i left for belmont early - 10:30am - because i wanted to get started with my gardening, which i wasn't really able to do yesterday due to the rain.

my father collected baby bokchoi from the longer planting container as they were getting old (tough) and beginning to form flower stalks. we emptied out the container to reuse the soil, which wasn't very good to begin with, but looked like we'd already used it once before. the soil was also very soggy due to the rain. what was really interesting was the density of very thin bokchoi roots, which formed a mat.

earlier my parents also harvest a bunch of japanese red mustard leaves, and then later my father harvested some more cilantro. this is all done to make room to plant our summer seedlings in the raised beds, like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.

my carabiners for securing the patio umbrella arrived yesterday, it was my first chance to check them out. they're stainless steel and supposedly can support hundreds of pounds each, but they're just too small (size M6). i'm going to return these and get some larger carabiners, 3"+. they don't have to be stainless steel like these, aluminum will work just fine.

my mother cooked up a plate of baby bokchoi with garlic for lunch, along with some egg pancakes which i ate with some pork floss rolled up with a bit of fresh garden cilantro.

my father connected the igloo kool mate 40 thermoelectric cooler to his variable DC power supply (set to 12v) to see how it'd work, using a cable attached to alligator clamps that he jerryrigged to fit inside the power plug of the cooler. this is an older model, which has a neat trick of turning the cooler into a warmer if you reverse the polarity of the plug (newer models just do cooling). as for cooling, supposedly it can cool down to 39 degrees if you give it enough time. but it seemed to be working, we took temperature of the inside of the cooler and could feel it getting progressively cooler. the unit draws about 5A of current, so it uses about 60W of power.

we needed to do a baifu supply run this weekend but figured we'd do it tomorrow. but this it was memorial day weekend, tomorrow (monday) the traffic is going to be a nightmare, so we decided to go today instead. we ran into two choke point on our way there: one at harvard square, where the boston calling music event had storrow drive traffic slowed down to bumper to bumper; then we were trying to exit storrow at kenmore, there was congestion on the offramp. luckily we were able to divert and continue on storrow until we exited off of 93 south; it was more circuitous, but hardly any traffic.

when we got to baifu, we were amazed to see how clean it was outside. yes, there were a few homeless junkies, but the large congregation of drug users were no longer there, the city must've been cracking down. our maybe even junkies go on vacation during memorial day weekend, as i pictured them all at revere beach getting high and enjoying the sand and sun.

there was hardly anyone at baifu. even better, a lot of things that didn't used to be in stock were now available again. like three deer brand pickled sour mustard, which we ended up getting two cases of. we also bought a case of sesame sauce.

we left baifu by 2pm. driving out onto the main street, that's when we saw the crowd of drug users. they didn't leave after all, just moved to a different part of the street.

we tried getting back home via the turnpike, but missed the onramp to route 90 and ended up getting stuck in a bit of route 93 traffic going into the tunnel. once we exited off to storrow drive, traffic was better, though still a little crowded. we got to the cafe by 2:30pm to drop off the supplies, before returning to belmont.

my father and i continued doing yardwork as my mother stayed inside the house watching her korean drama. i was tilling the western bed so i could replant squash seeds and figure out where to transplant the bitter melon and cherry tomato seedlings. my sister showed up later with hailey for our memorial weekend barbecue.

earlier i'd divided up the ground beef mix into 8 balls. when it came time to barbecue them, i flattened them into patties. my father also grilled some italian sausages (half with fennel, half with cheese), a piece of steak my sister had bought, some green plantains split length-wise, and some purple asparagus. we cooked the burgers last. because these were 80% lean, there was a lot of fat dripping, which causes a grease fire towards the end. we had to shut off the burners for safety reasons, as we flame-broiled the burgers to done.

i also tried eating one of the rhubarb stalks i bought from haymarket. they have the consistency of a very thick piece of celery, but with a tart flavor. it also had a fruity flavor, and that crunchiness combined with the tartness sort of reminded me of biting into a crispy apple. i ate it with some sugar sprinkles. it's definitely worth trying for the novelty of it, but i don't know if it's delicious enough that i'd want to eat it again.

i didn't think the plantains would come out well, but they tasted okay, even though i just had one bite. it had that starchy denseness like a potato, but surprisingly there was still some sweetness even though they were green plantains. kind of like eating a sweet potato, without that sweet potato taste. the skin also turns this get black when grilled, kind of cool looking. my mother made some smashed cucumbers. i ended up eating a burger and two different types of italian sausages.

i didn't leave belmont until almost 8pm. game 7 between the celtics and heat wouldn't start until after 8:30pm, so as soon as i got back, i took a quick shower and prepared myself to watch. celtics pulled ahead in the beginning, they had more intensity and energy than the heat. they had the lead the entire game, i think at one point they were up by 15 points, but heading into halftime they were only up 6 points. the 3rd quarter was pivotal, and both teams couldn't get their offensive going, but boston managed to make just a few more shots to pad the lead back to double digits. the entire rest of the game was the heat making a limited run, while the celtics kept answering and keeping their distance score-wise. boston was up 13 points with just 3 minutes left in the game. they would win for sure, right? but miami would not quit, and they came back to within 2 points with about 10 seconds left in the game and with possession and a chance to either tie or win. jimmy butler launched a 3-point after a quick break, and after a night where he already had 35 points, more likely than not it'd go in. but the basketball gods were kind to the celtics tonight, butler missed, horford rebounded, and marcus smart iced the game with 2 clutch free throws to put the celtics ahead by 4 points with just seconds to go. and just like that, the celtics won the eastern conference championship, heading to san francisco thursday for game 1 of the NBA finals against the warriors.