i got a chance this morning to try out the braun citrus juicer. i own a juice press which i never use, and a manual plastic hand juicer for those times when i need a little lime/lemon juice for cooking purposes.

for what it does, the braun juicer seems kind of big. the actual juicing action happens only on the top 1/3 of the juicer, while the rest of it is just the motor. it's pretty self-explanatory to use, just hold down an orange half on the reamer to get it to rotate. juice trickles down and out the spout, while pulp collects on the tray top. it takes about 3 oranges to get a glass of juice, but for best result i really should use 4. this seems like an expensive way to get orange juice: a bag of 12 oranges cost $4, enough to make 3 glasses of juice, which comes out to $1.30 per glass. a carton of orange juice costs just $2.50. of course some people might say nothing beats freshly squeezed juice; i however don't really notice the difference (with my unrefined palate). another thing: because my oranges were sitting outside, the juice was tepid at room temperature. i didn't want to add ice cubes because then it'd dilute the flavor. next time i should refrigerate my oranges for a cold glass of juice.

while trolling craig's list, i can across a listing for a trio of free soaker hoses on morrison avenue in davis square "on the curb." i could always use some more soaker hoses for the raised garden beds so i rode the motorcycle to investigate. as advertised, they were sprawled on the side of the road. it took me 15 minutes to coil each one (25 ft each). 2 went into the saddle bags, while the 3rd i had to coil around the sissy bar and hold in place with a bungie netting.

it's almost like every day i need to find something free on the streets! i wonder what's in store for tomorrow? even on days when i'm not actively looking, i still managed to pick up free stuff.

i returned to my place briefly before riding to belmont, where i was entrusted with dog sitting duty while my mother and sister were out attending a gem and jewelry show. i installed a new silver bike bell on the ross 10-speed.1 i went around watering the raised beds with a long hose connected directly to the triple rain barrels. it's much faster than using the watering can. i used up as much water as i could since it might rain tomorrow (replenishing the rain water supply).

as i predicted, those mysterious plants growing besides the relocated lovage are in fact radicchios. the leaves gave it away, but i still wasn't 100% sure. but today i saw the very first flower growing off of the tall stalks, and sure enough, it's a pale blue flower, just like chicory, which radicchio is a member of. since it's a perennial, it'd be nice to keep it as an ornamental, with its lovely blue flowers.

the nasturtiums seem to be lost in the field of bolting and flowering arugula. i know they're there from the colorful flowers. i'm curious to see if in fact the nasturtiums will take over once all the arugula and lettuces have been harvested. they're fast growers to the point of being weedy (a weed i don't mind having in the garden).

a single purple bell plant has started to bloom (the one with the most sun exposure). the transplanted hydrangea seemed to have survived, despite being mostly stem and a small amount of roots. it didn't look so promising at first, with the plant wilting like it was dead, but ever since i transplanted it 3 weeks ago, it has tenaciously clung to life, to the point where it's showing some colors on the immature blossoms and i might be able to get some more blues in the backyard.

i planted some more basil seeds, since most of the basils have died before we could even harvest a single leaf. i planted most thai basil with a smattering of regular basil. hopefully the warmer weather will hasten their germination.

my mother and sister came home around 5:30. i ate some pan-fried raviolis, as well as a bowl of wonton soup, before returning home. my phone was ringing halfway back, and i sort of knew what it was. when i finally got home i called my sister who told me i forgot my camera.

in the evening i ordered a hitachi 2TB SATA internal hard drive (deskstar 5K3000) for $60 after a $10 rebate. it was just last august that i bought a 2TB drive ($100). not that i filled it up yet, but that's my general dump drive. this new 2TB drive will be for my photos. i have a 1TB drive which i just filled this evening. i'm looking to consolidate all my photos onto the new 2TB.

1 not that it needs one; the brake pads are so ancient that it makes a horrible squeaking noise with each brake that can be heard for several blocks. i've been meaning to fix it but my father says this is a feature.