snow fell silently overnight, coating the landscape in white. it was the pretty kind, the kind that sticks to everything due to the rain that came down beforehand. the sidewalks were naturally cleared as they were still warm enough to melt the amount of snow we received. i went out to bring in the trash but also to take a few photos.

just when i was thinking my next roommate wasn't coming anytime soon, he texted me this morning and said he finally got his visa1 and planned to arrive in cambridge sometime after christmas. that gives me 2 weeks of carefree solo living before i share my house for a few months.

the snow had stopped by the time i woke up. the sun was even coming out. it was the perfect time to ride down to belmont and clean the solar panels before everything freezes up overnight. it was so pretty outside, i set up the EX7000 action camera on my bike again to shoot a video. afterwards i reviewed the footage. the stabilization feature works okay, but it's not as good as a dedicated 3-axis gimbal. whenever i went over a bump the software stabilization couldn't full compensate for the shaking. i also had the WDR (wide dynamic range) turned on, which i think over processes the image, such that sometimes it seems to outline highlights. the video also seemed fine in the LCD, but when actually viewed it looked a little dark (i didn't play around with the exposure compensation). and finally, because i had the camera mounted on the extension bar, the weight of the camera would move it, so the camera angle kept on shifting.

when i arrived in belmont, i saw the neighbor's panels were completely covered in snow. i didn't see any birds at the feeders, but there was a lot of snow track activity below the squirrel buster, so there must've been something going on. each of the feeders (seed, suet) had a baffle, which turned out to be the right decision, as there was a heavy layer of snow on each baffle. i'd told my mother that i was at their place to clean the solar panels, and was surprised when my father came home a few minutes later before i even started with the cleaning.

the snow was easy to remove, with a bottom layer of melted ice that made the snow simply slide off. while i pulled the snow off of the panels, my father used the other foam snow rake to clear the snow from the bottom edge of the roof. for the sunroom panels, the snow was light enough that i could just push them off the panels, while my father cleared the snow around the edges. it took us just 30 minute to clear off the snow.

while my father returned to the cafe, i got ready to leave myself. 3 blocks away i felt an emptiness in my pocket and i was afraid i might've left my wallet back at the house. so i went back and searched, both inside and outside, and found nothing. maybe it's still at home? when i got back to cambridge, i found my wallet on the coffee table.

1 under trump, it's gotten increasingly difficult to get visas, even to renew them. student visas used to be one of the easiest ones to get, but now everything is under scrutiny, especially if your field of study is technology related.