it snowed again late last night, so my sidewalk shoveling was for naught. fortunately steve got up this morning and decided to shovel. it was a good effort, but he shovels so infrequently that later i had to go outside to clear all the spots he missed. he also managed to brake my shovel, not sure how he pulled that off. from the webcam i saw my father digging out the car this morning and left late for the cafe on his own. i figured maybe my mother wasn't feeling well so she stayed home (confirmed by her phone's gps location). i called to let her know i was coming to belmont to clear the snow off of the solar panels.
my phone alerted me to a new version of the DJI fly app, v.1.2.4. ever since the last version, the fly app hasn't been available on the google store and has to be installed manually for android phones. DJI didn't say what was changed with the upgrade.
originally i was going to take the bus because there was too much snow on the road. but after i took a closer look, i decided to risk it and ride the bike instead. the bike lanes might not be cleared but the roads were all free of snow.
normally after a snowstorm i'd have to help shovel the cafe properties before clearing the solar panels. but this winter we hired a crew to not only shovel the parking lot, but the sidewalk and my sister's backyard as well, which saved us (and me) a lot of work. now all i have to worry about were the snow-covered solar panels.
when i got to belmont i found my mother in bed. it wasn't the toothache that was bothering her, but rather some mysterious hives. when she told me a few days ago i said it was probably just dry skin, but then she showed me the large itchy welts. she said when she took a benadryl the hives disappeared almost instantly, only to reappear later once the drug wore off.
i went out in the backyard and used the drone to inspect the snow on the roof. most of our solar neighbors had partially cleared panels. the snow on our main roof panels were likewise naturally sliding off. however the sunroom panels needed a helping hand. even though i was just fly overhead, at one point the DJI fly app crashed and went to a black screen. i reopened the app to regain control of the drone. i landed it and went to work with the ladder and foam roof rake.
i first cleared the snow from the panels above the living room. then i leaned the ladder against the eastern side of the sunroom and managed to clear all of the snow from the sunroom panels from that one location. there seemed to be about 2-3" worth of wet snow. if only today was sunny there'd be plenty of melting, but it was a cloudy grey day with temperature in the upper 30's. after the sunroom was done, i leaned the ladder by the western side of the house and cleared the panels above the bedroom. there was a row of solar panels in the middle of the roof that had a bit of snow on the bottom of the panels, but it wasn't worth climbing the roof to clear it, and would melt on its own on the next sunny day.
i went to go fly the drone to inspect my handiwork. however the fly app gave me an error, said the battery was too cold and the drone couldn't lift off. i went inside and grabbed a fresh (warm) battery which fixed the problem. i heard that if you put your phone in airplane mode, the DJI fly app is more stable, so i gave it a try. after the inspection, i decided to take a tour of snowy neighborhood. by usual route is along the fresh pond to the farm then to burbank and loop back. i also decided to see how far i can fly to the reservoir; i got to the midway point before the RC signal dropped down to 2 bars and i decided to turn around and head back. i think if i was standing in front of the house, i'd get a better view of the drone and i could probably fly it even farther. good news is with the phone in airplane mode, the app never crashed. it could just be a coincidence, i'll have to fly it a few more times to be sure. once i landed the drone, the app did ask for a wifi connection so it could upload the log data to the cloud. i didn't check to see if it was still able to display a map without wifi connection. i was flying using the video stream so i didn't use the map.
i brought my spectracide immunox fungicide into the basement grow room. i inspected a few more plants and when i saw some mealybugs i moved the affected plants one by one into the cardboard box so i could spray them with neem oil extract and not have it go everywhere. the key to combating mealybugs is to be vigilante, spray whenever possible.
i left belmont sometime after 2pm. i hadn't eaten yet and pulled out the leftover roasted potatoes from the fridge and filled up on some starch with ketchup. i stayed home the rest of the day, even though i could've gone out again to get some groceries (i'll do that tomorrow, let the snow melt a bit more).
for dinner i warmed up half a jar of pasta sauce and boiled a bag of meat tortellini for dinner. after i finished eating, i was bathed in a relaxing food coma, felt all warm and fulfilled. i had some orange slices for dessert.