the mi fit app tells me i only i slept for 4-1/2 hours last night, before the alarm clock went off at 7am. i checked the cafe webcam and saw that the snow plow driver did come in the early morning and cleared the parking lot. that meant i didn't need to go to the cafe and clear the parking lot manually with the snowblower. that also meant i could sleep a bit later. but since i was already up anyway, i jerked myself out of bed. it wasn't the getting up that was hard; it was getting up in a cold house that was the challenge. i got dressed and readied myself to begin clearing the snow off of the solar panels.
when i checked the solar panels late last night, they were all covered. i was hoping there'd be some melting today but it was early and the panels were still covered. there didn't seem to be as much snow in cambridge, but it looked like it snowed about 4" in belmont. it was the soft fluffy type of snow, but because it was too thick, it wasn't as easy to push or pull off.
i started with the sunroom from the step ladder, clearing the bottom edge first. i then moved to the east side of the house with the extension ladder, where i cleared the 5 panels on that side. though the roof was in shadows when i first started, by that point the rising eastern sun was beginning to shine on the westernmost panels. from the way i was leaning on the ladder, i couldn't clear any of the sunroom panels. so i moved the extension ladder to the front of the sunroom, and managed to clear all the snow from those panels. i mostly pushed the snow off, with only the bottom few panels i pulled. with the step ladder, i first cleared the bottom edge of the western roof, and my reach was long enough that i cleared the first row of panels as well. finally, with the extension ladder, i cleared the rest of the western panels but clearing the few remaining main roof panels above the sunroom roof.
i started at 7:23am and finished by 8:36am, a little bit over an hour. i was shooting a time lapse video and had just enough juice in the battery to capture the whole event. when i took down the action camera the low battery icon was flashing ominously. my sister called me at 8:20am, said the cafe sidewalks needed to be cleared. i told her what little additional snow fell last night, she could clear on her own, but she said her hands hurt. last night i walked over a mile to the cafe in the snow and shoveled so much (at 3 locations) that my clothes were soaked and then i got up at sunrise to clear the solar panels and my sister was bothering me with a tiny amount of sidewalk snow that's going to all melt later today? sometimes i think she's incapable of thinking what other people are going through. and here i thought she was calling because she was offering me a ride back to cambridge!
i also shoveled the front of the house again, the snowplow had blocked the driveway. the chinese wife of our german neighbor waved hi to me and said if she could ask me a question about our solar panels. "is it worth it?" she inquired. i told her since my parents got the panels, they haven't had to pay for their electricity. not only that, they make additional money from energy credits. i was telling her more but i could sense she just wanted a simple yes or no answer. i told her we used united, she made a snide comment, "oh, we want to use a state registered company." i told her united was licensed.
too nervous to the use bathroom this morning, i had no problem going now after i finished with the snow clearing. afterwards i took a shower.
i had an opportunity to check the grow room. nowhere as many fungus gnats compared to a few weeks ago. the chive planter traps had some gnats, but nothing like before when the traps were completely covered with insects. the traps that seemed to have the most gnats were the ones in the lemongrass pot. i don't know if i'll be able to break the gnat fungus cycle when i do the 3rd and final soil drench, but as long as i keep up this regimen of letting the soil dry for 10+ days before a Bti watering, i think eventually it'll kill all the gnats. i took some sticky traps with me, going to set up a few at my place and in the cafe.
i ended up taking the 73 bus back to cambridge. i left by around 10am. earlier (9:30am) when i checked the client list of my home router, i noticed kevin had already left, which prompted me to turn off the thermostat, no point heating an empty house. i arrived in harvard square around 10:30am. when i got back home, judging by the snow on the doorsteps, i don't steve neither steve nor paul bothered to shovel anymore after what i did late last night. i sprinkled some salt later on to melt what little snow remained.
i made one final english muffin sandwich for lunch.
keeping my eye on the solar production, i noticed we weren't hitting the maximum despite a sunny clear blue sky day. checking the layout view of the solaredge admin page, i saw production wasn't uniform, meaning some panels were partially eclipsed by the snow. fortunately by around 11am, production finally turned constant, meaning whatever snow remained on the panels had all melted away.
a warmish (40's) sunny day after a snowstorm, a lot more people seemed to be out and about. it gave me a chance to do some people watching from my living room window.
i discovered a new show on the national geographic channel (which we get through youtube tv): life below zero. i'd heard about this show before but never seen an episode. i was surprised it's already in its 13th season. there's something about on a cold day watching a show about the lives of people living in even colder (alaskan) weather that actually makes me feel warmer by comparison. a native american man was taking his son into the wilderness to teach him survival skills; a woman with an arctic base camp needs to maintenance her runway; another woman learns how to dogsled; and finally a man who recently bought several acres of property goes snaring for rabbits. i think it's a show my father would like (i bookmarked it in his youtube tv account) because every once in a while they show a wood burning camping stove.
kevin hurried home in the evening, rushing to his room as if it was an emergency. he popped a frozen meal in the microwave and in about 5 minutes his dinner was ready, this was the extent of his cooking for tonight. i didn't seem him much the rest of the night, he was in his room busy with what i assume is work, perhaps a fit of inspiration.
the 2 football teams i was rooting for - tennessee titans and the green bay packers - both lost in their conference final game. heading into the super bowl are the kansas city chiefs and the san francisco 49ers. i have reasons to root against either teams: chiefs' qb mahomes is a young upstart that needs more seasoning before he deserves a super bowl victory, while a 49er's win would only remind patriots nation that we let jimmy garoppolo go for aging hall fame qb tom brady who became more of a prima donna the older he got and who has currently left the team in a lurch without knowing who our next starting qb will be while brady pursues free agency. i expect a lot number 12 patriots jerseys will be tossed into bonfires if brady signs elsewhere. anyway, the only good thing about new england not being in the super bowl is patriots fans can watch the game without going through an emotional rollercoaster.
eliza e-mailed me in the afternoon but i didn't see her message until later in the evening. she told me she had some sad news: our friend carl passed away last month from lung cancer, and our friend jerica passed away as well just last week, from breast cancer. i didn't know them as well as eliza, who first met them as coworker friends, but i saw them a bunch of times whenever i hung out with eliza. carl was one of the funniest person i ever knew, jerica one of the most kindest. the fact that they're gone forever is just so extraordinary because both of them were full of life, i could never imagine people like that ever dying. and both of them dying so close to one another, and both from cancer, what are the odds? this double tragedy should remind us all to cherish the time that we have with friends and family, because you never know when they might be gone forever.
i went to bed early, around midnight. i copied the latest episode (3) of the outsider onto my phone and watched it in my bedroom. the first two episodes had promise, but i really didn't like this latest one. i don't really like the holly gibney character, the high-functioning autistic super-sleuth. also turning the loud-mouth angry detective into the next big bad seems like low-hanging fruit. of course he'd be the guy. i'll still watch the series, but not as enthusiastic as before.