i made it to belmont a bit after 11am. i noticed the smell yesterday, thought maybe an animal had died in the bushes. but my father told me it was the next door neighbors (the german-chinese couple), who hired a company to spray their lawn with "organic" fertilizer. apparently that meant raw manure because it smells like living next to a farm. the odor was so foul i closed a bunch of windows so the stench wouldn't get into the house.
i had some mung bean rice porridge along with a some pork floss wrapped in a crispy pancake.
after i finished eating, i went with my mother on a walk. yesterday was in the 60's, today temperature was in the 80's. we walked uphill, revisiting that place we saw the open house at on van ness street a few months ago. it was listed for $1.35 million, it sold a month later fo $1.4 million. we didn't visit any new streets today, went as far as the benton library before turning back. even blocks away, we could smell the neighbor's organic fertilizer treatment.
walking the neighborhood was a reminder to work on the lawn. out of all the lawns i saw today, ours has got to be the worst, with grass completely brown. the start of fall is normally the time when people reseed their lawn, so my father and i were outside today trying to revive our grass. it was simply too dry to try and reseed at the moment, so first we dethatched, then afterwards we watered the lawn for 20 minutes, bring back some moisture into the soil. the small patches we used water from our rain barrels, but the largest area we used town water, the higher pressure allowing us to use an old oscillating sprinkler that basically covered the entire front of the house.
to make it easier for us to water, we decided to install a watering timer on the outdoor faucet. we actually have 3 timers, two are old, and a third one i bought a few years ago ($20), originally intended to water my aunt and uncle's house in arlington when they were away on vacation, but we never used it. it's a pretty good timer at the time, but nowadays they sell fancy wifi watering timers you can control with a phone app from anywhere in the world.
i watered the orchids in the backyard. the goldenrods in the southwestern corner of the house have started to bloom. makes me wonder if the goldenrods in my community garden have bloomed as well, i haven't been to the garden in over i week.
i helped my father buy a replacement motion sensor security light for the cafe back entrance, the UME smart wifi LED security light ($30). it's wifi-enabled, so we can adjust it remotely with an app, set up special timers (to override the automatic sensing), changing the color (2700-6500K), adjust the brightness (up to 2500LM) and timer durations. it's compatible with the smart life app, which is what we already use to control a few smart plugs.
in the early evening i started fermenting two new batches of long beans. they managed to fit into 2 single quart wide-mouth mason jars. i boiled 1.25L of water and mixed it with 50g of salt to make the brine. once the brine cooled to room temperature, i poured it into the jars and added some sichuan peppercorns, rock sugar, and a dash of chinese baijiu.
dinner was more of last night's leftover sour bamboo with pork. my mother also cooked a tofu stirfry, but the long green peppers she used was very spicy to the point where we could hardly eat the tofu. i returned home by 7:30pm.
coming into the house, i saw a mosquito follow me inside. i've always wondered how they got in - thinking maybe they crawled through the not-well-insulated sides of the air conditioner - but apparently they just follow me inside the house like a stalker. i tried to slap it and it disappeared, so i thought nothing of it. after i took a shower, i came back into the living room, and i heard the mosquito buzzing in my ear. for whatever reason, this mosquito was extremely aggressive. i sat on the couch with the lights on, using my body as bait. sure enough, i saw it flying over my torso and i slapped at it once more. once again it disappeared. i then went to the bathroom, and saw it on my leg, seemingly attached, unwilling to let go. this time when i slapped it i made sure it was dead. once the cold weather arrives, i look forward to seeing all our local mosquitoes dying.
i cleaned the found fido jar, using a brillo pad, which works excellently on glassware. the jar itself looked pretty nasty when i found it, but after giving it a good cleaning, and replacing the rubber gasket (i had spares), it looks brand new.
next i made my half sour pickles, following the recipe i used almost exactly a year ago. i only had 11 persian cucumbers, but they could barely fit inside of the
quart half-gallon mason jar (i'll need to invest in a larger jar if i'm going to be making more pickles). after cramming the cucumbers into the jar, i filled it with water then poured the water out to figure out how much brine i needed. i ended up boiling 1.2L of water combined with 48g of salt (4% brine solution). once the water came to room temperature, i added fresh dill leaves, chopped garlic and several dry spices into the jar before filling it up with brine. after giving the jar a good shake, now all i have to do is wait for it to properly ferment.
oh right, there was some football today. patriots beat the steelers, i missed the first half of the game, and only intermittently watched the second half. without QB ben roethlisberger, pittsburgh is just a shell of its former self. they're in that place that new england was that first season when tom brady left for tampa bay. so it wasn't a surprise that the patriots beat them. i didn't learn this news until later in the evening, but 49ers QB trey lance suffered a season ending injury (broken ankle), so now jimmy garoppolo is back being the starting QB, after the team tried to trade him unsuccessfully after drafting a newer younger QB and demoted garoppolo to a backup. i'm rooting for jimmy, so he can stick it to san francisco's management. the sunday night football game was between the bears and packers. green bay actually lost last sunday, which was a surprise. no way they'd lose tonight, to start their season 0-2. naturally, they ending up winning.