i took the motorcycle down to cambridge public works on hampshire street to buy disposal stickers for my used hot water heater and the dead air conditioner at my sister's place. when i called thursday they said they'd be open but when i got there this morning the door was locked. luckily somebody saw me and let me inside. it took a long time for cheryl to process my orders but i wasn't in any hurry. the stickers cost $25 a piece, plus a fee for using a credit card. they don't give out stickers anymore either, your address and item goes on a list and the city large appliance truck comes by on wednesday to pick it up. before i left, cheryl asked if i wanted any green recycle bags (like she red my mind) and dropped 4 rolls into my bag.
returning home, i stopped at the nearby speedway to get some gas. i filled the tank enough so i could zero out the trip odometer; it reset back to zero when i replaced the battery, i use the odometer as a fuel gauge to figure out how much i've traveled before i need to fuel up again.
the latest update to android 11 has been seeding my pixel 3XL with notifications for weeks, suggesting i make the upgrade. after reading that there wasn't that much difference between android 10 (what i currently have) and android 11, i made the plunge. everything seemed okay until i went to go take a screen capture. i used to be able to hold down the power button and popup panel would give me screen capture as one of the options. now for some reason that's no longer there. screen capture is now hidden as a multi-task command, triggered by swiping up. however, my pixel 3XL uses 2-button navigation, which mysteriously doesn't show screen capture as a function. it took a while to figure out a hack, but now my home button brings up the multi-task (instead of an up swipe). i can also take screen shots by holding the power-volume-down buttons simultaneously, but it's impossible to do with one hand. hopefully google will bring back this function.
at my parents' place i checked out the glass carboy in the basement. it was a different style than the two that i have at home, this one didn't have a threaded opening. at the bottom it said made in mexico and state the capacity as 6 gallons, even though it seems smaller than my other two carboys. the opening was a little small but i still managed to fit a stopper in the hole.
my father made a fresh batch of soy milk, this time adding a bit of squash for sweetness. it still wasn't sweet enough and i ended up adding a tbsp of sugar. i prefer soy milk with some red chinese jujubes. my mother made thin noodles for lunch.
i spent the day continuing to follow up on trump's tax records. i knew he was a fraud and wasn't as rich as he said he was, but i never expected it to be this bad. on the hook with the IRS for $100 million, a mortgage on trump tower for another $100 million (due on 2022), the article said in total trump might be $420 million in debt, but i read another article that said tax returns don't paint a complete picture, and trump may very well be $1 billion in debt in reality. the federal government has a rule that prevents them from hiring anyone with outstanding personal debt because it could compromise them as a security threat, so it's ironic that the president of the united states owes so much money to entities we don't even know about. that could explain why he's so amicable when it comes to russia.
today was uncomfortably hot and humid. i only went out into the backyard once, in the late afternoon, to spray some of our outdoor houseplants with neem oil extract. i haven't seen any bugs or diseases on them since we put them outside, other than the mealybugs that lived on the plants when they were indoors which i treated with insecticidal soap. my hope is we can get rid of all the pests so when we bring them indoors once the weather turns colder they will be pest-free while they're in the grow room. that may be overly ambitious, but that's my hope at least. it also gave me a chance to try neem oil extract.
i read a lot of stuff online explaining the difference between neem oil and neem oil extract. pure neem oil contains azadirachtin, which is the main insecticide ingredient, inhibits feeding. it's not fast acting but effective as a control over time. neem oil extract (NOE) is everything but azadirachtin. despite not containing azadirachtin, the extracts still work as an insecticide, miticide, and fungicide.
even though the NOE is organic and OMRI certified and supposedly safe to use up to the day of harvest, the fine print directions paint a different picture. maybe it's for liability reasons, but it makes it sound like the NOE is still fairly poisonous, and not to get any on yourself. the ingredient list says 70% neem oil extract, with 30% "other ingredients" that the manufacturer don't say what they are. some folks online deduced that the 30% may in fact be other pesticides used on the neem tree themselves, since there's a warning that NOE is deadly to bees. so i don't know who to leave, so i ended up just spraying the houseplants, since we don't eat them and i never see bees visiting them as jasmines only bloom at nights.
i used 1 oz. of neem oil extract (2 tbsp) to a gallon of water. the NOE was brown and oily and had a faint citrus odor, like a cleaning product, didn't smell bad at all. i used the sprayer and dreamed all the plants. i had some left over so i sprayed some squash leaves that had powdery mildew, supposedly NOE can stop the spread as well.
it's almost october and i am not at all happy with the lotus plants this season. i gave them every opportunity to thrive, started the seeds a month early (compared to last year), had each plant in their individual basin and barrel, yet not a single plant developed aerial leaves. maybe it's the variety. at some point i'll need to dig up these lotuses and package them up for winter storage. was it just too dry this season? but these are aquatic plants, what do they know about dryness since they live underwater? whatever it is, i didn't get good plants. seems like i had better luck last year, when i grew them in small pots all crowded together. at least last year i got some aerial leaves.
i returned home after dinner. after a shower, i spent the rest of the night with the football game in the background between the kansas city chiefs and the baltimore ravens, two undefeated teams. the chiefs were in command the whole game, the ravens looked outmatched, despite both teams having mobile versatile quarterbacks. lamar jackson won MVP last year! but it was patrick mahomes who dominated. new england plays kansas city on sunday.