i woke up at 8:30am to get ready. before they arrived, i tested the broken modem from my sister's place by plugging it in to my cable line. just like before, it'd turn on but the upload light wouldn't stop blinking and neither download nor internet would light up. good thing is arris (apparently they took over the modem business from motorola?) has a 2 year warranty on this modem (we bought this one back in march 2020) so hopefully i can get a replacement if it really is broken, which seems to be the case. i even reset modem (never knew it had a tiny reset button) and it still didn't work.
but arrived at the everett costco a bit before 10am. the store wasn't opened yet and there were a handful of people waiting by the entrance while others waited in their cars. the parking lot was the most empty we'd ever seen it, but while we waited more and more cars started arriving.
if my 2nd aunt was awestruck by her first costco visit, she didn't show it, although she did buy $80 worth of items, mostly food. i was there to score some cheap led light bulbs. they had a pair of feit-brand 3000K 1000 lumens dimmable PAR38 bulbs for $8. even though my recessed lights take PAR30 bulbs, i decided to get a box just to try them out. they also had boba ice popsicles but with the weather turning cold, we weren't in the mood for cold treats. my father was looking for tequila but couldn't find any, maybe there's a global storage? instead he bought a big bottle of kirkland gin.
by the time we left costco at 11:30am, the parking lot had filled up. it took us 8 minutes to drive down to super 88 in malden, another place my 2nd aunt had never visited before.
even though super 88 has great selections, a lot of their stuff are expensive i've discovered, unless it's on sale, then it's a bargain. but a lot of their on-sale stuff are soon-to-expire items. for example, they had jars of hainan island yellow habanero hot sauce for just $1 when it normally sells for $5. this is the hot sauce i got when i visited hainan and tried to replicate with my own habanero hot sauce recipe. anyway, later during dinner we discovered the reason why it was so cheap was because they expired october 2021. the reason why we came here was so my mother could get some frozen dumplings and disposable chopsticks.
we were at the malden 88 for over an hour before we finally left by 12:45pm. it took us another 8 minutes to drive down to the medford stop & shop at the fellsway plaza. we took the long way through the route 16 interchange, when in hindsight there was a shorter way via medford street onto the fellsway.
we were at stop & shop because my 2nd aunt had a $100 coupon to get grocery items from the store. i wasn't sure if it'd work even though customer service told me they'd accept it so i didn't buy anything, even though my mother and 2nd aunt seemed like they were on a shopping spree. the most interesting thing i saw there was a cleaning robot in the produce department, i'd never seen one before.
we were at stop & shop for 25 minutes while my father waited in the car. we then went next door to OSJL, where my father waited in the car again. with our unlimited data plan, he's got plenty of diversions on his phone.
by the time we went to OSJL it was already 1:15pm. my mother wanted to come here to look for inexpensive yarns on sale while i needed to get a bag of sunflower seeds for the birdfeeder. we spent about 30 minutes here before finally leaving.
after dropping off my 2nd aunt at her apartment, my parents dropped me off at my place around 2:15pm, while they went to the cafe to drop off the supplies. i didn't have a good poop this morning so i used the bathroom once more. i also had time to try out the PAR38 light i got from costco. not only was it too short, but the bulb itself was too wide for my recessed light canister. my father also gave me some BR30 light bulbs. these actually fit, but because the bulb bulges out instead of being flat, it produces some awful glare in the ceiling. i finally heading to belmont via motorcycle by 2:40pm. my parents were already home by then.
today was supposed to be another day of gardening and i had just about 3 hours of daylight before it got dark. i started by mowing the lawn. the grass itself wasn't very long, but there were leaves everywhere, and it was easier to mow the leaves and dumping everything (including grass clippings) into the compost than trying to rake the leaves. i started out in my fleece jacket, but it didn't take long before i was just in my t-shirt on this 55 degrees day.
after i finished mowing the lawn, i planted some more siberian irises in the western perennial bed. we still had a big basin full of tangled irises. i was going to separate them out, but we already had more than enough as is, as well as the irises we dug up a few weekends ago, so in the end we decided to toss those out after rinsing off as much dirt as possible. i planted 20 irises in the bed, leaving the other half for a hardy chrysanthemum we'll transplant next spring.
my father and i also moved the 2 potted golden raspberries next to the basement entrance all the way to the other side of the backyard on the eastern side underneath the cypress, in front of the shady perennial bed. he potted some jasmine branches that've been living outside all summer long in a glass jar. they never rooted, nor did they die, the leaves remaining green.
my mother came out briefly to inspect the garden for plants she can harvest. she saw a large bitter melon; unfortunately it's already turned yellow and soft, too ripe to eat, better just to leave outside and collect the seeds afterwards. i saw a common stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) behind RB1. i've seen my share of stinkhorns over the years, i don't think i've ever seen this one before but i recognized it right away. the stinkhorn that usually appears in the backyard is the elegant stinkhorn. that whole area between and behind the raised beds that we've mulched with wood chips gets a lot of weird mushrooms. there's a colony of bird best mushrooms i've noticed for a while. maybe because it gets so wet there, and combined with the wood chips make for good mushroom growing conditions.
downstairs in the grow room, i sprayed the orchids again with neem oil. i didn't see any mealybugs, but i'm going to keep on spraying every week just to be safe. so far i haven't seen aphids or mealybugs in any of the other plants. the pepper plant (upstairs) has some aphid signs; i took it into the bathtub and sprayed it with insecticidal soap. the grow room feels like a sauna, temperature in the 70's with humidity at 70%. at night though it drops into the 60's and likewise with the humidity. it's great for our tropical plants, feels like being in the jungles. i ended up filling 3 buckets with rain water and carrying them down into the basement. i was going to do a soil drench with Bti infused water, but my father said to hold off until next weekend since the soil is still pretty most. i brought in the water so they'll be at room temperature when we eventually water.
my mother made some fried rice for dinner, mostly so she could toss in a few anchovies. we had mostly leftovers from last night, which itself was composed of leftovers. we tried the new hainan hot sauce, it didn't seem as spicy as the one i made, and a little watery. both my mother and i ended up scooping about a teaspoon worth into our rice. if it was my homemade hot sauce, we'd only use an amount about the size of a pea. the hainan hot sauce i got in hainan island that i was saving because it was too precious to eat? well, i fished it out of the cupboard today, the sauce has turned brown, i don't think it's edible anymore.
i tried replacing the dinner table light with the new PAR38 led light bulb from costco. it's the equivalent of a 75W, so it wasn't as bright as the bulb we currently use, a cree-brand led light. i can't figure out when i got that cree light (this model most likely, cree 18W [90W equivalent] 3000K PAR38 47° dimmable 1500 lumens), i think sometime in december 2012, so nearly 9 years ago. it's one of the early generation led light bulbs, so it has heat-dissipating fins.
i left belmont by 7:30pm. i've got a busy day tomorrow, need to prep the bathroom before the plumber arrives on wednesday, plus clean the house a bit, including the basement. i also need to go vote. and change my aquarium water!