i helped my father clear off the roof snow from the southwestern corner of their house. since we cleaned much of the roof on thursday, there'd been some melting and refreezing, resulting in some slippery ice patches that weren't there before, inadvertently making walking on the roof a bit more challenging compared to when there was just feet of snow.

our next door neighbors were shoveling too, first clearing their backyard deck (which seemed like they never even bothered using since it started snowing weeks ago) before working on the bottom edges of their roof. from up high, we could also see other neighbors farther away working on their roofs as well. i could even hear someone futilely chiseling ice off in the distance.

shoveling off the remaining snow was more of a one-man job, so i decided to climb back down and begin shoveling what we dumped off. getting down was a little difficult because i was afraid of slipping (and falling off the roof), so i ended up crawling backwards on my stomach until i could get my feet onto the ladder, holding onto my father's pant legs for support. it wasn't very dignified, fortunately there was no photo records.

afterwards we took turns digging out the entrance to the basement. a few days ago it was fine, spared of snow because of a few strategically placed wooden planks that acted like a roof. but after we started clearing off the snow from up above, the dropped snow began to pile up until we could barely see the basement door anymore. another danger was the dryer vent, which escaped being buried by about an inch wide gap.

it began to flurry by the time we were finally done. i was soaked, half from the snow, half from sweating. i came inside and had a bowl of warm sauerkraut soup (earlier i had a sausage and egg sandwich before going out and shoveling). my sister came home but left a short time later, taking hailey with her. a bit after 5:00 my aunt and uncle showed up, bringing with them an assortment of ingredients to have hot pot for dinner at my parents' place.

they stayed until almost 9:00. afterwards my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. the snow had stopped, transitioning to a freezing drizzle.

my $100 rebate for my nest thermostat arrived in the mail today from nstar gas. i sort of didn't think it'd happen, since nstar only contacted me once about receiving the application and then i never heard back from them again. i also filed it online which i never did before, including scanning an image of the UPC code instead of sending out the actual one. that means i only paid $100 for my nest thermostat ($250 normally, $200 black friday price, $100 rebate), which is a pretty good deal for a fancy gadget (even though i did have some problems with it including replacing the thermostat wire and finally exchanging the one i had before). the only thing i don't like is the rebate is in the form of a visa gift card, which i find hard to use.