i woke up before my phone alarm clock could go off at 7:45am to visit the vaxfinder.mass.gov website to book covid-19 vaccine appointments for my parents. i had my laptop by the night table so i could work from bed without getting up. the governor said in a statement yesterday that 70,000 new appointments would be available online starting at 8am for the nearly 1 million MA residents 65+ who now newly qualify for the vaccine.

so i wasn't surprised at all when i couldn't even open the website this morning, with probably every single eligible person in the state visiting the address all at the same time. the URL would either just hang there or i'd get an error message. i also visited a few other vaccine aggregators, vaccinatema.com and www.macovidvaccines.com being just two of them. unlike the official state site, they were still operating. i saw there were a handful of open appointments at the boston medical center for 2/22, but that's a really sketchy part of town and not easily accessible by public transportation. there was a single opening at the price chopper supermarket in sutton for 2/20, although i didn't even know where sutton was. i was also on the /r/coronavirusMA subreddit, getting tips from people successful in getting an appointment, or reading other gripes about how terrible the MA online response to the vaccination has been.

so it was like that for the rest of the morning. sometimes i'd be able to get into the vaxfinder website, only to encounter an error page when i advanced to the next page. at one point i was trying to snag a single available appointment at fenway, and even managed to fill out the basic info form page, before it gave me an error on the next page.

later when i finally got out of bed, i hooked up my macbook pro to an external monitor so i could keep track of all my vaccine websites on its own dedicated screen. periodically, through out the day, i'd refresh the websites, hoping to see updates. the top story of the noontime news broadcast was how nobody could access the state vaccine website this morning.

at one point several thousand appointments were available at gillette stadium, and my mother called to ask me to book appointments for them. but i told them to hold off, that fenway hadn't opened up yet, and fenway park was a lot closer than foxborough stadium. in hindsight that turned out to be a mistake because fenway never did open up with appointments. or i might've missed the window, because i refreshed the website again around 3pm, there were several hundred slots, but when i tried to book an appointment, i couldn't get through. as for the gillette openings, after 15-20 minutes they were all gone, like a piranha feeding frenzy of folks trying to get a vaccine appointment, makes black friday shopping pale by comparison.

i was so worried about missing appointments when they became available, that i was afraid to use the bathroom, afraid to shower, afraid to do anything else other than be in front of the computer. i quickly made a matcha latte for lunch and ate some cold cereal. i went out briefly to star market before 3pm to get some bacon and potato chips (which unfortunately also seemed to be the exact time fenway appointments became available, so i missed my window).

only by the time i watched the late evening news at 11pm did i hear that nearly all 70,000 appointments had been booked, despite the vaccination website being wonky for most of the day. i have to wait until next thursday morning for the grab bag of available appointments, and that's not a certainty either since that shipment of vaccine is stuck in the south due to the bad weather (governor baker was thinking about sending in the MA national guards to pick up those vaccines).

when i wasn't refreshing the vaccination website, i watched some law & order marathons on tv. i must've watched 3 different series: regular L&O, L&O:CI, and my goto L&O:SVU.

around 4pm it started to snow. the accumulation amount keeps on getting lowered: even though it's going to be a long duration now, it looks to be only 2-4" when things are all done by saturday morning.

i tried backing up my computer via time machine. there was 46GB worth of data to back up because i haven't backed up since december 1st. of course it took forever, and i finally had to stop it after it seemed to be stuck at the 20GB mark for several hours. i'll continue the backup tomorrow.

i retroactively processed some photos but i haven't added them to the blog yet. i have about a week's worth of backlog.

for dinner i had a large bowl of leftover century egg congee. the secret is to cook the congee until it liquifies. i think when i had bad congee the last time, it was because the rice porridge was still congealed. mixed with the stink of century eggs, that's an unappetizing combination.

i finished the evening by watching the second episode of clarice on CBS. i really like it, it's one of my favorite new shows now. i like that they're not doing the serial killer of the week route, and instead going with everyday common criminals that the FBI gets involved in. tonight it was militia cultists and female human trafficking.