late last night i saw the news: an assassination attempt on shinzo abe, japan's former prime minister. report said he was unconscious at the time when they rushed him to the hospital. this morning i learned he'd died from his injuries. i noticed a few chinese wechat postings gloating over his death. what they don't understand is abe was killed because japanese ultranationalists think he wasn't conservative enough. it reveals a dangerous streak of ultranationalism bubbling under the surface of japanese society. as the story developed, we learned that the killer used a homemade gun. gun violence is almost unheard of in japan, so it's pretty shocking.

i went down to the community garden this morning to water my plants. i hadn't been there since the 4th, figured i was overdue for a visit. i've got two medium-sized buttercup squashes, i'm guessing one per squash plant. i was surprised to find a ripe (red) medium-sized tomato. elsewhere, my nigellas are blooming, and my bitter melons have produced some baby melons, hopefully i'll get some full-grown bitter melons in a few more weeks. my pepper plants are super tall - nearly as tall as my tomatoes - but so far i haven't seen any immature peppers yet, just a few flowers.

in the rest of the community garden, i see a lot of lilies are blooming. saw some pretty rudbeckias (a different variety than the ones i have in my parents' backyard), and some snapdragons.

i returned home and took a shower. a minute into my wash, the water stopped abruptly. it was so sudden, i immediately thought maybe somebody was doing some plumbing work and accidentally cut off the water main to my house. but when i tried the sink faucet, it worked fine, and when i tried the tub again with the faucet, there was no problem. i unscrewed the shower head and tried it just with the exposed pipe work, and that worked too, so the probably definitely had something to do with the shower head.

the shower head i have now is a 1.75gpm adjustable niagara-brand that was given to me for free when i had an energy assessment done at my place back in june 2013. i've had it for nearly a decade now, it works well. it's a little bulky, but the housing is made entirely from plastic, so it's not very heavy. as a creature of habit, i would've been happy to replace it with the exact same thing, but apparently amazon doesn't have any in stock until another month. shower heads are easy to replace anyway (no tools required), so i could try out one and return it if i didn't like it. originally i planned on getting one from amazon, but the quickest it could be delivered would be tomorrow, so i opted to get one from home depot instead, so i could install it today and use it immediately.

i went to the cafe first to drop off a wooden knife block i found coming back from the garden. it turned out to be useless, there was only one slot big enough to hold one of the kitchen knives, everything else was too small. they were out of baby cucumbers and my mother told me to go down to the fresh pond trader joe's to get some. i was there and back in 15 minutes.

i then went to home depot to get my shower head. i had one in mind - the delta 5-spray 1.75gpm (model 75556 $25). it said online there was 2 available, but inventories at home depot are notoriously garbage (especially at the watertown location, which is the closest one to me), and of course they didn't have it. i would've asked one of the associates but i knew it was a losing cause. so i searched for an alternative, figured if i didn't like it, i could always order the one i wanted online and have it shipped free. i ended up going with a large delta 5-spray shower head (model 75554C $29). it was larger and $5 more expensive, but it also only uses 1.75gpm, which was the main reason why i got it. i also grabbed some plastic tarps.

i returned to the cafe by 2:30pm. my father and i placed the tarps on top of the replacement countertops, which was delivered this morning. there's no place for them inside the cafe, so they'll sit out overnight. we placed the tarps just in case it might rain.

i left by 4pm. i hadn't eaten anything yet all day, so i decided to stop by market basket and get some sushi before returning home. i installed the new shower head and took a quick shower to test it out. because of the larger diameter, the water comes out in more of a straight stream instead of an angled beam from a smaller diameter head (like the niagara). this one has an adjustable dial which requires grabbing the shower head with one hand and turning the head with the other hand. the "dial" also doesn't do a full 360°. the settings are drenching mist spray, massage spray, full body, full spray with massage, and pause. i think the only one i'll actually use is the full body. the drenching mist does create mist, but at the expense of less water coming out. the pause is a weird one, it does stop the flow of water, but water still dribbles out from the bottom, so it's not entirely water-free.

after the shower i ate my sushi.

i watched on webcam as the cafe was busy the whole day. they managed to set a new single day record with at least 45 transactions. at one point my sister called to have me take off char siu from the online menus as they ran out and didn't have time to cook anymore. who knows what tomorrow will bring.

for dinner i had some luxury ramen. instead of the usual nongshim korean noodles, i used spicy korean buldak instant noodles instead. usually i add a tablespoon of gochujang but this one didn't need it at all, and it was still very spicy.