i myself left a bit later - around 10:15am - and took the motorcycle to belmont. temperature was already in the 70's and humid, with a touch of rain earlier this morning. i savored the warm weather, since this was probably the last day of it before the temperature drops to a more seasonable 40-50's daytime. i just had on my t-shirt but packed a light jacket just in case. i biked carefully, since there were a lot of slippery wet leaves on the road.
my mother and i walked to mt.auburn street in watertown to check out some armenian/greek stores. we first stopped at super vanak to get some long green raisins, then to handy spa where i could buy a powerball ticket. i hadn't been to handy spa in ages, but it still had that same old smell of candy and magazines. this place was a formative part of my childhood, i remember buying garbage pail kids cards and various other collector cards here.
we climbed the watertown hill to take us into the the commercial stretch of town. my mother forgot her phone so couldn't take any photos. along the way we sampled various crabapple fruits; some had turned soft, others still hard and astringent. we had one that had yellow fruits that were sour but still crunchy with a faint sweetness. we also passed by that one large female gingko, shedding fruits that looked like waxy peach-colored cherries but when they break open they emit an odor like the stinkiest cheese you've ever smelled.
arriving onto mt.auburn street, we were surprised to see that mt.auburn grill seemed to have gone out of business, all the signs taken down from the storefront, the entrance boarded up with plywood. the only thing still remaining was an unlit neon keno sign. we never ate there but now i regret never having tried the place. a check of their online menu showed they used to carry a new york style pastrami sandwich. i wonder what new business will take over the old space.
we went to massis to get a kebab sandwich and we also tried their soujok (armenian sausage) sandwich. it took a while to prepare, so we shopped around the place. my mother got a mint-flavored yogurt drink after seeing an old lady grab half a dozen from the beverage fridge. to our surprise they actually had muhammara dip, which we bought along with some fresh bran pita. having already paid, when our food was ready, we grabbed our sandwiches and returned home. my mother tried the mint yogurt drink. it would either be sweet or sour, but what she wasn't prepared for was salty. it basically tasted like a minty salted sour yogurt drink, a very weird combination, but perhaps healthy?
we took a new route - across the upload access road - but realized once we reached the end that it was actually a dead end street, and had to sort of walk through somebody's backyard to get back onto the main street before taking hillside road back to belmont.
both the kebab (with ground beef) and soujok were good. the armenian sausage was a little dry, but i think that's natural. given the choice, i think the kebab is the tastier of the two. we tried the raisins: there was a reason why some boxes were cheaper than others, this bad had an off taste, like maybe it was old raisins. it still tasted super sweet, but next time pay extra for the fresh raisins. we tried the muhammara with the pita bread. it was drier, more coarse, and sweeter instead of spicy, unlike the muhammara dip we had at my aunt's place last weekend. i could definitely taste the walnuts in this dip, while the arlington dip was more finely blended, and i couldn't make out any of the component ingredients, other than it was very tasty and surprisingly spicy. i didn't like that it was sweet, made it more of a dessert dip than a savory dip.
after our early afternoon lunch (it was yet 2pm, although it felt later), we piled into the car and went to the watertown home depot to check out the washers and dryers. earlier i'd already sold my parents on how when it came to washers, LG was better than samsung, at least according to consumer report. we already had the units we wanted in mind, just needed to go there and see it in person before we decide for good. we ended up deciding to get the 5 cu. ft. large capacity LG top load washer with impeller (WT7150CW $698) paired with the 7.3 cu. ft. large capacity LG sensor dryer with easyload door (DLE7400WE $748). a similar model without the easyload (DLE7150W) was $50 less, but we felt it was worth the extra money for a door that could open in two different ways (from the side or top-down like an oven door). we decided to go home and order them online.
back at home, my father and i were out working in the backyard while my mother stayed in the living room with her netflix and knitting. we prepared the water reeds for indoors. it'd had out of its plastic container container, and we had to struggle to free it from the porcelain outer pot. my father tripped the excess roots, salvaging a few plants to propagate. while he did that, i pushed the gas mower out of the garage and mowed the lawn. the grass didn't need to be mowed; i did it more to get rid of the leaves instead of raking. pulverized leaves mixed with grass clippings make for good compost material.
we also relocated some stray foxgloves and moved them to the little patch of bare ground behind the yew and holly bushes out by the front yard. i actually pulled one out of the ground and accidentally ripped off all the leaves, leaving just the roots. i planted that one anyway, hopefully it can survive the transplant shock, minus leaves.
we dug up all the daikon radishes. i called my mother out to give her the honors. they were definitely the biggest radishes we've ever grown - the largest maybe the size of a large cucumber - but these daikons can definitely grow even larger. i'm tempted to plant a few more seeds and leave them under the plastic cover with the hopes that we can get another crop before winter really sets in. having never had any real success with radish crops, we've grown accustomed to just eating the leaves, which are tasty just themselves, the stems giving a satisfying crunch.
i finally ordered the new washer and dryer in the late afternoon. home depot had a promotion where if you bought more than one appliance, you get an additional discount. so the dryer ended up being $722 while the washer was $674 (not including taxes). we also bought a new 8ft semi-rigid dryer duct for $17 and paid $40 more for the movers to take away our old dryer (we're keeping the old washing machine, my father wants to install it in the cafe basement to wash towels and aprons). tax was an additional $88. set for a friday delivery, so before they arrive we need to clear a path in the cluttered basement.
for dinner my father prepared the daikon leaves: after soaking them in salt to let them reduce a bit, he mixed in some gochujang with sesame oil for a korean style banchan. it was surprisingly spicy, my father said it needed more salt. my mother made a stirfry of tofu and hot peppers, then a stirfry of chicken where she forgot to add the thai basil she harvested earlier. i only had one bit of the chicken, since we still had sour bamboo leftovers.
i returned home by 7pm. the temperature had dropped down to 63 degrees, i'm glad i brought that extra jacket layer. i was expecting DC to be back, but he was nowhere to found. i used the bathroom and took a shower, settling in with some jasmine green tea while watching monday night football, before switching to the celtics-grizzlies game.
i was waiting for the powerball drawing at 11pm but there was a technical glitch and they couldn't do the drawings. has that ever happened in lottery history? what happens to the jackpot then if they miss a drawing?
DC finally came home after 11pm, i was starting to get worried. he said he had another 9pm video meeting with his former chinese coworkers, this time he had it at his office. i asked if he had dinner, he said yes, i didn't ask him what. just his first day and he's working to almost midnight. what a hard worker! he went to take a shower and retreated into his bedroom.
later in the evening i was casually browsing the specs for the two LG washer dryer we bought earlier. on a whim, i checked out the 5.5 cu. ft. washer versus the 5.0 cu. ft. we ended up purchasing. i thought they were the same other than the capacity size but found out the bigger washer had many additional features, like wifi-enabled (you can monitor the wash progress via app) and turbowash3D1 (which can apparently wash a load in 29 minutes according to LG). all that for just $50 more. plus the 5.5 cu.ft. washer was the matching pair to the dryer we got; as such, they could communicate between each other, the washer informing the dryer which settings to use. i was beginning to have buyer's remorse. the one bad thing about the larger washer (WT7400CW) is in the most recent consumer report ratings, it got a score of 79, while our original 5 cu.ft. washer (WT7150CW) had the highest score of 85. nevertheless, consumer reports still listed that washer as a recommended buy.
so i went to the home depot website to see if i could cancel the order. there was no option to cancel, just buttons to reschedule the delivery and buy again. i searched the fine print: apparently orders can be cancelled by phone if made 72 hours before the delivery date. since neither appliances had been shipped yet (so no delivery date thus far), there was a chance i might be able to cancel. so i called customer service, even though it was 1:20am. they had live operators until 2am and live chat support 24/7. when i called the number, my phone gave me the option of either to make the call or contact them via chat. so i went with the chat option.
i think they directed me to an indian call (chat) center, because the person i was texting seemed foreign. also there was long delays between messages, like maybe he was also simultaneously chatting with other customers. he looked up my order and managed to cancel it. when i checked online however, the order was still active. when i asked him about it, he said it might take up to 25 minutes before the cancellation will update. i look his work for it and ended the chat.
sometime after 2am the order was still active. so i called home depot customer support again, just to confirm the cancellation. i got a different person via chat, and this person was more hopeful in that he checked my account and said the order was never cancelled. so he cancelled it for me. when i checked online, i saw immediately the status had changed to cancel.
i then tried to make a new order, one with the same washing machine, but with the larger washer. but there was something weird. home depot also currently has a sale where if you buy 2 or more appliances, you get an additional saving. in this case, 2 appliances meant an additional $50 off. but this "buy more, save more" sale wasn't showing up. as a test, i logged out of my account and added the two appliances to my shopping cart. as i suspected, i got $50 off. so apparently since i already used "buy more, save more" on my last order, they wouldn't allow me to use it again, some kind of one per customer deal.
so what i ended up doing was creating another home depot account with a different e-mail. i still used the same phone number, that wasn't a problem. i added the washer and dryer to my shopping cart, got the discount i wanted. i could order though: i had my father's credit card number but i didn't have the 3-digit security code. besides, i probably wanted to let my parents know first before i make the order, just to make sure we were all in agreement. i finally went to bed by 3:30am.
1 what exactly is turbowash3D? it's LG's name for an agitator-free wash that uses 3 different wash actions: deep washing waveforce, pulsating turbodrum, and fast rinsing jetspray. supposedly it reduces energy consumption by 27%, saves 14% more water, and finishes faster a load of laundry.