my roommate left for work around 9:40am, despite the rain this morning (and throughout most of the day). that gave me two hours where i had the house to myself.

afer a shower, i tried downloading a few torrents. i noticed they seemed stuck even though there were plenty of seeders. the VPN i use - torguard - i remember last year they were saying how they'd start banning torrent traffic after they were sued by a coalition of film studios. i nearly switched to a different VPN, but i was still able to download just fine, so i figured it was just talk. isn't the whole point of VPN is not having your internet activities tracked? but today i finally noticed that even though it might download, it could take days, that there was some throttling going on. i checked online for news, apparently torguard only blocked torrent traffic for US servers. so when i switched to one from toronto, suddenly i was getting a massive speed boost, downloading in minutes rather than days.

my parents showed up around 11:40am after my mother finished her doctor's appointment in davis square. since my parents already went on a supply run on saturday, there was no need today. we did however still go to the cafe to defrost some food from the freezer in preparation for tomorrow's opening. the door-left-open upright freezer in the basement was now back to normal. while my parents were sorting through the foods, i took a short walk down the block to pick up some plastic plant pots i saw earlier.

my mother insisted we drive to linda's donuts in belmont to get some bagel sandwiches for lunch. it's only opened in the mornings and already it was late. when we came to the store a sign on window said they'd be on vacation until the end of july. as an alternative, we drove to massis bakery in watertown to get some middle-eastern zaatar bread and pita. we then returned to belmont and went to sophia's greek pantry to get some taramosalata dip before finally heading home.

besides the zaatar bread and taramosalata with pita, my mother also made some wonton soup. afterwards she retreated to the bedroom to watch her korean drama while knitting.

it was raining pretty heavily at times, but that didn't stop me from going out into the backyard with a large umbrella and a pair of crocs to do my garden survey. i also checked the rain barrels, all of which were at maximum capacity, as buckets of rain continued to pour out from the top of the catch barrels. so much water, not enough storage containers! a long standing project on my to-do list is to create a few more barrels.

the two black swallowtail caterpillars are still alive. the smaller one hasn't really moved, while the larger one crawled from its defoliated celery stalk to a neighboring celery patch.

an 8" "japanese" chef knife that i ordered yesterday ($20) arrived today. imarku-brand, it features high carbon stainless steel with a wood composite pakka handle. the knife feels pretty solid, but at 8" it's really too long for use in the cafe, when we're all used to much shorter knives. so its going back to amazon.

because my father installed the portable air conditioner in the living room, i no longer have a window for our street-facing webcam. i thought about taping the camera to a nearby window, but it would stick out too much from the venetian blinds. so we can up with an idea where we cut a "window" in the styrofoam and embed the camera that way. it turned out to be a perfect solution.

for dinner my parents made chinese dumplings. two varieties: chinese garlic chive and chinese celery. when it comes to good chinese dumplings, i can eat a lot, and i actually had to stop myself from finishing it all.

i was getting ready to leave when i decided to test the chirp with our quansheng UV-K5 handheld radios. the latest version of the app has a beta working driver for the radio; the developers have really done a great job reverse engineering its protocols to get it to work. i used the latest version of chirp to program our two UV-K5: mostly preexisting frequency list from our other radios (baofeng, TYT, ruyage), but i also added some air band channels. later i tried to match the channel list for the quansheng and ruyage (both can receive air bands). i ended up not leaving until almost 8pm.

my father gave me a ride. the rain seemed to stop, though it was still very wet outside. approaching cambridge, we could even see hints of golden sunlight shining on tops of buildings and trees. that's when i noticed a faint rainbow, that only seemed to get brighter the closer we got to my house. not only that, it was a double rainbow too, but we could only see half of it.

when i finally got home, i knocked on lauryn's bedroom door to tell her to come out and see the rainbow. she caught a glimpse from the sidewalk before going back inside the house. she said she one last year, from her old place in cambridge. i asked if she ever sees them in china, she said the rains they get there aren't fine enough to produce rainbows.

having watched the wham! documentary on netflix yesterday, i'm not undergoing a george michael kick. i downloaded his greatest hits (surprised i don't already have them), watched a bunch of his music videos, even the wham! documentary when they put on a concert in china in april 1985 (the same year my father went to china to visit long lost relatives). he had such a distinctive resonant voice. some of his style choices seem kind of silly now, especially in light of the fact that he was suppressing his real sexuality the whole time. i suppose in retrospect they all seem like clues now. i remember when he finally came out, i was surprised but it didn't seem shocking. he'd been out of the limelight for nearly a decade, and popular media was trending towards more gay-friendly. i think if he came out in the late 80's when he was at the height of his fame, it might've been different, especially considering his hyper masculine alter ego.