around this time of the year is when i bring up all my closet grow house equipment from the basement: fluorescent lights, plastic trays, leftover growing containers (plastic cups), and gravel. i'd forgotten that every year i've been replacing an old T12 fluorescent shoplight with a newer more efficient T8 light. so far i have 3. every year i also weigh the idea of upgrading to LED lights, but in 2018 they're still not as cost effective as T8 fluorescents (more expensive, less lumens) so i'll be getting another T8 shoplight sometime soon, so i will have only T8 grow lights this season (with the exception of one LED light panel).

there was reason to be optimistic this morning when i saw the solar production graph line skyrocket to 6kW by 9:15am. but that excitement was short-lived as the production began to plummet after 9:45am. clouds - the bane of solar power - won out the day. nevertheless, by day's end we still managed to produce 25.66 kWh, the second most productive day of march so far.

the weather was unsettled, even hailing little snow pebbles at one point. i thought about going to haymarket but the temperature was a little cold and i didn't really need anything. in the afternoon i biked to rite aid to pick up some dove sculpting paste then market basket for some groceries. it was busy, the aisles were crowded, but there wasn't a lot of people waiting in the express lines and i checked out pretty fast.

afterwards i went to star market to stock up on frozen stouffer lasagna. there was also a sale on cabbage (29¢/lbs.) and potatoes ($1.99 for a 5lbs. bag of white potatoes) to coincide with st.patrick's day festivities. however, after i paid, i realized there were mistakes on my receipt. for one thing, my cabbage was rung up as lettuce. they also didn't give me the discount price for potatoes. i went to customer service where not only did they take off the wrongly priced items, they also gave me the cabbage and potatoes for free. i'll be turning that cabbage into some sauerkraut.

when i was in china i discovered this hair styling wax that was pretty good. i could only find it in the carrefour supermarkets, and when i was last there i got a new container. but since that time the wax has dried up and no longer usable, so i'm in search of a new styling wax. growing up in the 80's, i've experimented with all sorts of hair hold productions, from hair spray, to mousse, to gel. in recent times gel was my preferred option, but it has a tendency to hold too hard and leave crusty streaks if i'm not too careful. i happened to have a coupon for a dove men care sculpting paste so i got a container. i noticed hair styling products have gone up in prices: this dove paste was $8.50 but i paid $7 after coupon. i've yet to try it.

some ebay purchases arrived in the mail. i got an HDMI adapter for my pizero, but unfortunately i got the wrong size, micro HDMI instead of mini HDMI. not a big deal, the dongle itself cost less than a dollar. i also got a replacement light switch dimmer cord. i don't really need the wires, i just need the switch itself.

i got a greek salad from market basket and had that for dinner. i felt especially healthy afterwards. later in the evening my father contacted me via wechat video. they were in shenyang, having arrived late yesterday afternoon riding the high speed train from beijing. matthew told me that he's still able to access google services from china with his google phone if his uses his US data instead of local wifi to get online. apparently the google fi network does some kind of automatic encryption of its data communication that it can bypass the great firewall of china (or maybe the GFW is simply ignoring it for the time being). nevertheless, i taught matthew how to use my torguard VPN, first getting him to down the APK from my website, the app disguised as a harmless baidu map extra. i gave him my username and password and he was able to successfully log into google using the local wifi.

my right shoulder blade started hurting today. so much so that it was hard to move around, i could barely turn my body without hurting. i took a pair of ibuprofen but it didn't seem to do anything. this is troubling because we're expected to get another nor'easter in 3 days (tuesday). how will i be able to shovel 3 different properties if i'm in so much pain? hopefully i can recover in time.

i went to bed early, as tonight was the start of daylight saving time, and we'd be losing an hour of sleep.