i woke up at 7am to get ready for a day of shoveling but when i looked outside my living room window i was pleasantly surprised that there was no snow. only now, at the tail end of the fourth'easter, did it look like we were getting some precipitation, but it was too little too late. we'd survived this latest snowstorm and seemed to have escaped relatively unscathed. i waited an hour before i texted my sister to let her know there was no snow and we'd wait until later in the morning to decide what to do. my sister said she was going back to sleep. it would be warm enough throughout the rest of the day that we really didn't have to do anything: the inch of snow on the ground would all melt by afternoon. but my sister got in touch with me at 9am and i told her to come and pick me up at 10am, we'd clear what little snow there was, and then drive me to belmont.
by 10am the snow seemed to be transitioning to rain, further hindering any chance of the snow to stick around. i shoveled the sidewalk in front of my house before my sister arrived. i was surprised that my 2nd aunt didn't come to work, even though when my sister asked her yesterday she said she would. clearing the sidewalk amounted to pushing a bit of wet slush around. my sister sprinkled some salt to prevent any refreezing. we were done by half an hour, which included clearing the thin layer of snow from the parking lot. at my sister's place i installed a spare HDTV antenna i had lying around, a small tabletop model. i didn't think it'd do much, but the TV in the living room is in a good location with a good view of the sky and it managed to get good reception on many channels. i asked my sister about the motion sensor LED light she ordered for me a few weeks ago but i never received. she said it was somewhere in her horde house, but when i pressed her on it, she seemed to recall accidentally throwing out a box which had the light inside of it. i was angry but it wasn't the end of the world: i could always order the light bulb again, except it'd cost me twice as much now since it was no longer on sale.
we left for belmont around 11am, my aunt still a no show. my sister called her on the pretense of checking on her welfare, but actually just to see if she was going to open the cafe today. we thought maybe she was already on her way, but she was actually still at home, in no hurry to come in. she said the snow looked really bad from her place, which was bullshit because she lives in cambridge too and we hardly got any snow and all of that was fast melting anyway. she said she was thinking about coming in around noontime, my sister was trying to scold her but i was shaking my head, signaling her not to bother.
when we got to belmont, the sidewalk and driveway was already snow free from the melting. the only thing i had to do was to clear the snow from the solar panels, and most of that had melted as well, just bands of slushy snow on the bottom of each panels, including the ones on the sunroom. my sister had a doctor's appointment and i waited for her to leave before i climbed the ladder to clean, didn't want her coaching me again, better to work solo. there was no need to climb the roof, i could clear everything just from the ladder. for the most part clearing was pretty effortless, except some of the slush on the sunroom panels had a tendency to clump together, and i had to take a bit more time to clear them. i noticed there were animal droppings on the roof. that made me worry that maybe critters were hiding underneath the panels, but when i checked i didn't see anything. too big to be squirrel droppings, could they be raccoons? later i determined it was probably birds, because i also saw the same droppings in front of the house and on the car. and i didn't see any paw prints on the roof snow.
it took me just half an hour to clear the snow from the solar panels. afterwards i went to check on some perennial flowers. rabbits seem to be eating the crocuses, nipping the leaves and flowers. they seem to be leaving the other perennials alone thankfully: lupines, columbines, foxgloves. foxgloves are poisonous anyway, i wouldn't mind if they eat some of those, have fewer wild rabbits in the backyard.
the electronic mousetrap finally caught a mouse. i didn't think so at first because the green light wasn't flashing. but my sister asked if i'd purposely placed the trap crooked, and when i picked it up to examine it, i saw there was something inside, and finally noticed the green flashing led (long delay). i detached the trap from the battery half and opened it up. i was kind of afraid of what i'd find inside, because apparently this mouse had been dead for a while, since my sister noticed the crooked trap since monday. i was afraid it'd be all decomposed by now but it seemed fine, peacefully electrocuted. much smaller than the mouse we electrocuted last year. i did notice the back half of its body was sort of flat, but didn't think it was that unusual at first. later after looking at the photo i noticed a lot of scratch marks on the inside cover of the trap. i think after this mouse died, maybe another tried to get into the trap to get to the peanut butter bait, but wasn't able to because the passage way was blocked. anyway, i dug a small hole in the backyard and buried the mouse.
i chatted with my parents earlier, back at their airbnb place. it wasn't as nice as the airbnb they stayed in last time, no complimentary towels, and the landlord typically lives in the apartment but leaves when he rents it out, so some of his stuff is still around. good thing is it doesn't have any bad smells and has a nice view.
my sister came home around 12:30pm, bringing home some food. she buys the worst food, i would've preferred some burger and fries, so brought back a prosciutto cheese pesto sandwich that was mostly hard bread that scratched the roof of my mouth. i only ate half. she also gave me a musakhan, which i decided to save for dinner.
i got a ride back to cambridge. the sidewalks were all cleared, i probably didn't even need to shovel. it was still raining, melting some of the remaining snow from the last storm. i finished the rest of that hard bread sandwich. i walked to rite aid to get some snacks (diamond almonds, mentos, necco wafers). for dinner i heated up the musakhan. i've never had it before, i don't like it that much, too much sourness, not enough of the spicy.
belmont light's smarthub app and energy usage stats website are a piece of crap. as much as i appreciate the fact that i can get a lot of this energy data from our smart meter, i hate the fact that it's organized in such a crappy way. the android and iOS versions of the app look like they were designed by different companies. the android version is barely usable, can't display generation graphs for some reason. also recently it's been truncating the data from the last 2 hours of the day, so the usage numbers are all wrong. the iOS version is more accurate, will display the generation data, but seems to chop it off. the browser version gives more data, but slow and hard to use.
we produced 12.22kWh of energy today, slightly more than yesterday. going into the weekend, the weather will be a mix of sun and clouds, with the possibility of a dusting of snow saturday overnight. next week looks to be a few days of sunny weather.