the snow started this morning around 5am. i woke up at 9am to get ready to walk down to the cafe by 10am to plow the sidewalk before the restaurant opened at 11am. i did think about letting my upstairs neighbors shovel our sidewalk (so far this winter i've done all the snow cleaning), but i saw renee's tenant outside shoveling, and decided i would do the same, not simply leave it for a pair of lazy retirees.
the snow this time around was more of a wet snow. i started with the snowplow as soon as i arrived. there wasn't that much accumulation, about an inch, and i was worried there wasn't even enough to plow, especially after all the foot traffic had already trampled and compacted much of the sidewalk snow. fortunately the plow was able to see the snow, but the chute kept clogging up with wet snow. the paddles also needed to be replaced; i could compensate by tipping the blower a little forward. i passed by the cafe where my 2nd aunt was manning the shop today.
after the first pass at 10am, i waited until 12pm for the snow to stop and to make a second pass. sandy was going to go open a td bank checking account in harvard square and later get some groceries at market basket; at 11am i noticed she was gone so i turned down the thermostat (i turned it back up later when i noticed she'd come back by 2pm). when 12pm came around, so little snow had fallen i didn't even bother using the machine but instead scrape off the thin layer of accumulation with the shovel.
my original plan was to grab a bus to belmont, but my sister gave me a ride around 12:30pm. my father was just starting to clear the snow off of the car and the driveway.
a lot of wet snow had already slid off of the solar panels. it took my father 20 quick minutes to clear the remaining snow, finishing by 1pm. while i supervised, i also had time to roll a quick snow man, making a 4-layer version that was nearly as tall as i was.
my mother had some chicken noodles ready when we came back inside. combined with the homemade habanero hot sauce, it was a pretty tasty lunch.
my under warranty replacement ace teah umbrella arrived on thursday. though i appreciate the free umbrella, this new one seems to be a little broken as i can't get it to open automatically with the button and requires pulling the umbrella into the handle before it can properly work. since my old umbrella was broken, i decided to take it apart and see if i could figure out how it works and 1) fix the old umbrella, and 2) at the same time fixing the new one as well. the problem had something to do with the automated open/close mechanism, all located inside the handle. i went online looking for teardown videos but there were none, not even any info on how the umbrella's open/close mechanism works. i basically had to figure it out myself, maybe more difficult by the fact that some of the umbrella pieces fell on the floor when i finally opened the handle and i didn't know where they were supposed to be.
when i finally located all the small parts and put the handle back together, the umbrella didn't work at all: once closed, it wouldn't open. so i ended up ruining an umbrella that sort of worked to one that completely didn't. i disassembled the handle again and tried to figure out my error. there was a little spring that got caught in the collapsible umbrella handle. after my father pulled it out and rewound the spring, i put everything back again. this time instead of inserting the spring into the hole first, i inserted the metal "3-prong" first and added the spring to the outside, where it looked like there was a little dot for the spring to catch onto. i put the handle back together again, and like a miracle, the umbrella was working fine once more. i wanted to do the same to the new umbrella but was afraid of ruining it so decided to save that repair for some other time.
after dinner i got a ride back to cambridge. i found sandy in the kitchen eating a bowl of korean ramen chatting with her boyfriend.