i woke up at 9am to get ready to ride down to the saugus lowe's to pick up a pair of crescent-brand utility pocket knives. i finally left by 10:15am, preparing myself for the half-hour 7-mile ride through somerville-medford-malden-saugus. the ride was uneventful, just a bit of a slog. riding was okay, but whenever i stopped at the traffic lights, i could feel the hot sun slowly cooking me on the motorcycle that already has a scalding hot engine.

i got to lowe's by 10:45am. the knives were located in aisle 59, but i walked through most of the warehouse and could find 59. finally i asked someone, and it was the one place i didn't look yet, during the front of the store between the self-checkout stations and the tool rental office. even then it took me a while to find where the utility knives were, as they were multiple bays. i finally located the knives but the ones i wanted seemed to be sold out.

so how did this all start? a while back my father found a milwaukee folding utility knife (fastback model 48-22-1990). it most likely belonged to some contractor before getting lost, because the knife was all beat up. my father uses it all the time, and i thought i could find a cheap used version on ebay to replacement it. the cheapest milwaukee fastback i could find was around $16. i did some more digging and discovered it wasn't the best knife, that there were design flaws. so i decided not to get it. but leave it to ebay's algorithm to show me some suggested alternatives. one knife that i saw that looked similar to the milwaukee knife was one from crescent. never heard of them before, but looked up some youtube videos on their knives, and they seem legit. a brand new packaged crescent knife goes for about $15 on ebay, more depending on the material and length. on amazon crescent knives go for about $18-21, but THEY CAN NOT BE SHIPPED TO MA ADDRESS BECAUSE OF OUR CONCEALED WEAPONS LAWS. however, crescent knives are also available at lowe's, for about $20 for the least expensive version (3.5in stainless steel blade with composite handle). i was browsing lowe's website, and saw a listing for a crescent knife 2-pack, one black, one red, for only $20. same knives as the single pack, just half the price. it sounded too good to be true but i couldn't resist not getting it.

so that's how i ended up at lowe's. standing in the pocket/utility knives aisle. not seeing the double pack. online it said there were still 16 available, but online stock and actual in-store stock are notoriously inaccurate. i was able to ask someone about it (didn't come all this way to leave empty handed, maybe they were still boxed up somewhere), when i saw the knives hanging from a display rack. $20, as advertised. what was weird was when i looked up the knives online on my phone, it said they were $25, but because woburn was my default store. when i switched it to saugus, it showed me the $20 price.

anyway, i grabbed a package, and then briefly browsed through the rest of the store. i was trying to see if they had any countertop ovens, but they only had microwaves and larger below-cabinet ovens. their selection of name-brand cordless vacuums were pretty weak: for $300-400 you got something that still couldn't compare to the levoit vacuum we got. i looked at their pesticide selection, a little 10-oz. bottle of neem oil sells for almost $12 (just $10 at home depot). finally, i checked out the plants, hoping to see some lavender (like last time), but they had very little plant stock left in the garden department.

after paying, i returned home. i saw some interesting restaurants along the way and stopped to get a few photos. there was the lucky garden restaurant, followed by a chongqing hot pot restaurant (重慶老火鍋). the hot pot is worth a visit (if it's even remotely authentic, i'd be very impressed), they're only opened in the evenings from 5-10pm. i was tempted to stop by malden 88 supermarket, but i didn't bring my mask, and i didn't know if they'd allow me to enter (asian businesses are notoriously mask sensitive).

the return trip took over 40 minutes because of road construction on the fellsway by mystic avenue in somerville. i stopped by market basket and called my mother asking her if she needed anything, but i forgot my parents were there this morning to get some needed supplies, so they were all set. i finally got back home by 12pm.

after a shower, i made an egg-kielbasa-english muffin sandwich for lunch. later i went to the liquor store to get my mega millions ticket (jackpot is now at $1.2 billion). there were either some employees or contractors there, talking about the electric fire at star market. one of the guys who was actually there said there was so much smoke inside the store you couldn't see anything, and they threw out a lot of food because of it. i asked him when they'd be back up, he said by monday, but the electricity should be fixed by tomorrow.

in the afternoon i went to the cafe to give me father one of the crescent knives - the red one. i'd already taken them out of the package and played with them a bit. they're "flipper knives" so they have a little knob that you flip to make the knife snap out. the action is quick and it's kind of scary if you don't know how it works, because it looks like the blade just instantly pops out. i have a kershaw knife that's also a flipper (they're pretty common for pocket knives). these crescent knives, if you don't flick them with enough force, the knife doesn't fold out all the way. they have a good weight - even though the handle is plastic composite, the "body" of the knife itself is metal. the blade doesn't flex like on cheaper knives.

both my aunt and my godmother were there at the cafe. two cafe customers who used to come all the time but stopped coming both showed up today as well. my mother said they were busy but the customers didn't come all at once and were spread out through the course of the day, so it never got crazy.

besides delivering the knife, i came to the cafe to pick up the stainless steel bar sink that my sister and i bought 3 weeks ago when we went sink shopping. she was supposed to return it, but asking her to do it is like flipping a coin trying to figure out if it's going to happen or not. so i took it upon myself to return it. i strapped the box to the back of my motorcycle (a lot bigger than i expected, it is a sink after all) then went to the watertown home depot. when the girl went to ring me up, the return was denied because my sister didn't give me the right credit card she used to pay for the sink originally. all my plans of going to best buy and target to check out countertop ovens were dashed. the only thing i managed to do was buy a container of neem oil, and let the cashier know that the sink i was holding i brought in originally to return unsuccessfully and i wasn't trying to steal a sink.

i returned home by 3:15pm and didn't go out the rest of the day. i thought about visiting the garden, but it was too hot, and any watering i do would very likely evaporate. i figured i'd go there tomorrow morning. anyway, we got some rain yesterday, so hopefully that was enough natural watering.

around 4:30pm i finally got around to cleaning my fish tank. the last time i cleaned was may 31st, nearly 2 months ago. there was a lot of hair algae, i seriously should do more frequent cleaning if i want to get rid of them. i took me an hour to clean. i saved some of the dirty aquarium water and used the rest to water my plants. i forgot the best thing about aquarium water changes in the summer is that the tap water temperature is perfect for the tank, no adjustment requires (besides treating for chloramines). while cleaning the tank, i could also feel how warm the water temperature was (whatever room temperature it was).

i wasn't expecting it but we hit the 90's today. no heatwave though, i heard the temperature will be moderate this weekend, only for another actual heatwave to hit us again all of next week. rain in the forecast? nope. i had the AC on for most of the day, once it hits 77° (i've never seen it go any lower than that), i turn it off and leave the vornado air circulator fan running, until the room temperature climbs back up into the mid-80's, and which case i turn the AC back on.

i got really hungry in the evening, but it didn't feel right to eat dinner until it got dark. once 8pm came around and i closed the shades and turned on the lights, that's when i went to the kitchen to make a bowl of luxury korean ramen.