it must've rained overnight because the streets were wet. there was a lull this morning and i took the opportunity to run some quick errands: get some sticky mousetraps from the dollar store, grab some soda and yogurt from star market. i biked to the cafe first to drop off some supplies (where my sister was working today), before heading to belmont.

it must've rained enough last night to fill all the rain barrels, including the 3 conjoined barrels which were 4/5 full when i checked yesterday. i can't imagine the barrels will ever be empty, since the smallest rainstorm can quickly fill them all.

heavy storms reveal weaknesses in our rain harvesting setup. the blue rain barrel is still overflowing. i think the length of garden hose attached to the overflow is too long, and tends to coil up and down. without a gradual decline, the overflow backs up and rainwater begins to pour out from the top of the barrel.

the southern downflow connection needs some more work; in heavy rains the first elbow joint has a habit of detaching from the downspout. i actually saw it happen today during a particularly strong downpour, and was fortunate enough to be there to reinstall the downspout, otherwise all that rainwater would just pool by the corner of the house. i think all we really need is a strategically placed downspout bracket.

the thrice-caulked black rain barrel is no longer leaking at the spigot; however, rain accumulates on the lid and then pours out a tiny hole along the rim. the solution is to elevate the barrel (using wooden shims) and then tapping a rainwater inflow on the lid (which it currently doesn't have yet).

with all this rain there was no point in watering the plants. if anything, the plants could use less water, since it looks like it'll be raining throughout the rest of the week. looks like i'll be doing a lot of bicycling to get around since i don't like to ride my motorcycle when it rains.

since my sister's car wasn't in the driveway, it was easier for me to move out the 2 remaining cars so i can get the lawn mower from the garage. my father did it before he went on vacation almost 2 weeks ago, and since that time the grass has gotten long again, to the point where it's beginning to set seeds. i could already feel rain drops but as long as it wasn't pouring, i could still mow. i got halfway done with the front lawn before the mower sputtered off. it was out of gasoline and there wasn't any left in the gas cans. it began to seriously rain at that point so i put the mower back in the garage and moved the cars back into place. mowing would have to wait.

after the torrential downpours there was a lull in the precipitation. i checked the doppler radar and it looked like i would have at least another hour before the next storm. so i grabbed one of the fuel cans and drove to the nearest gas station to get a gallon of gasoline ($4). it took 30 minutes to finish the front lawn and then mow the back. the weather was foggy and cold and i could see my breath. moving around warmed me up but fogged up my glasses as well. i dumped the grass clippings into the "compost" bin (really just a large wheeled recycle bin with a doorway cut out at the base) and mixed it with a box of shredded newspapers (that i prepared on friday). i didn't need a whole gallon of gasoline, and there was still plenty left in the tank after i poured in half. the gas can didn't have a cap so i used a piece of tinfoil instead. i left it outside to avoid the fumes.

my sister didn't come home from the cafe until almost 6:30. she made some sausage pasta with a bit of garden arugula. arugula should only be eaten raw since they lose their peppery taste when cooked.

seeing a lull in the storm, i packed up my things and raced back to cambridge before 8:00. it wasn't raining but there was a pervasive mist.

i watched game 1 between the miami heat and the chicago bulls with victor. naturally i was rooting for chicago, seeking revenge for the celtics defeat by the unworthy heat. miami lead in the first half but chicago managed to tie by the game going into halftime. in the second half however, the bulls just dominated the heat, finishing the game with an amazing slamdunk by taj gibson. i screamed so loud i almost passed out. the final score was 103-82.

as if that wasn't enough, the red sox swept the yankees in the bronx this weekend. it's the first time this season that i've watched a baseball game (that was friday). some behind-the-scene drama might've contributed to the yankees' lost (jorge 'he has an autistic son' posada unhappy with a lineup demotion), but now boston is just a single game behind new york in the standings. it doesn't surprise me that red sox does well against the yankees, since the team seems to be built to withstand new york; but when boston goes up against other teams that aren't the yankees, that's when they falter. only time will tell. i'm still not signed up for the whole baseball experience this season.