i was trying to time my departure this morning so i could avoid the rain. i didn't mind the snow, but the forecast said that wouldn't happen until later in the afternoon. after a cream cheese bagel for breakfast, i biked to belmont after 11:00. it was already raining, but just a sprinkle, and i managed to arrive relatively dry.
despite the little bit of rain, i went out into the backyard to do some shoveling. after several days of melting, the snow had the consistency of ice granules so it was easy to shovel. i carved out a new path to the quince bush, which had seen better days, but there doesn't seem to be anymore rabbit damage, despite exposed fresh branches. maybe chewing up the bush was their starvation food; the bush did last through almost the entire winter season without damage, and only in the last few weeks with spring nearly arriving did the gang of hungry rabbits show up. i also removed some snow from the raised beds; i figured the sooner the snow melt off of them, the quicker i can begin planting once the warm weather comes around.
i brought along all my DIY dead cat wind screen making supplies: fake fur, pieces of felt, even a nice piece of foam. i've seen very elaborate dead cats that make use of all those items, but the easiest one to make is simply sew a little pouch using the fake fur material. i brought up the singer sewing machine from the basement, which i had used since march 2011, almost 4 years ago. i was a little nervous because i haven't used the machine in a while, so i found a little piece of fabric and practiced sewing a line of stitching. with that out of the way, it was time for the real thing. after measuring and cutting out the correct rectangle of fur, i flipped it inside out to do the stitching. the first one was easy, along the natural edge of the material, using a wide zigzag stitch pattern. the second stitching was in the middle, and i'd forgotten to comb the fur away from the stitches, so when i was done and flipped the pouch right-side-out again, all the fur on that edge were folded into the stitching. single there was still some room inside the pouch, i stitched another line using a simple dash stitch to pull together the seams.
i went out and tested the wind screen. it's nothing to look at, but it does protect the zoom H1 microphones from wind noise feedback. i wonder if the fur material can be a bit shorter. i have plenty of fake fur left, i can always sew a few more using different designs (like a foam filler, or a fancy felt lining).
in the mid-afternoon it began to snow, but nothing that seemed to stick. so i was surprised when in the evening one of the local networks broke the broadcast with breaking news: boston had surpassed its all-time snowiest record for a winter season at 108.6 inches (276cm).
at 5:00 there was a documentary on natgeo about golden sub-nosed monkeys in central and southwestern china. apparently there's some place where chinese tourists can come face-to-face with groups of monkeys. i think this is a bad thing because the monkeys will become dependent on humans for food, and become overweight from the junk people will feed them. afterwards, while we were eating dinner, we watched another documentary on hummingbirds (i didn't realize hummingbirds can only be found in the new world).
i knew there was a bit of snow on the roads, but it was a dusting compared to the feet of snow we're used to having. when i went outside to dust the snow off of my bike, i realized it was caked on to a rough layer of frozen sleet. the seat was all iced up and i was nearly home before my shifter thawed out enough to properly change gears. breaking was tough too, with ice gumming up the pads. underneath, i could hear the grinding of frozen snow underneath the tires as i slowly pedaled home. i stashed the bike in the basement to let it thaw out, shoveled the sidewalk just a bit, before finally going inside.