t
o
n
y
a
n
g
'
s
 
w
e
b
l
o
g


today was the first time this season i've worn shorts. it's only because i was riding a bicycle, otherwise i need to wear long pants when i ride the motorcycle.

i went down to the community garden to water my plots. i decided to pull up that tiny eggplant that doesn't seem to be growing at all. turns out there's nothing left on it but a taproot, all the side roots were missing. overwatering? or maybe sowbugs ate them all? in its place i planted 2 dozen cosmos seeds. they're due to germinate in 7-10 days. if i can't grow vegetables, might as well use up that grow bag for some pretty flowers.

i was back at work at the cafe after one day off. we didn't bother opening the patio umbrella today, nobody's crazy enough to sit outside during this continuous heat wave. today the temperature in cambridge hit 96 degrees.

business yesterday was terrible, until i realized it was because of juneteenth. so why was today thursday slow as well? but thursdays has always been traditionally our slowest day. we did get a bit of good news: someone from harvard university called about a big order. i told her we could do it, just order in advance to give us time to prepare. so a few hours later an ubereats order came in, for a 5:30pm delivery tomorrow. 20 bento boxes and some noodles. as far as big orders go, it's a pretty easy one to fulfill, as long as we have everything ready to assemble ahead of time.

that big order tomorrow will nearly (20) deplete a batch of tea eggs (30), so i ended up making another fresh batch. we also roasted some more charsiu pork, and will probably need to deep fry some chicken as well.

all day long i was waiting for GE to call me to confirm the service appointment tomorrow to fix our broken upright freezer. the original e-mail said they'd call me "the night before" but when it was almos 9pm and i still hadn't received a call, i ended up calling GE appliances directly. i went through the automated phone tree, only to find out they were closed for the day. when i checked the website though, there was a new update, a service call scheduled for tomorrow between 1-3pm with technician luis. so it looks like it's going to happen. i was really afraid they'd cancel the service.

between 2-5pm we hardly had any customers. my parents were telling me to go but i decided to stick around even though it was super boring and my butt hurt from sitting in the uncomfortable seat, after my back started aching from too much standing. luckily i stayed because it got busy around 5pm. two chinese families with children came in and ordered a bunch of stuff. they actually ordered too much and had to cancel a curry dish we were already starting to prepare. the kids were loud, felt like we were at a daycare, not a cafe. but to have their business we had no choice but to put up with it. at one point one of the mothers just walked her daughter to the back of the cafe, before my mother stopped her. they wanted to use the bathroom, my mother told her we don't have one for customers. when they finally finished, they left behind a mess on the table.

we finally closed at 6:30pm. my parents wanted to give me some fried rice they made, but i told them i had gyros waiting for me at home.

when i got back home, i pumped the tires and oiled the chains, in preparation for the celtics parade tomorrow morning. it's funny, i'm not actually looking forward to the parade. finding a good spot to view, the crush of people, the fear of somebody tall standing in front of me, unable to see key celtics players. but this is the culmination of watching this celtics iteration for the past 7-8 years. this parade is just as much mine as it is the celtics players. at the forecast doesn't show rain anymore, which it was as early as yesterday.

a shower, then a gyro for dinner. it started raining after that, torrential downpours, lightning. i cracked open the side window in the living room before i realized rain was pouring inside. afterwards the rain dropped the temperature down to the cool 70's.

i tried to leave early for my wednesday morning run because i knew it'd get hot, but i didn't get out of the house until 10am, when the temperature was already in the lower 80's. it's funny, when i ran in the spring, i'd avoid the shadows because it was so cold, tried to stay in the sunlight. today it was the exact opposite: scorching under the sun, cool and comfortable in the shade. the heat wasn't too bad, but during the few stretches were i walked, i could feel the veins in my head throbbing. i used to run topless during the summer, but i'm so ashamed of my middle-aged body these days, i kept my t-shirt on. i did use it to wipe the sweat trickling down my face, getting into my eyes, to the point were the t-shirt was basically soaked. my fitness tracker said my pulse rate went as high as 160bpm (compared that to last week's run, when my pulse only went up to 124bpm).

returning home, i stopped by the community garden to water the plants. there was no one else there. the place was quiet because apparently today is juneteenth, and school kids get the day off. i totally forgot and put out the trash last night, nobody came to pick it up this morning.

after a shower i watched the news, trying to figure out when it's going to rain on friday during the parade. for lunch i made a gyro. the onion i had wasn't very fresh and i used up all my leftover tzatziki.

in the afternoon i rode the motorcycle to market basket to get a few things (tzatziki, onion, pink lemonade). after dropping them off at home, i went to belmont to run some errands.

i brought a monstera cutting that i've been growing in water at my place. one of the leaves started yellowing, so i decided to pot it in some dirt. i watered the garden, noting how fast the squashes are growing. my father said they can grow 8-10 inches a day. by next week they'll grow tall enough to reach the top trellis. i also spotted some squash vine borer eggs on the leaves.

i then drove to home depot to return a broken melnor adjustable watering wand and 6ft u-posts. i went in search of a 5-1/2" finishing circular saw blade, but they didn't carry any (i'll order one online). i also saw a lot of people shopping for air conditioners. in fact, earlier today, i saw a girl buy an air conditioner...at market basket! for some reason MB sells air conditioners (small unit).

back in belmont, i did some more watering. i wanted to do some weeding as well, but it was too hot, better to wait until the weekend. i left for cambridge, getting home by 4:30pm.

it was still cool inside my house, but the temperature was creeping up. according to my weather station, today's high here in cambridge was 95 degrees. by evening the room temperature was up to 82 degrees with a humidity of 66%. i sort of regret not installing the AC earlier, and now it was too hot to do so. i'll try putting it in saturday morning. in the meantime i stayed cool by stripping down to my underwear and taking a hot shower whenever i felt too hot.

ever since they replaced the drainage pipe in my bathroom, whenever it gets hot there's a sewer smell. i think the pipe vent isn't properly capped. i've been meaning to fix it, but the only way to access the pipes is to rip up the walls again - walls i spent a long time repairing. like i said, it only happens when it gets really hot, but something like this week's heatwave will cause the bathroom to smell. it's not terrible and very faint, and i can vent it up simply opening the window, but it's not a good thing.

i wanted to do a load of laundry but it was too hot. i'll wait until the weekend to run a load.

i had another gyro for dinner.

i went to the community garden this morning to water my plants, making sure they're fully hydrated for what would be a very hot day. i noticed there was a striped mallow flower, blooming despite being only a few inches tall. my squash plant is doing well, first year growing it in a grow bag instead of in the ground. there's probably a good chance i get a few squashes this season.

i opened up the patio umbrella when i got to the cafe. despite the heat, there was little wind today, which is perfect patio umbrella weather. my sister showed up, worried about the pavement getting too hot to take esmei for a walk later on.

we checked the broken upright freezer, which we turned on to turbo cool yesterday. it was 0 degrees at the bottom but 50's on the top, the unit was definitely broken. i booked an appointment with GE yesterday (coming on friday), but i wanted to see if i could find someone else who could show up sooner. i tried around town appliance repair, which had some positive yelp reviews. i kind of like them because they have a bare bone website, not a slick one, which shows the company cares more about actually fixing things than having a fancy website. they were also very upfront about their rates: $90 for a service call, then $60 for the first hour of labor, $30 each additional hour, not including parts. that's actually very reasonable and cheap for an otherwise expensive service. i called and left a message. tony called me back a few hours later. he told me he was booked up until july 2nd: the hot weather has played havoc refrigerators and anything else that needs cooling, so he's all booked up. he was nice enough to recommend another repair service - boston & cambridge appliance repair (based out of stoneham) - but i didn't bother giving them a call, figured they were just as busy. our GE person is scheduled to come on friday, they might be more expensive, but they would definitely be able to fix the problem.

i spent the rest of the morning in the basement organizing our boxes: takeout containers on one section of the shelf, takeout bags another, then sorted out all the different cups.

it was busy today, which was surprising, since we figured the hot weather would turn people away. nobody sat outside though. by the afternoon, the temperature underneath the umbrella canopy was 114 degrees, while the black asphalt was 147 degrees. sitting outside was like sitting in an oven. on the other hand, there was very cold air conditioning inside the cafe. we first had a big order of 3 bentos with 3 beef noodle soup. that was followed up a large group of very noisy young asian customers (students) who ordered a bunch of stuff. my sister's godmother showed up but we barely had time to chat with her as we processed the slew of orders (phone & online as well).

i found out from the news that the celtics parade wouldn't be until friday. i was actually hoping it'd be tomorrow or thursday. i can leave on friday, but that's also the day the GE repairman is coming. to make matters worse, there's a forecast of rain for friday as well.

in the afternoon all our phones started making an emergency announcement noise. apparently the 911 system in massachusetts was down. the only way to contact the police or fire department was to call their local number. supposedly police were driving through the neighbors with their blue lights on in case somebody needed the police.

close to closing time i closed the patio umbrella. our little cups of flowers on the tables had all wilted from the heat. we did something new today that we've been planning on doing for a while: instead of bringing in the patio furnitures, we just left them outside locked with a 3/8" bike cable and a combination padlock. this is because last month my sister treated the furniture with wood finish so they wouldn't get ruined in the rain. locking up the collapsed furnitures actually look good, and they save us the trouble of moving them inside, taking up valuable space.

my mother packed me some leftovers for dinner when we finally closed. i left before my parents did, while they stayed behind eating dinner at the cafe.

it was cool inside my house. that's always the case for the first few days of a heatwave, before the temperature steadily increases until it becomes a cauldron inside. according to my weather station, the official high temperature here in cambridge today was 94 degrees.

after a shower i ate dinner. i ate while watching celtics analysis videos on youtube.

i went on a monday supply run with my parents beginning at 10am. first stop was the everett costco, where my father originally wanted to get a 7 cu.ft. chest freezer ($200) but they didn't seem to have any in stock (just a floor model). i checked online and home depot sell similarly sized freezers for the same price as well. i saw costco still carried the 10ft cantilever umbrella, now priced at $600. how we managed to get one for $500 i'm not sure, but nevertheless it's still one of the priciest patio umbrellas you'll find out.

after we finished at costco, we moved on to the gateway center, where my father waited in the car with the AC turned on while my mother and i visited the dollar tree, bath and body works, and michael's. two of those places she went in search of yarn. she bought a bag of cheap yarn from the dollar store but nothing from michael's as none of their yarns were on sale. from BBW she bought a bunch of hand soaps on sale, now slightly cheaper than when i went to the galleria BBW earlier this month.

next we went to restaurant depot. we were in search of 20 oz. clear plastic cups for cold drinks. we've been to RD many times and they never had them in stock. we were running low enough that if we didn't find them today, we'd be forced to buy them online, where they're more expensive (1000pc for $74 not including lids). fortunately the gods of restaurant supply shined favorably upon us today as there was a new delivery of fresh stock. we ended up buying 3 boxes, 600pc for $40 each, as well as two boxes of matching lids. the checkout line wasn't very long either, as RD seemed to have hired more people and opened up all their lanes.

typically we visit the nearby chelsea market basket afterwards, but since we didn't need anything there, instead we turned back and went to the super 88 market in malden. once again my father sat in the car while my mother and i went shopping (mostly produce).

we headed straight to the cafe via davis square, arriving by 1pm. after dropping off the supplies, we went to belmont. our usual route via huron avenue was blocked because they were resurfacing the road. we ended up taking a big detour onto belmont street.

my mother made beef noodle soup for lunch using some leftover beef shank and tendon.

i made an appointment online for a GE repairman to come and check out our broken upright freezer. it's $120 for a visit, with no mention of hourly rates. the earliest appointment wasn't until friday. i should've booked the appointment last week as soon as the freezer started acting up.

afterwards my father and i were outside doing yardwork. he was fortifying the squashes and gourds with homemade compost, while i was busy weeding the raised beds. a lot of crabgrass and purslane for some reason. my sister showed up briefly in the afternoon with esmei. later my father and i finally replaced the rotten fence post dividing our yard with our next door neighbors. the original post was round, but when we went to the watertown home depot many months ago, they only had square posts so that's what we got. we dug down to about 2 ft, pulling up a lot of large stones we added as support when we installed the fence post originally (which was also a replacement). i also planted some long bean seeds my godmother gave us in RB0, the only trellised space we could still grow some vining plants.

with the oncoming heat wave this week, i helped my father installed the AC in the living room. it took a while to figure out how to put the exhaust vents in the window: we had a system in place last year but forgot the steps involved. we finally figured it out and ran the AC the rest of the day, testing it out to make sure it works.

i grilled some corn i bought on friday. they were still in the bag and left outside, i had to use them up quick otherwise they'd turn moldy. after cooking them with the husks on, i removed the husks and brushed some korean barbecue sauce. in addition to corn for dinner, we also had a chinese smoked bacon stir fry with chinese celery. the bacon was bought from costco, it's okay, but more a cantonese style, sweeter than savory, with not a lot of smoked flavor. compared that to the smoked bacon we got from zoe's last night, which was salty and smoky (though prepared improperly). speaking of zoe's, we also had some leftovers.

my father gave me a ride home around 7pm. the day was so busy, i nearly forgot the main event of the day: game 5 between the mavericks and celtics back home in boston. i had some time to prepare before the game started at 8:30pm, so i took a shower and gathered my snacks, for what may very well be the last NBA game of the season.

was the blowout loss in game 4 at dallas an anomaly or had the momentum shifted to the mavericks? all of celtics nation was nervous. both teams started tentatively, though dallas didn't score their first point until the 9 minutes mark. it bode well for the celtics: meant that boston's defense was working and dallas couldn't get their offense going. dallas didn't score their second point of the game until the 7 minutes mark. porzingis came in mid-way in the quarter. it was good seeing him, that his injury wasn't stopping him from moving, but he did look tentative, possibly afraid to go too hard and make his injury worse. he did get better as the game went on, but didn't have that explosiveness of game 1. boston won the first quarter, 28-18.

second quarter was much of the same, and it was evident that the celtics were playing much better than the mavericks. derrick white got injured when diving for a loose ball, face planted onto the parquet then dereck lively landing on the back of his head. white got up bleeding profusely from his nose/mouth area. he went to the bench to get checked, then came right back out. he had two loose front teeth and a chip on one of them. hope celtics medical insurance can find him the best dental surgeon. the first half ended with a pritchard 3-point shot from beyond the midcourt, putting celtics up 21 points.

both teams seemed tired going into the second half, as production slowed down. dallas won the 3rd and 4th quarter by a few points but it wasn't enough. with boston still up by 20 points with just minutes left in the game, coach kidd waved the white flag and sat his starters. this was happening. the boston celtics were going to win the NBA championship. coach mazzulla pulled his starters piece by piece, so each could receive a standing ovation from the hometown crowd. and then the clock went to zero and boston celebrated. jaylen brown won finals MVP, which once again took him by surprise. jayson played better tonight, but jaylen's overall contribution for the series was greater. first thing jaylen said when he got the award was to share credit with jayson.

i spent the rest of the night channel hopping, looking to catch whatever post-game coverage i could, i couldn't get enough. i wish there was a single channel that talked about how great the celtics is, and i'd watch it all day if i could. now there's nothing left to do but wait for the parade. it's been a long time coming. the last celtics parade was 16 years ago. if you're in your 20's, you were just a little kid when the last NBA championship happened. boston itself has had a bit of a sports parade drought. our last one was in 2019, when the patriots won their 6th superbowl.

i slept until 9am this morning, after having gone to bed last night close to 1am. i slept without the covers, enjoying the last few nights of cool temperature weather, before we enter a heatwave for next week.

i was out the door by 10am, first to the community garden to water my plants. there were a few other gardeners there. i met jennifer - a new gardener - who has the side plot that used to be mine back when it was a full plot underneath a mulberry tree. i gave my plants a deep drink of water as i don't plan on coming back tomorrow morning. after that i went to the cafe to put the tea eggs in the fridge. i saw my sister walking esmei. esmei didn't recognize me at first until i called her and she approached the motorcycle.

i found my father outside. my mother wasn't home, gone out for her walk. my father had already mowed the backyard, with the front yard still waiting to be mowed. we took out the galvanized saw horse brackets from the car. they're sort of an ingenious variety of saw horses, allowing you to use 2x4 lumber to customize your own saw horses. supposedly each bracket saw horse can hold 400 lbs, slightly more than the 350 lbs. of those cheap plastic harbor freight saw horses. what we needed was a tabletop.

luckily in the garage we had a 8ft plywood board. this was the perfect opportunity to use the corded 7-1/4" circular saw with the new ultra fine 60 teeth diablo blade. a circular saw screams dangerous, especially one of that vintage that looked to lacking safety features. it's so dangerous that the previous owner accidentally sliced through the cord at one point. the blade roared to life as it began cutting across the plywood. it made it halfway before it stopped cutting. the blade screw was spinning but the blade was not. we unplugged the saw and retightened the blade screw. that seemed to work for the time being, but the fact that the blade isn't tightly secured to the saw doesn't give me great confidence. i suggested we just buy a new ryobi circular saw. after that we cut two pieces of 2x4 to make the saw horses fit underneath our plywood tabletop without sticking out too much.

next we worked on the hose with sprayer i found a few weeks back. the reason why the previous owner tossed it out is because the sprayer won't come off the hose. we ended up clamping the sprayer in a vise and turning with a pair of channel locks but the hose still wouldn't budge. i finally just cut off the hose end with sprayer attached, while my father attached a new male hose end.

my sister brought esmei home. she left her dog here while she went out to lunch with her korean friend. something new i noticed about esmei: whenever she lounges in the backyard, it's always in the shadow, never in the sun. unlike hailey who never knew any better and would lie outside in the hot sun, panting to heat exhaustion. later while playing fetch with her, she disappeared behind the bamboo hedge. when i went to see what happened, i found her wallowing in a pile of cool dirt. i left her alone, figured no harm no foul.

my father and i put up netting in the western bed for the climbing bitter melons. originally we were going to staple the netting, but my father decided to secure it with some bamboo poles, which would allow us to down the netting in the future.

we also added more aerial fencing for the area between RB4 and RB3, the space above the basement entrance and where we keep the rain barrels. after pounding in some 7ft u-post stakes, we cut two 8ft long lengths of 2x3" galvanized fencing and secured them to the u-posts. it looks a little janky for the moment, but once our vining plants climb onto the fencing, it'll form a nice natural canopy. my father finished off the area by laying down additional compost and planting a luffa and several buttercup squash along either sides of the basement entrance.

while my father was planting, i was busy with some light pruning. i cut off a few more branches from the maple with the electric pole saw, and used the same pole saw to trim some holly branches. i used hedge clippers to shape the quince, but there were some branches i couldn't reach which i'll remove using the pole saw from a ladder.

earlier my sister had come back from lunch and took esmei back out with her friend. when my sister returned, she brought back some black bird donuts. the toffee donut was good with added sea salt, but everything else was just meh.

putting away the mower, i took the opportunity to quickly mow the front lawn. using the self-propelled feature made it quick work, like the mower was magically mowing itself, and i was just walking behind it, casually guiding it. i collected the grass clippings and dumped it into our backyard compost bin.

because today was father's day, my mother suggested we get some takeout from zoe's. my sister went home with esmei, but was tasked with getting the takeout later. my mother called zoe's around 6pm, they told her the food would be ready in 15 minutes. when my sister showed up around 6:30pm, she arrived without esmei, who was sleeping back at home.

we got the west lake beef chowder, pork intestine with preserved vegetables, dried-fried preserved smoked ham, pork tripe with cilantro, and eggplant with basil. unlike the previous times we ate there, the food tonight was terrible. the pork intestines and smoked ham were dishes we'd ordered in the past, but they looked nothing like how they were prepared before, like maybe they hired a different chef. the food wasn't terrible, just prepared in a careless manner, but it made us never want to order from them again.

i didn't get back home until 8:30pm. because of street cleaning, there was no parking space available close to my house, so i ended up parking 2 blocks away in my failsafe spot.

lamb loin chops are on sale again at star market! but can anyone actually find any? so this morning i played scavenger hunt. i went to my nearby star market where they had one package left. i got that along with some corn on sale as well. the later i went to the porter square star market where they didn't have any.

in between star market visits, i went to community garden to finally plant seedlings in that one remaining grow bag that i moved to the garden on wednesday. i had some old potting soil at home that i added to the grow bag to fill it up. i planted a bitter melon and a hyacinth bean. i had two more bitter melons of poor quality that i didn't want to just throw away so i planted them on the ground. they may or may not get eaten by slugs/snails, but i protected them with transparent green cones. i pounded my 6ft u-post stakes deeper into the soil using a brick as a hammer and a piece of discarded wood. finally i changed some tomato cages around before watering my plot.

i made it to the cafe by 10:30am. i cooked 5 cups of rice before going outside to raise the patio umbrella then putting out some furniture. my father showed up around that time without my mother, who decided to walk from home to get some exercise. i went to the basement to check on that busted upright freezer. we left it on overnight, hoping it might fix itself again like it did last time. it was a no go: 3 degrees at the bottom, but nearly 60 degrees on the top. there's something definitely wrong with the fan. i'll have to schedule a repair service on monday.

my father was steaming a bowl of chopped onions to make some onion juice to drink for his cough. nobody was watching the stove until i heard some unnatural pinging noises. i figured it might be the steamer so when i lifted up the steamer basket, the pot below was boiling on empty. not only that, but it was glowing red hot. i'd never seen kitchen cookware so get hot that it turned glowing red. i'm surprised the induction cooktop didn't automatically safety shut down from the high temperature. when we put the pot on a pulp fiber egg crate, it actually scorched the material.

the day went by pretty quickly. i had a vegetable bun my 2nd aunt made and a leftover meat zongzi. a customer called asking if we saw a yellow tote bag. i told her no, but she didn't believe me and said she'd come back and look for herself. i checked the webcam footage, i saw her leave with the bag. that chinese family with the two sons came again. not only are they loud, not only do they ask for custom orders, but they also leave behind a mess once they're done. we're not a restaurant, we don't have "table service," so when customers eat and leave and not clean up afterwards, that's extra work we have to do. there's a special place in food service hell for people like that.

my father made a new batch of beef noodle soup. it started yesterday when he made stock with leftover chicken bones and then quickly boiled and filtered beef chunks to get clarified beef broth. today we simmered the beef shanks until tender before combining with the broth. one problem we always have is how to quickly lower the temperature of the broth so we can divide into portions and put into the freezer? my bright idea was to using an ice paddle. that works but it's a slow process. my father came up with a new way where we put the hot broth in a stock pot, then put that stock pot in a larger stock pot filled with cold water. then we stir the broth, while periodically replacing the water. that turned out to be surprising effective. i've done something in the past with ice water but in a bowl instead. doing a pot-in-pot method also allows a cool trick where once the inner stock pot floats to the surface, you can stir the broth inside and once you stop, the floating pot will spin on its own for a long time, mixing the water in the process. anyway, we did a side-by-side comparison: in the same amount of time the ice paddle reduced one pot to just 136 degrees, the pot-in-pot broth had already dropped down to 97 degrees. i think this will be our new cooling method going forward.

after work in belmont, my father and i did a survey of the backyard while my mother went into her room to watch her stories. one of my hanging caladiums (that i grew from iffy tubers that i bought from OSJL) is close to making its first leaf. i totally forgot what kinds i got (i think an assortment?) so it'll be a surprise to see what comes up. the houseplants on the old rotten picnic table are doing really well. the dappled sunlight underneath the maple is ideal condition for them. the orchids in particular, with 4 different blooms. my father made plans to extend our hanging garden, so that it'll drape over RB3 and take up the space above the basement entrance.

my sister showed up with esmei. appearing in the backyard, her dog made no effort to say hello to any of us, but instead did her own thing. when called she doesn't come, nor does she obey most commands, unless she thinks they might be a treat involved.

around 5:30pm we grilled some italian sausages with lamb loin chops. 5 minutes on each side, though by the end the fat drippings had basically rendered the barbecue grill into a flaming smoking mess. i used a digital meat thermometer to gauge the doneness - we were shooting for a 145 degrees for both lamb and sausage.

i only had one sausage but must've ate 5 lamb loin chops. i returned home afterwards.

it was windy enough today that we couldn't use the cantilever umbrella, it was swinging too much. we tried the 3-tier umbrella but it took was moving around. so we basically gave up, closed all the umbrellas, put out a table and a pair of chairs, anyone who wanted to sit out in the sun were welcome to it. there were zero takers. not only was it hot (80's) but humid as well. it started getting cloudier and dark by early afternoon and a thunderstorm broke out by 1:20pm. it didn't last long, by mid-afternoon the sun actually came out.

today was super busy. seemed like everything was happening at once - walk-in customers, online orders, delivery orders, and phone orders. to make matters worse, when my mother went down to the basement to get something from one of our right freezers, she said it wasn't cooling anymore. so when i went down with the infrared thermometer, it was 15 degrees at the bottom but almost 60 degrees at the top. i quickly had to emergency evacuate all the thawing foods into the other freezers. luckily items at the bottom were still frozen. the weird thing is the high temperature sensor also didn't go off.

anyway, i nearly had a panic attack, with too many stressful things happening simultaneously. luckily my sister happened to be there to help out. even then we managed to fub an order when a phone customer called back after picking up his order to let us know we forgot his noodles. "you could either come back and we'll give you your noodles or issue you a refund." he didn't ask for a refund but said he couldn't come back out. "i'll give you a refund them." did i mention i hate customers who phone in their orders? especially when we're busy. i have to stop what i'm doing and have a chat with them on what they want to order. just order it online like a normal person!

so the upright freezer needs fixing. our usual HVAC guy already said he won't fix it, so we need to go to a real professional. off the top of my head, i'm estimating it'll probably cost something like $400. that's still better than buying a new freezer which would cost $1000. when it first broke 3 weeks ago and then magically fixed itself overnight, i already couldn't trust it anymore. that's why we thankfully didn't put too many things into that freezer. now that it's failed again in a more spectacular and expected fashion, we can't use that freezer until it gets fixed.

the sun disappeared again in the late afternoon. i wasn't even paying attention, figuring it wouldn't rain until later tonight. but it was my mother we noticed and said i should leave early to beat the rain. i didn't believe it at first, but i checked the doppler radar and sure enough a blob of rain was heading our way and wouldn't leave until 7-8pm. so i finished what i was doing and left the cafe around 5:30pm.

of course the most important thing happening today was game 4 between the celtics and mavericks in dallas. could boston sweep dallas, win the championship tonight?

after a shower, i made luxury ramen for dinner.

mavericks smoked the celtics, beat them 84-122. at one point dallas lead by 48 points. boston looked totally ineffective - not the team that went 3-0 in the series - while everything was clicking for the mavericks, from 3-pointers, to rebounds, to defensive stops. where was this dallas team in games 1-2-3? might've made it more interesting. the threat of elimination and the humiliation of getting swept is a powerful motivator. celtics just weren't in it. porzingis was even suited up and available to play, but mazzulla never needed to bring in him, celtics was losing so badly. mazzulla cleared the bench by the 3rd quarter, waved the white flag. maybe the celtics just wanted to win it at home. game 5 is monday.

a simple day, went to work, came home. i woke up early to get a few things from market basket. i bumped into my neighbor victor, i walked back with him until beacon street before i rode the rest of the way to the cafe. work-wise, nothing special, made our daily average. a lot of customers but mostly small sales, no big orders. black soy noodles was the most popular item sold today, i made 3-4 batches, we'd never seen anything like it. we started using the italian linguine noodle we bought a case of from restaurant depot. they're slightly different from our usual linguine in that they're a tiny bit wider, but otherwise the same. if i'm cooking up 4 batches per day, we're going to use up a case in just a week, which is kind of scary. i also made a batch of tea eggs in the morning.

i'm still not fully aboard the 10ft square cantilever patio umbrella. we've set it up for about a week now. originally i thought it did great in the wind, but today i noticed the umbrella was rocking in the breeze. it's most pronounced when the umbrella is at an angle; it's does better when the umbrella is horizontal. i wonder if it rocks in the wind because it doesn't have vents in the umbrella, which was one of our original criteria, and this particular umbrella doesn't have. i wonder if it wouldn't be better if we got a 10ft square central axis umbrella with vents instead. no need to adjust the angle/tilt/rotation of the umbrella. only downside is it'd take up space on the patio deck itself (the cantilever doesn't, since its base isn't on the patio). i went searching online and couldn't find any; all the 10ft square umbrellas were cantilever models.

my father put in a window fan on top of the cafe kitchen window for ventilation purposes. it's kind of a hack solution to get rid of the oil smoke smell whenever we do any cooking. he's got it set up so the window can't close when the window fan is installed. i'm looking into an alternate solution where the fan can be installed on a wooden brace so the window can still be closed when necessary.

after we closed, i biked down to the community garden. once again there was a crowd of people, many of whom i didn't recognize. i wasn't in a friendly mood so i didn't chitchat with any of them. i just went to my plot and watered my plants. i was there waiting for ann, who said she had some chocolate chip cookies she wanted to give me as thanks for helping her plant some bitter melons. the cookies she gave me ended up being some she bought from whole foods. i helped her plant another bitter melon seedling.

after i returned home, i went to star market to get some cherries on sale.

for dinner i finished the last of my gyros. i still have more, but they're all in the freezer. i couldn't probably eat gyro for a few more days, but tomorrow i'm looking for some variety, maybe do some ramen for a change. i spent the rest of the night watching celtics-related videos on youtube.

my father lost his xioami mi fitness band again. this is the second one that's gone missing. so tonight i went online and ordered a new one off of aliexpress, a mi fitness band 8 ($30).

i woke up at 8am to get my day started. this was going to be another very busy wednesday of running errands. i started by literally running, heading out at 9am, jogging around the charles river, before returning home an hour later. i was listening to the latest happy endings podcast, this one with damon wayans jr.

i took a quick shower and then biked to the cafe round 10:30am. i strapped my vevor meat grinder - still in the box - onto the back of my bike. i figured if i was going to use it, it'd most likely be at the cafe anyway. i didn't stay long, just long enough to borrow the car.

i drove to the community garden to drop off a grow bag of potting soil and to water my garden. i then headed to medford to harbor freight tools. there was road construction after road construction, and i kept detouring. i ended up getting there via union square, didn't arrive until 11:30am.

i was getting some harbor freight sawhorses. the cheapest ones they carried - plastic ones - normally cost $14/each but i had a coupon that made it $10/each. i ended up getting 4 - the maximum you're allowed to get. i figured two of them would be used for our outdoor plant stand, so we needed another pair for wood cutting purposes. i also got a 1/2 gallon pump sprayer ($5). i have a 2 gallon one but it's too large, since normally i just made 1/2 gallon of what solution i happen to be spraying.

next i went to aldi's on the other side of the strip mall. here i picked up some baby cucumbers, cilantro, scallion, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, and milk. a gallon of milk costs $2.92, while a half gallon is $1.75.

coming back, i stopped at the somerville market basket to get some fennel sausages and bean sprouts. i also checked the milk prices: $2.59 a gallon, but a half gallon costs $1.89.

i went to the UPS store on somerville avenue to drop off a temu return package. 3 dresses my mother wanted to return. instead of allowing her to keep the items, temu asked her to return them before issuing a refund.

i was back at the cafe by 12:40pm to drop off the supplies. it was so busy, i ended up staying and helping out for 20 minutes before leaving again at 1pm.

i drove to my parents' place. i gathered up some plants and went to my aunt's house in arlington to drop them off. even though it was still early, the traffic was a mess. it took me 15 minutes to drive there and 15 to drive back. i delivered 3 tomatoes, 4 bitter melons, 3 hyacinth beans, 2 potted rudbeckia, 1 potted goldenrod, and a bag of lily-of-the-valley plants i dug up fresh from our shady perennial bed. i rang the doorbell but there didn't seem to be anyone home. i left the plants on the patio table under the shade of the umbrella. i also refilled the bird bath before i left, the solar fountain was gurgling dry.

back at the house, i spent the next 1-1/2 hours doing garden work. i started by mixing half a gallon of fungicide spray: 1.2 tbsp (18ml) of immunox liquid combined with 0.75 tbsp (2.25 tsp) of captan powder. this was for the grapes, which were long overdue for spraying. i'm supposed to spray every 10 days, but the last time i sprayed was may 20th more than 3 weeks ago. since that time not only have the grapes flowered, but they're also now setting fruits. the vines themselves need to be pruned, like leaving only a single cluster of grapes per shoot, and trimming off the suckers. i also need to get mesh fruit protection bags to prevent birds from eating the grapes before they're ready to harvest. grapes require a lot of work! now every time i eat grapes i appreciate how much it took to grow them.

i used the new 1/2 gallon sprayer. it doesn't have a wand, but instead you spray directly from the handle which has a built-in pump and spray head. i like that the spray nozzle is metal, makes it sturdier, compared to the 2 gallon sprayer which has an all-plastic spray wand assembly. another great thing about this 1/2 gallon sprayer is the pump has a metal spindle. the one that i saw at lowes that i almost got ($8) has a plastic spindle which might break if you pump the bottle too hard. anyway, the spray bottle worked very well, the spray came out very well atomized. 1/2 gallon is just large enough to hold with one hand without it feeling too heavy. i also like that there's a continuous spray switch (which i didn't use). it took just a few minutes to use up the entire bottle of fungicide.

next i tried out the sawhorses. i used two to hold up the two 2x8" 8ft planks that used to be my sister's raised bed frame, to make a makeshift plant stand. the sawhorses seemed very flimsy - all plastic like it'd break easily - but it felt very sturdy once i opened it up. supposedly each sawhorse can hold 350 lbs, so two of them should support 700 lbs., more than enough to hold the wooden planks with a few grow bags. how they'll withstand the element is the big unknown: i watched a video where somebody's sawhorse cracked after being weathered by the sun. that these sawhorses are all plastic means there's nothing to rust, but they're also not designed to be sitting outside all summer long. their saving grace is they're cheap and can be used as makeshift table legs for outdoor plant stands.

after planting some zucchini seeds (4) in the empty grow bag, i watered the garden. while watering, i noticed one of the tomatoes we planted on monday had already been defoliated by rabbits. i ended scrounging up some chicken wires and creating temporary fencing. i also noticed rabbits had defoliated the columbine hidden underneath the honeysuckle (which by the way are now all blooming and fills the backyard with its fragrance). i didn't know they eat columbines but apparently they do. one of the projects this weekend will be to install wires along all fencing bottoms to keep the rabbits out.

i finally lef by 3:30pm. my parents' new neighbors across the street are doing major landscaping work, hiring contractors to rototill their lawn with machines and plants a bunch of shrubs and trees. we still don't know too much about them, and i don't think my parents have said hello even. it's apparently an older couple and a younger couple. a single family or two families? who knows.

i returned the car at the cafe before going home. my sister told me i got a ticket on my bike. reason? because i locked it to a sign post. the ticket said if i didn't remove my bike within 72 hours, the city would remove my bike.

i took another shower when i got home. for a late lunch i had an asian salad mix that i got from aldi's. i've had it before, it's actually pretty good. afterwards i just lounged on the couch. having accomplished most of what i set out to do today, there was nothing left but to relax for a bit. i fell asleep at 6pm, waking up an hour later.

game 3 between the celtics and mavericks was tonight. i timed my dinner so i could eat and watch during the start of the game at 8:30pm. once more i had a gyro.

the start of the first quarter was the best the mavericks played in the series so far. they quickly got out to a 15 point lead. everything was falling for dallas, nothing for boston. but midway through the quarter, the celtics made a run and erased that lead, got the game to within 1 point. the whole second half was a close rock fight, mavericks leading half the time, celtics leading the other half. the third quarter started even more intense, the lead alternating something like 10 times, changing with each possession, as the two teams took turns scoring, match each other's intensity. it was the celtics to finally pull away, building up their lead so they were up 15 points at the end of the quarter. in the start of the final fourth quarter, celtics continued applying pressure, pushed the lead to 21 points. it looked like game over for the mavericks. i was starting to celebrate.

but then the celtics crashed, as their lead quickly diminished. they seemingly lost their ability to score and defend. there was a stretch where the celtics only scored 2 points in 8 minutes as dallas went into overdrive offensive mode. but this is typical of the celtics, they're not killers, and it's common knowledge they'll let you back in the game after building a big lead. mavericks got the game to within one point with something like 4 minutes left in the game. but no sooner had that happen did they loose a key player: doncic fouled out. they still had kyrie, but the celtics is his kryptonite, and he was ineffective, at least not when it counted the most. boston clamped down on defense to make stops, and scored just enough to keep dallas away. final score 106-99, boston now leads the series 3-0.

no NBA team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit. the only question now isn't if the celtics will win a championship, but rather will they sweep the mavericks friday night in game 4? i failed to mention that porzingis didn't play. but they didn't need him. yes, the game would've been easier for boston had they had porzingis (his rim protection and his 3-point shooting), but the celtics have more than enough talent to win without him. horford took porzingis spot, with xavier tillman as backup. why kornet wasn't the backup is a mystery, but tillman held his own, even shot a 3-pointer from the corner that pumped up the celtics bench. tatum played better tonight, the best this series with 31 points, while brown contributed 30 of his own. tatum didn't have a monster game like many fans were hoping, but he was a solid contributor. jrue holiday though, i think he deserves final MVP. he's kind of like a more consistent derrick white, making hustle plays, timely shots, grabbing rebounds, creative passes.

my black dickies crew socks arrived today. i ordered something else from amazon tonight: 8 acrylic white paint markers ($8). i love using paint pens on blue tape, that's my new thing. the ones i've used before were oil-based, this is my first time trying water-based acrylic paint pens. they should arrive by friday.

i woke up early to go water my community garden plot before heading to the cafe. this early in the morning the kids are still arriving at school so my route to the garden is a little congested. while the children are getting their education, the adults take the opportunity to use their playground field as a dog park, so a lot of barking this morning. all my seedlings look okay, though the middle eggplant seem a bit stunted. i'm tempted to pull it out and plant something else in its place. at this point i don't have time to grow anything from seed and need to just buy something from the plant store. i finally planted the red-veined sorrel in a clay pot. a lot of my nigellas have also bloomed, they self-seed, so they're practically a weed at this weed, like my striped mallows.

when i got to the cafe by 9am, i turned on all the ordering tablets and cooked 6 cups of rice. afterwards i went outside and opened the cantilever umbrella before bringing out the tables and chairs. i started simmering the old batch of tea eggs before making another new batch. i also refilled the drink refrigerator. i told my father about the $10 harbor freight sawhorses and he thought it was a good idea to get some.

today was a slow and steady trickle of customers, nothing crazy, a good day to start off the work week. my father found some old school sawhorses in the basement that use 2x4's for the legs and the tops. i moved them to the truck of the car and managed to cut my finger. afterwards my father and i moved the large metal storage chest into the basement (for the stone rubbing books). much later i managed to smash a porcelain bowl onto the corner of the work table and gashed another finger (all on my left hand). not a good day for job safety. for lunch i ate a savory zongzi.

in the afternoon i biked to the porter square post office to mail off two quarterly tax payments for my parents. i also got some forever stamps (68¢): sea turtles, carnival nights, ansel adams, and celebration blooms. i noticed some pretty wildflowers growing underneath a sidewalk tree outside the post office.

my parents kept telling me to go home early, especially after i showed them the list of things i had to do tomorrow on my one day off. they doubled their call asking me to leave after i injured my hand. but i stuck around until closing time.

porzingis' injury report was released today and it wasn't good: he suffered a torn medial retinaculum in his left leg. it's so rare, in a 2006 study there has only been 32 documented case of dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon. it's an injury that may require surgery, or it may just fix itself (tendon popping back into place). his status for tomorrow is questionable, but realistically it looks like he'll at least miss game 3. celtics can still win without him (they did it for most of the playoff run), but porzingis is the team's cheat code, without him winning will be less easy.

for dinner i fixed myself a gyro, washed it down with some lemonade, had an apple for dessert.

i bought a new on-demand 12v pump. the seaflo pump we use for our rain barrels has served us well, but it's only rated to 3GPM. this new vevor-brand i've kept my eye on few many years, it's 5.5GPM. normally it costs $60+, but it was on sale at amazon with a coupon for $31.50, so i couldn't resist getting it. having two on-demand pumps would allow us to move one to the front of the house for watering purposes. we have an older 12v transfer pump but it's not on-demand. to use it you need to physically complete the circuit. last year i paired it with a simple 12v wireless smart switch, but that still required opening an app to turn on/off the pump. an on-demand pump is much more convenient. this pump isn't due to arrive until end of next weekend.