it was trash pickup this morning. i got an e-mail from renee, holding me responsible for pruning some trees in her backyard and leaving a mess. she asked if i could put them in the garbage refuse bins for her. i replied it wasn't me, most likely some other neighbors, but i ended up going into her yard and cleaning up the mess anyway just as a thankless favor.
i hadn't been to my community garden since saturday, 4 days ago. i went via bike because i was putting on my new wheel reflectors. when i got there i heard the music and saw the crowd of children in the field behind the garden. it was like a carnival and they even had a bouncy house. the gardener who has the plot next to mine and who dug up my monkshood was there as well, working on his garden.
i've got a few green tomatoes about the size of large gumballs. bitter melons are climbing the trellis, so are the hyacinth beans and cypress vine. my striped mallows are growing so well, they're legitimately a bush by this point and eclipsing the tomatoes growing behind them in growbags. i did some pruning with a pair of grass trimming shears i found in the tool shed, removed all the spent chive flowers and trimmed down the goldenrods. i found a fallen ground cherry and ate it. after watering, i dusted the eggplants and ground cherries.
for lunch i ate the last of my tea egg with a matcha latte. around 1pm i biked to belmont to do some gardening but more importantly, to test if my sister's hand-me-down iphone 7 will work with the DJI mini 2.
the gardenia - which we moved outside since last weekend - hasn't seemed to have lost anymore flower buds. there was actually one bud that seemed confused, it had opened some petals, but was still tightly packed. there were some spent female squash flowers. i called my father, he said he manually propagated with a male flower yesterday that had also bloomed at the same time. i looked inside one flower to see if there were any cucumber beetles, but i only saw a solitary bee.
that's when i saw what i've been dreading to see: a squash vine borer (SVB) moth. i went to go get my camera but it flew away before i could snap a photo (later i was able to capture a quick snapshot from a distance before it flew away). SVB's are highly elusive and very strong flyers; as soon as it saw me approach, it darted away to the other side of the house. i went searching for SVB eggs and sure enough, if you see a SVB around your squash, it's probably laying eggs. in the past i'd handpick them off, but i got a small piece of duct tape and stuck the eggs onto the tape. i ended up collecting 13 and went doing some other gardening stuff, but when i came back to the squashes the SVB had returned, and i collected up to 20 eggs total. this was actually a good test to see how easy or difficult it'd be to spot vine borer eggs with our uprighting growing squashes from raised beds. it actually a lot easier than if they were growing on the ground.
of the row of mixed winter squash seeds i haphazardly sowed to the left of the basement staircase, there were two seedlings. one of them looked like it might be a buttercup squash, but another had had smaller seed leaves, so that one could be something help. i put some chickenwire over the seedlings to give them some protection against rabbits. the 3 bittermelons are growing well; i ended up pulling out the 4th seedling that was defoliated weeks ago and isn't likely to grow anymore. i went around loosening the ties on the cactuses and squash vines; some of them were too tight, i didn't want to constrict the plants. while relocating some window screens, i saw a rabbit's nest behind the raspberry barrel against the wall. it was as large as two navel oranges, and filled with dried grass and rabbit fur. thankfully it was empty and probably a old nest. that would explain how there were bunnies in the garden as recently as this past weekend. hopefully they all left the backyard. i pulled out the nesting material and filled up the hole with dirt i got from the bamboo pile. there were some fallen ground cherries in RB4. they were covered in diatomaceous dust, i rinsed them off before snacking on the fruits.
only then, by 3pm, was i finally able to fly the drone. it was weird putting the iphone 7 in the controller, given how small the phone is. the DJI fly app wanted to update the firmware. i let it, but it was taking too long so i cancelled the update. i did update the flysafe database.
when i first connected the iphone 7 to the controller, it immediately brought up the video view, something that only occasionally worked with the ASUS tablet. i set the drone into the air up to 400ft, the legal altitude limit. i then decided to fly it around in a large 2 mile circumference circle, video recording the entire trip. one thing i noticed was just how buttery smooth and responsive the controllers were. with the pixel 3XL and the ASUS, sometimes there'd be gaps in the signal transmission, like i'd pan-tilt-roll, but there'd be a delay. not so with the iphone 7, or not so with the iOS version of the DJI fly app.
i did my circuit, and not once did i lose signal, or have the video freeze, or the app getting stuck. when i was too far away from a good RC signal, the video would pixelate, but go back to HD once the signal improved. i returned home with about 6-7 minutes of flight time left on the battery. when i checked my flight log, i noticed a few things: it showed the correct units (ft/miles) unlike the android version of the DJI fly app (an easy fix, but for some reason DJI has never fixed this problem on android). also the iOS flight log didn't show my entire flight path like it does in android, but instead draws out the flight path as the log file plays.
so the iphone 7 is 100% compatible with the DJI mini 2 and the fly app. the pixel 3XL, not so much, and the ASUS zenpad Z8s, not very good either, but not as bad as the pixel 3XL. i've only had limited flight time with the moto G7, and although it didn't show any problems in the 5 minutes that i flew it around the house, when i was bringing it for a landing it lost video signal. and the samsung S9+ is also a good option, in the limited time i've flown with that phone, i had zero problems, and i think it's as good as the iphone 7. given the choice, i'd prefer to stick with android, or at least something with a bigger screen (5.5inches+), but i'm fine with a smaller screen iphone if it means 100% stability.
i stopped by the cafe on my way home to drop off the clothes my mother had ordered from amazon. my godmother was there, she'd examined the carote granite stone non-stick stir fry pan that had arrived yesterday, and didn't want it anymore. never mind that the two pans were packaged incorrectly and ended up bashing into each other during delivery, denting the lids, so both had to be returned whatever the case may be. my mother kept on saying the box was too big for me to carry home, but i've carried bigger boxes than that on my bike. it was too late to go to the UPS store, so i just came home, will drop off the returns tomorrow morning.
i baked some german soft pretzels in the oven. once they were done, i enjoyed the second half of the second episode of loki i downloaded this morning.
i noticed something weird with the iOS DJI fly app. i backup my photos onto google photos, and i saw there were two copies of the photos i took with the drone. normally on the android version of the google photos app, i can choose which folders to upload photos from me. however in iOS you don't have that choice, so it's either all or nothing. i fixed it by erasing the duplicate photos in google photos. i also noticed when i checked the flight data with my android phone (i've sync'ed all the data across all devices), it only gave me a truncated 2 minute clip of my 13 minute flight. not sure why that is, i'll keep an eye on it, maybe it's a iOS/android unit translation issue.
i didn't start making dinner until late, around 9pm. i was going to make some trader joe's orange chicken, and i had everything ready before i realized i don't have any cooking oil in the house, not even olive oil. i was going to run out to star market to grab a bottle real quick, but decided in the end it was too much of a hassle, so i whipped up a quick salad of arugula, mini sweet peppers, hot pepper rings, and italian dressing. i also made some instant sugar-free ice team. later around 10:30pm i had a shin black cup of noodles because i felt i didn't eat enough tonight.