i biked to market basket in the late morning to get some groceries. typically it's pretty quiet that time of day, but today it was super crowded. it took me a while to realize this was because of the blizzard arriving tomorrow, and this was panic buying. i grabbed my ingredients (going to make some spaghetti on friday) and quickly paid up and left. coming back, i took a detour to walgreens to pick up the print i ordered of my grand uncle. the amused cashier looked at the photo while ringing me up and asked if it was grandfather. i didn't tell her it was for a wake.

the eye exam office called me, i wasn't surprised. i have an appointment for tomorrow at 2:30pm, but with the snowstorm, i was expecting them to cancel and reschedule. i couldn't quite understand what the receptionist was telling me. that they're open during the morning tomorrow, but i can still keep my appointment, even though there might be a chance it'll get cancelled. it didn't make sense until i realized she was saying i could reschedule for tomorrow morning, which is actually great, because i don't want to be traveling in the middle of a blizzard either. so my new time is tomorrow 8:45am. afterwards i'm either heading to belmont or to the cafe. i just hope my eyes aren't too dilated to do some shoveling.

i watched as my neighbor climbed to the top of his roof to clear the snow from his 46 solar panels. he was just using a simple brush attached to an extensible aluminum pole. it seemed extremely dangerous and i was expecting to him come crashing down at any moment to his death while i photographed everything. thankfully he did not die but winter is just starting and there's a snowstorm coming tomorrow.

i was monitoring the solar panels like i've been doing every day since it was activated, and saw a huge spike in solar production today. that could only mean one thing: some of the panels were finally clear of snow. i called my father to let him know. later he went home briefly and saw the panels for himself. 6 were cleared, and later he used a jerry-rigged roof rake with a foam attachment to clean off a bit of snow from the rightmost panels as well. what i didn't like was the fact that the layout monitoring for the individual panels were still reading 0 Wh. this was not right, especially since now we had clean panels. i wrote lucas asking about it but he never wrote me back. hopefully it's an easy fix, but more hopefully that united solar will actually fix it instead of just leaving us hanging now that they've been paid. the ability to check individual panels is probably one of the more interesting part of the solaredge monitoring system. at the very least we're still able to see total power output.

i finally finished backing up my photos from 1995 to 2017. there's a gap in 2012, because a while back i dropped the backup drive, and now portion of that disk is too damaged to salvage. there are also gaps in 2014 that i'll need to go back and fill.

my parents came to pick me up for a supply run around 2:30pm, first to michael's, then to costco.

my 2nd aunt saw the photo i printed of my grand uncle and noted it wasn't the typical somber wake portrait. i never thought of it that way, but that particular portrait encapsulates my grand uncle's vitality, the way we'd like to remember him. who said wake photos have to be somber?

the first thing i did when i got to my parents' place was to climb the step ladder in the backyard to check out the solar panels. even though it was already dark, i took a photo. the rightmost (eastern) panels were still covered in snow save for the area my father had cleared and a little patch of natural melting. the snow from the topmost panels had all melted (save the one on the right) along with all the panels on the left (western) side of the house. the panels on the sunroom were still covered, they will need to be manually cleaned off snow if we want them working throughout the winter.

the final cumulation for today was 4.06 KWh of solar production. that's amazing, considering ever since we came online we were happy just to see a few hundred Wh. i would've been happy today if we just broke 1KWh, but i wasn't expecting 4x that amount. it's just too bad it's going to snow 15"+ tomorrow and cover up all the panels again. but hopefully when the solar snow rake arrives on friday, we can put it to good use. 4 KWh is actually a pittance compared to the actual amount of potential electricity our 24 panels can generate. i think i have my math correct, but under ideal condition, we should be generated 8KWh every hour, and assuming we have an average 8 hours of daylight during the winter, we should be able to achieve 64KWh of power. so 4KWh is only 6% of what we could be making.

we also checked our electricity meter in the basement. we added 3KWh of electricity back to the grid, on top of the 1KWh we generated off the books but was still added back on christmas eve, for a total of 4KWh. that's a start! winter is the least productive time of year, but come summer, the amount of electricity we will generate and the amount stored as credit means will never have to pay for electricity ever again.

after seeing all the stranded passengers at logan airport on the news and report of all flights getting cancelled tomorrow, i went online and checked my 2nd aunt's flight for taiwan tomorrow morning at 8am. sure enough, it was cancelled. it took me a few minutes to get into crisis mode, figuring i was the only person capable of fixing this problem. would my aunt simply not go to taiwan? get a refund? or maybe we can change the itinerary. i called united, and an automated message told me due to the high traffic volume, the wait time would be 30 minutes. i put the phone on speaker as i tried their website. after entering in the confirmation number, i went to a page that allowed me to change the flight. i hung up the phone and decided to work online. there was a matching flight for friday morning, same exact time. my mother called my 2nd aunt to confirm with her before i changed her flight. the flight to SFO i was able to get her an aisle seat, but the longer one to taipei there were only about 10 middle seats available (unless she was willing to pay nearly $200 extra for an upgraded seat). i feel bad for any passengers on the same flight checking their status too late, or who aren't web savvy enough to change their reservation online, since after those 10 friday seats are gone, they're going to have to wait until next week for available seats.

my father gave me a ride home, picking my 2nd aunt from the cafe beforehand so we could drop her off first. she'll leave on friday morning (barring anymore cancellations) and i won't see her for the next month.

i opened up my bar of romano soap tonight. i used this soap when i lived in china, this one was purchased in 2014. i discovered it by accident because i thought the name was kind of funny, and privately i called it my ray romano soap. it has a really nice smell, brings back some memories. i looked at the box and recognized enough chinese characters to know that this soap comes from vietnam of all places. i've never seen it sold anywhere in the US, next time i go to china i'll make sure to buy some.