i rode the motorcycle to wellington circle this morning to pick up a few things for my parents: yarn from ac moore, dolly from harbor freight. temperature was in the 30's but a crystal clear sunny day. my biggest worry was if the bike would start. the engine turned over on the first try, i moved it to the front of my house without turning off the engine while i gathered up my things before leaving for medford-malden.

on this last weekend day before christmas, i was afraid all the shopping places would be packed, but maybe because it was still early in the morning, so it wasn't too bad. i stopped at ac moore first, before riding the motorcycle to harbor freight on the other end of the strip mall. here the customers were nearly 100% men. they had dollies, but the wooden and steel kind, not the plastic kind i wanted. i ended up asking for help, one of the clerks went behind to storage to bring out a bunch of plastic dollies. i tied the dolly to the back of my motorcycle with bungie netting before riding home.

afraid to turn off the engine, i left the bike on idle while i quickly ran inside the house to grab my backpack (already packed) before heading to belmont. despite the cold, it was a very pleasant motorcycle ride. i only really felt it on my face while the rest of my body (including my hands in handlebar mitts) was warm. everything felt crisper, clearer. i also appreciate the time i have left for riding, because at any moment, depending on the weather, the season could be over. the only thing i don't like is i haven't been doing much bicycling, which made me put on some weight due to a lack of exercise.

we needed just over 24 kW of solar electricity today to put us above november's total production. certainly the weather was ideal, with that deep blue cloudless sky. for lunch i had some glutinous rice porridge along with some radish cakes.

the plastic dolly was for the 60lbs marine battery that's been sitting in the living room since the summer. my father inherited the battery from mr.huang, who was looking to dispose of it after he shutdown his energy product. too heavy to carry, the dolly would allow us to push the battery around more easily. my father moved it to the bedroom to test how well it could run appliances. the battery was connected to a 750W inverter which in turn was connected to the HDTV. it ran for an hour without problems, we could've probably ran it even longer without issues.

radioddity contacted me this morning, said that the TYT TH-9800 they sell was in fact the original version, not the plus version. maybe they made a mistake, didn't quite understand my question (they didn't seem to understand when i brought up the issue of the serial numbers), and these were in fact the newer updated models, but it wasn't worth the risk. they were the cheapest, but better to pay a little more to get the plus version and not have to deal with all the bugs that come with the original version. i explained all this to my father, and suggested we buy from an ebay seller for $205. he agreed, but when i went to go make the purchase, they were already sold out. the next cheapest was $215 through amazon. we almost bought it through them until i checked ebay one more time and saw that the $205 deal was available again, so we went with ebay.

there was a bills-patriots game starting at 1pm, but i was only partially paying attention. once i saw new england had the lead, i sort of put the game in the background, confident that the patriots would eventually win, which they did. edelman had a cool touchdown where he was essentially tackled but never fell to the ground, instead using a pair of buffalo bills as cushions to launch himself back upright and run into the endzone for to score. with the win new england finally clinched the division title. that piece of good news was made even better when houston lost to philadelphia, putting the patriots back as the no.2 seed and a bye week. they just need to win next week against the jets to make it official.

when it got dark i finally remembered to check the solar production for the day: 27.62 kW! we smashed november's production. we still have a week left in december, i don't know if we'll beat october's production as well. we'd need to average 21 kW of electricity every day, and i already know we have a full cloudy days, tomorrow and next week. maybe the numbers will surprise us. despite the shorter days, winter production seems more efficient, the cold temperature allowing the panels to work better.

my sister contacted me in the afternoon, said she located our stolen cones a few streets away. how she was certain they were ours i'm not sure. when i told her the news yesterday, i was expecting her to go crazy, but she said those cones were stolen to begin with, that they originally belonged to nstar, but when our original cones got stolen a while back and my sister went to the police to file a report, the cops gave her some cones off the street. she told me she'd go steal them back once it got dark, which she did, but she only managed to located 2 of the 3 missing cones. she had them in her car for the time being, didn't want them to get stolen again until we can mark them up with more distinctive decorations.

my father pan-seared then grilled a pair of trouts and some chinese sausages on the barbecue for dinner. it was a cold and clear night, i could see stars.

the final challenge came after dinner, which i tried to start up my motorcycle. as long as the outdoor temperature isn't below freezing, there shouldn't be any fear of the bike not starting. but our night time temperatures now fall into the 20's, and i fear it's only a matter of time before my luck runs out. however tonight i had no problems as i was able to start the bike on the first try, with the choke opened at about 60%. my eyes watered up from the cold air, my nose a little runny but hard for me to wipe it with my hand hidden in the handlebar mitt.