there was still some flurries but the storm for the most part was winding down. i watched neighbors clearing their sidewalks. a hired maintenance crew cleaned the snow from a property with a snowblower. i was more intrigued by the boots one of them was wearing, a pair of kamik greenbay 4 snow boots. i didn't check my mail yesterday, was surprised to discover i received a package. it was the 3.7v lithium battery charger i bought from ebay. i charged up my green laser battery.
i called my mother to ask about my sister's godmother. i was going to remark what terrible luck she had, but my mother told me they got a call this morning saying that her appointment was the scheduled for today but was cancelled yesterday was now back on schedule. so my father and sister drove my sister's godmother to central square to get the paperwork done and see her new place in the manning apartments.
i made a whisk-free matcha latte (which i call a "matte") this morning after seeing a video about it last night. you warm the milk (90 seconds microwave) and mix the matcha powder with some water (hot water) in a jar by shaking it. you then pour the liquid matcha into the milk and sweeten with a bit of honey. i used 1/2 tsp of matcha powder and a tsp of honey. the end result was pretty good, really warmed me up, a nice morning drink. it wasn't as foamy had i used a whisk or a milk frother, but it's the taste that matters. there wasn't as much caffeine as a cup of coffee but more than tea, so i also felt a little wired afterwards. though like coffee, soon afterwards i had to poop. the matcha package said to use within 2 months of opening. looks like i'm going to be drinking and eating matcha until april.
there was an amazon lightning deal on the neewer metal 10.6" round bi-color led video light. i've been eyeballing this light for a while now, wanted to get one because i think in some ways they're better than ring lights, but i wasn't sure if 10.6" was big enough, but a bigger light would cost more. i want to use them primarily for food photography, though they can also be used for many other scenarios. also this "flapjack light" can only produce white light in the shade of 3200-5600K, and i'd rather prefer a video light that can do the full spectrum of colors. it typically costs $86 but the lightning deal was just $61, too good to pass up. and the thinking is if i don't like it, i could always return it. so after some internal debate, i decided to get it, should arrive on saturday.
i was watching the news and the meteorologist said all the slush would be freezing solid tonight and the temperature would dip below freezing and tomorrow's weather would be hovering around the freezing point as well. though it rained last night, it wasn't enough to wash away the snow, but created slush instead. slush that would refreeze. that's when i decided i needed to get to belmont today to clear the solar panels.
i quickly ate a bowl of cereal before leaving by 1:30pm. i figured i still had 3-1/2 hours of daylight, more than enough time to clear the panels. there was still too much snow on the roads so i had to take the bus from harvard square instead. along the way i bumped into bruce and jack digging out a parking spot in front of their house. i went underground to add money to my charlie card before heading to the 73 bus stop outside the harvard post office. i finally arrived at my parents' place a bit after 2pm.
i started by shoveling the front of the house. my parents were in such a hurry to get the cafe this morning, my father didn't have a chance to clear everything. there was still snow piled up in the driveway access onto the street. i was going to use the snowblower to clear it but discovered the auger cable had snapped. so i had to shovel it by hand. it warmed me up enough that i stripped down to just my wool sweater, and even then i felt too warm, almost wanted to go down in just a t-shirt despite the temperature still being in the 30's.
only then was i able to start working clearing the solar panels. i sent the drone up in the air briefly to survey how much snow was on the roof. it was mostly to get a before photo so i could compare it with the after photo, since i could just as easily see the roof condition from the step ladder.
this was the toughest removal yet of this winter. some of the snow on the main roof had started to slide off on its own, but the snow was so wet it clumped together forming snow dams at the bottom of the panels, preventing the rest of the snow to come down. not to mention the wet snow had hardened back up in the cold weather. my strategy was to remove as much as the bottom snow pile before tackling the remaining snow on the panels. the good thing about the refreeze though is when i did manage to break off some snow, they came in big sheets, and so long as there was a clear path, they could gently slide off the panels. it took more than an hour to finally finish clearing the panels.
i went back inside to grab the drone so i could inspect my handiwork. i also sent the drone up in the air 400ft and had it shoot another sphere panorama. this time around it managed to stitch the photos together into a working pano. is this now my new favorite way of shooting with the DJI mini 2.
i was finally finished a bit after 4pm. i was getting ready to return to cambridge when my mother called me. she said their friends stopped by again with sushi deliveries, and she told me if i waited in belmont she'd bring back the sushi for dinner. so that's what i ended up doing. my parents came home a bit before 6pm. there was maki sushi and nigiri sushi, and also some seaweed spring rolls in a vinegary sweet chili sauce. there was also some leftover korean porch from when my father-sister-godmother went to h-mart after they finished securing the apartment.
my father showed me photos of the apartment. the building has 19 stories, my sister's godmother has an apartment on the 16th floor. units facing east get an amazing view of boston, while those facing west get a view of harvard. her apartment faces west, which doesn't have that boston view, but good for sunsets. my father was also scheming to set up some kind of repeater antenna since the building is tall enough to see both the cafe, my place, and my parents' place.
my parents already ate at the cafe so i was the only one eating. after i finished, my father gave me a ride back to cambridge. he took my last jar of jiu niang with him after my mother asked me to make more.
this latest batch of jiu niang (2-2-2021) uses just half a packet of angel rice leaven powder. in the past i used the entire packet only because the ones i had were expired. these packets i'm using now don't expire until 7-2021. a packet contains 8g of powder, so i measured out 4g. i was using a pair of quart jars and leaving them inside the heated instant pot at the low temperature setting for faster fermentation. i set the timer to 30 hours, my jiu niang hopefully will be ready by thursday morning. it all depends on the potency of the angel rice leaven. the instructions said a small 8g packet can ferment 5 lbs. (10 cups) worth of glutinous rice. i'm using 4g of powder with only 2 cups. i'll check the fermentation at the 24 hour mark, maybe it might be ready sooner than later.
i bought a replacement auger cable ($8.50) for the craftsman snowblower (model 247883550) after figuring out the part number. it too will arrive on saturday, the same day as my neewer flapjack light.