i woke up at 7:30am to clean up the snow outside my house before catching an 8:55am bus out of harvard square to belmont to help my parents. it was actually raining, and raining hard as i watched the ripples in the sidewalk puddles. the snow was heavy and sticky as i cleared the sidewalk before leaving around 8:30am.
there was only a limited amount of hours to clear the snow before everything would flash freeze later today as the temperature dropped below freezing. i had an umbrella but it wasn't necessary, as the transition was already taking place and ice pellets were falling instead of rain. many sidewalks hadn't been shoveled yet so i walked in the streets where conditions were better (fortunately there weren't many cars out). i ended up grabbing the 75.
i arrived in belmont a little bit after 9am. i found my parents outside: my father clearing the driveway with the snowblower, my mother beating the frozen clumps of snow off of the bushes. my father was having a hard time with the blower as the heavy wet snow kept clogging the shoot and auger. the engine also seemed to be a little suspect, never fully coming up to speed.
i was in belmont early with the hopes of clearing the snow off of our solar panels, but i decided it was better to go to the cafe first and clean the sidewalks before returning to belmont again to tackle the panels. my father and i left before 10am.
the snowblower at the cafe uses a paddle, which is actually better for slushy sticky snow. unfortunately the snow was too heavy for the paddle to drive over it automatically so my father had to push the blower manually. while he was using the machine to clear the sidewalk, i was cleaning the snow from the steps and little crevasses where the blower can't get to. my sister was home but she didn't come out to help until almost 11am.
we ended up staying at the cafe close to 12pm. the icy pellets had picked up as the temperature continued to drop. we gave my sister a ride to alewife so she could get her car while we took hailey back to belmont.
we didn't start clearing the snow off of the solar panels until after 12pm. by that point it was too late, too many hours had already passed with below freezing temperature (at the time it was 22°F), the rain that fell early this morning had flash frozen into a hard icy shell. the snow below the shell was still soft, but cracking the shell was difficult, and the bottom most layer was still an icy mix. even if we climbed the roof, there was no way to clear off the snow, now under these frigid conditions. we did the best we could, removing the bottom layer of ice and snow from the panels, in the hopes that it might induce some melting should the sun come out, and have some space for the sliding melting snow. it goes without saying that the solar production for the day was zero.
after waking up this morning at 7:30am to 5 hours of snow clean-up, i finally had lunch around 1pm. i was so hungry by then, anything would've tasted delicious.
i introduced my mother to roma on netflix but before she could finish the movie the rams-saints game was starting at 3pm. it was of course just a prelude to the more important patriots-chiefs game later in the evening. i was rooting for new orleans as drew brees seemed deserved of another super bowl win. but a missed blatant pass interference call late in the game doomed the saints. in what should've been a penalty that would've given the saints a new set of downs to run out the clock to victory ended up with the rams tying the game to send it into overtime and winning it undeservedly.
we had dinner early, so i could get a ride back to cambridge to catch the patriots-chiefs game at 6:40pm. my father cooked up a liver-shaped fish egg sack imported from taiwan. after soaking it in some chinese white wine, he baked it. the egg sack was a few years old, not sure what it's supposed to taste like, but it was crispy with a savory fish flavor, reminded me of salmon jerky. my father had already gone outside to start the car before i finished eating my stir-fried noodles. i also left with some meat buns for lunch and dinner tomorrow. we scraped off the coating of ice on the car before leaving. when i got back, i noticed that steve and paul didn't reshovel the sidewalk but did sprinkle some salt on the steps. the game was already in progress. i wanted to use the bathroom but didn't want to miss any second of the game so i held it until halftime.
the patriots played the first half with a strategy they've been using recently, a running game with a lot of short passes, nothing flashy, but gets the job done, and allows the pats to hold the ball for long stretches of time, using up the clock. new england looked sharp in the first 2 quarters. the offense had less drops and more catches (so many successful 3rd down conversions), and finally gronkowski and hogan were getting involved, when they've been fairly quiet during the regular season. the dominant defense pressured mahomes and left kansas city scoreless, with the game at 14-0 going into halftime. the patriots would've had even more points (28-0!) where it weren't for a red zone interception by the chiefs and a chiefs' fumble in the final seconds that was recovered by mahomes.
the chiefs made their adjustments in the 2nd half and started to finally put points on the board. they scored a touchdown, new england answered with a field goal kick. things got interesting in the 4th quarter. not only did the chiefs mount a comeback, they also took lead, with a touchdown, a 4th down new england stop, and another touchdown. patriots answered minutes later with a touchdown of their own. in all, there would be a total of 4 lead changes in the 4th quarter. chiefs regained the lead after a touchdown, but made the mistake of leaving 2 minutes on the clock for tom brady, who took the team down the field for another touchdown. with 32 seconds left in the game, mahomes mounted yet another comeback to almost win the game but ended the quarter with a field goal to tie the game and go into overtime. new england's fate seemed to rest on the coin toss, which luckily the patriots won (heads). mahomes never did get a chance to get back onto the field: tom brady and the gang took 5 minutes to reach the end zone to win the game.
i screamed so hard and loud in celebration, i honestly almost passed out. my adrenalin was so high after the game, my hands were still shaking and i wanted to take a blood pressure measurement to see how scary my numbers were (i didn't). i called my mother to ask if she saw the end of the game; she told me she did, but she lied, it was actually too much for her and she went to go wash the dishes during the crucial final minutes.
after the game i went outside to look for the super blood wolf moon. it wasn't hard to find, a red orb in the sky with a white crescent. it wasn't at totality yet, but blood moons don't look as cool when they're completely eclipsed (it just looks like a dim moon, like maybe it's behind some clouds). i tried to take some photos from my backyard but the branches of the large oak tree got in the way.