my parents were working the cafe today so i was in no hurry to get to belmont. i was waiting for the weather to clear up so i could take the bus out of harvard square, but it never stopped raining today. not only was it grey, rainy, cold, and windy, but at one point there even seemed to be some fog, so even without an umbrella you'd still get wet if you went outside.

i checked the plants i have growing on my backyard porch. i put them there because the weather was nicer but it's been a week of extremes, first 90-100 degrees weather, now 50-60 degrees weather. i took out my seed starter trays yesterday, otherwise they'd drown in the rain water.

i figured i'd make good use of my time and do a water change on the aquarium. the last time i cleaned the fish tank was back in may, so it seems like every 2-months (i should be doing it weekly to control the algae). ever since i started using the magic eraser to clean the aquarium glass, there doesn't seem to be any glass algae anymore, which used to be a problem. but now i get plenty of hair algae growing on the driftwoods and the plants. the java ferns are all but gone at this point, all that's left are the anubais. one clump growing off of a small piece of driftwood was growing so long i decided to cut it and transplant it onto the larger driftwood. if i can get the anubais growing well enough, that might feed on the nutrients in the water before the algae can get to it, that's the theory anyway.

after i finished with the aquarium, i made myself a matcha latte along with a bowl of instant nongshim-brand tonkotsu ramen. i learned something today: tonkotsu and tonkatsu are two different things! tonkatsu is a fried pork cutlet, while tonkotsu is pork bone broth. for the longest time i thought it was a spelling error, and i thought this was porkchop flavored ramen. it was actually pretty good and really hit the spot on a cold and wet day.

maybe because i've lived here a long time and no longer see it, but for some reason people love taking photos of my street. every few months i'll look outside and i'll see someone with their camera phone taking a snapshot. today, it was a moustachioed gentleman who looked like an anime villain who stopped himself, took out what looked to be an ipad, and then take a photo of my street. i also saw my upstairs neighbor david sporting a revised hairdo that made him look like a character from a pre-raphaelite painting.

i finally unpackaged my new instant pot. is it just me, or do instant pots remind you of cybermen heads? the new one was the exact same size as the old. there are more buttons on the new instant pot and pressure release valve is different. out of curiosity, i tried screwing on the old lid onto the new instant pot and it fit perfectly (although i might've inadvertently scratched some of the finish). i was happy to see the new pot came with a condensation collector; for some reason binbin's instant pot was missing one, and so was my parents' 8-qt instant pot. this new instant pot also came with a steam rack with handles and an extra sealing ring, so i have one for savory dishes and one for desserts. from the product label i learned that binbin's instant pot model is the IP-DUO60 v2, while the new one i got is the duo plus 6 v3. maybe i'll use it next week to make some pork bone congee (tonkotsu congee!).

because the weather was so gross, i'd decided to stay home instead of going to my parents' place today. but my mother called me and said they could come pick me up after they close the cafe around 4pm. she said they made some scallion bread and braised beef for dinner.

i went out briefly to star market to get more cherries. the coupon i used yesterday was only a one-time-use deal, so i simply created another account (with my google phone number and google e-mail) to get another coupon. they also had some green mountain caramel vanille cream keurig coffee in stock (and on sale) so i bought two boxes for my mother.

my parents ended up closing the cafe a bit earlier, since the weather was so terrible there was hardly any customers today. i was bringing not only all the cherries i bought, but binbin's instant pot as well (so i can return it back to their house), plus the nigella seedlings and some beach rocks i found on one of the trash days.

i headed to the backyard as soon as i got to belmont. judging from the amount of water in the empty buckets, since thursday, it must've rained at least 4 inches. a few more nigella blossoms have bloomed, a blue and a white. my parents thought the flowers were changing colors since a few days ago there was a pink blossom, but i think they're just new flowers.

there were a lot of squash flowers, i want to say nearly 2 dozen, but i can't be sure if they all opened today or some were remainders from thursday and friday. without the sun, the squash flowers don't wilt, and stay open. this is actually a bad thing, because squash bees sleep in the closed flowers. i actually saw a few trying to stay dry inside of the blossoms, hope they make it to tomorrow when the weather will start drying up a little.

like thursday, all the jasmine flowers stayed opened because of the cloudy weather, and the scent of jasmine was very strong. i collected a handful and put them in a bowl of water indoors. in RB4 i noticed a bunch of cypress vines have been defoliated, all that's left were their tough central stem. this is the work of rabbits, and while walking around the raised bed, i saw something small scurry away from the corner of my eye. if this means they stay away from the eggplant leaves, i'm willing to make that sacrifice; we have so many cypress vine seedlings growing in RB4 anyway, even with the rabbits we'll still get some cypress vine flowers.

today was too wet but i'm going to try and do a foliar spray tomorrow with some miracle-gro. i spent the rest of the time taking photos of the various squashes, from maturing to aborted.

for dinner we had some scallion bread with braised beef. my mother also cooked up some leftover pad thai noodles, but it turned out to be an unappetizing sludge of slimy carbs. after dinner i was waiting for my father to give me a ride back to cambridge but my mother suggested i drive home myself since i was coming back tomorrow anyway.

because of the 4th of july long weekend, there was plenty of free parking spaces when i got back. after using the bathroom and taking a shower, i had 4 leftover tangerines and a white peach. had the weather been nicer, i would've tried to go see the harborwalk fireworks happening in the boston. but it was just too rainy and cold and miserable to go out, so i figured the fireworks were cancelled (they weren't, i think i heard them, but it was brief, and later i found out there weren't too many people). instead i stayed home and watched game 6 between the bucks-hawks. as i predicted, trae young returned to the game. maybe his injury was still bothering him, because he wasn't as explosive as past games. but to milwaukee's credit, their players played very well tonight minus giannis (still injured). the bucks ended up winning and advancing to the finals. i expect to see giannis on tuesday, game 1 of the NBA final.