i tried to make it early to belmont this morning to clear the snow off of the solar panels. i was all ready to go by 10:30am but while picking out a sun-sanitized face mask from my rear kitchen door, i noticed my money tree plant had an aphid infestation that i needed to take care of immediately. i brought the plant into the bathtub and washed the aphids off of the stems and leaves. i then mixed a solution of dishwashing soap + olive oil + water and sprayed it over the plant.

temperature was only in the upper 30's. there was barely any snow outside, what was left were hard lumps of frozen slush from last night. i more my flannel-lined pants to keep warm. my hat and gloves were already in my jacket pockets, remnants of last winter. though cold, it was sunny, which kept my mind off the weather. my body felt lethargic, can't remember the last time i bicycled to belmont. also the stretch of local biking i did the past few days left me surprisingly sore. nothing that a few more days of biking would clear up by rebuilding my endurance.

the first thing i did when i arrived at my parents' place was to out into the backyard and check the roof. all the snow from the main roof had slid off, but there was a few panels on the sunroom roof that were still covered in snow. i thought my father come out to help me but he went to go take a shower. later i realized he wasn't able to help because he was still sore from the shingle vaccine he got on friday. i didn't mind, it was just a small amount of snow that needed to be cleared, honestly, if i left it alone, it would've all melted anyway by day's end.

i was able to do something new: i flew my drone in the air to get a better view of the solar panels and the snow coverage. in the past i could only rely on the platform ladder. but it's the difference between climbing up to 8ft or flying up to 45ft. after i got my photo, i climbed the ladder and started to remove the snow with the foam snow brush. afterwards i sent the drone back up in the air to take a photo of my handiwork.

after having some chinese pancake stuffed with salami and cheese for lunch, i went back outside to fly the drone and get some scenic shots. even though there was hardly any snow on the ground to get that stark winter landscape, there was a still snow on all the roofs. i spied on a nearby neighbor who installed solar panels onto their flat horizontal roof. like us, the snow doesn't slide off, but they don't bother cleaning it; not so bad for today, but when there's heavier snow, more than half of their production capacity will be buried.

i discovered today that there is no 360° panorama option on the mini 2, but rather it's just 180°. when turned on, the gimbal straightens out and pans to shoots 7 4:3 photos and stitches them together. the quality isn't as good compared to if i shoot my own 4K 16:9 photos manually then have google photos automatically stitch them together for me to form a panorama. even though the wind speed was 17mph, it must've been breezier higher up in the air because i kept getting a wind advisory warning. my father told me there's somebody else in the neighborhood with a drone because he heard the telltale buzzing noise this morning from the bedroom.

the patriots-chargers game was on at 4pm. the 5-6 new england had to win in order to remain in the playoff hunt. fortunately los angeles isn't a very good team this year and all the pundits predicted a patriots victory. i don't think anyone foresaw how utterly dominant the pats managed to play, with every facet of the game (offense/defense/special team) firing on all cylinders. it was one of those games that pats fan needed in order to feel like we have a fighting chance and deserve to be in the playoffs. patriots won with a final score of 45-0. i didn't even bother watching the game in the second half since new england was assured of a win.

breaking news tonight was that of rudy giuliani being admitted to the hospital because he tested positive for covid-19. it's not a surprise given what a dumpster fire of coronavirus spread the white house has been for the past few months. i'm just surprised that not more people have gotten sick since the administration seems incapable of wearing face masks. however, because rudy has been crisscrossing the country filing lawsuits to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the presidential election (which was a month ago), he's exposed hundreds of people to the virus.

my parents tried the joyoung-brand electric baking pan (JK30U-D1) to make some scallion bread. the appliance came with a bilingual (english/chinese) manual but surprisingly little in actual instructions and searching online wasn't much help either. in fact, i only saw the LED screen for the first time when we turned on the baking pan, there are no photos of this feature anywhere online. apparently electric baking pans are very popular in china, since most houses don't have ovens. on youtube there are various recipes showing chinese people using their baking pans for practically everything, from baking to frying to roasting to grilling, it's like the chinese version of the all-in-one kitchen appliance. after allowing the dough to rise (with the yeast i gave my father last night), my father put the dough into the baking pan. it was a bit of trial and error, like realizing we needed higher temperature, and taking a bit longer to bake. the final result was a mild scallion bread, not salty enough and not enough scallions (my mother harvested it from the backyard). the crust was also a bit hard because we cooked it for too long on low temperature.

for dinner my mother made steam pork and eggs. we ate it with rice along with some of my homemade kimchi. i found this most recent batch needed some more salt, though everything else seemed correct - from the sourness to the spicy to the crunch of the cabbage.

it was 32°F as i biked back to cambridge. it was just as much a struggle going home, but at least in the dark nobody can see me huffing and puffing and straining to climb hills on the bike.

the money tree plant was still in my bathtub when i came home. a handful of surviving aphids had reestablished themselves back onto the tender shoots. i gave the leaves another rinse before putting it back in my kitchen. i'll keep on rinsing everyday until i don't see anymore aphids. i might also get some neem oil and spray them all over my houseplants as a preventive measure.