with a big snowstorm like the one that fell yesterday, i like to break up the shoveling work over the course of several days. the first day is about clearing the sidewalk. on the second day - today - i dig out my backyard. despite the amount of snow, it was actually a lot easier to shovel because at least there was a place to put it. however, if we get another foot or more, there won't be anymore space.

my father swung by in the late morning to drop off my contigo travel mug that i left in belmont on sunday. he must've left it in the car because all the liquid on the inside had frozen solid.

i contacted sandisk regarding replacing a broken 32GB ultra microSDHC. originally i was just going to chalk it up as a loss when the card began to malfunction on my father's phone, but that was before i realized it was still under warranty, and the ultra cards actually have a lifetime warranty. i got in touch with somebody via online chat, and after i gave them my information, they sent me an RMA number and an UPS mailing label. i didn't even need to give them a copy of the receipt. i actually have another broken memory card, a 32GB kingston microSDHC. i bought it in china though, and i don't know if that warranty applies here in the US. besides, for all i know, it could be a knock-off. but i should get in touch with kingston regardless, can't hurt to see if i can get a replacement.

in the late afternoon i walked to the UPS store on somerville avenue to drop off the microSDHC. since it wasn't too far from market basket, i decided to walk a bit further to pick up some groceries. since it was so cold, the roads were coated in this dirty dry slush that felt like walking in soft yet slippery sand. i saw my neighbor don shoveling the sidewalk when i got home and went home and helped him a little bit by shoveling out the empty parking spot right in front of our houses.

at 6:00 my nest thermostat automatically kicked the furnace up to 68 degrees. all seemed well until i began to feel a little cold and checked the vents: cold air! by then it was 6:45, the furnace had been lowering the temperature instead of increasing it. i should've known something was wrong because all day long i kept hearing this rumbling sound. at first i thought it was my upstairs neighbor, or maybe a plow trunk driving by, but then i started to think it might be the furnace in the basement. but the heat kept on firing so i thought nothing of it. only when it began to heat the house for a longer duration at night did the furnace finally malfunction.

to reach the basement, i first had to shovel off all the snow on my backyard deck (it was either that or go out and around the house to get to the basement). i used a broom to push off the powdery snow. once i got to the basement, i could see the furnace cover rumbling. the water pump was working (i could hear the water gurgling) so it wasn't a pump issue. the suction that'd been created actually blew off the makeshift air cap the repair guy made when he was here on friday. but even with a large hole on the side of the furnace, it still wasn't getting enough air to fuel the burners.

so i went out and dug around the furnace exhaust vents. that area was clear to begin with, and the warm air from the outtake vent will actually melt some the snow nearby. but i cleared out even more space, so there was zero snow obstruction. and that seemed to fix it. i think that was the problem all along, that's why the furnace started acting weird ever since we began to get all this snow a week ago. the intake vent needs space to properly draw enough air into the furnace.

for dinner i made some rice porridge. i learned from my mistake and used 4 cups of water with 1 cup of rice. it was just plain rice, nothing like the savory rice porridges i made in china. i ate a large bowl with various side dishes. however, i was hungry an hour and a half later. some oranges for dessert stopped the pangs.