the top item on my to-do list for today was to uninstall the AC. with the weather becoming more fall-like, i don't think i'll be running the AC until next summer. i also took the opportunity to move some junk down into the basement, like my unused aquarium lights and faux aquarium plants.

there was also a sunbeam nursery humidifier that i brought up from the basement months ago, to figure out if it was still working or worth throwing out. apparently it's a very rare model (679) because i can't find a match for it online. i just want to see a photo of it because i think it's missing the nozzle that's supposed to go on top of the misting column. otherwise the humidifier still works, although it had a musty basement smell (from being in the basement for the past 2 decades), and it left a wet spot on the carpet from the mist. it has an adjustable power dial and at low-medium it was using 33W. i think i might be able to sculpt a serviceable nozzle with aluminum foil (copying the nozzle-style from other similar humidifiers).

finally i tossed out some unused aquarium decorations - a little christmas cottage and a ceramic bouquet of roses - i left them out on the sidewalk so somebody could take them. one of these days i still need to tidy up my kitchen area, which still has plant growing materials from back in the early spring.

i didn't bother having lunch, but instead decided to go to haymarket. i know last week i said i wouldn't go this week because of the slim pickings, but this was a special haymarket trip: i would get there from union square. i've been curious about the new union square green line extension, and wanted to check it out for myself. of course i decide to go when the union square station is temporarily closed due to repairs. but in its place was a free shuttle bus service. i figured i'd go to haymarket and back in about an hour, come back with enough time to have lunch.

i think the last time i took the T was late february, only because it was snowing and i couldn't take my bike nor get a ride. if i can help it i'll using ride the bike. and even then, that time was only to take the bus, i haven't been on the subway for more than a year, maybe not during the whole pandemic.

so i biked down to union square. the station itself is actually located on the outskirts of union square, and the closest street was concord street. i locked my bike to a sign post and walked to the station, where shuttle buses were waiting outside. i also got a closer look at the union square skyscraper they've been building for the past year. the skycraper itself looks pretty much down, but right next to it they're building another building (looks like a commercial building while the skyscraper are condos).

the shuttle buses are commercially hired coach buses, so they have nice fancy plush seating and good air conditioning. there was only a handful of people leaving from union square, we left soon after everyone boarded, no waiting. we went from union square to lechmere to science museum to north station and haymarket square. the final stop was government center but i was getting off at haymarket. there was construction happening along the entire route, the most drastic being around lechmere station. what used to be the inner belt has now been developed into a mix use community rebranded as cambridge crossing, featuring green spaces, dining and retail, commercial, and residential, anchored by a brand new 6500 sq.ft. REI warehouse.

we finally arrived at haymarket. the ride wasn't long - just 21 minutes. imagine if this was an actual green line train with dedicated tracks, the trip would've probably taken just 8 minutes to travel 3 stops.

i took a quick peek inside boston public market, to see if siena farms had any purple radishes (they did not). i then browsed through the various haymarket stands. pickings were better today, at the very least the baby persian cucumbers are back. my haul: bag of clementines ($2), 5 pluot plums ($2), box of assortment cherry tomatoes ($1), 2 lbs. of red long horn peppers ($3), 2 lbs. of organic tender ginger ($3), 2 fyffes pineapples ($3), 2 boxes of strawberries ($2), 1 box of blueberries ($1), 5 peruvian clementines ($2), 2 lbs. of baby cucumbers ($2). i also saw a woman who had her pet parakeet in a carrier. she said her parakeet escaped one time but somebody found it 20 minutes later, which was a relief, because parakeets cry when they're distressed, which attracts the attention of hawks. i didn't ask her what kind of bird she had, but i think it was a blue conure.

there was no shuttle leaving from haymarket, the closest stop was government center. there was already a line, and by the time the bus arrived, the line had gotten even longer (an asian woman naturally cut everyone to get on the bus first). there was also a group of noisy italian kids with luggage, who put their suitcases in the lower storage compartment. the bus driver was a woman who had the PA set to the highest volume, announcing each of the stops as we arrived. we picked up even more people at north station. i'd taken up two seats because of my bags, and i was starting to get worried i'd have to give up my bag seat but fortunately i didn't. the italian kids were getting off at lechmere and almost got off at north station when they heard the bus driver say "lechmere". because of the traffic, and picking up and dropping off so many people, it took 35 minutes to get to union square. i didn't mind, but combined with the waiting, the return trip definitely wasn't as worthwhile as the going trip (if i was riding my bike i'd be home by now).

it was weird going back to my bike and packing my baskets with haymarket produce to ride home. normally i'd be doing this in boston! so it was a little disorienting. it took me 8 more minutes to ride home.

i moved all the produce to my saddlebags then rode the motorcycle to the cafe to drop them off. i gave everything away except for the cucumbers, which i'm going to use to make half sour pickles. i tried one of the peruvian oranges, they were really sweet (although my mother said the oranges i bought from chinatown yesterday were much sweeter). i also tried a pluot, sweet as well. my father was making more ice in the basement, he had the machine on since noontime, when i went downstairs to check, the storage bin was nearly full.

i left by 3:30pm and went to my 2nd aunt's place. earlier - around 12:20pm - she'd contacted me and told me her 50" TCL 4K HDTV with google tv had arrived at her apartment. i was on the bus enroute to haymarket, i told her i'd be back in an hour (didn't realize it'd take me 3 hours to get back). i went there to set up tv.

first we installed the stand, which arrived yesterday. once that was done, we placed the HDTV on top of her dresser, which was a perfect fit. originally we thought it'd be too high, but i lowered the stand to the lowest height. we were also afraid 50" might be too large, but it seemed like the perfect size.

next was setting up the tv. we ran into a snag because neither of us could remember her wifi password. turns out it was the number underneath the cablemodem, but it this long 16-character hexidecimal code which was a pain to enter using the screen keyboard, and i entered the password wrong twice before finally getting it right on the third try. the HDTV first had to update, then afterward logging in with my aunt's google account, it installed all her apps and settings, which took even longer. when that was finally done, i set up her netflix account and did some chromecasting test. casting didn't work earlier but i think that was only because the tv hadn't been set up yet. when i tried again, her asian tv shows streaming from her android phone now all had the chromecasting symbol.

my aunt was so happy she wanted to call my mother but was afraid she might be busy. earlier she contacted one of my taiwanese cousins on how he set up ipad streaming for my taiwanese aunt. he told me to get an apple lightning to HDMI adapter. that solution might work but there were drawbacks: it used up the lightning cable so the ipad couldn't recharge, but the biggest con was it was only mirroring, and the ipad had to be on the whole time. with chromecasting, it's actual streaming, and my aunt could use her phone for other things.

my aunt also had issues with her line app. when my california aunt tried to contact her via line while she's watching a video, her microphone will give out and line will disconnect. we did some testing and sure enough, line didn't work. she said it happened ever since i installed netflix on her app. turns out i also updated her iOS. the fix was easy: i simply updated her line app (she had skipped several updates) and then it started working again.

i finally left by 5:30pm, after having spent 2 hours setting up my aunt's HDTV. originally i also wanted to go to market basket to get some fresh dill for my pickle recipe, but it was already late, and i didn't want to be at market basket on a friday after work, i'm sure it was super crazy. instead i baked 3 soft pretzels in the toaster oven and ate then while watching the last episode of the rings of power (episode 4).

for dinner i ate the last of my pita sandwich. i still have one more pita left, i'll just eat that plain with some tzatziki sauce.