i had another restless night of sleep. i even changed position on the bed so i'd be closer to the window, my only source of cool air in bedroom. we finally broke the heatwave today with temperature only in the 80's, but it felt hotter because unlike yesterday when it was bone dry, today was very humid.

my parents came to get me around 9:45am for an everett costco supply run. officially they don't open on mondays until 10am, but by the time we got there, the parking lot was full and we saw people coming out of the warehouse with shopping finished. the most important thing we had to get was more eggs (for the tea eggs). we were also there to check on their countertop ovens but all the ones they had were toaster oven sized, and we wanted one a bit larger to replace the even larger commercial oven they currently use but want to downsize.

we finished with costco by 10:45am then went to bianco & sons to pick up some chinese sausages before making it back to the cafe by 11:15am. after unloading the supplies, i got a ride back to my place. the original plan was for me to ride the motorcycle to belmont, but because of potential thunderstorms later in the day, i opted to get a ride instead (and get a ride back in the evening). after grabbing my things, we drove to my parents' place by noontime.

for lunch we had various things from costco: teriyaki & pineapple chicken meatballs and mini vegetable cakes. i thought the cakes would taste like those ikea vegetable medallions, but there's no cheese in these cakes so they were rather bland. i jazzed them up by adding some habanero hot sauce. i also had an ear of corn and some leftover rainier cherries, followed by some fruit boba mochis and half a white peach.

the $120 levoit cordless vacuum cleaner arrived today. i made a show of opening up the box but i didn't take out the new vacuum since i'm returning it as the $180 levoit vacuum. i also packed up the dyson vacuum: dyson outlet via ebay still hasn't contacted me yet regarding a shipping label, they have until thursday to respond to my return request.

i brought my vornado fan so i could test it against the woozoo fan. there's no contest, the vornado is a much stronger fan, but at the cost of being dramatically noisier. they both work about the same recirculating the AC air around the living room.

i spent the rest of the afternoon outside, after my father woke up from his nap and my sister dropped off hailey. my father was sorting the seeds (mustard, cilantro, baby bokchoi). because he'd cut down all the springtime vegetables (mostly mustards), there was room to plant new crops so i tilled the soil in RB1 and RB0 and planted my eggplant and pepper seedlings. it's a bit late in the season, but if we can get something out of it by the end of august, it'll be a bonus.

while i was doing that, my father decided to remove all the squash vines in the raised beds, most of which were wilted from a combination of lack of rain and intense heat. inspecting the vines, there was a third culprit: many of them had vine borers living inside them. we didn't have any SVB problems last year, no sure what went wrong this year. i think because we decided to replant the stems to promote additional roots, there was a clutter of ground-level vines that were hard to inspect for eggs.

we collected some dried up long beans and opened them up to collect the seeds. a single bean pod can contain anywhere from 12-18 seeds. we ended up collecting about 80 seeds. with a few pods days away from ripening plus all the pods in my own community garden plot, we now have plenty of long bean seeds for next season. that means any long beans that are produced from this point forward can be eaten.

i reorganized the solar light on the bitter melon trellis, tying them to the bamboo stakes with green rubber ties, so they'd be easier to remove and adjust when the time comes. i did kind of a G-shaped pattern, so i could have 3 rows of lights. it never got dark enough so i could see them in action, but i did put my hand on the solar panel after dinner to get an idea of how they light up, they look pretty good.

check out our bitter melon collection:

for dinner my father fried some salt and pepper shrimp outside on the grill, with whole shrimps we bought from costco earlier. fresh shrimps with shells are actually cheaper than those without. it was so hot the grill actually read 100 degrees already. we weren't able to get the oil hot enough so the cornstarch-breaded shrimps didn't get crispy enough. they also still had that seafood taste which surprisingly i don't like even though i'm eating seafood. i like my shrimps fried to such a point where i can't taste the shrimp.

afterwards we roasted some asparagus (also from costco) and grilled the last of the porterhouse steaks i got a few weeks ago. this time we went 3 minutes per sides at high temperature between 550-650 degrees, the steaks came out perfect, medium-rare and super juicy and flavorful. the secret is we just seasoned the steaks beforehand with salt and pepper and my father brushed some butter on the steaks before putting them on the grill.

we also waited the entire day for rain. it was supposed to arrive around 1pm, but it went and gone without any rain. by the end of the day we basically gave up. all our water-dependent vegetables had all died anyway (the squashes), nothing more the drought can do to us at this point. while i was getting ready to leave, i noticed the sky was turning weird. it was blue sky on one of the horizon, but orange clouds on the other. i checked the doppler radar and it showed storm clouds right above us, yet there was no rain. but soon big fat drops of rain started falling from the sky. it was too litte too late as my father drove me back to cambridge. midway through however, we got caught in some torrential downpours. whether the same was happening in belmont we didn't know, but i looked on the backyard webcam and could see it was raining there too. just as quickly as it started, but the time we got to my place, the rain had mostly stopped.

after unloading my stuff, i grabbed my camera (armed with the 18-200mm lens) and went outside, hoping to see a rainbow. it was already sunset by that point so the sun angle wasn't right. plus the rain clouds were the wrong variety as well, cumulus instead of that kind that's just a sheet of rain droplets to reflect back the rainbow. a towny with a raspy voice from across the street was telling me there'd be a rainbow. but later he came back out again and said there wouldn't be, his reasoning being it wasn't cold enough. he was also catcalling a pretty girl who was out exercising, before disappearing into star market. despite not seeing a rainbow, the clouds were dramatic enough as they were.

it was 87 degrees inside the house, i turned on the AC the first chance i got and ran the fan. i used the bathroom then took a shower. when the outdoor temperature dropped into the 70's, i opened up a few windows and put in the window fan to try and cool down the inside of the house.

i bought some chinese mustard seeds off of ebay, 1000 seeds for $3.99. we'll plant them in the fall for pickling and fermenting projects. my only worry is that chinese mustard (gai choy) and japanese giant red mustard are the same species (Brassica juncea) so they're liable to cross-pollinate. we could just never let them reach flowering stage, or figure out some way to control the pollination so we don't mix the two varieties.