the sun actually came out today, almost forgot what that was like. for lunch i finished all my leftover turkey, managed to make 3 rollups. afterwards i went to star market to pick up some more sugar bee apples along with some hazelnuts. i also got some cheetos, one of the least healthy things you can eat.
my original plan was to ride down to the cafe and drop off the apples before heading out to fresh pond to photograph a few winter king hawthorn trees matthew told me about. i haven't been on the bicycle since the snow, even though i've seen others riding. conditions weren't bad, the streets for the most part remained cleared with decent bike lanes. when i got to the cafe, my aunt and uncle were there. they managed to try out the sugar bee apples, likewise when my mother returned from her walk. they all said it was super sweet and crispy, good qualities for an apple. my mother even called me 2nd aunt to tell her to get some from star market.
i got a chance to talk with tom brady today. no, not that tom brady, a different tom brady who's binbin's next door neighbor. apparently he's responsible for picking up their mail while they're away. he was happy to hear from me, because he had no way of getting in touch with binbin (they didn't leave him with any contact information). he told me that he didn't realize he was supposed to get their mail, and only found out when he spoke to the mailman who told him the mailbox was full and all subsequent mail was being kept at the post office. so tom ended up going down to the local post office, which he discovered doesn't actually deliver mail to the town, but rather its the job of the post office the next town over that's responsible for this town.
anyway, it was a very lengthy process, but he finally got the mail. he left it in their house, all sorted. he said he didn't see anything important (that is: IRS or MA state letters), at most some letters from the condo association letting everyone know of an increase in the condo fee. i asked if he saw any letter from NH, he said he didn't, but also he wasn't looking too carefully. i told him we'd be down on saturday to pick up the mail, and that in the future he can just leave the mail in the house (he has a key), didn't have to sort them. we also traded e-mail addresses as well as phone numbers. the number i called him at, he actually almost never answers, and it was by pure luck i managed to get ahold of him.
it was already getting cloudy when i left my house, but now completely overcast by the time i left the cafe for fresh pond. from outside it looked like it'd rained, but that was just the slowly melting snow piles.
when i arrived at fresh pond opposite the honda dealership, i saw the winter king hawthorn trees right away. what i really wanted was a high contrast between the red berries and the white snow, but the paths had already been cleared, so the hawthorns didn't look their best. i got off my bicycle and took some photos. a bunch of robins descended onto the trees, eating the berries.
afterwards i rode up to huron avenue to go home. along the way, i saw a few kids sledding down the shallow hill (with what little snow remained). i saw a goldfinch up in a tree, as well as a squirrel sitting on a branch lazily eating an acorn.
i noticed the sacramento street underpass was finally opened after months of renovations. i took a peek earlier, and when i turned around, a city contractor was sitting in his truck pointed with his finger that i could go across. i waved him off, said i just wanted to check it out. now back at home, and with a craving for cheap unhealthy snacks that can only be found at the dollar store, i used the underpass for the first time since mid-july.
i was expecting something brand new, but the underpass looked much like it did before. even the old murals were still there, though one side of the wall had been repainted due to graffiti. it was also kind of dirty on the inside, a lot of unswept dead leaves and some garbage. the only improvements i saw was they patched some of the crumbling concrete. it was a patch job, with the amount of time the underpass was closed, i thought they were redoing everything. it took them 5 months to patch some concrete that would've taken any other contractors at most a week to finish. the city of somerville should be ashamed of itself for wasting taxpayers' money, and for seriously inconveniencing neighbors for nearly half a year.
the dollar store was crowded. not sure if it was because new traffic from the opened underpass, or maybe it's because a lot of kids hang out their afterschool. i grabbed some gummy snacks and a pair of gloves. returning home, the sun was just about to set, the landscape was bathed in this golden light. luckily i had my camera and took a few shots. in the sky i caught a cooper's hawk circling around (i think it was a pair, i only photographed one). around the neighborhood i spotted rooftop solar panels, most of them were snow covered on the bottom row of panels.
it was the first time this month that we managed to hit double digit production. the total so far for the month of december stands at 32.81 kWh. it took 5 days to accomplish what we could make in a single day under sunny conditions. the total production for this month is going to be the worst of all times if this trend continues.
i received a few packages today: another wyzecam with a wyze sense kit and a digital caliper (valorbros brand, $12.79). i didn't touch the wyzecam, instead i was playing around with the digital caliper, which i've never had before. what we'd do with it i don't know, maybe measure wire gauges. it seems to be pretty accurate after i zero'ed out the numbers. i was surprised to find the jaws ending in blade edges, someone might get cut if they're not careful. i thought the thumb roller was broken at first because it felt flimsy and loose, but apparently that's the way it was designed. the LCD screen seems big enough as-is, i don't need a bigger screen. the cardboard sleeve that came with the caliper is actually not the model i bought, but everything on the inside is correct.
for dinner i heated up half a jar of leftover spicy tomato sauce while boiling a frozen bag of cheese raviolis. i had it with a can of taiwanese mango beer, while watching the thursday night football game between the cowboys and the bears. both teams were 6-6, but chicago was the more desperate team, trying to secure a wild card berth. the game was important for the cowboys, but the NFC east conference is such a joke, either the cowboys or eagles could theoretically advance to the playoffs even with a losing record. bears ended up winning 31-24, but the score doesn't show that the game was never really that close, dallas barely had a chance.