it took me just 3 weeks to crash my DJI mini 2 drone. although in hindsight i should've known better and it was a stupid thing to happen, i was lucky that it happened in the backyard, where i was able to retrieve the drone. i was trying to fly it over the house, from front to back, skimming over the solar panels, and come in for a landing. i tried it a few times, i just couldn't get a smooth flight, and decided to go inside for lunch. coming in for a landing, i got a little too confident and swung the drone fast to the right, where it hit a pine tree. i thought it was done for, but it seemed to still be hovering for a split second, before the wind pushed it just a little more and it ricochets through the branches, following down into a snow pile. stuffed with snow, two of the propellers were also broken, but i have replacements. otherwise it didn't seem so bad for a first crash, lesson learned.

i brought the drone inside and took out the battery immediately. i tried to dry it the best i cold, using cotton swabs to get inside and wick out any melted snow. i also replaced the propellers. though only two were broken, they came in pairs, so i replaced both pairs just to be safe. a third propeller wasn't broken but it did have a slight dent in it. later in the evening when i thought the drone had properly dried off, i put in a new battery and powered up the drone inside, just to check if it was still working. it was behaving strangely, at first it said couldn't fly because of no gps, but then it said there was a gimbal issue. at one point the gimbal kind of went crazy and the drone restarted itself.

when it came back online, it looked like i was still able to fly, so i spung up the motors it levitated it in the air. that's when it seemed to lose control and fly away on its own, crashing into the fireplace, narrowly missed smashing all the liquor bottles. when i booted it back up, it said there was a problem with the gimbal, and the camera, and it wouldn't fly anymore, and to contact DJI. so not only did i crash it, i seemed to have broken the drone as well.

luckily i bought insurance ($50) when i first started flying the drone (the app gave me the option, i had a few days to decide), and DJI would replace the broken drone with a new one for $49. it's just the inconvenience of not having a drone for a week or two.

my father came to pick me up around 11am this morning. i brought along all 4 jars of my jiu niang, along with the pineapples and asparagus i bought yesterday.

i helped my father clear the snow from the second car when i arrived in belmont. afterwards he got the snowblower from the backyard and cleared the snow from the driveway one last time before putting it away in the garage. we never got a chance to use it last year after we brought it into for a tune-up. plus the town fixed the sidewalk so there's no longer a bump from the chopped down maple tree.

i was then in the backyard flying the drone for a bit. i used it to check on the solar panel status of not only our house but the panels of our nearby neighbors as well. anytime i get to fly the drone is good practice. that is, until i crash and break the drone.

for lunch my mother made a bowl of instant vietnamese pho served in a large soup mug. it was pretty good, but my mind was on the status of my drone at that point and i wasn't able to full enjoy my noodles. i did allow me parents to try my latest jiuniang. they both agreed it was a success, very sweet. my father also tried my old jar from last week, he said it was okay, sweet and sour, still very edible. i ended up taking home the old jiu niang later in the evening so i could have it for lunch next week.

more birds are visiting the feeder. today i spotted: chickadees, juncos, mourning dove, a single female house sparrow (i'll tolerate a loner but i don't want to see a flock of those sparrows), a pair of cardinals, and a nuthatch. we haven't put out the suet feeder yet because we need to get some suet. that's why we haven't seen any downy woodpeckers yet, which is another common feeder bird.

for dinner we cooked the christmas ham i got earlier in the week. we couldn't remember if we baked it or not, since it's already precooked and there's no reason why we couldn't eat it as is. we also couldn't decided whether we should glaze it. i ended up finding the blog entry from earlier this year during easter where we also ate a lot of ham, and it looked like we neither cooked it or glazed it, but ate it as is. i also bought the yesterday ham not from market basket but from star market. my parents also made some bread with the baking pan. it wasn't scallion bread, just regular bread. my father made an egg drop soup because he said it'd go with the bread and ham. he also prepared the asparagus, cut diagonally and stir-fried.

my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. somebody had dug out their car that was parked in front of my house and in the process buried the path i carved out that allowed me to get to the street without walking down the block pass all the snow banks. i ended up redigging a new trench before finally coming inside. alex's christmas card was waiting in the foyer. even though neither of us are christian, alex sends me a christmas card from japan every holiday, very old school. they're always the coolest cards, whether it's a pop-up, or something that plays a festive tune. this time he outdid himself, with a 3D card that had both lights and sound. unfortunately it didn't work, and when i carefully opened up the back of the card to see the electronic guts, i found 3 corroded button cell batteries (LR1130). i carefully removed the batteries and went online and ordered some new ones. they'll arrive next week before christmas, i'm looking forward to seeing this card in action!

i've got jiu niang fever: i decided to start another batch tonight. for this batch, i'm trying to recreate my latest sweet jiu niang. is the secret really just slow fermenting? can i reproduce my previous success? everything was the same except i was using a different brand of glutinous rice (plum brand instead of rose brand), but short-grain as well. i set it in a box insulated by packaging air bladders and a towel inside my bathroom which is the warming place in the house.