i submitted the online application for the massachusetts small business pandemic assistant grant for my parents this morning, after i decided that they didn't need a business certificate (DBA) after all. the application also asked for a copy of the business tax return which they didn't have (the cafe is filed under personal tax) so i just submitted the personal tax return twice (it wouldn't allow me to send the form otherwise). who knows if it'll even get accepted (january 15th is when they'll review all the applications and make their decision), but worth a try regardless, couldn't hurt.

it rained overnight but this morning the weather looked calm. i decided not to go to my parents' place but instead spent the day at home. in the late morning i went to walgreens to pick up my 2 remaining prescriptions. in the early afternoon i made a bowl of jiu niang soup. even though my jiu niang was very sweet, once combined with the water and egg, it lost its sweetness so i had to add some sugar.

later in the afternoon i was compelled to bike up to prospect hill by union square in somerville and fly my DJI mini 2 drone. it was a good day, blue sky, sunny, some clouds, with a bit of 10mph wind. i figured even if i didn't do any flying, i could still go up there and check it out ever since they renovated the place. i feel like it's been nearly 2 years since i've been up to prospect hill. i immediately noticed a large new building in east cambridge that blocked a chunk of the boston skyline.

there was nobody around other than a mail carrier busy delivering mail, a jogger resting on one of the benches, and a few pedestrians either walking dogs or out for a stroll. conditions were ideal so i climbed over the railing to the circular grass moat surrounding the prospect hill tower and took out my drone. honestly, if you didn't know what i was doing, you wouldn't even know i was flying a drone in the air. i looked around to see if anyone noticed, and not a single person paid any attention. the drone could be almost over them and they never noticed it.

prospect hill is a weird place to fly because it lies on the border of the path of one of logan airport's runways so there's a height restriction. and in fact it did tell me i was restricted to 60m (200ft), but once i flew the drone a little bit away from prospect hill, the restrict was lifted and i could fly up to 400ft again. i only realized this when i issued a return-to-home command and the drone actually ascended to 400ft before returning home. but since i launched from a hill, i was definitely flying above 400ft from ground level.

the sun's glare was strong and i didn't attempt flying west (towards cambridge) because i couldn't see anything in that direction. instead i flew it in the direction of boston, only to 300m before turning back. my signal strength was good but my fly app froze up on me twice. it didn't just freeze the app, but the phone itself, and i waited for what felt like 2 minutes before it unfroze and the app crashed out. quickly logging back into the DJI fly app, i was able to regain control of my drone. in the all the times i've crashed, i've never had the drone automatically initiate a return-to-home command.

returning for a landing, it took me a while to orient the drone correctly so i could do a hand landing. earlier when i launched the drone, it was an auto-launch from my hand as well. everything was going well but i mustn't have put out my hand completely flat because my middle finger managed to hit of the spinning propellers as it was coming done. the drone stopped flying right away and fell onto the grass. at first i thought it wasn't anything serious, but changed my mind when i saw the blood dripping from my fingertip.

i went to the side of the railing where i could set the drone done and bandage my wound. i checked the drone for damages, other than some mud and grass stains, it was fine. i looked at my fingers. i couldn't tell where i got sliced but i wrapped my fingers in a tissue and saw were the blood was oozing out. fortunately i always carry some bandaid with me and once i got a bandaid on my middle finger everything was fine. i'd dripped blood onto the drone; i wiped off as much as i could and then put the drone away. i felt a little stupid, but getting hit by the propeller was bound to happen sooner or later, like crashing the drone.

back at the house i examined the drone more thoroughly. i tried cleaning off the blood with some cotton swabs and alcohol, but it wouldn't come off. only when i tried some hydrogen peroxide did it do the trick. i checked the propellers to make sure there were no damages. a few had dried up blood on them. one in particular had a small dent, maybe that happened when it hit my fingernail. fortunately one of the undamaged propellers i removed when i replaced my propellers the last time i had a crash was a perfect match, so i replaced that one damaged propeller, using a brand new screw as well.

only then did i removed the bandaid from my fingertip to give it a more thorough cleaning and to see what exactly happened. i got sliced a few times. it hurt when it happened, but didn't afterwards. it's probably no worse than getting a few papercuts. after washing the wound, i put on a fresh bandaid. there was no pain whatsoever.

one thing i did was to update the DJI fly app on my phone. for some reason the latest android version of the app isn't available in the app store (though it is available in the apple store if you're using an iphone/ipad) but has to be sideloaded directly from DJI's website. the latest app works in conjunction with the latest firmware updates which includes better flight connections. i'll see how well it works the next time i fly the drone.

for dinner i made some more korean rice cakes. although delicious and very filling, i think i'm rice caked out for the time being. trying to figure out what i'm going to make for dinner the rest of the week. this means a grocery run, which means waiting in line outside market basket.

i have 4 external flashes for my canon dSLR but the most i've ever used to take a photo is only 2 flashes. besides my original canon speedlite, i also have a yongnuo YN560-III flash i got in china, and 2 pixel X650C flashes. one of the pixels is still in the box unused. i also have a yongnuo brand remote triggering system, 3-4 transceivers. the good thing about the yongnuo flash is it has built-in remote triggering; the bad thing is the flash is completely manual. the pixel flashes at least have TTL (though not ETTL). i really ought to take out all my flashes and use them a bit more.