34 against new orleans. there was tom brady sitting on the sideline with that look on his face that i've seen before, that look he gets when he's about to lose. and that look used to make me feel sad, but this time around i was kind of happy to be honest.

in my mind brady will realize his mistake, leave the buccaneers, and return to the patriots to finish out his career. that's not going to happen, and brady's at an age where his skills will begin to diminish more and more. as much as he (and we as former fans) wants to deny it, there's no escaping the ravages of time. i did feel sad for brady towards the end of the game, him sitting by himself, not a friend on the team, like the new kid in school. i know there's something to be said about a change of scenery and getting a bigger paycheck and going to a place where people appreciate him more, but there's also something to be said about a place he's played at for 2 decades, a place that's familiar, a place that's home, where fans feel so close to tom terrific he's practically a part of the family. nobody will love brady as much as the people of new england. and now fans like myself are feeling these weird feelings, where we're rooting for brady to fail (maybe not a lot, but a little).

after dinner i finished watching the end of the buccaneers-saints game before leaving. since they're starting paving work tomorrow morning, my street was mostly empty. i parked my bike down the side street, in one of two emergency spots where i can always find a place to park. i feel bad for those with cars, they must have to park their vehicles blocks away.

i readjusted my chin-up bar tonight because i noticed it was slightly crooked. that turned out to be a big mistake because when i tried to remove the bar, i discovered it had firmly attached itself to my doorframe. i did eventually manage to remove the bar, but not before stripping the paint from the wood. if that was the case, it would've been easier to install one of those simple screw-in chin-up bars, i think those would've done less damage. i can repair it, but it involved sanding and repainting the door frame. i reinstalled the chinup bar so you can't see the stripped paint, but if i ever want to remove the bar, i'll need to repair the cosmetic damage.

i had a little bit of wild turkey 101. it's nice to take a little sip before bed, because it immediately makes me feel very tired and ready for sleep. my census cases for tomorrow arrived early (12:30am), i already know i have 15 cases.