i knew today was going to be a nice day but i didn't realize just how nice it was until i saw people walking around in t-shirt and shorts outside. the temperature was in the upper 60's and sunny, not too warm and not too cold. originally i planned on going to the arnold arboretum, but i heard tomorrow will be a repeat of today, so i decided to postpone the trip until thursday.

good news on the solar inverter front: i wrote kevin again, this time a more tersely worded e-mail just asking him for an update. to my surprise he replied back right away: "so sorry for the delayed response. i anticipate we will replace this inverter for you next week." that's good news but given united solar's track record, i was cautiously optimist. back when we were installing our solar panels, they scheduled us for an end of summer install but the actual installation didn't happen until the last remaining days of december. there were reasons for the delay, the main one being they had commercial contracts to finish first, and their residential customers were simply bottom-listed. no complaints about the work, but just getting something scheduled was a nightmare. not sure what the reason for the delay in this case, but hopefully it will get fixed soon.

my upstairs neighbors were especially noisy today, until i realized it was because they had hired some housecleaners. that makes me think they're planning on leaving again, because that's typically their pattern. i noticed steve driving a new car, a hybrid toyota SUV, which is an oxymoron. they got rid of their old brown SUV, which i think belonged to paul. they left around noontime, paul driving the audi while steve taking the toyota. they didn't bother bringing in the trash cans.

in the afternoon i went to market basket to get some groceries. i was making an orzo dish tonight and i needed mushrooms. unfortunately i forgot the onion and walked to star market to get one.

mark this day on the calendar as when the setting sun aligns exactly down the length of my street, creating this blinding display of light. a few weeks ago the positon of the sun in the sky was such that it reflected off of neighbor's windows and right exactly to where i usually sit in the living room.

mushroom orzo

1 stick of butter
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup orzo
1 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

the orzo recipe was nothing special, but called for a stick of butter which i thought was excessive. i've never cooked with orzo before so that was a first. i kept stirring it in the pot like i do for risotto but that wasn't necessary as orzo (pasta) cooks much faster. instead of water i had some leftover chicken broth, and i also added some leftover sweet peppers i had in the fridge for color and flavor. the final result wasn't that good, sort of bland, and the butter gave everything an oily feel. it needed something saltier, like maybe some sausages or a bit of prosciutto (which i had, maybe next time). i ate half, saving the rest for tomorrow night. i also had a salad to with the orzo.