i took out my utility bike from the basement and rode to rite aid. i had to be careful not only for hard and bumpy ice patches but also because it was so cold (25°F) the snow doesn't necessarily melt but stick together into dirty clumps that has the consistency of beach sand. i went to ride aid to pick up my high blood pressure medication prescription that i filled out on saturday but only tuesday did i have time to get them.
afterwards i biked to market basket to return the ghirardelli 72% chocolate squares and replace them with 86% (for my cousin christina back in taiwan). day after christmas i was expecting the supermarket to be empty but it was actually pretty crowded, with long lines in the express lanes. i also picked up some snacks and smoothie ingredients.
i got back home at 1:10pm. i was finally ready to have some lunch when i called my father to confirm he got my message and he asked me if i wanted to be in belmont for the inspection as well, so he came to pick me up. when we arrived at the house, there was already a car outside, blocking our driveway for some reason. joe's familiar face greeted us. he let him in the basement to turn on the inverter, and then he went back outside to wait in the car for the inspector. the inverter saw 23 panels but could only ping 5 of them at most. those happened to correspond to the few panels up on the roof that had some visible surfaces along the lower edges; the rest were covered in ice and snow. in fact, on our ride back to belmont, we kept checking out other solar installs along the way. some houses had panels free of snow (those were the ones with steeper roofs), while others were still covered up (like ours). our neighbor at the beginning of the street still had their panels covered, so we didn't feel too bad about ours.
the inspector didn't show up until 2:30pm. this was joe's third and last inspection of the day, after ones in beverly and lynn. both of those had passed, and he was hoping this one would as well. inspections are the one thing that can make installers nervous, since they're essentially being graded on their craftsmanship, pass or fail. joe was laying on the charm offensive, talking with the inspector (tony) as if they were old friends. in fact, after a while, joe realized they'd actually worked together close to 3 decades ago, when joe was just an electrician apprentice. tony looked over all the boxes in the basement, everything looked good except for a stray grounding screw that needed to be removed (joe didn't agree but did it anyway). tony then asked to see the rough, which is an inspection report that happens on the day of installation, confirming the outside work is in order. joe said they never needed one before, and tony told him that it's a requirement for belmont and watertown, but passed us anyway (signing both the certificate of completion and building permit). and with that the inspection was over in just a few short minutes.
i walked tony out and asked him about the next step. he said belmont municipal light would come out to take a look before giving us a final pass. back in the basement i asked joe the same thing. he said something similar, that the electricity company will do an inspection after they receive a copy of the certificate of completion, and after that point the solar install will officially be operating. in the meantime however, we can keep the inverter on, it won't harm the system. before he left, joe taped the permit to the front door, so the town can come by and collect it. it's a weird system that i never knew about. why the inspector didn't take the permit i'm not sure, but maybe it's a different department.
once joe left, my father gave me a ride back to my house. i wrote lucas a short time later, gave him a status report and told him we passed the inspection. he wrote back saying he will make sure the signed COC and subsequent docs/photos are sent to belmont light so that they can approve the interconnection to the electrical grid. does that mean we won't get credit for the 1 KWh of electricity we generated sunday afternoon? not that it matters much since we will generate so much electricity in the years to come, we'll never have to worry about electricity usage in the house ever again.
i finally had lunch around 3pm, some leftover turkey rollups. i got a little worried because i didn't have any hoisin sauce left, and thought i could make my own (soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame seed, molasses), until rummaging through the fridge i found a whole bottle of hoisin that i never knew i had.
i started watching amazon's the marvelous mrs. maisel today. it's a show i heard about and always planned on watching, with a pedigree that features showrunner amy sherman-palladino of gilmore girls fame. the writing reminds me a lot of gilmore girls, with its fast-paced dialogue peppered with witty jokes, but the time period (1958) also reminds me of mad men, though a lot less depressing, focusing more on the humor. i like it and i've already watched 3 episodes out of the 8 in the season. what got me to watch was actually wuweiyu asking me about the show, not in the content of the plot, but rather she wanted to know about american names, particularly middle names. she thought the main character was named miriam midge maisel, until i told her that "midge" is actually just her nickname, which we normally put in the middle and in quotes.