i went out this morning to shovel the bit of snow that fell overnight. a few inches as we slowly creep closer to boston's all-time snowfall record. shoveling the entrance to the basement, i slipped on some ice on the steps and got a cut on my hand. i also tried to cut down the size of the large snow pile in front of my house, but it was too much work (mostly because there's still no where to put all that snow) and i stopped after reducing it by 2 feet lengthwise. i climbed on the large snow bank across the street to take a few goggle photo spheres.

still concerned over the belmont shrubberies which are slowly being consumed by hungry rabbits, i went about making my own rabbit repellent. i heard garlic is effect, likewise hot pepper. some recipes online called for using garlic salt and pepper powder, but i boiled some chopped fresh garlic and chopped thai hot chili peppers. it was so pungent the house smelled of it afterwards, and taking a better whiff over the stove made my cough. that's how i know it was good. after it cooled, i strained and poured it into a water sprayer.

march is the start of the plant growing season, at least indoors anyway. i went into the basement (careful not to slip on any ice) and brought up my grow closet equipment: 4 fluorescent grow lights, plastic trays, and buckets of gravel. my walk-in hallway closet is a mess though, a lot of things have to be taken out before i can use it as a grow closet. while i was in the basement i also found a container of fox urine powder. i opened it up and gave a sniff, didn't really smell anything offensive. this probably means the powder has long since expired; when i first bought it, it smelled something horrible. nevertheless, worth sprinkling to see if it can prevent rabbits.

i got a ride back to belmont in the afternoon. with the fresh snow that fell last night, i could see if rabbits had been visiting the quince bush. sure enough, i spotted a single pair of rabbit snow prints emerging from the corner of the yard, where it hopped across the moat to gain access to the bush.

i wasted no time in spraying the bush with my homemade rabbit repellent solution. i was careful not to spray into the wind, and accidentally "mace" myself in the face with some hot pepper solution. besides the quince bush, i also sprayed the japanese maple tree. afterwards i sprinkled some fox urine powder. i ended up using the whole can. let's see if those rabbits are coming back!

the tub faucet in my parents bathroom has a leak and i helped my father take apart one of the faucet handles to try and fix it. it's pretty straight-forward, and all the parts match the sink faucet fixtures we replaced back on the first day of the new year. when it came time to remove the cartridge, the shower valve socket wrench we had didn't fit, and neither did any of our other sockets. turns out the nut to release the cartridge has a diameter of 1-inch. so work came to a temporary standstill until we can find an 1-inch socket wrench that can fit.

after dinner i got a ride back to cambridge. before i left, i went outside to check if there were any rabbits. for the time being, the bushes are safe.

when i got home there was a stack of packages on my doorstep. one of the items was the zoom H1, which i knew would be arriving today from the tracking status. it was smaller than i thought it'd be, and the mail carrier was considerate enough to wrap it inside my other mail to sort of disguise the fact that it was a package.

out of the box, the zoom H1 portable audio recorder looks a little cheap because there's so much plastic. however, the plastic does make the device feel lighter. it comes with a single AA battery as well as a 2GB microSD card along with a SD card adapter.

i popped in the battery then the memory card. i was a little confused as to how to open the memory card door (just a rubber flap on a swivel peg), and the H1 didn't come with a manual, so i actually had to go online to find out, afraid i might accidentally damage it. i also used my own 32GB microSDHC instead of the provided 2GB.

i first heard about the zoom H1 from john back in january 2013, when i edited a few short movie clips using imovie with videos shot from my newly-purchased panasonic lumix ZS20. john alerted me to a special deal on the H1 with accessories that was cheaper than buying the device alone. so now 2 years later i finally get around to buying one ($98). my idea is to pair it up with my dslr camera for capturing nature sounds. i can't imagine using it apart from my camera though, so maybe it would've been better if i'd just gotten a dedicated microphone instead of a recording device. i consider the dslr unwieldy as it is, so to attach the H1 to it won't exactly make it easier to handle. plus i still shoot mostly still images with the occasional video if it's something really noteworthy.

H1 records in 2 formats, either mp3 or wav. i chose mp3 because it's what i'm familiar with, and set to the highest quality 320kbps. after some online research, i discovered that wav is the better format in terms of quality. i set it at the highest wav setting, 24-bit/96kHz. later i dropped it down to 24-bit/48kHz. either way, with my bad hearing i can't really tell the difference.

i went around the house recording anything that made noises: furnace register, blowing into an empty bottle, ticking clock, gurgling aquarium filter, sink faucet. i listened to the playback with a pair of earbuds. when it came time to download the files onto my computer, i realized it didn't come with a usb cable. also it uses the less common mini-B plug instead of a micro-B plug (the type found on cellphones). fortunately i have both types so it wasn't a problem. the audio files were weird in that they didn't have any creation date, just a modified date. so on the mac the creation date goes to the unix default of 12/31/69. i managed to fix it using a better finder attributes app and setting the creation date to match the modified date.

also arrived was a pair of new jeans, old navy boot cut for $15. they fit perfectly, just a little long but that's what rollups are for.