mike hadn't called me so i wasn't even sure if he was going to come. a little bit before 2pm i was surprised to see my father on my doorstep. he stopped by after a market basket supply run. finally i saw the alewife company truck circling the block.
mike showed up wearing a face mask, so i put mine on as well. i've met with 3 other plumbers from alewife company, i'd never seen mike before. i showed him the issue in the bathroom. he gave me a ballbark estimate, probably $800 to replace the two copper hot water pipes ($140/hour), but $2400 if they need to replace the main sewer pipe, which according to mike might be leaking. even if it wasn't, there's so much corrosion on the cast-iron, and since i have my wall already open, it'd save money to replace it now than do it later down the road. i then took him to the basement to have a look. he took photos and said he'd get back to me with various estimates that i can then share with my upstairs neighbors. he was very aware of how plumbing fixes work in shared condos: the hot water pipes would be paul and steve's responsibility, but repairing the sewer main is a shared expense.
after mike left, my father and i started packing things into the car: 3 coolers, spool of chickenwire, steel wire shelving unit, jars of fermented beans and tomatoes, old mac SE, and cases of seltzer. my father also picked up an iron wicker table. we stopped off at the cafe briefly so my father and unload some supplies before continuing onwards to belmont, all the while it was raining non-stop.
first thing i noticed when we got inside the house was the smell of osmanthus flowers. i wish we could keep it indoors, since putting it outside seems like a waste of fragrance, but it'd get more sun outside. my father has been studying the plant and says there will be even more flowers compared to what we have now. the flowers seem to appear on the terminal end of branches, as well as on the bare stems between leaf nodes.
i helped my parents secure their pfizer booster shot in 2 weeks. we tried getting an earlier appointment at cvs, but they seemed to be all booked up. when we checked last weekend, there were still plenty of appointments at all the nearby pharmacies. in hindsight we should've booked last weekend, because now the only two places left are waltham and west newton.
we tried one of the specialty flavored lay's potato chips my sister got us: beef noodle flavor. we were shocked when the chips in fact really did taste like beef noodles. too bad they come only in small packages, and i they probably cost way more than regular potato chips. i also tried the fermented cherry tomatoes. the first time i spit it out in the sink, the flavor was so weird. that fermented sourness like a half sour pickle, the skin burst in your mouth like a water balloon, then you're hit with a jelly-like sweetness from inside the tomato. it's a total novelty food, fun to try, but not at all delicious. so much for trying to find a good recipe for all the cherry tomatoes we have left.
i stayed indoors the rest of the afternoon, only going out to pick some leftover long beans with my mother. we took out a batch that'd been fermenting a long time; i've lost track when it first went into the short 1/2 gallon jar, but it may very well be a batch from august 29th, so more than a month ago; but we then filled the jar with fresh long beans.
my mother cooked up another batch of fermented long beans for dinner. the beans tasted very good, sour yet chewy (sometimes the store bought variety aren't very fresh the beans are soft); the minced beef was a little too sweet though (my mother added sugar because she was afraid the beans would be too sour) and not salty or spicy enough.
my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. my mother's shoes was on my doorstep (she accidentally sent it to my address when she was using my amazon account, my father took it with him), along with another package which turned out to be my emerald green slipcover shipped from china (purchased via aliexpress). i put on the slipcover and moved the old (blue) one to the tub chair in my bedroom. in the dim light, it was hard to tell it was even green, looked more like black. it fits about the same as the teal slipcover i bought on amazon, but that one had handy front-back labels while this one didn't. can't wait to see what it looks like in the daylight.
after this latest episode (6) of y: the last man, i'm saying good-bye to the series. its democrat-vs-republican, trans-friendly, female-centric storylines have made me lose interest in the show. the main antagonist yorick is also an unlikeable character not worth saving even if he is the last man alive. i'm almost starting to hate watch it, which is a warning sign that i should stop following the show altogether.