along with my matcha latte, i made an omelette for lunch because i had some leftover ham i wanted to use up before it went bad. i had everything ready by noontime, but my normal 12pm news broadcast was preempted by more impeachment trial coverage.
i went out on a photo walk around 1:30pm. haven't done one of those in a while, one of my great joys, just wandering around exploring the neighborhood and taking photos. my glasses kept on fogging up because of my facemask, so every few minutes i'd take them off and clean the condensation with my fingertips. i had two objectives: take a photo of an interesting number 47 (it's one of my birthday traditions) and find a place where i could quickly fly my drone into the air and take a 360 panorama.
it was cold enough (30's) that i should've worn gloves, but i have a hard time operating my camera with them on, so i left them off, even though it meant cold and chapped hands. i was dressed warmly otherwise, include a fleece trapper hat with flaps that i folded down to keep my ears warm. towards the end i was hot enough that i unzipped my jackets.
i did a bit of research beforehand, already had a good idea where i could find a good 47. i actually searched "47 cambridge MA" and the first thing that came up was an article about club 47 in harvard square, now known as club passim. my backup 47 was the 47 MBTA bus route, and i was hoping to find a schedule down on the station carousel. fortunately i didn't have to use my backup idea, as there was a prominent 47 outside the club.
i was getting ready to walk home when i remembered my second objective. i walked down to riverbend park, a triangular piece of grassy park land formed by memorial drive, hawthorn street, and mt. auburn street. i picked that place because when i pass by it on the 73 bus it's always busy, but still close enough to harvard square that it'd afford me a good view from the sky. although the park was empty, it didn't look promising at first because the snow was too soft to launch and land on. also the sun was shining at the time, which would cause unnecessary glare. but there was nobody around and too good an opportunity to waste, so i took the drone out of my bag (wrapped in a towel) and placed it on a clear i made with my foot towards the middle of the park away from the perimeter of trees.
once the drone was in the air, i spun it around to take some photos. the DJI fly app crashed on me again, froze up my phone for what felt like a few minutes. i'm not sure why this happens occasionally, i'm hoping DJI can fix it at some point. i've read some online opinions, some say it has something to do with the wifi on the turn and to put the phone into airplane mode, others say it's a conflict with android 11. but just as many people fly with the same setup and never encounter the issue. the only saving grace is despite the phone seemingly stuck, the drone is still connected to the controller, and won't try to automatically return home, but instead just hovers in the sky.
once i regained control of the drone, i made it take a 360 panorama before landing it. i had no idea where the drone was with the sun glare and the fact that it was 400ft in the air. i just knew it was right above me, even though i couldn't see it. at about 200ft is when i finally spotted it again, and guided it safely down to the landing area. i folded up my drone and quickly left the area. i always feel like i'm doing something slightly illegal when i'm flying the drone.
i've already picked out my next two spots to fly from: magazine beach by microcenter (the closest to boston yet) and mcelroy park in the heart of central square. flying it in such a populated place feels most definitely illegal or at best a very dark shade of grey. but it's close to my sister's godmother's new apartment building and i can get an awesome view. just have to figure out a good time to do it, one when the least amount of people around.
i returned home via lesley's brattle campus and radcliffe quadrangle. i was tempted to launch the drone again in the empty quad, but i was pretty sure campus security would be asking me to leave once they saw what i was doing. i finally got home by 3pm.
i bumped into renee while i was outside. she asked me about her gutters, which had dangerous icicles forming along the edges, asked if it had anything to do with the fact that her house was recently insulated, even though she hasn't noticed any improvements. her downspouts were clogged too, such that the column was entirely frozen and snowmelt was actually running on the outside of the spout in rivelets underneath a sheath of ice. i told her to chisel away at the bottom of the downspouts with a hammer to clear the obstruction. she also told me that she got the pfizer vaccine a few weeks ago at the reggie lewis center in boston. she felt no side effects other than a soreness at the injection site, and even went cross country skiing at beaver brook the next day for 3 hours. she said she felt fine afterwards, that you need to work through the soreness to make it heal faster.
my mother called me, said we'd be having dinner tonight in honor of chinese new year's eve, that she made some chinese dumplings. around 6pm my sister came to pick me up and bring me to belmont. i brought along a jar of 2-8-2021 jiu niang which had been slow fermenting in my warm bathroom for the past 3 days. i hadn't tried it yet and my father finally had a taste, said it was sweet with a bit of characteristic jiu niang sour. he actually tasted the wrong jar, tried the 2-2-2021 jiu niang first before trying out my latest batch. he said both tasted similar, even though the 2-2-2021 was made using the instant pot quick ferment method while the 2-8-2021 was made using slow ferment. they both used half (4g) a packet of fresh angel rice leaven.
after dinner my sister gave me a ride back to cambridge. a new episode of the unicorn was on, followed by the series premiere of clarice, a sequel to the movie silence of the lambs. i've seen a lot of commercials for this show in the weeks leading up to the premiere. it's well made, i'm intrigued enough to continue walking, see where it goes. i also downloaded the final episode of the stand but haven't watched it yet.
my aunt and uncle gave me a $100 gift certificate for amazon. my mother and aunt gave me red envelopes (chinese new year related). and maureen sent me single month subscription to the criterion channel.