just as i'd hoped, my upstairs neighbors were spending the holiday away, as i watched paul make preparations then drive off this morning. that meant a weekend of peace and quiet, the best christmas present ever.

i spent the day waiting for lucas to call me to give me the latest status on booking an inspector to check our solar install. of course 9 times out of 10 when lucas promises he'll call back he doesn't. my father called me in the early afternoon asking if he should be at home in preparation for the inspector; i told him lucas didn't even call me back today, so chances are the inspection won't show up until next week.

i was surprised when my father called back again a short time later: he just happened to be at the house and noticed electricians working on the roof. he let them inside the basement so they could get access to the power boxes. i was surprised because it was due to rain and snow later today, and actually by that point it was already drizzling. i wasn't expecting any installers to show up, especially so late in the day. another thing was united solar had their office christmas party today (i caught word of it yesterday talking to those guys), so even more of a surprise.

i asked my father if he recognized anyone, he didn't, so maybe these were outside contractors hired to take a look. apparently they were on the roof reconnecting some cables, and turned the inverter on to check the status. my father called again sometime later after the electricians left. good news: inverter hooked up to the internet (though we still don't have any account yet) and 23 panels were online. bad news: 1 panel was still down, so they still need to come back and fix it. i wrote lucas an e-mail to give him a status update but he never replied back. regardless, i feel a little better today than yesterday. at least we're 96% operational, and if we can figure out how to get online and get a report of out energy output, that'd be our "proof of purchase" for tax purposes.

i watched bright, the new netflix movie starring will smith and joel edgerton as police partners, one human, one orc, in a re-imagined society where fantasy creatures are real and orcs are an allegory for an oppressed minority race. the premise is interesting, ripe with social commentary normally reserved for dystopian scifi features (think alien nation or V). why this was made into a movie and not a series i don't know, i think it'd work better in a long form, with more possibilities to explore all the different nuances where humans interact with orcs and faeries and elves. i like it though, haven't seen the whole movie yet.

it finally began to snow in the late afternoon, just a light dusting but enough to cover the landscape. by evening it'd mostly stopped. no reason to shovel, since tomorrow the temperature could potentially hit the low 50's and a day of rain. maybe elsewhere, further out in the suburbs there might be a risk of freezing, but here in cambridge everything will be melted come morning.

i went to star market to look for fresh turkeys. they had some shady farm birds of the right size (around 12 lbs.) but they were selling at $1.59/lbs. and i was hoping to find a better price tomorrow at market basket. i left with some asparagus on sale and a pineapple. the supermarket parking lot was empty save for a few employee vehicles. i walked by the manoa poke shop and saw there was no customers. that presented the perfect opportunity to try a poke bowl for the very first time after dropping everything off back at the house.

the owner - a big friendly polynesian guy - took my order. i got the regular bowl ($12), which is two scoops of poke with a choice of rice and a side. i picked the spicy salmon and garlic tuna, on white rice, with a side of kimchi cucumber and rainbow coleslaw (i got two sides, maybe because they were about to close soon). the chef kept adding additional ingredients, spicy sauce, garlic sauce, sesame seeds, crispy rice, it was going to be a sensory explosion.

excitedly i returned home to try my first poke experience. i'd forgotten that poke is just raw fish salad, and that it's usually cold. fortunately the rice was warm. the spicy salmon tasted particular raw, maybe i should've gone with spicy tuna instead. the garlic tuna was a little better in terms of mouth feel as it tasted more like potatoes. despite my usual reservations about raw fish (even though i eat sushi just fine), i still liked my first poke experience. just as i'd imagined, it was a sensory explosion of different flavors and textures, spicy, salty, savory, crunchy, chewy. they do also have more traditional fares like fried chicken i want to try next time. i washed everything done with a can of sarsaparilla soda while watching the latest episode of agents of SHIELD.

i ordered a few more things from amazon.com tonight: a black diamond spot headlamp in aluminum for $20 (normally $40) but just $9 after i used my credit card points. i do have a pair of headlamps but they're more than a decade old. one still uses a bulb, the other has LED's but early models that have zero brightness compared with modern LED's. the spot headlamp is rated 300 lumens. we actually got my sister a black diamond headlamp 2 christmases ago, the 2016 cosmo model: that one was only rated 160 lumens and we still paid $25 for it. the other thing i bought was an instant pot duo mini 3 quart for my 2nd aunt, just $48, after my mother called her to ask if she wanted one (she'd said earlier she did, if only the price came down to $50). not sure what my aunt would do with an instant pot, since my parents have one as well (8 quart) but they never use, only the few times when my sister came home to make dinner. at the very least the instant pot can be used as an over-qualified rice cooker. i think she just wants one because so many of her friends have one.