my father and i went to burlington for our monthly check of binbin's house. it was even more important after the past few days of extremely cold weather. i kept having visions of burst frozen basement pipes. when we got there and went inside the house, everything was fine. the house was at 50°F, which was the temperature we set the thermostat to. in the basement everything was fine. i tried all the faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen, they all worked as normal. the only thing we found was a bowl of candy on a high shelf in the kitchen that mice somehow onto and ransacked through all the treats, left nothing but shredded wrappers and droppings behind. we cleaned that up as well as some other mice droppings we found on the first floor and basement. this house has been empty for more than a year now, it makes me sad whenever we come. we don't know how much longer before binbin and her family can return to boston, if i had to guess it'll be another year. in the meantime, the house sits as a time capsule to their lives here, before they abruptly returned to china because they couldn't renew their visa.
we arrived in belmont around 12:30pm. i had squash rice porridge, eggs, sausages, and a pan-fried pancake for lunch. my mother asked me to order some medical supplies online. i discovered last night that amazon prime has chinese subtitles on all their amazon produced shows ("amazon original"), so my mother got back into bosch. she'd seen all the episodes already though so when i found a 2018 japanese 12-episode series called kyoto love story with chinese subtitles, she opted to watch that instead.
for dinner my mother made my father cook up some marinated ribs in the air fryer.
while the ribs were cooking, i went into the backyard to fly my drone after sunset in that photography time known as the "blue hour." since it was getting dark, i only had the drone straight up in the air so i could see it, i didn't did fly it far for fear of losing the drone. temperature was at 19°F (-7°C). even though the drone is only rated for 32°F, i discovered that as long as the battery is warm, it can still fly. the drone heats up anyway while operating so that keeps it warm. the only bad thing is the colder temperature means the battery can't operate at maximum efficiency, so there's less flight time.
i noticed the horizon was crooked, after i calibrated the gimbal yesterday. it wasn't crooked when i was pointing at boston (east), but when i was looking west, it looked very much tilted. afterwards i realized i could manually adjust the horizon while the drone was still in the air, but at the time i didn't know you could do that. i also went out a little too early, and it wasn't blue hour yet.
while i waited for it to get darker, i decided to test and see if i could fly above the 400ft height restriction. yesterday i set the max altitude limit to 800ft and sure enough the drone didn't give me any warnings until i reached that height. i only did it as a test and was so nervous that i didn't even look around, only had the camera pointed downwards.
when i finally got the drone below 400ft, the sky had gotten just the right amount of dark for me to take a few photos. at about 200ft my fly app crashed. i didn't get the dark screen like before, but the video stream showed some interference bands and my phone was locked. i had the phone in airplane mode, but that didn't seem to help in this case. maybe i didn't close out some apps? i waited nervously for about a minute to regain control of my phone. the drone was within eyesight but it made me nervous not being able to control it as it hovered in the air. i was only able to see it because of its flashing lights. i finally brought the drone down on the launch pad and called it a day.
after dinner my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. after a shower, i settled in to watch the lakers-celtics game. it was the 2nd or 3rd game where brown, tatum, and walker were all on the court. celtics kept it close, and had the lead going into the final minutes before the lakers pulled ahead. down by 7 points with about a minute left in the game, boston managed to get within 1. with just seconds to go, celtics had a chance to win it but time expired. i feel like boston is an above average team, but when they go up against the elite teams, a lot of times they seem like fodder. they have a tendency to settle for the long balls towards the end of the game. when those don't go in, they end up losing. they jays are better at driving to the hoop, but they still need more of that. the officiating tonight was also weird, they weren't calling fouls for some reason. that's sometimes good when the referees allow the players to play, but in tonight's case it didn't help the celtics as lebron and anthony davis were able to just manhandle boston at will.