i rode the motorcycle in the early afternoon to the assembly square mall to look for locking stitch markers for my mother, who just recently started knitting again after taking a brief hiatus when she came back from her vacation. unfortunately they only had the jumbo variety at ac moore. i noticed they had plenty of starbella yarn, the yarn that was in such high demand they could never keep enough in stock; now that the knitting season is winding down (if it hasn't already), nobody is interested in yarn anymore. with a 40% off coupon i bought a ball ($2.99) of red heart boutique ribbons yarn for my mother in fire (color).

i then visited a bunch of nearby stores looking for 2 things: a replacement pan (for the one my previous roommate scratched up) and a tall collapsible foot stool (to replace the one i broke at my parents' place). bed bath and beyond had some kikkerland foot stools ($14.99) which were exactly the ones i wanted except they were the short variety (9"); i was looking for something taller (12-13"). tj maxx didn't have any foot stools but did have some lovely pans. the latest trend is ceramic-coated pans, now that traditional non-stick is being phased out (so i've read). i almost got one but decided the one that i currently have still works (even with a bit of scratches). i was browsing the garden department at k-mart, a sad and neglected corner of the store. i almost bought some 52" galvanized tomato cages ($3.69 each) but thought it'd be too much of a hassle to transport it back home via motorcycle.

i stopped by market basket briefly on my way home to pick up some chicken sausages and tabouli salad. i dropped off the groceries at home before going to the cafe with the yarn delivery. on my doorstep was a package (looks like the post office is back to leaving parcels). i didn't know what it was until i opened it: my bottom bracket tool! i'll get a chance to do some bike repair tomorrow.

i checked out the latest progress of my great uncle's garden before my father and i tried to fix my great uncle's cable box. for some reason he had a hard time receiving the lower channels, even after replacing the cable box. since the comcast office was just a few blocks away, i went down there to get a new box. even with the new box the lower channels were still blanking out, which meant the problem had something to do with the wiring. we traced the culprit to a splitter, which was not only loose, but whenever we connected the cable that lead upstairs, my great uncle started losing his channels again. since nobody in the house watches tv with the exception of my 2nd aunt (occasionally), my father decided to leave the upstairs cable temporarily disconnected.

i returned home with 4 curry buns and some scallion bread.

when i got back it was already 5:00 and i'd wanted to do some gardening. i couldn't postpone it until tomorrow since there's rain in the forecast. one of things i wanted to do was to take some soil samples to be tested (the community garden organizers are collecting saturday morning) and the soil has to be dry so today was the only day to gather my samples.

i went to the garden with my container of chinese chives. a neighbor was throwing out a tupperware container which i picked up, the perfect receptacle for my soil sample. i collected from 10 random spots around my garden plot, scooping a little bit of soil into my container. i then put the lid on the container and shook it around to mix the dirt.

i then planted the chinese chives i got from my parents' backyard. i'm growing them not to eat but using them as borders since they have pretty white flowers when they bloom in late summer. i was working with my gloves but it was hard to work so i ended up using my bare hands. from the clump of chinese chives i managed to separate out more than 40 shoots. i planted a bunch along the western and southern edges, as well as a border for my preexisting garlic plants.

back at home, i dumped the soil onto a newspaper on top of a baking pan. i removed any non-soil debris (like plant roots and small rocks) then used a fan to dry my sample. since i don't have to submit my soil sample until saturday, there's still plenty of time for me to dry out the dirt.

i ate my buns and bread for an early dinner. since it was thursday, i thought maybe my roommate would eat his noodle dinner out in the living room, but he decided to eat in his bedroom, robbing me of an opportunity to remind me to pay his final month's rent.

when i went to go get a replacement cable box, they also threw in a free remote. since my great uncle already has one, i took it instead. i had it in my jacket pocket and riding back home it fell out onto the street and was almost crushed by a car behind me. but now i have 2 remotes, one for each side of the living room.