i wasn't planning on going to belmont today until my mother called me in the late morning. she said today was a better day to come since it'd be raining all of tomorrow. so i packed up my things and headed out on my bike. temperature was in the upper 30's, cold enough that my gloveless hands started hurting (i had gloves; i just didn't wear them because i needed my hands free to play pokemon go). if the new year was supposed to feel different, it didn't: 2021 felt very much the same.

my mother gave me a few options as to what she could make me for lunch, but i ate what was available, that didn't require any cooking: egg roll cookies and some soymilk. later my father warmed up some sweet potato fries in the air fryer.

i went out just once, to refill the bird feeder. hailey saw a squirrel but was startled by its audacity since it didn't try to run away. she just stared at it from the steps. only when i walked down the stairs did she charge the squirrel, by which time it was already up a tree.

gap sent me a $10 off coupon, to entice me to buy something for the new year. i clicked the link to their website and saw a 100% merino crewneck sweater in my size that was on sale but with an additional 50% off. combined with the coupon, the sweater came out to just $11, a deal i couldn't resist. in order to pad the order so i got get free shipping, i also bought a cashmere v-neck sweater (10% wool, 5% cashmere) for $19 and a 3-pack of contour cotton face masks ($4) for my mother.

because my mother loves the mulan smoked duck so much, i was doing some research today on how to smoke your own duck. the reason why smoked duck works so well is because ducks are fatty, and fat absorbs smoke flavor better than meat. that's why fatty pork and salmon are also good for smoking. there's surprisingly very little chinese-language info on smoked duck, most of the stuff i found were in english. it almost makes me want to take up duck hunting, so i can 1) play with guns, and 2) get some ducks.

my parents made another scallion bread with their pan oven. the key to a delicious bread is a good rise on the dough. unfortunately it wasn't warm enough, so i put the dough inside the 8qt. instant pot and set it on proofing mode (yogurt low temperature). 1-1/2 hours later, the dough was so puffy it was rising out of the container.

i tried out my DJI mini 2 propeller guards which arrived yesterday. they were a little hard to put on (and take off), but they offer a bit of protection if i'm ever flying the drone through the house. the guards prevent the propellers from colliding against the walls and crashing. not so much for obstacles coming in from above or below, although the drone does have downward facing obstacle avoidance sensors, which i discovered when i tried to grab the drone from the bottom and it popped up almost hitting the ceiling. when i try tapping the drone it can actually feel it fighting against me as it tries to maintain it's position in the air. the propellers also spin louder when the guards are installed, to compensate for the additional weight. louder means windier, and my father sitting on the other side of the room could feel the downdrafts. i noticed there was another firmware update, feel like i just updated it last week. after i was done flying i installed the update (v01.02.0100).

after biking home, i took a shower and spent the evening watching a few episodes of life below zero. watching that show makes me feel better about the winter, because no matter how cold it gets here, it could never compare to life near the arctic circle.

after midnight i heard the pitter patter of raindrops against my windowpanes. it was supposed to snow a bit tonight (which i didn't hear) before transitioning to steady rain into tomorrow morning. the temperature will actually increase as the night goes on, and the high tomorrow looks to be 50°F.

in the late evening i became hungry again and heated up a nissin cup of noodles. i've said this before, the flavor is okay, but i'm a maruchan man myself. maruchan cup of noodles to be exact; i accidentally bought a box of packaged maruchan ramen and they're not that good.