coming back from my run, i stopped by the community garden. there's been some online talk about only watering before 9am or after 5pm because of the drought, so me being in the garden around 11:40am felt like i was doing something wrong. fortunately there was nobody there, except for one woman (diane) who used to garden here a long time ago and came to see her old plot. she's since moved to falmouth and has her own backyard garden. i asked if she was getting a lot of rabbits, she said no, but the chimpunks were eating everything.
ever since i elevated my eggplant grow bags, i haven't had anymore leaf damages, not from slugs, not from snails, and even flea beetles have avoided my eggplants, allowing some new healthy leaves to grow. unfortunately the damage has already been done, and my eggplants don't seen to be growing taller anymore (despite producing some new leaves, even some flowers). there's a few spent female squash flowers, and one of them even looks to be pollinated, given the slightly swollen fruit. i'll try coming by tomorrow and checking again, if it's bigger than today, it's definitely a healthy fruit. my peppers are super healthy, 2 purple serranos and 1 thai hot. tomato fruits are also getting bigger, clementine-sized now. hyacinth beans have already produced immature pods, dark purple and flat.
after i finished the episode, i started my errands. i folded all the clothes that i hung dry on tuesday that laid in a pile on my bed with the plastic hangers still on them. i installed my AC in the living room window even though i don't have any immediate plans to use it (pre-emptive install). it's probably the earliest i've installed the AC that i can remember (normally i wait until the first official heatwave).
next i started my big project of the day: treat my deck with australian timber oil. there was a quarter left of oil left in the can, i wasn't sure if i'd have enough. i started from one end and worked my way to the other side, making sure i didn't paint myself into a corner. at first i was doing it silently, but i decided to grab my wireless earbuds and listen to some podcasts. i started with the wired 20th anniversary podcast, listening to all the episodes, before moving onto one about the history of byzantium. i started at 1:30pm and finally finished by 4:30pm, a total of 3 hours. i had enough timber oil left to do some vertical services - which i skipped - because i wasn't sure if i'd have enough for all the horizontal surfaces (which are more important in keeping waterproof).
i sent jeff a text telling him not to use the back porch for the next 24 hours and apologizing for any smells. i wasn't sure when they'd be back from the cape, and by sheer coincidence they were actually on their way back via lyft after taking the ferry across the harbor. soon after they got home (they were traveling with another couple friends), jeff texted me again, saying sorry for watering the plants on his upstairs porch and dripping water all onto my deck. i had to go outside and dry up the water with some paper towels before they ruined the finish.
6pm was the monthly cambridge board of zoning meeting. this was part 2 of the first zoning board meeting back in mid-may, when the business across the street from my sister was trying to get her business zoned for a night club but didn't have the proper amount of parking. they reworked their proposal and this was their second pitch. gone was any mention of night club, now it was an event space for corporate events and private/public functions. unlike last time, we didn't have to wait until 9pm, the case was brought up around 7:15pm.
the hearing for just this one case lasted 1-1/2 hours. the business had a slick powerpoint presentation, and both the lawyer and owner spoke. the chairman had to cut them off as they already used up 30 minutes (and there was still plenty of other cases on the agenda). they brought in a young licensed traffic expert who said there was plenty of parking, even though he was only there not behalf of any impartial assessment but as a personal favor to the business. they then opened up the hearing for public comments. the chairman could see this was going to be contentious and urged all parties to be civil with their remarks. everyone opposing were abutters, everyone for the rezoning were people who had a personal/business relation with the owner. when the committee finally voted (8:45pm) all were against it. the only recourse was to file again but with a radically trimmed down proposal (even the chairman said it most likely wouldn't pass, given how much neighbors were against it), or wait 2 years and they could file again.
i was waiting for the hearing to end so i could ride up to trum field and watch the somerville fireworks. i tried going last year but it was a rainy night and i figured they'd postpone it; instead they shot all the fireworks all at once an hour early, so most people (those crazy enough to still go despite the rain) probably missed it.
i left by 8:55pm, with an estimate that they'd probably shoot the fireworks around 9:15pm. i got there in about 10 minutes via bicycle, despite riding partially up a hill before i had to push the bike on foot. i had perfect timing because no sooner did i get into position (they were already singing the national anthem), they started lighting the fireworks. there were people there, but not as much as in past years. i figured people are still a bit wary about being in crowds, with the pandemic not completely over yet. but i didn't bother with a mask, and most everyone i saw there weren't masking either.
somerville fireworks might not be the biggest or loudest, but what it lacks in quantity and quality, it makes up for in proximity, as the fireworks were practically overhead. i switched to my wide angle lens and took some photos, adjusting the priority (aperture/shutter) or manual setting. i'm still on the fence about seeing the 4th of july fireworks on the charles. i kind of want to catch it from a distance, using the drone to see if i can film the fireworks (and add the audio from the tv broadcast).
the fireworks was over by 9:30pm. everyone moseyed out of the area. i found my bike and rode home, reclimbing a hill to get across to cambridge.
when i got back home i made myself a peppered ham sandwich and drank some half & half lemonade. i continued watching episodes of evil, i don't know if i can finish the first season tonight before amazon prime yanks it from their service. it's not a big deal, i can just download the ones i didn't get to see yet, but it'd be a hassle. update: amazon ain't playing! as soon as the clock hit midnight, i no longer had access to evil, unless i paid $8/month to join paramount+. torrent here i come! i had less than 3 episodes left!