i woke up at 8am but surfed the web from bed until 9am before getting up. judging from the puddles outside, it rained last night, though i didn't hear anything. around 10am i walked down to the community garden - not to water - but to inspect my plants. my largest tomato is almost the size of a golfball. another female squash flower has emerged, i've decided to keep it. one of my nigella plants also blossomed - a white flower. i sprayed my eggplants and ground cherry with diatomaceous earth powder.

i came across an igloo 1 gallon water jug with a folding spout. i cleaned it up with a magic eraser, but the original owner wrote his name with gold permanent marker and i was only able to partially remove the name. not sure what i'll use it for, i was thinking lemonade storage, but i don't need something insulated if i'm going to keep it in the fridge. i also came across a garlic-shaped porcelain garlic saver roaster but it seems to be missing the bottom dish, there was only the top half. i saw a lovely ikea kitchen island somebody threw out; i was tempted to grab it even though i probably wouldn't be able to carry it home; not that i needed it anyway, i just thought it looked cool.

when i went to my parents' place in the late morning, my father was busy in the backyard setting up the squash trellises in raised beds 0, 1, and 2. there were some interesting clouds in the sky and i took out my drone to survey the sky. i can neither confirm nor deny that i momentarily flew to the highest i've ever flown - 500m - to the point where i only had a few bars of signal. that's actually the maximum altitude the mini 2 can reach. from that height, i can see all the harbor islands behind boston and all the way to hingham and cohasset.

i saw my father had already assembled the LiFePo4 battery box. last night the lithium cells charged to maximum capacity, so my father pieced everything together into the battery box. he was using it to charge a battery pack and later run the thermoelectric igloo cooler. he's now balancing the other set of LiFePo4 battery cells; once that charges to capacity, it'll go into a second battery box.

i brought along a new belgian waffle mix; while my mother made waffles in the kitchen with the waffle iron, i helped my father cook the bacon on a cast iron griddle that we placed inside our barbecue grill. towards the end the bacon was basically just frying in its own fat (at about 350 degrees).

after lunch my mother and i took a walk down to coolidge center to revisit all the middle eastern grocery stores. my mother wanted to get some pita bread from massis bakery (we peeked into their kitchen where they actually bake their own bread) but discovered it wasn't as cheap as arax market. so we went there to get pita bread instead. from sevan bakery (they also have a kitchen where they make their own bread) we got a box of sour cherry turkish delights and a container of salted roasted chickpeas as well as some tea. my mother went to CVS to get some hairspray. our final stop was at a 7-eleven where i admired their assortment of instant noodles and jerky and i got a raspberry slurpee. we made it back home by 2:30pm.

these are some garden activities i did today:

  • i trimmed some more bines from our hop plants, which continue to grow taller despite not having another pole/twine to climb.
  • i discovered rabbits had ate half (6) of my thai basil seedlings. fortunately we planted 3 yesterday and i still have 3 more seedlings left. i didn't think they'd eat seedlings from the starter trays but rabbits don't obey any rules when it comes to feeding.
  • i did a water change on my resurrection plant, filling the plastic bowl with just enough water to wet the roots but not the mossy leaves.
  • i watered the 4 remaining orchids with orchid-fertilized water. the orchid with the flower buds already had a partially blossomed flower (white).
  • now that hailey doesn't get worked up over sprinklers, i brought out my solar-powered water fountain for the bird bath. we currently don't have a properly-sized bird bath container so i used my 2/3rd-size planting tray.
  • i finally planted my 4 chinese aster seedlings in the front garden, along with 2 i discovered already in the ground. i also sprinkled all the saved aster seeds from last season into the front garden, hoping maybe a few will germinate on its own. my father added 2 more squashes to the front garden as well (including a heaping of raw chicken manure for each plant).
  • my mother helped me drive out bunnies; i saw at least 4 just hanging out in the backyard while i was working. we successfully drove out one, maybe a second left on its own, but 2 more still remain in the backyard to wreck havoc on our vegetable seedlings.
  • i dusted the eggplants in our raised beds and put chicken-wire cages around them since i discovered rabbits feeding on the leaves.
  • i made new solutions of insecticidal soap (1 tsbp of concentrated soap solution to a 25-30oz spray bottle). one bottle is for my father to bring to the cafe to spray on some plants (orchids, jade plant) that seem to get aphids and mealybugs.
  • squash vine borer moths are back, i saw one hovering around our squash plants despite not having any open flowers yet. later i found a dozen eggs all along the squash vines.

i checked the diode of our broken 100W solar panel with the multimeter. it seems to be working, no voltage in one direction, 0.12V in the other direction. if we need to replace the junction box (model PV-CX502), i found an aliexpress vendor that sells them for $11.60 a pop, free shipping.

for dinner we had rice noodle soup along with a serving of smashed cucumbers and tofu pork stirfry with some harvested garlic scapes from yesterday. i also tried polar guava mule seltzer, it didn't really taste like guava, reminded me more of strawberry.

i got back home by 8:20pm. my upstairs neighbors jeff dropped off some more hard cider on my back porch, in celebration of game 5 between his golden state warriors and my boston celtics. i used the bathroom and a took a shower and parked myself in front of the tv by 9pm for the start of the game. the hard cider is from a brewery called artifact and the flavor is wild thing. the product label says low sugar and high acidity, but it was actually sweeter than i expected, and the acidity reminds me not so much a cider (i couldn't really taste any apples) but more of a kombucha. it's not bad.

warriors dominated in the first half, celtics were down by double digits going into halftime. in the 3rd quarter though - when golden state normally outscores its opponents - the celtics actually scored more points, and even lead by double digits, but then lost that lead and the warriors regained the advantage going into the 4th quarter and never gave it up. boston streaky shooting went cold again and the celtics were down by almost 20 points with just minutes left in the game before ime udoka subbed in bench players.

i had a feeling the celtics would lose tonight. the way the celtics have been playing in the playoffs is quite contrarian: celtics never lose back-to-back games? well, they lose tonight after having lost in boston on friday. warriors always dominate in the 3rd quarter? leave it to the celtics to outplay golden state. so it just seems that the celtics were going to do the finals the hard way, that if they were to win it, it'd have to be in 7 games. game 6 is thursday back in boston, it's must-win for the celtics. boston has already survived 3 elimination games during the playoffs. can they survive another one?