i replaced my front porch light this morning with a new 60W equivalent lepro dusk to dawn led light bulb. of course i'd need to wait until it got dark to see it working. this light bulb is slightly different than my old lohas bulb: besides being a little longer, it also had 2 sensor windows that the other bulb didn't have. makes me wonder how the old bulb was able to sense the light change (the sensor is probably inside the dome).

temperature this morning was already 65 degrees, and would hit the 70's by the afternoon. i went out to enjoy the last warm day of the 2021. i've always wanted to fly above the mt.auburn cemetery and today i got my chance. there's no drone flying within the cemetery itself, but nothing says i can't launch from outside and fly over the property. i really wanted to do it during peak foliage colors, so now it's a bit too late, but still better than nothing.

i parked at 165 grove street, a large parking lot perfect for a drone launch, with the cemetery right across the street. i've been here before, with my parents when we went on the watertown garden tour back in september. now in november, both the community garden and the parking lot were locked in preparation for the BB&N demolition. there was enough space for me to stash my motorcycle as i quickly pulled out my drone and set it into the sky. i always have a feeling i'm doing something illegal whenever i do a drone launch other than my parents' backyard.

i had pretty good signal, and i was familiar with the area, so landmarks helped me with my bearing, unlike the few times i've flown in unfamiliar surroundings, where i had no idea where i was. no matter where i am, i can always see boston on the horizon from the drone. i might've also spotted my grand uncle's plot in the cambridge cemetery nearby. the one place i wanted to visit in mt.auburn cemetery was washington tower. for the longest time, this was the tallest structure in the area, and i'd always come here if i wanted a bird's eye view of the surroundings. so imagine flying above the tower, seeing views i'd never be able to see without the drone. there were actually some people up on the tower, i wonder if they saw my drone flying by.

coming back i was a little lost, and issued a return-to-home command to bring the drone back. once it got close i switched to manual landing, didn't want the drone to accidentally land on the road, or behind the gated parking lot. once it landed i quickly folded up the drone nad packed it away. i finished by noontime, making my way to my parents' place.

here in belmont i was doing some yard maintenance. empty and clean some rain barrels and store them for the winter. i started with the red catch barrel at the corner of my parents' bedroom. there was still a bit of water inside, so i removed it from the cinder block and tipped it upside down to dump out the water. i noticed there was a foul smell, and when the water poured out, there were 3 dead mice inside. they must've crawled up the overflow pipe once the barrel was mostly drained, and then fell to the bottom where they couldn't escape and finally drowned. i cleaned the inside of the barrel the best i could, i didn't want to crawl in to give it a thorough scrubbing as it still smelled of decomposition.

i also cleaned the red catch barrel by the dining room window, as well as one of the black storage barrels. the storage barrels i couldn't really clean inside, all i could do was empty the tank completely. i moved the three barrels to the southeastern corner of the yard, where they'll be stacked on their sides during the winter.

next i cleaned out the 3 catch barrels at the northwestern corner of the house. these were small enough that i could crawl inside and give them a thorough cleaning with some water and a brush. afterwards i tipped them upside down and put them back in their original locations. now that they're empty, they're much easier to steal. these are newer converted rain barrels that use brass bulk fittings so they never leak.

as for the remaining barrels, the 3 black and 1 red barrel by the sunroom are still collecting rain water. those we will disconnect before the daytime temperature dips below freezing. currently i still use harvested rain to water the plants in our grow room. i did put alway the long (50ft) garden hose, taking advantage of the warm weather. when it gets cold, the hose get rigid and become hard to coil up. that meant i disconnected the on-demand pump, though it's still usable if we connect a shorter hose to the pump.

the two barrels in front of the living room window i didn't have time to clean. all i did was to put away the watering hose and disconnect the old 12v pump, putting them in the garage. we'll clean them this weekend, and put away some more hoses, as the temperature will still be relatively warm, in the 50's.

i went to the basement to check on the grow room. before i even got there, i could smell the osmanthus. the higher humidity really brings out the fragrance. i noticed the water in my lotus container has turned clear. the potted lantana had lost a lot of its original leaves, but now was starting to make new ones, tiny green buds emerging all over its branches.

something animal (squirrel?) had dug into the raised beds. in RB1 there was a very deep hole, and at first i thought i was a burrow, so i checked to make sure there wasn't anything living inside. it's so big i wonder if a rabbit dug the hole, but i haven't seen rabbits in the backyard in months (i do however see them in the front yard). i patched up the hole. some critter (mostly likely a squirrel this time) had dug in the RB0 garlic bed. i don't think it was trying to eat any of the garlics, more like finding places to hide food for the winter, but it was mess, despite the metal mesh. i patched those holes as well.

the mustard and daikon seedlings that looked like they were doing so well last weekend now all looked wilted. was it the cold temperature? or too much nitrogen-rich chicken manure? the few lucky daikon plants underneath tha tented row cover seem to be doing better, so it makes me think the wilt is temperature related.

by 2:30pm i was finally done. i headed to the cafe. my parents were preparing a catered delivery to brandeis university. one challenge was cooking enough rice. they didn't have enough rice cookers so they opted to use the instant pot pressure cooker. when i got there, my mother had just added 14 cups of rice to the 8qt inner pot. all the instructions i read online said the 8qt can only cook 6 cups of rice maximum. but my parents insisted it'd be safe. it took my sister to finally convince them they had too much rice (she uses the instant pot more than all of us). they scooped out 2 cups, but it still seemed way too much rice. when filled with water, it almost reached the maximum line. my sister showed me what they were thinking regarding a new store sign. i left with half a eggplant parmigiana sandwich and a whole ham and cheese sub (my godmother had bought them).

when i got home by 3:30pm i finally ate for the first time today, finished the eggplant parmigiana sandwich after heating it up for a minute in the microwave. what that sandwich needed with some meatballs.

i had dinner around 8:30pm, to coincide with the thursday night football game between the patriots and falcons. the general consensus was new england would win, now that they're ascending, while atlanta was descending. besides, the falcons under matt ryan had a history of terrible luck when facing the patriots, and tonight would be no exception. to their credit though, the atlanta defense was legit, preventing mac jones and company from showcasing their offensive onslaught they dealt to the browns on sunday. patriots defense continued to be dominant. new england managed to eke out a few points, a touchdown and mostly field goal kicks, while completely shutting out atlanta. during the final few minutes of the game, when all seemed lost for the falcons, 3 different quarterbacks played for atlanta, and each one managed to get intercepted, with one of them being a pick-six from van noy to put the final score at 25-0. now the 7-4 patriots get to rest this sunday, and don't play until the 28th, when they host the 8-2 tennessee titans.

binbin contacted me tonight, said they got their visa and was coming back to boston next month. she was asking about the pandemic situation, since she saw on the news that US infection rates were increasing again, especially now the holidays is approaching. she wondered if they should delay their return.