while i was in the basement, i found an empty box for returning the marble frying pan my mother didn't want anymore. i also brought down some more empty boxes for storage, clearing up the clutter in my kitchen. i pruned some ivy and did some weeding before finally coming inside.
paul finally sent me an e-mail. he said they knew some plumbers and that they could call if i wanted, or give me their contact infos and have me call. i expected as much. their upstairs pipes are leaking, and i'm the one calling plumbers and i'll probably also have to pay the plumber first before they can pay me back. somehow this is all my responsibility. i told paul that i used alewife co. in the past, and could contact them as well; being a local company i could probably get an appointment this week if not this day. i also got in touch with dennis, who had some plumbing work done at his place. he was happy with RP Holmes, but added they're expensive.
when paul finally gave me the go-ahead via e-mail, i called alewife co. at 9am to book an appointment. i explained the problem, they said nothing about rebuilding or replacing the soil pipe, but instead said they'd check the shower assembly or reseat the toilets, which are often the cause of these pipe leaks. victor checked his schedule, and said the earliest available time they could come would be next monday afternoon, a week from today.
i told victor to pencil me in for the appointment, and put me on the wait list in case another earlier appointment frees up. i then contacted paul and david to let them know what's going on. david told me he could be here next monday, since the plumber will need to work upstairs.
i decided to return the frying pan. when i submitted the return on amazon, it told me i could return it at the UPS store, and i didn't need to package it. i put the pan in a canvas shopping bag and walked down to the UPS store. i wasn't prepared for how hot and humid it'd already gotten. there was also a haze in the air, which could be humidity-related, but more likely smoke from the western and canadian wildfires. at the UPS store, the clerk told me because of its irregular size, i still needed to put it in a box. before returning home, i went to the walgreens across the street and picked up my prescriptions.
i packaged the pan in the box i got from the basement earlier. this time i went to the UPS store via bicycle. after dropping off the box, i came back to star market to see if they anymore boneless skinless chicken thighs ($1.99/lbs.). they were still out, so i got back on my bike and went to the porter square star market. they had the thighs, i bought two packages (the limit), then returned home.
it was still morning and i'd already walked close to 6000 steps. after using the bathroom and taking a shower, i packed up my things and took the motorcycle to belmont around 12pm.
my mother made some wonton soup for lunch. she was also complaining about her samsung S9+, the LCD screen started to look washed out, and no amount of software adjusting could fix it, although after a while it'd fix itself. she wanted to get a new S9+ and we looked around for prices. for a 64GB refurbished it costs $150. but i told her a better deal might be a refurbished S10+ with 128GB for $300. after some consideration, she decided to keep her current phone. if she does decided to upgrade her phone, i hope to inherit her S9+ since it's the only android phone that seems to work flawlessly with the DJI mini 2 drone.
speaking of drones, i went out into the backyard to test fly the mini 2 using my pixel 3XL phone. the fly app was updated recently, and i was hopefully they fixed the crashing issue. all seemed well as i did some gently flying above the house, taking snapshots of the garden from above. but at the midway point the app did crash - went to a black screen. it didn't freeze the phone and i was able to exit to the home screen and manually quit the app before turning it back on again. still, any type of phone crash while flying is one too many crashes. i took a photo of the house from a new angle, west facing east. while i went up to 400ft and tilted the camera up to see boston, i could barely make out the city through the smoke haze.
the squash vine crawling on the grass is dying. no wonder, it suffered a kink and possible squash vine borer damage at its base, which immediately killed all the branching vines. there were two plum-sized baby squashes on these vines and now it looks like we lost them if the vines end up dying. i injected them with Btk as a last ditch effort.
the few bitter melons we have are now growing fast, enough to see daily difference. brushing up against the leaves walking behind the trellis releases an acrid smell distinctive of bitter melons.
the 'cherokee sunset' rudbeckias continue to slowly open. not only are these flowers large and showy, but they look like they might last a long time.
my father has a new hobby: hand-weeding crabgrass from the lawn. because we applied crabgrass killer back in the spring, there's been less crabgrass on the lawn, but they're still there. they grow in dense clusters particularly in spots where we didn't apply crabgrass killer. he'd already weeded most of the front lawn and now working on the back lawn.
the compost bin doesn't smell as bad as before because i turn it with the pitchfork whenever i can. speaking of compost, my father called the place that was selling chicken manure and reserved 5 bags of the stuff when they start selling it at the end of september.
around 3pm my father and i went to home depot to get some potting soil. we ended up getting 3x 32qt bags of vigoro potting soil ($7/bag). back at the house, we continued weeding crabgrass from the lawn. a patch underneath the maple tree we decided to reseed since the tree provides it with some shade. after reseeding, we cover up the bare batches with potting soil. potting soil seems to be better than garden soil because it has a finer texture; often times garden soil comes in large chunks that don't do well for seeds (better for transplants).
the large squash growing in the outside yard and setting fruits on top of the honeysuckles, i decided to inject some BTk into the base stem because i saw a sign of possible vine borer intrusion. the other squash growing in the western bed started showing some powdery mildew on one of its leaves; i sprayed it with neem oil, which helps to control the mildew.
the wild tomatoes are growing crazy. strands as long as 1-1/2 feet, or branching strands, or fruit strands that develop additional leaves. the tomatoes are also very sweet, much sweeter than typical cherry tomatoes which have a sourness to them.
around 5pm my mother gave me a haircut. i could've easily gone additional weeks without one, but i have my annual physical on wednesday morning, and i don't want my doctor to think i'm a homeless person. afterwards i took a quick shower to rinse off the hairs on the back of my neck.
after dinner i rode back to cambridge. the sky was still hazy, the sun a deep orange ball, like a super organic egg yolk. first thing i did was go in the basement to check on the status of the leak. the bucket managed to catch about 2 inches worth of rusty-colored water. i poured it out before putting the bucket back underneath the soil pipe. i wouldn't know there was a leak either except my bathtub wall paints are peeling, like it has some kind of water leak damage pox.
in the evening i watched the red sox game (beat the bluejays in the 8th inning), followed by the angels game. ohtani was pitching, angels ended up winning as well (against the rockies).