i went to market basket in the late morning to get some items for my parents so they wouldn't have to go on a supply run later in the week. all they needed were eggs and pork shoulders (for the barbecued charsiu). given how i had to wait out last week, i thought it'd happen again today, but maybe i came early enough that it wasn't crowded yet, and there were no lines to get inside. i couldn't find the pork shoulders, at least not the ones my parents wanted. they said they'd get it themselves and told me not to bother. in the end i left with some chicken feet and gizzards and a bag of glutinous rice flour.

in my backyard i noticed some unusual animal tracks, one that i didn't recognize immediately. i tried to think what they could be and it turns out to be opossum tracks. they were too tiny to be raccoon or skunk, and not the same as squirrel or rabbit. and most definitely not a rat. so by the process of elimination, it had to be an opossum.

the ride to the supermarket was a little treacherous as i tried to avoid riding through slush or snow. i had to be just as careful riding to belmont, repeatedly looking behind me, not because i was checking for traffic, but more to let the cars behind me know that i see them. i didn't arrive in belmont until almost 1pm.

my father made some jiu niang soup for lunch with some hand-rolled glutinous rice balls. i was in the backyard checking the solar panels to make sure they were clear after the bit of snow that fell last night (my father told me the snow had melted but i checked just to be sure). i saw he already put a coil of chicken wires around our flowering cherry; i did the same with our flowering plum; it's to prevent rabbits from chewing up the bark when they can't find anything else to eat.

my father and i tried to take apart my sister's broken cuisinart convection oven. the more screws we removed, the more screws we discovered, until we got to the point where we couldn't figure out how to access some of the remaining screws to open up the oven. even if we did, my father noticed the heating coils were attached by rivets, which would not only be hard to remove but hard to replace as well. he decided we couldn't fix the oven.

30 minutes after sunset i went into the backyard to see if i could catch the conjunction of jupiter and saturn with the drone. i sent the drone up in the air to catch the tail end of sunset on the southwestern horizon, but no signs of a shiny star. i lost connection with the drone twice, both times the DJI fly app crashing and i had to restart it. not sure why that is, can't be a transmission problem since the drone was just directly overhead, still visible. figuring it was either too cloudy still or maybe not dark enough yet, i brought down the drone.

only then did we spot the conjunction on the horizon, we could see it from the backyard easily (no drone required). using my telephoto lens i could resolve the single shiny star as two "stars" and the same could be seen through the binoculars. i sent up the drone again (this time with a fresh battery) but it still wasn't able to see the conjunction. only when i put it in video mode it the star finally show up, something to do with the exposure setting. i took a few photos using the manual setting on the drone, where i basically couldn't only change the ISO, shutter speed, and exposure compensation. only then did i bring down the drone, landing it carefully in the dark (i didn't want to catch it with my hand being that i could barely see the drone).

my parents cooked up the chicken feet and gizzards for dinner. there wasn't enough chicken feet to make it worth frying them, so we boiled them instead. chicken feet are more like appetizers than a main course because they take some time to eat, by which point the rice would be cold.

i biked home, panting through my face mask, fogging up my glasses, seeing the road through a sliver of clearance on the top of my lenses. bike lanes were nonexistent for the most part, either buried in snow or used as curbside parking. traffic was light though, there was no rush, i eventually got back safe and sound.

according to my fermentation schedule, my jiu niang should be ready by tomorrow night, 3 days after i started the ferment on saturday night. my rice grains aren't floating yet but they have kept their moisture content and there's condensation inside the glass which means fermentation is happening. if this is a success, my next attempt will be to use a different brand of jiu niang yeast, one that i had in my cupboard for a while (i.e. expired), that comes in powdered packets. it may be a different variety of jiu niang yeast, with its own flavor profile.