my parents came by to pick me up at 9:30am for an everett-chelsea-malden supply run. it was memorable in that we encountered hardly any traffic, going to and coming from. maybe it was the extreme heat keeping people away, or possibly everyone decided it was a beach day. whatever the reason, we made our supply run in record time.
first stop was the everett target, to check out some countertop ovens. i figured if any place would have the best selection, it'd be at this target a greatland target - the largest target within the vicinity. i did however notice that the word "greatland" was no longer part of the sign though, which should've tipped me off. both my parents wore masks, i think they were the only people in the entire store who did. when we finally made it to the kitchen section at the far end of the store, they only had a few ovens on display: ninja foodi XL pro, the gourmia, and the calphalon. they didn't have any large oster or breville ovens (which the watertown target did have). my parents really liked the ninja foodi, but only because they weren't able to see some other possible choices.
we then drove to the costco next door. what time do they open? we got there at about 10am - right when they supposed open - but the parking lot was already full and people were leaving with purchases. maybe there's some kind of unspoken unofficial opening hours that we don't know of. anyway, picked up a bunch of supplies. we got some lambchops to grill for dinner. i got some fish oil for myself.
next stop was restaurant depot 1-1/2 miles away along the revere beach parkway. we were afraid it'd be crowded since today was a monday, and many restaurants are closed on mondays, and many restaurants also take this day to do supply runs. the fact that there we many shelf trucks outside was a sign this wasn't an ordinary day. in fact, the place was nearly empty of customers, we'd never seen it so quiet before. good news is they finally seemed to have broken the supply chain bottleneck and now almost didn't seem to have enough time to stock on the shelves, boxes of fresh supplies piled up in the aisles. they still didn't have 16 oz. cold beverage cups though, only single packs, not whole boxes. we were only there for less than 20 minutes, hardly any wait in line, which usually takes up more than half of the time spent there.
from restaurant depot we went to the chelsea market basket across the train tracks. we only needed a few things, my mother opted to stay in the car with the AC on (to keep all the food cold), while my father and i went inside to grab a few things. he bought 10 packages of pork butts. the woman ahead of us in line pointed at all the meats and smiled, "having a party, huh?" we left market basket after 16 minutes.
our final stop was supposed to be malden 88 to get some frozen dumplings and rice for the house, but it was already noontime, and none of those things were critical, so we opted to return home instead. coming back through somerville, my father drove through union square instead of taking the congested detour through winter hill since the school street bridge is still closed (they were supposed to be open last year). we haven't been through union square in years, and was startled to see all the new constructions - new condos and new office parks. when they finally finish building everything, union square will be unrecognizable.
they dropped me off at home by 12:30pm. after using the bathroom, i took the motorcycle to the cafe to help my parents unload the supplies. while enroute, i saw elizabeth warren standing on an island, trying to cross mass ave. she wore a floral white dress. she had a look on her face that i sometimes see famous people have, that they never knew who might recognize them, so they carry a friendly public demeanor at all times. i nodded to her from the bike as i rode by.
after unloading the supplies, we left for belmont. my mother made wonton soup for lunch.
i glued together a broken plastic pot handle with JB Weld kwikweld epoxy glue (5020 psi tolerance). i mixed the two components on the back of an aluminum soda can. later my father applied more epoxy to the inside. once it dried i don't doubt the handle will be even stronger than before.
our DROK battery monitor with hall sensor also arrived and we installed it onto one of the LiFePo4 battery boxes. it worked initially - now my father can finally track how much watt-hour the battery uses to power something like the thermoelectric cooler. but after a few hours, we came back and noticed the meter was running zero amps when it fact the cooler was still running. i reset the meter (holding onto the top button for a few seconds) but it didn't fix the problem. i finally solved it by zero'ing the current value by holding onto the led display button (bottom one) for a few seconds. we'll just have to see if it happens again.
for dinner my father grilled the lambchops and some italian sausages with fennel. because they were so thin, we decided to only grill each side of the lamb under 3 minutes. that gave us very rare lambchops. i think the fact that there was so much bone affected the cooking time; next time we should cook each side a little longer.
after dinner i fermented two jars of long beans. earlier i stuffed the beans into glass jars, filled them with cold water, and poured the water out so i could boil it to make brine. i took note of the volume in ml and added 4% of that amount in grams of salt. my parents didn't have regular salt so i had to use sea salt, which is kind of a waste. after dinner the water had cooled enough so it was just lukewarm. i poured the brine solution into the 2 jars, then added some chinese baijiu, sichuan peppercorns, and a few pieces of rock sugar. now we wait for them to ferment.
we also did some garden watering. i thought the overnight rain had filled the barrels, but they were still at only half capacity. our oldest jasmine - the one that we repotted and pruned back - is doing exceptionally well, putting out a massive flush of fragrant flowers. the key to keep jasmines flowering is constantly pruning, since they only flower on new growth. our pileas are also doing very well, like we have a little pilea nursery. the spot they're in, they only get some late afternoon sun, which seems to be enough to keep them happy. the few larger wilted pileas that i mistakenly placed out in the full sun, after a few weeks they're fully recovered, growing new leaves like crazy.
i couldn't wait to get home to watch the final two episode (8 & 9) of severance. after a shower, i plopped myself down to finish the series. the ending gave me goosebumps, that's how good it was. it's hard to describe the show to someone: it's a scifi thriller office worker drama with bits of absurdism and social commentary. what would it mean if you could go to work and forget about your regular life? or have a regular life but not remember your work?
some breaking news when i returned to cambridge: FBI raids trump's home in mar-a-lago. it happened this morning, but it took trump until almost 7pm before drafting messages telling people what had happened. NY times reported that the raid was in regards to classified documents trump took with him when he left the white house.