last night i noticed some cherry tomato seedlings had also germinated. this morning i moved them into the grow closet as well. hyacinth beans had also sprouted, both the new seeds and the old seeds. and i'm glad i checked my seed starter containers because the chinese asters have also germinated at 100%. i moved all of them to the grow closet. i set up two trays now, with a water-soaked gravel bed to provide moisture.
today at noontime kim janey was sworn in as boston first female black mayor, shattering two glass ceilings in the process. who knew that when marty walsh left boston to become biden's labor secretary, he'd leave the mayorship with a gift of diversity?
i attended a harvard lecture about china's military strategy in the new era. china has some unique military challenges: neighbors with 14 states, 5 of which have large armies, 4 of which are nuclear powers, 6 with territorial disputes, about 4 which can be considered failed states, and 5 muslim-majority neighbors. having said that though, most of china's military might seems to be obsessively focused on the reunification of taiwan. it was a pretty informative talk, gave me a lot of interesting information to digest.
after the lecture i biked to belmont to gather a few things: grow room glasses, timer, pepper seeds. i also dropped off two bottles of cheap trader joe wine i bought yesterday and a package of frozen orange chicken. i wasn't planning on it but i ended up staying for an hour, spraying some neem on the basement jasmines and gardenia, then doing the same to the upstairs orchids and small-potted jasmines. i also took another survey of the backyard. the garlics seem larger than they were just 2 days ago. some of them look a little smooshed, i think it's the chickenwire, so i removed the wire from half the garlic bed to see if that'll make any difference. the chickenwire is there for protection, but not if it's stunting the garlics.
i stopped by the cafe on my way home. my parents were half an hour away from leaving for their second vaccination dose at fenway park. i was at the cafe to pick up the bag of long-grain glutinous rice for jiu niang experiments. i read that short-grain glutinous rice makes for sweeter jiu niang, but my aunt made her jiu niang with long-grain and she said they came out fine. so i wanted to find out for myself. if it's true, long-grain sweet rice is not only cheaper, but i can also find it at market basket, no need to go all the way down to chinatown to get some.
i had enough quart-size mason jars to run two batches of long-grain glutinous rice jiu niang: one using the slow ferment method, the other utilizing the instant pot for a heated 48 hours fermentation. the goal is to not only test for sweetness, but also in the case of the instant pot to see if i can purposely induce the fermentation to produce wine. for this experiment i used the old-fashion ball jiu niang yeast ball. in my experience they produce more alcohol than the angel rice leaven powder. i cooked two batches of rice, 2 cups rice with 2 cups water. only later did i realize i could've simply cooked all the rice in one batch and divided them up evenly, saving me some time. the first batch of rice i kind of forgot about and left it warming for 44 minutes. the second batch i only warmed for 7 minutes. the first batch of rice will be slow fermented, while the second batch will be quick fermented in the instant pot.
i've been watching zero zero zero on amazon prime, about a massive shipment of cocaine from mexico to italy and the parties involved (mexican cartel, US shipping company, italian crime syndicate). based on the book by roberto saviano, who also wrote gomorrah which was also adapted into a movie.
my heat didn't fire up all day, since it was already warm enough inside the house (66°F). the transition period between winter to spring can be tough, as we're right on the line between not cold enough for heat but not warm enough for comfort. we were never supposed to be this warm in march anyway, our last frost date isn't until mid-april.
for dinner i reheated a bowl of leftover risotto. i added some water into the pot to allow the risotto to reconstitute faster. nevertheless, i still managed to scorch some of the rice, but it tasted fine. while i was heating the risotto, i filled 16 oz. pots and planted some hungarian wax peppers.
my sister texted me at midnight, saying she was able to secure a cambridge CVS vaccine appointment for next monday with a first dose of moderna. she'd been trying all week ever since MA expanded eligibility to restaurant workers. i called her to ask how she did it. she said the trick was to enter the portal through another state (in this case vermont) that did have open appointments. once inside the portal, you're given the option again to choose your state and closest towns. chances are there won't be any appointments available at first, but as long as you have the browser window open, you can periodically refresh, and once appointments are available, they'll show up immediately. that's exactly what happened to me when i tried it. at first it said all appointments were filled. so periodically i'd refresh the page, until suddenly it showed me three towns: cambridge, watertown, medford. both cambridge and watertown were all booked, but medford had appointments available starting next monday. i picked a time, and then it asked me to pick a date and time for the second dosage. medford's CVS was dispensing pfizer vaccines.
after it was over i couldn't believe it, especially given how difficult it was to secure appointments for my parents using the MA vaccine portal. of course the MA vaccine portal gets their vaccines from the state, while CVS and other pharmacies get their vaccines directly from the federal government. i was able to sign up for a vaccine because i said i work at the cafe, doing supply runs and the occasional random task like updating the menu boards.
i guess i feel somewhat relieved to be finally getting a vaccine appointment, but i'm of the belief that the current vaccine is only good for the older (original) coronavirus, and not effective for the various variants. i personally think that by the end of the year, everyone will need to get a booster shot against covid-21. i still believe that getting covid-19 would be like getting the flu, and i'd most likely survive. i'd be more concerned about inadvertently giving it to other people (like my parents) due to how much more contagious it is compared to the flu. my california cousin's family contracted covid-19 but after a few days of symptoms they were fine. but maureen's extended family, her aunt and uncle both died when they got the virus, so it affects everyone differently, and age and preexisting conditions have a lot to do with it.